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Mac laptop recs


Gcmallo
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Sorry if I’ve missed the lastest laptop recommendations, but I don’t see any recent. I am Looking to update my 2009 barely functioning MacBook. What would you recommend at this point? I was looking at the Mac book pro 15 in screen, but beyond that am not sure what I do/do not need. I currently save everything to an external as my HD is so bogged down it won’t run any other way! 

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MacBook Pros are extremely expensive if you want to use it for photo editing. I just recommended specs for a friend who is a professional photographer and the bill came to around $4000 after shipping, taxes and AppleCare. 

Are you sure you want to spend $4000 on a laptop? Can I recommend a 27” iMac? 

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The main issue with laptops is they are meant to be portable and that means small hard drives. The specs really haven't changed much:

  • 8GB RAM - 16GB Recommended
  • 500GB HD at a Minimum - 1TB Hard Drive HIGHLY Recommended
  • CPU - As much as you can afford
  • A video card that has separate & dedicated video memory.

With the current MBP, there isn't a upgrade path, meaning "I'll buy this affordable _________ and then upgrade it in a few years..." Apple isn't that way anymore. They want you to "Go Big or Go Home..." which is why a MBP is extremely expensive AND it can't be upgraded after the fact easily. Also, you will need a few adapters since they no longer come with a traditional USB port, it's a USB-C port and you'll need to figure in the cost of a docking station at some point or adapter cables at the very least. 

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Thanks, I just saw this! We will use it for things other than photo editing as well. I was planning on getting the 27in iMac but then editing this fall so much with a 2 year old the laptop came in handy since I could move when he got bored in one area! What would you recommend on the iMac? My laptop is a 2008 and 2GB of memory so anything will be a huge upgrade at this point! 

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Whatever you do, DO NOT PURCHASE A 21.5" iMac!!!

They are a complete waste of money and can't be upgraded after the fact, well easily. They have slower HDs, slower motherboards / chipsets, slower / less powerful video cards, slower CPUs, etc. etc. By the time you purchase a $1499 iMac and upgrade it to 16GB with Apple's overpriced RAM, you are $100 less than a stock $1799 27" iMac...which has better chipsets/motherboards, better hard drives, better CPU performance, better video cards, etc. etc.

OK, now that I got that out of the way...

Honestly? The stock $1799 27" iMac will be a huge upgrade for you. If it were me, I feel that the $1999 iMac is the best bang for your buck. You can go up to 64GB of RAM when the time comes and it has a faster CPU chip and better video card for only $200 more than the $1799 model.

Oh!! With any of the new Retina iMac screens, you will need to budget for the latest calibration tool, such as a Datacolor Sypder5Elite Calibrator. Calibration Tools from a few years ago (2009-2011 era) can't keep up with the new Retina Screens, so it's good to have the latest and greatest calibrator / calibration software.

That said, want to know what I would configure? Believe it or not, it's not a iMac Pro. This is probably what I'm going to get later this year, I'm thinking in the Fall of 2018: 

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 9.13.56 PM.png

 

I started with the $2299 - 27" iMac and upgraded the CPU, RAM to 16GB and HD to 3TB. Why not a SSD drive? Due to the cost and size limitations. A small SSD drive won't do you any good if it's full, so I'm opting for a 3TB HD. That said, prices may come down and I might opt for a 1TB SSD drive and have a huge external drive. I've lived with a 1TB drive since 2009 and it still isn't full. I also want the new keyboard with the number-pad built in. I plan on purchasing RAM from Crucial.com to bump it up to 32GB to start with and also will purchase AppleCare. Cost for the iMac is $2829 plus shipping, tax and AppleCare...and is still cheaper and has way more horsepower than a Mac Book Pro.

Why not a iMac Pro?  Because I don't edit video. I'm not rendering 3D graphics or creating stuff for Pixar. I'm using Photoshop which isn't programmed to take advantage of what makes a iMac Pro / Mac Pro so fast. It's like owning a elite sports car that is designed to go 200MPH+ only to be used to drive your kids to school 3 miles away @ 25MPH. LOL! In fact, Adobe Photoshop will run SLOWER on a Mac Pro / iMac Pro than it will on a fully tricked out standard iMac.

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