First Mac. Ever.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cptn.nemo, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. cptn.nemo macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #1
    Hey guys, I'm a college student going for graphic design and I'm looking at buying my first Mac ever. Aside from an iPhone I've been with Windows all my life, and I hear you can't beat macs for design, hopefully that's true. Im looking at the top tier 27" iMac with i7 4.0, 8gb ram (will go to 24 myself) m395x graphics and a 2tb fusion or pure ssd. I'm leaning more towards the ssd now since the fusion has mixed reviews and I like managing my own file storage. I also want to do some "light" gaming of battlefield 1, battlefront, and titanfall 2 even if they run on low settings. However most of my time will be spent in illustrator photoshop and after effects with light 4K video editing for fun.
    So my question is are macs really better for design? Do I need one for college, and will this machine last 5-7 years? Or should I just buy a good pc and get a MacBook Pro to show off to clients. I'm also considering a Mac Pro from eBay, because I'd like to update components in a few years, is this a wise move?
    I'm completely new to the Mac world so any suggestions for buying would be appreciated.
     
  2. Goody13 macrumors member

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    Jul 1, 2016
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    Plymouth, UK
    #2
    Why would you want to get a Macbook Pro to "show off"? Surely you get the most appropriate tool.

    I have just bought my first Mac and am slowly getting to grips with the change from Windows. It's not instant though, and I'm trying to sort out photo storage at the moment.

    Good luck, whatever you choose.
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #3
    Bear with me on this.....design is done in apps that sit above OS and underlying hardware. So first and foremost, get the OS/HW platform that best runs the apps you need. As a retiree I had the freedom to dump the Win world just as Win8 Beta arrived. The wife and I went Apple ecosystem (rMBP, iPhone, iPad, watch). Going Apple can be an ecosystem decision beyond something on the desktop.

    We will likely replace the rMBPs with Kaby Lake iMacs late this year or early 2017. Our iPads do all we need in the field.
     
  4. cptn.nemo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #4
    Because you look professional if your a designer using a Mac. It's like a doctor walking in with an Alienware. Who would want that. But you just got a Mac, what do you think? Better than Windows? Was it worth it?
     
  5. Goody13 macrumors member

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    #5
    I moved from a basic laptop to the mid-range 27" with 2TB fusion drive and I am very happy with it, more so once I've got used to it properly.

    I'm afraid I don't go with the idea of having equipment to impress people. You just need whatever tool is right for the job. I wouldn't be impressed just because someone had a Macbook. The other view is that they may charge too much because they have 'flashy' gear and could lose business as a result!
     
  6. iMcLovin macrumors 68000

    iMcLovin

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    Feb 11, 2009
    #6

    Geez I hope this completely wrong prejudiced industry learn one day. SUre buy a mac, you will have to spend an extra 5-10k for a proper work machine for adobe programs and such. And games are not optimized for macs and apple never focused on the fastest gpus. Apart from that the iMac is excellent for adobe work - but windows machines are just as good. If you work with video and VFX you should get the maxed out build to order machine, if you work with still images, you can go lower. But because of the 5K screen I would consider the highest GPU card and I would get an SSD if you are inpatient (like I am).

    Dont buy the Macbook Pro currently its way outdated, then I would consider a PC instead...

    If games matter quite a bit I would consider PC immediately. Macs not particularly good for that.
     
  7. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #7
    As someone who has worked professionally in design and print for the last ten years, I can tell you without a doubt: literally no one will care what operating system you work in. Barring some software compatibility factor, the OS you use will not get you the job or win you the client. The quality of the work is what will matter. Buy the OS/machine you feel most comfortable in. This is about creating an environment in which you can produce. It is not a fashion show. That being said, it is an asset to be comfortable in either.

    I have used Window machines and Macs my entire career. Print shops often have both, as we need compatibility with fonts and software. In 2016, there is basically no difference in functionality for Adobe products. Both will work equally well. Depending on what your are designing for, the i7 might be overkill. I have the new 2.8GHz quad core, and it runs PS, IL, ID, and Premiere (1080p exports) without any issues. The hyperthreading of the i7 may not benefit you.

    Can you be more specific in what you are doing?

    For a machine that you want to use for the next 5-7 years, get at least 16GB of RAM (or upgrade yourself). Get an SSD.
     
  8. cptn.nemo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #8
    Wow very helpful comments guys than you very much! I haven't worked professionally in design besides a few websites for people I know. I've read online you MUST have a Mac for design and it seems ridiculous. Good point with the flashy goody13. As I've said I'm totally new to Mac so my opinions are formed on this I've read online. It's definitely good to know some of those opinions are wrong, especially losing work over not having a Mac. I'll definitely do some more shopping now. The gaming is also an after though, not a huge concern. I'm more focused on whether or not I NEED a top of the line iMac and you've given me a lot to think about.
    So bent Christian as a long time professional do you see the need for a Mac Pro? If I need to buy something that powerful in 2 years I don't see the point of spending $2.5k on an iMac to last a couple years
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    Never buy stuff just to impress others ... buy stuff that impresses YOU! :cool:
     
  10. Goody13, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016

    Goody13 macrumors member

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    #10
    That's what I did. I've also never owned an iPhone or iPad and doubt I ever will. Whilst they are undoubtedly good quality, too many people without the first thought for quality or the os buy them just for supposed status, in my opinion. I don't want to buy into that.
     
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Denmark
    #11
    Dont go for a Mac Pro. The 2013 model cant be upgraded much, and the previous models are getting quite old.
     
  12. cptn.nemo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #12
    I'm definitely buying the iMac for the os and screen, not as a status symbol. I thought I was buying it because it worked much smoother with design apps and made design more fun, but that seems to be less true all the time. So is an iMac really worth it... I realize that's subjective, but I guess I'll have to try it and find out for myself.
    I'll skip the Mac Pro too thanks kelch!
     
  13. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #13
    No way. Any off the shelf iMac will run Adobe software for print and the web easily. We are reaching a plateau where computer systems are concerned for most design. The current 2.8 quad-cores are very capable. I use a 21.5" 1080p model, so I can't say how well they run with the newer 4k and 5k screens. You will probably be able to work with 8GB initially, but might find you want to upgrade to at least 16. With the 27" you can do that yourself. Definitely get an SSD. Having used the Fusion drive, I would lean more toward a pure SSD for a work computer and save externally to a larger spinning hard drive. The system of linking we use in Illustrator and InDesign doesn't require a lot of speed. My experience with Photoshop and Lightroom are the same. We work off of a NAS at the shop, which if benchmarked has a dismal transfer rate. It doesn't hold us back. We deal with smaller individual files and the speed is not necessary. The additional benefit is that if your system goes down, you don't have all your work stuck inside the machine at the repair shop. Find another computer system and keep on going. You should have back-ups, too, but external drives sometime makes things easier to transport.

    In your position, I would buy a Widows tower that could be upgraded incrementally. They may not look as nice, but it will save you money in the long run and will probably last longer. Computers in our house tend to last 8-10 years because we take care of them. My Thinkpad from 2007 is still totally viable (though not for your uses), because I could access the hard drive to install an SSD. Current Mac are not designed to be upgraded. Something to think about. Apple products are very nice machines, but also are definitely luxury items. Better value can always be found elsewhere if you are knowledgeable about your hardware requirements. I only use Apple products (iMac, rMBP) now because I can afford to. This was not always the case when I was in school.
     
  14. smacrumon Suspended

    smacrumon

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    Jan 15, 2016
    #14
    To be honest, I don't know if iMacs are better for design, they do look great on a desk, which might inspire good design. My iMac 2008 still works, so does my 2011; thats 8 and 5 years. They were purchased new. I use my iMac for design, Xcode programming, video, photos etc. You can also run Windows if you need to using BootCamp for example. https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201468
    A MacBook will be super useful for portability. But if you are just browsing web etc, maybe an iPad mini might be an option for showing off to clients.
    I'm concerned about eBay sales of Macs and iPhones. I've read some poor reviews where "new" actually means refurbished, and those devices failing, batteries not working properly. Unless you are buying from a reputable and established retailer on eBay, I'd steer clear.
    Do your research and hunt down reputable and established retailers with the best price. You might find some good deals especially on models that have been superseded.
     
  15. orioncrystalice macrumors 6502

    orioncrystalice

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    Jan 21, 2014
    #15
    I can tell you the features of MacOS are exploited so wonderfully by design apps that I would never think about going back to a Windows machine for that purpose. My professional work includes marketing materials such as flyer and trifold design, tracking demos (basic music production), and a little writing.... my Mac is absolutely ideal for me as far as those worlds of productivity are concerned.
     
  16. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #16
    Get what make you happy. If you want a pro level Mac for the hard work then get a Mac pro, it will last much longer and do a much better job than a iMac.
     
  17. cptn.nemo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #17
    Wow that's great! That's exactly what I'm wanted to get into as I'm minoring in marketing, I have the money now, I think I'll just spend it on the nice iMac before it goes into some useless. I've been reading that the i7 is a bit over kill but I don't think $250 is that much more to "future proof" a machine
     
  18. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

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    Michigan
    #18
    Here you go the best of the best, $700 discount.
    image.png
     
  19. cptn.nemo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #19
    Yikes that's expensive wow... That flash drive is amazing but I definitely can't afford that, I was thinking around $2500
     
  20. Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2016
    #20
    iMac seems like a good option, especially for what your using it for. The MacBook Pro would be worse with both editing and gaming, also it has less resolution so you won't be able to see the true 4k video when editing.
    Bear in mind that a Mac refresh is expected this Fall for both iMac and MacBook Pro. That will obviously be more future proof, especially in graphics which may be significant for your case.
     
  21. mmomega, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016

    mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
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    DFW, TX
    #21
    Yes on iMac.
    No to show off.
    If there's no actual need for the Mac Pro, I'd never buy one just for the purpose of upgrading components later. Yes they are the "King of Macs" but don't let a want cloud your judgement into making an unwise purchase.

    Again all in my personal opinion.


    And I would go with SSD in that iMac. I went with the 512GB, I'd never use 1TB of space on the machine itself. I work on things then offload.
     
  22. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 28, 2012
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    UK
    #22
    Are you going to be able to offset the cost of this computer against tax when you start making money from your design work (I'm presuming that you will be freelancing)?
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #23
    You're not future proofing the mac, but buying capacity that you're not going to use. I also recommend the SSD, for performance, probably the 512GB model, just because of needing room to grow.

    I echo the opinions of the others, it just doesn't sound right to buy a laptop just to show off or impress. Believe me, people do that, but save your money. The quality of work matters more. Potential customers won't remember what computer you had during the presentation, but rather how well your work looked
     
  24. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #24
    Agreed about the 512GB SSD. That gives plenty of room for boot/OS/apps/cache and little bit of local storage. So what about serious storage and backup (never forget backup!). Hookup two external drives in USB-3 enclosures that do UASP or TB. One drive, say an very inexpensive 2TB model, is your main library drive for documents, movies, photos,,,,etc. The second drive should be larger like a 4TB or 6TB unit. It is for Time Machine or other app to backup your entire file system, the iMac plus the external library drive. Such drives are dirt cheap at Sams, Costco, NewEgg....etc.
     
  25. cptn.nemo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 20, 2016
    #25
    Ok, so it sounds like the i7 is over kill? Even if I wanted to do some gaming, it wouldn't help much, or so I'm reading online. But going from 3.3ghz to 4 sounds like a big jump... I thought the i7 was a huge performance boost for photo and video editing but if not, then I'll spend the money on a larger SSD. Just not 1TB id never use that. I'm definitely investing in some external drives, especially for backing up the whole system. I've never done that before with Windows and have a couple annoying crashes where I've had to reinstall all my apps. Looking forward to that feature of the os.
    What do you mean offset against tax @JustMartin? Do you mean write off as a business expense? This is kind of a disposable income purchase for me, so I have saved the money for this specific purpose. However I would like to save anywhere I can, to spend the money elsewhere such as extra drives or a new camera
     

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