MBP vs MacPro. What to get??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rnava, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. rnava macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2007
    Advise a Newbie.

    Just a simple question, Im putting my feelers out there to see what yall have to say.

    Anyway. Im contemplating getting a new computer. I will be using it primarily for CS4, browsing, office docs etc. The thing is that Im torn btwn

    Mac Pro:
    6GB RAM (which i may upgrade with 3rd prty mem)
    640GB 7200-rpm ATA
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB
    As Priced: $3,198.00


    MacBook Pro:
    4GB 1066MHz RAM (which i may upgrade with 3rd prty mem)
    320GB @ 7200
    no vid card options
    As Priced: $3,217.00

    WHAT TO DO?? How do they compare? I dont know which to get. Also Im planning on getting a 32in 1080p lcd monitor/tv anyway so an external monitor is not a prob. I dont forsee specifically needing something portable as with my previous setup I had a tiny vaio hooked up to external monitor and rarely unhooked it but after a faithful 4 years its dead.

    My main question is which will Feel Faster and which do you think is better suited to a longer lifetime? Im also planning on running VM Fusion and read somthing about upgrading RAM and something about 32/64 bit windows not recognizing a certain amnt of RAM or something (i honestly cant keep up with all the specifics, could someone help clear that up). I dont want to have to deal with breakdowns or slow downs with in the next 1-2 yrs. I personally have always felt that desktops were sturdier, longer lasing machines. What insights do yall have?

    Thnks for reading.

  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    With day-to-day tasks (e-mail, office, web), the speed won't benefit you. What you should be mostly concerned about is what you're using CS4 (casual user vs. power user, small projects vs. big projects). I say that because the 17-inch MacBook Pro will run CS4 just fine (my 2.4 GHz runs perfect, but I'm more of a casual user not using CS4 for a job or anything). If you're going to use the whole CS4 suite, integrate projects within each CS application and render large projects, I would opt for the Mac Pro, if not I would get the MacBook Pro.

    To me, I think the MacBook Pro line does every day tasks and then some (plus the portability doesn't hurt even if you don't plan moving it) so unless your power hungry, I don't see the point in getting a Mac Pro.
  3. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I am facing the exact same dilemma as you are.

    These are the two choices that I've narrowed down as my main machine as well.

    But there a is a problem (to me at least) that keeps me from pulling the trigger on either one of them.

    The 2.26GHz 8 core Mac Pro is about the same price as the 2.93GHz 17" mbp but its MUCH MUCH faster overall in speed. It seems that I'm paying the extra $$ and paying the same amount for a 17" mbp just for the 17" hi resolution TN panel screen with the same speed as a 15" mbp basically.

    I wish I could get both but I dont want to break the bank by paying $5.5-$6k.

    I'm going to wait until Snow Leopard ships, maybe something will change by then (meaning pricing, speed bumps either the mbp or the mac pro) or just see any improvements in benchmarks with SL which would affect my final decision.
  4. HDnut macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2005
    Well I am kicking around what to use as well!! I just sold off my older 2006 Mac Pro via Ebay for a great price. So right now I am using a newer Macbook decked out which does the everyday task and some pro Apps just fine. I have been a Pro user and a casual user for some time, if your doing a ton of rendering DVDs and Pro Apps I would look at the Mac Pro 8 core units or the faster Quad core. The Macbook and Macbook Pro are great for portability and very user friendly don't forget the iMac which are even more powerful now. I think the 8 cores need to come down in price, I had the 2.26 for about 2 weeks but returned it because of a few defects, but now I am thinking about the Quad 2.93 unit or the 2.66 8 Core, but don't want to break the back either.
  5. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I run CS4 on a 2007 MBP 2.16Ghz. Only thing I've upgraded was a couple of cheap 2GB RAM chips (total 4GB). It's very fast, I don't know why anyone would buy the 2.93 ghz MBP for photoshopping... you guys must be doing some massive projects..
  6. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    If you're not gonna be travelling with your Mac, get the Mac Pro.

    Desktops are much more future-proof and powerful. Their internals can be upgraded fairly easily and you're not limited in terms of peripheral displays etc.

    If Apple decides to add Multi-Touch screens to their Macs, the likelihood of being able to make a MacBook Pro compatible is low, whereas with a Mac Pro you could just buy a new multi-touch monitor and upgrade drivers etc.

    It's a lot nicer when you're not limited by built-in features. With a desktop your configuration options are limitless. ;)
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Do you seriously need our help to tell you that the MacPro is considerably faster?

    Its still irrelevant.

    Do you need a laptop or not?
  8. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020


    Mar 11, 2009
    To your left or right
    i pretty much use mine as a desktop replacement. but i do like the option of being able to take it with me. i would say get the laptop because even if you only need to travel with it one or two times a month its nice to have that option.
  9. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    i think he narrowed it down perfectly. beat me to the punch!
  10. kp98072 macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2009
    definately go for the MBP!! I have one 15" and its perfect and powerful. THe power will be great for 99% of the population. Unless you are a hardcore gammer, programmer, graphics designer etc then the MBP is a perfec combination plus you can take it with you and portability IS priceless.
  11. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    It really depends on which component of the CS4 suite you'll be using, and the type of work you might be involved in? Will it be light Graphics for web, small project for print? Or processor and memory intensive Post-production video, with HD content? Do you need portability, mobility, large storage and hardware expansion??

    Are you talking about it's typical graphic suite? Namely PhotoShop, Illustrator, Indesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, FireWorks? Or are you referring to the more processing hungry Premiere Pro, AfterFX, SoundBooth and Media Encoder?

    The outcome will change your decision.. alot!!
  12. James Cole macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    Yeah... it depends on the portability required...
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...I believe both machines are overkill for what you're describing...
  14. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    The real question as others have pointed out is do you need portability because the Mac Pro is not in the same league as a MBP.

    If you're considering a 17" MBP...a desktop replacement, i'd argue that portability is not important for you, in which case just get the Mac Pro. Its also a much more future proof machine as upgrade options are quite extensive

    I'd also suggest you look at the refurb store for a 2.8GHz last gen Mac Pro. As it stands CS4 cares more about clock speed than it does cores. As a result a 2.8 Mac Pro outperforms a 2.26 IIRC. Then again future software (CS5) may change that so...

    As for windows. 32bit versions of windows can't use more than 3GB of RAM, however 64bit versions can. Assigning 2GB should be enough for any VM you run, if you need more then you might as well do Bootcamp. Another plus point for the Pro is that having more than two cores in a system comes in handy for VM use

    The 17" MBP is just waay too overpriced for what you get IMHO. At that price point...just get the Pro. Much more bang for buck. Even more so where portability is not absolutely essential
  15. Subwaymac macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2009
    I would get the MBP, if you dont do gaming all the time theirs no real need for a desktop.
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I have to agree with this comment. For the same price, well actually a bit cheaper the Mac Pro will be MILES faster than the 17" mbp, ability to hold up to 8TB of HDD, 32GB of RAM and put in a much more powerful GPU and or multiple gpu's for multiple monitors.

    If you absolutely have no need for portability then get the Mac Pro desktop but if portability out weighs the Mac Pro's pricing, speed, expandability then by all means go with the 17" mbp.
  17. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    Personally, I would yank the MBP off the shelf.
  18. Brien macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    If you don't need portability, get the Mac Pro. End of story.
  19. TheSVD macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    im sure this has been said many times, but i didnt have time to read the whole thread...

    if you need the portability, get the MBP.
    If you dont need that portability, get the Mac Pro.
    However, if you would like the portability, but actually need the power of the Mac Pro, get that.


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