MacBook vs. MacBook Pro BENCHMARKS for CS3, FCP, etc.

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by amphibious, May 9, 2008.

  1. amphibious macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #1
    I have read many times that there are plenty of reasons to get the MB Pro over the MacBook for Photoshop/Indesign use, but that the video card is not one of them. I'm wondering if anyone can provide links to benchmarks comparing the MB and MB Pro's performance for these applications.

    Also, and I know this isn't the forum for this, but I don't really want to make duplicate posts, if anyone can explain why video editing applications WILL supposedly be boosted by the graphics card options of the MB Pro.

    Additionally, several years back when I knew a whole lot more about hardware, a lot of the 3D cards on the market where great for games, but they didn't improve performance of 3D modeling software unless you were rendering. Will today's modern 3D cards speed of the performance of 3D modeling software during design or rendering? Both? Neither?

    Links to actual documented results are much preferred to personal experience and hearsay.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #3
    The MacBook has an integrated video card that shares memory with the rest of the system. The MacBook Pro has a dedicated video card with your choice of 256 or 512mb of VRAM that is independent of the system memory. This is important for applications that can use the GPU of the video card such as Photoshop CS3 Extended, Aperture and video applications.

    VRAM also contributes to faster screen redrawing and rendering as well as supporting larger monitor resolutions.
     

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  3. amphibious thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 30, 2005
    #4
    Yes, I understand the difference between a dedicated video card and an integrated video card.

    I am specifically looking for benchmarks comparing the two computers because while the MB Pro would certainly be better for gaming, I've always heard that the difference between the two as far as programs like Photoshop and Illustrator are concerned a dedicated video card isn't going to make a bit of difference (obviously, the additional RAM freed up by the dedicated card will, but apart from additional RAM the video card itself isn't going to boost performance).

    Conversely, I've heard that it will make a difference for video editing, specifically non-linear software, but I've never been given a good reason why that should make a difference, and I've never seen benchmarks to back it up.
     
  4. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 17, 2003
    #5
    No difference

    Photoshop and Illustrator do not make use of the video card. This means that the differences in speed will depend on processor speed and amount of RAM. Once you chew up the available RAM, hard drive speed also enters the equation. Any benchmark on these things can be changed dramatically simply by changing amount of RAM, file size, or sometimes type of filter.

    As far as 3D modeling software, you just need to look at the vendor's website to see if they use video hardware acceleration.
     
  5. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #6
    Applications like Apple's Final Cut Studio and Adobe Premier are graphic intensive programs that rely heavily on the processing power of the graphic processing unit in the video card for video playback.

    An Intel integrated video card is just not powerful enough to run Final Cut Studio or Adobe Premier which both require 32 bit dedicated video cards.

    Apple's Aperture also utilizes the GPU of the video card and can process photos faster with a dedicated video card.

    If Graphic Design is your career choice, then faster image processing, increased resolutions and video processing should be a major consideration when choosing a computer. In my opinion, the Intel integrated solution just doesn't cut it.

    Jerry
     
  6. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #7
    Photoshop benchmarks wont tell you how fast Photoshop is, it will tell you how fast the computer is. They use filter and other render tests, not brush work or layer moving which is what really matters (and impossible to benchmark).

    Get 2gbs+ of ram and both machines will be the same speed while working in photoshop, I promise. Photoshop hasnt been able to keep up with computer advancements, an old low end piece of crap with 4gbs of ram will perform with perfect realtime speed in Photoshop.
     
  7. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #8
    Amen, even with the graphic intensive apps like FCP and Adobe After Effects the RAM and GFX card plays a big role. Processor speeds help, but have the best RAM you can find is BIG, then comes the GFX card.

    Since Photoshop and Illustrator don't tax the GFX card as much you will be fine with a MacBook. However, the resolution of the screen helps in viewing your work. If you don't mind working on a 13.3" screen and your image set at 15-25% then you will be okay with the MacBook.
     
  8. xxjuicymintxx macrumors regular

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    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #9
    I have a Macbook Pro w/ 4GB RAM and it works w/ Photoshop CS3 && Aperture amazing. It's quick and responsive, but sometimes I still get the beach ball.

    But hey, who doesn't? Yesss, even you Mac Pro users w/ crazy amounts of RAM. I know you've encountered the beach ball too, haha.

    Anyways, I've been thinking of switching to a desktop [24" iMac] and a Macbook instead of the MBP. I think I'd still be able to do all my work fine, and it'd be a better balance for me than just a single portable media center for me.
     
  9. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #10
    Dunno, but since I've bought th 17" MBP w/ Hi-Res, even though it is the previous version (3.1 2,4Ghz) I didn't need the 19" screen that is on my desktop anymore. At this amount of pixels it has, is enough for my work.
    But what really did the trick was updating from 2 to 4Gb memory.
    I never had thought that having so much memory would affect the performance so much, in a positive sense. When working with 2Gb I would have some to spare, some inactive, so why upgrade?
    But now, with 4Gb I still have some unused, some inactive and a whole lot more in use! Having 2.5Gb wired & active is common.
    Rendering my photo's during import in lightroom is something that goes much smoother, a whole lot faster and I can type this message at the same time, and work in parallels, and have a dozen other applications open as well.

    One other thing I noticed is that everybody is excited about (buying) the latest MBP or alike, but never talks about EOL products that get a major discount! I bought the the MPB 17" 3.1 hi-res for 1666 instead of 2790 this week.
    I was looking for a 15" cheapest version and got home with a 17" instead. Not bad, considering the 15" would have set me back another 133 euro's!
    Now I upgraded my HD to 320Gb and my memory to 4Gb.
    I think this is much more sensible than having a tiny weenie bit faster processor and Led's instead of the good ol' CCFLs as most 17".
     
  10. futuredave macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2008
    #11

    What is EOL? And how does one get it/them? Thanks.
     
  11. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #12
    EOL is End Of Life which means it is not the latest specs, but a machine that has been on the stores shelf for three or four months.
    Mine was sealed and factory packed when I got it, so it was still really brand new and no problems with a screen that has been blazing in the store for several months (you can also buy demo-models but they have been used by all kind of greasy dirty people hands and the screen has been non-stop on for several months.

    EOL's are only available when there is a new update or a redesign. I bought about the last one that was available and got a serious good deal, but still with all the guarantee and apple care! So wait, search and have a lot of patience, but on the other hand, rumors are there is a new design around the corner, somehwere in the fall. But who knows?
     
  12. Igantius macrumors 65816

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    Apr 29, 2007
    #13
    Yes, that kind of thing does get trumpeted about rather a lot – but the people who say this never can produce the benchmarks to prove it. Here are some (rather old) FCS benchmarks - http://creativemac.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=43717 – hope that’s of some use.

    Going back to PS – it’s been confirmed that it will be much more GPU based in the future, so that might be worth keeping in mind.

    Sorry to be a pedant, but not all of the applications in FCS are GPU-intensive – in fact, it’s really just Color and Motion. The latter two do run on MacBooks – not particularly well, but they are usable although it’s not something I would really recommend.
     
  13. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #14
    I think the diference between a MB and MBP ar rather large, not just the screensize, but also the real life performance and use differs quite a bit.
    My co-worker who does only office applications, writing reports etc. switched to my old MBP15 core duo (no 2!) and just loved the speed it had over the MB he had before. it was faster, more responsive. That is not an objective measurment/benchmark, and I think the 15" screen makes him work much more efficiently. The latter is what makes him think the MBP is much faster where in fact he is just working "better/more efficient".

    As the previous poster said, benchmarking doesn't show a big difference (even 10 or 15% is hard for people to notice) just the GPU heavy things show the big difference. But because most people are using the computer and not taking benchmarks for a living, i think a benchmark is only a few procent of the decission. I think screen size, externa screen size and the need for a GPU (or not) are much more important.

    Ow and CS4 is going to use the GPU much more, but it is IMHO still miles away, so unless you use the MB/MBP for 4 years, it then perhaps would pay to calculate it in the equasion.
     
  14. covisio macrumors 6502

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    Aug 22, 2007
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    UK
    #15
    MacBook vs. MacBook Pro

    You really do have to think about the future when investing your own money into something as expensive as a MB/MBP.
    When I bought my PowerBook, the equivalent iBook was weak. One of the biggest differences at the time was connectivity. I have had my PB nearly 5 years now and there is nothing it technically lacks. It can and does integrate into virtually any system or network. I have it on my wireless network at home and on my gigabit ethernet at work. I hook it up via the DVI connector to a Dell LCD and via an adaptor to a projector. It has Firewire 400 and 800, USB-2, S-Video and a PC card slot - none of these standards have been superceded yet, nearly 5 YEARS LATER! I can run things like SketchUp relatively easily and most Adobe CS3 apps are fine. If I had bought the iBook I doubt if I would be using it now. As the old adage goes, "if you buy cheap, you buy twice".
     
  15. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #16
    Seeing that pic just made me ask the question. Ps only sees 4GB of RAM ?

    I've got 8GB on my MacPro and it shows the same amount 3072.

    So CS3 isn't a 64 bit app..

    It should be since it's a pro app. Adobe needs to get their act together with Macs if they're making a 64-bit version for PC's.
     
  16. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #17
    CS3 is not a 64 bit app. but running with 64bit hardware and 64bit operating system, it can actually use (directly or indirectly) up to 8 gigs of ram. This Adobe Tech Note explains memory usage in OSX with Photoshop CS3:

    http://www.adobe.com/go/kb401089
     
  17. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #18
    Why even mention it? If you look at the minimum requirements for Final Cut Studio, you will see that it expressly states:

    Final Cut Express is compatible with MacBooks with Intel integrated graphics with this disclaimer:

     
  18. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Why even mention it? Because real-world experiences seem to confirm that only Color and Motion really use the GPU.

    The apps are only sold as a suite, so there's no reason for Apple to complicate the system requirements and list different requirements for each app.

    If someone really had little need for Color and Motion, or perhaps just wanted to do some secondary offline editing on a notebook, then a MacBook might do just as fine, especially if someone already had a MacBook. One issue I do know with MacBooks is that the FCP interface takes up more space than the MB screen size (resolution). In any case, the more information that is available the better.
     
  19. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #20
    Well, perhaps at that time, but if you look at the MB/MBP they are sooo close together, yess the outside and the screen differs a lot, and on the inside the MB has only one fan. But when you think inside as in logic board performance and features? well, it doesn't do so bad. At least I think it doesn't do to bad. On the other hand I bought a MBP because I wanted the best, wanted every feature and I wanted a Hi-res. A co-worker bought a MB and upgraded 6 months later to a MBP only because of the 15" and the better keyboard (his opinion (and mine as well)).
    On the other hand 1000 or 1899 makes a lot of difference and if you buy every 2.5 years a MB you can only buy one MBP every 5 years (you save 899 so the 101 is the interest and second hand money from the old one :D)
    it's a though decision.
     
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #21
    I agree, but even the iBook G4 --> PowerBook G4 wasn't that much of a wide gap. Granted, they weren't overlapping like the current ones are, but they weren't that weak compared to the base PB.

    At the time I bought my iBook, the 1.33 GHz model, the PowerBook had a 1.5GHz chip. The biggest difference was that the PB came with Bluetooth installed, had twice the GFX, backlit keyboard, smaller HDD, and had FW800 and a PC Card slot.

    Now, the biggest difference is pretty much the same except that you can get the same amount of HDD space, integrated GFX (not that important unless for games) and the screen is smaller.

    The MacBook actually made the consumer line far more powerful than even the PowerBooks of the previous generation. If you don't plan on using FW800, most don't, or Express Cards, most don't, or larger screen, you can get by just fine with the MB and in some cases do a better job in battery life and portability.

    If it weren't for the screen size, I'd own one, but the 17" HR has gotten me spoiled rotten.
     
  21. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    #22
    So unbelieveable nice to be spoiled rotten :D:D:D
     

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