General Question

aielee's avatar

Anyone have advice on buying a new macbook pro?

Asked by aielee (65points) January 12th, 2010

I’m a print designer (my main software is InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop) and I need to get a new laptop. I’m going to get a 15” Macbook Pro. Should I really spend the extra $300 for a 2.66GHz processor (instead of the base 2.53) and a dedicated graphics card, or is the Apple rep just trying to upsell me?

I’m working on a 2007 Macbook Pro now with a 2.2 GHz processor and a dedicated graphics card which works fine for me.

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11 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

We’re not supposed to upsell.

I will tell you this: if you’re doing print media, you’ll probably want to opt for the anti-glare display, since it’s truer to print color than the glossy, whichever one you get.

power-wise, you can probably run the 2.53. i have that one, and run all those programs nicely. there might be something else you use, that you didnt mention here, that made him aim you towards that 2.66. but it should be ok.

aielee's avatar

Thanks eponymoushipster. That’s a great point about the anti-glare display. I’ll look into that.

I think the 2.53 will be fine for me, since it’s faster than what I’m on now. But what about that graphics card?

And no, that’s it for my software, outside of Word and Powerpoint and other basic stuff.

I was hoping to buy the base model and upgrade later to save on the initial costs, but these are things I won’t be able to upgrade later, right?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@aielee yeah, i mean, RAM you can do later, but 4GB should be fine to start with.

The processor – not so much. And the anti-glare you must as well, but that’s only $50. be foewarned, however: online you can get anti-glare on pretty much any Pro, but in the stores, it’s only the 17” and 2.8ghz 15”. in that case, you’ll probably want to order online.
if you do order online, though, you can tweak the setups more, since they’ll do stuff in the factory that’s not possible in the store.

Office stuff isn’t really a concern – a base MacBook will run those things with ease.

sndfreQ's avatar

Buy more RAM but NEVER through Apple! Their markup is ridiculous. The dedicated graphics card is important if you don’t want bottlenecking and it does speed up refreshes considerably.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@sndfreQ is correct with RAM. you can find it at 3rd party places cheaper.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Also, if you don’t need it right now, I might be tempted to wait a couple of months. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple doesn’t update the Macbook Pro line by March or April.

chian's avatar

i have a mac book pro, it was stupidly expensive (2200 euros), ok i love it but i would have been happy with any mac book….

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

I have the MacBook Pro with the 2.66 GHz processor and I’ve had no problem with it. I’m also a designer who does work with the Adobe products (currently running CS4) and the programs run pretty flawlessly.

If you’re a serious designer the better graphics card isn’t a bad idea. These MacBooks seem to be built to last for a while, and software is only going to improve. The “decent” graphics card of the lower-end MacBook may end up being a mediocre one in a year or two.

One thing I do suggest, on a slightly different note: but REALLY careful of what accessories and stuff you buy when you get your computer. Apple offers all sorts of sales and savings when you buy your computer; $10 of this, $5 off that… but the downside is that you cannot return these items if you don’t want them. I bought a laptop case with my MacBook Pro and tried to return it when I realize it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. The website said I couldn’t return it since it was a sale item, and I’ve been trying to sell the thing on eBay ever since… lame.

aielee's avatar

Thanks everyone. I ended up going with the 2.66 GHz model with the graphics card, because in the end I want this thing to last me a few years. I didn’t get the antiglare screen because I purchased from Amazon instead of Apple so I could avoid 10% sales tax, and Amazon didn’t offer the antiglare option.

@eponymoushipster do those antiglare films that you can put on your display help at all?

@Lightlyseared, great point, but unfortunately I did need the computer right away.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@aielee it’s not a film. the actual display is anti-glare – it’s made that way. they are truer to print color. the stores usually have one or two with antiglare on display (usually a 17”, but the effect is the same on the 15)

liminal's avatar

I also recommend following macrumors, they have a good track record for knowing when the most recent release is on the way.

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