Graphic designer looking to buy new Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by snowpony, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. snowpony macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I bought a Powerbook G4 1.33 mhz my very last semester while I was in school for graphic design (October 2003). It was loaded with all the Adobe programs, ran fine, and I was able to work on my school projects without a problem.

    It is now 5 years later, and I am working as an in-house staff designer and are using powerful Mac Pros, but are still on Adobe CS2.

    Because I work full-time as a staff designer, I haven't felt the need to upgrade my Powerbook and haven't used it much for design work. I did install Leopard and CS3 on it, but the CS3 programs run VERY slow on my Powerbook.

    I'd like to update my skills and use CS3 at home, and also open myself up to freelance work. Can I just update the memory on my laptop to make CS3 run better, or will I need a new computer?

    If a new computer is needed to run CS3 smoothly with multiple apps open (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash), can I make do with a Mac Mini since I have my laptop? Can I connect them? And if a Mac Mini isn't powerful enough will an Imac 2.4 work?

    I'm short on money and trying to see what would be the best investment and possibly the cheapest. Thanks!
  2. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    CS3 apps were opptimised for the intel platform and so won't run well on your old PPC.
    The Mini has been updated for AGES - but it's still good and cheap so...
  3. pointycollars macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    You could upgrade the RAM on that machine, but I don't think those powerbooks (titanium, right?) can take more than 1 or 2 gigs. The basic MacBook with upgraded ram from a 3rd party source might be your best option, because with the Mac Mini you'd still have to buy a monitor, which could push the cost above that of a MacBook. That is, if you can tolerate the small screen for doing design work.
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I know you said that money was short, but as a designer, and someone who wants to work freelance, I'd suggest a refurb MBP if your funds could run to it; it has all of the power, performance and spec that you would need, and a really superb screen, which I feel might be a strong consideration in your line of work.
    Cheers and good luck
  5. snowpony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I forgot to add in my post that I wouldn't be doing a lot of freelance since I already have my design day job. I'd like it mostly for light print design work and also as a learning machine to update myself on web apps like Dreamweaver and Flash (which I haven't used in quite a few years). So I'd basically like a machine that's capable of running CS3 smoothly with multiple apps open, but only one project at a time. It would be completely a home machine.

    And also maybe a machine that can run Spore since I would like to get that game.
  6. lucero1148 macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Buying a refurbished or a good conditioned second hand MBP is pretty good advice. I've been looking at 2nd hand MBP's for my son and they average around $1300 to $1600 for the Core Duo 2 model and if you source your 4MB RAM at OWC you'll have a really powerful laptop. I do a lot of CS3 and will have PS, InDesign, Acrobat, Word, Itunes, Firefox running without skipping a beat. If you're going to play any games though you should consider running a fan on your MBP to help keep it cool. The G8600 Nvidia chip can overheat.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    CS3 nees a lot of power, even CS2 will run slowly (since you are spoiled by Mac Pro).

    If you want to keep your PowerBook (is it 12" or 15"?)
    1. Upgrade your harddrive
    2. Upgrade your RAM
    Neither will run as fast as intel Mini in term of CS3

    Mac Mini will be decent. If you can afford an iMac, you might want to look into that.

    Refurb Mini are hard to find at but you can check every day if you really want one. Otherwise you can get a refurb iMac easily.
  8. Thetics macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2008
    stay away from a macbook if youre serious about design, unless you plan to use an external monitor. If you can afford it, go with a Macbook Pro, Matte screen, not glossy.
  9. liquidtrend macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2008
    cs3 was designed to run on only 2gb of ram.
    cs3 was also built to use everything the intel chip has to offer.
    also, some aspects of cs3 rely on your graphics card.

    with those in mind, you can update your ram all you want, but from experience you still wont get desired results.

    if you dont work at home and this will be your hanging around machine, i still feel as though you may want to move to a refurb mbp like everyone else suggests.

    in our field, it is frustrating to go to a power machine, and then turning around and waiting minutes for images to render.

    people on the forum have told me a mb can do the job, but i still dont understand how thats backed up. (no offense to anyone at all, just still uneducated).

Share This Page