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  #1  
Old June 13th, 2007, 01:00 PM
Jon Mark Jon Mark is offline
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Default Your opinions please?

Greetings,

I've been plugging along with my 17in iMac (G5) with CS2 for 3yrs now. Although I'd like a MacPro fully loaded, the timing is just not right. I am thinking of a Macbook Pro (15in) with 4GB RAM and doing CS3 with an external monitor (Eizo or something similar) and a Wacom 6x8 tablet.

My opinion is that the MBP and external monitor will give me better performance than what I have now. I will not have broken the bank, will still have some portability for work, and will not have calibration problems with a laptop screen.

Anyone with comments on this? Good? Could be better?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old June 13th, 2007, 05:15 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mark View Post
Greetings,

I've been plugging along with my 17in iMac (G5) with CS2 for 3yrs now. Although I'd like a MacPro fully loaded, the timing is just not right. I am thinking of a Macbook Pro (15in) with 4GB RAM and doing CS3 with an external monitor (Eizo or something similar) and a Wacom 6x8 tablet.

My opinion is that the MBP and external monitor will give me better performance than what I have now. I will not have broken the bank, will still have some portability for work, and will not have calibration problems with a laptop screen.

Anyone with comments on this? Good? Could be better?

Thanks!
Hi Jon, My answer is a little long, since it depends on your softeware and workload!

We discussed this recently and I made the point that for a lot of work the MacBookPro can replace the desktop. However, there was not a lot of support for my point of veiw, LOL! Here's the deal, until now, with only 2GB RAM capability, the MacBook Pro was limited for Photoshop. For Aperture by Apple, the graphics card is not as good as that on Towers. Just as PS needs RAM, Aperture needs a great graphics card! However, now with 4GB of RAM maxed out, the MBP is very well set up for photoshop and the dual cores can be each used by AutoPano Pro for stitching Panos.

Even for Aperture, I'm pretty sure, but do not really know, that it has to be OK at least!

I have the MBPro with 17" scree and 2GB RAM and it works twice the apeed of my dual G5 2.3 GHZ Tower for AutoPano Pro, and that's important for me.

I just priced out my ideal new quad tower and it came to some $6500 with just 8GB Ram I believe. So the MBPro, which will do such a lot is a great deal.

However, if you have to do a lot of processing of files with Aperture or APP, then a Tower is better!

Is that of any help?

Asher
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  #3  
Old June 13th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Jon Mark Jon Mark is offline
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Thanks Asher...

I've been with C1 Pro for a few years and will likely migrate over to Lightroom and CS3. My concern with Aperture is the performance dependence on the graphics card with the MBP. The tower is in the plans, just not for a year or so. In the mean time, what do you think about using an external monitor w/ the MBP to do some serious photoshop?
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  #4  
Old June 13th, 2007, 10:47 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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The MB Pro with an Eizo Monitor is superb!

With 4GB or RAM and a Firewire 800 Scratch disk you'll do very well.

You can also use the Express PC slot with a card to handle your SATA dirves, either two SATA drives, like mine (2x500 GB in one case from OWC) or 2x5 SATA drives if you have the right cable and case. If you want to do that, ask!

You can get a full size key board and then raise the PB Pro on some stand to keep it cool and you will not even miss the tower for all but the largest jobs.

I find that I use all the Macs I own as there is always something available when you are batch rendering and tie up your machine.

I don't trust my files with a computer running a lot of other stuff, even though you can. Computer safety is like ethics in a way, it's about what you should do rather than what you can do!

Good luck on your decision. The 4GB PB Pro is probably the best standard laptop made outside of the military!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; June 14th, 2007 at 01:50 AM.
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  #5  
Old June 14th, 2007, 12:36 AM
Stan Jirman Stan Jirman is offline
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I'll refrain from deciding what's best for you, just some factual info:

The price premium for 4GB RAM in an MBP is astronomical, and not just because Apple is hungry; the price for that RAM is simply high. You can get far more memory for a MP at a lower price.

If you want to run an external monitor with the MBP, think again. If you still want to do it, get the bigger version with 256M RAM. That will greatly help with Aperture, but not with PS - they don't use the video card for image processing. Attaching a 30" screen to an MBP, regardless what configuration, is a painful proposal if you want to do any serious graphics work, period.

The new MBPs (announced last week) have NVidia cards, not ATI. From People Who Know (tm), this is a much better solution for Aperture. Again, not much of an impact for PS / LR.

I think you should consider even a stripper MP with the x1900 card, and 6-8GB of aftermarket RAM (one 2GB DIMM goes for $160 now, I wish it was that cheap when I bought it a year ago, heh). Even the stripper MP with x1900 card and 6GB RAM will beat the pants off any MBP when it comes to Aperture or any other graphics processing. Sticker is $2780 for that (2.66 variant), plus RAM. It's about more than just CPU speed - it's the bus bandwidth and disk bandwidth, too. And if you really need a laptop to download pictures in the field or email in the cafe, get a MacBook.
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  #6  
Old June 14th, 2007, 11:49 AM
Jon Mark Jon Mark is offline
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Thanks for the info Stan,

The price for 4GB of RAM for the MBP is $219 at Trans International, so I didn't even flinch when compared to the $750 that Apple charges.

Could you provide more info on attaching an external monitor to a MBP? You have my curiosity piqued... Is it that difficult and problematic?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts...

Regards,
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  #7  
Old June 14th, 2007, 11:17 PM
Stan Jirman Stan Jirman is offline
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Attaching a monitor to a MBP is not problematic at all from a mechanical perspective. Just plug and play. However, if you use applications that use the GPU heavily (Aperture, Motion, FCP to name a few), then you have a video card that's designed for low power consumption and a sub-HD screen drive a HD (or more, in case of the 30") screen. It's like towing a boat with a Mini: you can do it, but it may not be wise.

Things get worse when you keep the laptop screen open: then the video memory will get divided between the two screens evenly, so your 15" screen is taking 128MB and your 30" screen is taking the other 128 (god forbid you chose the 128 variant, and now you have 64M each). Now pile a few windows onto your 30" screen and do an "All Windows" Exposť. Again, it will work, but it's not something that would be shown in a commercial.

It's really not about what's possible - as said, you can drive a 30" screen with any MBP. It's just about what's advisable. This technology is meant to enable you to do it if you have to, but you can't compare it to the performance you'd get from a dedicated system. Heck, by volume, the x1900 video card in my MacPro is bigger than the whole MBP! And I am quite sure it takes more power than the power supply of the MBP is capable of delivering.

It's about different things for different purposes. For that reason I bought the "cheapo" MBP, because for my casual use 128M is good enough and I'll never connect it to an external monitor. But even the 256M variant will be painful if used regularly with an external screen. Same applies to the 17" HiDef variant - same size as a 23" screen, and thus very GPU intensive.
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  #8  
Old June 15th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Jon Mark Jon Mark is offline
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Thanks Stan!

I appreciate your comments and experience. I'll need to reconsider and actually go and see how the MBP runs while attached to an external monitor.

Regards,
Jon
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  #9  
Old June 15th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jon,

For sure, I'd defer to Stans offers for large workloads.

If however, you use just one 21" monitor and work with one program at a time, you may find the MacBookPro perfect. I too am taken back by the cost of Apple RAM but 3rd party RAM is available!

Try it and consider it for your own work. I tried my own 17" Macbook Pro with 2GB or RAM with the Eizo CG21 monitor, using both MBP and the Eizo screens. For CS2 it was fine for regular files.

It seemed no slower than using the G5 Dual 233MHZ.

So it depends on your need for a great MBP, ie your lifestyle and your workload.

To be sure, if you want the fastest CS2 and the fastest Aperture performance, the Tower is the way to go for all the reason Stan points out!

Asher
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