Replace i7 desktop with 15" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mfbernstein, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. mfbernstein macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    I'm expecting to order a 15" MBP shortly. Ideally, I'd like to be able to replace both of my current machines - a dying Thinkpad (C2D 2.0GHZ) and a Core i7-based (2.8GHZ) desktop - with an MBP.

    The only performance-hungry program I depend on is Adobe Lightroom, which runs fine on the desktop and is essentially unusable on the Thinkpad. I think a big part of the problem is that the Thinkpad is prone to overheating and so frequently downlocks during CPU intensive operations. So I'm wondering how much of a problem heat is with the newer MBPs? Would the fans do a good job of dissipating CPU heat and keeping the CPU cool enough to run at full speed? Does anybody have experience with Lightroom on either the new MBPs or the previous generation, and how they compare to an i7 desktop like the iMac?

    The other thing is that I have a sizable image library (2.5TB) on 2 3.5" SATA drives, that I need relatively speedy and regular access to. Obviously I can't stick them both into the MBP like I've done with my desktop. What is the best option for fast access to 2 or more external drives? On the Thinkpad I was using USB 2.0, which was no fun at all. On the desktop, there's internal SATA. On the MBP though, there's only 1 FW800 port. Would I be better off daisy-chaining the drives over FW800, or splitting them between FW and USB? Are there any alternate means of getting fast external connectivity? Is using an NAS via Gigabit viable?

  2. JimKirk macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2009
    The I7 in the MBPs are dual core only

    You are going to sacrifice performance. Heat is also an issue and these new models will get warm and the fans will get loud.

    If you get the MBP 17 you can get an express card that supports USB 3.0.

    So far no mac drivers. So FW800 would be fastest (You can daisy chain them - I have two hooked up that way).

    NAS will be slower.
  3. mfbernstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I think 17" would be a bit too big for a portable that needs to go a lot of places. A pity there's no EC slot on the 15" model I guess.

    I was thinking that gigabit ethernet might be a fast option, but if the NAS units aren't there, I suppose it doesn't matter.

    Regarding the heat issue, does it get to the point that the CPU downclocks, or is it simply a matter of the machines getting unpleasantly hot to the touch?
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The one thing that the CPU does is utilize a feature called Turbo Boost which automatically increases the multipliers on the cores. Therefore the processor has room for overclocking itself, you should not worry about it underclocking except maybe to save power when on battery.

    Also my computer's fan spins up and cools it off before it becomes unpleasant.
  5. mfbernstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    Okay, good to know. With my ThinkPad, the machine would frequently clock down from 2.0GHZ to 1.6GHZ or even 800MHZ if the temperature reached a certain threshold, which it did (unfortunately) rather often.

    Incidentally, is there a good app for checking your CPU's clock speed/temp./fan speed for OS X?
  6. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
  7. mfbernstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    Thanks, interesting tests!

    However, all of the programs mentioned there are heavily multithreaded, and benefit from the extra 2 cores on the desktop i7 chip.

    Lightroom is my only performance-critical application. In my experience it is not nearly as effective in using all 4 of the i7's cores and on my i7 box, editing will usually saturate only a single core.
  8. harmonica01 macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2007
    imac uses i7 quad core desktop edition
    mbp uses i7 dual core mobile edition

    performance is no comparison to that in the imac, I think you'd regret doing this swap

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