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Author Topic: MacBook Pro 15" vs. 17"  (Read 9584 times)
Greg Haag
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« on: February 04, 2009, 07:03:11 AM »
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I am about to purchase a new MacBook Pro.  I will primarily use this for shooting tethered, minor processing from home or on the road, trying to decide between 15" and 17".
Thanks in advance,
Greg
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kikashi
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2009, 11:58:22 AM »
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Quote from: Greg Haag
I am about to purchase a new MacBook Pro.  I will primarily use this for shooting tethered, minor processing from home or on the road, trying to decide between 15" and 17".
Thanks in advance,
Greg
How strong are your arms? How deep are your pockets? Do you intend to connect it to a larger monitor when you're at home? I think either would be a great machine: I have a Mac Pro at home so I bought a 15" MacBook Pro: it's fine for my purposes. There's no right answer, though. I think the 17" models are a little faster, but I doubt you'd notice much difference in practice.

Jeremy
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JessicaLuchesi
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 02:49:22 PM »
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Quote from: kikashi
How strong are your arms? How deep are your pockets? Do you intend to connect it to a larger monitor when you're at home? I think either would be a great machine: I have a Mac Pro at home so I bought a 15" MacBook Pro: it's fine for my purposes. There's no right answer, though. I think the 17" models are a little faster, but I doubt you'd notice much difference in practice.

Jeremy
I also hope to buy a Macbook Pro soon, but not right now. I'm happy with my 13" white macbook, and just got a 20" iMac, so, the macbook became just an on-the-road computer and for tethered shooting. But it's getting old, so, I'm switching to the MacBook pro when AppleCare expires. I'll go for the 15" one because it's enough for those needs. I'd still go for the 15" if it was my main processing machine, but would get a good external monitor over 20" to accompany. In terms of raw processing speed for photoshop, the iMac is slightly faster than the 15" macbook Pro, so, in processing terms, the macbook Pro will be slower than a Mac Pro, but comparable to the current generation iMac, and slower than the future iMacs, which are just to be released ( possibly quad core ). So, I do think iMac/Macbook Pro are a good pair for working.

I actually know a photographer who went to the old MacBook Pro, 17". He loves it, I love it, everyone loves it. But he can't carry it around with any comfort. It's just too big. He mentioned more than once the desire to go for a white macbook just because it's smaller, and easier for location work. On that note, the new 17" macbook pros are not significantly bigger when compared to the 15" ones, in contrast to the older models.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 02:59:13 PM by JessicaLuchesi » Logged
Greg Haag
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 03:42:49 PM »
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Jeremy/Jessica,
Thanks for your feedback.  I went to an Apple store today, unfortunately they do not have the new 17" to compare to the 15".  However, in comparing the new 15" and the old 17" my guess the is not going to be a significant difference in weight.  I think the slightly smaller size of the 15" is appealing, however, the longer battery life, faster processor and ability to expand ram to 8gb have me leaning toward the 17".
Thanks again,
Greg
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Bob Smith
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 05:00:38 PM »
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I've carted around a 17" PowerBook or MacBook Pro for several years.  I'm currently using a MacBookPro that's not quite a year old.  The size/weight doesn't bother me at all... and I take mine just about everywhere.  I love the extra screen real estate and additional ports.
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Greg Haag
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 05:08:39 PM »
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Bob,
Thanks for the feedback, considering that I have to increase the strength of my reading glasses every other year I should probably buy a 20" laptop if they offered it.  I have the 30" inch for a desktop and it is great!
Thanks again,
Greg
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David Anderson
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 05:20:52 PM »
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Greg, I have both now, but have been using mostly 17's for years.
(I normally take 2 laptops to a location)

The 17's are big, but you get more screen, the 15 is easier to get into a bag and lug around, but not by much.

The reason I ended up with a 15 is I've had A LOT of trouble with 17's over the years, they have been less reliable then a Landrover and nothing but trouble.

The one I have now has been OK for about a year and that would be a record, the previous 2 blew up mother boards and caused me no end of grief.

The 15 on the other hand has been faultless and as far as I can tell does the job as well - maybe a tiny bit slower, but there's not much in it.

The new model 17 looks pretty good to me and any improvement in the screens and speed would be welcome.

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bokehcambodia
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 09:53:55 PM »
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"Wrapping up the new 17-inch MacBook Pro is taking a few days longer than we projected," the company said in an email sent to thousands of customers this afternoon. "As a result, we will be unable to ship your 17-inch MacBook Pro until February 19, 2009."
found on apple insider.
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Phat Photographer
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 10:17:44 PM »
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I have the 15: MacBook Pro (2nd generation).  It's great if you are on the move and I would second the other comments about getting a second monitor for home use.  Actually, I'd recommend getting a 2nd monitor regardless of which choice you make.  They're relatively inexpensive these days and it really helps to have the space. The 2GB (now 3GB) cap on the MacBook Pro is limiting if you do a lot of Photoshop or have multiple apps open while working in your Raw Editor.  I'd go with the 17" if for some reason you can't get an external monitor AND you were only infrequently traveling with it.
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kikashi
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 02:45:43 AM »
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Quote from: Phat Photographer
I have the 15: MacBook Pro (2nd generation).  It's great if you are on the move and I would second the other comments about getting a second monitor for home use.  Actually, I'd recommend getting a 2nd monitor regardless of which choice you make.  They're relatively inexpensive these days and it really helps to have the space. The 2GB (now 3GB) cap on the MacBook Pro is limiting if you do a lot of Photoshop or have multiple apps open while working in your Raw Editor.  I'd go with the 17" if for some reason you can't get an external monitor AND you were only infrequently traveling with it.
The maximum memory has been more than 2GB for ages: my 2-year-old MBP has 4GB in it, which remains the maximum for the 15" model. The current 17" will take 8GB, but 4GB DIMMs are jolly expensive. As to weight, the 17" weighs 1.1lb (20%) more than the 15", which may or may not be an issue.

Jeremy
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 04:57:08 PM by kikashi » Logged
Roy
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »
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Although not officially supported by Apple, most MacBook Pro models will support 6GB memory (one 2GB stick and one 4 GB stick).

For example see this article.

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Roy
JessicaLuchesi
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 06:18:55 AM »
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Another thing to keep in mind is heat. I live in Brazil, and over here you could blow your motherboard by trying to make your notebook do extremely heavy processing without air conditioner. The 17" is packed in a larger chassis, which would help dissipate heat, but then you have more processing power and more memory, and it brings the heat up again. I am growing to admit for some things you'd better have a good desktop, and hold a notebook as a complementary workstation.
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harlemshooter
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2009, 05:30:51 PM »
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the new 17 inch has decent battery life.  that, along with the "matte" screen option, was worth it for me.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 08:38:36 AM by harlemshooter » Logged
NigelC
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 06:08:09 AM »
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Quote from: David Anderson
Greg, I have both now, but have been using mostly 17's for years.
(I normally take 2 laptops to a location)

The 17's are big, but you get more screen, the 15 is easier to get into a bag and lug around, but not by much.

The reason I ended up with a 15 is I've had A LOT of trouble with 17's over the years, they have been less reliable then a Landrover and nothing but trouble.

The one I have now has been OK for about a year and that would be a record, the previous 2 blew up mother boards and caused me no end of grief.

The 15 on the other hand has been faultless and as far as I can tell does the job as well - maybe a tiny bit slower, but there's not much in it.

The new model 17 looks pretty good to me and any improvement in the screens and speed would be welcome.

But an old Landrover is easier to fix! (and a new one is reliable in my experience) Sorry not really on topic but couldn't resist
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flashfredrikson
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 06:13:02 AM »
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What you really should consider: the new mbp 17" has no replaceable battery, which kills it for me for tethered shooting, which eats through your batteries, especially if you do backups on portable drives, print some polaroids on a selphy, edit and all that stuff. I usally take at least three batteries for my 15" with me for a whole day of shooting (fashion that is). Especially if you are outdoors and it is cold, you really need a lot of juice...

cheers
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Greg Haag
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2009, 07:27:36 AM »
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Thanks to all for your feedback!  I am a bit on the fence primarily because of the battery, on the one hand I love the longer life on the other I am concerned that it is sealed and I assume would require it being sent in to replace (down time/cost?).  I guess it is fortunate that it is still not available, gives me time to think this thru.  Any wisdom would be appreciated.
Thanks again,
Greg
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2009, 03:13:29 AM »
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Go with 17", i have that one and no regret, even sometimes i feel i want larger monitor for my MBP, that why i am planning to get 30" external monitor to connect with my 17" MacBook Pro, for me 15" will not cut it down.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2009, 08:56:52 AM »
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Quote from: Greg Haag
I am about to purchase a new MacBook Pro.  I will primarily use this for shooting tethered, minor processing from home or on the road, trying to decide between 15" and 17".
I've used a 17" ever since the beginning (2003?) and have never regretted it. For carrying, I use a Brenthaven backpack  and find it very functional for travel.

If there's any downside to the new 17" models, it's the non-removable battery. A local Apple reseller said it is replaceable, but only through authorized service. This means that when the time comes, you'll be without your laptop for a few days.
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ddk
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2009, 10:49:47 AM »
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Quote from: Greg Haag
I am about to purchase a new MacBook Pro.  I will primarily use this for shooting tethered, minor processing from home or on the road, trying to decide between 15" and 17".
Thanks in advance,
Greg


Go with the 17"! I was in your shoes a couple years back and opted for the 15" thinking that it would be lighter and smaller, at the end of the day that difference turned out to be insignificant but difference in display size was major. There's only one thing that might be of some concern and that has to do with buying camera bags, the ones that can incorporate the 17" macbook tend to be larger and fewer than ones that are made for the 15"er.
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david
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Mosccol
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2009, 01:56:07 PM »
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Quote from: Greg Haag
Thanks to all for your feedback!  I am a bit on the fence primarily because of the battery, on the one hand I love the longer life on the other I am concerned that it is sealed and I assume would require it being sent in to replace (down time/cost?).  I guess it is fortunate that it is still not available, gives me time to think this thru.  Any wisdom would be appreciated.
Thanks again,
Greg

Latest news is that the battery CAN be changed (from memory, it involves the removal on 13 screws!) but if you shoot tethered without external power you will suffer.... In other words no battery changing on the fly, ever.
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