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Thread: New MacBook Pro setup

  1. #1
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    New MacBook Pro setup

    So thought I would add what is going on in my computer world these days. I took a loss to my older laptop due to a fall at a Dallas Airport and destroyed the screen and top half of the laptop. So a new laptop was ordered and I went with a 15 inch 2.66 I7 core laptop with anti- glare screen. Now with this size and model I lost my e-sata strategy that I had due to Apples insane idea of using a SD reader installed instead ( BAD move on Apples part ). Obviously they did not realize a 30 dollar card adapter inside is a better move and giving US options on e-sata connections. Now I could have went with a 17 but with travel just not easy to deal with at least for me.

    So now with computer in hand I customized it with 8gb of ram. A 200gb OWC SSD enterprise drive http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...ng/SSDMXRE200/
    which are highly rated and provides great reliability and also one of the fastest drives around. Let's not forget some of it's key features listed here
    The Mercury Extreme SSD line features industry leading SandForce® DuraClass Technologies:

    DuraWrite™ extends the endurance of your Solid State Drive (SSD).
    Intelligent Block Management & Wear Leveling automatically distributes data evenly across the entire SSD.
    Intelligent Read Disturb Management spreads the active read/write across the flash components eliminating data corruption caused by constant use.
    Intelligent “Recycling” for advanced free space management gradually re-writes data across the SSD over time to ensure data never gets corrupted.
    RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) protects the data on your drive similar to having a RAID setup.
    Best-in-Class ECC Protection for longest data retention and drive life.

    I put this drive in the optical bay area with a bracket i had from my previous unit but you can get as Jack just did a MCE bracket http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/m...=STORHDOPTIBAY

    Than i put in a Seagate 7200 500gb drive in the hard drive area to retain sensor movement mechanism in place on MBP plus it has rubber rings for reduction in vibration.

    On the SSD I made this the OS and with 200gb it gives me plenty of space to temporarily work my raws files from than move off to the spinning drive after processing. This gives you the fastest reads/writes from the SSD to process. Now in C1 alone with the I core 7 processor I picked up a 30 percent increase in speed with raw processing. Now that may not seem like much but EACH 16 bit Raw file I save 11 seconds in processing time than multiply that by a couple hundred images and time saved adds up . Not only that you can hit deadlines faster and everything else in life faster. LOL

    The spinning drive I partitioned into 3 and put 75 gbs alone just for a OS backup which is very nice the laptop has two OS on it without resorting to a external drive. If all goes to hell in a hand basket you can save yourself by booting off the backup. The other partitions are for storage of raw files and processed files . So now when downloading your cards you can have raws on the OS drive and Raws on the spinning drive and this eliminates carrying a external drive when traveling. The third partition is for graphics and everyday stuff. Obviously you can do more or less partitions on the spinning drive depending on need.

    For me by putting in a large 500gb spinning drive on the laptop itself eliminated the need for e-sata and a external drive which I lost in this purchase without the express card slot but it also contains everything I need when i hit the road without carrying a external backup. I took that old 3.5 external drive and have it hanging off the back end of the Drobo and everything I do I just copy there as backup to the Drobo which gets everything I do also. Than when that external is full just store it and replace with another 1gb drive . This way i have two backups for storage.

    Being a MBP for everything I do speed is critical and having stuff in various places really helps you. I do have a external DVD drive for burning disks and such but that need for a internal CD drive is never been a issue even on the road. But you can save your optical drive put it in a enclosure and take it with you if needed and for a limited time with the MCE purchase you get a free external case for the optical.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    As of this writing Jack just received his new 15 inch identical to mine and maybe he can expand on what he is doing with his. He does have a MacPro so his way of working a laptop is different than mine since this is all I have and no Mac Pro. BTW i am also using a NEC 30 inch wide gamut monitor with this setup and works a charm.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Forget all the drives and speed, I'm simply thrilled to have the high resolution antiglare screen!

  4. #4
    DougDolde
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    I took my iPad back and ordered a 13" refurbished MBP for $929. My main workstation is a loaded Mac Pro but this will do nicely for field work including backing up files.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Wow, nice. What is the total cost of the setup?

    I just sold my older MBP/15 which had the expresscard slot. I'm now regretting the sale. I made a decision to go to iPad/desktop route instead ;-) We'll see if another laptop is in my future ;-)
    .Sam.
    Panasonic GF1 & Olympus E-P5
    Photos: http://www.flickr.com/shadzee/

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Apple Cart 2800 plus tax and Apple care if you want it at additional cost

    Configuration
    2.66GHz Intel Core i7
    8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
    Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    Accessory kit

    Than 729 for the SSD drive and 100 for the MCE bracket.

    I personally bought the Seagate 7200 separate for 100 dollars because this is a build to order above which took longer so I went with a 5400 drive which is in the stores with AntiGlare. Now build to order maybe faster today than when I ordered it was 5-7 days. I was in a extreme hurry since I had a accident so obviously different scenario.

    But Apple Ram is 400 now which is about 40 dollars more than buying it yourself. They really lowered there Ram prices which makes it almost a no brainer to go with Apple ram. I already had the 8gb from the previous box so I just moved mine over
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Forget all the drives and speed, I'm simply thrilled to have the high resolution antiglare screen!
    It is very nice agree Terry.

    FYI Terry has the same unit now as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I took my iPad back and ordered a 13" refurbished MBP for $929. My main workstation is a loaded Mac Pro but this will do nicely for field work including backing up files.
    Yes it really depends on need and having a MacPro as main workstation obviously can change your laptop options unless you travel a lot and need to deliver on the road which i do a lot so speed is really important for me in a laptop. Many times i have to actually do a show at a event on screen of what I just shot within a few hours or less. So depends on needs.

    I like the Ipad myself but I don't like holding it, go figure. But it does have some uses too. For me it will be a presentation engine to show my work to clients or buyers of my art.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  9. #9
    DougDolde
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    If I were in your shoes, I'd do something similar. But I won't likely even do much if any processing on the MBP.

    I know what you mean about holding the iPad, it gets a bit heavy after a while. I'm more into using my iPhone for situations where some would prefer an iPad. It is a cool device though, just not a fit for me.

  10. #10
    DougDolde
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    I ordered the base model 13" MacBook Pro with 2GB ram and a 160 hard drive. They sent it with 4GB (2x2) and a 250 GB Seagate Momentus. I'll have to thank Steve for that.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    I just ordered the same hires 15" MBP 2.66 i7, 500GB 7.2k drive, and 8GB OWC RAM. Except glossy. I'm actually looking forward to the SD slot without needing a USB dongle... but then I don't use esata for anything. Bought from B&H.

    Planning to put it into target disk mode and simply clone my existing laptop onto it. 10.6.4 should have all the drivers necessary - I hope.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Cloning my old MBP to the new one in target disk mode worked great! It picked up an update to the trackpad driver on the first software update. It's like I closed the laptop on one machine and opened on the other. Runs fine on the 8GB of OWC RAM. I wonder if I should ebay the Apple RAM (2x2GB 1066 ECC) or hold onto it...

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Congrats Jan. Mine is identical to yours except mat, and I've had it for about 2 months. I yanked the DVD drive and put an SSD in its place. That holds my OS and apps, and the 500G drive holds data.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    I must say that SSD is awfully tempting...

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    I basically did the same thing, but am using the ssd for os and apps as well as data.
    It migth actually be better use of storage if I had installed the OS and apps on the HD but moved swap to the ssd, but it is such a PITA I just use the SSD for everything unless it has gone "archive"
    The 500G is merely backup.
    -bob

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Hmm, OS X spins down the HDD when not in use, right? Which for a backup drive would be... approximately all the time.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Paid the Mac tax and got a similar rig today.

    15.4" hi-res anti-glare, i7 2.66, 8GB, and replaced stock 500GB drive (5400RPM ) with 240GB Corsair F240 SSD (latest SandForce SF1200 controller ) and a 500GB Seagate XT hybrid drive for storage. The new hybrid from Seagate compares favorably to a 10K desktop Velociraptor and only costs about $50 more than a standard 7200K drive.

    It does kind of make me cry, though.... I could have gotten a Dell M4500 15.4" with the same i7-620M but with 1920x1200 100% sRGB color gamut LCD and workstation-class Nvidia 1GB graphics for.... $920. No, not kidding. Yes, for the whole computer.

    Or, I could have gone all out and gotten the same system with a quad-core i7-940XM (2.13Ghz, 3.06Ghz Turbo, 8MB cache, on-die memory controller).... for still less than the MBP. And, I could have still used the same SSD and hybrid HDD. But.... I had to have a machine with stable OS X and couldn't chance running it as a Hackintosh... yet. I will probably get one to try as it costs just a hair more than my 3G iPad.

    As I said... the Mac tax....

    Anyway, let's see what happens when I throw a few thousand S2 files at it....

    David
    David Farkas
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Hmm, OS X spins down the HDD when not in use, right? Which for a backup drive would be... approximately all the time.
    Yes it does, and hence battery life is a very real 5+ hours with normal use and normal screen brightness. Less if you're processing and tagging the spinner though.
    Jack
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    my gosh, all these customized MacBook Pro ...

    ... and here I was celebrating pulling myself out of the PowerPC era with a new mac mini.

    (2.66G intel duel core cpu, 500G internal drive, 8G RAM. NewerTech external drive enclosure with port expander for eSATA/FW800/FW400/USB2 ports, thermal control system, fitted with a 2T data drive. Same old ACD23", keyboard and mouse...)

    10x faster than my PowerMac G5 system, 1/10 the footprint in my office, 1/4 the price. Don't need more than that. :-)

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    It does kind of make me cry, though.... I could have gotten a Dell M4500 15.4" with the same i7-620M but with 1920x1200 100% sRGB color gamut LCD and workstation-class Nvidia 1GB graphics for.... $920. No, not kidding. Yes, for the whole computer.
    Where would you get this for $920? I just checked, and I get $1721 at dell.com. The Dell's hires display is 1920x1080.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Where would you get this for $920? I just checked, and I get $1721 at dell.com. The Dell's hires display is 1920x1080.
    Jan... you are correct about the display.. I forgot they went to 16:9 on the 15" vs. 16:10 on the 17".

    I saw the price of $920 yesterday on the Dell Outlet. Even at full retail of $1721, it is still a lot less than the MBP ($2350). With the i7-940XM Quad Extreme full retail is $2725... $375 more than a MBP with an i7-620M. I just don't have the time right now to figure out whether it will work well as a Hackintosh, otherwise I would have gone this way.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Okay.... here is a screen grab from the Dell Outlet 5 minutes ago, this time $829!!!

    David
    David Farkas
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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Oh, it's a refurb. You can get an old MBP pretty cheap too if you're willing to wait for a refurb deal. Probably not for $900, but you don't have to pay $2k+ either.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Does anyone with a 15" wish they got a 17" or vice versa? I'm thinking about getting a 17" as my main workstation, then plug in external drives via eSata. I had a 17" pre-unibody briefly and hated the weight, but was far more productive on it. The extra 2" of screen really do make a difference.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Bill,
    This is/was the internal discussion I keep having. I went with the 15" MBP i7 Core machine with the high res matte screen. I love it. Takes some getting used to the smaller type on the higher res screen, but worth it. There are things I do wish for....more FW800 ports, but not happening regardless of which laptop you get. Then there is the EC/34 slot. I really wish that was on the 15" MBP like before. I would prefer using a card for eSATA connection to a drive or maybe even a RAID configuration just for faster transfers and video work.

    Were I to do things again, I think I would still go for the 15" MBP like I have, as for portability, it is best. I do like the larger real estate screen and extra ports on the 17: MBP model however, but it is too big to carry about comfortably for my needs. I am thinking about the 27" iMac for the desk machine at this point, and just using the MBP for my portable needs. For now, I just connect my 15" to a 24" monitor on the desk whenever there, and that seems to work out quite well....until I have to struggle again when away from the bigger view ;-) No perfect solution. I would probably hook up the extra monitor if I had the 17" MBP anyway....cannot have too much screen.

    LJ

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    Does anyone with a 15" wish they got a 17" or vice versa? I'm thinking about getting a 17" as my main workstation, then plug in external drives via eSata. I had a 17" pre-unibody briefly and hated the weight, but was far more productive on it. The extra 2" of screen really do make a difference.
    I've had both 15 and 17 inch models. I prefer the 15 inch ... no laptop screen can replace a good desktop display for quality, and 17 inch screens hurt portability which is why I'm buying a laptop in the first place. I'd consider a 13 inch and a desktop display as a standard system before buying another 17 inch.

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    Re: New MacBook Pro setup

    So how is that OWC SSD drive holding up? Any noticeable speed loss since you installed it? Any problems at all? I'm thinking of swapping my optical for an OWC SSD kit as well and am looking for a sanity check...

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