i7 Macbook Pro as a desktop replacement?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Obsidian6, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #1
    I am looking into getting a new computer this year. My current Macbook and Mac Pro are starting to show their age. I was considering consolidating to a new Macbook Pro (debating between the 15 and 17"). I was also considering an iPad for ultra-mobile usage and travel computing.

    My primary usage is photography (Photoshop and Lightroom) I'm also now getting into video production so Final Cut Studio is in my regular lineup as well.

    To my understanding the new i7 MBPs should be more than capable of what I need to do. My only concern would be external storage. On my mac pro I have 4 internal drives and I use a lot of data.

    I was thinking that if I got the 17" MBP I could get an eSata card and use an external raid cabinet for storage and backup.

    Do you guys think I would be foolish to do this?

    My Mac Pro is the original model 2.66, it's starting to "turn grey" if you will.
     
  2. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #2
    How much memory do you currently have? I use a C2D MBP as a desktop replacement, but, running Final Cut/Compressor, and Photoshop, I can tell you that 4 MB is not really enough. You can order the new MBP with Core i7 and 8 MB. Pretty impressive for a laptop, but, over $3K already.
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    If you wish to consolidate, then the i7 will be a great choice. There are a several ExpressCard eSATA adapters that support port-multiplier and work well in Snow Leopard. If you are keeping your old Mac Pro, you could turn that into a file server for you storage needs and share everything over Ethernet; may not be as fast as SATA, but will fast nonetheless.

    I don't think the i7 MacBook Pro will be faster than your Mac Pro… will probably be a slower.

    4MB is definitely not enough. :D
     
  4. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #4
    Currently my Mac Pro has 9GB of Ram.

    I don't think i would be able to keep the Mac Pro as I would need the funds from selling both computers to buy the new Macbook Pro.

    So you don't think the Macbook Pro would be any quicker with the apps I run? Despite being several generations newer? I don't know what else I could upgrade on my Mac Pro to make it any faster. I suppose I could try a different graphics card?
     
  5. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

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    Jul 6, 2000
    #5
    An iMac core i7 is more bang for the buck than the new MBP.
     
  6. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #6
    I keep noticing that. Twice the cores, four times the disk, 8 GB, all for the same as the MBP. Spec/$$-wise, the iMac looks awfully good.

    Maybe some new iMac owners could weigh in. I thought there were some issues at first. Have these been resolved?
     
  7. tim100 macrumors 65816

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  8. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #8
    I picked up a 17" i7 and for me it is easily a desktop replacement. I'm mainly working in Aperture and Traktor DJ Studio. This Mac has got some serious power under the hood.
     
  9. tekmoe macrumors 68000

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    Feb 12, 2005
    #9
    If you aren't planning on taking your work with you an iMac is a great alternative.
     
  10. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

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    Apr 14, 2010
    #10
    I've been using a 17" macbook as my "primary desktop" since 2007, I'm happy with it.
     
  11. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #11
    Not possible unfortunately. I'm a traveling photographer. I'm on the road a lot which is why I was thinking of consolidating to 1 computer. I love having a mac pro, but when I'm on the road all my editing is done on my Macbook. I don't know if you've ever tried running Final Cut on a Macbook, but it's painful lol!

    I know the i7 iMac is awesome, I bought one for my dad recently and he just loves it. I definitely considered that as well.
     
  12. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #12
    I've used my 17" MBP as a desktop replacement for the last 3 years. Works great. The only downside is limited storage but it's not such a big deal.

    I don't recommend it for someone in a college campus like environment where they are constantly moving from one class to another throughout the day. But taking it to work or on a trip. 17" is great!
     
  13. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #13
    My very first mac was a 17" Powerbook, which was my sole computer (through college, Photo school no less haha!) for 3 years until I bought a G5 Tower (Dual 2.7ghz). I've had lots of different macs since then, I really enjoyed the 15" Macbook Pro I had, but now that the express/34 slot is only on the 17" I feel like its my only option if I consolidate.

    I presently also have 2 24" monitors, so I could use 1 with the MBP at home and sell the other with the mac pro. (Or get an apple LED display hehe)
     
  14. Mirabella macrumors regular

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    Apr 27, 2010
    #14
    I, too, am a traveling photographer. I've been using a MacBook Pro as my primary desktop computer for more than the last three years. While it may be have been underpowered, in comparison to a desktop computer, it was adequate. (Note, however, that I was not using Final Cut, though I was using Photoshop, a lot.) I have a new i7 17" MacBook Pro on order, and I expect it will be quite a bit better than my old one was, and entirely sufficient for Lightroom and PS – even if not a speed demon in comparison to a desktop machine. (I will be putting in 8 GB of RAM.)
     
  15. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #15
    Cool thank you for chiming in, that's encouraging to hear.

    I'm going to have to really think this all over.
     
  16. tekmoe macrumors 68000

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    Feb 12, 2005
    #16
    I don't think you can go wrong with one of the new i5/i7 MacBook Pros. These machines are blazing fast.
     
  17. mcruzader macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #17
    I think you would be fine, with a 17" or even the 15" high res, you could also look into replacing the superdrive with a harddrive and just carry around a external burner.
     
  18. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    Location:
    51st State of America
    #18
    I really want to know how fast because I have a Intel Core 2 Duo 2Ghz and I want to see a difference. At the moment I use Aperture 3 which is slowing my machine down to no end, everything grinds to a halt.
     
  19. mcruzader macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #19
    I can guarantee it will be much faster, I went from a 2.0C2D to a 2.8C2D, and noticed a huge difference, but even then, Aperture taxes the CPU a lot. But now things have gotten better with the most recent update.
     
  20. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #20
    Aperture has always been a power hungry application, it's part of the reason I keep switching back to Lightroom.

    I've been using both since early beta days and Lightroom has always been the faster of the two (but Aperture has a preferable interface)

    There's a huge list of pros / cons between the both of them, I haven't played with Aperture 3 much, but I'm pretty happy with the Lightroom 3 beta.

    It runs ok on my Macbook, mostly fine with my 1DmkIII raw files, but it starts to choke on my 5DmkII raw files.

    if the i7 can handle those files w/o slowing down too much I'll be content.
     
  21. agtoau macrumors member

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    Oct 1, 2006
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #21
    I am a traveling photographer, and with the latest release of Macbook Pros, they are now in play as competition to the desktops. I have put in an order for the 15" i7, and am having it reconfigured at OWC: replacing the optical bay with a 100GB SSD for boot/application, and a 1TB HDD for data, and with 8GB of RAM. That should be serious computing power (for Photoshop anyway). One can then add a large monitor and a RAID external storage unit as backup. All this works out much cheaper than a Mac Pro of comparable power. And you get portability. (I realize that others may have different requirements etc)

    By the way, I got the OWC idea here -

    http://macperformanceguide.com/bto-mbp.html
     
  22. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #22
    I would assume that Aperture 3 and Photoshop are similar in this. You probably need more memory. With the last gen C2D, you can go to 8 GB, but, mine is stuck at 4 GB, sigh. If your old machine is limited to 4 GB, the 8 GB memory option is one reason to go with the new MBPs.
     
  23. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #23
    My machine is limited to 3GB. :)
     
  24. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #24
    Here's the one big issue I'm concerned with.

    Storage.

    I have A LOT of stuff, it wouldn't all fit internally in the MBP, not by a longshot, so I would have to essentially manage 2 photo libraries, a main one at home and portable one.

    At present my Lightroom libary on my Mac Pro is sitting at: 544GB
    My ever-growing footage library is now at: 97GB
    Even my iTunes library is huge at: 174GB

    That's not even everything, just the main storage hogs. What would I do about storing all this stuff?
     
  25. agtoau macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #25
    My situation regarding external storage is quite similar. I have this in mind -

    http://eshop.macsales.com/Customized_Pages/Framework.cfm?page=mepal_splash_raid.html


     

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