Macbook For Industrial Design Student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Alan Menhennet, May 12, 2009.

  1. Alan Menhennet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #1
    Well the title bout sums the gist of this up.
    I'm a first year Industrial Design student at RMIT in Melbourne.. thats Australia so prices are a bit different over here.

    I've had my P4 1.8 Ghz, 1gb ram 128mb Graphics card for maybe 4 years, it's served me very well, but lately, specially with Photoshop.. well my pc constantly recieves the one-finger salute :)

    I want a laptop mainly because in a Uni of 80,000 people, computers can be hard to come by when you don't have a class scheduled, so a laptop will be the obvious solution. Also my fav lecturer has the 13.3 Black Macbook for a little while ago, and it's a really nice size, (ive used it a few times for presentations). I want to be able to put it in my backpack when I go on the train into the city.

    My needs are
    Photoshop and Illustrator use primarily, alongside InDesign
    CAD work, school uses SolidWorks (is that even Mac compatable?? I can always VMware it)
    I am also a musician and a major factor in wanting a Mac is Logic.

    Preferences
    In my past I have done quite a bit of work in Adobe Premiere and After Effects, not so much now so this is not really a desperate need.

    Now here's the fun part, I'm 18 so I earn next to nothing an hour, and I'm at Uni 4 days a week, so I usually only work one shift a week. I'm rather strapped for cash. I've got about enough for a White Macbook, will this be enough for my needs? Buying a white Macbook is really hard for me, since I'm studying Industrial Design (basically product design kinda) so the Alu Macbook is sexy as hell.

    I've never owned a Mac, always wanted one for some reason, maybe cos they would make me cool.. haha Especially in my design course, Macs are the dominant computer (which in the area I live is not a mac area). I love Windows XP, but I know I won't be able to hide in there forever, and Vista and Windows 7 loom over me and I don't want to go there, so Mac is my next logical step.

    The biggest factor for me is justifying the expense. For what i'm paying $1580 with the education discount, I could buy a PC laptop with far higher specs (i know mac is superior hardware and software but still..)

    The most important and final factor in my purchase is my father. Even though I'm 18 and it's my money, I wouldn't buy anything that expensive without his consent. With him being a very tech savvy individual and lifelong PC user I need to justify the switch to Mac, (lately he has made a few Mac friendly statements, something like "everyday windows gives me a reason to switch to Mac) so that should be easy. The hardest part will be explaining why for more money I get less hardware power.

    I've had a detailed conversation at my on campus Apple Store about Vmware and all good things. He has recommended since I have the knowledge, to buy the laptop in it's basic form, and upgrade the HDD and RAM myself.

    I hope I haven't written to much, but I want to give you all a good picture of what I'm looking at.
    Many thanks
    -Alan
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Solidworks and any other industry-wide CAD program (AutoCAD) will have to be run through Boot Camp or some sort of virtualization.
     
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #3
    Here in the US, we can buy a uMB 2.0 for $1099 refurbished. That is the best buy for any Mac right now in my opinion.

    Definitely, buy the RAM and drive and install yourself. Use iFixIt.com for full instructions on how to do everything.

    I would upgrade the RAM right when you get it. Then, wait a year or so until SSDs drop in price considerably and get larger and upgrade then. SSD will do more for standard performance than anything. Right now, run around $300 for a 128 GB SSD, but a year from now might have 256 GB for $200.

    From 5400 to 7200 rpms, you will not see much difference. As long as you can get by with 160 GB of HDD, I would suggest you stick with the original drive for awhile.

    That is a really nice Mac, as I am using one right now. My MBA was stolen, and I bought this while waiting for a MacBook Air update. Actually really nice and very solid Mac.

    Good luck.
     
  4. idanchez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Hey Alan,

    I am engineering student here in the UK and i have a White MacBook that does everything i need.

    I run solidwork... installing windows on my mac to do this via.
    I have the Adobe master collection aswell but not Logic.

    I use SolidWorks 2009 student version but my white macbook is a little old to support the graphic needs.

    I work for and Engineering company part time and i am the only one with a mac computer... I can still access there network to find data and most files are friendly with each other depending on what you save your files as.

    I have upgraded my mac myself... dont get upgrades from Apple its way to expensive. Just do it yourself if you are confidant.

    Hope this helps.
    Send me a thread if you need to know more
    Cheers
     
  5. Alan Menhennet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #5
    idanchez thanks heaps for your reply, that answers most of my questions.

    haha good to see people in the empire suppourting the colonies.. hahaha.. that wasn't funny at all
     
  6. LotusLord macrumors 6502

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #6
    Can I ask you what scares you about Windows Vista and 7 so much? If you're comfortable with XP, there isn't that huge of a difference with Vista. I haven't installed 7 to play with it yet, but it too can't be that different. I'm not trying to dissuade you from the Mac, I'm just curious.
     
  7. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    #7
    These are the advantages:

    1.Less problems.
    2.More time to work, less time for maintenance.
    3.More stable programs.
    4.Less need to upgrade the computer (Longer life).

    These are pretty much the reasons why most of the designers use Macs.

    What I would recommend would be trying to run those CAD programs with Crossover (Basically a non-free Wine version for Mac), grab a trial, otherwise if they don't work you could always use Parallels (Unity mode or whatever it's called is awesome).
     
  8. idanchez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Alan,

    Please could you visit my thread to talk about SolidWorks for mac.
    Just type in 'solidworks for mac' into the search forum to find it.

    Cheers

    Also one thing i forgot to say was to save up money and get yourself the new Uni body MacBook which has a better graphics that will work better with solidworks. Dont forget that Snow Leopard is coming soon...
     

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