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CaptQuixote 09-09-2010 06:28 AM

Switching from 15" to 13" advice needed

I've been using a 15" Macbook Pro for a year or so and I'm thinking of selling it for a 13" (I need the portability and battery life). I use it mostly for word processing and the net, but I also like to run Final Cut Studio (with Magic Bullet plugins), Photoshop and Lightroom - I don't use them professionally, but I do use them for small HD film projects and RAW photo editing now and then. I hook the laptop up to a monitor at home so the reduced screen size isn't a problem - but I'm worried about the reduced specs.

At the moment my machine is 2.53Ghz, 4GB RAM with a 9600M GT 512MB GPU and a 7200 speed drive - obviously, the new base 13" has a slower processor, hard drive and an integrated (albeit pretty good from what I've heard) graphics card. What I really want to know is how much of a difference I'm going to see in performance - and in what form that difference will take...if, for example, it means I'm just going to have longer rendering times on FCP and slower editing in Lightroom I don't care so much - but if some of those programs won't work at all (or slow to an unusable crawl) then I guess the 13" isn't an option.

Any advice would be great...Thanks!

brairden 09-09-2010 11:11 AM

You will notice a slight difference in rendering times and things if that nature. If you are worried the software being unusable, stop worrying. I have owned the 2.26 and the 2.4 13" MBPs and they both ran all of these programs with no hiccups at all. I doubt that you would be able to tell the difference in the graphics card (unless you do some gaming).

In my humble opinion you will be hard pressed to notice any difference at all. When I upgraded from the 2.26 to the 2.4, to be honest, I noticed NO improvement on FCP rendering times.

If you are really that curious about it, edit and render a small project and save the source material. When you get the 13", repeat the exact process and time it. You'll know then how much of a performance drop you have experienced. Then you can decide if the portability was worth the sacrifice.

CaptQuixote 09-09-2010 11:29 AM

That's really helpful - it's good to know I'm not really looking at too much of a step down if I go for the 13". Thanks for your help.

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