Am I making the right decission?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FlyersPh9, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. FlyersPh9 macrumors newbie


    Oct 20, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I am going to college next year...most likely Art Institute of Philadelphia. I am majoring in Computer Graphics & Animation, but mostly focusing on 3D modeling and animation. I was told that they use CS3 Suites and 3DS Max. This is what I am thinking of getting. Please tell me if you think this will be good enough:

    17" MacBook Pro
    2GB RAM
    160 GB SATA 5400 RPM
    HD Glossy Screen
    BootCamp running Windows XP Home

    I may be waiting for a while to buy due to a couple of things. One, I want to wait to see if they update the processors to quad cores and see if they have a black brushed metal casing.:)Lastly, if I wait a little, I can get a free iPod because of that going back to school special.

    What do you think?
  2. Mpalmieri809 macrumors newbie


    Oct 12, 2007
    If you don't need it until next year then I would wait until then.
  3. overanalyzer macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2007
    Boston, MA USA
    Definitely wait as long as you can to buy. You will certainly see updates before next year, and obviously computer prices always go down and/or the features go up quite quickly. And the free iPod (and free printer, which is sometimes overlooked) back to school deals are great. Depending on where you live, the timing for a tax-free day/weekend, if your state has one, might work out too -- it did for me for getting my new 24" Aluminum iMac.
  4. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Redlands, CA
    The back to school special only happens during summer, like 8 months from now. If that is what you meant by 'wait a little' then yes, you will have to wait. By that time there will have been at least one revision, maybe two. Kind of silly to pick out a machine now when the specs will be quite different in 8 months.

    Regardless, the 17" MBP will suit your needs with room to spare.
  5. iMartini macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2007
    Seattle, USA
    If you're running 3D Studio MAX, I'd suggest XP Pro on your Boot Camp partition instead of XP Home.

    Is 3DS MAX required by your program? I know a lot of people in animation use Maya, which runs natively on the Mac OS X platform.
  6. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    You might want to aim for 4GB's of RAM, and possibly a 7200rpm drive.
  7. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Well, since others have noted this, I won't dwell on it too much. You will start school sometime next year at around late August or early September. The iPod deal usually begins in early June. So, let's take the following factors into account:

    The macbook pros have been updated once this year, and a very minor speed bump isn't outside the realm of probability before Christmas. Either way, next year (January and after) is when most of us expect some real changes to the mbps, as a new chip will be available for it. If it was my guess, I'd say an update by February or March is likely. This means that your timing will be pretty good to buy a mbp in the summer (the next update should come in the fall again, before Christmas 08). By doing this, you will get some nicely upgraded hardware, a refined and road tested OS (you can thank all of us for that ;)), and better included specs (more RAM, better HD, etc). Add the free nano and printer, and you're looking at a great deal.

    Now, since you've singled out the 17" model, let's focus on what we might see in the coming months with that particular product. Since it's the only mbp without LED backlighting, I think it's a safe assertion that the 17" will see LED backlighting before you're ready to buy. I think it's also safe to say that you will get more stock RAM and a larger HD. The rest, however, is conjecture.

    Needless to say, the programs you want to run would do fine on a current mbp, so one year from now, they will not have any problems at all. Save up, keep reading the news, and then make an informed decision in about 8 or 9 months.
  8. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    Personally, I would avoid the 17" screen for college. It's just too big if you're going to be carrying it to class (as well as using in class). Just get an second monitor, it's cheaper and easier.
  9. RiKo121 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2007
    wait for the new update coming soon and get a bigger hdd personally i prefere to have more space because its there if you need it specially with big PS files etc.
  10. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    The education offer ends soon, but I'd wait if you can for the updated systems, and hopefully you'll have yourself a nice multi-touch trackpad of some sort to go with your lovely new Penryn :D

  11. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    I'd second the 4gb (adds a nice boost), but the hd may not have to be a 7200, I would go for internal space over pure speed, I have the 250gb with 4gb ram and it is NOT noticably slower than a 17 with the 160gb 7200

    BTW I run autocad 2008, revit 2008 (winblows) and formz 6.5 (native) with no issues
  12. CRAZYBUBBA macrumors 65816


    Mar 28, 2007
    lol, show off. we all know that you have a nice system.
  13. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    lol, not how I was intending to come off. For graphics and animation, the OP may very well have a good use for 4GB's of ram.
  14. Flyers1718 macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2007
    Hey, are you from PSU? I am interested in the same major as you I also live like 15 minutes from philly. I was also wondering if you were required to have 3ds because maya seems like it would perform better.

    Do you have any experience in 3d? I am very interested but don't know where to start.

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