Best desktop for Journalism and Advertising/Design?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mattcube64, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Hey guys (and gals)!

    After swinging back and forth on deciding which college to go to, and what to major in, I think I've come to a (almost definite) decision. I plan on attending the University of Missouri- Columbia (MU/Mizzou), and majoring in Journalism while getting a minor in Advertising/Design.

    I recently got a letter from the Dean in the mail concerning what supplies I'll need. Within the letter, it says that a Mac is highly recommended, based on their lack of viruses, their included software, and their penetration in the job markets I'll be seeking. Well, I already have a Macbook, and I've been using OSX for several years now in my HS newspaper class, so the actual switching isn't a concern. The concern, is that no partiular model was actually determined. It just said to visit the Campus Bookstore to buy a Mac. Well, their online store has every Mac available.

    I'm certain I'll be using programs like InDesign and Photoshop. However, I don't know how processor-intensive I'll be when working in these programs. I figure the Macbook should work for me when working in groups, by myself in the library, or need the portability. Nevertheless, I'm afraid I'll need a more powerful solution back in my dorm. So, I'd like to get a desktop.

    My question is, for anybody (or for those who have/are majoring in similar classes), should I get the 20" iMac Core2Duo or the 2.66Ghz Mac Pro? How big of files should I expect to work with in these classes? I'd prefer to save money, but if the general consensus is to get the Mac Pro, I'm sure I can scrape up the funds.

  2. AlconR macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    I wouldnt even get one..
    here is the deal, I am a second year engineering student.

    I have a pretty kick ass windows PC I built up in high school. I use this beast of a machine to check my email and surf the web....

    for me, it seems any programs we use are expensive and on the university PC's

    When I was going to college, everyone said the same thing they say now. A computer is nice, but not NEEDED. I would say computer use goes like this, it order of most frequent to least:
    -Web surfing/email
    -Word (typing stuff)
    -Excell (graphs/number crunching)

    I would keep the macbook and if you ever actually need a good computer, get it then.

    There are a few programs that we use that require a decent computer. Usually you goto the computer labs. You can make it though college easily without even owning a computer as long as you are willing to walk to the lab..

    Also, for us at least, they tried to scare us and make us think we are going to need all these programs and computer things.. but we dont use them now, or in 90% of my classes.. Senior year we design a chemical plant, but I think they run that off of the servers...

    A laptop will be more than you need 99% of the time..
  3. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    I just finished a 152 page document that was 11x17 (with lots of very large images) using InDesign on my MacBook Pro (Which is basically an iMac laptop). I did use windows though, but it was more than adequate. The InDesign file ended up being just over 100 MB with the entire linked project at around 1.5 GB.

    If you will be using the universal version of the next InDesign (I used windows pretty much only because I only had a Windows version of InDesign) the iMac is plenty powerful enough. Even a MacBook will be able to handle a lot to a certain extent. I certainly don't think you would need a Mac Pro...
  4. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    Advertising and design? I'd just buy myself a 24" monitor and hook it up to your Macbook when need be. The 2GHz CD processor is quite a powerful one.
  5. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I'd definitely rule out the Mac Pro. If you're in a dorm room, you could use the space for numerous other things. At the most, I'd go with the iMac, but I'd even hesitate on that. During college, I found myself doing most of my design work in the lab, even though I had an iMac at home that I could work on. I just liked the atmosphere and being able to be around my classmates while working on my projects. The mac was great for making touchups at home and minor edits...but I really preferred doing my work at the labs.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Me too. My friend creates magazines, and the files end up being massive. Sure, it takes a long time for the computer to process, but I wouldn't get a Mac Pro for it. He was using a 15" PowerBook G4, while I'm certain that the MacBook is a lot better if your version of InDesign and Photoshop is universal.
  7. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    I would really just keep using the Macbook and get an external monitor to use while in your dorm.
  8. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    A 24" iMac would be pretty awesome and still compact-ish, with more than enough performance and graphics power with either of the gfx card options. Oh, but the 20" model wouldn't be bad either! I just love big screens. :D

    The most important thing you need to consider is RAM — max it out on whatever machine you get (except for the Mac Pro of course ;) ) or a minimum of 2GB.

    I'd get into laptop options, but those get quite expensive and you already have a MacBook and seem to be wanting something a little more. I think the iMac would provide the best price/performace ratio. I would also consider that it has a faster HDD which, to me, makes a pretty noticeable difference in itself.
  9. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Macbook has enough power but not enough screen estate. I would invest in a larger external monitor. Or you could sell your macbook and buy a 15 inch MBP. I used to work in a newsroom, and everyone on the creative team owned a 15 inch powerbook, because of the portability, adequate screen size and power.
  10. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    I agree. It's not like the old days, when print media graphics required the most horsepower available. I use a MacBook Pro every day for design and production, and never felt the need for more horsepower. Using Mac Pro for print is like using a cannon to kill a seagull. (Actually, that's a bad example, since the cloud of feathers makes it worth the effort.)

    Max your ram, and patiently wait for CS3.01.

    Besides, I love not being nailed to a desktop.
  11. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I agree with this. You'll want a laptop for portability and you may find the MB doesn't suit your needs a couple years own the road. I would definitely do the MBP.
  12. Hadley macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    just like buying books for classes in college, you should wait this one out. you already have a mac, so you will be running on the same system as your school. but you dont know exactly what youll need yet, and especially during freshman year you wont be getting into the meat of your work in college.

    what i did when i got into college, and what id recommend you do, is kind of check out the situation after you get into school, and then based on how your macbook does and what kind of work you are doing, make a decision from there.

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