design student - macbook or macbook pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by migsev, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. migsev macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    getting into a design course and i'm looking to get a mac (my first:D) before it starts.

    would a macbook be enough for photoshop, video editting and a fair bit of 3D work? as it stands, my parents are willing to cover the cost for the high end macbook with a few upgrades. i've got enough to add to that to get the mid end 15" though.

    is the extra punch of the mbp worth the extra $600-$700 though? or is an upgraded macbook enough to last me until the end of my uni years?
  2. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    I'm going to say the MBP, if only because you'll appreciate the extra screen real estate when doing your design work. I, personally, wouldn't want to be doing a lot of that on a Macbook, but then I know people who cope fine.

    I'm just not someone who copes :D
  3. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    The MacBook Pro is well worth the extra for that kind of work
  4. migsev thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    one thing thats making me think though, is that if i got the normal macbook, i could use my savings to upgrade it. more ram, bigger HD, maybe a few accessories?
  5. freebooter macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2005
    Daegu, South Korea
    I have a year-old MacBook and an iMac 24' (the non-glossy original).

    I find the MacBook o.k. for everything except: movies and editing my photos.
    The screen has such a narrow field of view that it's impossible to tell exactly what tones I'm getting. Maybe the newest ones are better, but be sure to check carefully the viewing angle of any laptop you get. I used my MacBook on a long trip recently and got very tired of bobbing my head up and down to guess-timate the lights and darks. What a difference to return home and start up the iMac!

    I'm going to sell this piece of cr@p and get something with a proper screen, soon I think.

    Recommendation: Get a 15" MacBook Pro with a matte screen and and hook it up to a decent external monitor of greater than 20" at home if you can. The MacBook is for web-surfing and word processing.
  6. ClassicMac247 macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I have a MB myself and I do alot of design with adobe cs2, The MB just doesnt have the power to run it and I'm not capable of running cs3. My suggestion to you is a MBP with cs3 if you use Adobe.
  7. ::Lisa:: macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I'd say a MBP also. I use CS3 on mine and it runs beautifully.
  8. coolant113 macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2007
    New Jersey
    Believe me the mac book pro is worth the extra money... I have one and it is soo much better than the macbooks.. i run cs3 on it very seamlisly :apple::apple:
  9. yoppie macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
    I'm not a design student but I hang around a few and the MacBook Pro is the way to go in that area of study.
  10. chriseh macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2004
    MacBook Pro. I use the 15" for daily architectural work that includes Photoshop, AutoCad, Illustrator etc. Upgrading ram is pretty inexpensive now, and the only additional accessory you will need is a good case like the Brenthaven Prolite II or Brenthaven Backpack. Get the matte screen for doing photo work.

    After this Tuesday, (MacWorld Expo), the existing MacBook Pro's will probably be discounted by several hundred dollars to make way for the next revision Macbook pro. There already is a savings if you buy through MacConnection and in lieu of buying from Apple where you have to pay the sales tax.
  11. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    You dont need a MBP to run Photoshop CS3, it runs great on a MacBook, although the larger screens of the MBP may well be the deciding factor for you.
  12. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    If your doing visual stuff: video, lay out, photography, wens graphics and such you will want the MBP. It has beefier video which you will need. Also then you can choose not to have a glossy display.
  13. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    If you're a design student you really need a 20" screen minimum.

    Both the MB and the MBP will run CS3 without any problems. Maybe get the MB and spend the money left over on a large screen to plug it into.
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    a macbook with maxed out ram is going to be better for you than a MBP with just basic ram.......more ram is what you want for a lot of graphic programs.
  15. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    Definitely disagree. you're going to need the better graphics card for your 3d work, and 2gb of ram is quite a bit. upgrading to 4gb costs less than $100 these days anyway (i did mine for 80), so you should be able to go with the mbp and upgrade the ram soon enough. i have a good friend in the design program at UWash, and she wishes she had gone with the mbp.
  16. snipersix macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2007
  17. Smallville macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2004
    I do graphics and other design work for a newspaper. My personal computer is a MacBook, and it's just not enough. If you go with a notebook, get the Pro. I'm about to sell this one for an iMac (I'd love a Mac Pro, but I can't afford one on newspaper money).
  18. migsev thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    thanks for all the tips. looks like the mbp is the better option then. :)

    any other tips you guys can give out? first time mac buyer here. :p
  19. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2007
    Alpharetta, GA
    MacBook Pro is the way to go, especially for video editing or 3D work.

    However, don't forget to consider the cost of software.

    If the MacBook Pro drains all of your funds and gives you nothing leftover for software, then go for the MacBook.

    After all, what good is the computer if you can't afford the software needed for your classes.

    I installed Adobe CS2 and FCE on my girlfriend's MacBook and they run just fine. Just make sure to get at least 2 GB RAM.

    The MacBook is also very portable and great for taking around campus.

    So, what you need to do is make a list of all of the software you will need and then determine if you have enough for both the MacBook Pro and all of the software. If not, then get the MacBook, so you can afford the software.

    Don't forget to buy your software at a student discount either.

    I have gotten great deals at There are other sites, too.

    However, keep in mind that even though the software is heavily discounted with education versions, they are typically not upgradeable.
  20. Jebaloo macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    OK, well I am currently working part time as a webs designer and graphic designer. I have the tip top of the range MacBook (Black book- 2ghz, 2gb ram etc)...

    I use sketchup, vectorworks, form z (heavy stuff), iMovie, Aperture, and all the cs3 suite.

    I have TWO problems with my current setup:

    1: screen size, Just 13", 15" is no good - really I want 23" and you can't get that on a laptop. Solution? get an external screen.

    2: When I try to open up say 5 or more massive multi MB Tiff or RAW images all at once in photoshop whilst Aperture is still open - it really suffers. Solution? Shut Aperture when you're opening photoshop, and only have 2 or 3 of those enormous photos open at once.

    Basically, My setup is liveable with and I use it 8 hours a day for my main job and for my freelance photography work.

    What I suggest to you is that you get the tip top MacBook (not pro), and spend the extra money on a screen. I promise that you will not regret.

    The only thing I will tell you is that if you're really really picky, you may find the build quality of the MacBook less satisfying than the MacBookPro, which is beautiful. I have mine covered in a speck see through plastic cover which absorbs all the little bumps and stops the plastic coating getting scratched. The glossy screen isn't to my liking, but is liveable with especially if you have a nice external screen to look at instead.

    p.s I've been saving up for a MacPro because you can't install Final Cut on a MacBook.
  21. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Wrong. MacBooks run CS3 just as fast as MBPs do when configured with same CPUs, RAM and HDs. None of the Adobe apps use video card.

    CS2 is not UB, so it runs like crap on ALL Macs with Intel CPUs.
  22. Matabrown macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2008
    Education Discount

    Hey, I have a mbp at Birmingham Uni in the UK at the moment, I'm studying Civil Eng. and its excellent i upgraded the ram for £14 on to 2gb.

    I have leopard and it runs CS3 with no problems, it's also great for playing counter strike and half life 2 on the bootcamp windows side too :D

    Furthermore if you are a student make sure you get the HE discount I don't know if your from the UK or not but we get about 15% of and a 3yr warranty heres the link I don't know if i'm allowed to post it but here goes, (you should be able to access it from your university's network computers though). You can also get CS3 at student prices if that's on your shopping list.

    Hope that helps.

  23. migsev thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    software really won't be much of a problem as i've got an uncle with everything i need. licenses will be under his name, but i won't really need my own software until i start working, right? or do i?:confused:

    so basically all my funds can go to the computer itself.
  24. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    legally you need to buy the software to use it, OR have your uncle uninstall it on his machine and give you the disks and the serial numbers.

    you can get insanely cheap discounts on cs3 via your school usually. my continuing education students get CS3 design standard for $250.

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