Mac laptop for Design work

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by razyorv, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. razyorv macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    While I have owned and worked with Macs before(like totally gutting an iBook to fix issues), I have mainly used my PC desktop. I do designing work; working on projects such as websites, brochures, ads, and book covers using Adobe's Photoshop CS2, Indesign, and Illustrator.

    My desktop is starting to age, but works adequetly when I'm at home; yet I need mobility.

    My question is this: Would the Macbook or the MBP better suit my needs?

    I have set my maximum budget for $2200. I want to spend this frugally *what I need* rather than what I want.

    I heard some bad things about the Macbook's intel GMA 950 but others say it's fine for 2D work. Will the integrated graphics be a problem even though I have 2GB of RAM? I do not want a machine that crawls when I'm editing a document in Photoshop with 15+ others open.
    Other cons for MB: 13" screen with 1280x800 seems rather small. I prefer matte to glossy screens. But I can live with that if I get another display


    EDIT: I do not game so that's not an issue
  2. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
    I would have to say go for the MBP, I am getting into web design and that's what I chose. Hook it up to a big external monitor and you'll love it! Enjoy. :)

    Also, do you have a link to your website?
  3. filmgirl macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    While you would probably be fine with a MacBook (the integrated graphics card IS an issue - but almost entirely for games rather than Photoshop or even Final Cut Express editing -- Avid Media Composer is the only app I've read about that has issues with the GMA 950 - and that isn't even because of the chipset, per-se, but because you can't alocate more than 128 megs of VRAM to it), you probably want to go ahead and get the MBP - just so that if you want to upgrade in the future to more RAM you have the option - and of course the better graphics (still not stellar on the base model, but better).
  4. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    MB can go up to 3GB whereas MBP can go to 4GB. I don't see too much of a difference in the RAM upgrades.

    Now if MBP goes 64bit then that becomes a bigger issue. IMO

    My main concern is the integrated graphics. If that's not an issue then the $500-$700 difference seems a bit too much for getting a dedicated graphics card.
  5. giganten macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2006
    I would also go for the MBP instead of the MB.
  6. filmgirl macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    Right now - the integrated graphics isn't a big factor in speed or productivity in Photoshop CS3 (the last benchmarks I saw were really, really minor) - so if your concern is only for that - then yeah, a MacBook will be great. I was more thinking of being future proof - but it's also true that saving that $500 - $700 might make it more feasible to for you to upgrade to whatever the latest/greatest is two years down the line.
  7. A Pittarelli macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2007
  8. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Agreed. The base mbp will serve you well for much longer than the macbook. For about $600 in savings now, you'd be left with an underpowered machine in the future (RAM limits would begin to come into play). Go for the base mbp.
  9. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    OK, I'm leaning more toward the MBP.

    I have just one question. You say RAM limit but isn't the RAM limit of the MBP 4GB? So that's not that big of a difference than the MB's 3GB limit.
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Offically speaking, the macbook's RAM limit is 2GB, while the mbp's is 4GB. Again, these are Apple's numbers. The macbook actually supports 3.3GB, and many posters are confident that the mbp can support more than 4GB. Wait a few months, and sure enough, we'll see more information about what the true RAM limit is.
  11. BioChron macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2006
    I would say go for the MacBook Pro, as you have the money. :)

    - Daniel
  12. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    15" MBP, if you don't mind working with an external monitor (which your post suggests); 17" model if you do.
  13. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Thank you for all your help. I think I shall go with the MBP; I will wait until Leopard, since I'm not in a rush.

    Now that aside, does the integrated graphics (intel gma950) do intensive Photoshop work well? Does it even matter? Can I find benchmarks somewhere contrasting MBP and MB on this issue? I'm asking this because I have always wondered about this, yet not many topics discuss this certain issue.
  14. filmgirl macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    I just came across this Mac SpeedZone May and June '07 MacBook and MacBook Pro comparisonsl - really, really interesting. Gaming is the only area where there is any discernible difference in performance in a real world scenario between the MacBook 2.16 C2D and the base MacBook Pro 2.2 C2D.
  15. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Very interesting.

    Do you guys know if the Macbooks and MBPs are 64bit? If they aren't they really can't access more than 4GB of RAM.
  16. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    It doesn't even matter. Graphics cards only truly matter when you start to speak about 3d environments. My gen1 Macbook handles all the 2d stuff great.

    In your case I'd go for a Macbook and spend the extra money on a nice CRT and have the CRT calibrated or more ram and a faster hard drive.
  17. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    in my opinion, you're doing design, you need a matte screen. the MB shouldn't even be an option. plus, the resolution on the MBPs is quite an improvement. i wouldn't even bother with photoshop/illustrator/indesign on such a limited workspace.
  18. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    A MB would be fine for your use and would handle the workload well.

    The only point to think about is the screensize - it will be annoying to have a small screen - but then you do want mobility, and you have your desktop at home so...
  19. razyorv thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2007
    And... I went for the Macbook.

    I got a brand new 2.16GHz Black and upgraded the RAM to $2GB.
    All for $1,410.

    As for the small screen space, I already have an external screen that I used for designing on my old PC, so I just hooked it up along with my keyboard and mouse.

    CS3 runs great on this thing.

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