Need to upgrade from MacBook Pro for photo editing. Need advice.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ramtink, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Ramtink macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    Hi guys...

    So I have a 2.4 dual core MacBook Pro with 4 gigs of RAM and it is the slowest thing on the planet for photo editing. Special when I load cs6 with plugins...

    I need to upgrade so what is the best option for me?... A Mac mini with 8 gigs and a quad core an a solid state hard drive? Or another quad core MacBook Pro?

    Reason I was thinking of the Mac mini was because of its amazing price and portability.

    Also would you know if there is a way to use a MacBook Pro as a monitor to the mini?

    I'm going insane cause I can't work like this I need something ASAP .. Your help is appreciate :)
  2. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    Let me guess: is your MBP from 2007/2008? I have an early 2008 MBP with your specs, and it has gotten painfully slow for working with a large Aperture photo library. I've been researching what to do for the past year. From what others have said, replacing your hard drive with an SSD will significantly speed up operations that involve reading and writing photo data (such as scrolling through a large Aperture library), but won't have any effect on operations that involve processing or RAM (such as applying filters). SSDs have finally dropped enough in price that I've been tempted to get one; for instance, a Crucial 512 GB SSD was on sale last week for $350 with rebate. I hesitated and missed the sale, though. Ultimately, it's probably not worth putting much money into a computer that old, unless a new computer isn't in your budget at the moment and you just want to spend as little money as possible to extend its life another year or so. The next version of OS X probably won't work on an early 2008 MBP, because the 2007/2008 MBP was the cut-off for Mountain Lion.

    The Mac Mini is a great little computer, but I personally wouldn't consider it portable, unless you don't mind also moving around the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, or unless you have multiple setups in different locations. If you don't need portability, then an iMac will give you a lot of bang for your buck for photo editing. If you do need or want portability, then your options are a MBP with Retina, a conventional MBP, or a MBA. Then it comes down to your needs, preferences, and budget. Are you a professional who can justify spending money on the best? Get a 15" rMBP. Are you a serious amateur who wants the best and can afford it? Get a 15" rMBP. Do you frequently use a DVD drive and also want the ability to easily upgrade RAM and storage? Get a conventional MBP, which I suspect will be discontinued in a year or so. Do you want low cost, extreme portability, and a processor that isn't quad core but is still much faster than what you have now? Get a MBA. Do you really need a new computer now, or can you wait until next summer? If you can wait, all of the MBPs and MBAswill be refreshed with the Intel Haswell processor, which will provide better graphics and longer battery life. Do you usually work on an external monitor? Then skip the Retina MBP (unless you have the money) and get one of the cheaper MBPs or MBAs, along with an external monitor. Personally, I'm leaning toward waiting for an 11" Haswell MBA and a Thunderbolt display.

    I don't believe you can use your current MBP's display as an external display for a Mac Mini, but someone no doubt will correct me if I'm wrong.
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Mac mini may be small, but you won't be using it sitting the the woods or on a plane downloading or editing files. So you need to consider if you want a desktop or a laptop. A good laptop, like a new MBP, can replace the desktop...especially when plugged into a nice 24" or larger monitor.
  4. Ramtink thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    thanks Ubele!

    thanks very much.... helpful info...
    if they are planning to upgrade their processors next summer, maybe i must wait BUT i absolutely need some sort of upgrade until then... cause i can't work like this! so i was thinking to upgrade my current macbook to a solid state and up the RAM ... just for now :)

    can anyone tell me where i can find compatible solid state drives and a RAM for my macbook?
  5. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Try and

    You might be able to run 8GB in your macbook, even though Apple officially says it can handle up to 4GB.
    Check the macsales site to see if your macbook can "unofficially" take that upgrade.
  6. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    To the OP: Yes, those are both good places to buy SSDs.

    As for the amount of RAM, an early 2008 MBP officially supports 4 GB, but I remember people saying it actually supports 6 GB, although the Macsales site doesn't mention that. If you have a late 2008 unibody MPB, it might support 8 GB, but you'd need to research.

    I've been debating three different strategies for upgrading to an SSD. I have 260 GB worth of stuff on my 320 GB HDD. Option 1 is to go the cheap route: buy a 128 GB SSD and an external HDD, and put my iTunes and least-used files on the external drive. Option 2 is to ruthlessly purge files until everything will fit on a 256 GB SSD. Option 3, which wasn't really an option until the sale I missed, is to install a 512 GB SSD and later move it to an external enclosure and reinstall the HDD when I'm ready to buy a new Mac. In any of these scenarios, my plan would be to keep my 2008 MBP until it either dies or becomes unusably slow. I still haven't ruled out doing this, but the longer I delay, the less likely I am to upgrade with an SSD. Replacing the drive in the MBP I have is a real pain; I've done it once.
  7. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    i have the late 2008 macbook (not pro). it supports 8gb ram for sure.

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