Need buying advice (Photographer/Webdesigner)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rhendera, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Rhendera, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    Rhendera macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Hello Everyone,

    I have always been an avid windows-fangirl, I build them myself and configure a lot of parts on Windows, and was never really interested in Apple :eek:

    Now my husband got a rMBP from his work, and he took it home for the weekend...... BAD idea haha, I absolutely love the OS and the way how it works, I always hated touchpads and I adore the touchpad the rMBP has.

    So now this little devil on my shoulder is telling me I need one - and the search begins to the model that's right for me - and that's where you guys come in!

    I am an (amateur) Photographer and Web designer, and a occasional gamer. I work in 3D programs for fun and do the occasional video-editing.

    Now I mostly work at home, but I am a 'small' woman and I don't take too well to carrying heavy stuff around - so the macbook shouldn't be too heavy (although from what I read everywhere even the MBP isn't that heavy, especially compared to windows laptops) so I'm still undecided between 13" and 15"

    Now it'll mostly be used at home, at the nearby Starbucks (5min walk away) or my friends house - and sometimes in the field when photographing things (Average of 3 ~ 7 hour trips)

    Should I wait for the Haswell processors to come to the Macbooks or do you guys think I'd be fine on the current versions? I'd also like to keep the price down as much as possible (Holy *beep* these things are expensive! :eek: )

    TL: DR - What Macbook would you advice for a photographer/webdesigner/gamer/3d modeler that's easy to carry around - and should I wait for the Haswells (more expensive) or would I good with the current gen? and what size would you reccomend for this kind of work? 13" or 15"?
  2. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    You will be fine with current models, and if you are looking to save a bit of money, check out their refurbished section:

    Screen size is a matter of personal preference. My first laptop was 12" - back when they were 4x3 aspect ratio instead of 16x10, and my current MBP is 15" - I'd never go back to a smaller laptop and feel cramped when I have to use my partner's 13" on rare occasions. It's a little heavier, but nothing too dramatic. The retina model especially is heavier than it looks - it's so skinny that you kind of don't expect it to be so hefty for its size.

    If you do video editing you will appreciate a built-in SSD. Editing a video project stored locally on the internal SSD is significantly less painful that from an external drive (no matter how fast it is nominally), or a built in hard disk. If you opt for a non-retina mac, you can still have an SSD inside, and I think it's more than worth it.

    Other than that, get as much RAM as you can comfortably afford, and have fun!
  3. Miguel Cunha macrumors 6502

    Miguel Cunha

    Sep 14, 2012
    Braga, Portugal

    If you're on to video editing, 3D, photography which are very demanding tasks I advise you to by (r)MBP 15", since the 13" don't have discreet GPU cards to speed processing, specially in video editing and 3D.

    Also I would by the 15" rMBP, because it has SSD discs - faster, more enduring - and a better GPU.
    Or you could buy the MBP plus external USB 3 or ThunderBolt drive (SSD, or at least 7200 RPM) to store your media files.

    At work, I have an 21.5" iMac with internal HDD @ 5400 RPM and USB 3 HDD @ 7200 RPM external drive it works fine with 1080p video.
    Of course, a SSD would be better.

    See how much you can afford or are willing to pay.
    Remember, that HDD @ 5400 RPM for your media, are not suitable for your needs.

    If you little devil on your shoulder tells you that you need it for yesterday, don't wait; if not you should wait for the Haswell version that promise to have a more efficienct CPU, lower power consumption and thus your battery will last longer.

    I hope this helps.
  4. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    A note about storage. Although an external drive is not as good as a built in SSD for actual work, you don't have to get the biggest SSD possible if the funds do not allow it. Just load up the projects you are currently working on onto the SSD, and leave the archived data on the cheaper external drive. Best of both worlds.
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Good advice above, especially themumu.

    The trick with the refurbished section is to be patient. Products are constantly being added, and deleted. Spend some time watching it obsessively for the product you may want. You will get a feel for when the good deals happen. Have an Apple ID already set up and ready to go so that you can 'pounce' on the good deal. They don't last long.

    Refurbished products sold by Apple are 'as good as new'. No nicks or blemishes; they carry the same warranty coverage; you can extend with Apple Care on the same terms.

    As a long time Windows user, when you get your system you are going to be tempted to 'fiddle under the hood' and to add little applets to add functionality. Don't. At least not until you really really know what you are doing. Apple doesn't want you to fiddle, and they don't spend any time making sure that their systems stay stable after being 'optimized'. (Whether or not Apple should support these is a philosophical one, and has been debated elsewhere). But whether or not you like it, Apple doesn't support these personalizations and more often the system starts to crash. If you want stable ... leave it alone. At least for awhile until you get used to it. I'm not saying that the OS is perfect... just that I like my systems to be stable. I know what I'm talking about, I am reformed fiddler myself :) .

    Good Luck.
  6. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    If you can wait.....

    wait for the Haswell refresh. Better battery life and better graphics management when added can make a difference. About 13 or 15-inch, I would go with the 15-inch, just because screen real state is useful when working with a myriad of palettes and menus......Just my two cents......:D

  7. Rhendera thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Thank you all so much :) I guess I'll be going for the 15" Retina - now lets hope I can be patient enough to wait for the Haswell processors, I was really hoping for an announcement yesterday, but no luck... Do you guys know how long it usually takes between announcement and release on macbooks?
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    If you need the computer now, just buy it. There is always something better that is about to be announced.

    With that said... check the Buyer's Guide (handy link is at the top of the page). It actually says to wait too, and gives a maybe-kinda-rumoured release date of September. Keeping mind that we are already well through that month.

    Also, Apple will probably soon 'freeze' the line-up of devices it sells. Generally speaking, once we are into the fall Apple won't release anything new because it plays havoc with their Christmas lineup logistics. All of the marketing materials, shipping commitments, etc etc are being finalized. Then they take what they have into the New Year. Their fourth quarter is always their best for sales - so they won't complicate things for themselves by introducing anything new.

    But keep an eye on the refurb store... always good deals coming and going.
  9. JBunkers macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2008
    In the middle
    Be aware of limitations

    Keep in mind that with the Retina MacBook Pro you can NOT upgrade anything inside, so you'll want to order it with 16GB of RAM and as much storage as you can afford.
  10. Rhendera, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    Rhendera thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area

    I don't **need** it right now, I would really really LIKE it right now... ;) But I know I'm going to regret it if I buy it hastily now and a better version is around the corner.

    I'm going to try my best to wait until the October release, but after that I don't know yet. :confused:

    Yeah I figured that out. Was going to go with 16GB anyway, my current windows machine runs on a haswell i7, 16GB DDR3 1666 RAM and a 256GB Boot-SSD (I put it together myself) so I know about those specs and my wants & needs.

    Thanks for the good advice though! :D
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    That is a really good point. You'll need to consider on the RAM to max it out so that it lasts over the long haul (newer apps that can really exploit more RAM).

    Also, consider the fact you can dual boot if you really need any Windows applications or check into virtual Windows via Fusion, Parallels etc.

    I like OSX but not crazy about the fact it is held hostage by Apple hardware. It is for many a small price to deal with.

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