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Author Topic: MacBook Pro Question  (Read 2309 times)
JessicaLuchesi
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« on: March 29, 2009, 12:41:39 PM »
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Hi everyone.

So, I'm coming close from upgrading my current MacBook white, into a MacBook Pro.

I was planning on getting the new 15" models, the Aluminum Unibody ones, going for the entry model ( a really decent upgrade from a MacBook White ). So, it would be the 15" model, with 2.4Ghz CPU, LED Backlit display and 256Mb on the graphics card. For around US$1850 on B&H.

But while browsing B&H's website, I noticed something. For the same US$1850 range, I could get an older model MacBook Pro, also 15", also widescreen, just with an older graphics card ( but with 512Mb instead of 256Mb ) and 2.66Ghz instead of 2.4 CPU, also with LED Backlit display.

So, my question being... in the same price range... a buck for a buck... I think I may get a better performance on the older model than on the newer one. But I have the impression the display has been updated as well. And the display is my main working tool as a photographer. Since I can't get my hands on both, to compare, I have to ask, for those of you who used both models, is the display alone worth upgrading? Would it be worth giving up some CPU performance in order to get the new macbook pro model ?
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atassy
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 12:50:16 PM »
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i did a similar thing a couple of months ago, bought a 'previous model' macbook pro at a pretty good price. i wasn't worried about the display question but was grateful for more processing power for the money. after all, laptop monitors are never great for critical work. they're fine for judging your image while you have nothing better to view it on but they can't replace a decent desktop monitor.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 03:40:20 PM »
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Quote from: JessicaLuchesi
Hi everyone.

So, I'm coming close from upgrading my current MacBook white, into a MacBook Pro.

I was planning on getting the new 15" models, the Aluminum Unibody ones, going for the entry model ( a really decent upgrade from a MacBook White ). So, it would be the 15" model, with 2.4Ghz CPU, LED Backlit display and 256Mb on the graphics card. For around US$1850 on B&H.

But while browsing B&H's website, I noticed something. For the same US$1850 range, I could get an older model MacBook Pro, also 15", also widescreen, just with an older graphics card ( but with 512Mb instead of 256Mb ) and 2.66Ghz instead of 2.4 CPU, also with LED Backlit display.

So, my question being... in the same price range... a buck for a buck... I think I may get a better performance on the older model than on the newer one. But I have the impression the display has been updated as well. And the display is my main working tool as a photographer. Since I can't get my hands on both, to compare, I have to ask, for those of you who used both models, is the display alone worth upgrading? Would it be worth giving up some CPU performance in order to get the new macbook pro model ?

I don't think the processor speed difference is significant ... probably a non factor.  The older one will perform great, the newer one does have a faster front side bus, and the graphics card is faster.  It will probably run a little cooler.  If you are buying the older one because you think it will perform better ... I think they'll be pretty comparable, and the newer one may be better.  Installing 4gigs of RAM is probably the best thing you can do for either one, and for Photoshop ordering the new one with the 7200rpm drive upgrade ($50) is money well spent.  

Either will perform pretty well.  Important factors to consider, newer one requires an adaptor to add an external DVI monitor (only $29). Older one was available with matt screen, newer one is gloss only (which I actually prefer, but most don't).

B&H site says the older one is discontinued and no longer available, not sure where you saw it available.
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budjames
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 04:22:15 PM »
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I traded my 2 yr old MacBookPro 2.33 ghz w/3GB ram in for the new MacBookPro 2.8ghz w/4GB ram. Both run the latest version of Leopard and PS CS4.

The graphics in the new MBP are noticeably faster and the drive is a 7200 rpm vs 5400 rpm so the access time seems peppier (no quantifiable testing was done). I really like the sharpness and contrast of the new glossy screen too. It calibrated very nicely with my EyeOne colorimeter. So in my case, the new MBP was a nice upgrade especially since my Apple dealer gave me $1,150 for my old MBP towards the new one.

However, if you are coming from an old MacBook and your not a heavy LR or PS user, the old version of the MBP is definitely a deal assuming that you can find a clean one with Apple Care warranty remaining.

On the other hand, since you seem to hold on to your hardware for a long time, splurging on a new MBP and amortizing the cost of say 4-5 years, makes it easier to justify the extra initial expense.

Either way, I'm sure that you won't miss your old MB once you upgrade.

Cheers.
Bud
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Bud James
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JessicaLuchesi
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 04:53:11 PM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
I don't think the processor speed difference is significant ... probably a non factor.  The older one will perform great, the newer one does have a faster front side bus, and the graphics card is faster.  It will probably run a little cooler.  If you are buying the older one because you think it will perform better ... I think they'll be pretty comparable, and the newer one may be better.  Installing 4gigs of RAM is probably the best thing you can do for either one, and for Photoshop ordering the new one with the 7200rpm drive upgrade ($50) is money well spent.  

Either will perform pretty well.  Important factors to consider, newer one requires an adaptor to add an external DVI monitor (only $29). Older one was available with matt screen, newer one is gloss only (which I actually prefer, but most don't).

B&H site says the older one is discontinued and no longer available, not sure where you saw it available.

Thanks Wayne, and you are correct, it shows as discontinued ( which I didn't notice ).

Thanks everyone. I'm still some 2 or 3 months before the purchase. I am indeed a heavy PS and LR user, depending on the photoshoot. I would like a screen I can work comfortably with for some of my shoots are done on location, and photos would be likely delivered the next day, so, even if I do have a nicely calibrated monitor ( today, most of my work is done on an iMac, not on the MacBook, the Macbook is more and more just for quick review and web browsing ), sometimes I have to finish everything on the drive home.

I guess my decision is set on the 2.4Ghz one. I'll surely look into the 7200rpm drive, and yes, I'll surely boost memory to the top limit. I wish I could go straight for the 2.53 version, but I'm already stretching to go for US$1900... going for the US$2200 B&H asks ( I'm in Brazil, and have a friend who is a B&H client... so... will ask him to get it for me on his next NYC trip ) something I can't spend in right now.
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pss
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 05:08:29 PM »
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if you read reviews and tests, the newer unibody mbps are not faster....and with PS you won't notice much of a difference between 2.4 and 2.6 either...max out on ram (6gb or even 8gb on the unibody) and the fastest HD, maybe even SSD and or a second internal HD will make things faster.....until the quad core chips ship in mbps i don't think the difference is all that much.....
i can't work with the glossy screens so the older gen or the 17" is the only choice for me....
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na goodman
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 09:32:23 PM »
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The new one has the DDR3 memory which really makes the new machines really "snappy". You're also looking at the change in design with the new one and as someone stated the glossy screen. I had the choice between the new and the old (one model back) and went with the old model just because I liked the matte screen. That being said, I can really tell the difference in speed and I really think it is due to the new DDR3 memory. I don't use my laptop as my main machine, if I did I may have given it more thought but I bumped this one up to 4G of ram right away and it's just fine.
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k bennett
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2009, 11:07:12 AM »
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Check the cache. When I upgraded my laptop last year, I got the Macbook Pro 15 inch. The cheapest model had a 3MB cache, the next model up had 6MB. Checking some test sites, the extra cache made a large difference in Photoshop processing speed. Not sure the situation with the current MBP models, but worth checking.
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JessicaLuchesi
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 08:06:03 AM »
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Quote from: k bennett
Check the cache. When I upgraded my laptop last year, I got the Macbook Pro 15 inch. The cheapest model had a 3MB cache, the next model up had 6MB. Checking some test sites, the extra cache made a large difference in Photoshop processing speed. Not sure the situation with the current MBP models, but worth checking.

Thanks, I'll look into that for sure. I also checked http://mactactic.com/ this morning, and they point out a possible replacement in 3 months. So, I may also wait and see what it brings me
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