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Thread: !!!!!!Advice on Apple MAC Laptops Please !!!!!!!

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    !!!!!!Advice on Apple MAC Laptops Please !!!!!!!

    Looking for some advice on buying a Mac laptop.

    I have around $1600 to $1800 to spend on a new Mac.

    Looking for what to get, what not to get, and why.

    I'm a Apple virgin, so please speak english when trying to get it through my thick head.

    I would like it to be able to hook up to a external monitor, I want it for photgraphy, run PS, LR, and Photomax - also music via iTunes.

    Will keep my older Windows laptop for general stuff, the Mac doesn't require Windows compatability unless they all come that way?
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    While the Macbook Airs and really nice, fast and very slim, they're SSD drives are too small to keep much stuff on, so I would suggest a Macbook Pro.
    Using a couple of other programs which are easily available for them (like Parralels), you can also run Windows on the same machine, so you may not need new versions of your existing software.
    Go for the best one you can afford and make sure you get the 3 year extra care with it too.

    If you can get one from the US, you will save money, but Apple won't let you order directly from the US, so you'll probably have to buy it here and get gouged.

    If you are mainly using it at home with a monitor, I'd be more inclined to get a desktop rather than than a laptop though.
    The iMacs have fantastic screens too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    While the Macbook Airs and really nice, fast and very slim, they're SSD drives are too small to keep much stuff on, so I would suggest a Macbook Pro.
    Using a couple of other programs which are easily available for them (like Parralels), you can also run Windows on the same machine, so you may not need new versions of your existing software.
    Go for the best one you can afford and make sure you get the 3 year extra care with it too.

    If you can get one from the US, you will save money, but Apple won't let you order directly from the US, so you'll probably have to buy it here and get gouged.

    If you are mainly using it at home with a monitor, I'd be more inclined to get a desktop rather than than a laptop though.
    The iMacs have fantastic screens too.
    Cheers Benny, The Air 13 only has 2 USB slots so thats a real bummer, otherwise it would have been the go, I'm reading up on this (http://www.cnet.com.au/apple-macbook...-339325218.htm) Portability is needed as in USB and I'll take it to work, I'm a FIFO worker.

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    Roosta, I'm also a FIFO worker and travel with the current 17" MBP. It is too big for using on the plane unless in an exit row or business, but once at work no problem.

    If you can, I suggest one of the quad core i7 models, get as much ram as you can. I haven't looked at the pricing for the cheaper models, but if 17" is too big, I would be looking at the 15" i7 quad core with full house specs. One extra in the 17" is that it has 3 USB ports and a Cardbus slot, which makes for rapid transfers from camera memory cards via a CF card to Cardbus adaptor. Sadly Apple haven't released any USB 3 compatible machines, and I find USB 2.0 very slow, with FW800 only a little faster so the cardbus option is a big bonus.

    Mine is max specs without the SSD's (too small for my use) and it flies! I encode video, burn discs, watch videos etc and no choking. The battery lasts very well too. I would avoid the air as Benny said, whilst nice and portable, fast etc, the SSD is small, and is exe to upgrade if you look at the new OWC upgrades.
    Last edited by Wayne; 14-12-2011 at 4:01pm.

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    It really depends on how portable you want your computer to be. I'd recommend any of the MBP range but as Wayne has mentioned, no USB 3.0 is a bummer. SSD is way too small as well. Before you pick up your laptop i recommend going onto fleabay or the likes and buying a mini DisplayPort to HDMI/Displaport adaptor/cable or similar for connecting to your monitor. Buying it from the apple shop is expensive. I bought my mini DP to DP for $8 delivered.

    Running Parallels, VMware or something along the lines do chomp through quite a fair bit of ram. I'd recommend an upgrade to 8GB AFTER you buy the laptop and not with apple as it costs crap loads more for the same stuff. Although a nice idea it does chomp through battery life much quicker and is slower as well when running virtual windows. Best is to try to do everything natively, ie. boot into Windows or OSX if you need to use it for a long time.

    I highly recommend the hi-res upgrade if available and if you can chip in a little more, the anti-glare is great for working outdoors or in cafes. The normal glossy screen is quite hard to work with in bright environments.

    If you travel a lot, time the purchase to the travel to get the 10% back. Also you can go down to JB HIFI and ask for a student discout + freebies. They usually don't check for student cards and will throw you a few bits of freebies like cases, headphones and stuff your way. If you time it all properly you can get up to a 20% discount off the normal price.

    Don't mind me asking, what do you mean by FIFO worker? My understanding for FIFO is first in first out.

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    Im gonna have to disagree with everyone's opinions about using SSD here. This is my experience after 2 years of using SSD in a 15' i7 MBP with 8gb ram and high res, anti-glare screen.

    An SSD is not meant to be a high volume storage device, it is best utilized for its ultra high speed in booting and accessing files. If you are doing professional photography work like I am - you WOULD NOT care about the size of the SSD - mine is 128gb - with 60gb usable space btw. I do not care about overall volume as I only put on raw files that I need to process and edit and then transfer to external back up drives after, and delete it on my SSD. If you use it for temporary storage for high speed access and editing then you are maximizing the speed and efficiency of an SSD.

    Hell, it takes me only 15 seconds from turning the MBP on to opening a 30mb raw file via CS5, try doing that in under 1 min on a normal HDD alone. Not to mention I can open 100mb raw files or TIFFs or run many applications at once without slow down. As I run 2 external monitors via my MBP, so having CS5, LR3 and a movie opened at the same time on 3 screens is a normal working day for me. I do not use my SSD for mass storage, but as a speedy platform for photography.

    Another thing, you can give your Mac 1 million cores or ram but the bottleneck is still the hard drive speed. I can never go back to a normal HDD after being so used to the speed and efficiency of an SSD for the last 2 years.

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    Also look at Apples own website for recon units. Not always but you can save some.
    Peter.

    Some of my photo's are at www.peterking.id.au

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    Im gonna have to disagree with everyone's opinions about using SSD here. This is my experience after 2 years of using SSD in a 15' i7 MBP with 8gb ram and high res, anti-glare screen.

    An SSD is not meant to be a high volume storage device, it is best utilized for its ultra high speed in booting and accessing files. If you are doing professional photography work like I am - you WOULD NOT care about the size of the SSD - mine is 128gb - with 60gb usable space btw. I do not care about overall volume as I only put on raw files that I need to process and edit and then transfer to external back up drives after, and delete it on my SSD. If you use it for temporary storage for high speed access and editing then you are maximizing the speed and efficiency of an SSD.

    Hell, it takes me only 15 seconds from turning the MBP on to opening a 30mb raw file via CS5, try doing that in under 1 min on a normal HDD alone. Not to mention I can open 100mb raw files or TIFFs or run many applications at once without slow down. As I run 2 external monitors via my MBP, so having CS5, LR3 and a movie opened at the same time on 3 screens is a normal working day for me. I do not use my SSD for mass storage, but as a speedy platform for photography.

    Another thing, you can give your Mac 1 million cores or ram but the bottleneck is still the hard drive speed. I can never go back to a normal HDD after being so used to the speed and efficiency of an SSD for the last 2 years.
    I use a 240 GB Sata 3 SSD on my PC and a normal 7200rpm HDD on my MBP and MB. Personally, the difference is noticeable but not extremely significant. Mostly it's the wait time for opening a sware that is the most noticeable. Once everything is up and running, no biggie. Obviously your workflow does affect the overall speed and eventually your decision as well. For me a laptop just doesn't cut it for anything other than working on the go and that's all it does. I port everything onto my desktop once i'm back home.

    Personally, I'd rather be just lugging my laptop around rather than a laptop and a portable hdd to store the images when i'm on a trip... but that's just me.

    Also the MBP i7 has been released for less than 2 years. Just a little over 1 & 1/2 years. Unless you had a pre production model?
    Last edited by KeeFy; 14-12-2011 at 7:56pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    I use a 240 GB Sata 3 SSD on my PC and a normal 7200rpm HDD on my MBP and MB. Personally, the difference is noticeable but not extremely significant. Mostly it's the wait time for opening a sware that is the most noticeable. Once everything is up and running, no biggie. Obviously your workflow does affect the overall speed and eventually your decision as well. For me a laptop just doesn't cut it for anything other than working on the go and that's all it does. I port everything onto my desktop once i'm back home.

    Personally, I'd rather be just lugging my laptop around rather than a laptop and a portable hdd to store the images when i'm on a trip... but that's just me.

    Also the MBP i7 has been released for less than 2 years. Just a little over 1 & 1/2 years. Unless you had a pre production model?

    just under 2 yrs come to think of it.

    If Im on a trip, particularly a business trip for photography - an external HDD is a MUST if Im using a laptop. Any sane photographer should not and would not put all their eggs in one basket if you know what I mean.

    1 drive in checked in luggage, laptop with me. So there is always 2 copies of everything, but these days I operate with 3 copies via an assistant carrying another one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    just under 2 yrs come to think of it.

    If Im on a trip, particularly a business trip for photography - an external HDD is a MUST if Im using a laptop. Any sane photographer should not and would not put all their eggs in one basket if you know what I mean.

    1 drive in checked in luggage, laptop with me. So there is always 2 copies of everything, but these days I operate with 3 copies via an assistant carrying another one.
    For me it's my memory cards and laptop. 6x 32GB 60MB/s memory cards. My 1 mth trip to Europe + Nephew's baptism in Italy + friend's wedding in Bangkok and i had 2+ cards left over. All shot in RAW . 2x redundancy is good enough for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    For me it's my memory cards and laptop. 6x 32GB 60MB/s memory cards. My 1 mth trip to Europe + Nephew's baptism in Italy + friend's wedding in Bangkok and i had 2+ cards left over. All shot in RAW . 2x redundancy is good enough for me.
    2x is fine, or acceptable if you arent being paid for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    2x is fine, or acceptable if you arent being paid for it.
    I am getting paid for it.... they owe me one! I will collect one day or another! ROFL. But yeah i agree!

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    I have an older 15" MacBookPro (about 3yrs old now) and it is terrific. For travelling, I use a Vosonic media player/storage device to download the images onto, then using that as a portable HDD copy them to the Mac's HDD for backup. There is also a terrific Mac (users) forum specifically for support and help https://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Roosta, I'm also a FIFO worker and travel with the current 17" MBP. It is too big for using on the plane unless in an exit row or business, but once at work no problem.

    If you can, I suggest one of the quad core i7 models, get as much ram as you can. I haven't looked at the pricing for the cheaper models, but if 17" is too big, I would be looking at the 15" i7 quad core with full house specs. One extra in the 17" is that it has 3 USB ports and a Cardbus slot, which makes for rapid transfers from camera memory cards via a CF card to Cardbus adaptor. Sadly Apple haven't released any USB 3 compatible machines, and I find USB 2.0 very slow, with FW800 only a little faster so the cardbus option is a big bonus.

    Mine is max specs without the SSD's (too small for my use) and it flies! I encode video, burn discs, watch videos etc and no choking. The battery lasts very well too. I would avoid the air as Benny said, whilst nice and portable, fast etc, the SSD is small, and is exe to upgrade if you look at the new OWC upgrades.
    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    It really depends on how portable you want your computer to be. I'd recommend any of the MBP range but as Wayne has mentioned, no USB 3.0 is a bummer. SSD is way too small as well. Before you pick up your laptop i recommend going onto fleabay or the likes and buying a mini DisplayPort to HDMI/Displaport adaptor/cable or similar for connecting to your monitor. Buying it from the apple shop is expensive. I bought my mini DP to DP for $8 delivered.

    Running Parallels, VMware or something along the lines do chomp through quite a fair bit of ram. I'd recommend an upgrade to 8GB AFTER you buy the laptop and not with apple as it costs crap loads more for the same stuff. Although a nice idea it does chomp through battery life much quicker and is slower as well when running virtual windows. Best is to try to do everything natively, ie. boot into Windows or OSX if you need to use it for a long time.

    I highly recommend the hi-res upgrade if available and if you can chip in a little more, the anti-glare is great for working outdoors or in cafes. The normal glossy screen is quite hard to work with in bright environments.

    If you travel a lot, time the purchase to the travel to get the 10% back. Also you can go down to JB HIFI and ask for a student discout + freebies. They usually don't check for student cards and will throw you a few bits of freebies like cases, headphones and stuff your way. If you time it all properly you can get up to a 20% discount off the normal price.

    Don't mind me asking, what do you mean by FIFO worker? My understanding for FIFO is first in first out.
    Thanks both of you, sorry been off-line for some time. FIFO = Fly in Fly Out, mining speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    Im gonna have to disagree with everyone's opinions about using SSD here. This is my experience after 2 years of using SSD in a 15' i7 MBP with 8gb ram and high res, anti-glare screen.

    An SSD is not meant to be a high volume storage device, it is best utilized for its ultra high speed in booting and accessing files. If you are doing professional photography work like I am - you WOULD NOT care about the size of the SSD - mine is 128gb - with 60gb usable space btw. I do not care about overall volume as I only put on raw files that I need to process and edit and then transfer to external back up drives after, and delete it on my SSD. If you use it for temporary storage for high speed access and editing then you are maximizing the speed and efficiency of an SSD.

    Hell, it takes me only 15 seconds from turning the MBP on to opening a 30mb raw file via CS5, try doing that in under 1 min on a normal HDD alone. Not to mention I can open 100mb raw files or TIFFs or run many applications at once without slow down. As I run 2 external monitors via my MBP, so having CS5, LR3 and a movie opened at the same time on 3 screens is a normal working day for me. I do not use my SSD for mass storage, but as a speedy platform for photography.

    Another thing, you can give your Mac 1 million cores or ram but the bottleneck is still the hard drive speed. I can never go back to a normal HDD after being so used to the speed and efficiency of an SSD for the last 2 years.
    Thanks JM, not looking to use the SSD = (Solid Sate Drive I guess) as a mass storage device, got externals for that, can I ask what model you've got/use and is it still available? or is there a new equivelant to yours????

    Thanks in advance again..

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterking View Post
    Also look at Apples own website for recon units. Not always but you can save some.
    Don't you have one? If you do, you didn't mention anything to me about it on Tuiesday Pete? Thanks again for the loan of the Mag. Will get arounf to reading it soon hopefully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    Thanks JM, not looking to use the SSD = (Solid Sate Drive I guess) as a mass storage device, got externals for that, can I ask what model you've got/use and is it still available? or is there a new equivelant to yours????

    Thanks in advance again..
    nobody in their right mind uses an SSD for mass storage, I use it for temp storage of files I am currently working on and delete them after, and also as a booting drive - I have externals to hold my final products and all RAWs and miscellaneous anyway. I have the Samsung model which came as an Apple option when it was first introduced early last year, 128gb SSD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    just under 2 yrs come to think of it.

    If Im on a trip, particularly a business trip for photography - an external HDD is a MUST if Im using a laptop. Any sane photographer should not and would not put all their eggs in one basket if you know what I mean.

    1 drive in checked in luggage, laptop with me. So there is always 2 copies of everything, but these days I operate with 3 copies via an assistant carrying another one.
    Yeap, won't get caught there again, did it once with a brand new HDD, never again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    I have an older 15" MacBookPro (about 3yrs old now) and it is terrific. For travelling, I use a Vosonic media player/storage device to download the images onto, then using that as a portable HDD copy them to the Mac's HDD for backup. There is also a terrific Mac (users) forum specifically for support and help https://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa
    Cheers muchly Odille, will do some more research

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    nobody in their right mind uses an SSD for mass storage, I use it for temp storage of files I am currently working on and delete them after, and also as a booting drive - I have externals to hold my final products and all RAWs and miscellaneous anyway. I have the Samsung model which came as an Apple option when it was first introduced early last year, 128gb SSD.
    Sorry, gave you a bum steer, meant what MBP do you have, model and the like.???

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