student + Mac Pro config help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rideshare, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. rideshare macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2006
    I have been researching the new mac pro and am still wondering if its a worthy investment for a broke college kid. I was hoping on some feedback on a proper configuration because im fairly new to computer hardware nuances. Im a design student and will be doing video editing/composting, animation, 3d modeling, multitasking, Adobes Suite crap.. I was wondering if i should be worried about the "poor" choice of video cards? any help for a good config or reasons to stay away would be much appreciated!
  2. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    Depending on how intensive you work will be, I'd say a 20" iMac would be more than sufficient.
  3. bobber205 macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    No undergrad college student needs a Mac Pro. Period.

    A iMac would do you quite well. It's a little unbelievable that a college student would contemplate a Mac Pro.

    (But if you can! afford it, go ahead!)
  4. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You'll be an even poorer college student with a permanent case of the grins :D

    The sweet spot is the 2.66 GHz with no less than 2 GB RAM (4X512) and the
    ATI X1900, but you'll be back ordering about 4-5 weeks for that video card.

    Unless you are already an advanced user rendering HD content, you could get by with the stock video card for now.
    Buying enough of the correct FB ECC RAM for these machines is what hurts the most.

    A thrifty poor college student might consider waiting 2 or 3 months for one of these beauties to turn up on the refub pages. :cool:

    You may not need a MacPro Tower yet.
    Even at education prices, your software requirements are considerable.
    How much machine will you need to run Adobe CS3, FinalCutStudioHD, Logic Pro 8;) Once you can afford to buy them.

    With machines upgrading so rapidly, I would talk to the film studies instructor and find out how much computer you really need to cover the first 2 years.
    Once you learn how to use all the software, then consider how good the workstations will be in 2 years.

    For learning, you might be fine with a 2.0 GHz MacBook for now and save up
    for a serious workstation once the need presents itself.
  5. rideshare thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2006
    dont need it? im not a graphic designer or industrial designer doing layouts, im a digital design major, our labs at school consist of all G5s. I have used a new iMac at work as well as the older dual G5, and the iMac lags when it comes to RealTime previews. Being my senior year am looking for something that will suffice when i leave (and can get a load that will be deferred).
  6. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I don't agree with you on this. When I was an undergrad we had to use computers that were considered supercomputers. If you are running a code written in fortran for fuel loading of nuclear plants it could take anywhere from a week to a month. So the faster the better. The fastest, latest, and best is my motto when buying a computer. Granted only 0.01% use stuff like this but I wouldn't say that an undergrad should not have one especially if he doesn't plan on upgrading for another 6+ years.

  7. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2006
    New Jersey
    Hey...I'm an undergrad...senior year....I use to work on film editing in Final Cut and build my DVD projects in DVD SP 1.5/2 back in high school.... haven't done much video editing since and if I do, i just use iDVD and iMovie since they have the quick build options...

    I went to the Apple Store today to play with the Macbook and maybe purchase it. 2 hours later...I walk out with a Mac Pro. Let me tell you.... this is me. :D :D :D :D

    Logic in buying...this thing should last 3 years before needing a new Mac. My PMG5's Applecare hasn't even expired yet and I don't know why this machine tagged along home with me. :D Anyways... figure in the thought of the programs in the future that would demand more CPU usage and require more RAM....and none of the other Macs seem good enough. Plus you can always upgrade the insides. Anyways...just saying....I'm a student... mostly needing a Mac to type papers, surf the web, and from time to time some video editing in iLife or Final Cut Studio...and I still got a Mac Pro. (So what if you drive a Ferrari and keep it under 65mph all the time?)
  8. D-rock macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2006
    City of Angels, Left Coast
    When I was a senior in college, I purchased a G4 dual 1.25GHz to help with some of my senior projects (mostly 3D animation and After Effects.) I went into debt for it back then, but that machine has served me wonderfully these past three-and-a-half years.

    If you can justify the cost and will use it after you graduate, then I say it's worth it :)
  9. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    That seems like a silly thing to say. If the undergrad is going to be using the machine for the exact same things as a non-undergrad/professional, then why should he not need the Mac Pro? Just because he's not yet making money off his work doesn't mean he wouldn't be using the computer to its potential/the same way a professional would.

    To the OP: I say from the sounds of it, you might get frustrated with an iMac - not to mention, the Mac Pro will last you your 4 years at college and beyond that, probably (especially because you can upgrade components as need-be/money allows). You can't say the same for the iMac. I'd go for the 2.66 (the 2.0 performance jump is too big a gap to justify the measly $270 - plus processor upgrades in the future will cost you much more), and then as much RAM as you can afford. Check Crucial's prices and availability before buying from Apple, as I think I last read that was cheaper, but still up to Apple's standards. I'd go with a stock 250 HD for now and then upgrade that third-party later.

    Good luck!
  10. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Seconded. And depending on the specific type of work and apps used, the X1900 XT video card may or may not benefit you... it sounds like it will though.

    To say that "no undergrad college student needs a Mac Pro. Period." is just silly. The iMac would be too limiting.
  11. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
  12. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    That's a short sighted statement and you obviously have no experience with that. You are assuming that that a college student has less needs than a pro, and that's not true. They might not be getting "money" for the work they do but their time is no less important. Besides tuition, it costs a lot of time to go to school. In addition, a students success is often dependent on the tools available. Nothing would be more frustrating than trying to get a render intensive final project out while working on an iMac. The Macpro is a great investment that will continue to pay for itself in one way or the other for the next 5 + years. The only other machine the OP should consider is maybe the MBP for the portablity. They should also consider the student developer program discount.
  13. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Clovertown? That MIGHT be introduced at MWSF, which is about 5 months from now. If the buyer does BTO add another month (or more) based on the current BTO fiasco Apple is going through. So that translates to around 6 months from now IF they announce in January and ship right away. Then there is a chance that Clovertown might go in the top of the line only and be out of the price range of the average user. I highly doubt Apple will be able to release Clovertown at the current Macpro prices.

    Still willing to wait if you need the machine now?
  14. jharrington macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2006
    im a uni student doing architecture thinking about a mac pro. im tempted to go for a fully loaded 20" imac but i cant see it lasting very long, the ram upgrade in particular.

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