Is the high-end MacBook Pro really necessary?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DiGiTY, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. DiGiTY macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2006
    MacBook Pro, AutoCAD, Photoshop, interior design student, web developer, purchase

    We want a MBP, she's a interior design student, runs AutoCAD and Photoshop alot, I'm a web developer and run Photoshop alot too and we both need to dual-boot with Windows. I imagine the 17 inch/2.33 GHz MBP is the best option since it's higher resolution allows more screen real estate for AutoCAD and Ps... but is this so?

    I fell iffy about paying an additional $700+ just for a hundred or two extra pixels (the other extra features don't matter to us)... is the high end MacBook Pro really nescessary is this situation?

  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    If you will be constantly working in a location where you can easily plug in a second monitor, then 15" MBP + 20" external LCD > 17" MBP for less money

    If however you have to have full functionality everywhere you go, then you had better try your programs on an actual 15" screen before you decide whether you can live with it.
  3. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    You are both students

    According to Apple's segmented view of the marketplace, you fall under the category of people who need to buy iMacs, just buy 2 iMacs for the price of that one Macbook Pro and get it over with.

    Contrary to popular belief, while MBPs are slim, they are not that light at all, so chances are it will just spend the bulk of its time in some gym bag locked up in a locker rather than actually doing what other notebook do, and if you are actually in a situation where you are contemplating shelling out for the top Macbook Pro model for the sake of getting additional processing power, the Mac Pro is your best bet.

    "Mobile workstation" is the biggest oxymoronic term ever coined by morons.
  4. DiGiTY thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2006
    wow, friggin' genius! thanks everyone

    my girlfriend actually suggested using a external monitor too, which actually makes a lot more sense. this even opens up our options to the low-end MacBook!

    the iMac and Mac Pro are smart suggestions too, but one of our other reasons for looking at the MacBooks is portability (crowded computer labs for her studio classes and locked down & crippled workstations at work for me (microsoft active directory)).

    anyone know if either the MacBook or MacBook Pro have any issues whatsoever outputting to standard resolutions (namely 1280x1024 & 1600x1200) or widescreen resolutions (namely 1440x900 & 1680x1050) to external monitors via DVI or VGA?
  5. schmintan macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2007
    I got the 2.33ghz 2gb,120gb, 256 mb vram 15" macbook pro. wouldnt have gotten it all, but its a refurb and came at a good price. my opinion is buy the most high spec computer you can at the time. it will save you upgrading in the near future.

    eg, my last pc was a dell laptop. it was 1800 euors about 5 years ago. that was very expensive, but it has lasted me 5 years, and would do another 6 months at least, if my girlfriend didnt decide she wanted it! had i gotten a lesser spec laptop, i would have had to upgrade and i would have spent a lot more than 1800 between the 2 laptops. im hopeful that the high cost of the macbook pro will pay for itself in longevity.
  6. taildragger macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2007
    I'd personally buy the lower end macbook pro. I don't think that for what you do that you'll be too happy with a macbook, especially if you try so span monitors, or if you start to run a more 3-d version of autocad (ie Pro E) then you probably need a slightly better graphics card. Lastly, 13.3" is small....

    As for the argument of buying the highest end right now, that really doesnt hold true. Buy what you need and what you think you might need in the immediate future, then invest the extra money or use it to buy your external monitor.

    BTW, look at Dell monitors, as much as I hate Dell, they have nice monitors at a good price.
  7. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I think Canada Ram hit the nail on the head.

    I recently went through the same decision loop, and went with a 15" MBP 2.16 with a 20" ACD. That gives me the best of both worlds--I can take the MBP with me to court for presentations etc, and I have the 20" screen for use at home. Only thing I'd do differently would be to get the 23" display--I may well eBay the 20" and get a 23.

    Also, watch Apple's refurb page--they will occasionally have the 15" MBP's at $1599 for the base model or $1999 for the higher one. I personally didn't see the value of the 2.33GHz one for what I do--the slightly faster CPU, slightly bigger HD, and 256 mb of VRAM are unlikely to ever matter to me (I have already upgraded the RAM, with good results, though not as large a jump as going from 1 Gb to 2GB in my older G5 iMac.


  8. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2006
    The Macbook maxes out at 1920x1200. You'll need a mini-DVI to DVI converter, which costs about $15.

    The MBP comes with dual-link DVI, which handles basically everything.

    I've been immensely happy with my 24" Dell monitor.
  9. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    I really dislike small screens. The 17" is the smallest 'workable size' I would purchase for any kind of graphic use. I know others who are quite happy with 15" screens, so it is a matter of preference. I take exception to the earlier posters claim that the 17" lacks portability. The child only weighs a little over 6 pounds! Come on. I hope this nation is not that unfit.

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