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Macbook Pro Retina Or Windows Laptop?

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Josh Bates
Macbook Pro Retina Or Windows Laptop?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 6:00:49 pm

Hi, I'm on a budget of £1500 / $2200 for a laptop, I will mainly be using After Effects/Illustrator/Photoshop for animated infographics and the occasional video edit.

I currently have a desktop which is serving me well but I'd like to have more portability.

My comps are usually 1920x1080 with some simple 3D and some effects, motion blur,drop shadow etc. I usually turn the effects off until I render the final comp.

The MacBook Pro retina with a Quad i7 2.3GHz, 8GB SDRAM and a 256GB SSD is looking like a good option at £1489/$2260 (http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC975B/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display)

but I'm just not sure how well it will run and cope with After Effects, I've also heard you can't upgrade the RAM on a Retina?

Does anyone have any experience using the MacBook Pro retina for After Effects work?

Also here's my current PC specs for comparison

- AMD FX6100
- 1 TB 5400RPM HDD
- 10GB DDR3 RAM
- GTI 560 TI

Any advice is really appreciated!


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Ridley Walker
Re: Macbook Pro Retina Or Windows Laptop?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 7:56:50 pm

I think you'd be happier with something more like this. I'm not familiar with pricing in the UK, so the link is to Amazon US.

http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-X875-Q7390-17-3-Inch-Diamond-Textured-Aluminu...

I have a Retina Macbook Pro and love it, but it is not my production machine. The video card on the Toshiba is better than that on the Macbook Pro.

You can order the Mac with more RAM but cannot add more once you have it. I'm sure that others will recommend other options.

The Toshiba is a better value for $ and you're currently using a PC, why switch?


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Josh Bates
Re: Macbook Pro Retina Or Windows Laptop?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 8:05:47 pm

Thanks for the reply, had a look at that laptop looks like great price to performance, I don't want to completely switch but I'd like to have the option of working on either and I'll be needing the portability.

It will most likely be a case of working on the laptop and then collecting the files to render on my main pc if its a particularly complicated scene not that I create really fancy scenes, here's my site http://www.JoshBates.co.uk you can see the kind of 2D work I'll be doing (i'm 16 so please don't judge me to harshly) how do you find working on your MacBook Pro, workflow etc.?


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Ridley Walker
Re: Macbook Pro Retina Or Windows Laptop?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 8:49:06 pm

[Josh Bates] "i'm 16 so please don't judge me to harshly)"

Very nice work Josh.

The Retina MBP is fine for much work. You'd need external storage, USB3 or Thunderbolt are the options.

I use benchmarks to help me determine whether one system is superior to another for the work I do.

The MBPr geekbench score is around 11,000, my desktop MacPro is over 22,000 so double the speed. There are many factors that contribute to performance and workflow in After Effects primary among them processor speed, disk speed, and RAM.

Check the geekbench results for the machine you want to buy and test your current machine as well. See: http://browser.primatelabs.com

If you familiarize yourself with how to get the most out of your computer, you'll be better off.

Here is a link to After Effects and Premiere performance tips.
http://adobe.ly/pRYOuk

A nVidia video card that supports CUDA is indispensable for the new Ray Traced 3D engine.


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Josh Bates
Re: Macbook Pro Retina Or Windows Laptop?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 8:57:42 pm

Thanks Ridley, before posting here I did a quick geekbench test and got 5600 so I'd be looking at a double increase in speed with the MBPr, the only factor that would keep me from getting the MBPr is that it can't be upgraded which makes me want to buy a lower spec MBP and upgrade the ram to as much as possible.

Thanks for the other links to, checking them out now.


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