Mac Recommendations Please!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ally77, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Ally77, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

    Ally77 macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017
    June 15 Update with Questions (original post below):
    Hey all, it's me again ... I would love your advice on a purchase decision. I stalled until the 2017 MBP announcement and now my question is between a 2015 MBP 15" and a 2017 MBP 15" - I really don't care to have the Touch Bar, which is why I'm considering going with the new 2015 MBP 15" - that, and there's already spec that a 2018 might bring more than a refresh. I'm looking for a MBP that will be my in-between. I'll still do most of my graphics and layout on the older 17" but need a MBP with more current OS for online work (I don't want to upgrade my 17" browser and lose access to my Adobe CS4 suite of products). I don't game, and will do only occasional very short, basic videos (less than 10 minutes). I've considered purchasing a refurb, but wary of what I'll get and how long it will last.

    I get confused about the ports; what will I need to transfer files between the older 17" and new 15" for uploading to the net or email? Is the 2015 MBP 15" w/out toolbar considered a good machine? What do you think of my current plan of action - a good move? Thanks!

    Original Post:

    I have always used MACs for creative work; I am not tech savvy, so I appreciate your thoughts and recommendations!

    I currently have a 17" MacBook Pro 5.2:
    OS 10.6.8
    Processor 2.8 GH
    Memory 4 GB

    I absolutely love everything about this MacBook; my needs have changed from when I first purchased it. I currently do less massive catalog and POS files for print and now use it mostly for design work for online use. And an occasional video edit (less th an 5 mins, generally less than 3).

    My main problem is it seems browsers and flash are in a competition for updates - which requires OS updates. I have grown cautious in updating recently, because I still use Adobe CS4 and don't want to be updated (OS) out of continuing to use it. I know my resistance is ultimately futile and I will one day have to upgrade to Adobe CC, but for now,I'd like to continue using my beloved Macbook Pro 17 and Adobe CS4 for as long as possible. They truly do everything I need them to do. Except the browsers and flash updates have almost rendered my online use impossible.

    I have access to a PC, so I can create on my MAC, then upload files via a USB drive online using the PC. But I can't quite get use to the Windows operating system after decades of MAC use. It seems so absolutely temperamental.

    I am not jazzed about the newly released MacBook Pros. I had an iMac before the current MBP and it went sudden death on me after minimal use, so I'm not entirely comfortable going with another iMac.

    I don't really have a need to write on the screen and don't really care if it has touch screen. I would absolutely buy another MBP 17 today, if it were available.

    My questions ...
    1. What do you recommend?
    2. Which laptop and tech specs do you recommend based on what I need it to do?
    3. How many lifer MAC users have jumped ship to PC laptop and which do you like best for Adobe CS/CC and Facebook Power Editor?

    I am truly at a loss of what to do. And I am so disappointed in Apple. For a company that built their brand on innovation, they seem to be so archaic in deciding what users want and need - vs. listening to their consumers and meeting their needs. The "big surprise" reveals are so 1980s - they need to be more communicative with their roadmap to help their customers whose business depends on the MAC products.

    Thanks for your suggestions to my dilemma! (and listening to my mini rant) = )
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Might help if you would explain what you so like about your old Mac and what you don't like about the new MBPs, why Apple disappoints you, etc.
  3. Ally77 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Thank you ... I thought I had, but I'll try again:

    Current MBP - I like the size and that it has performed exceptionally well for my needs working with Adobe CS; I like the ports and USB drive options.

    New MBP - I have not found any good reviews - which for the price, is concerning; since the new ones do not include KabbyLake, there is the fear they will be outdated soon. They lack ports and are very thin, some report they overheat. I prefer the 15" size, but do not need the Touch Bar and they do not offer an option in the size without.

    However, I'm seeking advice on what people recommend for my usage needs as detailed in the OP. Has anyone found a PC laptop they switched to, that has optimal support, and they are happy with? I don't want to switch, but I'm willing to consider
  4. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2015
    I can perfectly understand the TO...

    My recommendation:

    upgrading the Ram up to 8 or (if possible) 16 GB ---> much more performence.
    if not yet done: Upgrading to a good SSD (i.e. Samsung 850 or other good SSds).
    Nowadays this does not coast much - but the result is amazing.

    upgrading to ElCapitan which also makes "OLD" MBPs even faster (better RAM-utilisation and other features).

    Having done these upgradings you will not believe that you are still with your "OLD" MBP... :D ;) it will feel like a new one.

    Believe me. it is worth any cent...

    AND: You can stay with..
    your 17" Screen
    you still have a anti-glare Screen - since 2012 all Mac-screens are horribly glaring... antiglare doesn´t exist no more... what a shame...
  5. Ally77 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Thank you ... a couple of questions:
    1. Where do I take my MBP to get the upgrades?
    2. Will I still be able to use Adobe CS4 if I do?

    My MBP still works very well when using Adobe CS4 - it's the need to upgrade browsers and flash, and OS that have limited my internet access. My current work-around is to use MBP for creating digital files, then transport via a USB drive to a basic Toshiba PC that I have access to for uploading to the internet. I'm trying to hang on to the Adobe CS4 investment for as long as I can, before upgrading to Adobe CC due to the monthly fee for infinity. My concern is that an OS update will eventually make it impossible for me to use the Adobe CS4.
  6. Kcetech1, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017

    Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2016
    Alberta Canada
    1: for CC I like the 2015 15" and stay with Yosemite or El Cap. if you do light work you can also look into possible upgrades for your old 17", I ran mine up to 8 and put an SSD in it and it still runs.

    2: a lot of that depends on your workflow and how long you want to keep your machine.

    3: I flipped to PC's for my heavy lifting back awhile ago. if this is a production machine and you make your living on them I would look at the workstations ( yep chunky but in many applications much faster than my 2013 nMP )

    15" - HP Zbook 15, Dell Precision 5510, Lenovo P50

    17" - Dell Precision 7510, HP Zbook 17, Lenovo P70

    I have the P50, Zbook 17 and P70. and you can not beat the 5 year next business day onsite support with accidental available for most of those models. right now my P70 is configured with a Xeon, 64GB RAM and 8T of SSD for doing on site video edits. the Zbook 17 if you shell out the big upgrade cost is also available with the best laptop screen I have ever seen.
  7. Ally77 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017

    Thank you - if I update my 17, will I still be able to use CS4? Or will it require me to update to CC? I've never updated a MAC; where/how do I do that? Thanks!
  8. Kcetech1, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017

    Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2016
    Alberta Canada
    you can use CS4 as long as you don't upgrade past Mavericks on the OS ( I stopped at 10.8 Mountain Lion )

    to upgrade the RAM remove the bottom case and install new memory ( 2 x 4GB SODIMMS )
    to upgrade to an SSD to a time machine backup or use carbon copy cloner to move everything to a 2.5" SSD that you can put in place of the existing hard drive. there are MANY guides I can link you to if you require.

    keep in mind you DO need Java to run CS4
  9. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2015
    As for 1)

    this is really extremely easy to do: plug and play for RAM (see youtube tutorials and in the section here for 17" MBP)
    You should be able to upgrade at least to 4 if not even 8 GB. Will cost about 80 USD.

    As for the SSD: 1 TB SSD 850 from Samsung (for example) will not cost more than 300 USD.

    You have to transfer the content of your HD first on the SSD, using a USB-Housing for external drives (about 10-20 USD) and by downloading CCC (carbon Copy Cloner)

    which is free for 30 days.

    after that you will exchange the HD and the SSD.

    after all that you upgrade from Snow Leopard to a OSX compatible with CS4...

    If it does not fit with ElCapitan, it might do at least with Mountain Lion, I think...
    You can still buy Mountain Lion in the App Store for 20 USD and download it.

    Perhaps you can also buy CS5 second hand and upgrade to ElCapitan... the advantage of el Capitan is that it makes even very old Macs faster, NOT slower, if upgrading of RAM and SSD is done.


    Kcetech1 and me posted at the same time... telling you the same... :D

    If later than OS X 10.9 is NOT compatible with CS4, Mountain Lion is a good choice indeed...
  10. Ally77 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Thank you - is it possible to just upgrade to Mountain Lion and not upgrade the RAM and SSD?

    As easy as it sounds, I have such a tech phobia about making a mistake and losing all of my files. It definitely sounds like a much more cost-effective method of keeping my current and beloved MBP working for another year or so.

    Thank you both so much for your time and recommendations!
  11. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    I don't think you're going to be able to keep running CS4 and keeping up with other things effectively on one machine. From what I've read, CS4 won't run on El Capitan or Sierra. I don't know how well you can run Flash and stuff on Mavericks. I see complaints that Flash doesn't support Mavericks anymore.

    So you can keep your present machine, maybe upgrading the SSD and RAM as suggested above, or having a shop do it for you, but keeping your OS, and get a Mac of pretty much any kind to do modern stuff with.

    Or you can finally give up on CS4 and settle for a smaller screen, but with higher resolution that will help make up for the size, and get one newish 15" Mac to do everything.

    Or you could give up CS4 and try to warm up to Windows and get a 17" machine that will do everything. A lot of people here think Windows is great, just takes some adjustment. Those machines all have some drawbacks in addition to Windows, of course.

    Or I suppose you could get a 15" Windows machine, for no particular reason, except that it's cheaper and will run CSS just fine.

    About the new MBP, there are lots of highly positive reviews, and most people who have one here really like it. There isn't much about Kaby Lake that won't be outdated as quickly as Skylake, which is what the new MBPs have. About the only thing that could be a difference is in regard to CPU decoding of a new video compression format, but it's something the new MBPs can do with their discrete GPUs if necessary. Kaby Lake isn't a major breakthrough in chip technology.

    The ports on the new MBPs are the most powerful and flexible available. You can do anything with them, and if you need an adapter, that's not hard.

    The new 15" MBPs are probably the least likely to overheat of any machine you could buy, Mac or Windows. They have excellent heat management.
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Frankly, it doesn't matter. Any currently sold Mac will be a massive improvement, performance, experience and quality over your 17" model. My personal recommendation would be a 2016 15" model, simply because it has comparable real screen estate to what you have now.
  13. Ally77 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Thank you - for the lightweight graphics I now do for the web and product design (which is about 95% of my work), the current MBP performance is still great; my main problem is the need for consistent web access. Some sites require flash and then I face the browser/OS update requirements - which I have been hesitant to do because of wanting to use the CS4 a little longer and avoid the monthly $50 subscription (that I'll eventually have to make). Since CS4 and my current MBP both still work fine for graphics work I do, it's hard to justify going to a monthly fee for infinity. I would have purchased an iPad last fall for the short term internet access need, but found there was no way to transfer files from my MBP - and when I asked Apple store reps if there were any options to do so, they just shrugged me off with a "IDK" - but thank you for your time and suggestion.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2017 ---
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2017 ---
    Thank you for your time and recommendations; you've given me a lot to think about!
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2017 ---
    Thank you so much for your time and info; I have a lot to think about now.
  14. Mindinversion macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008

    1: Not surprising. Everyone wants change, but nobody LIKES change. The 2016 is a phenomenal piece of kit, but everyone is too wound up on dongles to notice.

    2: Kaby lake is just a minor optimization of skylake. It will not be any kind of magical leap in performance, which was probably why Apple didn't bother to wait.

    3: They don't LACK ports, the ones they have are just so much more versatile. Most people don't get this, but if you're connecting external SSDs, you can REALLY get some blazing performance numbers. Also, allows for tons of external upgrades later on without having to buy a new machine.

    4: Mine has never gotten hotter than 71c. I have heard people say in windows running Prime95 that they will shut dow at 89c. I cannot see HOW in OS X you can make that happen.

    5: Nobody NEEDS the touch bar, much like nobody NEEDS an Apple Watch... but like the Apple Watch it becomes convenient to have from time to time.
  15. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    There may be some specifics with motherboards or something, but the CPUs aren't meant to shut down until they reach 100C actually. Before that, it'll down clock however, i.e. reduce its own speed to stay within temperature limits. This should start happening at around 93-94C

    Edit: When downclocking occurs isn't exact. it depends on a lot of factors.

    Regardless, the MacBook Pro 2016 is very well cooled, perhaps better so than any MacBook for a long, long time
  16. GtrDude macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2011
    Sorry but there isn't a new Mac out for you as it is.
    Either get a 2015 MBP or get a Windows computer.
    The new MBPs are simply not reliable enough for any pro to count on them.
    I had a new MBP that I had to return because of problems AND I hated hated the keyboard.
    One more time......hated!!!!!!!! the keyboard.
  17. peraspera macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2016
    If you haven't already done so you might want to give Affinity Photo a try. It's very reasonably priced with no subscription and will probably be more than capable of handling your current work. If i it works out for you it may offer you some more budget flexibility. They offer a free trial version.

    If you find Affinity Photo to be a satisfactory solution keep PS4 on a separate small bootable partition to have on hand in case you need to use PS4 for something you didn't anticipate.
  18. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Bitter nonsense, as many pros relying on the new MBPs can attest.
  19. SDColorado macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    A little excitable aren't you.
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Now thats an authoritative statement :D
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    There are other aspects to the MBP that I personally don't like, so while the dongle complaint seems to get the most attention, the keyboard, ginormous trackpad are two things I don't like.

    Technically they do lack ports, because my 2012 MBP, I could plug my SD card into my MBP and use it. I could plug my my TV into the MBP using the HDMI port. 2016 model, I need to buy adapters to accommodate the missing ports.
  22. Mindinversion macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008
    Personal preference, that... in my eyes you're citing some of the best selling points (ok, technically I don't NEED a trackpad this large, but it doesn't hinder. They keyboard, by comparison, is AMAZING...providing you can learn not to hammer the keys like an old manual typewriter.

    That's just it. . they're not MISSING! They're just.... modular :)

    You can turn any port into any other port, or as many ports as you need with just a simple attachment. I guess it's all in how you read the word "missing". To me it implies they are gone and cannot be used. Again this is personal preference, but I like having a set of unified ports that I can adapt to essentially anything with little issue.
  23. Ally77 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Thank you - I don't anticipate my usage needs will change significantly in the next 5 years
    Thank you - I don't anticipate my usage needs will change significantly over the next 5+ years; do you think a 2015 MBP will hold up to future OS and software updates?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2017 ---
    Thank you, I had not heard of Affinity Pro. I tend to use Illustrator more, but do use them both. I've heard of Inkscape as an alternative for AI; are there any others?
  24. peraspera macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2016
    As well as Photo, Affinity makes a vector drawing program, Design. You can try it for free. I got a discount for purchasing both Affinity Photo and Design but I don't know if they still offer that as an option. I didn't use Inkscape long enough to comment on it but I would guess I didn't use it much because I found it too limited in features.

    It should be your absolute priority #1 to establish a reliable backup regime that gives you confidence. You simply don't own your data if you have no backups. Hard drives can and do fail at any time and your internal MPB hard drive is getting long in the tooth. Hard drives aren't very expensive and you don't need a particularly fast one for backups.

    Buy two hard drives and use one for Time Machine backups and one for Carbon Copy Cloner backups. Get drives that are 2x-3x the size of the data on your internal HD and enable SafetyNet in CCC. Offsite or cloud backups are also something you should additionally consider for any data you need for work.

    Time Machine makes incremental backs up every hour. Carbon Copy Cloner backs up when you choose to do so manually or you can set it to do scheduled backups. A CCC backup will boot and run the same way your internal hard drive does. That allows you to confirm the reliability of the CC backup. Restoring your internal hard drive from either Time Machine or CCC is a straightforward process.

    If you decide to upgrade your current MPB to a newer OS hold off on updating your CCC clone for a couple of weeks until you are certain that PS4 will run with your newer OS. That way you will retain both your Time Machine and CCC backups to fall back on should the newer OS not work out well.

    At that point you can either upgrade macOS and/or the hardware on your current MBP and/or get something newer with the confidence that your work is safely backed up.
  25. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Buy a used late 2013-2015 rMBP 15". It's not a 17", but it has a 1920x1200 retina-level mode, which is same resolution as the 17. It also has all the ports you seem to require.

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