switching to a single comp.. 17" MBP. Foolish Idea?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Obsidian6, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #1
    Let me preface this thread with the statement this is purely hypothetical for the time being. I'm only thinking about it.

    I currently have a 2.33Ghz 15" MBP and a 2.66Ghz Mac Pro. My workflow is 95% professional photography, and now I'm dabbling in video (FCP). As of late, and for the foreseeable future I have been, and will be traveling quite a bit.

    My macbook pro still gets the job done, but it IS starting to show some "gray hairs" if you catch my drift. I've upgraded it as much as you possibly can so it will not be getting any faster (unless snow-leopard makes things run better)

    My mac pro is still a very competent machine with plenty of room for upgrades, but unless I'm at home, it doesn't see a lot of use truthfully.

    I was toying with the idea of getting one of the new 17" MBPs w/ the anti-glare screen, the 3.06ghz processor and the 500gb 7200rpm drive. (I would live with 4GB ram until 8GB becomes significantly cheaper).

    I have a 23" cinema display at home, and external drives, and all that good stuff, so in essence I would just dock it and be up and running.

    The only downsides I can piece together in this little thought of mine is: 1- limited hard drive space. 2- 17" notebooks are not plane friendly (my first mac was a 17" powerbook, and I remember all too well how not fun that was to use on a plane) 3- well.. there is no 3 I can think of.

    I'm interested in hearing both sides. Again this is very hypothetical, but if I really like the idea I may go through with it.
     
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #2
    Why not get the 15in Macbook Pro with the 3.06GHz processor? Did you add a SSD to your current Macbook Pro? A SSD would definitely make it faster.
     
  3. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    MA
    #3
    I once considered going 17" by itself, but I'm pretty happy with my current setup. (15" PowerBook with a 17" iMac)

    Albeit I am somewhat limited by my budget, the larger screen for portability allows me to still work with my photos on the run, and not have to struggle to work with larger material and read web pages a bit easier.

    I dabbled with my EEE PC, which proved to be sort of a novelty with its 7" screen and tiny keyboard. It has it's uses, but is just too small for me.

    I'm thinking once I get some decent cash flow, I'll likely replace my aging PowerBook with a 13" MBP. I like the full-sized keyboard and can't really live without one (i have really big hands)
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #4
    I fear that you will miss the Mac Pro, most people seem too... The 15" and an upgrade to the Mac Pro sound like a slightly better idea, although no matte screen, Colorware here we come?
     
  5. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #5
    True, the 15" would be 300$ cheaper, but no anti-glare (kind of important to me.) I also rather like the idea of a mobile 1920x1200 display.

    No I have not purchased a SSD for my macbook pro, I don't find them economically priced yet, nor do they have the space I need at a price I can afford. I purchased a Western Digital Scorpio 320gb 7200rpm drive (cost me just under $100) and that made a very noticeable improvement.

    Like I said it's not hindering my workflow just yet, it's probably got at least until the end of it's Applecare term in it (Feb 2010).

    If I were to upgrade my mac pro farther, I could purchase more ram (I have 9GB right now) additional hard drives, and I could upgrade to the ATI 4870 GPU.

    It's a tough call really. I just don't know if having 2 computers makes a whole lot of sense for me right now.

    How do you decide these things lol!!

    (FTR - If anything else fails on my mac pro (it's had a wealth of problems) I will be getting a replacement unit, so that potentially is a factor as well. It's working fine now, but it's had a whole laundry list of replacement parts.)
     
  6. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

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    Chicago
    #6
    for photography the glossy screens are better are they not?

    the glare is a possibility but the colors are richer, or so i've read.


    either way those 17" mbp's are completely sweet and would probably be more than ample. The resolution is insane! A LOT more space to work with than even the 15"
     
  7. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #7
    I'm right now in the process of doing exactly what you're doing. Selling the Mac Pro and Macbook Pro tomorrow (hopefully).
     
  8. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #8
    IMO, the colors shown on a glossy screen are inaccurate. Since the OP is a professional photographer, accurate color depiction would be important. OTOH, movie people would appreciate glossy more.
    Regarding the OP's question on hard drive space for the MBP 17": At home, you can set up an external hard drive system.
    For example, I keep my videos, MP3s, photos, etc. on a Drobo. In addition, I also have another external hard drive should the Drobo fail. This stores vital files that I can't afford to lose. I have been contemplating the idea of putting it in an off site location.
    Assuming you don't mind the weight, you can tote along an external 1.5 TB drive when you travel.

     
  9. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #9
    Nope, they are definitely worse. Apart from the more/less saturated color discussion, it's just a pain to work on dark photos on a glossy display.
     
  10. tim100 macrumors 65816

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    May 25, 2009
    #10
    the notebook and desktop are just about the same size. hardly a difference.

    to the op, good idea go with the 17.
     
  11. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #11
    Western Digital just announced 1TB 2.5" drives. Too big to fit inside a MBP, but fine for an external. :)
     
  12. akutad macrumors regular

    akutad

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    #12
    How is that possible? I thought al MBP are able to accept 2.5" drives. When is this drive available? Wounder how expensive it is. I would love to get a 512 SSD drive. I think when it comes to SSD's 512 GB becomes about the size I can live with, just not the $$$.
     
  13. Lone Deranger macrumors 65816

    Lone Deranger

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    #13
    It's about 3mm too fat. (12.5mm vs. 9mm).

     
  14. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #14
    If your current laptop gets the job done, even with some compromises I think you should keep your existing setup (Macbook, MacPro) and wait for the new generation of processors in the Macbooks. From my point of view you are looking for a desktop replacement but don't seem to be in a hurry.

    We do expect Intel to make faster mobile processors in the next semester and I am pretty sure apple will adopt them soon enough. So if you are to replace two computers with a powerful portable and still can be productive with what you have I think it's worth the wait.

    If the new chips are availabe say February, you'll be getting a much faster processor, the ability to install 8GB of ram and much cheaper solid state storage. A brand new 3.06 17" or 15" MBP will be an upgrade anyway and will probably get the job done pretty fine but since you can have new CPU tech altogether and you are not in need for a new computer I think it's better for you to wait. And I am not the kind of person that urges people to get in the viscious circle of waiting for newer and better, but IMO in your case it's worth it.
     
  15. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #15
    Any chances it fits in optical drive bay?

    1TB of data is too much for any portable (prone to bumps and getting stolen) device IMO, but that's just me.
     
  16. akutad macrumors regular

    akutad

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    #16
    You mentioned that your mac pro has grey hairs on it. I'd wait till they turn blue then upgrade.
     
  17. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    #17
    No, it won't fit in the optical drive because the optical drive is also 9.5mm.
     
  18. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #18

    Thank's everyone for your responses, and also for actually being serious (I know we all get the urges to write stupid things every now and again.)

    As far as glossy vs. matte, it ABSOLUTELY has to be anti-glare. I've worked on the glossy screens and it drives me nuts. Plus the color is just off.

    I agree that I'm not in a huge hurry, it's just something I was thinking about doing. I just hope that when that time comes I'll still get some value out of these guys :). I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
     
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #19
    I believe you need to rethink the RAM decision. You said you would settle for 4 Gigs until you can afford 8 in a new MBP. I suspect you will find 4 Gigs very very slow. I had 4 Gigs in my Mac Pro (I'm not moving to a MBP, but I don't travel) and found my photoshop sessions moving at least 4x if not 8x faster after more than doubling the RAM. Can you easily un-install some of your RAM, to bring it to 4 Gigs? Then you can test whether your particular workflow is badly impacted.

    Other than that.... if you aren't using the Mac Pro, then there isn't much point in keeping it, except as a backup system perhaps or networked to external HDs?

    The other questions is.... do you need to work on your portable while travelling, or just after you arrive at your destination? If you don't really need to work while travelling, then you can keep the 17" system in your bag.

    If you keep the old Mac Pro as a backup system, you can use the "Back to My Mac" service on Mobile Me to retrieve any images on your Mac Pro that you may need while travelling. If you need to sell the Mac Pro to help finance the MBP purchase, a cheap refurbed Mac Mini could be left at home, hooked up the the external HDs, for the BTMM sessions.
     
  20. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #20
    I think you should hang onto your current setup until the next revision. The rumors of the Matte screen option may be true, and that way you can get a 15" pro with the anti-glare screen.

    The only thing you might miss with the Mac Pro is encoding speed for Final Cut Pro.

    I highly recommend getting an SSD, which will significantly speed up your machine. Then get an external for anything else.

    As for Back To My Mac, it sucks and is unreliable because of all the various network configurations and firewalls. DO NOT rely on this. I have tried at various times to get it to work since Leopard came out and have NEVER been successful, and the MobileMe support team is a joke.
     
  21. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #21
    Yeah this is very true. I've tried using BTMM on several occasions and I always run into one problem or another. I'm still battling sync issues with mobileme as well. I have no ical on my macbook pro :(.

    There seems to be a line in the sand forming, half saying get the 17 half saying keep the setup til next rev.

    I'm more inclined to do the latter I think, mostly because we're well into 2009 as it is, and before you know it, that sweet new notebook will already be outdated.

    For the most part I don't need to edit WHILE traveling. If I'm in the car or something I will occasionally use the computer to load files or maybe process some RAWs, but usually the editing part doesn't come until we arrive.

    Also, as far as SSDs, they're just too expensive for me right now, I need a good amount of storage that's reasonably fast (e.g.: my lightroom library is close to 300GB right now, and that's after cleaning it up!). As I mentioned, my workflow is primarily photography, and now starting to become video.

    For the ram question, the cheapest I've seen an 8GB kit go for is still about $700. I know this will get cheaper. Besides, photoshop isn't a 64bit app on macs anyways, it can only address 3GB. And when I'm doing that, typically the only other thing I have open is lightroom.

    I only JUST got the upgraded ram in my mac pro, I was running 5GB up to this point, and a friend of mine gave me the 4GB from his mac pro because his computer got replaced by apple. So I'm quite used to a ~4GB workflow.
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
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    #22
    My understanding of RAM is that, yes - Photoshop only addresses 3 Gigs, but you really really want to make sure it has that 3 Gigs. The difference between 4 and 5 Gigs is that you are doubling the space for everything else besides PS. There is another performance boost to PS that OS X's virtual memory manager enables when you have more RAM, but I can't remember the details. But, go to Lloyds "Macintosh Performance Guide" - I got lots of good tips here - I've been implementing them as I get time, and they have helped me boost system performance. The nice thing is, you have time to think these things through.

    Good Luck with the project.... lots to think over, eh?
     
  23. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #23
    one comp. is a bad idea. you always need a backup. Esp. if it is for your work. Break/ send one out for repair and your screwed
     
  24. simonpickard macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #24
    "Western Digital just announced 1TB 2.5" drives. Too big to fit inside a MBP, but fine for an external."


    This isn't the case. Someone has posted in these forums that his Unibody 17" MBP takes a 12.5mm drive just fine.

    So with an Optibay you'd have 2 x 1TB of disk space- this is the road I'm about to go down also.
     
  25. justaregularjoe macrumors 6502

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    Nov 28, 2008
    #25
    Can you verify that the 12mm will also fit in the OptiBay? Sure the predestined HDD location can, but can the Optical Disc Bay hold it?
     

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