MB vs MBP vs Refurb for Photography? :S

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by minneola24, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. minneola24 macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2009

    This will be my first mac ever, I am using it for lightroom/photoshop for photo editing work and web design. I will be using illustrator a little bit for my design as well.

    I was using the macbook pro 13" the $1199 one and it worked just fine! Wasn't too slow or anything, worked great for me. However, I am wondering if I need to spend that much or if I can save a little money and still get similar performance.

    My 3 options:

    Brand spankin' new Macbook Pro

    Refurbished Macbook Pro 2.4 ghz core 2 duo (april of 2010 model)

    Brand new Macbook

    They go down in price each option, I want to save money... obviously. But I don't want to be stuck with an old or a slow machine, but if their similar in speed for what im using the macbook for then Id rather keep the money for something else.

    Thanks for any feedback on what I should choose!

    EDIT: Quick Question! If I hook up my mac to a 24" monitor which I might do fairly often, will this hinder performance? Take this into consideration for my options please! :)
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    No that will not hinder performance. As for which computer I'd go for a refurb MacBook pro. The only difference betweea refurb and new is the cost and the box it comes in so save yourself some money and go with the refurb.
  3. minneola24 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Since I am a college student it is the same price to get a new macbook pro, if I sell my gift card online... So I think the only refurbished option I have is getting last years model.

    Thanks! I just forgot to include that in the OP.
  4. SPBMacintosh macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    go with the new mbp, aswell as a monitor [​IMG] will run perfectly for your photography, unless you're using hundreds of layers in illustrator, every mac will work fine, so it's more screen size/personal preference
  5. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Get the new MBP, use your education discount, and sell the card (if you aren't going to get apps from the App store [I recommend looking around there though, there are some good ones if you look around a little])

    But yea, you'll be getting the SNB processor, but year warranty, and a faster machine. At these prices, if you're buying from an Apple store it's almost a given to go for the SNB processor.
  6. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I'm a photographer and I use a 2010 15" MBP with an external monitor. Although I am using last year model I have zero complaints for performance - I use Photoshop CS5 and Aperture 3.

    I would not use anything with a C2D CPU since the differences for photo editing are significant. I have the first version of iX CPU's, the i5 2.4 Ghz, and it runs 50% faster than my previous 3.06 C2D on an iMac.

    Therefore, I recommend a refurb 15" or perhaps a new 15" from amazon, only $1,699 since you also save about $100 or more on the taxes (depending on what state you live in). I bought mine from Amazon - same warranty as apple. I wouldn't pay the premium and buy new direct from Apple.

    After that you can upgrade the RAM to 8Gb for under $100.

    As for the monitor, once you plug in an external the mac will immediately turn ON you graphics card. It will also do that whenever photo software is open. Since you will be using an external for a lot of your serious work then it is useful to have that dedicated graphics chip. So forget the 13" mac

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