New Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mike_brown|16, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. I am getting ready to replace my old 13" MacBook with a new MacBook Pro. I really enjoy the portability of the 13" because I travel a great deal, and it fits easily into my carryon bag. My dilemma however, is, that I have recently purchased a Nikon D800 and I use the laptop with Photoshop to do some adjustments while traveling. My understanding is that the 13" does not have the same graphics/ video performance as the 15". So my questions are;
    Can someone please explain to me the limitations I will face if I stick with my preferred choice, the 13".
    How much RAM will be necessary to deal with manipulation of the large files the D800 produces?
    Is the new retina display worth the extra money?
    If there is anything else I should consider, roll that out as well.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. 1. You can never have too much RAM
    2. Is there an apple store or dealer nearby? If so, why not view some images on both and compare and decide whether or not the extra resolution is something you'd appreciate not only while processing, but viewing, photos? Personally I have no problem with the optional higher-resolution/non-glare screen available with the standard 15" MBP ... and I greatly prefer non-glare. But everyone has their own preferences.
    3. I don't think the graphics performance is a big deal for simple editing of stills. If you think you might be editing video, though, the higher-performance graphics chip on the larger MBP might make a difference. The 13" uses the latest Intel on-chip video, while the 15" has a separate graphic chip it uses if it detects the need for high-performance (otherwise it uses the on-chip Intel graphic controller to save power).
  3. the 15" has a 2nd graphics chip but it's other chip is the same as the 13". I really doubt it'll make any real world difference.
    The Retina adds several problems like total unexpandability vs the 13 MBP (which I just got). Get the smallest amount of RAM and then replace it w/ 16G from
  4. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Max out the RAM as you can't upgrade it after (it's build to order). Soldered on the motherboard like the Air.
    The retina is very nice however, not all applications play nice with it. If you're going to setup an external display (you could set up two), then it is questionable if this is worth the extra money.
  5. I believe Andrew's statement about the RAM is referring to the Retina MBP, not the 'regular' MBP
  6. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney
  7. Andrew, read down further in the thread, where the OP is told he is wrong. It is the retina model that has the RAM soldered onto the motherboard (one of the changes that enables the ultra-thin profile).
    As you can see, everyone discusses upgrade options with no "damn, it's soldered to the motherboard" screams.
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    You're absolutely correct! Good to know and perhaps I'll pass on the Retina (a new MacBook Pro is on my wish list), especially since I don't care for glossy screens.
    On the RAM side, Apple has soldered the chips directly to the logic board in the Retina MacBook Pro, while the non-Retina version still retains removable RAM modules in a stacked configuration measuring 9.15 mm thick.
  9. Thanks for everybody's response.
    So is there any kind of consensus, I know not an easy question, on what the minimum amount of Ramm would be to deal with files from a D800 while using PS?
    Is it difficult to change the RAMM if I decide to do it myself? I had to change out the hard drive on an earlier MacBook because it died and they wouldn't just replace even though it was under warranty. They wanted me to give them the old hard drive which I wouldn't do, as I needed to get someone to save some of the files that I had not had a chance to back up. But I've not had a reason to open it up since.
    It sounds like the 13" will still work, which is a relief. The seatbacks on most airline seats don't hardly leave enough room to open that, let alone something smaller.
    I have looked at the retinal and non retinal screens at the Apple store, it just didn't seem to me to be all that great a difference to justify the price. I just wondered if I might be missing something.
    I'm always impressed by the wealth of knowledge and occasional humor that shows up on the forums.
  10. Mike: the standard 4GB is reasonable, but I recommend going to 8GB. It's not that expensive to do so. Beyond that is probably overkill unless you intend to be watching movies, play video games, etc while you're editing photos. One advantage is that you can have Apple deliver it with 8GB. Upgrading memory on these isn't *all* that difficult, but it does involve taking the unibody aluminum case apart. Doing so *might* make you nervous. Getting 8GB from apple means they get to install it ...
    "especially since I don't care for glossy screens."

    Me, neither, sigh. All of my mac laptops have been with non-glossy screens.
  11. Mike:
    "I have looked at the retinal and non retinal screens at the Apple store, it just didn't seem to me to be all that great a difference to justify the price. I just wondered if I might be missing something."

    You're probably missing something, yes. The question is whether you're missing something that is important to *you*, and apparently ... no! Me, too. Oh, all things considered, it would be nice, but my higher-res non-glossy screen is really great, IMO. Now you can ask me if I'm missing something that I'm not aware of, too! :)
  12. Don,
    Thanks for your response. Your advice is right in line with what I was thinking, but just wasn't sure about. I will very likely end up ordering it with the 8gb. Since working with PS usually takes about all the brain cells I have, I'll skip the gaming multitask option.
    As is usually the case, it would be nice to have more bells and whistles, but my pocketbook will appreciate a little more frugality.
  13. I don't care for glossy screens.​
    The retina is less glossy than the previous glossy screens, certainly not matte, but less reflective for sure.
  14. Ive just been working with a guy who shoots with a 60mp Hasselblad. He's using a 15" macbook Pro i7 quad core and 4GB RAM and on an SSD. Its faster than my MB pro i7 with 8Gb Ram and normal HDD so think about an SSD.
  15. I think it depends on what MBP you buy and some personal preferences. For me, 13" inch screen is too small. If you look at the options on the Apple store you can compare certain features. Video card is one. You will be stuck with the integrated video chip on the the 13". On 15" there is both the built-in graphic chip and a dedicated graphic card. The dedicated card will provide better video performance in video editing, and also game performance. If you get the non-retina version, you can get it with stock ram and increase it in the future as the need arises. I would still go for 8GB minimum working with D800 files but you can save some money if you purchase the ram from one of the very good providers such as OWC or Crucial, there are others that are good too. If you choose a Retina screen, even though it costs more, realize that whatever ram you purchase it with seems to be what you will be set with as they currently are permanently gluing in the ram. For me I would then max the ram out at purchase, unless some enterprising concern figures out how to replace ram modules. Programs as they develop over time seem to generally use more ram not less, and of course camera manufacturers seem hell bent on increasingly higher megapixel cameras. On Retina models, you will have to purchase a separate DVD/CD burner/player if you want to read or write DVD/CDs in return for a very small overall form factor of the computer. Non-retina still provides the so called "super-drive". So there are quite a few choices to consider. Also just know that there are some threads discussing image retention on the retina screens. Have fun. Getting a new computer for many of us actually very exciting.
  16. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Careful with your hdd choice, as well. I read on Apple now uses a proprietary SSD and SSD connection. If you purchase a mb with a mechanical hdd you'll have a tough time upgrading to ssd like you used to on the previous years. Which now begs the question, if at some point down the road and wish to replace our hdd, will we have to buy proprietary ssd hdd's from Apple as well?
  17. Eric, if you want to replace the factory hdd with an SSD, no problem on a regular MacBook Pro. Both have the
    same form factor and the interface is SATA 3. Easy to upgrade and results in a large boost.

    Apple does use a different SSD interface for MacBook Air, but all units come from the factory with SSD
    installed - there is no hdd option. OWC does (as may others) make a larger SSD upgrade kit using the smaller connector.

    As an aside, if you have a new 21.5" iMac with hdd, you will probably not be able to add (in addition to) the optional
    SSD because the required SSD interface connector is not soldered to the board if it doesn't ship with the optional SSD.
  18. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Hi Brad, maybe I'm missing something but I read differently on the tear-down at ifixit: step 22
    "The proprietary SSD isn't upgradeable either (yet), as it is similar but not identical to the one in the Air. It is a separate daughtercard, and weโ€™re hopeful we can offer an upgrade in the near future."

    (I have a 2011 mbp that I'm about to do surgery on. It has a 5400 rpm drive, it should take an ssd alright?)
  19. That's the new *Retina* MBP, not the regular one...

    >>> I have a 2011 mbp that I'm about to do surgery on. It has a 5400 rpm drive, it should take an ssd alright?

    No problem on swapping. I did the same thing last year with my 2011 MBP.
  20. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric


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