Which MBP to get (need to get it tomorrow..)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nathanyeah, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. nathanyeah macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2011
    Hey guys, I've been checking out these forums for awhile now, and I've decided to join to post abit of a problem I am facing..

    I'm currently at university studying graphic Design, majoring in photography. I'm just about to go into my third and final year so I thought now would be the time to get a mac, as I've been using a decked out (17inch) windows laptop for the first 2 years.

    Now I read here that there's a possibility that there could be retina display in the next MBP but I also read that the MBA line would take over, and thus getting the retina display.

    Anyway so I could either wait for more news on that


    Go to my work tomorrow (I work at an apple reseller) and get a MBP while they are having 10% off (and I get an extra %5 ontop of that) which beats the education pricing by about ~$100 depending on what model.

    now the options

    should I be looking at getting a 15"?

    or would a 13" be okay?

    I've read alot about the RAM being really important so should I go with the cheaper of the 13" or 15" and update the RAM?

    and is the 1gb dedicated graphics on the 15" really that important for what I do, (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and occasionally After Effects)? I don't play any games and I don't do anything with 3d..

    I would get an iMac, but I'm probably leaving Australia after 2012 (either traveling or moving to work) and I don't want to be trying to move with that.

    And a 17" is out-of-the-question, it is far to big. Portability is really important to me, but so is speed.

    So which should I choose and how should I alter it to make it suit me the best?

  2. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I suggest a 15" MacBook Pro. Choose the hi-res anti-glare display. You'll be very happy with that configuration. It's easily upgradable as well. You can easily ad more ram & an SSD to make it even faster.

    A 13" MBA will disappoint you with it's display only being average at best. I have both and would not suggest an MBA as the only computer for your type of work.
  3. yly3 macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    For your work 13" is out of question really, because of the resolution and display size.

    I highly recommend the 15" with the 1GB video card. It's portable enough, trust me and this is coming from a 11" MacBook Air user using it for 5 months as main machine. It's the perfect balance between power and portability.

    If you buy the top 15" it will also last you longer it terms of power. Seing that you kept your windows laptop for a couple of years, the current top 15" will easily last as long (I intend to keep mine for at least 3 years).
    It's just a better investment in my opinion. Plus it may be the last time you will be able to keep the DVD drive, who knows..

    Keep in mind that Ivy Bridge is not that big of an improvement, around 20% CPU power and 30% graphics for the MacBook Air. So the wait isn't worth in my opinion.

    Retina displays are still a rumor taken with a very big pinch of salt. A great tipper would be if the iPad 3 will have retina. If that is so, only then you can start taking MacBook Retina rumors a bit more seriously.
  4. nathanyeah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2011
    We don't do customizations at work unfortunately :( .

    And I bought my sister a MBP 13" for Christmas and she loves it, and I love how portable it is (as I said, I have a 17inch asus MONSTER that doesn't even leave my bedroom). But do you think the 13" is too small?

    And with the 15" would the 512mb dedicated to the graphics card be enough, or would I need the 1gb? (I currently have ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 with 1gb dedicated)

    Thanks for your time responding!


    So you think the 1gb dedicated would be worth the extra $$? And yeah I know alot of people who aren't fans of the disk jet, but I really like it and need it (the company that processors my film put the pictures onto cd's).

    Oh that's good to know about Ivy Bridge, I was thinking it would be a major game-changer..

    and thats good to know about the retina display aswell, because I really need to update the laptop I have now before March, as the USB slots are failing and the screen is slowly, but surely, coming off..

    anyway thanks for your time and effort responding!
  5. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Yes, I do believe you'll benefit from the 1GB card. Sorry for not suggesting it earlier as I simply took it for granted you'd choose it for the type of work you're doing. You'll likely be so happy with your new Mac you'll be keeping it for two or three years quite easily. Therefore the cost will be worth it.

    I'd suggest ordering from Apples online store since it's customized to order. That is what I do, and I receive it in less than a week.
  6. nathanyeah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't know if I'm willing to spend the $300 dollars extra if all I'm getting is a slightly better games-card and dedicated graphics. (Is there any more of a difference between the two, besides the .2 gHz?)

    To be clear I'm not a graphic artist, just a designer and most of my stuff is photography based and I use mainly photoshop and indesign.

    And if I bought it from apple online (with student discount), it would cost me $1,999 instead of the $1,794 for the base 15" model..

  7. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    If you dont want to spend that much money check out the apple refurbished store.
    merry Christmas
  8. philio32383 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    And you are still asking? I got better advice for you. Go to a better Uni. or RTFF. Sorry it's rough! But really!?!? Your profs should be someone in your field, and they should have already taught you what you need. You want to do "professional" work on a 13" screen LOLOLOLOLOLOL! You can't you just can't use a 13", Professional retouchers us at least a 21" external, most of the time the 27" iMac.
  9. yly3 macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    If is it worth the 300$ difference ? Money-wise I'd say it does not.
    Would you benefit from 1GB video ? Yes, you would.
    You say you are doing light to middle stuff when it comes to photography so 512MB should be ok, but you never know when you'll need the extra 512.

    Is it possible you get some sort of promotion at work and get thrown some more heavy projects ?

    Like I said before, when I think about the purchasing a 1500-2000$ machine I am thinking of it as an investment. If I'm still "throwing" almost two grand at it why not get the most advanced thing out of it ?

    You say you have a top of the line PC at home which can do your gaming (?) needs and other stuff.

    Just keep looking at Apple's refurb online store, you might get yourself a good deal, especially this time of the year.

    Overall, I'd say if you can afford it and want to keep the machine at least 2 years, get the 1GB card, if not 512 will be ok.
    Only you can know your $ priorities.
  10. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    You been hauling around a 17" Windows notebook.

    If I were you I'd take a look at the 17" Macbook Pro.

    You will find it to be smaller and lighter than your 17" Windows notebook ... AND .... if you are going to be serious about photo editing, you will appreciate the larger screen size.

    I do photography and a lot of editing on the go .... 17" is a better platform for that work.
  11. nathanyeah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2011
    I had dinner with nelson MANDELA, thank-you very MUCH!
  12. aaron580 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2010
    If you could get a 15" with a high rez glossy. It brings out colors so much better than an anit-glare and you would definitely want that if your a graphic designer.
  13. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    The 15" will offer you far greater benefits. The difference boils down to this:

    1) Processor: don't let the .2GHz deceive you. That's on average. The difference at maximum performance boils down to this: 13" has 2 CPUs running at 3GHz. 15" has 4 CPUs running at 3.1GHz. The 15" is more than double the performance of the 13" easily. This is especially a huge benefit to Photoshop.

    2) RAM: the 13" borrows RAM to feed its graphics processor, so you're always losing approx. 400MB to 500MB of RAM. The 15" with the dedicated graphics processor makes sure you don't lose any RAM at all where the situation demands it.

    3) The faster graphics processor on the 15" will be able to drive an external display better should you choose to plug one in. Other than that, it's good for some of the display acceleration techniques that Photoshop uses, which boosts performance while you're zooming and panning around a really large photo. If not, the 2 additional CPUs and faster speed will still be far more useful for this.

    4) Display has an additional 1.5" stretch in both length and width to give you more screen real estate. Plus more pixels. The base 1440 x 900 resolution of the 15" has 270,000 more pixels than the 13". The high-res option 1680 * 1050 gives even more pixels, at a difference of 740,000 additional pixels.

    So the benefits of a 15" computer are: more pixels to see, a lot faster processor, and better graphics when you need it. The higher price tag is easily justified if you plan on holding on to the computer for a long time.
  14. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    I don't understand. You work at an Apple reseller with all the machines at your disposal and you can't decide which one is right for you?

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