Graphics cards and CPUs...Macbook Pro 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Emoo, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Emoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm headed off to uni in the fall and I'll (hopefully) be getting a spiffy 15" MBP to take with me. Right now, it all depends on whether or not I can get in a decent argument for one, and that includes price, components, etc...

    I'll be an animation and graphic design student. I feel like the baseline 15 (2.4 GHz, 256MB graphics card) won't quite cut it. I've ogled the high end 15 for its 512MB graphics card and the i7 2.66GHz, but I'm not even sure how much of a difference I'll notice between the three of them.

    I'll have to dual-boot the computer with Win7 (maybe using VMWare or Parallels, but I don't know much about either of them)

    Programs I KNOW I will use:
    Photoshop
    Dreamweaver
    Flash
    Illustrator
    Blender (free 3D animation program)

    I tend to multitask a lot, just fyi, but it all boils down to this:

    What differences would a graphic design/animation student notice between the 256MB and 512MB graphics cards, and what difference between the i5s and i7s?
     
  2. darkredbbb macrumors newbie

    darkredbbb

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Lebanon
    #2
    I'm in the same boat as you are. I'm a Graphic Design student and getting my first Mac, trying to decide whether the extra hundreds of dollars are worth the extra 256MB of VRAM for a student and an early graphic designer. Still looking for an answer though..
     
  3. The ORly owl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #3
    Buy the baseline i5 2,4Ghz and upgrade the RAM to 8Go (do it yourself, so you can sell the 2x2Go and get some money back).

    Also, don't be emo :cool:
     
  4. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    From what I've read, your render times will be 10-15% faster with the i7 because of higher clock speeds. That's about it. Both have hyper threading and turbo boost, and I can't imagine the VRAM really matters in your shoes.
     
  5. Emoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Well, once I get to the main 3D part, I'll be building a PC tower anyhow, and til then I can use the labs I have access too. Thanks for your input!

    I'm not emo, good sir/madam. I'm EMOO. :) I'm not planning on immediately upgrading the RAM til I mess with the OS and find out 32/64 bit-ness. Unless y'all know that now? 8D

    Would the 2.4 i5 run Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and/or Flash/Firefox well? I tend to use those programs most frequently...at the same time.
     
  6. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    I don't think there's any reason not to go win7 x64, but I wouldn't know for sure. As far as OS X goes, it handles 32/64bit differently. Suffice to say that your extra ram will be well recognized in the OS. For Adobe CS, windows CS4 supports 64 bit, but you'll have to go to CS5 for 64 bit OS X support.

    And yes, the 2.4GHz i5 is plenty...
     
  7. Emoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    Yeah, I plan on dual booting with Win7x64, it's only $15 if I get it through my university. As long as the RAM is recognized, it can be utilized, is that right? CS5 is also on my list, since I can't switch my CS4 license over to Mac.

    Plenty if this is a computer I'll use for at least four years? I don't really expect what I use my laptop for to change significantly, but I always worry about the CPU speed not being enough if I go baseline for any of my machines.
     
  8. EasyJW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010

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