Mac Upgrade Help?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gibbo132, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. gibbo132 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I currently have a Macbook Pro 2.53ghz, 4gbs ram, 250gb hard drive (mid 09 model).

    It is way to heavy and big to carry around every day with a full bag of books. It is also running fairly slow for some of my apps. Im sure a SSD and 8GBs of ram would make it fairly fast again, but this isn't an option it is just to heavy!

    So an upgrade is in order. I do a lot of photo editing using Aperture, Adobe CS4 (mainly Photoshop, although I may upgrade to CS6). I also do a bit of video from my DSLR with iMovie, although I may possibly move to final cut pro x sometime in the future. I also have to use my computer out of the house everyday although this is nearly always using pages. I guess I would also like to do some gaming on it as well, although I don't really care for running everything on max settings, just a decent draw rate, smooth FPS etc! Games such a GTA, NFS (if i get a MBA this is gaming is out of the question)...

    I am having massive trouble deciding whether to move to a used Mac Pro, (2008 2.8Ghz (4core or 8core) or 2009 2.66Ghz (4core) and then I will have to decide to use my iPad for using out the house (if i didn't need to type everyday out the house this is an easy choice!) or buy a used macbook/ old air/ powerbook g4 12". The mac pro seems almost perfect to me because i can store all my photos internally (18mp files in RAW are massive!), I can upgrade the processors in the future if its needed, and upgrade a the graphics cards.

    I just need a laptop for using out the house unless I get used to my iPad for out the house.

    So the other option is a Macbook air 11/13", while these seems hugely powerful and beautiful machines they will need to be upgraded every 3 years, and I have to use external hard drives. This is a real annoyance for me, I currently have to use them for some storage and I really don't like them! I would also need a new keyboard and mouse, and an external display for home use.

    Any opinions would be massively appreciated.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Doesn't sound like you're willing to go for a solution that will actually work for you. If you need to use your computer out of the house as you claim, why are you even considering a Mac Pro? If you want to game on it, why are you considering a used Macbook or Powerbook? If you're also unwilling to get a Macbook Air due to the difficulty in upgrading them, you're left with a Macbook Pro... which you claim is too heavy.

    I think you should do some thinking about whether you actually need a new computer. It doesn't sound like you do.
     
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #3
    Also, you state the Macbook Air's have to be upgraded every 3 years or so, wouldn't you have to upgrade a 2008/2009 Mac Pro in 3 years or so also? They are already 3-4 years old and even the Mac Pro will start to get long in the tooth by year 6 (i.e. in 2-3 years from now).
     
  4. gibbo132 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #4
    I feel that the Nehalem Mac Pros are fairly future proof. They have great support for processor upgrades and support DDR3 memory, good range of graphics cards. Yes they will all need to be upgraded in time but In my opinion a Nehalem MP will last longer than the latest MBA.

    In regards to miles01110, maybe I should have made the first post more clear. The Mac Pro will have to be purchased alongside a Laptop be it a used one or a new one.
    If I got a MBA then gaming is out of the question quite frankly.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    I agree.


    More RAM and SSD can extend the life of your MBP. As for it being heavy, live with it... or... get an iPad as a "road machine" and you'll be much better off with an iPad and an upgraded MBP than you would be with a MBA.

    It's a sad fact that Apple gear lasts so long. I would "like" to upgrade my 2008 white MB but I don't need a new computer so I watch year after year as the newest hottest MBP models come out and I sit by until I really need a new machine. My most recent upgrade was an SSD and more RAM (bringing me to 4GB). I recently got a refurb 2010 Mac Mini for my Mountain Lion testing machine as I couldn't justify a new MB even for ML.
     
  6. gibbo132 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #6
    I totally understand your comments about whether I need a new machine or not, but the macbook pro is to heavy to carry around in a bag all day when there are 5-7 textbooks + folders in it. While the books take up most of the weight, the macbook just pushes it over the edge.

    I do have an iPad but I don't feel that I could type a long essay on it. But Im willing for someone to say I can, I'm open to all suggestions.

    A upgraded MPB with SSD and Ram would go quite nicely with a 20" display!
     
  7. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    I don't recommend typing a long essay on an iPad, but there are bluetooth keyboards available. Still why would you be typing a long essay on your "road machine?" When I picture using an iPad, I think of taking it to lectures or meetings and allowing iCloud to sync my notes back to my Mac so I can do the heavy lifting in front of a real keyboard and generous external monitor.

    If you're thinking of doing "real work" on the road machine, then you might have to give the 11 in MBA more serious consideration. As for the Mac Pro, I don't think it's worth thinking about. To me a MB, MBP or even a Mac mini make fine desktop machines but a Mac Pro is bulky and expensive by comparison despite its upgrade-ability.

    Since you are talking about walking around with 5-7 textbooks, have you considered finding out if they are available in ebook format? The last couple of classes I took, I was able to carry around 1100 page text books in my iPad (one as a PDF and one in Kindle format) and I was SO glad I was able to get them as ebooks.

    BTW, an iPad with a bt keyboard case is no heavier than an MBA and less expensive. But wait. You already have an iPad so it's basically just the cost of a bt keyboard you have to think about. At this point, I'd say it's a no brainer... Upgrade the RAM and storage in your existing 15 in MBP and add a bt keyboard or keyboard/case to your iPad for carrying around. Then if you like, you can use the money you saved to pick up either a 15 in or 17 in MBP when the new ivy bridge models come out later this year.

    Here are my informal rankings:

    Desktop machines, in descending order of usability vs price:

    1 Mac mini
    2 13 inch MBP
    3 15 inch MBP
    4 17 inch MBP
    5 MBA
    6 A windows or Linux box
    7 Mac Pro

    Road machines, in descending order of usability vs price:

    1 iPad (with optional bt keyboard)
    2 MBA
    3 A windows or Linux Netbook
     
  8. gibbo132 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for that, I have considered the iPad with bt keyboard but for some reason never seriously considered it. I just picked up my iPad with my apple usb keyboard and compared the weight to my MBP, iPad and keyboard is a nice weight (even if i only have the usb version at the moment).

    That simplifies things so much as frankly I am now free to get a desktop or laptop or stick with what i have for home.

    I looked into upgrading the MPB but I don't think its worth it, for the price of a 250GB SSD and 8Gbs of RAM, I could sell the laptop and plus the money for the upgrades I could get a nice iMac, or Macbook air.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  9. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    I forgot to mention I didn't do a full SSD update. My upgrade cost just over a hundred bucks because I added RAM (cheap) and added a "hybrid" SSD (Seagate Momentus XT) which provides fast 20 second boot times, fast access to frequently used programs and faster (than my old 5400 RPM drive) access to seldom used programs. Oh and I got 500 GB of storage.

    I definitely agree with iMac. I'd recommend iMac any day over Mac Pro. I should have included iMac in my "rankings" but I forgot about it at the time.
     
  10. gibbo132 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    #10
    Really leaning towards using the iPad on the go and a main machine planted on the desk (probably the top 21.5" model). Still have a few little niggles to sort out such as backing up photos on the go but I'm sure i will figure those out!

    What does strike me though is how much macs have gone up in the past 2 1/2 years! Looking at the receipt for my macbook pro it was £1299 (can't figure if that was with the edu discount or not) but today its replacement 15" is £1455.60 (with edu discount)! That really has gone up a lot!
     

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