Thinking about getting a Mac for school.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AH88, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. AH88 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2011
    #1
    I'm thinking about getting a 13 in MBP, I'll be using Photoshop, Maya, etc. My only problem is I'm not familiar with the intel hd graphics 3000. How does it compare to the 320m? Also would upgrading to either the 8gb ram or 128 gb SSD be worth it? I'm already pushing my budget at $1200 so hopefully getting at stock settings would be good enough.
    Thanks for any help you can give me.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Intel HD 3000 performs about as well as the NVidia 320M, maybe a bit slower. The CPU, however, is lightyears ahead so it will eat up the small difference. Stock model should be fine, get upgrades from aftermarket later on if needed.
     
  3. Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

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    #3
    Get both the RAM and SSD aftermarket. Do not get them from Apple, their prices on these items are a ripoff.
     
  4. B.winkle macrumors member

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    Aug 3, 2010
    #4
    Consider a Refurb if it fits your specs. Saves a little coin.
     
  5. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

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    #5
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #6
    I would suggest an external monitor in addition to your laptop for Maya alone. I'm not sure if you have ever used it or not but its a screen hog. Plus using a dual screen setup can be pretty helpful for when you are texturing. (Its not necessary because of Spaces but it helps).
     
  7. brucem91 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #7
    I think Maya 2011/Photoshop will run just fine on the current gen 13" MBP. I have a late 2008 MBu, (2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and 9400m), and it runs Maya decently. I wouldn't worry about the upgrade to 8 GB Ram or SSD at this current time. As far as the Intel Graphics card, if it is similar in performance to the old 320m, you will be fine. The 320m was decently better than the 9400m, which I use with Maya for a while. For sure though, make sure you have a 3 button mouse for Maya. I also agree that when at home, you will want to use an external monitor for Maya.
     
  8. danest macrumors member

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    Apr 27, 2008
    #8
    I would try to get a refurb from the apple site and then doing off market upgrades for ram and SSD. The refurbs are pretty much new and it will save you a few hundred bucks.
     
  9. iceblade macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #9
    I'm gonna jump on the refurb wagon. I'm not sure if you can get an education discount or not (I assume you can), I think its still going to run you $1099 + tax. That pretty much kills your $1200 budget. I would see if a refurb can fit your needs. From what I've heard, the refurbs are pretty good. You can then throw some more RAM and an SSD in there (if you can find them cheaply enough). The RAM upgrade isn't difficult from what I've read, though I don't know much about the SSD. It can't be too hard though.
     
  10. AH88 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2011
    #10
    Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I'll be able to push the budget up to $1650. Of course I'd like to keep ACPP in mind, is that worth the $250? Might sound stupid but I've never taken any extra warranty for any computer I've owned, but I plan on taking this MacBook back and forth from school, so maybe I should consider this time?
    Also any advice on what mouse to get? I'm sure that sounds like a dumb question but I haven't used a mouse in forever.
     
  11. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

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    Titletown USA
    #11
    Applecare = A good idea.
    Mouse = The Apple magic mouse. (I know there are naysayers out there, but I really like mine.)
     
  12. brucem91 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #12
    Yes, I use the Magic Mouse on all my macs. I know I said that you need a 3 button mouse for maya, but you can get the Magic Mouse to work just fine. Under the Maya preferences you will need to disable scrolling, and switch to "two-button mouse" in order to use the Magic Mouse with Maya, if you go that way. If not, I can't really think of any mouse in particular that would work great.
     
  13. AH88 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2011
    #13
    Thanks again for the replies guys, I'll pick up a magic mouse whenever I get my MBP, but I have one more question, let's say I was able to come up with enough money for the 15 inch base model. Would there be a big enough difference getting it at default settings to justify the $600 price difference between the 13 inch base model?
    This is going to be my first Mac too by the way, but I guess that was kind of obvious. Always wanted one and I think using the excuse of needing a smaller laptop is a good reason for one. :p
     
  14. brucem91 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #14
    Yes, a base 15" would be better for sure. That extra screen space is considerably better for Maya/Photoshop.
     
  15. AH88 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2011
    #15
    Hmm...
    If I were to jump up to the $2200 15 inch I could go ahead an sell the laptop I have now, as the MBP would pretty much kick it's butt hardcore. I have a Sony Vaio FW that's got a 2.8 GHz T9600 C2D, 4GB ram, 16.4 inch 1080p screen, and a 4650M graphics cards, only thing I'd be missing is Blu-Ray.
    I'd just have to skip out on a couple things I don't need and wait a week or two longer.
    If I were to do that I have a few more questions, sorry.
    1) If I burn a DVD/CD with some data on Windows 7 would the Mac be able to get the data off it?
    2) Would I be able to install Windows 7 on the side?
    3) I have a usb HDD that I think is still formated in FAT32(used it with my PS3) would I be able to use to that to get large chunks of data from my PC to the Mac or would I need to format it to something else for the Mac?
     
  16. brucem91 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #16
    1) Yes. There is no such thing as "Windows-type data" or "Mac-type data". Any files you burn to a dvd will work just fine, assuming the mac has an application to read it.
    2)Yes, Bootcamp allows you to reboot your MacBook Pro into Windows. What do you think you will need windows for?
    3)Yes. FAT32 has read/write support on OS X. If this is the case, it will work just fine.
     
  17. AH88 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2011
    #17
    Thanks for the answers.
    Only reason I'd want Windows, is if I do end up with the high end 15", which looks like I will be next week(goodbye Nintendo 3DS reserve), I'll be selling my Sony Vaio and I'll need some way to play the few games I have. :)

    I also want to add, it's nice to find a forum that actually as helpful members for a change!
     
  18. brucem91 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #18
    ah, okay. Funny, I have more games on my iMac(only OS X installed) than my Dell (Win7).
     

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