What kind of Mac laptop should a graphic designer buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nicrose, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. nicrose macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006

    I'm a graphic designer who has just graduated from college and is currently looking for a job. What is the best kind of Mac laptop computer to buy for someone in my situation?
    How which is the best video card and graphics card? I am not a video game creator nor do I make movies. How much vram do I need to run the programs listed below?
    My budget is in the $1,000-$1,300.00 range, so I'm limited probably to getting an iBook or 12 inch Power Book. Is the iBook good for running typical graphic design programs pshop, illustrator, flash, dreamweaver, fireworks, indesign, quark? does it do well running 2 or 3 applications at once? What about the Power Book?
    Also, where is the best place to buy the laptop? I am from the Bay Area in California.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    I'd pick the Powerbook, if you can. I think there are some cheap refurbs on the Apple Store site. The PB has double the VRAM than the iBook. And if you happen to plug it into an external monitor you can get an extra amount of... well, screen. Heh. I like that because I'll have a blank Photoshop file on the big monitor and then the images I'll be using on the PB's screen. The iBooks have slightly slower processors (1.33 vs. 1.5) but can handle more RAM (1.5 vs 1.25). Good luck and congratulations on graduating. :]
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Wait until Apple releases the new MacBooks, then decide between all your options.

    The price drops on remaining new G4 PowerBooks should be quite attractive, but the future resistance of a MacBook may be worth the extra expense.

    The advantage to the Intel based laptops will be that you can run ANY software as long as you own a licensed XP retail CD.
  4. nicrose thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Reply to Marissaa

    Thanks, Marissaaa, for you're advice and your congratulations. What did you mean when you said the iBook can handle more RAM than the Power Book? I couldn't find those numbers (1.5 vs 1.25) on the Apple store site, so I wasn't sure what you meant.
  5. nicrose thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Intel chip

    I guess what you're saying is I could run any software with the intel chip, even if it was for pc only. If I owned both a pc and a mac then I would only have to buy pc software, right? That sounds good. I've heard a lot of designers use both pcs and macs to make sure that their web designs look good on both platforms.
    Thanks, FFTT
  6. interlaced macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2005
    FFTT's right. I totally forgot that the new MacBooks should be coming out soon. :eek: About the ram in my reply, I was referring to the maximum RAM that each can hold, the Powerbook has a 256MB stick soldered in (thanks to MR members for telling me that in a previous thread) but has an additional RAM slot for a 1Gig stick and I'm not sure about the iBook but everymac.com says the latest iBook can hold 1.5gigs.
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Just remember that in order to run Windows software on your Intel MacBook
    you'll need Boot Camp AND a legal copy of the Windows XP Home or XP Pro
    retail CD with SP2.

    Once Adobe gets around to CS3, you'll be able to upgrade and transfer your
    license to an OSX version.

    You can also try Parallels which enables you to run Windows under OSX
    giving you full access to your files on both platforms.

    It may still cost you more than you planned for the MacBook or possibly
    a MBP 13" WS, but the wait and expense should be worth it in the long run.
  8. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    That's correct, the iBook was updated with 512MB soldered on the motherboard... for whatever reason, the PowerBook never received this upgrade.

    If you can sacrifice portability, I'd jump for a new iMac!
  9. Willy S macrumors 6502

    May 8, 2005
    Do you use Photoshop?

    Is so, it will run through Rosette (emulator) on the iMacs, so it will be veeeery slow compared to a G5 and maybe a G4 as well.

    Then the laptop LCDs are not good enough for graphics designers, so a S-IPS external monitor is a necessity, also if you buy an iMac (unless the 20" panels are not TN panels)

    I use Photoshop and for my it is too early to upgrade to Intel Macs. I´m going to wait until CS3 arrives next year because then most apps will run natively on Macs.
  10. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Get a refub pb on the apple web site (see coupon code section for and extra 5% off), and add aftermarket RAM ($100 a gig instead of $300!!). That will run your adobe and macromedia products until they come out with universal in 2007, at which time you'll have the moola and/or a business to make a tax write-off!!! :D

    If you need more screen, pick up a refurb 20" cinea screen to plug into when you're at your desk.

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