MBA or MBP setup

Started Nov 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jeffrey K Edwards Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: MBA or MBP setup

Hmm... lots of possibilities here!

I converted to mac 4 years ago and have never looked back. Still use windows at work and hate the constant hang ups and crashing/reboots with windows 7, maybe 8 will be improved but doubt.

That being said I am upgrading this month to a rMBP from a 15" 2010 MBP that was stock 4 gig ram (I increased it to 8 gig), i5 dual core processor at 2.4hz. I have reviewed was is available, pricing and benchmarks extensively and have been waiting for the 13" rMBP for 5 months and a little disappointed regarding the config options but it is workable.

Here is what I see:

1. Everyone will be moving to retina level monitors.

2. Everyone will be moving to ssd and flash ram.

The dilemma is how fast do you need to be now and how much storage will you need now/future as files get bigger. The problem with LR is of course the size of databases and files it works with. Moving to the ssd is a no-brainer. The advantage of Thunderbolt connections and their speed of transfer will help with non-ssd storage for the short time, but soon all of our drives will be ssd.

At this time you need a minimum of 8 gigs of ram to run LR efficiently with large files/catalogs. Add PS and that will start to push it a bit, but still doable in my workflow process. That is the setup I am basically running now.

What I want is a 13" foot print and less weight because I travel internationally a lot. The 15" MBP/rMBP has been referred to the "cafeteria tray" laptop and I agree. It is fine at home but on a plane or traveling, it is just too big for me.

Here's the rub, you can't get the 16 gig of ram to take you to the next level and a dedicated GPU for pushing the massive pixels in the rMBP monitor in the 13" MBP. You also can't get a 4 core i5 or i7 processor. Are those necessary if you don't do a lot of PS in your workflow? Absolutely not.

Given this info, I don't think the current MBA will give you as long a shelf life with its current processor/ram/ssd  set up and lacks retina. So I think moving to the rMBP is the way. If you aren't a road warrior, get the 15" and I think everyone here would agree (if price isn't an issue). I would then order at a minimum 16 gig ram, 580 ssd and either the i5 or i7 processor.

If you absolutely need portability, then it is the 13" maxed out with i7, 580 gig ssd and a Lacie 1 TB thunderbolt HD - that is what my road set up will be.

You can trick out a 2012 nonretina 13" MBP with a ssd from OWC, increase the ram to 16 gig and save a bit of money. But I have the retina on the iphone and ipad - it is worth it for my aged eyes. It is speed vs visual impact - as a photographer for me the visual impact weighs heavier in this equation.  "Eye candy" to be sure. And again, if you are not running everything through PS and don't do any heavy gaming, I believe the 13" rMBP is the choice because of the portability factor and if cost is not a huge issue... let the flaming begin.

 Jeffrey K Edwards's gear list:Jeffrey K Edwards's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +4 more
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