Graphic Design Student...Which Mac to Buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ImYourVillain, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. ImYourVillain macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am new the the forum and I came here to see if I could find some good advice on purchasing my very first Mac. I'm excited BUT I want to make sure I am getting the right machine for what my needs. I am a Senior in college, studying Graphic Design so I will need my Mac for design/school/music/pictures and anything else I can think of. I was looking at the MacBook but I really don't like the 13" screen. I've played around with one and I thought the screen was just too small for my tastes.

    SO this leads me to the idea of purchasing a MacBookPro. I want the 15" screen with the 2.66GHz. A friend of mine told me to upgrade the hard drive right away because you cannot do it later soo...what would be a good recommendation of hard drive upgrading? I was going to just pick the best one because it's $100 extra.

    I plan on purchasing the Apple Protection Plan as well because I am afraid of something going wrong with it. :p I can be quite clumsy at times. I also wanted to know if anyone has purchased Refurbished macs off of apple.com and should I maybe go that route? ANY advice you guys can give would be greatly appreciated before I commit to buying something.

    THANKS!
     
  2. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #2
    If you can bag yourself a 15" Unibody Refurbished from the Apple Online Store then thats your ideal setup. What your friend said about the hard drive was wrong, you can upgrade the hard drive easily at any time, its actually designed to be upgraded by the user, and refurbished items come with one years warranty as standard, and sometimes they are even new! :)

    You dont want to get a pre-Unibody 15" Macbook Pro so be careful which one you choose from the refurbished store!
     
  3. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #3
    Hi! Thanks for the quick reply. How can I tell if it's a Unibody type Mac? I looked at the Refurbished section on their site and I don't see anything about Unibody...unless I am looking at the wrong thing/area.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    Wrong.

    I almost always recommend AppleCare, but damage due to "clumsiness" isn't covered.

    All the new Macbook Pros are of the unibody construction.
     
  5. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

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    #5
    Ok, thanks Miles. Did you have a suggestion on what I should purchase?
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    You don't seem to mention any cost constraints. For graphic design I'd go with the better screen anyway, which means the MBP.
     
  7. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #7
    no ones mentioned student discount yet? you're a student. you can get about 14% off a new machine (not refurbished) and more than half off of applecare.

    for the amount apple charge for upgrades on ram or hard drives i'd suggest doing it yourself, its easy enough.

    do you definitely need a laptop? an imac would give you alot bigger screen and better specs for less.

    just some thoughts
     
  8. raclotz macrumors member

    raclotz

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #8
    ask your college whether they will help with the discount thingy... or try looking for a photography school cause at some places the institute has tie ups with apple and the student gets great discounts...
     
  9. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #9
    I did put in my college discount but it looks like it only took off about $100 or so, it doesn't look like a huge discount. I would like to stick with a laptop so I can take it back and forth from home to college.

    I don't really have a huge budget constraint, I have enough money to buy a brand new MacBookPro, my whole reason for posting this is to have you guys help me get exactly what I need as a designer from my mac. Anyone else have any suggestions? Thanks for the replies!! ;)
     
  10. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #10
    I found a few refurbished deals, what does everyone think? Are any of these worth buying? I don't know a whole lot about memory and the size of the hard drives...as far as what's a good deal and what's not.

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    15.4-inch glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    200GB hard drive; 7200 rpm
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight Camera

    $1,799.00




    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    250GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Built-in iSight camera
    Illuminated keyboard

    $1,699.00



    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    15.4-inch glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    250GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight Camera
    $1,499.00
     
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #11
    You might as well get a new model if cost isn't too much of an issue.
     
  12. wetrix macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #12
    As a graphic design student, you'll benefit most from a large screen. Get an iMac. My girlfriend started design on a MacBook but quickly traded in for an iMac. You need to ask yourself if you REALLY need the portability.
     
  13. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #13
    I mean who doesn't love to save money? BUT I think I may just get a new Mac because I do have the money and I want it to last for a long time so going with a brand new mac may be the way to go.

    I thought about an imac buutt I really do need to be portable. I need to take it back and forth to work and college so I think I still want to stick with a laptop. Any more advice from anyone before I buy? Does anyone have advice on how big I should get the hard drive?
     
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #14
    I'd just get the stock hard drive. Figure that if space starts becoming an issue you'll probably move to an external in the future.
     
  15. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #15
    Those refurb deals are last gen models and you seem to want the new ones You can do a CTO and get the 320GB 7200RPM drive upgrade plus AppleCare, should do you nicely and you can get an external screen for it later on
     
  16. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

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  17. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

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    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #17
    You can differentiate between the unibody and prior models by the display and keyboard. Black border around the display + A black keyboard = Unibody
     
  18. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #18
    As long it isn't a Macbook or a 20'' iMac, you will be fine.

    The MacBooks are using crappy screen, while the Pros are a lot better.

    The 20'' iMac use lower quality screens, while the 24'' use H-IPS screens, which are the best quality screens you can find.

    I'm in graphic design myself and I'm using a 2.4 Ghz MacBook which isn't cutting it for me. Bad screen, really limited viewing angle, horrible blacks... And OUR teachers have said that the MacBooks were fine for the courses. Yeah, it's true only if you can't afford the MacBook Pro, which I can.
     
  19. MacDaddyMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #19
    ImYourVillain, you can certainly do fine with a MB (I know several professional designers at big name print and web agencies that use them) but the MBP is ideal. If you're doing motion graphics, consider the larger HD option. I would also recommend getting an external drive for doing backups. I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your files. I've seen too many designers in tears after losing their work to a corrupted HD.
     
  20. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #20
    15" would be the smallest screen I would recommend. Also it is very easy to replace a HD in a MacBook Pro, so whoever told you it would be hard doesn't know.

    A website like iFixit, as PDFs and video on changing out a HD.

    As a graphic designer myself, I would recommend you also max out the RAM. Get it from macsales.com, or similar with a lifetime warranty. You can also sell your 'old' RAM back to them.

    With maxed out RAM and the 15" screen you should do more than fine. Have a 15" first generation MacBookPro and it still does great!
     
  21. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #21
    Thanks Designer! I found the RAM on the www.macsales.com website to be much cheaper than on www.apple.com The other question I have then is...what size hard drive should I start out with? I was going to max it out at 320 serial ATA buut if that's something I don't need to do I don't want to waste the money. What would be your recommendation?
     
  22. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #22
    Or you could just plug an external display into the MacBook...
     
  23. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #23
    you'll be fine with a blackbook or for that matter... anything after that 'era' - i wouldn't get anything before that. you'll also want to run leopard.

    i have gone to art school for film and some of my closest friends attend SVA and Cooper Union.

    some of them have the white polycarbonate and none of htem have a problem.
     
  24. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a

    Lexoticstylez02

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    Orlando, Florida
    #24
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    Go for the Macbook Pro, as a designer I would want the larger screen and max it out as much as possible. I would buy the RAM aftermarket though through a third party, you'll save about $30-50.
     
  25. ImYourVillain thread starter macrumors newbie

    ImYourVillain

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #25
    Yay, thank you both for your opinions! Believe me, it helps. :p
     

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