Mac for Graphic Design Student

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by purpleburn, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. purpleburn macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    Hi guys,
    I'll study Graphic Design (BA) from September, but I'm not sure if a not-super-expensive mac model would meet my needs.
    So professionals, can you confirm or confute that a 13" MBP is good enough for the the job? I know it meets the minimum, but I want something more than that, so is it comfortable enough to use Adobe CS5 and the usual stuff on this model? Any experiences or advises?
    I have an external monitor, so screen size is not an issue here.
    (I know 15" mbp or imac would be better, but I try to keep it as affordable and mobile as I can)
    Thanks a lot.
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I've never worked on a 13" MBP, so I can neither confirm or confute whether it's good enough.

    What I can tell you is I've never found a screen big enough that I said, "OMG. That screen is just too big to work on."

    Working on a 13" screen sounds like an incredible pain the butt to me.

    But perhaps there are some professionals out there who would say otherwise.
  3. purpleburn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    As I said I have an external display, so I wouldn't worry about screen size.
    Confute in my mind means "prove to be false", but English is not my native language, so sorry if I said stupid.
  4. chrisvee macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2010
    Winnipeg, Canada
    13" should be fine. Just get the base model, and upgrade using aftermarket RAM.

    I use a 13" MBP (as described in my signature), and it runs CS5 just fine. Mine's a 2010 with a Core 2 Duo, so I'm sure the newer models should run it fine as well. I do find the 13" screen a little small at times, but that's why I have a 23" external monitor at home.
  5. purpleburn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    I guess Intel GMA 3000 is my biggest concern.
  6. Apple Key macrumors 6502a

    Apple Key

    Jan 4, 2012
    I know you have an external monitor, so you are saying you don't really need a larger display. But when you are mobile are you sure 13 is enough?

    The first question that I ask someone when they ask me for advice about buying a computer is do you need it to be mobile. If you do, I would go with at least the 15" (I have the 17").
  7. babyt macrumors regular


    Jul 28, 2009
    I work on the early 2011 base 15 Mbp with hi res antiglare screen. And it does sometimes.get frustrating with a small screen if you have A lot of pallets open. Anyways the model I originally cost 2100$ but through the returb store its around 1600$. I say go with that model our similar through the refurb. Cause you get a lot more power bumping from 13-> 15.
  8. purpleburn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    I know the 15" is much better, but that's out of my budget this is why I'm asking about the little brother. It doesn't have to be super portable, but full-sized macs are way too expensive for a study computer. I have been thinking about 13" air but it has even less ports. It loses its point when a tiny beautiful notebook has millions of dongles, hubs and cables out of its side in my opinion.

    So just stay with the 13 at least for now. If it's not good enough, I accept it, but I cant spend fortunes on a laptop no matter how amazing that is.
  9. SvP macrumors 6502


    Mar 31, 2009
    Give it some ram, as much as possible, and you're good to go. CS will work fine. You might run into some slow (i mean a few seconds) on huge files, at the worst.

    Good luck!
  10. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I have spent the last few years in studio working off Macbook Airs... a 13-inch MBP with an external monitor will be just fine
  11. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
    I worked for so many years with a resolution of 1024x768 and did fine. Once I went to a 23' display I appreciated the extra screen for display panels and layers.

    Newer macbooks have larger resolutions than the one I worked with despite being 11 or 13 inch screens.
  12. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    I would say performance wise, it's fine (normal 2D graphics don't take a whole ton, as long as you have plenty of memory), so the screen is the deciding factor. Really whatever you can afford in terms of screen size is what I would go with. Also consider that the more you spend now, the longer it'll last in terms of acceptable performance.

    I'm still using an early 2008 15 inch MacBook Pro for motion design and it's holding up pretty well....Well, sort of. Renders take sort of long, but I plan on purchasing a Mac Pro (providing they don't axe it) or a high end iMac soon.
  13. zigzagg321 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2011
    the wire
    21.5 iMac paired with a decent 21.5 monitor works great for me. Throw in 8GB for a total of 12 and you're good to go.
  14. Lame duck macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    If the majority of your work is using an external monitor, would you not get more bang for buck by going for a mini and then using an iPad to carry your portfolio around for viewing/showing and rough design work?

    Just a thought.
  15. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    If you have an external monitor you should be fine with a 13-inch. Regarding the power, the base MBP will be more than enough. (unless you do video editing or heavy photoshop where you should max out the RAM)
  16. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    You can go to the Apple store and test out Adobe CS5.

    13in or 15in you are basically talking about 1lb.

    If money is an issue...get a refurbish.
  17. beowulf70 macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2010
    As long as you max out the RAM you should be fine.
  18. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    There's a 30' (yes, feet not inches) video wall at work that is just a bit too big to do real work on.

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