MBP 17" vs. Mac Pro Quad for school

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hyroboarder, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. hyroboarder macrumors member

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    #1
    I can't decide which mac I need for college in the fall. The macbook pro and mac pro are both 2299 after discount. I'm an art major and will be using adobe cs. I won't be going into video much, however I occasionally will edit standard def footage using Premiere Pro and Final Cut. The mbp does have a fast processor, but it's just a core 2 compared to the xeon on the tower. Will I need all that power by buying the tower? Or can I get by with the 2.8 dual core on the notebook?
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    Portability means MacBook Pro. Most people agree that in college having a notebook is key. The Mac Pro also sounds like a tad bit overkill...
     
  3. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #3
    Get the 17in Macbook Pro, you will need portability in College. 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz is fine.
     
  4. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks...

    I forgot to mention I'll be dorming and all the studio work will be done on the college's own equipment. I'll be transferring via flash drive/what have you

    So in terms of portability, the mac will be in my dorm most of the time.
     
  5. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #5
    Will you go home on holidays? Do you want to bring home a big Mac Pro every holiday? Or are you just going to leave it in your room if you get a Mac Pro?
     
  6. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    #6

    I will actually be home every few weekends, I live about 25 minutes away.
    I do have my imac at home however, and I can do digital work on it no problem.

    But yes I will be home on the holidays. I'm just concerned that the act of lugging into my car twice a year will be overshadowed by the advantages of having a mac pro.
     
  7. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #7
    So your only going to move your Mac Pro a couple times? Don't forget about the display.
     
  8. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Display as in extra cost, or moving it to and from home?

    The thing with the laptop is, performance aside, is that during summer/holidays I can take it with me wherever I go, which is a BIG plus, for me personally. I will buy the laptop in two seconds if someone can convince me the specs are sufficient for 3 years of college (the last year is student teaching)
     
  9. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #9
    Moving the display.

    It seems you are leaning toward a laptop. Yes, the Macbook Pro can last you 3 years. People are still using Powerbooks and iBooks which are 5-7 years old. Get the 3.06GHz Macbook Pro, and in the future, get 8GB of RAM and a SSD.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Even base MBP will do image editing fine. Mac Pro is way too powerful for your needs so get the 2.8GHz and external display if you need more screen space.

    Why don't you take your iMac with you?
     
  11. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 21, 2008
    #11
    if you have to have portability get a macbook, the 13" kind. If you don't need that, get the iMac. otherwise, the 17 MBP and MP are a tad overkill for your stated needs. It seems like this is more in the want category then need. :cool:
     
  12. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    2.13 ghz with 2gb of ram and integrated graphics? No thanks. If I were to get a laptop, it would have to be 17". This leaves me with one choice, and I'm not buying a pc. ;)
     
  13. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    It's the family's computer.


    And I don't think i'll be upgrading to the 3.06 ghz processor, I can't justify an extra 270$ for 260 mhz, unless that particular processor is a different core 2 altogether and not just a speed boost.
     
  14. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    So maybe i missed something, you have light editing work that can or cannot be done on with provided equipment? If that is the case, where is the need for all the horse power? otherwise, it sounds like you already made your mind up and just posted a thread for your own validation. I do basic stuff with my HD video content and basic editing off my own pictures on a 13" uMB just fine
     
  15. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    I think over all else it was the need to hear someone tell me that a core 2 laptop would be sufficient for 3+ years of art school. It really was 50/50 between the laptop and the tower.
     
  16. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    my two cents, go with what you got until it is past its limits and then upgrade. Otherwise, you might be tempted to upgrade again after school :eek:
     
  17. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #17
    Same Core 2 Duo family, 260MHz is the only difference and it's not noticeable.
     
  18. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #18
    mac pro is overkill, and portability is great in college --> get the macbook pro
     
  19. Aljovido macrumors member

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    Brooklyn
    #19
    I am an art student going into my senior year, so let me share my experience. I bought a MacBook (2.0GHz Core Duo, 2GB Ram) in the summer of 2006. Its a great computer, and is able to run everything from CS3 to Final Cut Express just fine. However, there were several things I encountered later on that made me regret my decision.

    First off, screen size. While my MacBook only has a 13" screen, which is small, a 17" isn't much bigger when you're working with tons of windows. You're going to end up having to buy an external display regardless, at which point the screen size of your laptop won't matter at all (unless of course you DO end up taking your machine everywhere).

    Which leads me to my second point. You probably won't take your machine anywhere. Any art class that requires computers will have them supplied, and they will be desktops that are most likely more powerful (and with larger screens) then your laptop. Not only that, but you'll begin to acquire necessary accessories that will become part of your everyday workflow that you will feel out of place without (external monitor, tablet, external drives, external keyboard and mouse).

    All my problems have been solved now, as I have since purchased a Mac Pro. :D Not to mention, art-friends I know have since purchased iMacs for many of the same reasons above.

    I'll admit that it was cool to be able to move my MacBook the few times I dealt with the hassle of unplugging everything, but I could have gotten much more bang for my buck with a desktop machine. Of course, every user is different. Specifically, what is your art concentration going to be?
     
  20. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I'd recommend quite the opposite of what you suggest here. If you're doing a lot of studio work on the college's equipment, then you don't necessarily need the power of the Mac Pro, and you should get the MBP. Given this, the power in the MBP should be sufficient for 3 years. Remember that you're really only concerned about the processor speed and not necessarily the RAM and HD, which are both expandable.
     
  21. Guru Evi macrumors newbie

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    Jun 30, 2009
    #21
    Get the MacBook Pro.

    The Mac Pro as has been said is very powerful. You won't need it even for CS4. I work at a University as the IT admin for a few departments. The Mac Pro is used for image processing (fMRI data) and stuff that takes hours or days to process or for things that need so much memory (32GB) it won't fit in an iMac.

    Photoshop and the like can hardly use the two cores of a Core 2 Duo and you'll hardly notice the few milliseconds it takes longer to do a filter.

    Next to that, maybe you won't need your portability this year but once you get closer to senior year and you start to have doing projects while the heat (or A/C depending on where you live) is not operating in your dorm you'll like being able to go down to Panera bread or your local coffee shop and do your work. Also, usually the schools have labs for your work but a few classes (esp. the optional ones for special credit or specific subjects with small classes) are done in a meeting room instead of a lab and you'll be required (yea, an actual requirement) to have a laptop of some sorts.
     
  22. hyroboarder thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 1, 2006
    #22
    Wow, thanks a lot! It's great to hear from someone that actually works at a university. I'm glad you pointed out the fact that adobe programs only use the 2 cores.

    The question about what field, I'm going into visual arts education, but plan on taking an extensive course of electives involving digital arts. My high school graphic design teacher told me that my school hired her on the spot because she knew adobe programs, so I don't want to pass up this opportunity.

    @Aljovido: The rez on the 17" macbook pro is 1920x1200, the same as my 24" imac. So I believe I will be able to get by with that for a while, then I should probably buy an external a bit later when I have some extra cash. Thanks for the input.
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Yea, it's 1920x1200, so basically it's as big as 24" is.
     
  24. MacApple21 macrumors member

    MacApple21

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    Denmark
    #24
    It depends on what you want to do

    If you want to do any gaming then the Mac Pro is the better choice.
    Another thing you should bare in mind is the the Mac Pro is expandable i terms of hardware ex. Graphic card. But it is also built on a never generation of processors than the MacBook Pro. Finally if you think about Snow Leopard and the improving use of multible core CPU and even GPU, then at the same price it seems an obvious choice, if you can live without portability of the MacBook Pro :apple:
     
  25. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 21, 2008
    #25
    its been said before, until software across the board supports multi-core it doesn't matter the hardware installed.
     

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