Laptop Suggestion for Instructional Designer?

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

  1. carlsbadbruin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #1
    Hello,
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #2
    Or, just a regular white Macbook upgraded to 8gb RAM???
     
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #3
    Both Other World Computing (macsales.com) and Everymac.com 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.

    Dale
     
  4. carlsbadbruin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #4
    Hi Dale,
    Thanks for your reply! When I went to macsales.com, 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

    jmpnop

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    #5
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #6
    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

    jmpnop

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    #7
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oak Harbor, WA
    #8
    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

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    The cesspit of civilization
    #9
    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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