Help with new computer for new law firm

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by triple-tap, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. triple-tap macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #1
    hey all,

    In a little over a week, I'll be changing law firms. I currently practice disability law, and my 2013 MacBook Air base model 128/4gb ram has met my needs. Up until now, I have only really needed god do legal research on the web, annotate medical records (pdf's) with Adobe Acrobat, and word processing for briefs.

    However, I'm moving into real estate practice and probate law. I now have to run a billable hour program in the background. The new firm uses several Windows-only software programs for title work and real estate work. From what I gathered in my interview, everyone uses windows pc's for this reason. The firm also uses office 365 to share/collaborate/etc documents.

    My question is this:

    I am looking at the March 2015 13" MacBook Pro retina 2.7 / 8gb / 256 ssd. Do you think this machine will be enough to install windows and comfortably go back and forth (between operating systems) without issue?

    Also, I've heard mixed reviews on the amours of lag the 13" retina MBP's have. Is this still an issue or has Apple finally worked it out?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Yes, it more then enough to run windows, though if you're going to be spending the majority of time in windows, I recommend a dedicated windows machine.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    The lag issue is very random with reports of unusable to non- existent, it seems to be software based and all reports show that El Capitan has eradicated it. I have never been any lag on my rMBP.

    If the software is not too intensive and doesn't take up too much space then you should be fine, I use a 50gb partition to run bootcamp for one program and study purposes only. You may want to use parallels or VMware fusion to use the program from with OS X though.
     
  4. triple-tap thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #4
    Thanks for the responses. Dedicated windows machine is out of the question. I have to shell out the $$$ for the laptop myself, and I won't ever buy another windows laptop. I'm sure there are good ones out there. I just personally refuse to buy one (especially since this will double as my personally laptop in addition to using it for work).
     
  5. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #5
    Why not install Parallels, Fusion, or VirtualBox and see if they run the programs you need. That would be a much cheaper solution; I use Parallels to run some Windows specific programs and unless it is a graphics intensive game they run fine in a VM. Office365 runs fine on older Macs and is pretty much transparent when exchanging documents so you should be good to go there.

    If you do get a new machine I'd encourage you to max out the RAM. Also, look at how much disk pace you use. Running Windows will eat up 30 - 50GB so you may want to consider going to a larger SSD as well if you are short on space currently. If not, then there is no reason to get a larger one.
     
  6. triple-tap thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #6
    Well, my current machine only has about 40 gb of space left on it. And I frequently use a USB to take file from my iMac to the MBA. I very much doubt that my current machine can efficiently run both operating systems and still slow me some space to put files.

    Also, I'm concerned about the ram in my current machine as it can get pretty slow when I'm in a hearing and have 5-7 files open at once. I can't afford to have a machine slow down during a motion hearing or foreclosure deposition.

    As far as the ram recommendation, I was under the impression that 8gb is the max for a 13" MacBook Pro.
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    No, the new MBP can be outfitted to 16GB. I agree that I would start with Parallels and see if that meets your needs. Dual booting is a pain.

    I would also, however, echo the sentiment that if this firm is heavily Windows, operating with a Mac in that environment could potentially affect your productivity, and you should be open to the possibility that a dedicated work computer running Windows might be a better decision for your career. Keep a Mac for personal use.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    16GB is the max, however nothing in your use case indicates that 16GB will be any better for you than 8GB.
     
  9. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #9
    Sounds like your current machine is at its limits. I'd look at refurbished prices as they are a bit cheaper and the machines are as good as new. If you get Applecare, B&H Photo has the best prices around for a legitimate copy, as well as some bundle deals and the occasional returned unit for sale.

    The rMBO 13 inch maxes out at 16GB, the non-retina officially maxes out at 8 but unofficial reports say it supports 16.
     
  10. triple-tap thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #10
    Thanks again for the responses everyone.

    When I started at my current firm a year ago, they were very much anti-apple. However, I told them that the only way I'd use a PC is if they bought the machine. They decided to give me a "trial run" on the MBA, and I've actually allowed the naysayers to use my laptop on days when didn't have hearings (because their Dell laptops were malfunctioning and needed some kind of overhaul).

    I know office 365 will be fine on a MacBook Pro. The only reason I'm considering an install of windows is due to the fact that they do use other software that is PC-only.

    So again, I'm only considering a Mac to replace my MBA.

    I was able to acquire a 10% off movers coupon for best buy today. That combined with the current "sale" on the 2015 MBP 13" 256 gb / 8gb ram model brings the price within 12 dollars of the refurb store price. Plus, I get 12 months financing, so I can buy it today and have a few weeks to transition my old MBA files over. If I buy from apple, I'll have to sell my current MBA first (I don't want to open a Barclay card or any other new credit card).
     
  11. wksj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    #11
    PC only or Windows only?
    PC = Personal Computer ;)
     
  12. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #12
    I highly recommend looking at VMWare Fusion or Parallels as an alternative to dual booting. This not just allows you to have Windows accessible without a reboot, but gives you the ability to move the VM anywhere on the system, or even to another machine, when you want to upgrade.
     
  13. triple-tap thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 18, 2013
    #13
    Do you believe my current MBA would be able to handle having parallels open and several large pdf's?
     
  14. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #14
    It might if you aren't doing heavy lifting with Parallels or Fusion. My 2010 MBP base model did just fine, as did my 2012 MBP base model. Both have trials, give them a try.
     
  15. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #15
    Why not see if crossover will run the windows applications you need?
     
  16. michaelz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    #16
    I am in real estate business. I work with hundreds pages pdf files all the time. I am a windows hater but have to use many windows only software and website for business. My work computer is a 2011 macbook air. I have windows 7 32bit running as virtual machine inside VMWare Fusion, config with 1GB physical memory and 1 processor. It handles a lot more then few large pdf files, always fast and smooth. Your 2013 air is more then enough for what you do, vmware fusion is all you need.
     
  17. triple-tap, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015

    triple-tap thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    #17
    So... I didn't hear anything yesterday after asking about the MBA, and I made a semi-impulsive purchase of a rMBP 13.3" 8gb/256 SSD. I picked it up for under $1300 OTD @ best buy with coupons and rewards points I had saved up. I immediately transferred my Adobe Acrobat Pro licenses over and my MS Office suite. While I haven't installed Parallel's yet, I can say I am in love with the screen.

    I haven't tried the Parallel's or VMWare trials on my 2013 MBA yet, but I am having a hard time considering a return of this rMBP. I've played with retina MacBooks in the store on different occasions over the years, but I never really appreciated the difference until I started looking at lots of documents over the course of a few hours on this new rig.

    While I appreciate the advice of those contributors today, I don't know if I can (i.e. don't know if I want to) go back to the MBA screen... The force touch is nice. The accessibility of an HDMI port (for presentations both @ work and for our church youth group) is also a nice bonus.

    Also, I spent some time at the new firm today. The software I need to use includes Time Matters (billable hour and matter tracking software), Double Time, a proprietary software for file sharing and document collaboration, and Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. I know I don't really need anyone to justify the rMBP for me, but does the constant use of these programs and several web browser tabs open change the above answers regarding my "old" 2013 MBA 4gb/128SSD being able to handle the workload?
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    I think overall the 13" rMBP is a better computer then the 13" MBA. While you get a better battery with the MBA, you get a faster processor, GPU and superior screen with the MBP. Just my $.02
     
  19. michaelz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    #19
    2013 MBA can handle all that. But keep your new rMPB if you already bought it with good price. Retina screen is totally worth it if you need to read a lot of pdfs especially scanned ones.

    My 2011 MBA connects to a 27" Thunderbolt Display in my office. I use iPad as second display via duet when I am traveling. For presentation, Apple TV is great.
     
  20. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #20
    If your going to go back and forth between OS's here is a couple things to keep in mind. One is how quickly will you need to go back and forth? If it has to be on demand then you will want VM software. The current Parallels build is the fastest one at this time. If you choose to use BootCamp to run windows natively it will take only as long as your computer takes to shut down. My current 15in MBP can go from Mac to Windows bootcamp in about 30seconds or less. However my 2011 MBP that has years of data and probably could use some cleaning so it takes significantly longer. In either case its not on demand.

    If your going to go back and forth using BootCamp then that computer will be just fine. If you going to use a VM program then you may want to bump it up. Give it 16GB of ram, that way you can give 8GB to the VM and 8GB to your Mac, this will help a lot. If you have the money for it, the 15in. It has a 4 Cores CPU compared to the 13in's 2 Cores. This would allow you to assign 2 cores to Windows and 2 to Mac in stead on 1 for windows and 1 for mac effectively doubling you allocated power when using it as a VM.

    What you could do. By one from the Apple Store or anyplace with a decent return policy. Take it home and install the free windows 10 preview, this way you don't have to test with your copy of windows and deal with Microsoft's license policy. Then download the free preview of parallels and play with it for a few days. See if you like going from Mac to Bootcamp, see if you would rather use Parallels, and if you like parallels does this computer have enough power/resources to do the job. Once you made a decision you can either delete Windows 10 Preview and install 8.1 or Full windows 10 if you want till the end of the month or return it for something else.

    On one last note, I have found better performance in partitioning the HD and install windows on rather than using a disk image for a VM. BootCamp assistant will do everything for you, then you run Parallels after that's done and it takes your bootcamp and makes it a bootable VM in the Mac OS. This will also allow you to still switch between a VM and Native BootCamp if you every needed to.
     

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