Laptop Suggestion for Instructional Designer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by carlsbadbruin, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. carlsbadbruin macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2011
    I am starting a master's program this fall and will be using software such as the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash), Captivate, etc. The school recommends having a computer with at least 4gb of RAM; my beloved 4 year old white Macbook can't be upgraded to more than 3gb (2 GHz Core 2 Duo with 1GB 667 MHz DDR2), so I think it may be time to upgrade. I know there is a new Macbook Air coming out, but I don't know if that will have 4gb of RAM (upgradeable to 8gb would be ideal, just in case I need more) and be sufficient to run these programs smoothly. Should I go with a new MacBook Air, if it has the RAM, or a new MacBook Pro? Or something else? Any suggestions from others who run this type of software? Thank you!
  2. carlsbadbruin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2011
    Or, just a regular white Macbook upgraded to 8gb RAM???
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Both Other World Computing ( and say that machine can be upgraded to a max of 6GB ram. Even Apple should say it's good up to 4GB.

    That said, given the apps you will be running, think about a machine with a faster CPU and 7200 rpm HD. I run CS3 on a MBP with a 2.5GHz C2D processor. I have no issues with it. Given that it never leaves my desk, my next computer will be a maxed out iMac.

  4. carlsbadbruin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2011
    Hi Dale,
    Thanks for your reply! When I went to, it looks like I can only add to a total of 3 GB:

    "MacBook2,1 (All) - Install up to 4.0GB total memory, uses up to 3.0GB."

    I also only have a 60GB HD on there, so that would need to be upgraded, too. I don't think the 3GB would do it, since the master's program requires a minimum of 4GB. Any thoughts?
  5. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    Macbook Air is for portability and not power, go with Macbook Pro. The white Macbook has old hardware, stay away from it. The MBP 13 has integrated graphics which is a little weak, so if you can afford the 15" its definitely worth.
  6. carlsbadbruin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2011
    What do you mean when you say the graphics on the MBP 13 are "a little weak"? There is a big price difference between the 13 and the 15, so I only want to get the 15 if I really need to. What might I notice between the 13 and 15 when running these applications? Thank you!
  7. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    MBP 13" has integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics processor which isn't a good choice for those applications. MBP 15" has dedicated AMD 6490M/6750M which is a lot better at GPU intensive tasks.
  8. Barnzee macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    The 15" 2.2ghz quad core MBP sounds just right for you. Has a great processor capable of up 3.4 Ghz turbo boost as well as an AMD 6750M 1GB discrete graphics card. The 13" MBP only has intel HD 3000.. yuck

    I honestly can't recommend anything lower than 15" because you can't get the High Resolution display on the 13" MBP. This feature is a must if you ask me its so damn sexy. especially if your doing design work.

    The Air would be a viable option for you but I wouldn't recommend it because they still use Core 2 Duo's while the MBP has quad core sandy bridge CPU's.

    Also it only costs about 80-90 bucks to upgrade to 8 gigs of RAM through Newegg or Crucial. don't buy it through apple. it's easy and you caan replace it yourself.
  9. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    The cesspit of civilization
    They're right, the last iteration of the 13" MacBook Pro has weak integrated graphics. BUT, the previous one (mid-2010), while still using Core2Duo (up to 2.66 GHz), boasts a much better (really, is not an exageration) NVIDIA GeForce 320M. I know is still integrated graphics, but much more potent than the lame Intel HD the new ones have. Oh, and they also have a better battery life.

    So, by getting one of those 13" MBP you get a lower price, more battery life, better graphics (the best on a 13 inches MBP, that is) and still retain the portability and convenience of the smallest MBPro.

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