Design Student Buying Help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Xeocon, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Xeocon macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Hey all,

    I'm a first year visual communications student and I need buying help.

    Basically I need a computer that will last me 3-4 years to use applications like photoshop and freehand and possibley other applications that are animation based. I like the idea of being portable, but MacBook Pros are a little too pricey. The new iMac's are ideal especially the 20" screen and have a powerful enough video card to last a few years. I'm hanging out for the MacBook but rumors say that the screen will be small and use integrated video ram which is a no-no for design apparently. I do have access to computers at school (good ones) so having a portable makes more sense.

    Any help appreciated.
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    While screen size can be a pain for design, don't let the video card deter you. Design apps are CPU and RAM hungry. Very few actually use the video card for any significant processing.
  3. 7254278 macrumors 68020

    Apr 11, 2004
    Sounds like a decked out 14" 1.42Ghz iBook fits your description, the processor isnt blazing but is more then sufficient for photoshop and freehand for a few years to come especially with a gig of ram. The ATI RADEON 9550 is basically an underclocked 9600 so it isnt too bad, only bummer is 32mb of VRAM but it should suffice aslong as you dont use MOTION or try any hardcore 3D games like quake 4. Also let me add battery life is 100% SWEETNESS on these machines.
  4. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2006
    Sarasota, FL
    I wouldn't buy a ibook at this moment. Wait until the new MBP are released, the Revision D MBP have to many bugs still (Unfortunatly I'm typing from one).
  5. 7254278 macrumors 68020

    Apr 11, 2004
    I would usually agree with waiting but remember this will be a rev a product so it might be kind of buggy(not usually a problem). But the reason I would buy a G4 is cuz you dont want to run design apps under rossetta(talk about slow). So I suggest going for a refurb ibook g4 that will last you maybe 2 years or more then buy a mactel laptop cuz by then all the apps will be universal binary.
  6. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    So you wouldn't recommend waiting for the new iBooks/MacBooks Patmian?
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The iMac series are flat out the best bang for the buck in the business.

    Whether you hold out for an intel iBook depends how soon you need it and what your tolerance is for brand new model possible teething pains.

    The iMac Intel has been reported to be remarkably stable so far.

    If you have access to machines at school, then a portable DOESN'T make sense -- why pay a premium for portability when you could simply carry your work back and forth on an USB keychain??
  8. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    Dude- get a desktop. Using design apps on any laptop full time is a pain the ass. Get the biggest screen you can afford,(hell, get two of them) and forget about the graphics card. For what you're doing they're all fine- seriously, people on this site have an unhealthy obsession with graphics cards, yet for most everything but games all modern cards get the job done.

    Your priorities should be screen size & quality, processor speed, and RAM.

    Edit- just reread some of the posts above- the LAST processor you should be buying is a G4. Personally, I would suggest you buy a dual G5 tower.
  9. Xeocon thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Dual G5 is kinda outta the question, tooo pricey. So you wouldn't recommend getting an Intel Mac?
  10. macaddicted macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2002
    Down on Copperline...
    Considering that you can get an Intel iMac for the price of a G5 desktop I would recommend the iMac, though a desktop would probably serve you better over the same time frame if you can afford it. But your concern seems to be budget rather than power. I would strongly recommend that you max out the RAM, even if that means you must get a smaller screen. Memory is everything with design apps, especially with Photoshop.

    Having the larger screen is nicer, I have a 20" iMac and a 17 PowerBook and it is much easier to organize all the pallets on the 20" system. But believe me that memory is more important.

    And remember, in Adobe applications the tab key is your friend. :)

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