New 15" MBP - To go High or Low end?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SteveSwish, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. SteveSwish macrumors newbie

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    Oct 26, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys. Ive been a long time follower of Macrumors, but this is my first post. I searched for a similar article for a little bit, but couldnt find a definitive answer.

    Im a Filmmaker and design student so I use FCP as well as the full Adobe Collection very often. So, im wondering if its worthwhile for me to get the high end version of the new 15" MBP ($300 more with student disc) for the slight processor and gfx bump. Ive got about 3 more years of school and a long career ahead of me... so im also considering if I need to buy this laptop to last me a while or if I should go low end and expect to replace it sooner.

    Any suggestions as to which might be a better option?


    Also, a lot of people have been telling me to wait to upgrade the RAM later if I feel I need it. Can that be done outside of apple at a cheaper cost?

    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Wattser93 macrumors regular

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    Sep 6, 2010
    #2
    If you have to get a laptop and need it to do all that, at least get the high res screen on the 15". I'd recommend the 17" though for the screen space. I wouldn't expect to buy a laptop and get 4 years of video editing out of it. Generally, power users need to replace their equipment more often than that, simply because of how demanding video editing (especially HD) is.

    If you don't need a laptop, a 27" iMac would be a good alternative, offering a much larger screen (in size and resolution) and would be significantly more powerful.

    RAM can always be added on your own. I added RAM to my 13" MBP and it's extremely simple. Simply open the case, pull the tabs securing to the RAM to the side to release the RAM, pull out the RAM, and put the new RAM in. Easy as that. My instructions are more difficult to read than swapping the RAM is.
     
  3. SteveSwish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 26, 2011
    #3
    Oh yeah I know that Im getting the high res for sure. The 17 is just too big for me to transport on set for dailies and stuff (I often use the Red One, and possibly Red Epic soon which are Raw 4k files). Plus I can use the displays in our labs if I need a bigger screen.

    You said that I wouldnt get that much life out of it though... Does that mean you reccommend that I get the high end to future proof myself a little more?
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #4
    Honestly, either will work very well. I'd say just go with the lower end though. It's the same as the old high-end just minus some video RAM, which doesn't really matter a ton unless you're gaming. If money isn't a huge deal, the high-end could speed up renders a little bit, but isn't that huge of an upgrade.

    Definitely upgrade RAM 3rd party. It is about 75% less than what apple charges.

    As far as longevity, maybe the higher end one will last a tiny bit longer, but with how absurdly powerful these new computers are, you really should be able to get a few years out of it, at the minimum, enough to easily get you through school. These MBPs are more powerful than the original Mac Pro, and even some of the 2nd gen models, which people still use for editing. I really wouldn't worry about having to replace it soon.
     
  5. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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    #5
    low end. its the best bang for your buck, in otherwords has better value for what ur paying for. 512mb GDDR5 is plenty for you
     
  6. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

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    #6
    Hey SteveSwish! Great to see another fellow filmmaker on here.
    Red Epic. Wow. I'm looking at a 7D+Arri kit basically because I'm a wedding & events photographer too, more than my design work.

    Anyway, I too am looking at a 15". Before, it was simple to overlook the 6490M since they were useless in terms of video work. It's become a little harder though, but especially if you're running additional displays - the 6770M will definitely shine. I'm going that route - putting the $300 that some pay for the 17" towards a 24" Dell IPS which I'll bring with me half the time anyway.

    Not sure bout your setup but I use a team member's MBA to live-import footage right now, where I use airdisplay/other apps to wirelessly view a monitor feed with iPads / iPhone / iPod Touch - it works a charm.
     
  7. Wattser93 macrumors regular

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    #7
    When you said that you use Adobe very often I'm assuming you'll want to upgrade soon than four years. Spending a bunch of time waiting for rendering is no fun when you're trying to get your job done. A MBP would be nice to have, but if you don't need portability, I'd recommend a desktop for the raw power. A laptop is nice for mobility, but a desktop is king when it comes to computing power and bang for buck.
     
  8. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

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    #8
    6770M runs at a higher clock than the 6750M. Considerably quicker although it's definitely possible to overclock. The Video RAM would definitely come in handy when running multiple displays (to my knowledge anyway).

    In all sense of practicality, my Late-06 MacBook is more than capable in many ways. It's absurd how people think their Early-11 MBPs are slow when pretty demanding users like me are able to extract something out of what is deeemed ancient tech.

    Remember there are things MBP achieves which MP can't, and vice-verse. Don't expect a RAID card and simultaneous writing to four hdds sorta thing. and with 4k... a big ask for your storage ;)
     
  9. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #9
    I'm aware that the 6770 is faster, but chances are it's not going to make much of a difference. It may with games, but from what I understand, Adobe stuff doesn't make great use of the GPU anyhow.

    You also don't need a high end video card to run multiple displays. I run dual displays off of my integrated 9400m with 256MB. Again, wouldn't be ideal for gaming, but for most uses, it's perfectly fine.
     
  10. SteveSwish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 26, 2011
    #10
    So the .2 ghz cpu and gfx bump will just decrease rendering time by a few minutes? Im really only worried about lag or programs slowing down on me because of computing power when im trying to work quickly.
     
  11. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #11
    In that case, the low end is perfect. 200MHz is not much at all these days, and would basically only speed up rendering just a little bit. You probably will want to get an 8GB RAM upgrade after you buy the computer though, that will help with multitasking.
     
  12. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

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    #12
    I doubt filmmakers come into 'most users'. Unless he's a field director or actor or otherwise, I'd understand his needs to be quite demanding.

    Of course - your 9400M is more than adequate. The GMA950 i'm working on suffices for all of my leisure work and for 'most users' it really is more than enough.

    The other thing is Adobe. But outside of Adobe, there'd be other GPU-intensive tasks. I know for one thing I'm selecting the 6770M - I run my machines right to the end (aka the gaffer tape holding a piece of my carbonate chassis together) and I'd probably advise others to do the same.
     
  13. SteveSwish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Anyone have a good site for RAM?
     
  14. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

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    #14

    Wouldn't have much of an idea if you're in America. Newegg or OWC/Macsales are all I know and they sound reputable.

    Hit up some Crucials - if you're going for hte higher-end 15", you can look at 1600MHz modules as opposed to 1333.
     
  15. tears2040 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #15
    I am 100% certain that the current MBP is more powerful than many of the computers that were used for editing in some of your favorite movies....

    OP, get a low end MBP and you will be fine. As a student it is pointless to be working with 3k files and above as nothing on the internet can play such a file.

    Those files are reserved for film projectors..... All of your red footage from the 1 or even epic can just be transcoded to pro res 444 in final cut pro and just use in a 1080p time line.
     
  16. SteveSwish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 26, 2011
    #16
    Thanks guys. I think Ive decided to opt for the low end 15" with Hi Res Glossy screen. Then, im going to use the extra cash for an 8GB RAM upgrade and a 1TB Little Big Disk Thunderbolt HDD.

    Any objections?

    EDIT: I agree with you Tears but as for 4k files you have to think about Film Fests and such where presentation is everything ;)
     
  17. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

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    #17
    If you're going to be using your mac mostly in a studio or indoors, glossy is good. If you're gonna be outside though, monitoring or feeding text/script via your Mac, you might want antiglare (less IQ but actually visible outside)

    I guess if you have budget constraints, buy the lower end model first and run everything. If it's not right, you'll have 14 days to return (and possibly upgrade).
     
  18. tears2040 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I'm more than sure that without a good script, actors, lighting, story etc. that 4k is not going to make your movie better than if it were shot in 1080p or even 720p .
     
  19. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    The 6750 isn't much worse than the 6770, I don't feel the extra 0.5GB of video RAM to be a huge difference in GPUs of this class. The 6770 is faster and I've overclocked my 6750 to be faster than the 6770 anyway. I'm not suggesting overclocking as a substitute and it might just be me but I'm reluctant to pay more for the same silicon set at a different speed.

    The 0.2ghz difference between the CPUs isn't too significant, but the lower end model misses out on AES-NI acceleration and VT-D support. Not many programs support either in OSX.

    I think the mid range model was the one to get earlier this year(lol, I got one) but now it seems like the entry level 15" is the better value.
     

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