MacBook or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by slater77, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. slater77 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 28, 2009
    #1
    New to this forum.
    Contemplating buying a Macbook or Macbook Pro and a third party 23" LED display. I would be using it for doing page layout and design work using CS3 (eventually CS4) and probably aperture as well. Was originally going to buy the 24" imac but am now leaning towards the versatility of a laptop. Just want to know if the Macbook would give me enough power or should I seriously be looking at the Macbook Pro in which case I would probably have to get a refurbished one. I use a Mac Pro at work and would only be using the laptop for work at home when I get behind. Otherwise it would mostly be for web, movies , music, iLife........
     
  2. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Well if you want to use multiple adobe CS programs at one time the MB will probably get bogged down to easily, you can find great deals on old generation MBP or refurb ones. You will be much happier trying to do work like that on a Pro instead of the regular MB.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #3
    A lot depends on your budget, but, if you're sure you'll use it for work purposes occasionally and purely while attached to an external monitor, I can't think of any good reason to spend more for the MBP unless you need to use Firewire drives or need the ExpressCard slot (for example, to hook up eSATA drives via a card).

    Otherwise, the MacBook is a fantastic deal and easily powerful enough for occasional work at home. One of our contractors does all of his CS4 work on a high-end MacBook (the one with the backlit keyboard), and he loves it.

    @xhambonex: I agree that the MBPs are faster than the MBs, but, with 4GB in an MB, I don't see why they wouldn't work with CS4 adequately. Again, I've seen our contractor use his with no issues.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #4
    For you, I'd get a MacBook.

    Even with software like CS4, where the graphics card helps with the heavy lifting, I don't believe you would get much more performance from CS4 using of a 9600 M when compared to the standard 9400M. It depends on what you consider to be 'significant', of course. If you'd just be using it for work occasionally, then I don't think you'd be seriously hindered by a MacBook whatsoever.

    Anyway, all that is secondary, like you said. ;) You'll mostly be using this with an external LCD at home, and a MacBook is perfect for the internet, iLife, etc. It also gives you the portability you really want, you save money (which seemed like an important factor in your post), and you can buy an even better 23" LCD.
     
  5. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

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    #5
    If you would be doing photoshop without being hooked to the monitor get the MacBook Pro. Photoshop on my 1280*854 PB is hard and the MacBook is 1280*800 which is less than my PowerBook. If you will be doing anything in Photoshop on the road you will need to look into a MacBook Pro maybe a 17" even.

    If you got the 17" you would not need the 24" external monitor because they are the same resolution
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #6
    ^^^Very true. I didn't consider that. If you aren't at work on your Mac Pro, and you can't wait until you're home to do work, then perhaps the higher resolution would be helpful.

    However, I personally feel that the 1440 x 900 resolution is STILL too low for this sort of work. It's not even much higher than 1280 x 800 of the MacBook. I'm waiting for the 15" MBP to get a 1650 x 1080 resolution, because I really don't see why you need to pay so much more money to get 160 more pixels length-wise, and 100 pixels along its width. That really isn't much of an advantage, and you'll end up with a larger, heavier machine. :eek:
     
  7. slater77 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Any actual work would be done using an external monitor. Even 17" is not enough real estate. I am more concerned about the graphics card and if 4GB of RAM would be enough to handle running CS3(4) as well as a couple of other apps and not get bogged down. Would need it to last for about three years so being able to upgrade would be a concern as well.
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #8
    The graphics card will be fine. Both the MB and MBP now support up to 6GB (8B on the new 17"). There's really no upgrade you can do on the MBP that you can't do on the MB aside from ExpressCard solutions.

    It all depends on what your budget is and how much speed and native resolution you want. Obviously, a high-end loaded 17" will blow away a lowest-end MB, but it costs 5X as much to load up a 17" as buy a low end MB, and the performance difference will rarely approach 5X. The mid-range MB is probably the best value, all things considered, but you might want to go for the backlit keyboard of the high-end model. I have an older (well, 6 months old) 17", a newer 15", and a newer MB. The MB is, by far, much easier to use on the couch, the 17" has pretty much everything I need but is a lot bigger, and, as expected, the 15" falls in between. It all depends on how much portability appeals to you. The 13" is a very powerful system in a very sturdy and slim package.
     
  9. slater77 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I should also specify that I currently work on a Mac Pro 2.0Ghz (G5 I think) with 8GB of RAM and am satisfied with it's performance. Anything that is close to this from a Macbook would be nice.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #11
    If in fact it's a PowerMac G5 2.0GHz, the MacBook will not only be faster, it'll be stunningly faster, even at 4GB, unless you push CS4 hard enough to really need more than 4GB. And yeah, you can go to 6GB, but that's a very pricey option for now....
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #12
    I actually knew that. I was just kind of teasing him. :p All these questions, and he's worried about performance when he's happy with the performance of his G5 Mac Pro?

    A single core G5 performs at a speed similar to that of a current netbook (Intel Atom) based on tests using current software, and even with quad-core or octo-core (I can't remember if there was an octo-core G5), it wouldn't be faster than a current MacBook.
     

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