Convince me to get a Mac over a PC for Uni

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by LERsince1991, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'm a real sucker for design. I would like to get a Macbook for a design course at uni. Probably architecture but I also do product, fashion, music, photography, graphic and art!

    Why would this benefit be rather than just looking good?
    My current laptop is 5/6 years old so I would need a new laptop anyway.

    I spoke an apple sales person and he could only really give me the fact its reliable and looks good. Ive never had a mac so why should I convert for a design course at university?

    Cheers
     
  2. soberbrain macrumors 65816

    soberbrain

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    #2
    As someone who switched 5 years ago, I can say the best thing about a Mac is how integrated and transparent it has become in my life.

    I used to get frustrated in doing the simplest things on a PC because Windows would need a restart, the program froze or crashed, something didn't install correctly, spyware, virus, etc.

    With a Mac I just do things: go on the internet, make a photo book, listen to music, connect with my family and friends. It's so seamless and effortless that I don't even think about my Mac, I'm just focused on what I'm doing.

    With music, photography, design there's either a great application that already comes with your Mac or is available for Macs.

    ***BTW, to offset my fanboy opinions, here's a real life fact. My Mac has crashed in the past. Once when I installed cheap RAM and another time when I installed beta software for an old webcam.

    That's 2 crashes total... in 5 years of ownership and counting.
     
  3. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Haha you sounds so much like a salesman!
    Thanks for the insiders view.
    I think its interesting how people see pcs...
    Ive had my laptop for 5 years. It is a crappy acer one. (y)
    Ive probably had about 3/4 crashes that weren't my fault and only a few others when I mess about with the system. I'm quite good on windows and my laptop performs extremely well due to me keeping it sorted and giving it some virtual TLC and tuning. I might just say that I know I am virus and spyware free and that ive never used anti-virus or spyware just because I know what I'm doing.

    BUT in my household we have 5 laptops, 3 of which have broken on more than one occasion, a 6 year old AJP that cost over £1100 at the time has now just gone down the same route atm.

    Now down to mac software. What would benefit me then? I have Adobe CS3 on windows and I will have it on a mac if I were to get one, what other software has benefited you on your mac?

    I REALLY want a new Macbook BUT I just cant see the difference it will make to me...
    Thanks for the quick reply btw
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    The only real reason to buy the Mac is because it runs Mac OS X.

    The MOST important thing a computer does is run software. The fact that is looks nice on the outside is kind of secondary. In fact nice as it looks the hardware is Apple's worst problem. Not that it's bad, just that there is so little selection

    Get the Mac because it runs better software.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    I'd say it runs different software at best. Better depends on what you're already using and its Mac counterpart of lack of.
     
  7. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    So what software would benefit me if I were to be using it for ALL aspects of design?
     
  8. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #8
    but they ar so muhc prettier.....
    ahha no im kidding, they run mac os x it's easily lovable pretty straight forward after a week or two of usage, MB are easily upgradable (rama nd HD) if youa re pplanning on running lots of graphics and photography and suck you ll probably want a bigger HD and more RAm to smoothly run CS3 or CS4 ... no need to spend money on antiviruses, hmm.. an dthey are pretty good quality stuff in my opinion they last longe rthan most pc laptops i think except thinkpads of course those things are like vaults...
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #9
    The first thing I did before I ever even considered switching was write a list of programs that I use now and find out what is available on OS X. That's a good starting point.
     
  10. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Doesn't that depend on your course - they should teach you said software, well except maybe adobe, we were expected to know how to use that :) Ask the course director or your main tutor etc would be my recommendation. .
    I had lessons on solidworks, alias wavefront (dreadful software for me personally) and 3ds max (well sort of) when I was doing product design at uni. Architecture students used autocad and 3ds max (I knew some architect students), graphic designers used the adobe suite basically and the fashion designers seemed to use pen and paper :rolleyes:.

    From a personal perspective, unless you intend to use non standard software (for the course) I would look at a windows system (sorry mac people) as just about every course I know of (excluding the graphics ones) works solely with windows based programs. Another thing is that the mac range is severely limited when it comes to 'workstation' graphics cards (quadro or firegl), theres one quadro option (the most expensive one too) in the mac pro which isn't exactly very good budget wise, theres better value/performance with the lower cards in my view.

    Now I am product design based and there are some programs (alibre design range) out there which supposedly are as good as solidworks and autocad I didn't think they were anywhere near as fluid to work with (and solidworks has been improved since then). 3D rendering is different, there is no true alternative to 3ds max on mac, although cinema 4d, lightwave and maya can produce pretty good work once you get to grips with them.
     
  11. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    EXACTLY :p lol the programs i have atm are the adobe cs3 masters and 3DS Max. i guess ill have to do some research into what software the course involves.

    The thing is, im not sure I actually want to buy a windows laptop, they just dont appeal :p probably just the marketing but apple is just great
    Its like they are the only ones that know what they're doing and I like their products. the competitors are miles behind. Im trying to sell myself a macbook.

    In practical terms, I don't think 3D Studio Max is available on a mac.. and I dont think autocad is either and both will be essential. I guess what I might do is get a macbook and when im doing a class involving windows programs I can run windows virtually on the macbook. Seems like the best of both worlds really.

    I have to admit I was thinking I was going to get a list or reasons why I should get a mac over a PC that would appeal to me being in design...
    Thanks for the reply's btw,
     
  12. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #12
    i dont think 3d max has a mac version does it.. and if tahts necessarry you ll have to run windows on your mac if you don't mind then no biggie
     
  13. Fotograffiti macrumors member

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    #13
    If you get an Apple laptop you can all the enjoyment of OS X and then boot into Windows using Bootcamp to do the Windows only applications. Just get a decent sized hard drive and you should be set now matter which OS you need.
     
  14. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #14
    3ds max on bootcamp has issues, and I would never run it in a virtual windows, its bad enough in windows!.

    And I'll add this, to buy a product purely because it looks nice is just daft, get a system that can run your programs without issues, in this case it means getting a windows system purely due to autocad and 3ds max, neither of which are native to os-x.
    When it comes to 3d design macs aren't really that good, hence why the majority of the major 3d apps are on windows (or proprietry os/hardware) only.
     
  15. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #15
    yeah if i wa syou i'd do a quick research abou t the whole 3d max not running properly under bootcamp, caus eif tahts tehcase then i don't know... you may wnat to spend a lot less and buy a pc...
     
  16. Krebstar macrumors regular

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    #16
    I'm coming up on having my ibook G4 for three years, and have not once had a "WTF" moment, where I just shook my head at the computer in utter disgust. On my old PC, it wasn't a constant happening, but I think everyone who switched to Max OS X knows what I'm talking about. A friend told me years ago, a OS X does everything you like about Windows, and nothing that you don't like about Windows.

    My interest was first peaked in purchasing a Mac when I knew I was going into the graphic design field, because their widespread use in the industry, and that my schools lab was an all Mac lab. It wasn't the only reason I purchased one, but it helped me find out more about them.

    Mac's are so much more than just a pretty face you could say. They have just as much content as form, to put it into design related terms.
     
  17. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #17
    If you are going to be running a lot of 3ds Max, you should get a PC. It hurts me to say that, but it's true. Not only is it not available for the Mac, but you probably wouldn't want try running it on a MacBook. It is professional-level software that would run best on a professional-level machine, like a high-end Mac Pro or MacBook Pro.

    If, however, you are going to be running the Adobe Creative Suite, get a Mac. The programs run pretty much the same on either system (assuming you have a good machine and lots of RAM), but the interface on a Mac is so much nicer.
     
  18. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Well im not totally sure that I will be using 3DS Max but I am sure that I will need to use autoCAD and again... PC based

    Actually I might just do pros and cons with a mac

    Pros:
    Photography, Graphic, Art and music all excel with software on macs
    Adobe Creative Suite will be fully integrated
    Customer support is good, also with being a student I can get apple protection plan for £57 instead of like £199
    Quality
    Style
    Reliability
    Size and weight are quite low for a powerful machine
    it will match my iPod ;)

    Cons:
    Architecture and product design software are nearly all PC based... right?
    Cost of the mac compared to pc is alot more
    Have to learn new OS

    hmmmm... looks slanted towards mac but the top 2 cons are big point....
     
  19. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #19
    I use my mac because its simple and much faster to do things on it than a pc laptop these days

    i use the following programs on a macbook:
    Adobe Photoshop CS3
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2
    Final Cut Express

    these are all for my production purposes, photography and video editing which works out perfectly on 1GB of RAM!! i plan to upgrade for a even faster expirience

    if your ever feeling lonely for a windows program theres always boot camp and virtualization software like vmware fusion and parallel desktp.

    like most say once you start a mac you'll never go back :p
     
  20. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I'm going to seem like I'm playing devils advocate on this but adobe (and quark) for that matter are available on pc and theres 64bit support now on some of them, they also integrate fully on vista/xp too :rolleyes:

    You will find if you go for a mobile workstation (some have mobile quad cpus too) that they will be just as reliable (assuming you don't mess up the os with junk) as a mac would be and probably more so than running bootcamp - not everything likes bootcamp plus there are reports of temp issues under bootcamp in some reviews.

    Workstation support is different to 'home' models too, price isn't too much different for a workstation dell/hp than a apple macbook pro.

    Looks are an individual thing but I personally don't think the latest dells look too bad, and their build quality is up there with apples last gen easily, the new gen is 'unique' for the time being.
     
  21. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #21
    Sorry, but "it looks prettier" is not a reason to buy a computer.

    However, here's something to keep in mind....workflow.

    I'm a graphic designer. Usually, I have Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Distiller, Acrobat, a browser or two, and email open at the same time on my machine...and in most cases, I have multiple files open in most of the programs.

    In Windows, all open files are contained within a root window on screen. i.e. all Photoshop files are contained within the Photoshop window.

    On the Mac, however, each program essentially takes over the OS interface. You can put a Photoshop window on top of an Illustrator window and drag one file to the other.

    And switching between programs is as simple as moving the mouse to the corner of the screen which invokes Exposé.

    As a professional, time is money. And little OS features like that save a little time per project, and a lot of time in the long run.

    So, in terms of OS design, some of the workflow features in OS X really give it the edge.

    (There are a few other workflow features, such as dragging a file from a finder window into a Save/Open dialog box changes the dialog box to the directory that contains the file. In Windows, that same action copies the file to the directory. I find the OS X way a bit more intuitive.)
     
  22. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #22
    you can do that in windows too, all you need is a decent amount of ram (4GB is cheap these days so most will pick this anyways) like you would in os-x :rolleyes:

    funny I can do that in windows too, I'm forever dragging files from one program to another and this isn't just in adobe software.

    alt tab (shows pictures too) works well for me :rolleyes:, theres also this little button which brings up that '3d' junk on the menu bar in vista.

    I agree but there isn't a huge difference between windows and os-x these days, especially if you spend more time using 'windows' programs.

    and then there are others which would make it slower. For autocad/3ds max you would either need to run a virtual os in os-x, meaning less than ideal performance or use bootcamp which at the very least requires a reboot, thats great if you're only doing one thing but if you're doing a render in say 3ds max and want to open it in photoshop it requires a reboot.

    As I've said before if its purely adobe/graphics based then great get a mac, but in the 3d/architecture cad world windows is the best option. And most of the issues vista has is due to stupid users, my vista is 100% stable, overall performance in my view is on a par with os-x and is faster than xp. Some of the drivers for a few items of add on hardware (my personal choice of hardware from xp days) are a tad crap though but that isn't vista's fault.
     
  23. Krebstar macrumors regular

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    #23
    Honestly, unless you're seriously in trouble in terms of cash, the cost of a Mac should not be a con. You honestly get what you pay for, and their longevity is astounding. Plus, if you're computer savvy, which I assume you are, learning OS X is a breeze.
     
  24. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Yes I'd say i'm pretty advanced on a PC, being the 17 year old technician in the house and being the only one that knows how to work things lol. Learning to use OS X isn't a deciding point at all I just wanted some bad points.

    But I think the deciding factors would be the programs I would use which would be;
    Microsoft office (PC + MAC)
    CS3 or CS4 maybe (PC + MAC, although slightly more integrated on MAC)
    AutoCAD (PC)
    3DS Mac (PC)
    and some others

    but I think AutoCAD along with other architecture and product design programs are the deciding factors. I think it would be awesome if AutoCAD and 3DS Max supported OS X but its not going to happen so i'll look at windows laptops.

    Anyone have any recommendations on good laptops?
    In the sort of price range of £500-£800, (I would have payed more for a mac since its apple). One thing i do hate about windows is how its pre-loaded with tons of crap and I will need to reformat it right from the start but its worth it. Personally I've never had a problem with vista and it's so much better than XP in my opinion.

    Also whats the difference between a workstation and a laptop (some people mentioned things about these)?

    thanks a lot people.
     
  25. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I just find this comment about spending more on the mac purely because its apple stupid (sorry) - spend the same on the windows system as you would have spent on the mac and it will be substantially better speced in relation to the mac for autocad/3ds max and possibly overall.

    workstation generally is a type of computer which uses a more specialised graphics card such as quadro or firegl (this is my reference for term anyways).

    A geforce/radeon is a consumer gpu and as such more focused on gaming where as the quadro/firegl is more focused on programs like autocad and 3ds max. Not to say the workstation cards are not capable of playing games, it would just mean you need to spend over £1000 to get a card comparable to the high end geforces (desktop versions) etc.

    As to suggestions - look at the dell precision range (business section) as they're realtively good value.
     

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