Using a MBP i5 / i7 as main computer.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Powierski, May 17, 2010.

  1. Powierski macrumors newbie

    Powierski

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #1
    I'm looking to buy a new computer and have been thinking of a new 15" MBP which can sit on my desk with a monitor and wireless keyboard most of the time. There will be times when I'll need to use it away from my desk for location work so I like the idea of portability and not needing to keep multiples machines in sync etc.

    I'm just looking for opinions on whether using a laptop as a main machine for daily use with PS CS5 and Lightroom is a good longterm option .... ie. are they less durable than say an iMac or Mac Pro?

    I'll be relying on whatever I buy to run my business so it's critical that I don't buy something that can't keep up physically. Most of the time it will be spent sat on the desk so it wont be exposed to daily knocks and movement in a laptop bag. Part of me says buy an iMac as the i5/i7's are desktop version and not mobile so there will be a performance improvement but I'm pretty certain that the mobile versions will be just fine so my concern is whether they are likely to wear out faster in a MBP?

    This isn't a question of trying to scrimp on what I spend as the price difference between MBP and iMac are not all that different.

    Yout thoughts/advice please? :confused::D
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Anyway you could get iMac and 13" MBP or other lappy? iMacs are a lot faster and as you're running business, time is money
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    Laptops are typically more fragile than desktops.

    "Wear out faster" ? I don't know what this means, but the answer is probably not.

    An i* MBP will run CS5 and Lightroom just fine.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Isn't laptop the same thing as notebook? :p I think you meant laptop vs desktop
     
  5. EasyJW macrumors member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #5
    i think you'll be fine with the i5 [​IMG] but i definately reccomend and iMac and then a little macbook to go to and from work
     
  6. skerfoot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #7
    I just replaced a 3 year old MBP with a 15' i7 MBP. I use PS and CS5 regularly for work (perhaps not as heavily as you might if you're doing photography and design) and, not unexpectedly, the old machine was getting a little slow to work with but the new one is really very nice. I put my machines through a lot more physically than you do, as I carry it with me every day and travel with it quite a bit. The old machine was looking a little worse for wear at the end, but functioned just fine which is the important part, I think. In fact, I just sent it to Apple Care (coverage runs out next month) and they replaced the DVD drive, the screen and the battery, so it's looking better than it has in a long time and is living an easy retirement as my wife's computer.

    I don't think that you'll have any problems using a laptop as your main machine. You'll give up some performance for portability, but I can speak from experience that the i7 15' MBP can run the applications that you're talking about easily. The only thing that I'd consider is that, for your business, you might want some backup ability. Not your files, obviously, which you'll be backing up anyway, but if a machine goes down, and any machine can, you wont have anything to run your business from.
     
  7. Gold89 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2008
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    UK
    #8
    The only lack of durability I have found in using a laptop as a main machine is with the hard drives, the shocks and knocks from lugging it around mean that hdds don't last forever. Just keep well backed up and time machine makes it so quick to restore if you do have a problem. :)
     
  8. Powierski thread starter macrumors newbie

    Powierski

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #9
    Thanks for all your input, much appreciated.

    I think I'm most likely going to go with the iMac and an iPad, then in a couple of months when the 13" MBP's start appearing in the refurb store I'll get one to use as a backup/location solution.

    Thanks again! :D
     
  9. opera57 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 15, 2009
    #10
    You probably would be fine, I've been using a macbook air (much less powerful) as my main machine for a few weeks connected upto a 20" screen, however I would be more inclined to recommend an iMac, more powerful and having a 3.5" hard drive is quite an improvement in speed and max storage capacity. Not to mention the excellent screen, especially in the 27"! [​IMG]
     
  10. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    #11
    Laptops can work fine as your main machine and the MBP should work well with your software. I've noticed that much of corporate America uses laptops that never go anywhere.
     
  11. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    Jun 25, 2008
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    #12
    Another vote for iMac plus ipad/mbp...This setup should be awesome for you as if one machine gets screwed up, you can still do your work on the other one and not wait for repairs.
     
  12. CubusX macrumors 6502

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    Sep 9, 2009
    #13
    15" Mbp

    I have a late 2008 model 15" MBP and have never had any issues with it. I upgraded the HD to a 512 GB SSD and increased the program access for use with Adobe Creative Sutie 5 after experiencing some issues with load times.

    The MBP is a solid machine and well worth it in my opinion.

    Get the extra monitor from Apple. I just picked up the 24" LED Cinema Display and it helps when your on the computer for extended periods of time while at your desk.
     
  13. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #14
    I went for a late-2009 Mac Pro to complement my late-2006 15" MBP because I wanted something that was a little more "future-proof" for my desktop than the iMacs that were available at the time. However now the i7 iMacs are so fantastic that I would urge you to go that route. Remember, that the new iMacs can work as external monitors for other computers, so when your iMac is finally done, you can keep using the display.

    For sync between my desktop and my laptop, I use Dropbox (www.dropbox.com). I pay for the 50gig service, and I keep all of my active projects in my Dropbox folder. I can't recommend this service enough. The sync is seamless, and much more robust and faster than my iDisk.
     
  14. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #15
    Since you are obviously working with photos and maybe will be retouching/refining them an iMac is not a good option because of its screen. Or you go for a 27" i5/i7 iMac + 30" display combination. For an email and browsing screen the iMac monitor is just fine. You definitely don't want to do sensible photo manipulation on a screen where you can't tell the difference between a different shade in the picture and a reflection.
     
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #16
    Thats just your opinion.

    Ive got 100 more that say the iMac screen is *excellent* and one of the best color reproduction screens out there.

    Reflection? turn off a light, sheesh.

    Of course, a good color calibrator is a must have.
     
  16. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #17
    I've used a 24" Alu iMac for almost 3 years in a room with no lights and no window behind me. Even then, the reflections are most distracting when you are stamping dust or something like that away from a dark photo for example - I like my 21" Eizo screen 1000 times more even though it's smaller. Of course the iMacs do have good panels, but that doesn't help when the mirror interferes with your work.

    Sure, many design studios buy iMacs, but only because that's often the only affordable desktop option if they want to stay with Mac OS X, not because the mirror screens are oh so "excellent" for that type of work.
     
  17. Powierski thread starter macrumors newbie

    Powierski

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #18
    Thanks again for the replies.

    I'm 99% certain that I'm going with a 27" i7 iMac, I have a unibody white MacBook that I'll keep for backup/emergency and out of office use ... for basic lightroom edits it's good enough and will get the job done and any heavy editing I'll save for the iMac.

    I'm currently in the US but live in the UK so will have to wait until next week when I return so still have a few more days to think it over although I've decided the iMac is pretty much the way to go as it's the most powerful option (Mac Pro excluded) and although upgrade paths are limited I still have the option of adding up to 16GB ram and an SSD over time and I can't see me needing more than that for a long time.

    Another deciding factor is that I love the 27" display, the reflections aren't a big concern for me as I have a 24" HP monitor currently that is pretty reflective and I have my room setup a certain way and nearly always use soft lighting in the room so that viewing is consistant at all times and the reflections aren't a problem. I'm sure it will take some time to get used to and get things the way I like but isn't that always the way? :rolleyes:

    Perhaps when the new 2010 MBP's start appearing in the refurb store I'll treat myself :D, although I sense an iPad purchase coming before that as I think it'll be good for client meetings and backing up images on the go.

    Again, thanks for all the comments and suggestions I really appreciate them.:D
     

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