Long term PC user, looking to jump to Mac.

jwar1976

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
75
13
Norwich
Hi all & greetings from the UK.

I have been a PC user for longer than I can imagine & now that my i5 2nd Gen HP is on it's last legs, I have decided that it is time to leave Windows & jump to Mac, especially now that many machines use Windows 10 * insert explicit text here*.

Any how I have decided on getting my first ever Macbook Pro & while I don't have an exact budget in mind, I would prefer to start with an older model, as my Photographic equipment has cost me a fortune.

The question I have is, which model is good for a starter ?. If I get hooked, then I will also be looking at getting an iMac & iPad Pro with Pencil throughout this year.

Ideally I need the Macbook Pro to run Lightroom, Photoshop for things like cloning & skin healing, so not overkill with layers, I will also be using Portrait Professional. And some occasional Green Screen software.

I will also be using it for editing when away from home.

I am not a gamer & will not be using it to edit videos, other than the odd compression conversion with software like Handbrake.

Is there anyone here that can point me in the right direction on what is good & what to completely avoid ?.

Many thanks
 

winmaciek

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2014
70
31
Poland/Ireland
I'd look towards MacBook Pro - they have better displays (with P3 gamut) than the rest of the lineup. I'd say that 13-inch (with Touch Bar, since the one without has much slower, dual core processors) with expanded RAM (16 GB) would be a good fit for you.
Are you sure you want to buy an iMac later this year? Maybe a slightly better MacBook Pro + external display (eg. one that you can hook up through USB-C, so just one cable to plug the laptop).
Oh, and Apple Care would also be a wise thing to get - these keyboard issues haven't been completely fixed, reportedly.
 

jaduff46

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2010
316
182
Second star on the right....
Agree with above. Probably don’t need the i7 chipset if you’re not doing any video editing. Would also go with 512 SSD.
[doublepost=1548813794][/doublepost]You probably won’t need another entire computer later in the year, but a 4k or 5k external monitor would be great for your photography.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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I’d buy a used one - worst case you can sell it for what you paid for it if you don’t like it, or if you want to upgrade to a new model :)
Seconded. I'd consider a 2015 model to start, try it out, see if it's for you. If it's not, you'll lose very little when you sell it.

I have a 2015 13" with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 256B SSD can be somewhat limiting if you're not comfortable managing storage. Lightroom allows a split library so I use a local SSD based library for "active" stuff and then move it onto my NAS once I'm finished working with it. I know folks do the same splitting the library across SSD and external HDD too. 512GB gives you a little more freedom to avoid managing space.
 

jwar1976

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
75
13
Norwich
Thanks for the replies everyone, in all honesty I hadn't thought about a 4K monitor instead of a individual iMac, as with my old desktop pc, it was hooked up to my TV via HDMI. I was originally considering a really old 2012 / 2013 model, but realise now that is probably going to be too old, as while 2nd Gen i5, has been enough on my current laptop for Photoshop, but I have no idea how similar it is on a Macbook Pro.

Regardless of which Macbook Pro, I end up getting, I was going to get 16gb Ram & either a SSD or SSHD to put in, to help boost performance. I won't have to splash out on large SSD / SSHD drives, as I have external drives for RAW files, as well as a Synology NAS, from which I understand can be used as a Time Machine over network.
 

Martius

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
381
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Prague, CZ
Try to find new / refurbished 2015 15" MBP (512GB SSD with dedicated GPU). Best laptop Apple has ever made (in terms of value, reliability, build quality, not in terms of power). I have the base 2.2/256GB SSD, which is also great, but the higher end model is just the best.
 
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agaskew

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2009
384
192
My old i7/16Gb/1TB 2014 model was the best one I had by a long way. Bear in mind you cannot upgrade RAM or SSD in all of the newer ones, so think about future proofing - 16Gb RAM if possible.
 
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Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,691
2,103
15 inch 2015 sounds tailor made for your use case and budget concerns. Do consider the 2018 though as the addition of an external monitor would make an iMac not needed and would save you money over all.
 
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TGM85

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2005
71
66
I would also recommend getting a 2015 rMBP. You can easily resell the machine if you don't like the macOS experience and recoup most (if not all) of your money.

Another advantage of the 2015 MBP is that you can easily upgrade the built in SSD yourself using a Transcend Jetdrive, an OWC drive or a DIY solution (there's a 125 page thread on here about the DIY route). I recently upgraded my 128 GB 2015 MBP to 480 GB of storage. The upgrade took about 10 minutes.

RAM is soldered in and cannot be upgraded, so do watch out for that.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,159
4,692
The 2018 13" MBP sounds like it would work great for your purpose. Don't forget that Apple gives you 14 days to try your new machine out, so if you don't like it for any reason you can always return it.
 
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Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,346
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I would get the 13" 2018 Macbook Pro, it has quad core processors also True Tone on the screen and Touch Bar. 8GB Ram may be enough but if you want to future proof it look at getting 16GB.

Windows may have got better over the years but it still doesn't come anywhere close to MacOS (in my opinion).
 
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jwar1976

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
75
13
Norwich
Thanks for all the extra advice everyone it is much appreciated, I had no idea how much different things were when compared to PC's. I had a look and found a site that states that all models with the Retina Display, the Ram is soldered in and cannot be upgraded, so MBP's uptill mid 2012, can have the memory upgraded.

My partner has just told me that she will treat me to a new Macbook Pro in a few months but will see how I get on with a used older one first. I admit that I have never been a fan of iPhones, but I loved the Ipod Touch back in the day, and am a fan of the iMac & iPad. My Brother in law has one of the Macbooks, which I have used briefly & was impressed, but will message him to see which one he has, as he lives around 200 miles away.
 

GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
507
285
Somewhere
Thanks for all the extra advice everyone it is much appreciated, I had no idea how much different things were when compared to PC's. I had a look and found a site that states that all models with the Retina Display, the Ram is soldered in and cannot be upgraded, so MBP's uptill mid 2012, can have the memory upgraded.

My partner has just told me that she will treat me to a new Macbook Pro in a few months but will see how I get on with a used older one first. I admit that I have never been a fan of iPhones, but I loved the Ipod Touch back in the day, and am a fan of the iMac & iPad. My Brother in law has one of the Macbooks, which I have used briefly & was impressed, but will message him to see which one he has, as he lives around 200 miles away.
Purely from a hardware speed perspective I wouldn't go older than 2015 - which even the 15" will be slower than the 2018 13". Definitely do not buy something from before 2012. Do you really think any 8 year old computer is going to feel great?

Why not just wait? Or is the HP so nearly dead that it's necessary to replace it immediately?
 

jwar1976

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
75
13
Norwich
Purely from a hardware speed perspective I wouldn't go older than 2015 - which even the 15" will be slower than the 2018 13". Definitely do not buy something from before 2012. Do you really think any 8 year old computer is going to feel great?

Why not just wait? Or is the HP so nearly dead that it's necessary to replace it immediately?
Good point with the age of the technology, in all honesty I have gotten so use to the speed of the HP i5-2520 inside, that I hadn't really thought about getting anything faster. Unfortunately my HP is on it's last legs and could go at any time, so would rather have a machine asap, that will allow me to edit photos as of when needed. The last thing I would want is to annoy models and tell them that they need to wait months for their photos.
 

GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
507
285
Somewhere
The last thing I would want is to annoy models and tell them that they need to wait months for their photos.
Understandable lol.

While some people here might point you at watching the refurb site I would definitely go used - the 2015s especially have an inflated resale price right now. You can probably find a 15" 2014 (which will be performance wise nearly identical) for under a grand. That's where I'd start if I wanted to save money and get a machine that I might actually want to keep for a while.

If you think you'll immediately go for a new one when your partner says it's time then really any of the retina era models will probably do for a few months although I don't necessarily know that it'll be faster than your HP is -unless your HP has an old spinning drive in which case until you load them up all the Macs of the last several years will feel great.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,745
1,313
I've gone the other way, Mac to PC, but if you are considering a MBP I'd look at the last generation as it is a better platform to live with - it has ports, and SD card slot and a much nicer (and reliable) keyboard.

I'd look at the 15" with dedicated graphics over the 13". While you might not game, the machines with the dedicated GPU are generally of a higher spec and will be much better at running LR and PS. I briefly ran a 13" MBP after using the 15" 2012 rMBP for a few years and it was slow. You'll also appreciate the extra screen space.

Having said all that why are you so bothered about Windows 10? I've been using it since it came out and while early versions were a bit clunky it's pretty good now. You also get a much wider choice of hardware. Including the XPS 15, which is an awesome laptop for photographers.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,444
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I, too, recommend that you consider a 2015-design MBPro.

15" or 13" -- depends on your budget and what you find.

The 2015 MacBook Pros have keyboards that won't break, and a host of "legacy ports" that you will feel very comfortable with, including an SD card slot (if you use them).
 

jwar1976

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
75
13
Norwich
Understandable lol.

While some people here might point you at watching the refurb site I would definitely go used - the 2015s especially have an inflated resale price right now. You can probably find a 15" 2014 (which will be performance wise nearly identical) for under a grand. That's where I'd start if I wanted to save money and get a machine that I might actually want to keep for a while.

If you think you'll immediately go for a new one when your partner says it's time then really any of the retina era models will probably do for a few months although I don't necessarily know that it'll be faster than your HP is -unless your HP has an old spinning drive in which case until you load them up all the Macs of the last several years will feel great.
My old HP has a 128gb SSD & 1tb SSHD with the 2nd Gen i5. The whole thing for me is portability, and when you are carrying a hefty camera bag with L Glass lenses, a lighter laptop is quite essential.

I've gone the other way, Mac to PC, but if you are considering a MBP I'd look at the last generation as it is a better platform to live with - it has ports, and SD card slot and a much nicer (and reliable) keyboard.

Thank you for that information, I do use SD card from time to time, but I mainly use CF.

I'd look at the 15" with dedicated graphics over the 13". While you might not game, the machines with the dedicated GPU are generally of a higher spec and will be much better at running LR and PS. I briefly ran a 13" MBP after using the 15" 2012 rMBP for a few years and it was slow. You'll also appreciate the extra screen space.

Having said all that why are you so bothered about Windows 10? I've been using it since it came out and while early versions were a bit clunky it's pretty good now. You also get a much wider choice of hardware. Including the XPS 15, which is an awesome laptop for photographers.
I would love a Macbook with something like a Geforce or Radeon, but it would be difficult to carry about with all my camera gear. In regards to W10, I have been a PC user since the days of the 286 and have been able to build PC's since around 1996, so basically fancy a change. I will however take a look at the XPS.

I, too, recommend that you consider a 2015-design MBPro.

15" or 13" -- depends on your budget and what you find.

The 2015 MacBook Pros have keyboards that won't break, and a host of "legacy ports" that you will feel very comfortable with, including an SD card slot (if you use them).
Thank you for that information.
 

jwar1976

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
75
13
Norwich
Hi all,

Earlier today I popped into a 2nd hand shop (pawnbrokers) and saw a 13" 2015 MBP, (i5, 8gb , 128gb SSD) which was in immaculate condition & upon giving it a try, I went straight to the battery information which stated it had done 308 cycles.

I then put down a deposit of just over £100 to secure it on layby interest free and have 12 weeks to pay it off. Total price is £550 & includes 6 months warranty once paid up. I was considering getting one from Ebay, but seeing as prices were around the same with more cycles used, I figured I would shop locally & get a small warranty with it as well.

Over the weekend I will be going to a computer fair, so I hope that I will get to grips with some iMacs & iPad Pro, as the Pad Pro & Pencil does look great & has Photoshop CC coming soon, so could well invest in that after I have purchased the MBP, especially as the 10.5" can be bought used for £370. I have wanted a tablet with stylus for ages now, so kinda makes sense to get one to work alongside the MBP.

Thanks again for all the advice, it is much appreciated.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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Hi all,

Earlier today I popped into a 2nd hand shop (pawnbrokers) and saw a 13" 2015 MBP, (i5, 8gb , 128gb SSD) which was in immaculate condition & upon giving it a try, I went straight to the battery information which stated it had done 308 cycles.

I then put down a deposit of just over £100 to secure it on layby interest free and have 12 weeks to pay it off. Total price is £550 & includes 6 months warranty once paid up. I was considering getting one from Ebay, but seeing as prices were around the same with more cycles used, I figured I would shop locally & get a small warranty with it as well.

Over the weekend I will be going to a computer fair, so I hope that I will get to grips with some iMacs & iPad Pro, as the Pad Pro & Pencil does look great & has Photoshop CC coming soon, so could well invest in that after I have purchased the MBP, especially as the 10.5" can be bought used for £370. I have wanted a tablet with stylus for ages now, so kinda makes sense to get one to work alongside the MBP.

Thanks again for all the advice, it is much appreciated.
Do you know how to make it run the diagnostics?