Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

AdamNC

Contributor
Original poster
Feb 3, 2018
509
568
Leland NC
My son is a sophomore and is very much into Photoshop and editing. He is taking classes for both Photoshop and Microsoft certified courses. He has done so well he is hell bent on making a career out of it. So for Christmas I want to to get him a MBP. My absolute budget limit is 2k. What specs would be best. I want it to last into his college years. We went and looked at them and he doesn’t mind the 13 but feels the 15 offers better field of view. Thanks for the input.
 

jerryk

Contributor
Nov 3, 2011
6,971
3,880
SF Bay Area
My son is a sophomore and is very much into Photoshop and editing. He is taking classes for both Photoshop and Microsoft certified courses. He has done so well he is hell bent on making a career out of it. So for Christmas I want to to get him a MBP. My absolute budget limit is 2k. What specs would be best. I want it to last into his college years. We went and looked at them and he doesn’t mind the 13 but feels the 15 offers better field of view. Thanks for the input.

On several counts the 15" might be a better choice. Not only does it have a bigger screen, but also faster processor, dedicated GPU, larger drives, etc.

Of course this all more money. You can watch for sales on the 15" at places like Best Buy and Costco. Otherwise the only way to stay under $2K with a 15" is used or refurbished. And refurbished is not a bad thing. Apple refurbished are like new. Usually you can't tell except the box is plain white. They even give you the same 1 year warranty as a brand new system.

One other question that comes to mind is what sort of Microsoft Certified courses is he taking? And more importantly, do they assume he is using a Windows system?
 

rcianpandacian

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2019
18
5
i would go for the $2500 15 inch macbook pro personally

if i couldnt afford that i would go for the 13 inch theres one for $1300 if he needs more gpu later he could go with a egpu

but the most important thing would be to check with the college or institute or whatever on what they recommend because if theres some windows only program that they use then the only way on a mac would be to run it on a virtual machine and that takes a lot of resources and makes it very slow

if its microsoft certified they're likely to push some windows only software. If thats the case then I would grudgingly get a $1000 predator helios 3000. That thing has a 1660 ti that smokes the 15 inch macbook pro and very good cooling. I wouldn't ever take anything having to do with microsoft however.
 
Last edited:

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,124
As above a windows laptop might be more appropriate (and possibly cheaper), do check exactly what software h red will need in the next few years and buy the most appropriate laptop to run that software. 4K video editing will want a dGPU not found on a 13 inch machine for example. You can run Windows on a Mac and you don’t have to run it as a virtual machine as suggested above (although they are right a VM does split you resources across your OSes and slows them both down) you can run Windows in boot camp and just reboot into whichever OS you want, however you would still have to split the ssd so for a college student running a lot of software you will probably want a 1tb ssd size 500gb per OS. This will push the price up, a lot.
 

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
14,434
10,605
I would also say that a windows machine might be a better fit. You have more choice, so it will be easier to find a compromise that fits within your budget. And if your main software is Adobe Suite, there is no reason to go Mac in the first place.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,055
11,455
Temecula, CA
15 is nicer for photos, I got mine (base model) at Best Buy for 2099 on sale back in Jun and I remember seeing another promo some place for 1999. I would think there will be another 1999 or even less around Black Friday. But 256GB doesn't last long for photos, I have mine on an external 1TB SSD, on my iMac, MBP I only use for mobile work so for me that works, and I can always plug in my external.
if you end up going 13, make sure you get 16GB RAM.
Or as others have suggested, refurb or Windows
 

baypharm

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
1,898
908
Since your son is taking Microsoft Windows courses, I do believe he will be better served into his post high school days with a new surface laptop 3. There are many configurations available within your 2K budget. By using their education discount you can purchase a higher spec machine.
 

AdamNC

Contributor
Original poster
Feb 3, 2018
509
568
Leland NC
I should clarify he is a sophomore in high school. They use Mac and Dells. He has a brand new HP Spectre X360 laptop he bought on his on own with money he saved with his job. He uses that for gaming and his MicroSoft stuff. But he honestly like the Macs better. He wants that for Photoshop, And other editing programs. I am leaning towards this build. I realize I am going over budget but I want my son to succeed in life.
 

Attachments

  • 017B2EDE-F4B8-46F6-922A-11DDA826BD63.jpeg
    017B2EDE-F4B8-46F6-922A-11DDA826BD63.jpeg
    366.2 KB · Views: 78

Howard2k

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2016
3,213
2,450
Don't got for the 1.7. Go for the 1.4 or the 2.4.

The 1.7 is the 1.4 with an upgraded processor, but it still has the slower GPU, CPU, SSD, Wifi, only two ports etc. For that money the 2.4 is a better buy than the 1.7.

The 1.4 is good value IMO, despite the slower performance than the 2.4. But for 1.7 money you can spend just a little more and get all the other improvements.
 

srusty05

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2012
22
11
I am a professional photographer using a MBP. I have a 2017, 16 GB ram,
3.1 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7. For an enthusiast photographer it is more than enough power. It would be enough for the next 3-4 years. I would recommend looking at a reduced priced last year speced 15" MBP, or even a used 2017 top end model. Both would be around your price point. If you want to get a this year model, I would get the 15". Photoshop uses more processor compared to GPU. In fact it wasn't until a recent update Photoshop/Lightroom could use the GPU and CPU together well. If your son is planning on doing some heavy edits, he will need a good CPU, which is on the 15".

This year model: 2.3 8-core Processor (most Photoshop benchmarks don't show much difference between two options, but the 8-core is the better option by far), 16GB ram (Photoshop is a RAM hog), 512GB SSD is enough.

Other things I recommend. A proper external SSD. I'd go with a MVME enclosure and MVME. a Decent online photo course. Figure out what photography interests him. Find a good course. School teachers are amazing resources, but tow teachers are always better than one. Get him an ipad or wacom tablet. If he can learn to use this early, it will be much better for down the road.

A lot of people want to be photographers, but if he wants to get into the industry, good editing skills will set him apart from everyone else. If he has good editing skills, he can make it as a photographer and/or as an editor. I wish I put more effort into learning editing earlier in my career.
 

baypharm

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
1,898
908
I should clarify he is a sophomore in high school. They use Mac and Dells. He has a brand new HP Spectre X360 laptop he bought on his on own with money he saved with his job. He uses that for gaming and his MicroSoft stuff. But he honestly like the Macs better. He wants that for Photoshop, And other editing programs. I am leaning towards this build. I realize I am going over budget but I want my son to succeed in life.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with his X360. It should serve him well for his needs. In many ways Adobe programs run better within the Windows environment. However, I hope you are not pinning your son’s success on a computer platform. May we inquire as to why he purchased a new X360 in the first place if he likes MacOS better?
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,162
1,440
but the most important thing would be to check with the college or institute or whatever on what they recommend because if theres some windows only program that they use then the only way on a mac would be to run it on a virtual machine and that takes a lot of resources and makes it very slow
.
bootcamp... you dont need VM.
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,465
382
Canada
your better off with a macbook air or macbook pro cheap. than buy him a used server fro 500$ he can practice on. you can run 30 vms's on a cheap server easy.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
68,602
36,327
Boston
My absolute budget limit is 2k
that more or less ties your hands, sadly. You'll want a class of machine that will last through the entire school time frame but your buget is on the low end for MBPs, particularly if you want a 15" The 15" gives more computer but I think the general concensus is that a 13" may fit better for college, i.e., fit in backpacks and on classroom desks, etc.

As others stated, you can more computer for less if you opt for a PC.
Here's the three Lenovo laptops that go for a lot less then the MBP. The first is a 15" model, the second two are 14" All but the last have 16GB/512GB configurations.

1572960732694.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: baypharm
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.