Is the 17 inch MBP the right computer for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Benguitar, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Benguitar Guest

    Benguitar

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    Jan 30, 2009
    #1
    So I have a mid 2007 Black MacBook, 2.16 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 200 GB HD. This computer has given me hell over the past 2 years I've had it. I believe it is because no one at Apple told me when I asked them that what I would be using it for would be too much for it to handle. I am a photographer that uses a Canon Rebel XSi so I have fairly large photos. I am also a musician so I do LOTS of recording and editing on my MacBook. I don't use any of Apple's professional Applications but I would really like to but I fear of totally "screwing" my MacBook. On another hand I am also a High School student that is enrolled in Apex virtual school so I do ALL of my work on my computer equaling lots of documents and research.

    I would like a 17 inch screen because I would like to see my pictures with the highest quality available, I do not travel regularly but I do travel and every once and a while but I personally don't have a problem with taking a 17 inch laptop with me. Unless it is truly that big of a pain in the butt to take around.

    My next computer MUST be a Pro computer seeing that Apple eliminated FireWire, and there is NO question about it. I. Need. FireWire. Because of my audio interface.

    The Online Support Chat on Apple's website suggested just the 17 inch MBP with AppleCare and Logic Studio. Do you guys have any other suggestions? I am getting rather tired of calling and going to the Apple stores because this computer keeps screwing up and having to wait weeks to get it back.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    I carry my 17" MBP around almost every day of the week. The 17" MBP weights the same as most 15" PC.

    You get whatever works for you. Play around in the store to see if you like the size?
     
  3. Benguitar thread starter Guest

    Benguitar

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    Jan 30, 2009
    #3
    Alright that sounds like a good idea, maybe I should talk to them at the store as well.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    What do you mean your MacBook can't handle the images from an XSi? The files aren't even that large.....not unless you need to convert everything into TIFFs first. I have a 2 GHz version of the same MacBook (mid 2007) with 3 GB of RAM, and it handles everything fine. I own a Nikon D300 and use Adobe Lightroom, so my images (RAW or JPEG), and my computer experience should be similar.

    And if you want to view everything at the highest quality possible, then use an external display. If you need to view everything at high quality all the time, then perhaps the 17" MBP is the best choice for you. Otherwise, a MacBook 2.4 GHz would handle things nearly as well as the 17" MB 2.66 GHz, assuming you have the same amount of RAM in both systems.
     
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #5
    Abstract is right - you're not doing anything that system can't handle. My first-gen, CoreDuo MacBook gets along fine with photos from my DSLR, video editing, and everything else I throw at it. Your Mac can take at least 3GB of RAM... max it out, and it will do photo editing without breaking a sweat.

    I've never done audio recording with mine, but lots of people do, and they serve just fine.

    If you want and can afford the 17" Pro then go for it - it's a fantastic machine - but you don't "need" it by any stretch.

    How much RAM is in your MB? Max that out, and go from there.
     
  6. Benguitar thread starter Guest

    Benguitar

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    Jan 30, 2009
    #6
    When ever I try to edit any of my photos from the XSi in iPhoto the system gets REALLY slow, beach ball of doom and then I have to wait like 45 seconds for the editing to actually take effect.

    2GB RAM
     
  7. chase71320 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #7
    Well it sounds like you need to upgrade to a more powerful photo editing program. As far as your current MacBook goes, the previous poster was incorrect about your MacBook having a maximum RAM amount of 3GB....it's actually 4GB. You've certainly got a system that is sufficient for the needs you've listed (except the 17 inch screen), so all you really need to do is max out the RAM to 4GB and buy Lightroom or Photoshop to increase your photo-editing efficiency. If you max out your RAM, I really think you'll see a huge performance difference.

    OWC has a great deal on 4GB RAM kits... $47.95

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/53IM2DDR4GBK/

    As far as getting your high-resolution screen, I would highly recommend an external display (Apple's 24-inch is $799) especially if you don't do much traveling. All in all, the total expense would be considerably less if you just upgrade your RAM for fifty bucks and then purchase a display.

    Hope this helps you out. :apple:
     
  8. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I have all three and I carry and use it the most. The screen is gorgeous and teh battery life si simply stunning compared to a macbook air.
     
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #9
    I said it supports at least 3GB of RAM. I was too lazy to go look up exactly which revision the OP had and how much RAM it could take. But having now done so, the Mid-2007 MacBook supports 2GB officially and ~3.3GB unofficially. It was the late-2007 revision that bumped RAM capacity up to 4GB.

    That said, a 4GB RAM kit would be a good upgrade. But the computer will only make use of about 3.3GB of it.
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #10
    Looks like we found your problem.

    If you really wanted to view your photos at the highest resolution, the 17" screen isn't going to do it for you either. get a 15" MBP and a nice external monitor to go with it.
     
  11. Benguitar thread starter Guest

    Benguitar

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    Jan 30, 2009
    #11
    Do you have any upgrade suggestions, for the 15 MBP?
     
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #12
    RAM I would put at the top of the list. As much as you can afford. And the monitor too if a large screen is important to you. Consider buying Aperture or Lightroom for your photo editing.
     
  13. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

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    #13
    I've been in a similar situation as you before. I do my schooling online, I am a photographer, I do a lot of photoshop and I wanted a bigger screen, coming from a 13" Sony. In the end I went for the baseline Unibody Macbook Pro 15". It handles all of my needs great. I can run Aperture and have Photoshop creating a panorama at the same time with no lag.

    I never looked at the 17" as my budget couldn't accommodate it and I found it too large for traveling. If you have the money, I would get a high spec'ed 15" and an external monitor. The money you save on getting the 15" is going to get you a much larger external screen and having two screens is great for Aperture. Good luck.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    From your posts, it seems that you want a new computer, whether your computer is the problem or not. ;) Then again, sometimes it's not about need. You're more than free to get a new laptop even though the problem is NOT the speed of your system, just like I'm considering. ;)

    You're probably just paging out heaps. Increase the RAM to 3 GB and enjoy it. And no, your system don't recognise 4 GB. It'll recognise 3.3 GB, but what's the point of paying extra for a 2 GB stick when it'll only recognise 1.3 GB of it anyway? Just get an extra 2 GB stick of RAM, and see if it works. It's a relatively cheap experiment when compared to buy a 17" MBP, and by purchasing an awesome external LCD, you're set. ;)


    And for what it's worth, I use Adobe Lightroom, and while it takes around 8 seconds to open, it's's quite speedy when you're editing photos or just organising.
     
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #15
    Dual channel RAM. It works best in matching pairs - i.e., 2x2GB and not 1x1GB + 1x2GB. I'm not sure off hand what the performance difference will be in real life, but 3.3GB of matched RAM ought to be faster than 3GB of mismatched RAM.

    DDR2 is cheap enough these days you may as well, anyway.
     

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