Help for college art student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Lannette, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Lannette macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    #1
    I posted to this group way back when my son needed a mac compatible digital portfolio and all of the suggestions were very helpful. The portfolio got the job done (Thanks for your help!) and he's been accepted to FIT as a fine arts major and I figured that this was the best place to come for information on purchacing a Mac for school. (This is his weary (non-savvy when it comes to Macs) Mom :eek: )

    We're thinking that given the size of NYC dorms a ibook or a power book seemed like a good option and I've heard that Macs are hardier than PC notebooks. What do you think? Would he be better off with a desk top?

    The school gives minimum configurations but we figure that the minimum for this year won't cut it next year or maybe even next semester but here's what they list: Mac OS8.6 or higher, 64 MB RAM for Mac OS8.6 or above, 128 MB RAM for Mac Osx, 10 GB hard disk, CD ROM, Floppy drive, Built in Ethernet

    His second choice school insisted that art students have a Mac. FIT lists specs for both PCs and Macs but we've heard that Macs are preferable for art applications.

    Any thoughts or advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Lannette
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Well, given only one computer, I'd agree that a laptop is the definite choice, esp. as he doesn't need a ton of power, based on those minumum specs.

    Your cheapest bet is likely a 12" iBook, which will probably run you in the neighborhood of $1100-$1300 with the student educational discount and some features.

    The 12" iBook can be connected to a larger monitor, is extremely portable and fairly rugged, and is a good deal at the price compared to a 12" PowerBook, which is very nice but much more expensive.

    I'd recommend the Combo Drive, Bluetooth, Airport Extreme (but that can be added later), a bump from 30GB to at least 40GB, and 768MB of RAM - if you're even remotely technical, order the iBook with 256MB and buy 512 MB from www.crucial.com or www.kingston.com. Otherwise, pay a bit of a premium to Apple and get it shipped with it.

    Just my opinion.
     
  3. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #3
    I think a 15" Powerbook would be great for him, but I really think you should talk to your son about whether he would prefer more portability or speed. The PowerMac G5 Desktops are definitely more powerful, and a little more expensive, but a Powerbook will definitely cut it. I would just recommend at least a 15" screen for doing graphics.

    Lee Tom

    Edit: I would really suggest going with a Pro machine though, and stay away from the iMacs and iBooks. For what he's doing, the quality of the displays of the Powerbooks and Powermacs is worth it. This is coming from an ex-student who did graphic and web design in school!
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    Note that an eMac - which you can't really pay more than $1400 for even if you try, and which generally will run less than even an iBook, is a faster, more powerful machine than the iBook. However, it's not portable.

    If portability is even remotely necessary - and I'd assume that it is, nowadays (I went to college in the 80's), then I think the iBook is still a better option. However, the eMac is a very nice little machine whose only real defect is bulk.
     
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #5
    One last thing: please note that you can find the educational prices by going to http://store.apple.com and clicking on the green apple for educational prices - it's down on the right-hand side of the page.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    I agree in general. However, given the specs listed, it doesn't seem like a pro machine is required.

    But, absolutely, the pro systems will be better. They just cost a lot more.
     

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