Need prefessional advice from owner: Is 13" enough to use Adobe CS5/CAD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rk25123, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. rk25123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #1
    Hello everybody,
    I want to buy a MacBook Pro, but I don't know wich size.
    I'm choosing between the 15" and the 13". I'm leaning towards the 13" 'cause of its portability. I won't buy it until they upgrade it to the new Core i processors though (don't need it immediately), 'cause I'm waiting for a 13" comparable to that one: http://www.sony.it/product/vnp-s-series/vpcs12v9e-b
    If they won't produce something like this (with maybe a bit more pixels) in the next upgrade I'll go for a 15" or for the Vaio.
    I'd always bring it around with me, that's why 13" is so attractive. For heavy work I already have a Mac Pro with big displays, but I want to be able to use Adobe CS5 and CAD programs when I'm away from the Mac Pro. Is 13" enough for working with these programs?
     
  2. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #2
    CPU and GPU wise, yes. Unfortunately, the screen on the 13" is a pain for using photoshop. Not nearly enough vertical resolution to do any sort of meaningful editing.
     
  3. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I agree, for the creative suite, I'd go for a 15" or 17"
     
  4. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #4
    Hello-
    I own a June '09 Revision 2.53GHz 13" and I personally use CAD and Adobe CS (Albeit CS3) on my unit quite often, if not daily.
    Photoshop runs great, and the screen is fine, unless you are dealing with multiple objects and large layers that exceed the resolution of the screen. With CAD, it runs fine too, for day to day architectual design work, although I would reccomend a mouse :) (Although i've recently started liking the trackpad)
    I have the Adobe CS3 Design Premium on my Mac, and I use every program that comes with it (well aside from Device Central and Bridge) My MacBook can run it amazingly, and when i'm at my desk, it still runs both CAD and CS very well on my 23" 1920x1200 cinema display.

    If you have the extra money, go for the 15" but the 13" will work fine, especially if you use an external monitor while at home. Personally, I love my MacBook, and the only thing I regret about it is the old graphics card, as I occasionally do some moderate gaming. There is also not that much performance difference between the Core 2 Duo and i series of processors, especailly if you are just using these programs. I notice no speed difference between my macbook and the last gen 27" i5 iMac I use for CAD when not using my MacBook. If you can manage to wait, though, then i'd reccomend it, as for all we know the next gen will have dedicated graphics, as Apple is running out of options with the Nvidia-Intel lawsuit.
     
  5. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #5
    A lot of people do run Adobe CS on 13" screens with no complaints. On the go it's okay, an external 22-24" monitor to go with the 13" is a good solution.
     
  6. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #6
    You can fill the 13" just with your toolbox.

    I'd go with the high res 15" or higher.

    Otherwise just get an external monitor
     
  7. rk25123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2010
  8. rk25123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #8
    Kinda confused, some say I could use CS5/CAD flawlessly, some that it would be almost impossible. Is the truth somewhere in the middle? Heavy work would take place on a Mac Pro with large displays, I would only want to be able to fairly use those programs while away from it.
    Thank you all for your advices.
     
  9. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #9
    Computing power wise the 13" can handle photoshop just fine. It's the screen resolution that makes it a not-so-great experience
     
  10. Charlie Croker macrumors member

    Charlie Croker

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    #10
    I use my Macbook Pro 17" with Photoshop and that is the smallest I like to work on. After that, it's either 24"/27"/30" only. I would only find a 13" acceptable for light design work and minor changes whilst travelling. It does sound like you only want to do basic stuff in transit so why not get the 13" if you use a MacPro back at base? The only other sensible alternative is the 13" with an external monitor.
     
  11. rk25123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #11
    That's right, I would use those programs (Adobe CS5/CAD) for minor things only while away from the MacPro. I don't need to have more than one program displayed (I'd use Exposé and Spaces), I'm just wondering if it's possible to decently use Adobe CS5/CAD on a 13" 1280X800. A 17" is no option since when I travel I bring with me Digital SLR, optics and lots of other stuff. A 15" 1440X900 would make much difference? But then again the 15" misses the portability I'd have with the 13".
     
  12. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #12
    it's going to come down to personal preference, that's it. Are you simply going to be adjusting image settings like brightness, contrast, etc. in CS5? Changing simple properties or reviewing designs in CAD? The 1280x800 resolution will be fine for this. But if you need to see pictures in full detail or have multiple toolboxes open, you're going to run out of space quick.

    Try it for yourself and see what you think. Change the resolution of your current screen to something similar to the 13" MBP. See if you can work with it.
     
  13. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #13
    The truth is it's perfect, or impossible, it just depends on what you do.
    For instance, you could be running simple CAD design, or reviewing prospective plans, which is what I mainly do on my 13"

    If you want to design a 7000 sq ft. building, i'd say go for something else.
    For a deck, ect., or simple one to three room designs, the 13" is perfect for me, especially since I don't use it for my profession, just as a hobby. (Whenever I need to design anything that might be useful to me)
    I was trained to use CAD years ago on a 1400X900 monitor, with complex projects, so i'd say if you're planning on building the next empire state building, buy a 15" at least.

    However, if you're like me and will only use it for light work, the 13" is fine. I do remove some of the toolbars of course (key commands are king, same thing with photoshop)

    The last project I did was just for fun I created a floorplan of my 2800 sq. ft. house, to review ways I could arrange my furniture, and the 13" was perfect, and I could not complain.

    Photoshop wise, I always edit my Desktop Wallpapers to say This computer is Property of Matt Gartner (Myself) For a regular 1280x800 sized background, it's perfect. Anything more than 1440x900 and I'd go with a bigger screen, the 15" high-res.
     
  14. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #14
    Is the 13 inch good enough for CS5...

    yes? No? Maybe?

    D. Need more information

    What is "heavy" work that you do on your mac pro? What is "light" work that will be done on the 13"? What version of CS5 are you using? Are you just using one application? Do you have a master collection license, and you plan on using each and every application in the suite concurrently while on the go?

    Do you just want to be able to each application seperately and maybe a small document (i.e. in photoshop perhaps a small composition with a few layers or just review some footage in bridge or something).

    I'd help if you offer more information. Individuals come here on the regular asking if the 1x" macbook pro will be able to handle apps like photoshop, without even having used the software (like students)! Not saying this about you, but heavy/light type terms are very subjective.

    btw I carry around a 17" MBP along with a nikon dslr, 2 lenses, power cables, external g-tech drive, snacks, maps etc all in one Kata bag. The 13" is very portable but the 15" and 17" are only slightly larger in size.
     
  15. rk25123 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 17, 2010
    #15
    I have a MC licence and use mainly Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Lightroom for hi-res design work with lots of layers and photo editing. I use CAD programs for 3D models of big buildings. That's the heavy work I do on the Mac Pro. On the 13" I'd need just to be able to check the work I've done on the Mac Pro and maybe apply some minor changes while away from my main workstation. I don't need it to be a comfortable experience, since I'd be doing that very rarely on the MBP. I just need it to be possible. I don't need more than one program displayed at a time (I could use Spaces and Exposé if I need). I'd bring it always with me, sometimes I'd walk all the day with it and a digital SLR (and optics, etc.) in my bag so the more portable, the better.
     
  16. pasdesilence macrumors newbie

    pasdesilence

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #16
    It depends on your eyes.

    Your personal attention to detail and comfort level with the smaller screen will set the stage for what's most comfortable for you. Honestly for anything professional, i'd urge you to invest in a 15" high res or a base 17" model. I just loaded CS5 onto my 17" and I agree, the Toolbox in Photoshop is enough to fill a 13" screen at it's highest resolution. Not to mention, the Graphics card will be better in the 15" or 17".
     
  17. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #17
    I concur. Running it is no biggie, just the resolution that makes it a pain...eats up most of your screen, even if the dock is hiding :/
     

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