What is the optimum hardware setup for Graphic Design with a Macbook Pro 2010 i7?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Laurice, May 5, 2015.

  1. Laurice

    Laurice Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Manila
    Hello, my machine is a mid-2010 Macbook Pro 15" i7 currently running Mountain Lion 10.8.5, no hardware upgrades.

    Basically:
    i7 2.66 Ghz Intel
    4GB RAM
    500GB HDD

    1. My main line of work involves:

    Graphic design and digital illustration for both:
    Print (magazines, annual reports, brochures, flyers, business stationery, shirt design, branding)
    and Web (infographics, web design, online marketing materials including podcast covers, social networking banners, photo correction and manipulation etc)

    2. The software i have installed on my laptop is:

    Adobe Creative Suite 6.0 Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. These 3 softwares are my most used softwares, roughly 80-90% of my whole work day. I constantly have to switch between two (2) out of these three (3) applications while working, and I've experienced lagging and freezing countless times in the day.

    So...


    Right now, what I need is a machine that's going to help me do my job fairly quickly. But at the moment, I don't have the budget to buy a new Macbook Pro (I'm planning to save up for this) so my only choice is to upgrade my hardware to address my short-term needs.

    What hardware pieces do you recommend is the best for me on a budget to do good graphic work as I've described?

    or

    What is the best hardware setup for my current machine to do graphic work?


    I welcome any recommendation for a 15,000 PHP short-term budget.
    I also welcome any opinion outside my question. (Which means I welcome if you suggest, for example, having me buy a new one immediately for a cheaper price at like say Digital Walker, for example.)

    Also, I have read that my machine cannot function with a 16GB ram; am I correct? This is the source of the information.
    And according to Apple, mid-2010 only "Up to 8GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM".
     
  2. LeoCastillo

    LeoCastillo Maestro
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,899
    Likes Received:
    275
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philippines
    Hi Laurice, yes you definitely want more RAM. Go for the max RAM your Macbook can go far.... after checking yes your model can only go up to 8GB. It'll make a huge difference.

    Also, if you are willing to spend a bit more, I recommend you get an SSD (the bigger the storage space, better but more expensive). It will turbo boost the performance of your Mac. If you want more space you can consider taking out your Superdrive and move your HDD there instead.

    Leo
     
  3. Laurice

    Laurice Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Manila
    Thank you for the suggestion.

    I will look into the SSD upgrade. Is there a cheaper place to buy Mac hardware replacements besides the apple store?

    On a side note, my friend uses a 2011 Macbook Pro and have upgraded her RAM to 8GB max yet reported that her machine still runs slow. How significant is the performance boost between an HDD and an SSD?
     
  4. dryxzzz

    dryxzzz Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    P8, QC
  5. mokmoki

    mokmoki PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    402
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Laguna
    installing an SSD on an old system will make it feel like it's new again. overall system responsiveness will greatly improve.

    your budget of 15000 can bag you the extra RAM and a 256gb SSD with some leftover. you can use that leftover to buy a superdrive HDD caddy for your 500gb if you're not using the superdrive a lot. or maybe get a 1TB portable HDD and leave the superdrive installed.
     
  6. borriz

    borriz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    The added RAM and SSD will certainly help, and your budget is more than enough for it, so go for it as soon as you're ready. You can factor in the upgrades when it's time to sell your 2010 Macbook Pro. However, if you're using those Adobe graphic software (especially Photoshop) as extensively as you claim, you need a dedicated hard drive to serve as Scratch Disk. You can try this even before you make your purchases, and see if there'll be a difference. I say, the difference—the improvement—will be remarkable. Just go find a portable external hard drive with available space of 20 Gb or more (more is better) and plug it in your computer. Fire up Adobe Photoshop and go to Preferences>Performance. Under Scratch Disks, check the external hard drive and set it as primary. You don't need to uncheck the main drive, but make sure it's not set up as the primary disk (it should be lower on the list of active disks). Quit Photoshop, then observe the next time you do your stuff as usual.

    I'm not sure if the Preferences dialog will be the same in your version of Photoshop, but I hope you get the idea.
     
  7. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    5,863
    Likes Received:
    479
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, Manila
    I second the SSD upgrade. My company has over a dozen Macs (iMacs and Mac Minis) in service of different years from 2010 to 2013 and they all feel brand new thanks to their SSD upgrades. So far the most reliable brand that never gave me any headaches is Crucial. SanDisk is good too but I can get lower prices from Curcial. I also tried a few Transcend but was very unlucky one failed the first few hours of installation - right after I transferred my files from my backup. Samsung SSD also have a stellar reputation but they are not as common as Crucial which is just as good.

    My employees and I use a lot of Photoshop CS6 and the SSD makes it fly for most none CPU extensive tasks.

    If you are near Greenhills, I recommend getting your SSDs from Abacus Virramall. Very good prices and bought all my Crucial SSDs from them. They don't accept credit cards though so make sure to bring cash!
     
  8. cybersniper

    cybersniper PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,192
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Bacoor, Cavite
    512GB Crucial M550 - 12K

    OR 512GB Crucial MX200 - 10K

    8GB RAM Kit - 3,500

    ^Get them all from Louie of TPC - I'm sure he wouldn't mind giving you a discount :)
     
  9. Laurice

    Laurice Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Manila
    Thanks for the tip! I will try this one. I was also planning on buying an extra 1TB HDD to keep new and old files. I forgot to mention, I keep most of my files in a partitioned 500GB WD external HD (I hate WD! and it's an old one) and leave about 350GB free in my laptop for whatever purposes, this is probably the current scratchdisk that Photoshop is using. And I don't think it's making my mac happy :(

    I might as well use my WD as a scratchdisk once I get a new 1TB. (don't know when though)

    Have you done projects for print? Like annual reports or books with InDesign? InDesign tends to lag quite a bit more frequently too.

    I live near Taft Quirino but it's worth a try if the prices are really good! How much did you get your SSDs for? Maybe they were cheaper when you bought them by bulk :confused: A price range perhaps? Roughly the same with Louie TipidPC? Do they also offer installation? (if they do, how much do they charge?) (Or maybe I'll do the installation myself?)


    I'm canvassing at the moment, so yeah, why not! What's the difference between an M550 and an MX200? What would you recommend? The price might not matter if the performance of an M550 is significantly better than an MS200. (What am I saying) (But how can you actually gauge and track the performance of an SSD anyway)

    Yeah for some reason you buy things in bulk, you snag an opportunity for a discount for shelling out a larger sum
     
  10. Laurice

    Laurice Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Manila
    I never thought an SSD would be THAT expensive. Haha! Thought it was just about -10k
     
  11. itnetad

    itnetad Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Makati
    Go get an OWC SSD's for reliability though you can buy them online and have it shipped.
     
  12. Seven Leaves

    Seven Leaves Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    85
    OWC SSDs also have a good reputation but why would you when you can buy (the equally good) Crucial SSDs locally? The shipping from the States will add 1-2k pesos to your purchasing price. Also good luck if you need to claim warranty, you will need to ship it back to the states at your expense of course.
     
  13. Zoey

    Zoey Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    93
    Believe me, the upgrade is worth it! An SSD will make your Mac feel twice as fast. I use Adobe illustrator a lot and SSD helped tons. :)
     
  14. LeoCastillo

    LeoCastillo Maestro
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,899
    Likes Received:
    275
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philippines
    I have an old 512GB Crucial M4, which is "slower" than the current MX550/M200 and my MBP is blazing fast. You should be fine with the M200.

    An SSD's performance upgrade is amazing, so almost any SSD will do.

    Leo
     
  15. dryxzzz

    dryxzzz Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    P8, QC
    Have you tried updating your Adobe CS6 apps? There were certain CS6 updates addressing on software slowdown (and updates would mean your software should be licensed).
     
    #15 dryxzzz, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  16. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    5,863
    Likes Received:
    479
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, Manila
    Prices are actually getting better. I remember getting a 256GB SSD for 35K php. back in 2009:)
     
    #16 Salaryman Ryan, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  17. cybersniper

    cybersniper PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,192
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Bacoor, Cavite
    not much of a difference between the two models I mentioned... I believe MX200 is M550's successor. You know, new(er) tech comes up every now and then. :) - though there's is really no notable difference in performance.

    I doubt that you can feel the difference (if any) in real world usage... You'd only see the numbers in benchmarks (which is discouraged for SSDs)

    The reason why I have the M550 instead of the MX200 is because the latter did not exist yet when I was in the market for an SSD.

    Bottomline is - you cannot go wrong with either model, so just get whichever is cheaper - in this case, the MX200.

    In Adobe CS, you would benefit more on the RAM upgrade than the SSD... but overall, the SSD would make your system snappier.
     
  18. cybersniper

    cybersniper PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,192
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Bacoor, Cavite
    ???

    you're right.. and that 10K is already a 512GB variant (MX200) --- 256GB models are even cheaper.
     
  19. Laurice

    Laurice Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Manila
    Okay, thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

    I'm planning to go for this setup: (and I've also checked out Louie's prices, they're almost roughly the same as amazon's, if not already better)

    256GB SSD Crucial MX100 from Louie **or** BX100 (heard that BX100 is newer and faster?) from Dynaquest PC
    Transcend 2TB portable / external HD shockproof

    plus Gskill Sodimm 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3 1066/F3-8500CL7D-8GBSQ


    What do you think?
     
    #19 Laurice, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  20. ronnel0918

    ronnel0918 PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    Las Piñas
    Just a tip: Get your Crucial SSDs from DynaquestPC or PCHub. They are authorized dealers. As for others, I don't know. Got this from someone (bintsmok) in TipidPC.
     

Share This Page

  • About PhilMUG

    Since the mid-1990s, PhilMUG (formerly the Philippine Macintosh Users Group) has grown to become not just the Philippines’ but one of the world’s foremost Apple user groups. Our online community brings together thousands of members from the Philippines and around the world for the latest news and discussions covering all Apple products and related hardware and software. Anyone can join PhilMUG, from newbies to experts, subject to our membership rules and guidelines.
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Buy us a beer!

    The staff works very hard to make sure that PhilMUG is running 24/7. Care to buy us a beer or help out with our hosting fees? We'd really appreciate it!

    Donate to us!