Help choose first Mac for design work

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Joemero, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Joemero macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #1
    This will be my first mac ever, so I'm having trouble deciding which would be the best option to go with for a mac newbie looking to get primarily into freelance graphic & web design.
    I'm a grad student so I can get the student discount on macs.

    Choice 1: mini $599 model upgrade RAM to 2gb + 24" Samsung or Dell monitor

    Choice 2: New 13" MBP $1099 (student price) 2.26ghzm,2gb,160gb, + 24" same as above (and get free ipod touch)

    Choice 3: Refurb 15" MBP $1449, 2.53ghz, 4gb, 320gb, no extra monitor for a while since I think the 15" will be good enough to get me going for a while.

    Budget is a concern since I still have to purchase adobe CS4 for $350, and I want to make the most efficient purchase possible. Portability would be nice, but not essential as I have a pc notebook I carry around for work already & most of my design work will be done at home. On the other hand, I really dig the portability of the 13" but am concerned about the processor speed, screen size & whether the graphics card is as good as the 15" or not for handling Adobe CS4 Web Premium.
    The mini, seems like a great option budgetwise, and since this is my first mac, feels like the right choice to step into the macworld, is it beefy enough to handle adobe CS4? How about the graphics card in the mini? Is 2gb enough too?

    Thanks beforehand for any advice to this apple newbie!
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    My Mac Mini breezes through CS3, but I've heard CS4 is no big deal as well.

    If I were you, I would get an iMac. You will get more power than the MBP for less $ and the screen size won't be an issue. You could save even more with an iMac refurb.

    Keep in mind there are no student discounts on refurbs, and the iPod promo doesn't apply to them.
     
  3. Joemero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #3
    You must be a mind reader! I was just about to edit my post to inquire about the refurb 24" iMac 2.66ghz, 4gb, 640gb for $1299!

    Is the monitor on this one the same quality,resolution, specs as the 24" LED Cinema Display apple sells?
     
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #4
    I think the 24" LED ACD is a slightly better monitor. My understanding is the iMac doesn't have LED backlighting, but this latest gen does have an IPS panel like the ACD.
     
  5. Joemero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #5
    The more I think about it, the more I believe portable is the way to go. So it's down to the MBP, now i just have to decide between the 13" and the 15". Will the 13" be too small to learn and work on photoshop, dreamweaver, etc?
     
  6. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Go to your local Apple store and check out the Macbook Pros and iMacs. If you plan to get the Macbook Pro and feel the screen is too small, get an external monitor. I would get the iMac.
     
  7. besler3035 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #7
    Coming from experience with this very decision, I used to have an iBook 12" til it making me slower. I replaced it with a unibody 15" MBP, and couldn't have been happier. The screen real estate is reason enough for the upgrade over the 13" model.
     
  8. Joemero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #8
    I couldn't wait!!! I jumped the gun & bought the REFURB 15" MBP 15.4/2.53/2X2GB/320/SD/512VM-USA !!!! and it actually shipped today too, by FED/EX!!
    I hope I made the right choice for an adobe graphics machine :) I think I did...right? June next yr I think my wife will let me have a 30" external monitor for my bday!
    My 1st Mac ever! I'm so happy!
     
  9. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Great choice, have fun.
     
  10. Joemero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #10
    Tracking shows it allready arrived at fed/ex location at my city, but it's not scheduled to be delivered until Monday, because I ordered it 2-day. You think Fed/Ex will let me pick it up from their facility today with a valid ID? I can't wait!
     
  11. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #11
    If you're serious about this/you're doing it for a living, I'd say the 15" is the best choice, as well. In time, when you get the money, you might want to get yourself a 23" ACD for its matte screen.
     
  12. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #12
    Awesome.


    At the Apple store I was pretty impressed with just the MB13. The MBP15 should be great.

    Since late 1995, when I met my first color Mac, I've been very impressed with their display capabilities. I never knew if it was the screen or the video card but they always trumped PC hardware.


    I built my most recent PC and I'm seriously considering putting aside funds/selling PC stuff to simply switch to an MB or MBP for my next computer :)

    The only other choice would be a Mini.
     
  13. Joemero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #13
    My REFURB 15" MBP 15.4/2.53/2X2GB/320/SD/512VM-USA Just arrived!! Yippee! before turning it on, is there anything special I need to know? Like will it be charged already or should I plug it into power before turning it on? Thanks!
     

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