The perfect companion for a Mac Pro ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by entatlrg, Jul 27, 2009.


What notebook to buy to go along with a Mac Pro Desktop?

  1. Macbook Air

    39 vote(s)
  2. Macbook Pro 13"

    64 vote(s)
  3. Macbook Pro 15"

    12 vote(s)
  4. Macbook Pro 17"

    7 vote(s)
  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    My Mac Pro does an excellent job at all tasks but there's times I don't feel like being tied to a desk.

    I'm trying to decide on one main notebook to use along with my Mac Pro for email, surfing, word processing, light to medium tasks in photo shop at the most, the Mac Pro does the heavy lifting...

    I'd like to hear what you would buy to go along with a Mac Pro and why.

    Right now I'm juggling work between too many computers and need to cut it down to two.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
  3. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2009
    Macbook Air, small, powerful, and light. Has a great screen. Fashion statement? More for the casual user with a other beast computer {like you with the mac pro
    Cons- Lines in most screens, virtually non-upgradable.
  4. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    Perfect companion for your Mac Pro? Me!

    If you're talking about computers, 13'' MBP.
  5. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2007
    13" MBP @ 2.53GHz w/ 4GB ram, and 500GB hard drive. Powerful, but small and light.
  6. benlangdon macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    having a mbp with your mp is like having to work horses. i mean ya you could be like o i want to be on the coach and use ps.

    but really, are you going to be using ps not on your mp. i mean it prob screams on there.

    get an air.
    does all you want. except photo shop, don't really know about that though.

    a kid at my school has a beast of a computer at home and has a macbook air. he really likes it. he said also i thought about programming on the air but releazed it works so much better on my home computer.
  7. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    MP and a MBA would make a pretty nice combination, IMHO :D Plus MobileMe to keep those contacts/calendars/etc sync'd between the computers and your iPhone and you're set :D
  8. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    MacBook Air. Extremely portable and definitely enough performance for on-the-go use (Photoshop CS4 runs like a champ). But of course I'm talking about Rev. B with the 9400m. In my opinion any of the Pro's are unnecessary for something portable for your uses, unless you also wish to take the computer to LAN party for gaming or something. But then again you'll need the 9600GT to make a difference :p
  9. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    I'm surprised the 15 and 17" aren't getting more votes.....

    With the idea that if you had a 15 or 17" companion to the Mac Pro you could benefit from having more screen real estate with you when you're away from your desk..... the question is I guess you'd select a larger screen most likely if you did a lot of computing away from your desk.....

    Or, do most people find a 13" screen really is adequate for most tasks anyway?
  10. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    Its not really a screen size issue, but the weight difference between the computers. It may not seem like much of a difference on paper, but that .5-1LB makes a hell of a difference when you're carrying other stuff. Try doing that on the subway commute in the city.
  11. ag55 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    13" Macbook pro hands down, the polls agree with me :D
  12. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    base mbp 13 is my vote. No need to go for anything fancy when you have a mac pro to handle anything heavy :)
  13. rikers_mailbox macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2003
    the companion to my octo MP is a 12" PowerBook. Had the thing for 5+ years and it still does what I need it to ... web, email, word processing, and portable access to my MP.

    I think a MBP is overkill as a companion to a MP. Simple never goes out of style, go with a refurb MacBook.
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  15. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
  16. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    13" MBP as you can use the difference in price between it and the Air to do upgrades of RAM and HDD. Not to mention the device has a longer lasting battery and more power albeit being a pound heavier.
  17. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Dec 13, 2007
    Depending on what you can afford, I'd suggest a Macbook or a 13" Macbook Pro.
  18. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Well... I'd say it's entirely up to you. I'm surprised by the fact that Apple does not have a buying advisor like Adobe's one, in which you select what you'll be using the product for, and then get the recommendation.

    But coming back to the original idea, it's entirely up to you. If you want it to be PORTABLE, you've got to go for the Air. If you are a lot on the road, or if you've got to present many products to other people, possibly business-related stuff, you'll have to choose between a 13" MBP or a 15" one. In any case, I strongly recommend you going for the cheapest one, except you really need the dedicated GPU the entry-level 15" lacks.

    The thing is that OS X is strong enough in order to do just fine with any machine. I've got the entry-level 13" MBP, and it runs smoothly with all my applications opened, including Second Life (which was only installed for this testing purpose) and Adobe Photoshop CS4 with 5 *.PSD tabs, so there isn't any point really in paying a lot more for some 100Mhz CPU addition.

    I'd also say the HDD and the display resolution are the most important factors you should consider. If you're using a lot of software and are saving a lot of your work for a very long time, the difference could be enormous between a 150GB HDD and a 500GB one, but they're easily upgradeable. Also, if you're working in the graphical business, there will be a difference between a 13" screen and a 15" or 17" one. Again, the choice is entirely up to your needs.

    The bottom line is... if you need real portability, go for the MBA, of course. If you need to take and do a lot of your work on the road, go for a 15" one. Based on your needs for graphical performance, go for the first or the second one.

    Also try PM-ing fr4c, I see he's got EXACTLY the setup you have, so he could tell you a whole lot more.

    By the way, I see you've got both an MBA and an MBP in your signature. What is the point of it?
  19. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    You missed the option for a even faster Mac Pro.
  20. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada

    Yes, that's why I made the post ... when I'm desk bound the Mac Pro does everything. I needed a computer to use away from my desk so I bought the Air. Soon after I thought it would be nice to have more power for heavier work when I'm away from my desk so looked at the the 13 and 15" MBP.

    I tried both and ended up with the 15" MBP spec'd out pretty good :) Reason I went for the 15" over the 13" was comparing the two I didn't feel there was much difference in weight so I thought I'd go for the screen real estate with the 15", plus I already had a 13" MBA so why have two 13" notebooks.

    In day to day work the 15" MBP proved to be a good purchase I thought, it shows photo detail better than a 13", and a 15" screen is probably more pleasant to stare at over long periods of computing like I do....

    As time goes by I really don't like owning three computers and trying to keep them all in sync. Fact is if I don't mind listening to the fan once in a while from the Air it does do all my tasks quite well, plus its so light, portable and fun to use... So much so that I'm thinking it's time to either part with one them or set up something like SugarSync and get them organized properly.

    Right now the Mac Pro at my desk gets a lot of use, I need a desktop system for work related duties, also as a server, movie/music downloads, I have numerous HD's, peripherals attached....

    Sometimes I wish I never had a taste of the MacBook Air, it's spoiled me ... I probably should simply own my Mac Pro and a 13" MBP then I'd have the small size and more power, instead I've got the 15" MBP and the MBA and I'm juggling between the two....

    Having used and likiing the MBA sort of prevents me from doing the right thing... which could be to sell my 15" MBP and MBA and buy a 13" MBP then I'm down to two computers, more organized I think?
  21. sukanas macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2007
    may I ask what you do for a living that lets you afford all your mac gear?
  22. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Sure, I'm a self employed small business person, I design and manufacture and market consumer products.
  23. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    13" MBP is perfect or the MBA, I think the 17 is way too big and the 15" could work but might be a bit too big.

  24. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'd go for the 13" if I had a Mac Pro… that said if I do get a Mac Pro, I'm not giving up my 15" either. :D

    I know the OP kind of answered that, but that's also a bit too personal ;)
  25. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    the MacBook Air is catching up to the 13" in the Poll ....

    I was sure the 15" MBP would get far more votes .... the 13" MBP has been leading all along .... this new 13" MBP is a real winner for Apple I guess.

    Will 12" Powerbook users accept the new 13" MBP as their replacement I wonder?

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