Author Topic: MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic  (Read 5526 times)

Offline FairfieldPhoto

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MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic
« on: February 11, 2007, 10:22:27 PM »
I *think* am ready to make the conversion from Windows to Mac, but it is VERY hard to get objective performance comparisons between the two platforms without a lot of bickering that ultimately sounds like "My dad can beat up your dad" or "My religion is the *right* religion".

I am considering a MacBook Pro 2.33Ghz Duo Core (2Gb RAM) and a Dell laptop with the 2.00Ghz Duo Core with Windows XP Pro (2Gb RAM).

It is not unusual for me to need to process 2500+ images after a weekend of sports shooting.  This includes setting IPTC data and resizing images.  Most of my work is JPG in PM, but I also shoot some events in RAW+JPG and use tools like Bibble or Nikon Capture to do batch conversion of RAW images into JPG to correct for poor lighting casts and such.  Final images go through Photoshop CS2, soon to be CS3.

For this type of work, which of the two computers would work faster?  I know there is a limited comparison of CS2 under OSX until CS3, but I know there are a lot of users out there of both systems, plus I have to believe that Camerabits has both platforms for testing purposes.

Experiences, comments, suggestions, and snide remarks are welcome.

Thanks...
-Mike

Online Kirk Baker

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Re: MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2007, 11:00:37 PM »
Mike,

I *think* am ready to make the conversion from Windows to Mac, but it is VERY hard to get objective performance comparisons between the two platforms without a lot of bickering that ultimately sounds like "My dad can beat up your dad" or "My religion is the *right* religion".

I am considering a MacBook Pro 2.33Ghz Duo Core (2Gb RAM) and a Dell laptop with the 2.00Ghz Duo Core with Windows XP Pro (2Gb RAM).

It is not unusual for me to need to process 2500+ images after a weekend of sports shooting.  This includes setting IPTC data and resizing images.  Most of my work is JPG in PM, but I also shoot some events in RAW+JPG and use tools like Bibble or Nikon Capture to do batch conversion of RAW images into JPG to correct for poor lighting casts and such.  Final images go through Photoshop CS2, soon to be CS3.

For this type of work, which of the two computers would work faster?  I know there is a limited comparison of CS2 under OSX until CS3, but I know there are a lot of users out there of both systems, plus I have to believe that Camerabits has both platforms for testing purposes.

We don't have any Windows laptops, but we do have MacBooks and MacBook Pros.  I have heard that apps like Canon DPP and Nikon Capture run faster on Windows than they do on the Mac, and some of the apps aren't yet Universal Binaries which really impacts performance.

But I'll say this from my own experience: BootCamp works extremely well.  And it isn't an option on your Dell solution.  BootCamp allows you to run Windows XP (or Vista) at full speed so you can decide when to switch between the operating systems.  You can try the software out on both platforms and come to your own conclusions.  Also, if you don't mind a slight performance penalty, you can run XP under Parallels virtualization software and run XP and Mac OS X at the same time.

To me the choice is clear: MacBook Pro.  It gives you all of the options and I can't think of anything that's a negative about it.

NOTE: if you plan to use older style PCMCIA cards (for wireless internet via your cellular phone carrier) then this would be a problem with the MacBook Pro since it does not accept PCMCIA cards.  It uses a smaller card bus (I don't know its name offhand) so hardware selection is likely to be slim for a while.

HTH,

-Kirk


Offline FairfieldPhoto

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Re: MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 12:34:16 PM »
It does.  Thank you.  The PCMCIA card isn't a problem because I haven't gone down that path yet.  I was thinking the Parallels path for the few Windows-only programs I have, but for the last six months, I have been mostly buying tools that have a Mac-specific version (assuming they will make the leap to Universal Binary).  The Parallels option gives me the ability to still use some of my Windows programs like Quickbooks and such and defer the cross platform upgrade for later.

Thanks again.

-Mike

Offline penguin1300

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Re: MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2007, 08:00:59 PM »
Fairfield,

I personally just went through this very battle.  Do I get a Dell with XP (at a cheaper price) or spend a few dollars more for the Mac.  After a close friend beat me into death about how great his Mac was, I broke down and ordered the Mac...after being anti Mac for the past 10 years.

I purchased the 2.16Ghz 15" with 1gig of memory.  I then ordered the 2nd 1gig of memory from newegg for $74 (this is $100 less then upgrading on the apple store).  The laptop itself arrived within 2 days with free shipping!  I opened the box, powered it on, answered some personal questions, and was running.  No Dell software BS installed everywhere.  It just has the OS all nice and clean awaiting YOUR applications. 

In short, this MacbookPro has simply been the best dang laptop I've ever owned.  I absolutely love it.  Absolutely NO regrets about the purchase at all.


Offline gregkeene

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Re: MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 09:57:45 AM »
I own both Macs (MacBook Pro, MacPro, MacMini) and Windows machines (Alienware quad processor, Sony Vaio notebook, and misc. boxes); having added Macs back to my setup early last year (after the Intel processors were launched) after a 10 year hiatus.

Here are my thoughts on it.

- In general, I use my Macs much more than windows. I just find it more comfortable. I am an expert windows user - still enjoy the Mac more.

- If you know how to run PhotoMechanic in Windows, you do on the Mac. The differences are minor. The performance feels the same to me. No scientific testing, but on comparable machines, I don't see that big of a difference.

- I don't ever run Bootcamp. Don't see the point, probably because I have other Windows machines.

- I do run Parallels for a couple of apps (esp on the road) and it works very well (including Photoshop for some plug-ins - see below). However, if you do, make sure you setup a static drive size, the growing drives tend to get fragmented and make it slower than it should be.

- Get 2GB RAM at a minimum, 3GB+ if you can swing it. I would tell you the same thing for Windows, especially since you are now stuck with Vista.

- The biggest issue for Photoshop users is plugins. If you get CS3, you can only use Universal Binary plug-ins. If you get CS2 or CS1, it won't be Universal Binary, but will support all plugins. Consequently, I find myself running both. I also find myself using Parallels sometimes for plugins I haven't purchased on the Mac. This is a temporary problem, but you should be aware of it. My suggestion for you at this point is to go CS3 and get the plug-ins you need on the Mac. If you must revert for a specific function, revert to Photoshop in Parallels on Windows (it runs really well if you setup Parallels right) with your old plugins, don't bother with CS2/CS on the Mac.

- I also use Capture One Pro and found it equally good on Windows and Mac. The license transfers straight across just like PhotoMechanic.

- There is some very cool software on the Mac and lots more high-quality inexpensive software and tools. It feels more polished.
I'd suggest going the MacBook route. Be prepared to spend a little money on some new software toys. Not because the Mac needs it, but because there's a lot of cool stuff. Whether it's it's full-blown commercial software like Omnigraffle Pro and iBiz; shareware like GraphicConverter, LicenseKeeper, , TextMate, VisualHub, NetNewswire, and Netflix Freak; or free software like Adium, Burn, LinoType FontExplorer X, Renamer4Mac, VLC, and iGTD, you'll be getting a lot of new toys.

If you want move from Outlook to the Mac, while you could use MS Office for the Mac, I recommend going the Mail, Addressbook and iCal route. Use O2M to convert your current Mail, Addressbook and iCal entries. Also, I like the free NeoOffice just fine for full-blown MS Office work unless you have to interact extremely regularly with Office users (that's a good use for Parallels using the Coherence capability). For basic, but highly create documents, I really like Pages (part of the iWork suite).

Enjoy,

Greg

Offline FairfieldPhoto

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Re: MacBook Pro vs Dell laptop with PM - Tangent topic
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 10:55:38 AM »
Great info Greg!  Thanks!  I have my sights on a MacBook Pro with 3Gb.

-Mike