Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?
I use an Early-2009 UniBody MacBook Pro with 17" Anti-Glare screen. It is now at Mac OS X 10.6.8 and has the 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and RAM is 8 GB 1067 Mhz DDR3. I use mostly Nikon Capture NX 2 ver 2.3.5. I have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium, onOne's latest full set of special tools, and LR4. I keep my libraries and the images which I'm editing on external Firewire 800 drives. Editing while traveling is important to me.
My dilemma: I'm currently happy with this MBP and think that it would be fine for another 2 years, at least. When I settle down I'd like to add a loaded MacPro (if they are available in the future). Nearly a year ago Apple discontinued the 17" MacBook Pro, and no longer offers Anti-Glare Screens. It offers the Retina Display but doesn't supply 16 year old quality eye-balls with the new computers.
The final generation of 17" MacBook Pros with Anti-Glare Screens are still available from MacMall, and perhaps from some other source, but the models with the higher end processors are sold out.
Should I buy a New-Old-Stock 17" Anti-Glare Screen MBP w quad-core Intel Core i7 2.5GHz, 4GB DDR3, 750GB 7200-rpm HD, Intel HD Graphics 3000 & AMD Radeon HD 6770M, SuperDrive, Thunderbolt port,...? I'd upgrade it to at least 8 GB of RAM as I did for my existing computer, but perhaps it would support 16 GB. Would my software make use of more than one or two of the Quad-Cores? If only one or two cores would actually be used for editing, perhaps performance would be lower than my existing two core MBP since its clock speed is higher. The Thuderbolt port would be nice eventually, but I'd use the adapter to stick with my existing family of FW 800 Drives. Preference would be to buy a new model 17" MBP with Anti-Glare Screen in 2 years or so, but it seems that Apple is leaving its high end customers in the ditch, and will probably not provide such a MBP.
#1. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0bkinthebay Registered since 27th Feb 2010Tue 29-Jan-13 05:43 AM
The 15 inch MacBook Pro is available with non retina matte screen. It has the same performance specs as the retina model, but comes with extra connectivity and a different form factor.
#2. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0ecossephoto Registered since 21st Jun 2012Tue 29-Jan-13 07:43 AM | edited Tue 29-Jan-13 07:44 AM by ecossephoto
I am not tech savvy enough to judge between the 2009 & 2011/2012 17" models so I can't comment there. All I can do is add more confusion.
I have a 2008 model and wanted to stay with the 17" for size of screen. Portability isn't a big issue for me, desk->car->desk, so I was in a similar position. I decided to get a late model 17" instead of Retina while I could.
Now it gets confusing.
Once I had it, I decided to upgrade the 2008 model by moving the HD to the DVD slot and added a SSD. The performance between the two machines is now similar. RAM is maxed out at 8Gb on both. I imagine that doing the same to the 2011 model would boost performance further but I won't do that till the warranty runs out. Which means I expect to be using it in 5 years time which can't be bad and a load of new stuff will be available by then, or current tech a lot cheaper.
Sorry for not helping.
#3. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010Fri 01-Feb-13 09:48 PM
I just went through the same dilemna...
I have a 2010 MBP dual core I7 with 8GB...runs fine..
Look into the Dell U2711 on line AMAZON or the 24" Dell IPS about $400 less...but, sweet..
If you go Dell, at 2560 x 1600 you'll see things you've never seen in your pics...
You need a mini port dual link DVI adapter and be sure to use the cable in the box which has the special DVI connector or it won't see the full 2560x1600...
I'm waiting another year or two and will upgrade my MBP to full SSD.
In the interim..this really helped...
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#4. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0C_F Nikonian since 09th Jan 2008Mon 11-Feb-13 11:07 AM
I have a 2009 17" MBP and recently purchased a 15" retina...
Just be aware of two things,
a) the new 15" has no FireWire port and no DVD player
b) not all thunderbolt ports are equal!!!
On the older model thunderbolt is for display connection ONLY - you can not run an external hard drive on it!
Just to give you a heads up on possible 'snags' in you future workflow plans as happened to me
Don't dream your life - live your dream
#5. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 4ecossephoto Registered since 21st Jun 2012Tue 12-Feb-13 10:32 AM
Level headed comments Franz.
In that vein, which is the better screen to do photo editing on in the real world?
The larger 17" or the higher resolution 15"?
#6. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0
Apple does not release individual model sales figures. Rumor mill consensus seems to be that the 17" laptop margins and sales were both too low to continue. I have carried around Mac laptops in 17", 15", 13" and 12" flavors … I will be happy to never carry another 17" system again. Well, maybe the larger model would be okay if I got a 16 year old back to go with my new 16 year old eyes. ;)
Left to my own devices, I am very much a desktop guy, though the current line of laptops is certainly nice. Have you spent any time using something with the new Retina display? Even the current, "regular" displays are a big improvement. My 56 year old eyes find the current 15" screen easier on my eyes than the older 17" - at the same resolution. And the Retina display is even easier on my eyes. I seem to strain my eyes less with the newer screens, which makes for easier, long term viewing.
If at all possible, take one of your external drives to an Apple store and camp out long enough to test the myriad flavors with familiar software and images. You may find some preconceptions changing. I did. I was skeptical about the recent hype for their laptop displays considering how behind the curve Apple is on their desktop displays. In my case I would be better off remaining skeptical because a new display and especially a new laptop is simply not in the budget.
#7. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0
If you're thinking about a MacPro, and think the MBP will be fine for another couple of years, I'd wait a bit and see. Cook has promised a big upgrade in the near future, so I'd wait to see what that is.
"Geeks of All Nations, Compile!"
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#8. "RE: Update MBP 17" Now, or Settle for 15" MBP in the Future?" | In response to Reply # 0
I am Mac exclusive back to 1993, and have mostly had Power/MacBooks. As nice as the 17" screen is, especially for photographic purposes, that model is a bit of a white elephant. The world (accessories and accommodations) is made for 15", and I find the 17" awkward in many ways. I'd see no reason to drop a couple grand now, when you have a perfectly good MBP in hand (my early-'08 MB 'white' 13" lives, and with a now-inexpensive SSD and 6G of RAM, will remain a quite plausible machine for most purposes until some application I rely on, like Silverfast or Lightroom, or web browsers, becomes all-64 bit, only, or requires higher than X.7.5; point: Apples last!).
For photo-editing and serious, extensive viewing, anything less than 21" is just too small for me, so I plug in a 24" Dell display to the MacBook (and often to my late '11 MBP 15 as well). I also have an older 30" Studio Display, and that is even more glorious. And I now have a 27" iMac, which moves computerized photography to a whole new level, as much as I like my laptops. At 21" and above, using a computer, especially for tasks as heavily visual as photo editing & viewing transforms into a new category of experience. The layout of Lightroom becomes expansive, everything onscreen at once, and as large (for me) as I would normally ever print it. I'll never forego having at least one good, recent Apple laptop, but except when away from home, when Lightroom, PS, or other photo apps are in the foreground and doing more than batch processing, an external display is connected. Not so practical on an airplane or beach, but no matter what, I get better results simply by using a larger screen.
All Adobe products since CS4 (and some, like Photoshop, since CS3) will use as many cores as available. That question shouldn't concern you for any machines or software made since 2006. The Retina displays still won't do anything special with a lot of current software, and it may be sometime until applications other than Apple's do.
So, my short answer is do nothing, now. When the time comes to replace the '09 MBP, consider buying a large external display for photography and movies, and a 15" regular model. People have become so used to smaller and smaller screens over the past few years, and Apple never sold many 17" laptops, so it is very unlikely we'll see them again. Unless you use Aperture and love it, Retina is not really any help right now. Resolution and screen 'real estate' are never going to be equal on any laptop to a large screen device like an iMac, and I know from experience and close examination that the practical, subjective effect of a 27" iMac in Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS 5.1, GIMP, or Aperture 3.x, at 2560 x 1440, well exceeds that of a 15" MBP Retina, at 2880 x 1800. As with megapixels, numbers don't tell the whole story.