Graphic Design / Photography Student Needs Help Deciding

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cfd954, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. cfd954 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #1
    I am a college student starting a dual major Graphic Design / Photography and I have decided to make the swich back to Apple as those are the programs the college uses for these classes. The question that now comes up is that I am looking to buy a laptop so that I can use it in class and also at home for my course work and to have some fun with as well. For the most part my computer will be used for class work (Graphic Design / Photography), browsing the internet, creating home movies / editing them, very light gaming. With this in mind I am trying to decide between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro. I have done alot of searching and reading comparing the Macbook and the MacBook Pro and just need some input from others who use their laptops for these items. Also I don't want to goto an apple store and as this question as I know that they will just want to upsell me. Also for those who recommend the MacBook Pro should I choose the Glossy or Matte Screen? I thank everyone for their opinions and their help. I should also add that the MacBook upgraded to 1 gig of ram is within my means and the MacBook Pro would be stretching my cash flow.
     
  2. radiantm3 macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #2
    If you ever want to use apple's aperture (http://www.apple.com/aperture/), the macbook is out of the question. If you are planning to do a lot of graphics work (obviously you are), I'd definitely go for the matte screen which again rules out the macbooks. Gaming will most likely rule out the macbook choice as well as not too many new games will run well with the integrated graphics. I say go for the macbook pro with a matte display.
     
  3. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #3
    the MBP might be the better option for you. i use my MB for Photoshop and that stuff (I'm a graphic communications major) and it works (though rosetta sucks), but the screen alone is what makes me think you should go with the MBP. the colors on a glossy will never be as accurate as the colors on a matte screen.. plus as a design major you'll probably be very thankful for the extra screen real estate.

    if you're planning to get an external monitor, though, that all changes. in that case, unless you're planning on doing a lot of work on the go versus at home, then i might seriously consider the MB. right now there's not enough of a difference performance-wise to really justify the added cost, IMO. the MB's integrated graphics is more than capable unless you're going to be working with ginormous (like my word? ;) ) files, and it might be better to spend the money saved on maxing out the RAM (for the adobe suite this will be imperative) and upgrading the HD.

    the second option is what i decided on (ie: MB maxed out w/ an external monitor for at home). the files we work on are 1) not terribly design-oriented, so color accuracy isn't horribly important, 2) not huge, so the integrated graphics works just fine for me, and 3) i prefer the smaller laptop for portability.. i had a 15" PB before the MB and it was a nuisance. it suits me really well, but the preferred setup changes with each person.


    1) Aperture will run on a MB just fine, from what I've read of other users' experiences (but i don't know first-hand).
    2) The OP said "light gaming" which should be fine on integrated graphics depending on the game.. I play Quake 3 and the like and it runs better than it did on my old PB. Even the newer games will play if you dumb down the graphics a bit.
     
  4. shecky Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #4
    seconded.

    while matte vs. glossy is mostly a personal preference, my opinion is that matte is easier to color correct on, colors look more realistic, and it just feels less "fake" to me. there is a reason why the best LCD's in the world like Eizo are matte.
     
  5. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #5
    It's good that you pointed out the system requirements for Aperture.

    The shared memory VRAM in the MacBook makes it unsuitable for use with
    Aperture.

    Wait till we get through the Paris Expo, then look at your options again.

    A Meron MBP would be excellent for your needs, but a refurb 2.16 MBP
    might be more attractive if you're trying to save money.
     
  6. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    #6
    Aperture will run, but it ain't gonna be pretty.

    My recommendation would be the MBP - the ExpressCard/34 slot will be helpful in many ways (you'll want external drives to backup files - eSATA is the way to go for that), bigger/matte screen, video card should you ever want to play a game or use Aperture.
    Do special-order it with the 7200RPM drive if the next iteration doesn't come with user-accessible drives. You'll appreciate the extra speed and 20GB.

    To save money, just get your own memory from NewEgg or similar place. You can basically bump your computer up to 2GB for the same price Apple charges going 512MB to 1GB.
     
  7. macaddicted macrumors regular

    macaddicted

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Down on Copperline...
    #7
    I would seriously consider a maxed out MB, but with the caveat that you will probably want an external monitor. Ask your professor or the art department's IT person if you can hook your computer up to the schools equipment (monitor, keyboard, printer). If you can then I would think long and hard about the MB.

    A MBP is a great computer, especially if you are someone like me who is going to use it as their sole system. Plus I like the style and I can afford it. But if all you are getting out of the MBP is a bit of style then you are wasting money you could use on a good quality scanner, printer and monitor. For you the total system, with or without the monitor, is more important.
     
  8. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Try for a refurb Macbook Pro. Aperture will not work very well on the Macbook. Your mention of editing movies also makes me think that the MBP would be better. Plus, the matte screen of the MBP will probably be better for your photography work.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9
    Matte vs glossy is only a personal preference if you're not doing anything graphics, photography, or design related. :p

    Get a 15" MBP, matte screen, 2 GB of RAM from a 3rd party vendor like NewEgg or OWC, an LCD Colour calibrator (they're not expensive), and a 20" widescreen LCD from a company like ViewSonic, Samsung (not Dell because I hear they're not as accurate. Then get a couple of backup harddrives that support FireWire.

    If this is too expensive, get the 15" MBP, matte finish, 2 GB of RAM, and screen colour calibrator. Just get a single "regular" (3.5") Seagate HD and an aluminium casing of some sort that supports FW and build your own external. Forget the external LCD. The resolution and quality of the 15" MBPs screen is very good. If you want a screen, get it later. :)

    Oh, and also consider Adobe Lightroom over Aperture. There's lots of benefits with Lightroom, even though it's a beta release right now. :) That'll even run on a MacBook.
     
  10. SpankyPenzaanz macrumors 6502a

    SpankyPenzaanz

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #10
    go with pro. as to glossy vs matte - matte is defintely better for photography much more color accurate. from my understanding of adobe vs aperture aperture uses the gpu hardware for on flly image adjusments while adobe is still using system ram and cpu predominantly. I maybe wrong so i ask for forgiveness in advance
     
  11. cfd954 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #11
    I just wanted to thank everyone for their help and recommendations and I ask for others to still chime in as I am planning on making this move at the end of the week and would like to see what others think as well. Also for those who are recommending the MacBook Pro, have the processor whine and excessive heat issues been sorted out yet? The heat issue to me is quite important as I am not looking to have to buy a cooling pad just to be able to use my laptop on my lap. Again thanks for all of the input and keep it coming.
     
  12. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #12
    both laptops will be too hot to use on your bare lap for very long. a blanket or some pants solves that quickly though. don't expect a cool machine, though.. both the MB and MBP are far from that!
     
  13. radiantm3 macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #13
    I agree. Mac laptops are never actually laptops. That's probably why they call them *books. :D Both get very hot under heavy usage and I highly recommend keeping them on a solid surface for proper cooling.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #14
    Even after updating and fixing the issue with RAW conversion in Aperture, it's still not supposed to be as good as Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom also has way more editing options for you, and serves 99% of my needs (I don't sell my photos, so I don't spend hours on one photo). I might sometimes use Photoshop to edit something specifically, but otherwise, Lightroom is enough. Aperture has it's benefits, but it's just not good enough yet. Lightroom is great even as a beta, and it's only getting better.

    I'll buy it once it's released. :)
     

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