Upgrade suggestions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macmesser, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    I need help deciding whether I need a new Macbook Pro or new iPad to replace my 2009 white Macbook Pro which is just too slow after upgrading to ElCapitan. Mobility is necessary as I am a caregiver at home and must at times try to work away from my main machine, which is a CMP 5,1 (flashed) running ElCapitan. I have an iPad 4, but it is not a replacement for a notebook. My main applications are Photoshop CS6, Filemaker Pro Advanced, TextWrangler, Chrome, Safari, Scrivener, Pages, DevonThink Pro Office, Lightroom. The only apps that tax my main machine more than minimally are Photoshop, Lightroom and Filemaker Pro, and usually only when large numbers of files are being batched. Based on this usage profile, are the new "supercomputer" iPads a suitable tool? Can they run any OS X apps or would I need to purchase IOS apps? I'm thinking that for digital photography I probably want a notebook but the touted computing power and other graphics capabilities of the new iPads intrigues me. Any recommendations?
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you "use the finder" much?
    That is to say, do you create lots of folders, and use them to manage files, apps, etc.?

    The reason I asked is because iOS has no associated "finder-like" filing system within it.
    You might find yourself being "restrained" by its limitations.

    Important question:
    Does the white MacBook still have a platter-based hard drive in it?

    If so, you could COMPLETELY TRANSFORM the performance by putting an SSD into it.
    Very easy to do, and an SSD runs at about 4x the speed of an HDD, or faster.
    Doesn't cost all that much, either.
    Go to ifixit.com to see what's involved.

    If you decide you want a new MBPro, you might also consider that the 2015 models are still part of the active product lineup.
    Less money and you keep all the "legacy ports" for easy connectibility.
    I bought one myself, preferring it to the 2016's ...
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The iPad Pro cannot run OS X apps. What you already know about using iPad as a desktop substitute (in your particular circumstances) carries over to the iPad Pro, for the most part. Other than raw processing power, the main differences between that and other iPads (for productivity) are Slide-over and Split View multitasking (available on other new iPad models as well), the display (size as well as quality), Pencil, and Smart Keyboard.

    I don't think you'll find full iOS substitutes for all the apps you list, although you may, depending on how you use Photoshop, Lightroom, and Filemaker (there are iOS versions of all of those). There are no "iPad Pro-only" apps (though some will have extra support/capabilities for Pencil) - just shop App Store on your iPad 4 and see what's out there.

    Have you considered using the iPad for remote-control of your primary computer as a possible way around all this? Even so, controlling OS X apps with an iPad may be sub-optimal.

    I have the Pro, and am quite happy, but for my purposes, I was able to use the first-generation iPad as a laptop substitute. Slide-over and Split View have provided big improvements to the way I work (researching and writing simultaneously, for example), as has better support for keyboard shortcuts. The amount of photo editing I need to do in the field (quick work prior to uploading for web publishing) is supported, but I don't try to do the kind of intensive editing that can be accomplished in the full version of Photoshop.

    If you want to work locally with the full apps you're used to, a new MacBook Pro is probably the way to go. While you could (as suggested) replace the spinning HDD with an SSD and max-out the RAM (if you haven't already done so)... your current MacBook probably won't have many more years of useful life, regardless. It won't upgrade beyond El Capitan. While not a problem currently, since you're also running El Cap on your Mac Pro, other software upgrades may require you to go beyond El Capitan on both machines. Also, you may appreciate having a Retina display.

    As to the whole "it doesn't have Finder" thing.... iOS doesn't have Finder-like capabilities for local storage, but if you're working on the same project on multiple machines, local storage may not be the right approach. iCloud Drive, Google Drive, DropBox... all have familiar, folder-based interfaces. (As someone who got accustomed to using corporate file servers decades ago, local storage is way more than "yesterday.")
  4. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    Thanks for reply. I do use the finder a lot, for what you mentioned. I still have a hard drive in the Macbook. If an SSD would give me a 4X bump in speed it would be worth it. Probably wouldn't be quite 4X but perhaps good enough.

    I will definitely take a look at last years models. I hate losing ports when I have many legacy peripherals.
  5. Zazoh macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    Given you work with many photo programs - you would enjoy an upgrade to a retina display.
  6. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    Thanks for reply. I still have not maxed out memory on the notebook, which I think maxes at only 8GB anyway. If I can find cheap ram for it I might give it a shot, and add an SSD since smaller ones are cheap these days. I have not used my iPad beyond incidental use on my home LAN and for mobile internet access. I toyed with the idea of using it for remote control. Never got around to setting it up. The least complicated thing will probably be to go the Macbook Pro route although I get what your saying about the file system not being a dispositive consideration. Getting a recent model replacement allows me to walk things into the present and would not make me change anything about the way I work. Seems logical.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2017 ---
    Thanks for input. I'm sure I would.

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