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treehugr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 19, 2021
3
1
Hello! I have been holding out for this latest MacBook Pro for what seems like an eternity. I am wavering between which configuration would be best for my needs and would greatly appreciate some help/insight!

I am a graphic designer who works mainly with Adobe Creative apps, like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. While I don't currently do any video work, I would like to learn (though I doubt I would be doing any major video work). Same with animation.

The Apple rep chat-quoted me $3,799 (before tax) for a 16" M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 16-core neural engine, 32-core GPU, 32GB unified memory, and 1TB SSD storage. Just wondering if this is a good fit, or if it's more than I need (after all, wouldn't the rep want to up-sell as much as possible??). Do I need the 32-core GPU or 32GB memory - or would that be overkill for the type of work that I do?

Thanks!
 

pmiles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2013
809
676
How long have you been doing graphic design? You should already know what your needs are based on having done it.

If you asked that question before these new Macs were announced, they'd all swear an M1 Air is plenty for anyone.

The fun thing is, you can never predict what your requirements will be in the future, you can only calculate what it is now.

My background working in graphics never had me on a laptop of any kind ever. It was always a full blown tower with beefed up graphics card, lots of storage, and RAM. As much as you'd swear you had exactly what you needed, you always ran into those jobs that showed how wrong you were. Quite frankly, if your system is smooth as butter and hardly ever has a hiccup, it's more a sign of how light your work is, not how heavy it is. You get that side of things too. Where everything you have is overkill for the task at hand. But in the business world, you have to strike a balance between the two. So it's overkill for this but struggles with this.

Remember this, Adobe isn't making their programs any lighter. With this damn subscription based scheme of theirs you are always being force fed the most up to date bloated piece of code that can ship. With it comes a need for more power. More power means better hardware. Back in the day when you could actually buy their software, you could sit on a suite for 10 years if you wanted to... if your hardware didn't die, you could continue along with what you had.

Apple is the most expensive computer you can ever get. These new Mac Pros are the most expensive ones they have offered to date. Really look at some of the specs you can get... 64GBs of RAM... in a laptop.... I say it again... in a laptop... what do you think that baby is going to cost you with the Apple Tax?

The very first question you have to ask yourself is can you afford one. I mean, don't spec out the low end model, because anything low end is just that, something meant to tide you over. Spec it out with some features you'd love to have but in all honesty can't justify for the cost. I say this because in less than 2 years, that beefier model that sounds like it costs two left kidney's to get now, will be considered the low end model your considering today.

Apple makes a ton of money on these things precisely due to the way they market them. They show you a price that you say, yeah, I can do that, but deep down you know you need just a little more to make the buy a worthwhile one. And that's when the price jumps into a range that makes you start asking... should I or shouldn't I. When you have to ask that question, you already know the answer.
 

treehugr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 19, 2021
3
1
How long have you been doing graphic design? You should already know what your needs are based on having done it.

If you asked that question before these new Macs were announced, they'd all swear an M1 Air is plenty for anyone.

The fun thing is, you can never predict what your requirements will be in the future, you can only calculate what it is now.

My background working in graphics never had me on a laptop of any kind ever. It was always a full blown tower with beefed up graphics card, lots of storage, and RAM. As much as you'd swear you had exactly what you needed, you always ran into those jobs that showed how wrong you were. Quite frankly, if your system is smooth as butter and hardly ever has a hiccup, it's more a sign of how light your work is, not how heavy it is. You get that side of things too. Where everything you have is overkill for the task at hand. But in the business world, you have to strike a balance between the two. So it's overkill for this but struggles with this.

Remember this, Adobe isn't making their programs any lighter. With this damn subscription based scheme of theirs you are always being force fed the most up to date bloated piece of code that can ship. With it comes a need for more power. More power means better hardware. Back in the day when you could actually buy their software, you could sit on a suite for 10 years if you wanted to... if your hardware didn't die, you could continue along with what you had.

Apple is the most expensive computer you can ever get. These new Mac Pros are the most expensive ones they have offered to date. Really look at some of the specs you can get... 64GBs of RAM... in a laptop.... I say it again... in a laptop... what do you think that baby is going to cost you with the Apple Tax?

The very first question you have to ask yourself is can you afford one. I mean, don't spec out the low end model, because anything low end is just that, something meant to tide you over. Spec it out with some features you'd love to have but in all honesty can't justify for the cost. I say this because in less than 2 years, that beefier model that sounds like it costs two left kidney's to get now, will be considered the low end model your considering today.

Apple makes a ton of money on these things precisely due to the way they market them. They show you a price that you say, yeah, I can do that, but deep down you know you need just a little more to make the buy a worthwhile one. And that's when the price jumps into a range that makes you start asking... should I or shouldn't I. When you have to ask that question, you already know the answer.
I've been doing GD for 25 years - even before it was done on computers. I'm a designer, not a tech person, so I am never quite sure what configuration will be best, but typically go with mid-level. I have always bought Mac Pro towers but, now that the MacBook Pros are so powerful, I am looking to use that as my main computer - plugging it into a monitor and bluetooth keyboard while working in my office - and using it 'as is' when I want to work elsewhere, like outside on the lanai (laptop perk #1). It would also save me from having to buy a second Mac to use while working remotely or on vacation (laptop perk #2).

I agree with you on the Adobe subscription - it's highway robbery. I don't like that you don't own the software in any way - if you don't pay the subscription, you're left with nothing. I've held out on that all this time, getting by on CS6. Will just now be getting on Creative Cloud after I get the new MacBook Pro. My old tower and MacBook Pro can't handle the CC software anyway as they're behind in the OS.

As mentioned, I really just need to know if the 32-core GPU and/or the 32GB memory would be a good fit OR either are overkill. They also offer a 24-core GPU.
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2017
1,886
5,182
Scotland
You probably don’t need a 32 core GPU though that will give added performance to Photoshop and Lightroom or Capture One. As for the RAM I have seen graphics designers have and make use of 16, 32, 64, and even 128 GB RAM. See wha your current RAM usage is in Activity Monitor(during a project) and then double it.

For photo editing I would go for 64 GB RAM and the 32 core GPU as I know Capture One can use it, especially in batch processing (Imports and exports). But I am not sure if InDesign or illustrator will get anything out of it, I can do what I do with those on a 2010 Mac Pro without slowdown.
 
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alembic

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2005
183
40
Off-topic, and I don't know your current client requirements, but have you considered migrating away from Adobe's subscription services? Serif publishes the Affinity suite of applications. They do lack some high-end features compared to what Adobe offers, but they may be adequate for your needs. No subscription, very reasonably priced, and sometimes they have 50% discounts on all apps. Trial versions are available too. I've been happy with Photo and Designer (although I'm not a professional).


I'm still using a 2015 MBP with 16GB RAM. But my processing needs are light. I've been saving for a new machine with at least 32GB, maybe 64GB to future-proof the purchase.
 
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pmiles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2013
809
676
Off-topic, and I don't know your current client requirements, but have you considered migrating away from Adobe's subscription services? Serif publishes the Affinity suite of applications. They do lack some high-end features compared to what Adobe offers, but they may be adequate for your needs. No subscription, very reasonably priced, and sometimes they have 50% discounts on all apps. Trial versions are available too. I've been happy with Photo and Designer (although I'm not a professional).


I'm still using a 2015 MBP with 16GB RAM. But my processing needs are light. I've been saving for a new machine with at least 32GB, maybe 64GB to future-proof the purchase.
I hear you. I've looked into it. Only problem I see at the professional level is whether you have to share your files with others. Adobes stuff is proprietary, so while you can technically open some of it in other applications, it's in such a state as to make editing it nearly impossible. LOL, I tried a number of approaches to get it into their software and all of them basically made editing a no-go. Now if you were only working in their suite of software, then it's likely to be a great choice.

To the OP, when you do start using Creative Cloud. Be very careful to read the wording on your subscription before you start it. They don't offer a month to month plan, only an annual plan that they charge you by the month for. If you try and cancel it, they charge you for the remaining months left. In a nutshell, you will end up paying the same price as you paid for those old CS copies you have just to use their software... even if you only need to use it for a month. So yeah, anything else that isn't subscription based is definitely the route to go. Although I suppose being a perpetual student is the other option.
 
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treehugr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 19, 2021
3
1
Thanks for the replies. I ended up going with a 16" M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine and 32GB unified memory. I bumped up my storage to 2TB to offset any future size increases in software, files, etc.
 
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zarathu

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2003
631
358
Thanks for the replies. I ended up going with a 16" M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine and 32GB unified memory. I bumped up my storage to 2TB to offset any future size increases in software, files, etc.
Its way more than you need....unless you start using Final Cut Pro and others, and then its still more than you need now but it will future proof you. I use Affinity Photo. Its set up to use macs and specifically M1, as well as final cut pro is. They have their own benchmarks, and they say that the base model M1Pro is the fastest machine they have ever recorded.
 
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