Replace laptop - which one?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jimmybcool, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. jimmybcool macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Hi all,

    I currently own a number of Apple products.

    27 inch iMac 3.06 Ghz late 2009
    An even older 21 inch iMac
    Macbook Pro (retina) mid 2012
    And a smaller older iMac in my home in Thailand.

    Between all my iMacs I have about 400G of music and pictures I want to consolidate and keep in one place. I would rather not do the iCloud thing.

    The Macbook is beginning to show some display problems. Flickering and stuff. Refresh usually fixes it but I suspect it's on the way out and really all my computers have had multiple software upgrade and its a mess.

    I am considering the following. Buying a single laptop of some kind with a large enough hard drive for all my stuff, and putting displays on the various desktops where I want to use it instead of separate computers everywhere.

    Does this idea merit consideration? If so, which laptop? The buyers guide recommends against the Macbook pro and the Macbook Air might not be powerful or have large enough storage for my needs?

    I'm open to ideas and want to do this better going forward to eliminate the multiple databases and programs on different platforms. Oh, needs are:

    Desktop in office - internet surfing.
    Music room - Pro Tools, internet surfing, music
    Thai - same as music room
    Laptop - I never really needed this much once the iPad came along.

    Occasional Excel/Word. Possible photo manipulation and storage.

    Seems pretty low end needs when I actually write it out. And it seems the Macbook Air does all I need. Including using an external keyboard, mouse and monitor. Am I missing something or is this too underpowered?

    Thanks for all advice. I may not heed it (well, it's me I'm sometimes bull headed) but I will appreciate it even though. :)
  2. jimmybcool thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    OK, maybe too wide open a question.

    I am considering a Macbook Air 13 inch with the added processor and memory upgrades at $1749 on the Apple website.

    I am assuming this will be faster and as good a picture as my current Macbook Pro (Retina mid 2012) with 2.3 G Intel Core i7.

    If I offload all my music library to an external drive I really don't need much storage at all. Kind of a PITA to figure out how to centralize all my photos but I'll work on that.
  3. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    I wound up buying into iCloud. It finally synced all my photos so now I'm going to test organizing and editing them. I bought a new Macbook 12". I have so many photos and I'd like to do a nice photo/video slideshow with photos from last year. I'm hoping I can use iMovie to make something nice, but like you, I had to first confront the whole centralized storage thing. Sadly I could not find many good ways to go about this and the kicker was that if I did not do iCloud but only imported the photos, I could not rearrange and organize 8000 pictures from my iPhone...I needed a way to do that from my Macbook. Plus if I removed the photos to make more space, my shared photo albums would be wiped out (I think).

    As for what machine you should get, avoid the MBA - it does not have a retina display. Believe me, you want a retina display.
  4. imaccooper macrumors regular


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    Seems as though the new 13 in MacBook Pro would be great for you. With that said a ridiculous amount of fuss has been made over the impending sky lake refresh so there has to be at least something to it. If your looking to make a purchase immediately, I think the 13 in MBP would do nicely for you. If everything is still working and you are going to wait to purchase then it might be a good idea to wait until June to see what news comes out on new MacBooks.

    General comments on your proposed setup.

    I think you will like having a single computer with everything there. Cloud storage is nice for many people but if your not interested then a large ssd and a good external drive will do virtually the same thing.

    I would recommend buying at least one good external monitor. That will give you the desktop feeling when needed.
  5. jimmybcool thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Thanks. I think I'm postponing the new laptop for now. I will first figure out how to sync all my photos and clean up that database and then offload it to external drives. After that, and perhaps when the newer laptop is released I'll go forward with the next generation and external monitor etc.

  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013

    Network attached storage is your answer all your computers synced back to the same Storage device.
  7. jimmybcool thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Yeah. I just need to learn how to wirelessly aim all the various computers in the house to the same database. Probably easy I just haven't made the effort yet.
  8. happygodavid macrumors regular


    May 14, 2007
    Northern Virginia
    My two cents w/o knowing more of your needs/budget (and based on the current line-up):
    Since it appears you'll be using your computer in multiple environments, I'd recommend a laptop. Because you use Protools, I'd recommend a MBP with a dedicated graphics card (as it takes the strain off the CPU). I would start with the $2500 15" MBP, or if that's more than you want to spend, the $2000 15" MBP, then the 2.9Ghz 13" MBP... etc. Avoid an Air if you're wanting to use Protools. It will function, but it won't be great, especially if you ever plan on using plugins. If you're not in a hurry, consider saving a little more cash, waiting on the next-gen MBP, and going for the lowest model with a dedicated graphics card. That DGC makes a world of difference when using music software. Although, I currently have Ableton running on a 2009 Macbook... it "works," but man, it sure does run like a dream on my new "Ultimate" MBP w/ DGC. Basically, everything you want to do will likely be just fine on any Mac; it's just a matter of how screaming fast you want it to be.

    All opinion, of course! Happy shopping. :)

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