Industrial/Product Designer Setups

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by stewartlittle, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. stewartlittle macrumors regular

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    Jul 2, 2008
    #1
    I am a product designer up here in Canada. Pretty soon I will be making the move to mac and was wondering what other product designers have for both their hardware setup, as well as their software setup. Unfortunately, due to travel, I will be forced to work with a laptop (mbp) and I need the 15" for portability. I will most likely need an external keyboard and monitor, but I want to hear what you guys and gals have done. Cheers
     
  2. derboy macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2004
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    UK
    #2
    The answer is i'm afraid, -not a mac.

    You can use the Adobe suite on a mac fine, but any pro level design software is pc based. All apple products are designed using PC software, after the sketch phase.

    You can of course use boot camp or parallels, but then whats the point, as the 3d CAD apps tend to run quite slow.

    instead of a mbp you could get a;

    tablet pc, -very good for design
    pc with a waccom tablet, for same price

    i have an imac for lesiure use, and pc's for work.
     
  3. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I'd like to know what software you use on windows first before making any suggestions etc. But I will say that product/industrial design is avery windows orientated field when it comes to software etc
     
  4. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Well I agree, product design is mainly a windows field. But I mean, the only program I use that cannot be done on a mac is solidworks, which can be down through bootcamp. I also use photoshop and illustrator. Thats pretty much it, other then internet and checking emails.
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    Graphics apps run better on Macs due to better memory management, program switching, no need for anti-virus (anti-virus typically takes 10% of CPU cycle).

    If you don't know, try to open 100 4mb images in windows.


    Wrong. Mac runs windows

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/136649-3/in_pictures_the_most_notable_notebooks_of_2007.html

    Bootcamp = native speed
     
  6. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Is anyone here, in product design, actually using a mac as their main computer? Or does PC still have a hold on our field, even in the macrumors forums?
     
  7. derboy macrumors regular

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    #7
    I think that there will be some people that use the adobe suite exclusively for product design. But they are just conceptualising and working up sketches. Its far nicer to use on a mac, and colour continuity is better.

    The process continues onto a CAD package of some sort and this is windows biased. Too much hassle to cling onto the mac, - i have tried, and it wastes your time.

    parallels is an option for solidworks. But i found it to be unacceptable. The graphics card emulation or whatever it does is not up to it. Bootcamp is a massive hassle, and then you might as well have bought a pc, for less money. Mac pros are a lot more stable and so would run windows better, but you pay a premium....

    productdesignforums.com has a lot of good opinions on this sort of stuff
     
  8. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 2, 2008
    #8
    I will check it out there too. Thanks. I have looked at competiting computers with cad focused graphics, such as hp and dells, and price wise, they come out to even. I am guessing as no one seems to be running solidworks through a mbp fulltime, this might be a bad sign for me. I was thinking 2.5 mbp to get the 512mb, tied with a 4gb upgrade... (15")
     
  9. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #9
    solidworks is a picky program (my experiences) when it comes to the os it uses so it may not like working in bootcamp.
    I use it on windows on a desktop pc, probably wouldn't consider using it on a laptop although it was a fair while ago since I last tried. Having said that I've had files that have pushed even my desktop pc's to their limits.
     
  10. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    I would have to agree with you on that one. ("I've had files that have pushed even my desktop pc's to their limits") Especially rending with custom materials on large parts. Unfortunately, well and fortunately, I am moving to australia for a year, and i will still be designing full time for the company I am with now. I guess the question is, do i. a: get a fully loaded mbp with a monitor and keyboard and run that for mobility reasons. b: get my desktop here shipped to there, c: (if only) do both haha...
     
  11. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #11
    If you've got to have a laptop it may be worth looking at a dell, yes I know but the new e-series don't look half bad from what I've seen and they atleast do some with quadro/firegl graphics in (apple really needs a bto option for this). The quadro/firegl seem to handle solidworks and 3ds max (my apps of choice) better than a geforce/radeon gpu too.

    IIRC the montevina (is it monte I've forgotten - the one just released) chipset can support 8GB in a laptop (assuming you can get chips etc) so at the very least maybe wait till the newer laptops (intel had a slight delay :() are out.

    Might be worth looking into leasing too, not sure how australia works, but you may be able to lease a pc like you can in the UK.
     
  12. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I would definately wait to see what the mbp would have instore. So alot may change. i will have to check out the dell as well. why cant every company have computers as nice as mac. lol
     
  13. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #13
    Youll be very much regretting your purchase after the 10th time of having to shut down and restart to get into windows just to use solidworks, then having to restart again if you need to do a quick thing in an adobe app... only to have to restart yet again to get back to solidworks.

    I think it will become such a huge hassle that you will start procrastinating since you dont want to reboot and your work will go downhill fast.
     
  14. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Yea, I agree with that, it would be a hassle, so I guess I should see about just shipping the desktop to aus.
     
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #15
    Forget it.

    We're product-design heavy and in that respect, we're a 100% Windows shop. OS X is used for other scientific computing tasks. It just does not make sense to go Mac for this unless you're running with second-rate also-ran solutions which are native on OS X. If this is your core use, then it just does not make sense to run with a less-than-100%-compatible machine.

    Things might improve - Rhino for example is one application which is apparently being ported - but not radically I suspect. Buy something like an HP 8000p/w or Dell Precision notebook and be done with it.
     
  16. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Yea, I guess I should look into dells, hp's, or something. Still looking at a 15.4 inch, but want something stylish too. I agree, the pc I am with now even drives me crazy sometimes cause of slowing down. And its 4gb ram... a whole dell workstation. I just won't find the same compatibility in mac for now.
     
  17. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #17
    OK found the link worth looking at in relation to the dells I mentioned earlier
    (linky and look at the gallery)

    Not as nice as a macbook pro/air but they're not bad for dells and they do have a workstation version according to the powerpoint presentation slides.
     
  18. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Wow! Awesome link, thanks for the suggestion. When are those coming out, or are they out already. Its nice to see some competition in the style category. Any other suggestions people?
     
  19. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
    The workstation versions will be uglier - count on it :p

    But really, when do you want style?

    To me, the outright 'look at me' styling of the Apples is not required unless you're in a public situation, especially if there are compromises that come with the design - and boy does it come with compromises. That's really where I keep my POS 'image' machines to these days - the Air and the MBP. I give talks using Macs because of a) Keynote, although I've started a transition away to the Sony's / Powerpoint and b) it *is* an image thing. People see you with a Mac and still think you 'think different' to a certain degree - marketing at work, who am I to argue?

    But away from those types of uses, I rely on machines which don't compromise so much for their looks, or are just better engineered / built all-round.

    The portable / transportable engineering stuff is currently done on the Dell XPS M1730 (at least, this was how it was justified ;)) and the HP 8510w and the 8710w. If there are compromises in the product based on looks or function, I have to say I care less how it looks as a working tool, I care how well it works. And any of these will be a more dependable tool than a MBP, representing a better standard of engineering where it counts - inside. The HP's will also give you working options you'll never see on a Mac - proper docking stations, external battery chargers, etc that really do make it truly a mobile workstation.

    You could do it the way I do - retain a Macbook Air / Pro to pander to the misconceptions of others for example, and a real machine for your core work.
     
  20. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Ya I agree, I have thought of shipping my desktop to australia as my workhorse, and getting a pro for those times when im traveling and cadding.. If the money situation is right, then that may work. One concern i have with most pc, including dells, is none seem to have the option to come with xp, not vista. I am running SW 07 and I know its a bitch to get working on vista. It seems like a shame to buy a new laptop and then format it right away. Suggestions? Thx
     
  21. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Norfolk, UK
    #21
    the workstation machines should be based on the same chassis (as they are now but with the 'd' versions)

    As to release supposedly end of month give or take.

    I'm kind of in the same view as Sesshi in that apple has an image thing which is good for presentations etc but if these dells undercut by a similar amount to the current ones then paying nearly half the price of a mac is probably worth a slight hit to the image :eek:
     
  22. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Apple does have a great image thing, which i dont neccessarily need. But if the specs come out for the dell and its equal specs for the new dell and the new mbp... if price is within a few hundred, it makes the decision tough to make.... but who knows what will happen, it sounds like dell and apple are going to have similar release dates..
     
  23. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23
    Not considering the HP w's at all? Boring design, but solid and well engineered, and definitely up to our sort of use - and certainly classier in build than the current Dells IMO, more accessories and I've had no problems with them. (Not that I've had any Apple-like issues of poor reliability with the Precision M's either)
     
  24. stewartlittle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Are the hp w's the compaqs? I'll be honest, I havnt looked much into them, something to look into as well... i guess its a good thing having more options then less.... damn i wish solidworks was just a mac program haha
     
  25. futurestate macrumors newbie

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    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #25
    I have been looking for product design program for macs as well... all I have found so far is a program called cheetah 3d...

    Any suggestions?
     

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