Upgrade MBP or new MBP for editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDDavis, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #1
    Looking for some opinions (that's dangerous) from others who have reached this point.

    I do all my photo and video editing on my 2010 (2.66) MBP. Pretty simple requirements. I use Capture One Pro and NIK for all my photography and iMovie 09 (hate the latest version) and the GoPro editor for all my video. It's not heavy stuff but as the file sizes have increased with my D750 and the video has gone full HD with the 750 and GoPro the 2010 MBP is starting to show it's age. It still gets the job done but it can be pretty slow chugging through a large HD file.

    I need more storage space as well to work with files before I upload or offload them to external sources.

    So...I think I have 3 basic options.

    1. Upgrade existing 2010 MBP with 480GB SSD and replace optical drive with 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive. (I've already maxed out RAM).

    2. Purchase a 2012 - 2013 MBP off the used/refurbished market with suitable specs.

    3. Hold out and purchase a new MBP when funds are available.

    Any opinions out there?

    For #1...I know the SSD will speed things up. Will I see enough performance increase to get another 2yrs out of the 2010 MBP. I'm looking at roughly $300 to update. (this is what I'm most interested in)

    For #2...A 12 or 13 model will certainly give me better performance but the savings isn't really that great over a new one and then 2yrs later I'll be in the same boat again. Not sure if it's worth it and I don't have a line on a "great deal".

    For #3...Duh, of course I want a new one. I'm guessing there are no performance issues on new ones. Just not eager to spend the cash when the 2010 is still producing (just slow...especially on video).

    BTW, I'm only interested in laptops. I've used everything over the years and a laptop suits me best. I'm not the type to upgrade often. We still have a 2007 iMac that we use. I tend to keep them to the bitter end.
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    Wait for the Skylake based next gen MacBooks that will likely be released next spring. Likely they will have USB-C ports that run USB 3.1, thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 1.2 or better, "...etc. They will likely support 4K and 5k monitors with a single cable.
     
  3. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #3
    Good point. The Macbook upgrades should be headed towards the Pros and the next gen from Intel. Perhaps an SSD can speed editing up enough to get me through.
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    Last year I upgraded 4 2010 white MacBooks for family and friends. I put in 8GB of memory and a Samsung 840EVO 500GB SSD. That made a huge difference. Boot time dropped to 24% of former time. Opening an app was 2-3 seconds instead of 8-10 seconds. And when those machines are finally given a burial, the SSDs can be retrieved and used again.
     
  5. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #5

    I would say part of option 1 leading to option 3.

    I have a 15" 2010 i5 2.53Ghz with maxed out RAM and SSD. It is doing fine. Feels reasonably quick but I am getting low RAM warnings in some of my plugins when I have LR and PS open at same time. I think I will get maybe another 6-12 months out of mine before the inevitable upgrade is needed.

    I will likely go for a 13" MBP tricked out.

    So for you, I would drop in the SSD for immediate boost but know that the bottleneck may actually be RAM and that is already at the limit so a new shiny MBP is likely on the card so dont spend too much now.

    Just my opinion... feel free to ignore me.
     
  6. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #6
    Thanks MCAsan and Kenoh. Good point about being able to pull the SSD and re-use it. That could save some money on configuring the new MBP later on.

    One question for both of you. I know the SSD will help boot times and app launch times. Have you seen an improvement in application processes like rendering edits, using brushes, converting video, exporting images and videos and the such? I think RAM and processor speed would have the biggest effect but perhaps read times on the SSD helps? Exporting HD video is getting to be painfully slow and working on images while video is converting or exporting can cause annoying lags.

    BTW, I was looking at the Samsung EVO series or the Other World Computing Electra SSDs. They seem like good choices.
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    More memory may reduce the need to readw/write to disk cache which is positive. And if a cache on disk is used by the app, it is bound to be faster on an SSD than a HD. Much depends on any given app was written. There are no hard and fast rules. No amount of memory or using a SSD for storage can make up for needing a high speed quad core CPU and GPU that are both recognized and utilized by the app. Crunching video seems to be be where you need plenty of memory, a fast SSD, a quad core CPU and fast GPU. Personally I stick to still images in Lightroom.
     
  8. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #8
    My thoughts exactly.

    I am not a video guy so I am speculating a bit here - I do work in IT though so I know the internals in more detail than I should :)

    It is like MCAsan said, the video bit is number crunching and rendering. Lots of CPU, GPU and RAM time using the disk to make space in RAM where needed. The more RAM, the less need for disk I/O and the speed of an SSD will help.

    My MBP felt like a new machine when I upgraded it but I have adjusted to it now and it doesnt feel so spritely anymore.

    The SSD is a worthy upgrade definately. I use a Crucial M5, it was on special when i wanted it and there was no need to go to latest SATA specification as the MBP couldnt benefit from it. I think the Samsung EVO drives are getting fantastic write-ups right now but just remember that as long as it is compatible, then dont over spend as it is an interim measure until upgrade.

    Next thing is you must backup with them as when an SSD fails, it is binary, it either works or it doesnt. Unlike a magnetic HDD where you get bad sectors and a format can work round that for you, on a SSD they go completely - this is from experience of our flash storage products at work so make sure you backup for that one day in a million when it decides to fail.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. rx7dude macrumors regular

    rx7dude

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    It depends how important video is to you.
    Core Duo to I# was a big jump
    In 2011, I went from a Core Duo system to a Sandy Bridge Hackintosh.
    My render times with iMovie 09 went from an hour to a couple of minutes.
    However, keep in mind iMovie09 doesn't take advantage of multiple cores or dGPU.
    I'm not sure how much of an improvement you will see going from a 2012-3 MBP to a 2015 MBP.
     
  10. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #10
    Video is not a big demand for me. I use iMovie09 because I can't stand the updated version of iMovie but I really don't need any more capability. Video for me consists of short home movies and my kids gymnastics events. The problem is that it's all HD now and it's an effort for my 2010 MBP to chug through it. No doubt an upgrade to a current MBP would solve all my issues. I know a SSD will help speed up a lot of the start up related tasks but will it help with actually importing / editing / exporting video? From what I gathered above it should help especially when the task has utilized all the RAM and now it's in the virtual RAM of the disk. I'm guessing it will help with importing (writing) as well.

    I'm thinking even a modest performance increase with an SSD would be worth it and help me stretch a little longer before upgrading. Especially since I can pull the SSD and re-use it.
     
  11. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #11

    Sounds like a plan. Get an SSD now, try it, if it doesnt tick all the boxes (it likely will tick most of them), it will at least tide you over while you build capital for a new MBP. Alternatively, if it DOES deliver what you need, then you have even longer for that "shiny new thing" fund to build and you have a super fast SSD for an external when you do upgrade... I think that is what is called a no brainer right?
     
  12. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #12
    An SSD is by far and away the best bang for the buck. You may find its a big enough bang that you can postpone an upgrade for a while. All processes will gain noticeably from it except perhaps rendering video. Where CPU is the gating factor.

    Your comment on reusing the ssd when you do upgrade: That‘s as an external. Consider your sizing as well. When I moved to ssd's my order was 128gb, 500gb and 1tb. The only one worth salvaging, for me, was the 1tb drive. I gave away the 128 and sold the 500 with my old Mac. The 1tb unit is now in an external and I'm delighted with having it out there.
     
  13. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #13
    Just a little update. I have a new Samsung EVO 850 (500gb) SSD as my main HD and a 1TB HDD (7200 RPM) as a secondary drive in the optical bay in my 2010 MBP. The install was very easy and switching over was time consuming but simple with Time Machine. Basically I cleaned up the old drive and did a fresh TM backup. Then I pulled the old drive and swapped in the SSD right out of the box. Started the computer while holding down CMD + R to start in the internet recovery mode. This is incredibly slow (and you have to have access to the internet) but it gets you access to Disk Utility and Time Machine. Formatted the SSD and did a restore from TM and about 4 hours later everything is back and working just fine.

    I have to say that the SSD is making a world of difference. No waiting for apps to load (Capture One) or close. Working with images is a good bit snappier. I haven't seen a spinning anything in a while. I'm not sure if my original HDD was close to giving up the ghost or not but it sure feels like a new computer right now. Certainly a worthwhile upgrade.
     
  14. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #14
    Congratulations. Never bad when low cost makes it feel like a new machine. Your old drive is probably fine. I had a fairly new 7,200 HGST that was only half full in my iMac and it felt like a new machine when I swapped it for a Crucial.
     

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