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Deciding on what Mac to get - wondering what you used . . .

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by r-41157, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    Hey Guys,

    Im doing advertising and graphic design at uni and need to make the switch to a Mac. Ive done ALOT of research, opinion gathering and thinking over the last week on whether to get a Macbook, MBP or iMac. I would love to know your opinions and also what you lot use when designing.

    I wil mainly be running the Adobe creative suite along with the usual bits and bobs and itunes etc. I was pretty set on the MBP as I need a fast mac with good graphics/display and memory, along with portability to take to uni and back. But as there is either a new update next week, or in the coming months it has led my mind to wander to the idea of a full spec 20" iMac and external hard drive to transfer my files from home to the macs at uni as this may be a cheaper, and safer option (who wants to take £1500 worth of top laptop around uni everyday.)

    So what do you all think? And what do you design on?
  2. hellosmithy

    hellosmithy New Member

    Welcome to the forum r-41157,
    I'd say you need to decide first wether you want a laptop or a desktop computer then you can go on to decide which model. I personally use a 15" MBP I find it pretty good for all my needs using the Adobe suite. I also use a second monitor for a bit of extra screen estate. I think if you go for just a MB, you may find the screen too small for doing lots of graphics work.
    The iMacs are nice desktop machines, they had a few at the last agency I worked at, and you get a LOT of screen.
    Basically I think MBP or iMac, both great machines - you just need to decide whether you're going to need your computer with you at all times or if the University computers are going to be sufficient. I used to lug around a 17" PB and I can tell you that wasn't much fun!
    Good luck with your choice!
  3. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    The Macs in question at uni are pretty poor to be honest. But it is a case of weighing up whether they are bad enough to warrant taking a bulkly, expensive laptop in and getting it connected up to the printer, which rarely works as it is anyway!

    So maybe an iMac with an external hard drive would be best for the meantime, and save some money to upgrade at the same time! And I could always get a macbook for next year if the need arose!

    Judging by what I have just written, i think it is down to me to decide and stop debating to myself on forums!:rollin

    Anyone else got any opinions?
  4. born to succed

    born to succed New Member

    if i was you id buy the imac desktop, and also buy a external hardrive so it saves you from carrying a laptop around, an if you get a laptop do as ive done get a bag thats discreet, so its not obvios your carrying a laptop.
  5. glebe digital

    glebe digital Member

    The ATI gpu's on the iMac aren't that great, plus a RAM upgrade is expensive by PC comparisons........apart from that they look like a good bet for you if you also get an external drive to take to college..........I've been thinking about an 8-core MacPro purely as a number-crunching renderbox, but the base price is still a little high.
  6. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    cheers for the advice! i was planning on getting a good laptop bag from the US..

    Another thought that i am now factoring into my decision, is whether the work I will be doing demands a pro machine like the MBP at this stage in my degree etc. Ill be doing print and layout design/graphics work, with some final cut at some point and illustrator work etc but im not sure if it would command such an expensive laptop.

    The savings on a full spec imac against a full spec MBP would certainly pay for some very good RAM upgrades and external hard drives, and a new graphics tablet and possibly even a better quality printer! Sorry im just thinking out load again here!

    What do ya reckon???
  7. glebe digital

    glebe digital Member

    To me, it sounds like the imac...considering what you want to do on it.

    I use an Intuos3 wacom tablet [for PS re-touching, and some aspects of my 3d work] they're a great addition if you can find room in your budget.

    best of luck :)
  8. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    I have been looking at the Wacom Bamboo Fun A5 - I could even afford a carry case for it! :glasses

    Is this a good choice of tablet or would others recommend better for a similar price??
  9. glebe digital

    glebe digital Member

    The A5 is quite literally, a fun tablet......you won't be able to do much meaningfull work with it.
    For high-end retouching, your eyes and wrist will thank you if you invest in a big screen and a big tablet to go with it. :)
    Oh, and a monster graphics card........forgot. ;)
  10. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    okay, so if I was wanting to kit out a desktop with all the accessories to help my work and stop wrist pain . . . .which tablet should I go for and which graphics card (that I could put into an imac)? And also the prices of these . . . cheers! :D
  11. MickeyFinn

    MickeyFinn Administrator

    With the RAM upgrade don't forget to NOT buy the RAM from Apple as they are a bunch of rip-off merchants ;)
  12. glebe digital

    glebe digital Member

    Well I'm not a Mac-man......not since 1995 anyway. ;)

    My GPU is a top-line Nvidia Quadro card, about the same price as the imac on it's own.........
    I'd say get the biggest tablet you can afford, and a GPU for around £175 and you'd be cookin'.......but others, feel free to correct me. :)
  13. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    Oh I know, Crucial is the place to get them from apperently!!! Is the RAM as easy to change on an iMac as it is in the Macbook/pro?
  14. philjohns

    philjohns New Member

    I got my new imac 20inch in january, maxed out with RAM (4GB) , 2.0GHx processor, external hardrive (not from apple) - total amount of HD space including external is 500GB.

    This cost me just over £1100 I think from an apple resellers in Plymouth, plus £50 for the EXHD.

    Oh . . . and I couldnt ask for a better set up for graphic and website design - unless of course I went bigger and better ;)
  15. r-41157

    r-41157 New Member

    Ahh brill, good to hear from someone who has a similar set up that I would be thinking about and likes how it works!

    I was in the apple store today and had a play with both a 20" and 24" and loved them both, if I can afford it, should I just go for the 2.4ghz 24" iMac then up the RAM to 4GB???

    Also tonight I have been looking at desks etc to put an iMac on, and to smarten up the spare room a little and it does seem like a more appealing solution to my design needs than a Macbook Pro but I am still going to wait and see if this potential update appears/is any good before I make my final decision!

    I think I am going to get my external drive and graphics tablet from New York while im over there to save a few bob, 25GB drive and possible the Wacom wireless tablet if not something more professional since I am saving some money!

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