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Old Dec 23, 2007, 3:14 PM   #1
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General question really. I'm looking to buy a slim and relatively light laptop to carry with me when I travel. it will be carried in the DSLR backpack I'll be getting (either Lowepro Compu Trekker or Tamrac Adventure 9). I'm looking at either an Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro. What I'm wondering is will having a dedicated 256 MB graphics card make a big difference for light PP work and other general computing (e.g. web surfing, checking e-mails, word processing, web authoring....).

Or, would I be fine with a MacBook which doesn't have a dedicated video card? Or should I at least get the MacBook Pro 15" with the dedicated 128 MB video card?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 5:25 PM   #2
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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... I'm looking to buy a slim and relatively light laptop to carry with me when I travel. ... I'm looking at either an Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro. What I'm wondering is will having a dedicated 256 MB graphics card make a big difference for light PP work ...

Or, would I be fine with a MacBook which doesn't have a dedicated video card? Or should I at least get the MacBook Pro 15" with the dedicated 128 MB video card?
The MacBook has a 13.3", 1280x800 resolution screen, while the MacBook Pros have either a 15", 1440x900 resolution screen, a 17", 1680x1050 resolution screen, or a 17", 1920x1200 resolution screen.

The MacBook can have either a 2.0GHz CPU or a 2.2 GHz CPU, while the MacBook Pro can have a 2.2, 2.4, or a 2.6 GHZ CPU.

The MacBook uses the Intel X3100 GPU and shares memory with the OS, while the MacBook Pro uses the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT GPU and has either 128MB or 256MB dedicated to the GPU.

The MacBooks weigh 5.0 lbs. while the MacBook Pros weigh 5.4 lbs, except for the one with the 17" screen, which weighs 6.8 lbs.

You're better off with the dedicated RAM for the GPU, and the difference in weight between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro isn't that much.

As for picking between the MacBook Pros, I'd say that more dedicated RAM for the GPU is better as is the faster CPU (not to mention the 250GB HDD instead of the 160GB HHD.)

So, I'd say the $2,499 model would be the best for a number of reasons, none of which are price.

I would really like a larger, higher resolution display and the extra USB port, but the extra 1.5 pounds is a lot.

Edit: Corrected typo in specs.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 5:35 PM   #3
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The post processing is the only function you mentioned that will put much of a strain on a computer, so nothing else really affects your decision.

If you'll be using Photshop for your post processing, it has it's own virtual memory configuration, so I'd go with the faster HDD too (that is, the 7200 rpm HDD instead of the 5400 rpm HDD.)
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 6:26 PM   #4
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TCav wrote:
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The post processing is the only function you mentioned that will put much of a strain on a computer, so nothing else really affects your decision.

If you'll be using Photshop for your post processing, it has it's own virtual memory configuration, so I'd go with the faster HDD too (that is, the 7200 rpm HDD instead of the 5400 rpm HDD.)

Hello TCav,

Right now I have a 17" Toshiba Qosmio G30. IIt's over 10 pounds, 2.25" thick....etc. So it's a wee bit too large in all respects to be tossed in with my camera gear in a backpack. Which is why I'm looking at either the 13" MacBook or 15" MacBook Pro. Just wondered about the way each handles graphics processing. If the MacBook's shared RAM would do.

I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 now on my laptop. But I'm considering the Nikon D300 which comes with Capture NX. Which I'll definitely be using. Again I would only be doing light touch up work. Fixing blown highlights, vignetting, USM,...stuff like that. Nothing heavy. Nothing that creative that I would consider getting CS3. Just basic fixes........actually, now that I think about it I probably wouldn't be doing much PP work at all on this laptop. It woulfd be to view my photos taken and as a secondary storage device. So if that is the case then I should be fine with the 13" black MacBook no?

When I move into my new place I'll be getting a Mac Pro desktop to handle my main computing needs. It would be the computer used 90% of the time.


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Old Dec 23, 2007, 6:55 PM   #5
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If you want small and light, you might want to look at the Fujitsu Lifebook P-Series laptops. I have been using one for years and am very happy with it, particularily the small and light part. Really excellent when travelling.

Sony also offer a small and light laptop that is similar.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 7:05 PM   #6
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amazingthailand wrote:
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If you want small and light, you might want to look at the Fujitsu Lifebook P-Series laptops. I have been using one for years and am very happy with it, particularily the small and light part. Really excellent when travelling.

Sony also offer a small and light laptop that is similar.
Thanks Mr. Thai but I want to try the Mac OS X and iLife. If I wasn't then I definitely would be looking at other manufacturers like your Fujitsu, Dell or Sony.

The more I think about it the more likelyI'll be going withthe 13" MacBook (black).

Take care.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 7:29 PM   #7
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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... Again I would only be doing light touch up work. Fixing blown highlights, vignetting, USM,...stuff like that. Nothing heavy. ...
Actually, that's pretty heavy.

The MacBook is smaller than the others, and that's a big point in its favor, as is its price. And if all you'll use it for is photo storage and checking email, it will do fine. As I said, the only thing you mentioned you might do that might push it, is the post processing, and for that you should have the NVIDIA GPU. But since you'll have the Mac Pro to do your serious work on, the MacBook should handle your portable storage needs.
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 7:38 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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... Again I would only be doing light touch up work. Fixing blown highlights, vignetting, USM,...stuff like that. Nothing heavy. ...
Actually, that's pretty heavy.

The MacBook is smaller than the others, and that's a big point in its favor, as is its price. And if all you'll use it for is photo storage and checking email, it will do fine. As I said, the only thing you mentioned you might do that might push it, is the post processing, and for that you should have the NVIDIA GPU. But since you'll have the Mac Pro to do your serious work on, the MacBook should handle your portable storage needs.
I think so too. I guess I'll be putting in an order for the MacBook (black).

Thanks for your comments guys. Time for me to bow out of this thead.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 9:12 PM   #9
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I carry my laptop with me to work a lot (in my SUV)and for durability I now use a durabook laptop that I paid $2000. I has 14" screen, windows XP Pro, office 2000, 2GB of ram, Dual layer DVD burner/DVD Ram Burner, unsure what graphics card is in it, 100GB segate hard drive. I first used a Dell that brooke several times and got a durabook at the advice of several pros.

I have no first hand knowledge but several pros have told me they like the mac probook 15" screen but they find it is not durablable enough forrugged traveling without a hard shell case.

As for a carry case I use the one that was sold with the durabook with 2 pieces of pegboard one of either side of the laptop in the main compartment to keep it from moving around or getting crushed. Ionly carry the laptop in this bag and not my camera gear. I also have a heavy duty rolling computer bag that can hold a laptop, protable printer and accessories that can go on an airplane if needed.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"dave
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