busy graphic designer need purchase help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gschool design, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. gschool design macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #1
    I've never posted to one of these, so bear with me. I am entering into my second and final year of graduate school in graphic design. I will be taking many classes, teaching, and doing lots of freelance work on the side. I currently have a PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz with 1 GB Memory. I have decided that even though my PB still works, i need to take the plunge and get something that works harder, as I am often running 3-4 Adobe programs (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, or Flash) and my PB slows me down considerably. This doesn't cut it when I've got school work to do and clients waiting on projects.

    So my dilemma is: Do I get the 13" macbook pro 2.53 ghz or 15" 2.66 ghz? I can't afford the 2.8 ghz, so that's out. I'd love to save the $300 with the 13" but am wondering if I'm being dumb and should shell it all out for the more advanced system? Regardless of which I get, I will be purchasing an external monitor, so screen size isn't too worrisome. Granted, I will only have the laptop when at school, but when doing hard core work, I'll be at home with my monitor.

    Bottom line: The main difference between the two (other than the graphics card which, as far as I can tell, I don't really need for my work) is the GHz. Is it worth $300?
     
  2. Greedo Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    #2
    i think the somewhat more portable nature of the 13" is worth the marginal hit in performance that you would never notice unless you ran the 13" and the 15" side by side at the same time.

    BUT...

    if you are doing freelance you may wish you had the larger screen to show clients work on your laptop during meetings, but it may not matter much. teaching does not matter as you will always use a projector (at least i do when i teach).

    also i assume you are aware of this but you get deals on hardware via apple education store, and possibly even better deals when you purchase thru your school. you can also get extreme deals on adobe software thru school as well - better than the standard academic discount usually.
     
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #3
    Go for the 15" 2.53GHz. Even though you will have an external monitor, it is still nice to have more screen real estate while out and about. Those two inches are definitely worth $100.

    Keep in mind that come Snow Leopard, having the dual graphics cards may be a serious performance boost in general computing with OpenCL.

    You should also check out Apple's refurb store as you can get these and other models much cheaper. Not to mention you can get one with a matte display which can help with color accuracy.
     
  4. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #4
    Get the 15 – you'll appreciate avoiding some of the menu clutter on the 13.
     
  5. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #5
    15'' 2.66 GHz. The 13'' uses a 6-bit display, whereas the 15'' and 17'' use 8-bit displays.
     
  6. gschool design thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #6
    Hmmm these are all good replies so far. I did know about the education store, so i was planning to take full advantage of my education discount on whatever purchase I make.
     
  7. Greedo Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    #7
    just to clarify a little bit, depending on where you are at school you can sometimes get even better than just the standard academic discount. some schools have a purchase agreement with Apple and Adobe to get steeper discounts than just the regular education apple store if you buy a package thru them. i remember when i was at RISD we had a package with laptop and software that was a big savings beyond the normal education discounts.

    its worth asking is all :)
     
  8. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #8
    You also might want to check the refurb store. I'm not sure if the prices are better than the education discount, but buying refurb saves a good amount of money when you don't have the education discount.
     
  9. rhcpfan0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #9
    Have you considered the ADC Developer Discount?
     

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