I don't know with what to update my early 2008 macbook pro!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by zeiter, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. zeiter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
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    Canada
    #1
    hello there,

    Right now, I am using an old early 2008 peryn core2duo 2.5ghz macbook pro with 4GB of ram and 200GB 5400rpm hard drive connected with a Dell U2312HM and an external USB2 1TB hard drive. I am in need of a new computer and I would preferably stay within the OSX environment, but I just can't make my mind because of all troubles there are with Apple products right now. I would also like the computer to last me the next 3 years.

    The camera gear I have: Canon 60D + 17-55 f/2.8 and 50 f/1.8

    My first thought was to buy a rmbp 15 inch model with the DGPU, but at $2600 it's pretty expensive and I'm not sure I need to spend that much money for my needs : photo editing, web surfing and watching movies.

    Then I was thinking of buying the 13 inch version with 256gb hard drive and 16gb of ram. Lots and lots and lots of forums say the User interface is laggy and that even resizing photoshop windows is laggy/choppy. I would use the 1440x900 resolution on the 13 inch, not the "best for retina" and it's been said to lag even more with that. So, now I am not sure what to do. I started thinking of the macbook air without the high screen lag problem but only 8gb of ram would be future proof.

    I thought of buying the mac mini quad core with fusion drive and add 16GB of memory, but it still has Intel hd4000 and at the back of my mind, I always thought I'd prefer a laptop just because I can use it wherever I want.

    Also, I plan on buying in the future a 27 inch display or a 4K display, so I think graphic wise it would be important to be enough in a couple years down the road.

    It stresses me and paralyzes me because I dont have a machine that works correctly enough to enjoy Post processing and then I'm afraid to buy a computer that I won't like in a couple months because it's slow or because in two years, its video performance will put me in the same place as today.

    Do I really need to start looking for a PC and windows 8.1?

    What would you guys do?
     
  2. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    #2
    I would suggest adding a SSD and more ram to your 2008. Your computer will feel like a new machine, and should be good for photo processing.

    2008 is kind of old though. You can forget about a 4k display with it. You might also want to consider the 2012 cMBP ($1000 if you can get the educational discount) and then doing your own SSD and ram upgrade. The 15" model is also going for a very good price in the refurb store if you prefer the size.

    I have the late 2011 13" and it's great with a 512 gig SSD, 1 TB 7200 RPM drive in the optical bay and 16 gig of ram, but I really don't know what I'll do when it's time to upgrade since I agree with you that apple no longer makes computers worth buying.
     
  3. fireman32 macrumors 6502a

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    Raleigh, NC
    #3
    I am curious why you think that Apple does not make computers worth buying. I think that there machines are getting better. I have the 13" 2011 MBP and it works great for post processing
     
  4. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    #4
    In terms of their laptops, to go from my 2011 to anything current, I lose 2 industry standard drive bays, replaceable memory, replaceable battery (and my 2011 already had the "new" 1000 cycle battery), my ethernet port (which I use probably once a month). All that loss to make it 0.25" thinner, and mine is already under an inch thick and feels quite sleek while the new crap feels anorexic. The fanatics here just say use external boxes and dongles, but how is 0.25" thinner with external crap more elegant than the cMBP form factor?

    This is actually my 6th apple laptop, starting with a "Wallstreet" powerbook G3 in 1998. This is also my last Apple laptop, unless they change direction (and I'm not holding my breath on that one).

    In terms of desktops, an all-in-one doesn't work for me. I like the minis, I've had several and currently have an '09 and '11 in daily use, and I've been waiting for a Haswell model, but at this point, I'm not going to pay top-dollar apple-premium pricing in 2014 for early 2013 tech, so I'm hoping Apple will wait for the intel refresh and then release a mini with the newer chips. That would be a day-one purchase for me, but again I'm not holding my breath and if the Haswell minis dropped tomorrow, I'd pass on it.

    My primary needs (photography and light-duty video), are mass internal storage and CPU power (though for my purposes an i7-4770k is just as good as the nMP 12-core). I couldn't care less about the dual video cards in the nMP and I'm certainly not willing to pay for them. A few years ago, I was willing to spring for a mac pro, the premium was worth it to me to have everything in one nice big box. Now the current mac pro is just completely useless to me (and I am clearly not its target customer even though I was for the previous version).

    Since 1998, I've averaged about 1 mac computer purchase a year up until 2011. I've got nothing newer than that and I'm itching to buy a new computer. I would have bought a Haswell cMBP in a heartbeat if they'd updated it with the last MBP refresh. I was a hardcore mac fan.

    Now I think my next computer will be a Broadwell PC running windows 7, (I imagine long before Apple starts selling the chip). I don't want to leave Apple, but Apple has long since left me.
     
  5. zeiter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I was wondering if the i5 middle model would be enough for photography? I am an amateur and I do photography as an hobby. For everything else, I don't see how I would use much more of the i7...but people tell me : you don't spend your day resizing windows and stuff so it's sluggish yeah but it doesn't stop you from working. I know, but it's the moral thing that why should I spend almost 2K on something that it shouldn't lag since the 2000 computer technology..
     
  6. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    #6
    No lagging from early 2013 rMBP using any of a multitude of post processing tools, including photoshop. My wife's 2009 MBP, the same thing, no problems there either. The thing with "lots and lots and lots" of forums is that when people do have problems, that's where they end up. You'd probably find the same thing for various other laptop makes/models as well.

    Apple doesn't tend to be spec monsters, so if that's what you're looking for, you may want to look for a different brand, but they're good performance machines and tend to hold up. I just replaced my late 2008 mbp and really, probably could have held on to it for another year or so. I have a strong preference for OS X but that's obviously personal preference.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7


    Those reports are OLD. They are talking about the first generation Retina that used the HD4000 GPU. The current model 13" Retina MBP is very fast.

    If you have many photos you will need some kind of external storage. Aperture is not bad because it can handle the "masters" being in an disconnected drive while keeping the metadata and thumbnails on the internal SSD.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Who are these people who tell you this and what computers and software are they using?

    You don't need an i7 to run Aperture. Assuming you have 10,000 or so raw format photos from an SLR on you system the think that matters the mot will be the speed of the disk drive and the amount of RAM. If this is a desktop them get an iMac. If on a notebook, you have a slight problem in the the SSD built into the current notebooks is not big enough for a large photo library. You will need to kep most of it on some external storage.
     
  9. zeiter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Canada
    #9
    I'd prefer a laptop and I wouldn't like to work on a 27 glossy screen. I will buy a matte 27 inch screen.

    I plan on getting the 256ssd with the laptop. Is there a problem with working with external storage usb3 in lightroom? Does the disk have to be 7200rpm?? I won't use aperture.
     
  10. Oracle1729 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 4, 2009
    #10
    That's something I find funny about the current crop of fanatics. Their "flagship" computer is too underpowered to even resize windows without feeling sluggish and the response is you don't resize windows that often.

    I don't think it's a moral thing. Apple sacrificed too much in the name of thinness and produced a computer that can't even drive its own screen properly. I haven't seen the current generation rMBP, but the Ivy's were total dogs. I'm surprised they couldn't fix it this refresh.
     
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Virginia
    #11
    If you want to go the cheap route a SSD like the Samsung Evo will really boost performance for a small cost, currently $160 on Amazon. I use Aperture and it hardly makes a blip on my I7. Adequate memory and a SSD are much more important.

    My preference is to always spec a machine that can handle my current and near future needs. I would not start out planning on using an external drive for routine work as I value the portability of a laptop and carrying extra drives negates that. That's why I have a 512gb SSD in my MBP. I estimate it will handle my needs for the next year or two.
     
  12. zeiter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    If I had like you a 2011 macbook pro, I would just buy a ssd. But right now with a 2008 machine, I can't even benefit form the sata III speed of the ssd...and what for. It will die in the future because it has the faulty video card.
     
  13. zeiter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    FYI, the card has been replaced 3 times until the warranty provided by apple expired...and the computer is physically damaged and the screen has white spots on it....i dont think putting more money into it is a good option.
     
  14. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Location:
    Atlanta
    #14

    Definitely not spend a dime upgrading a dual core anything. Sell it.

    Get a 2013 15" rMBP with a quad core CPU, 16 MB of RAM , and at least a 512GB of SSD so you plenty of room for OS, boot, apps, and some data. Any large libraries should be moved off to external drives. Get the model with the separate GPU if, and only if, you don't pay extra for it.
     
  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #15
    The new 13" Retina MacBook Pro runs circles around your old machine and your config seems very sensible (definitely max out the RAM). While the GPU of the 2012 version of the 13" Retina MacBook Pro was just fast enough for some tasks, but the 2013 version has a significantly faster GPU so that these are no longer practical concerns. In no way is the Retina MacBook Pro a regression.
     
  16. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #16
    Ouch! Sorry...

    Post deleted.

    Dale
     
  17. halledise macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2009
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    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #17
    +1 for a new/refurb 2013 13" rMBP
    and have yourself a very merry Xmas and a fast and satisfying 2014 :D

    (or 15" if you don't mind the size and weight.
    and keep the early 2008 with SL as a backup of for a favoured niece/nephew - they were and still are are a most reliable Mac)
     
  18. zeiter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    will the 13 inch iris pro be able to handle a future 4k external monitor?
     
  19. Deanster macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2005
    #19
    Realistically, nothing short of a discrete video card is going to drive a 4K monitor well. I do wish Apple had more laptops with discrete video - Intel's onboard has gotten MUCH better, but it's still clearly integrated-video-class.

    The first round of 13" rMBP's was hobbled by trying to push the Retina monitor with the integrated 4000 video, which was never really intended to drive that many pixels. The current 5000-based ones run quite nicely - I think you're being a little hard on them. You might get to an Apple Store and give it a try.

    I'll also note that the current rMBP 15" may well be the best computer I've ever owned, in a looong history of Macs. It's insanely fast, great screen, and has a power/portability ratio that neither my Unibody i5-based 17" MBP or the 11/13 MacBook Airs can touch.

    Anyhow, my point really is that I share much of your annoyance about the direction of Apple's various lines - they're ALL heading towards the thinnest-possible, least-upgradable computers they can make.

    I'm the kind of guy who tore open my mid-2011 27" iMac (brutal task - it's essentially a total disassembly to get to the SATA ports) to install both a new 4TB hard drive and a 256GB SSD, and set them up as a home-brew Fusion disk, so I'm pretty griped about the non-upgradability of the new iMacs/MBPs/MacPro.

    That said, when I stop pissing and moaning, drop the $$, and actually USE the hardware, it's VERY VERY good, and a real joy to run.

    There's lots of 'industry standard' on the Windows side, and... a lot of it is pretty miserable to live with. You might end up deciding to go that direction, but I can tell ya, it ain't pretty over there, even when you're looking at the premium machines.
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #20
    Actually, the integrated graphics on the 2013 15" MacBook Pro is about as fast as last year's dedicated gpu, the 650M. That means with the exception of high-end PCs and workstations, dedicated GPUs will become unnecessary.
     
  21. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #21
    Although this isn't much help for the OP I still have love for my early 2008 MBP. A build to order 2.6Ghz version with 6mb ram and an SSD, it is plenty quick enough for Lightroom and most Photoshop work. I use a desktop for big photoshop work (1gb+ files) and video edits and with laptop limitations on ram and graphics cards am resigned to carry on like this. My MBP should have another 12 months or so before it gets replaced by something a bit smaller and lighter.
     
  22. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #22
    Check out my thread here, in which I asked whether it makes sense to put an SSD in my early 2008 MBP:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=18574810#post18574810

    The response is overwhelmingly "yes." Granted, this will be my secondary Mac, as I bought refurbished 2012 Mac mini about a year ago. I wanted a new rMBP but couldn't afford one. Unless you need the portability of a fast laptop most of the time, and unless money isn't an issue for you, you might consider doing what I did. For around $1,000, you can have a fast, new Mac mini as well as an SSD-upgraded MBP.
     
  23. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #23
    The OP left some info out of this thread. His computer has a video card that has failed twice and it has physical damage. Not worth an upgrade.

    Dale
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #24
    Look at the used market for a good spec unibody Macbook Pro. I added an SSD and replaced my DVD drive with an additional DVD on my older-than-that 17" MBP and performance is good. I recently updated a friend's unibody MBP (7,1) to a SSD and 16G of RAM and that thing flies!

    Paul
     
  25. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Location:
    Atlanta
    #25
    So go go to price list and pick out a deal on a 2013 rMBP. With 2013 you get lower power consumption and TB2. So you are prepared for adding a high end monitor when the time comes. Needless to say, go for 16GB and as large an SSD as the budget allows to keep the machine a good choice for 3-5 years of service.

    http://prices.appleinsider.com
     

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