Mac Pro vs. MacBook Pro for Photo Studio

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by aarongang, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. aarongang macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    #1
    I'm wondering if I can "get away" with a new macbook pro for my photo studio. Even though I have my own studio, I'm still really just a single user.

    We're talking mostly processing larger RAW nikon files through Lightroom and Photoshop. Currently I have the last PowerPC G5, dual 2.3 GHz, 8 GB Ram. Still not bad, but with time machine and mobile me kicking in whenever and big files through lightroom, it's dragging some butt!

    I'm guessing either Mac Pro or MacBook Pro will give me the processing power I need. We're really talking 15-inch: 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 VERSUS Comparable Mac Pro One 2.8GHz Quad-Core.

    So many questions, forgive me and thank you in advance:
    I've heard LR doesn't use more than quad core. Am I missing something with just quad core?

    Can I run all the peripherals I need with a new macbook pro:
    2 external monitors
    external keyboard and mouse
    usb printer
    DROBO external raid HD enclosure
    Disk burner (so I don't ruin the laptop's - or is that not an issue?)
    fire wire CF card reader
    speakers

    Is it silly to try and multiply the few ports on a Macbook Pro to run everything I want?
     
  2. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    You are going to need to find an external video card to drive 2 external monitors as thunderbolt does not allow you to daisy chain them.

    For the rest it's technically feasible. For my part I would rather have a Mac Pro's RAM and storage capabilities than a Mac Book Pro's mobility.
     
  3. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #3
    thats a negative, the displays don't support daisy-chaining, yet.

    the new MacBook Pros support up to 16GB ram, I'm sure thats enough for a little photo editing ;)
     
  4. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #4
    no this is not true. where do you get this information? apple says support only up to 8 gb on all models: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs.html
     
  5. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
  6. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #6
    I get my info from apple. you know, the ones who provide the support for the machine. if you install 16 gb and then have a problem, apple will tell you that you're running an unsupported configuration. don't spread mis-information. just because 16 gb might "work" in the machine, does not mean it is supported.
     
  7. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #7
    you know the ones who also incorrectly stated the 2010 mac pro only supports 32GB ram, way to go ;)
     
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #8
    The term supported is often used in regards to what hardware a system can be configured with. "Support for up to" is a well used term in regard to capacity of memory, storage and processor and graphics card series.
     
  9. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #9
    If you do not need portability, then the mac pro is the better investment. You will get your work done faster and the machine will be viable longer.
     
  10. aarongang thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    #10
    Thanks and more questions

    Thanks for your replies thus far. As for ram, I'm currently running 8GB as I stated in the opener. I'm pretty sure that's plenty for Lightroom and Photoshop needs, mine at least. I have one of those menu bar monitors and I'm never stressed on the Memory side, but often on the CPU side when I'm multi-tasking with image processing in addition.

    In fact, just now, MobileME sync kicked in and my dual 2.3 chipset had 60% and above taken out of it!!!! Now that it's done I'm around 20%. CRAZY

    -- Unless someone can explain differently, I'll probably stick with 8GB of ram. I guess that's an argument for the Desktop, as even I have upgraded my own RAM.

    So there is no way, even with the new MAcbook Pro laptop to run 2 external monitors??

    And as for the rest, can I assume I can add as big a USB or Firewire hub as I want and run as many peripherals as I want?? What's a reasonable limit of external HDs, printers, card readers, etc.

    Thanks again in advance; this is by far the best place for Mac info.
     
  11. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #11
    Intel says the chipset supports 16 gigabytes of RAM. But those are just the people that built the processor, the chipset, and the actual memory controller. What do they know?

    Anyway, back to the main point, the Macbook Pro would probably work but you're not going to be able to run two displays really, and running all that external stuff might mean using a hub which could cause a slowdown.

    The Mac Pro would work better, but the Macbook Pro certainly isn't a bad option if you can deal with one external monitor.
     
  12. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #12
    not currently as no monitors released yet support daisy-chaining.
     
  13. Umbongo, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #13
    You can use Matrox's dualhead2go or a USB graphics card. Both have unresolved glitches I believe.
     
  14. seisend macrumors 6502a

    seisend

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    Switzerland, ZG
    #14
    I tried using the Matrox Dualhead2go (older gen) with my 2007 MacBook Pro. I connected the display with two 24" Samsung Displays at 1920x1200 and the picture was very blurry because the frequency was around 57HZ max instead of 60HZ. When I was lowering the resolution I could use the 60HZ and the image was sharp but not the resolution. I hope newer ones are better.

    Check the Matrox Dualhead2go out, it could be worth it if it actually works how it should. I returned my last generation one...

    Everything else you should be able to connect via a USB hub and firewire.

    I'd say the new MacBook Pro will perform great in Lightroom. Take the 2.2GHz model because of the better graphics card if you have big resolutions..

    edit:

    Two YouTube Links:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbkjOY04Ga0

    with 24" displays:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkgkDggiAp0
     
  15. DeeEss, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    #15
    Im a photogarpher, personally I think we need both. I couldnt be without both of them as they do different things. There was a time that I just had a Macbook Pro, and it suited for a while but as the files get really large then it just doesn't cut it. The expandability makes it the best move and will change with you as you need to. Laptops have limited RAM, ports, 1 monitor and all that fiddling about. The get pretty beat up as well so depending on one machine can get risky when you're very busy. I just had a hick up with my Mac Pro and a least I could continue working and shooting on my Macbook Pro.

    Mobility is the biggest thing with the laptop. I use it for outside location and overseas jobs but otherwise if it's indoors or the studio I shoot with the Mac Pro and I cart it around in a pelican 1640. Where possible I rather work with the Mac Pro. You can do alot at one time and it's very stable. No clients anxiously tapping fingers wile your catalogues slowly load.

    The New Macbook Pros are nice but 16GB of RAM runs out pretty quick now let alone in 4 years or so, but then you have no where to go. Mac Pro offers fast internal storage and RAID which makes a MASSIVE difference. T-Bolt will make things easy but it's al theoretical at the moment so I would rather wait and see. Just having loads of ports and the options to add more is another big factor. Hubs are bottlenecks and cause slowdowns, frustration and reduced workflow.

    If you think you can get a way with a Macbook Pro and it's the best move financially then do it. But the compromise is a closed system that won't give you much room to move in future and you may reach he max potential of the system alot quicker. But that's all something that grows with your business and it pays to get what you need at the time and as your business grows then you grow your business. Rather than the other way around.
     
  16. teemonie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    #16
    2nd Monitor

    At my work we have used Arkviews usb 2.0 to DVI and have been successful running the 2nd monitor that you are looking for. However, we only run the macbook pros on location and the MacPros at the studio.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. jnc, Apr 23, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011

    jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #17
    As a general rule, unless your setup MUST be portable, get a desktop.

    I mean, these are just some of the out the box specs, which alone sell the Mac Pro far as I can tell:

    Mac Pro: 4 FireWire 800, 5 USB ports, 18x SuperDrive, up to 3 external monitors (1xDual-Link DVI, 2 x Mini DisplayPort)

    MacBook Pro: 1 FireWire 800, 2 USB ports, 8x SuperDrive, 1 external monitor (1 x Mini DisplayPort)
     
  18. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #18
    If I were you I would consider holding off until the Sandy Bridge+Thunderbolt iMacs are released. I think one of those + a second display would be better suited to your needs than a Mac Pro. On the other hand my 2011 17" Macbook Pro is a beast, it benchmarks slightly faster than my 2008 Mac Pro. It's a killer machine, but I prefer having two full sized displays when working at home.
     
  19. jnc, Apr 23, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011

    jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #19

    For a while I considered the iMac vs Mac Pro - the power of the i7 iMac would have been plenty but the size of the thing's 27" display was prohibitive. I already have a 21" Cintiq and had no desk space for the iMac.

    If, as by the sounds of it, OP already has good two monitors he could be in the same boat - plus with the iMac you're almost as limited I/O and expansion-wise as you are with the comparably priced MacBook Pro, without the portability benefit... I'd be recommending the iMac third to this guy.
     
  20. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #20

    I've a 2009 Mac Pro (1x2.66GHz Xeon, 8GB) and a 2011 MBP (17", 8GB). I too do a lot of photo work. The 2011 MBP runs just about on par with the Mac Pro. The only drawback is lack of hard drive expandability.

    For the MBP, you will want to use FireWire for any storage, and with CF cards you're on the right track. Transferring lots of big image files will take FOREVER using USB. Firewire drives cost more but it's well worth it.

    The MBP, to my knowledge, as an output for one video card. The MBP itself being one monitor. If you have two external monitors, take one of them and use a different port (e.g. HDMI or DVI, whichever is available. Avoid VGA like the plague) and you'll be set.

    However, as was said, when the Sandy Bridge iMacs come out - that'll be SWEET. One of those, 27", might replace my Mac Pro when the time comes.
     
  21. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #21
    Photographer here as well, pretty much the same take on it, each tool is very valuable in actual use.

     
  22. maclaptop macrumors 65816

    maclaptop

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #22
    I bought new ones of each this year to cover my bases.
     

Share This Page