Looking to buy new Mac for Graphic Design class

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Peytah, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Peytah macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009
    Taking some GD college courses soon. Just got enlisted for a two year program next year.

    I've been wanting a MBP for quite some time now. Since last December. But then I heard about the possible new refresh and I waited and waited and waited. Now the revision is finally upon us, and I'm not sure which one to buy. I'm trying to go as cheap as possible, and I've always liked the feel of a 13". But it looks like it's not getting the i5 upgrade. How important is the difference between Core Duo and i5 when it comes to Adobe products? If this is going to be a 4+ year investment for school and a career, I need to be sure of which one to buy.
  2. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Key words are "cheap" and "4+year investment."

    Either buy the cheapest machine you can get or the most powerful you can afford. It's not generally possible to do both.

    There are annual speed bumps. The high end processors make their way down to the entry level. No matter what you get, it will not remain the most powerful for 4 years. But the current high-end model may keep pace with an entry-level MBP a couple of years from now.

  3. Peytah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009
    Most powerful I can afford is more of what I'm looking for. I know that either way, the specs won't remain top notch as upgrades are inevitable, but that doesn't answer my question if Core Duo is sufficient for 'Design right now?
  4. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Core Duo - will be sluggish, so not really sufficient. But Core 2 Duo should do fine :)

    Apple don't sell Core Duo machines anymore, so you should be OK.

    My Core 2 Duo late 2008 MBP is still doing well with web & print design using CS3/4. Will be interesting to see how it goes with CS5 if I get the chance.

    Hope that helps!

    Obviously it's not as fast as a newer version, as a Core 2 Duo new MBP won't be as fast as an i7 new MBP. But it should be 'good enough'.

    But yeh, just get teh best you can afford / justify.

  5. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    Buying the most powerful computer will allow you to use it longer, thereby saving you money in the long run.


    Most Powerful MBP = Longest Lasting = Cheapest

    (I use this equation to justify every purchase, and it's never let me down)
  6. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2009
    Why does it matter?
    The answer is yes. It IS enough for design, but you might perhaps want to opt for the 2.66 model. Otherwise both are fine.
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    The 13 inch should be more then plenty.

    The macbook pro in my sig is used for an insane amount of stuff and its core2duo and chews through everything I throw at it....to include (and many including the top 6 are running at the same time)

    -Photoshop CS3
    -Corel Painter
    -Unity 3D

    -Mac the Ripper

    I usually run most, if not all of that on a daily basis. The top 6 never close because I'm always in them doing things.
  8. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    If the classes have their own design labs for when you are in class, I'd suggest you get an iMac desktop instead. Way more screen real estate and power for the money.
  9. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    It might do you some good working on an older machine. Learn why InDesign has an Outline mode at all ;)

    I went through my graphic design courses with a 1Ghz G4 from '03-'07. And most of my classmates rocked G3 iBooks. You don't suddenly need more powerful stuff to do the same work anymore. Granted, if you could get CS5 on a G4 that may be painful - but any of Apple's Intel products would suite you fine.

    I have a CoreDuo Macbook 13" that I'd sell ya for $500 ;)
  10. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    I wish that were true... adobe apps get more and more bloated and slower as time goes by. Photoshop 7 in OS 9 on a sawtooth was faster than CS3 is on my Macpro Quad.
  11. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Though doesn't CS3 run in Rosetta? I forget...

    CS4 is somewhat snappy on my shiny new MBP C2D 2.8Ghz :D
  12. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003

    anyway, I would argue for design screen real estate is almost more important than sheer speed.
  13. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Probably right... also good to remember that some days, no computer can be fast enough and no screen can be large enough... I work on a 27" i7 iMac at work and often get a little frustrated about having to wait (not for long granted) or having to use Exposé lol

    But then I suppose that's just me being silly :p

    Back on topic - a decent size screen with good pixel density can be every bit as useful as a super zippy machine.
  14. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    since you want a system that would be good for the next 4 years, then i can't suggest an old core 2 duo 13" mbp. i'd go with a i5 15" mbp + a good ips 24" monitor (at home). cs5 got announced, and it would need at least 256mb vram to take advantage of graphic card's features in photoshop (even the cheapest 15" mbp has 256mb vram), so that would be good for you.

    some stuff to think about: you could probably get a student discount from apple store. then you could use that saved money on applecare warranty + matte high resolution screen (if it's something that you want). you could probably also get a big discount on adobe cs5 design premium which would probably end up costing you about $500.

Share This Page