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I plan to use the MBP to edit a lot of pictures.

I am torn between spending less than $600 on a mid-2010 MBP 15" (Core i7 2.66Ghz) or a 2012 MBP 13" (Core i5 2.5Ghz) for less than $800.

The MBP 15" tech is too old and it doesn't even have a USB 3.0 port but has a fast processor while the MBP 13" screen is too small for editing pictures (but I can attach it to an external monitor, no problem there).

Should I just wait and save up for the MBP 13" or buy the MBP 15" now?

Can someone share they experiences and advice including the Graphics performances?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, grg, nohillside Jan 5 '15 at 17:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • This question does not appear to be about Apple hardware or software within the scope defined in the help center. – Tetsujin Jan 5 '15 at 16:58
  • @Tetsujin Whilst the question may be opinion based and subject to closure, it doesn't make the question off-topic. – grg Jan 5 '15 at 17:04
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    First question to ask is, How long you want to keep the Mac? Is it going to be able to cope with you continuous higher demand on processing power over that period (CPU). What will you be doing in 3 Years where the Mac should cope with it. – Ruskes Jan 5 '15 at 17:19
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    You may want to check if this MBP 15 mid 2010 doesn't have the GPU problem like mine does. Some units may crash a lot (GPU panic) even without much "stress". Here's some info: discussions.apple.com/thread/5759538?tstart=0 There are a many discussions about this on the internet. – Mateusz Szlosek Jan 5 '15 at 17:31
  • I'll probably use this for 12-18 months until I can afford to buy another machine with better specs. – Francis Jan 5 '15 at 17:31
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Let me provide you with my opinion:

  • The CPU can not be changed (well it could but at about $1000)

  • The slower USB is normally not a issue unless you are high user of external disks, etc. (and even then it is unlikely to make a noticeable difference)

  • Buying an external screen will always be an option regardless of model (only budget question).

  • Portability? Do you have to travel a lot?

Since your main use is to edit pictures, how about a graphics quality comparison?


MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)

Graphics and video support

  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory on 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz configurations; or 512MB of GDDR3 memory on 2.66GHz configuration
  • Intel HD Graphics with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • Automatic graphics switching
  • Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/SP582

The Cons:
The MacBook Pro 15″ Mid 2010 had an 'intermittent black screen or loss of video' problem caused by the graphics card. The program has since ended.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)

Graphics and video support

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/SP649

Further details of the 13″ at NotebookCheck.net

  • I didn't use graphics quality in my criteria but you have a good point. Not sure which one renders better. Also, I will be using the MBP mostly at home where I do all my photo work. – Francis Jan 5 '15 at 17:33

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