New MB vs MBP, photography not gaming - please advise!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alt75, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. alt75 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    So 8 months after selling my 2.0GHz MB and waiting for the MBP, I now find myself once again tempted by the new MB.

    My uses - writing, internet and digital photography. I would class myself as a 'serious amateur' - it's purely a hobby but I do take a lot of photos. I do not play any games at all.

    The reason I wanted the MBP was the processor speed and graphics card, but now the MB seems to have closed the gap between the two. Screen size is another factor but not crucial as I can always get a proper external monitor for editing at home. Before the release I was going to get the top end 15" MBP but now the prices have shot up in Australia so I can probably only stretch to the low end 2.4GHz. Which means the only significant differences, as I see it, are:
    - screen size
    - dedicated graphics card on MBP

    I plan to use Aperture 2.0 or Lightroom but haven't decided which yet (I will download both trials and make my decision), and either PS elements or CS4 - again I will trial elements before I decide.

    What I really want to know is will the MB be powerful enough for my purposes, screen size aside? Will the differences in graphics capabilities be significant for the purposes of Aperture/Lightroom and minor photoshop work (levels, dodge/burn etc)?

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Take a look at Aperture vs. Lightroom first.

    If you're going to go with Aperture then you might want something with a more capable GPU.

    What are you using right now then?
     
  3. alt75 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    Thanks, I am actually thinking I'm most likely to end up with Aperture having seen what it can do at an (albeit biased) Apple store demonstration. Problem is I have to buy the computer before I can trial either program!

    I've been backpacking for the last 6 months so have made do with an Eee PC and my GF's MBA with iPhoto, but it's clearly a temporary measure because I hate the limitations iphoto places. Still it's ok for fixing exposure issues at a very basic level.

    I have a LOT (about 20GB) of picture sorting and postprocessing to do when I finally get the new machine!

    BTW the shorter battery life penalty for using the dedicated graphics card is not an issue either, I usually have it plugged in and don't often do extended work away from home. But I do want the flexibility of being able to take it on travels.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    The 2.4 GHz new MacBook looks like a good choice for you then.
     
  5. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #5
    My opinion is that you would be doing yourself a disservice by going with a MB. In future, it seems that more software are unloading processing to the GPU, particularly graphics such as Aperture and Photoshop. I've heard that programs like Aperture run up to 50% faster on the new MBPs over the OLD MBPs, let alone a MB.
     
  6. alt75 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    Hmm...interesting... especially given I am most likely to be most dependent on aperture.

    Argh! Conflicting advice already! I was naively hoping everybody would be in agreement about what I should buy :)

    Thanks to you both, if anyone else has any other input to further confuse me I'd be very grateful...
     
  7. digitalfrog macrumors regular

    digitalfrog

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #7
    I'm a pro photographer and my MBP 2.4 is my main tool for work.

    I went through the same when I was about to buy my first apple laptop a year ago.

    The ONLY reason I went to MPB is that I wanted to have the matte screen. Otherwise the Macbook would have been enough.

    The current version of photoshop for instance does not use the GPU. And they already work fine like this !
    20Gb of pictures is nothing by the way, that what I shoot in one busy day. So no worries.

    If you can live without firewire and the glossy screen, I'd say the high end MB will do just fine !

    I'd add some after market RAM though, 4gb will be a great thing to have.
     
  8. Tarside macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #8
    I am in the exact same situation. It would be nice to know the difference between the mbp and the mb now that it has better graphics. Photoshop Cs4 uses the gpu but how much of an impact does it really have?

    I'm also going to use an external display but i think i will buy the highend mb with 4gb ram, because it is more portable. I think this is better and still cheaper than the mpb!
     
  9. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #9
    CS4 Does use the GPU Check Adobe's site.

    I would get the Pro for the Bigger screen and better Graphics, Firewire also helps for Photographers (Card Readers).
     
  10. interpunct macrumors newbie

    interpunct

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    #10
    did you end up making a choice between mb and mbp? i'm in a very similar situation to you, amatuer photographer, not sure if i should go mb or mbp.

    i have an old ibook g4 right now, so i thought i'd just go for the macbook, but the screen seems kind of weak to me compared to the mbp. :(
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #11
    The previous Macbook Pro refurbished looks like a great deal right now as well.
     
  12. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #12
    I really wish people would stop recommending this computer. There are so few benefits to buying it and it comes at such a high cost that it is probably the worst value for money computer that Apple currently sells.

    The 2.0 is much better value.
     
  13. digitalfrog macrumors regular

    digitalfrog

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #13
    And ? I did perform well without using ANY gpu at all already !
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #14
    I only know of FW800 UDMA Compact Flash readers
     
  15. alt75 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #15
    I haven't bought yet but am going to get the MBP I think. I had a look at the Apple store and I agree, the MBP screen definitely seems better - brighter, clearer - than the Macbook. However the MBP is definitely heavier than I'd like (especially given my computing experience for the last 6 months has been with my gf's Macbook air on my lap, and even more pronounced because the MB is lighter than before) but I think, overall the MBP is more what I need - more screen area, better graphics, hopefully a little more futureproof. And I don't REALLY need to carry it around that much.

    I'm going to wait a while though, but only because I am going home to Australia in November so I can buy one there that has the "@" symbol in the right place...only half kidding. Of course the real reason is so I can get it tax-free which is nothing to be sneezed at given how much these damn things cost! That will also buy me some time to see what problems (if any) people are having with it.

    I had a play with the 2.53GHz one at the Apple store on Regent st. Lightning fast compared to the MBA (...surprised?!), I wonder how much slower the 2.4GHz will be. I can't really see it being worth the extra AUD$800, but then part of me thinks, well I'm going to be upgrading the RAM anyway, which I won't have to do with the higher end one, which decreases the difference between the two. And then I'm spending this much already so maybe I should just max it out and get the 2.8!!

    This is why I always have no money.

    So my sensible, but less fun plan (for now) is:
    • 2.4GHz MBP
    • 4GB RAM
    • Still deciding whether the 7200rpm 250GB upgrade is worth $80. Thoughts?

    But in the meantime I will wait and see what the forums are saying before I order it in a couple of weeks. The main thing I want to see is about overheating. The MBA drives me crazy because the vents are placed on the bottom so if you use the thing on anything but a solid surface it overheats.
     
  16. alt75 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    Yes, that is even more sensible.

    Problem is, I have this thing........ I like sleek shiny things and I've resisted getting the MBP for over 6 months now while waiting for the new ones so it feels a bit silly to buy one of the old ones now, although I take your point about value for money, matte screen etc... (although according the the refurb store I "may get matte or glossy screen" without a say in the matter). I just think (and have thought for the last year or so) that it is looking kinda dated.

    Your suggestion is much too sensible, I reject that idea :)
     
  17. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #17
    I'd just the Pro if you have the Money, it's bigger screen and more powerful GPU will Help out in Aperture or Lightroom. More Aperture though.
     

Share This Page