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Thread: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

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    Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Hello all, I am looking for some specific advice on selecting a new MacBook Pro.

    My 4 year old Macbook Pro (2.16GHZ) and 4GB RAM struggles with processing my P45+ files. With only 120GB HD I have to strip files off on a regular basis. It manages, but realistically I need a new model for when I am away on shoots which typically are a week or two long.

    Main processing is done on a Mac Pro (3 yrs old) with 14GB RAM and this is ok.

    Am looking at the 17in model with Anti-Glare monitor. I am not looking to have SSD. So I'm unsure as to whether the 2.3GHZ upgrade is worth having and also which HD option [email protected] or [email protected] is best. I take a La Cie backup drive with me and both are significantly more than I am used to. Would look to up the RAM from a 3rd party source instead of Apple.

    Am aware that if I delay timing and buy after release of Lion (OSX 10.7) then there might well be software compatibility issues. I need it to work primarily with C1Pro, but also LR3 and CS4, and am not in the slightest bothered about Apple's new gadgets, I don't ever use Spaces etc I don't print from the Laptop, but got fingers burned with Tiger, so wouldn't be an early Tiger adaptor for the Mac Pro.

    I don't envisage going IQ180 (or the next big thing) for the foreseeable future unless a major lottery win occurs!

    I'd be grateful if you could explain your rationale for making recommendations.

    Many thanks

    Baxter

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Baxter,

    I just upgraded my 2008 2.6GHz 17in MBP with 6GB ram, hi-res display anti-glare & dual 240GB SSD & 500GB HDD to a new 17in 2.2GHz MBP & 8 GB Ram, anti-glare screen, swapping over the SSD and putting in a 750GB 7200RPM 2nd HDD. This is a MUCH MUCH faster machine!

    I looked at the 2.3GHz upgrade and I didn't think that it was worth it compared to maxing out memory and putting in an SSD. You'll get more benefit from putting the upgrade costs towards an SSD vs minor CPU upgrade IMHO.

    I would seriously consider the SSD because it makes a significant difference overall. Also, I would definitely recommend a 7200rpm drive over a 5400rpm drive if you stick with HDD. You might also want to look at a hybrid SSD/HDD like the Seagate XT as this may also work out faster than your HDD options and cheaper than a SSD.

    I have a specialist Mac dealer who builds my machines and we generally swap out the default Apple disks as there are better 3rd party options. Ditto memory. I'm tempted to upgrade to 12GB RAM actually although that's primarily for non C1/PS reasons - 8GB should be fine for that.

    Screen size - 15in is most practical on the road but I go with 17in because I have to run other stuff on my machine for my "real job" that pays for all this stuff.

    I would also invest in the fastest CF cards and reader as importing cards full of MF images takes a while at times ...

    Lastly, the scary thing is that the new machine is faster than my 2x quad core MacPro!

    (Btw, I suspect this needs to move to Gear Garage?)
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 11th June 2011 at 15:40.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Baxter,

    I upgraded to the 2011 model MacBook Pro (15", anti-glare screen, quad core...) earlier this year and used the digilloyd site for advice. You won't find a more comprehensive set of testing and comparisons re Apple computers on the Web. I'm running CS5, LR3, and C1Pro with no problems whatsoever. In fact, it runs faster, using readily available benchmarks as a test, than my three-year old Mac Pro desktop.

    Joe
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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Baxter, check out macperformance.com (one of the diglloyd.com sites), before you spend a dime.

    I have the latest MBP 15", matte screen, with a Mercury Extreme SSD and 8GB RAm; it is 2.5 times faster than my maxed-out Mac Pro (11,500 vs. 5,500, geekbench.com).

    The Mac Pro has been sold. HTH, kl

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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Thanks so much Graham, Joe and Kit.

    I'll do the reading from those links in the morning. I was aware of digiloyd, but wanted to canvas the opinions of photographers using the same type of camera gear/software as myself.

    I'm in the UK, so will have to investigate supply position of SSDs if they really are that good!

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    The SSDs really are that good, and the Mercury Pro Extreme ones are ~7% "overprovisioned"; this means that one of mine (for example), nominally 250GB, is ~7% larger, and this extra space is where the programs live that do "load levelling" and other arcana—upshot is that these drives maintain their just-out-of-the-box performance. Mac ones do not. I order the MBP with a 7,200rpm drive that, once I take out and replace with the SSD, will go into one of OWC's nice cases—and I have an extra very small, fast FireWire drive. In my experience, replacing a hard drive with an SSD is the biggest performance improvement you can make.

    And I once dropped an SSD-equipped 13" MBP on its corner from head height onto concrete—and when I opened it up it woke from sleep immediately. For anyone on the road, SSDs are the go. I even put one in my Mac Pro and used if like that for a year, before the latest MacBook Pro's performance made it redundant. Good luck.

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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    A plan is formulating on the back of this sage advice.

    Buy in a two stage process.

    First get a 2.2GHz 17in MBP with [email protected] HDD. Third party memory to boost to 8GB (Crucial price is 1/3 Apple's upgrade price) accepting that performance will be an improvement on current model, but that there is more to come if needed.

    Then later on if/when I decided I need to boost performance get an SSD to swap into the computer. I anticipate the prices of these will drop and/or performance will increase for given price. It seems from my initial research that SSDs aren't that widely available in the UK, so might have to get it imported from OWC or similar Stateside.

    I am having a 3 week holiday to Hawaii in the summer and might be able to fathom a way of getting an SSD shipped there....

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    I have a 2011 2.3 15 inch Quad core with 8gb of ram and also a OWC Extreme Pro 250 gb Sata 3 drive. I would avoid the 17 inch in this model has several issues have cropped up on them. But this is the fastest MBP you can get today. This will also take 16gb of Ram which after i rob the next bank i may get since it is a 1500 dollar ram upgrade. OUCH

    Just a example same model last year with duo cores and this unit is 53 percent faster on raw processing.

    So your P45 files will fly on this unit. I have been dealing with IQ 180 files lately and it handles them pretty well if i have some patience. But today with my P40 files which are basically the same as the P45 than it flies like a race horse with no issues. This is my main unit connected to a 30 NEC wide gamut monitor and everything else under the sun connected to it. Great machine
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Thanks Guy

    I'd never contemplated that the MBP would outperform my desktop MPro which might become obsolete. With FW800 connectivity, I too could harness up my other existing peripherals. When Thunderbolt devices come on-stream the ballpark changes again....

    I shall have to research the issues with the 17in model. It isn't imperative that I change immediately. My Kata Bumblebee camera bag will take a 17in, so I felt I might as well get the bigger screen real estate.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    They have been having some issues with the 17 with Sata 3 drives which you want and some other issues . I like the 15 inch for travel than back at office hook the Nec up. Which I highly recommend. I'm always on the bleeding edge here since it's my only unit and will beat a lot if the older MacPros
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    The only issue I'm aware of with the 17in is as Guy mentioned with support for SATA 3 6GB/s drives - it seems that there are various either controller / cable interference issues with those faster devices in the 2011 17in MBP. My drives are all SATA 2 so I haven't had any problems but folks like OWC have some fix kits that may/may not work depending upon your laptop. It seems also that Apple may have a silent fix for this as there are reports of some machines going back to Apple and returning with updated controllers with SATA 3 for both bays.

    Btw, even SSD's aren't totally 100% reliable. My 240GB OWC Extreme Pro 3G SSD decided to keel over yesterday which makes it the 2nd SSD to fail on me this year (IBM X25M died in Jan too). The good news is that OWC are replacing it - great customer service so far.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Wow, I hadn't even considered the potential failure of SSDs. This is a concern if I decide to press ahead with something from US such as OWC, as dealing with arranging transatlantic repair work (inc lead times) is a headache I could do without!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    Well to put things into perspective, it's probably more likely that a HDD would fail than an SSD but if you search the web you'll find plenty of evidence of SSD's failing.

    For example, this is an interesting read:
    http://forums.storagereview.com/inde...o-hard-drives/
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Which new MacBook Pro for P45+

    I had a problematic SSD recently (earlier firmware; some problems waking from sleep); I sent it back to them from Australia and they upgraded the firmware and sent it back, all inside two weeks in total. Faster than could have done it via an Australian company, probably.

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