For Photography and Media... not gaming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wyndham, May 18, 2011.

  1. wyndham macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    Hi, Ok.. my old MacBook has died and I think the current MacBook is ugly.

    So MacBookPro it is, just trying to work out which of the 13" or 15" models is the most sensible to choose, i'd like it to be fairly futureproof, and I mainly use it for Design and Photography (CS5) and then iTunes and BBC iPlayer.

    Most of the discussions debate which is best for gaming, but i really have no intention in gaming, the most video work i do is the occasionally iMovie.

    Thanks for the advice!

    My old MacBook was a black 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB, so i'm looking to improve on this!
  2. RockPortTech macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    South Texas
    I have the new 13" MacBook Pro, no options, just the way it comes from Apple, and if you want to play games you can do that easily. If you want to run productivity type software or similar applications it can push those as well without breaking a sweat.

    I think you have to decide what size is appropriate for you, then just a matter of deciding whether or not to initially upgrade your ram and hard drive and pay Apple prices, or simply do it yourself and save some moolah.
  3. Molson1020 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2009
    I was also just about to post the exact same topic here.

    I am going to be purchasing a 15" MBP soon to replace my 2007 MBP. I also will only be using it for CS5, Aperture, iMovie, iWork. Not a lot of video editing. No gaming.

    Would I be better off purchasing the base model 15" (and upgrading to 8gb of ram and a bigger HD) or going with the more expensive 15" MBP? Would there be a huge difference in speed with the above applications?

  4. george6000 macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
  5. RockPortTech macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    South Texas

    I run Aperture, Photoshop as well as Lightroom and all manner of photography software for editing purposes, and I have YET to see the beachball even once. And mine is bone stock.
  6. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    I agree.

    An SSD makes Photoshop very, very snappy.
  7. wyndham thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    why the 15"

    Hi Molson1020

    You mention you'll be getting the 15" could you explain why the 15" over the 13" is it just the screen size or do you think the other specs are worth the upgrade?

  8. Molson1020 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2009
    In regards to why I'm getting the 15" over the 13"... my current MBP is a 15" and it's just what I am used to. My sister has a 13" MB and I find it a little to small for my likes.

    I also had one other question regarding the new MBPs... is it possible to keep the HD in the laptop but also add an SSD (and have both at once)?

  9. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    A 15" with a resolution upgrade and Matte screen will be great for photography. If you have money then SSD, but with the size of current images (mine are 25meg each) it does not take long to fill up a drive. So if you went for SSD, you would then need another drive for actual storage and not just performance. The Ram upgrade is a no brainer as its cheap and very easy to do.
  10. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
  11. Darklandman macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2011
    Unless you rely on your Superdrive when on the go, I would suggest a 750gb 7200rpm drive with optibay and 128gb ssd with base 15 inch, if you can afford it, The high res matte screen and 8gb ram are more or less no brainers.
  12. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    I agree. The 13" resolution is just too low - once I moved to the 15" 1680x1050, I'm never going back.
  13. JayMBP macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    If you are into photography, I'd suggest getting a base 15" with matte screen and 750GB HDD.

    Then using an optibay to put the 750GB and upgrade the primary HDD to a Vertex3. Last, put 8GB DDR3 1333 and you are done. This should be the most economical/reasonable option.

    CPU: the difference of 2.0 vs 2.2ghz is really minimal in photoshop/LR environment. I don't think you would notice any real world difference between the two.

    GPU: like CPU, you can't really tell a difference. And current PS/LR doesn't really take much advantage off the discrete GPU. Yes, OPENGL acceleration is built-in from CS4, but the rendering acceleration should be hardly noticeable in Apple's choices of GPU. If we go with a high-end workstation, that's another story.

    HDD/SSD: I recommend VTX3/OWC6G over stock SSD because if you have a large library, the faster, the better. Why settle for 220MBps when you can get 500+? 750GB should be plenty of storage for those backups/files that you need to carry on the go. Anything beyond the 750GB, trust, you can leave them at home on a NAS unless you are into HD video.

    Futureproof: in today's computer world, the whole thing advances so fast that it's hard to keep up. The above mentioned system should last you a good two years before a major upgrade worth your attention. By going either 2.0/2.2/2.3 don't really help because the tech available in two years would simply crush them. Look at the highest build option of the 2009 MBP, SB will crush them alive with room to spare. So, instead of trying to "futureproof" I recommend getting the most cost effective option and simply upgrade every two years or so when there's a major difference in performance.

    Options to consider: if you are heavy into photoshop and producing outputs on a pro level, a wacom and monitor calibrator should be very high on your shopping list.
  14. wyndham thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    A Fabulous Response

    Thanks Jay, great response. Just what I needed.
  15. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I'm a large advocate of external monitors, as they perform far better than any laptop monitor would. Plus, you get even more screen resolution than you would from the high-resolution upgrade.

    Granted, you don't have to go for the 27" ACD, but a nice IPS display will do wonders for color-accurate work.

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