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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> MacBook Pro - 15 or 17-inch?
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04/19/2012 09:14:48 PM · #1
I'm going to break down and purchase a MBP this year. I plan to get a thunderbolt display by the end of the year as well. With that being said, how would you spec out the MBP? I know I want the most resolution for the screen size, but what about size itself? Is the 17-inch necessary if you have a second monitor for when you're at home? And what about hard drives? I'm pretty sure I want to max it out and get 7200 RPMs. I know I need to max out the RAM, but what else is good to do? I would appreciate advice from anyone out there.

Thanks,

Scott
04/19/2012 09:26:57 PM · #2
Not specific to Macs, but my thoughts would be as follows:
- A 17" laptop is a *big* beast, and if you are going to be using a second monitor for your editing, you may want to consider the 15" for portability.
- 7200 rpm drives need more energy; an option is a very fast SSD for boot/apps/working storage and a slower rotating drive for bulk data storage
04/19/2012 09:30:05 PM · #3
you must be insane DO NOT BUY a MBP right now - soon to be amazing new macbook-air-pro's...

Apple Buying Guide

ETA: i personally think the best setup is a small & powerful macbook-X with a 27 inch display for home editing... best of both worlds.

Message edited by author 2012-04-19 21:31:18.
04/19/2012 11:10:49 PM · #4
Originally posted by mrchhas:

you must be insane DO NOT BUY a MBP right now - soon to be amazing new macbook-air-pro's...

Apple Buying Guide

ETA: i personally think the best setup is a small & powerful macbook-X with a 27 inch display for home editing... best of both worlds.

Indeed, wait to see what comes out soon. I worry just a little that in order to go thinner they might omit the discreet GPU option (making me glad I upgraded 6 months ago), but you could see some very useful improvements in a new MacBook Pro. I would recommend going with an SSD for the internal HD for speed and then put all your media on a Thunderbolt or USB 3 external drive (assuming the new one will support USB3).
I went with the high resolution anti-glare screen with my 15" and think it is a nice size for portability and I use an external display at home.

ETA: Only get the minimum RAM from Apple and then easily upgrade it yourself for much cheaper. Apple makes great products and they are a good value considering their high quality, but they screw you on the price of RAM ;)

Message edited by author 2012-04-19 23:14:57.
04/20/2012 06:21:43 PM · #5
Yeah, I checked out the buying guide and will definitely be waiting until summer. Considering the current specs, you get more than just the processor speed with the upgraded package on the 15, correct? It looks like it has a better video card as well. I like the idea of the SSD. How large would you need to go on that though? They are pretty pricey, even at other sites than Apple. I know my work computer (PC) has two drives. The primary just has programs and minimal files and takes up almost 200 GB. Would a MBP be comparable with installed programs? I would assume so.

And one other question, what size of Wacom tablet is recommended? I have an old Wacom 2 Large and it is way too big for my taste. Would a medium be necessary, or would a small suffice? And how does it work being mapped to a monitor when you have two monitors?

Thanks
04/20/2012 06:57:02 PM · #6
Originally posted by kirbic:

Not specific to Macs, but my thoughts would be as follows:
- A 17" laptop is a *big* beast, and if you are going to be using a second monitor for your editing, you may want to consider the 15" for portability.
- 7200 rpm drives need more energy; an option is a very fast SSD for boot/apps/working storage and a slower rotating drive for bulk data storage


My work laptop is a 17" mbp and it is pretty darn heavy.
04/20/2012 07:26:04 PM · #7
Originally posted by traquino98:

Yeah, I checked out the buying guide and will definitely be waiting until summer. Considering the current specs, you get more than just the processor speed with the upgraded package on the 15, correct? It looks like it has a better video card as well. I like the idea of the SSD. How large would you need to go on that though? They are pretty pricey, even at other sites than Apple. I know my work computer (PC) has two drives. The primary just has programs and minimal files and takes up almost 200 GB. Would a MBP be comparable with installed programs? I would assume so.

And one other question, what size of Wacom tablet is recommended? I have an old Wacom 2 Large and it is way too big for my taste. Would a medium be necessary, or would a small suffice? And how does it work being mapped to a monitor when you have two monitors?

Thanks

Yes with the current crop of MBPs the upgraded models have a more powerful graphics processor (with more RAM) in addition to a little bit speedier processor.
I would think you could get by with a 256MB SSD if not a 128MB as long as you aren't putting a Windows Virtual Machine or a ton of other apps on it in addition to your image processing software. I put my current and last full year of images on my internal HD and all older images on a Thunderbolt external drive. Had I owned the TB HD six months ago when I got the new MacBook I would have gotten the 128GB SSD option for maybe just $100 over what I paid for the 750MB 7200 RPM spinning HD and then gone with maybe the last 6 months of images staying on the internal HD. I guess I will replace that internal HD with an SSD as prices continue to come down soon.

I went with a small size Wacom tablet recently and am happy with it (though I haven't started using it extensively), but it seems most fellow DPCer's have gone with the medium and think it is about right.
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