Which mac laptop for photo editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kaioo, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Kaioo macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2009
    So here's the thing...

    Current laptop:
    Macbook Pro - Penryn 2.4Ghz - 2GB RAM - NVIDIA8600 256mb VRAM

    This baby of mine will soon be used by my brother. And now I'm in a bit of dilemma about the next laptop I'm gonna buy. Hopefully you guys can help me.
    So here's the contenders:

    1. New Macbook 13inch
    - Proc 2.4Ghz
    - Ram 4GB DDR3
    - HDD 320GB SATA
    - NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256MB DDR3 shared with RAM
    - Price: Euro 1.729

    2. New Macbook Pro 15inch
    - Proc 2.4Ghz
    - Ram 2GB DDR3
    - HDD 250GB SATA
    - NVIDIA GeForce 9600M 256MB DDR3 + GeForce 9400M 256MB DDR3 (shared)
    - Price: Euro 1.799

    My thoughts so far are:
    1. Some says the screen on MB is inferior than the one in MBP.
    2. I'm still not sure which one is better for photo editing, 256mb onboard VRAM with 4GB memory (MB)? or 256mb dedicated VRAM with 2GB memory (MBP)?
    3. I can't spend more than 1800 euro, that's why the 2 specs above are pretty much the best builds there are.

    Recommendations are very welcome.
    Thanks in advance. Cheers...
  2. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2004
    Unless you're "editing" in Aperture, or Snow Leopard delivers on its promise to use the GPU for heavy processing, I don't think the video card is an issue - it's barely used in most 2D apps. I just bought the bottom-end MBP you listed, and it flies for photo editing (I'm using Lightroom and Pixelmator) but the one thing I'm missing is the screen space. I'm going to get a monitor to add to it, which will be perfect for me. Unless you have a monitor already, is there any room in your budget to go for the MacBook, but maybe less RAM/smaller HD so you could include a second screen? That'd give you the most usable setup IMO.
  3. Kaioo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2009
    Actually I also use lightroom. The screen space is not an issue for me since I already have external monitor for home-use. My biggest concern is the GPU thingy. So if that's not an issue, it's even better for me coz I want something smaller to carry on daily basis.
  4. raxafarian macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    ummmm.... the one you already have.

    What would be the point of "upgrading"? Max out the ram in your current MBP and think about upgrading after the next MAJOR upgrade if you must have the latest and greatest.
  5. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2004
    Well if it helps put your mind at rest, I do most of my editing using the onboard GPU as I only use the 9600 for the odd bit of gaming, and even with only 2GB RAM it flies.
  6. Kaioo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2009
    Well, I know, 'upgrading' is not really the correct term here. The thing is, I'm gonna spend the money anyway to buy a mac for my brother. So that got me thinking if maybe I can use the new one myself and delegate my current laptop to my brother. Second reason, I always want a smaller laptop, I brought it with me everyday.

    So yeah, it's not like I have to have the latest release for nothing... :D

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