Which MBP for web Design?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lozzy1234567890, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. lozzy1234567890 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    I've got enough money for both as I've been saving up for a while to get a new macbook, but as I'm just about to start university at which I'm doing a Web design course using the Adobe Suite, including some mild photoshop work and heavy dreamweaver usage. Would it be viable to use the base 13" MacBook Pro, or the base 15" MacBook Pro?

    I wasn't entirely sure whether the dedicated graphics would help the performance when I'm working, and if the Screen estate is worth it? I have a monitor already, and an external hard drive, so the decision is purely based on the fact will the MBP 13" will suit my needs or will I be better of getting the 15".

    Any input would be helpful. :)
  2. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    In terms of processing power, the 13" would be fine. The screen resolution and size of the 15" would be significantly better for that work, though.

    Make sure you buy a copy of Windows 7 so you can run Internet Explorer; if you are doing web development, you need to be able to run the most used browser in the market for testing.
  3. mwhq macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    If you can push the boat out andbget a 15" it'll be a great choice. I run master collection on mine, upgraded RAM to 8GB and put a x-25 M SSD in it which enables me to run DW, FW, PS, AI plus Office, mail, iTunes and multiple browsers. No lag, beach ball, very pleasant to work with.

    Also good advice from the above, make sure you get used to working with Windows, not just for IE but FF will render differently on Mac OS than on Windows OS. You have lots of browser fun that awaits another victim, good luck!
  4. lozzy1234567890 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    So if you were in my position, to either get the 13' or the 15', which would you get?
  5. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2011
    It depends solely on your usage preference.

    When it comes to processing power for the tasks that you are looking to perform with the computer, both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros would do the job just fine for years to come.

    If you'd prefer to be mobile and have the screen estate available to you wherever you go, then definitely go with the 15-inch MacBook Pro as the increased resolution will be more convenient for design work and coding.

    Otherwise, if you're stationary most of the time and have an external monitor, you could get away with the 13-inch MacBook Pro along with the appropriate Mini DisplayPort adapter (VGA or DVI depending on your monitor).

    I own a 15-inch MacBook Pro myself, primarily because I find a 13-inch too small for my needs, I wanted the increased screen estate for photo editing and web design along with the dedicated graphics processing unit to give my computer more processing power as I'd like it to last a long time. But that's just my opinion. If you've got the option, drop by an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Reseller (like Best Buy for example) and play with the different models to get a feel for which one you'd be more comfortable with.

    Hope that helps, have a great day and best of luck with your purchase decision. :)
  6. rockerz macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    i am also very confused between the 13 & 15 inch . today i went to a store & like 15inch more but again the pricing comes & i can buy 13 inch + ipad with little more cash & for the same price i get just 15 inch.

    i cant test out all things at store .like how the text of pdf looks on 13inch screen or is there any difference in website resolution if i check it on 13 & 15 inch.i dont i need to drag the cursor to see the whole website.

    can anyone help me out. i run a digital marketing firm & already have a powerful windows machine but i want to switch to apple but also dont want to spend a lot of money as i am from india & here apple products prices very high compare to US. so please guide me 13 inch or 15 inch ? i am planning to buy within 2-3 days...
  7. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    I have the 13" MBP (2009 model with 2.53 GHz) and it is still great... and I use it mainly for running Adobe PS CS5 and Dreamweaver! I just upgraded my RAM to 8 GB yesterday and plan to upgrade the HD soon to a full TB. But the processor is still more than adequate. And I play with lots of very large file size photos and effects processing in PS!

    For me, I chose the 13" on purpose... not because of budget constraints. But because I wanted small and light and portable enough to carry in my camera pack to do photo editing / viewing on the spot. 13" is just WAY more portable than 15". It doesn't seem like a lot looking at them, but the extra weight does make a huge difference!

    At home, I plug into an external display when I need extra screen real estate for larger projects (I also have the BT keyboard and a magic mouse - soon to get a trackpad though) ... but really, I rarely find myself plugging into the monitor anymore and when I do its only for huge graphics projects.

    If you fly at all and take your laptop... 13" just fits way better!! It's also great for taking to Starbucks :) Before I went to Mac, I had a PC laptop 15" that was really a desktop replacement because I never took it anywhere... and I had a netbook that was my portable. Now I don't need a netbook... I can bring my full laptop around with me.
  8. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    Synergie, have you noticed a big difference in processing quickness going from 4gb to 8gb ram?
  9. mirrorbox macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2010
    I agree with you. The 15" is way too heavy to carry out to work or study.
    The biggest issue for me in web design and development is the workspace. Having a external display would be great! Since you've already got it, the 13" would be just fine.
  10. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    Some ppl might say it's placebo effect... but seriously, when my boot time drops by 75% something's gotta be working faster! To put it into perspective, prior to the memory upgrade my menu bar populated on boot one icon after another until everything was loaded (I mean the Wifi, sync, battery indicator, volume, date etc) After the upgrade to 8 GB, it populates everything on the menu bar at the same time like one second nothing's there and the next second everything's there!

    I wonder also if the fact that the new memory is running at 1333 and the old was 1066 is also contributing. (I got the Lexar brand and it had both 1066 MHz and 1333 MHz compatible written on the package.) I had thought it would only run at 1066 MHz if that's what the mid 2009 MBP was listed as requiring... but nope. System Information says its running at 1333 MHz and status is OK :)
  11. directeuphorium macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    One designer to another

    1) the adobe suite is way more taxing on the cpu than it is on the GPU. So don't let that effect your decision. Both computers will work just fine.

    Really it comes down to screen real estate, money and weight.

    In photoshop I want as high a resolution as possible when working with large files. I don't use dreamweaver much (i had code with Fraise) But it's a similar situation.

    either way invest in a second monitor because 13in will be too small, and the 15 will be too small as well over time and the course of many hours.

    Also Design jobs are impossible to find and competition is so high without real world experience you have no chance of being hired in.

    So if you're still early in your school career do yourself a favor and switch to a program like engineering, medicine, law, or criminal justice... I wish i had
  12. blackbinary macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2011
    As a web designer I can say you'll want a bigger screen, 17" if you can handle it. When coding a design, you'll often have firefox or safari open along with your coding application (I hope to god your using the code view of dreamweaver and not the design view).

    You might also need an FTP client or database viewer.

    As others have suggested, dual monitors are a godsend. If your looking for more portability, your best solution might be a 15" with hi-res and an external monitor. Keep in mind the 17" is only 1 pound heavier, so it would be more of a money issue.

    8GB of ram makes a difference, particularly in photoshop and illustrator. If your doing any kind of print work, then it is useful, especially if you have to do it in photoshop, as the file sizes become huge.
  13. driftmr2 macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2009
    Broomfield, CO
    I do web development work as well. I opted for the 2011 13" MBP (base model), mainly for portability. Didn't hurt that I got it brand new from Micro Center for $999. I mainly use the MBP hooked up to a 27" ACD so screen resolution is never an issue.
  14. mwhq macrumors member

    Dec 24, 2010
    Just to confirm on memory. 4GB took about 28 seconds to boot and 19 to boot CS, 8GB about 11 seconds to boot the OS and 6 for CS, plus processes are incredibly faster.

    I would also say that to be efficient with web dev you would be much happier with an external monitor, it helps improves workflow.

    Back to 13" vs 15" I use 15" this because the resolution is better and better resolution means more accuracy with colours, more workspace when I'm on location, crisper overall.
  15. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    It sounds more like something was wrong with your system with 4GB because especially with SSD loading OSX takes extremely little time and I've never seen the "populated one by one" issue on my 13" MBP or my work Mac Pro. The RAM speed also makes no perceivable difference.

    For web design the only reason why I'd consider the 15" is display size. The high res display is quite gorgeous. Powerwise even the 13" Air would be sufficient. So basically your decision should be based on how much you value portability. The 13" MBP/Air is very portable but not that comfortable for working with images on the go. If I were to make the decision, I'd go 13" but also buy an external display, mouse and keyboard so I could run the machine in clamshell mode as a desktop at home, where you're most likely to be doing most of your coding.

    If you want to save money, Pixelmator does most of the things Photoshop does. I find it's generally quite sufficient for image manipulation for web design work. The upcoming 2.0 version should be a great update.

    For coding I currently use Coda. TextMate is a better code editor but it lacks the integration with servers and SVN. I hate Dreamweaver, it's a bloated, buggy program just like everything else in the "industry standard" Adobe suite.
  16. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    Nothing was wrong before.... when I say loading the menu bar items one by one I don't mean they took very long for each one... the difference is only probably 2-3 seconds total... but I do notice a difference. Outside of booting up, I don't really notice any difference except for when I have huge image files open. I really didn't 'need' to upgrade the RAM but since memory is so cheap now, I figured why not LOL :) I also wanted to refresh this MBP a bit to make it feel a bit newer since it's a mid 2009. I'm gonna jump to a 1 TB HD next.

    Kasakka: the setup you mentioned with 13" MBP and an external monitor at home is exactly what I use... I value portability over all, because I'm a pretty small girl, and carrying around lenses and an SLR is bad enough. The 15" MBP is a full pound heavier and I would notice it! I can easily carry the 13" around with me along with my other gear! (Well, it's still a PITA but.... you know LOL)

    to the OP: As mentioned Pixelmator is a good alternative for photoshop! I use it sometimes for quick things I want to do. It can do layers, masks and most things that PS can do. I highly value PS for batch processing though (and also now because I am starting to experiment more with HDR)!!!
  17. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2011
    To the original poster, I just wanted to add that I also use Pixelmator and can vouch for it's excellent abilities and ease-of-use. And at the low price point that it retails for, you can't go wrong.
  18. ViviUO macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2009
    All I can say is that Dreamweaver + 13 inch screen = nightmare.

    If you go for the 13'', get a monitor.
  19. Kristine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2005
    I work full time in multimedia/web development and have a 2011 15" Hi Res Antiglare 2.2GHz 8GB 128GB SSD Macbook Pro with Adobe (CS5) Master Collection installed (partner has the same setup but with glossy screen). I also have a Western Digital My Passport Studio 500GB firewire portable hard drive if needed (only to be used if I do not have access to my NAS).

    If you are looking to get the 15" for web development, I would not recommend the standard resolution unless you have issues with your eyesight. If you go with a 13", you will probably want to connect it to your external monitor. The glossy vs antiglare display is personal preference.
  20. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    I was looking to get the 2011 15" Hi Res Glossy for web development and some graphic design. I would get the current one but with talks of a new thinner 15" MBP in the finishing stages.... I might have to hold out and see what it offers. If it's not up to the current MBP spec's then I could always get a refurb 2011 with a little price cut. :)
  21. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I also have a 13" mid-2009 MBP and one of the best upgrades I made was installing a SSD drive in it. 120 GB ones are becoming fairly affordable (just don't get OCZ, they're buggy). If you don't need the optical drive you could swap an SSD or otherwise you could consider using an external HDD for storing stuff.
  22. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    I'd buy a baseline MBA and then get an external monitor.

Share This Page