In Need of a new Computer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ktalebian, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. ktalebian macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2007
    Hi there,

    My cousin is a photographer, and she wants to change her computer from a PC to a Mac.
    She asked me to help her select one of the laptops.
    Basically, at most, she would have 3, 21MP photos on Photoshop, doing whatever photographers do :p.

    Which laptop would be good for this? I was thinking with going with the low-end of 15", and add 8G of RAM to it. But would the 13" with 8G of RAM suffice as well? Or should we go for something faster?

  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    I'd wait to make any decisions until after the Apple media event this Wednesday.

    I'd take the 15.4" screen size for photo editting, but I'd wait to make the call as far as specific model/spec set.
  3. ktalebian thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2007
    I know! The event is just two days away! So for sure I would wait till then.
    But as of NOW, which one should I get?
    You said the 15" one? Which one? There are 3 different versions of it!
    Should I go with the lowest one (and maybe then max out the ram?)

  4. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    Apple tends to maintain the same basic pattern of hardware choices, so there will probably still be at least a few different 15" MBPs after the next update too. If your cousin uses Photoshop professionally, the first priority would probably be to get her as much RAM as possible. If you can afford it, a faster processor would also be a good investment. And if you or your cousin are affiliated with an educational institution, you can get a decent-sized discount no matter which model you get.

    No matter what you do, though, DON'T buy the RAM upgrade from Apple. They will charge $600 to upgrade your system to 8 GB (and they won't give you the 4 GB they "replaced"), while you can get an 8 GB kit for $440 from a place like and install it yourself (VERY easy to do). You can even sell the old RAM if you want to recover some of your investment, although it's a good idea to keep it around in case you need to have any warranty repairs done.

    The main problem with trying to tell you today which system to buy after they update the line is that the differences among the various models are impossible to predict before the refresh. There isn't much separating the three models today, but it's entirely possible that the update could result in each model having a different generation of processor. And depending on how they price the various models, it's possible that the low-end system could end up being a terrible deal. It could also be an amazing deal. It's even possible that the current generation of systems will drop enough in price after a refresh that picking one of them up might be more cost-effective than getting the next-gen. There's unfortunately just no way to tell at this point.

    But we'll all keep an eye on this thread and hopefully let you know in a couple days ;)
  5. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I'd go for the middle one. you should upgrade the ram yourself...might save you some $
  6. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    You should consider 15" or 17" MBPs. I enjoy photography and my main machine is 17" MBP. By the way, depending on whether she goes the Aperture or Lightroom route, the latter one does a fantastic job using 2 displays automatically. Easy does it when connecting an external monitor to your MBP.

    Good luck!
  7. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    Go with the Mid at least, since the video ram is one of the things that you can't replace/upgrade it is best to go with something that has 512mb. Even if CS3/CS4/Lightroom/Apeture isn't super GPU intensive right now, future upgrades will most definitely be.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I see little need to go to 8gig, especially given the prices for that much ram. 13" vs. 15" is a different matter.

    I found that the 13" display to confining with photoshop and aperture. The 15" was probably the perfect size. A good combination of display size and portability. The 17" is too big for much mobility and too expensive imo.

    The Low end 15" MBP has only an integrated GPU and I think that might be a little underpowered for the your friend. Keep that in mind when selecting the computer. With that said, I have a dual GPU MBP and use the integrated GPU 90% of the time. I've used both aperture, Lightroom and photoshop with the integrated gpu with no issues in performance. It is slower, but I never really noticed any degradation in performance with what I do.

    Finally as other's noted wait till tomorrow to see what apple does and then you can make an informed decision.

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