What to do with a $3000 budget for a Mac?

creator2456

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
1,648
2
Chicago
I just found out today that I have a $3000 computer budget through financial aid at school. I have some options to consider. I am a Graphic Design major and we are required to have a MBP and I have that covered with a 2.16ghz 17".

Here are my options:

1) 15" 2.2ghz MBP w/160gb 7200rpm & APP = $2240
2) 15" 2.4ghz MBP w/160gb 7200rpm & APP = $2673
3) 17" 2.4ghz MBP w/160gb 7200rpm, Hi-Res, & APP = $3063
4) 20" 2.4ghz iMac w/500gb & APP = $1608 (add RAM through NewEgg)
5) 24" 2.4ghz iMac w/500gb & APP = $1908 (add RAM through NewEgg)
-upgrade to 2.8ghz for $225 (cheaper than getting the stock 2.8ghz due to Apple's overpriced RAM)
6) Stock MacPro w/Airport+Bluetooth & APP = $2569 (add RAM, HD, & monitor through NewEgg)

It would be nice to have the Hi-Res 17" MBP, but I already have portability covered and a nice home machine would be good too.

What does everyone think?
 

FJ218700

macrumors 68000
Mar 8, 2007
1,740
0
Blue Dot, Red State
if you already have a good laptop, I'd go with the base pro. the processors will be upgradable in the future and you can always add more RAM. My once cutting-edge G4 towers are still running strong and quick, and I have yet to max them out totally (6 and 4 years old). Hopefully the Mac Pro should last you 5-10 years before you have no other options of maxing it out.
 

creator2456

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
1,648
2
Chicago
I just went to the Oakbrook store and looked at the new iMacs for the first time. The glossy screen isn't as reflective as what thought and it would be used in low light conditions so whatever glare there would be would be minimized.
I also looked at the Hi-Res MBP. DAMN! That display looks great.

I think I am leaning towards the MacPro though.
Just some questions on a monitor. I don't want to go bigger than 24" and I am wondering what specs (other than resolution) I should be looking at most? (will do research throughout these forums as well)
 

shecky

Guest
May 24, 2003
2,583
3
Obviously you're not a golfer.
so, if you already have a 17" MBP i do not see the need, while in school, for a home machine as a graphic design major. i think you would be much wiser to get a really good monitor for the MBP and some software, which you should be able to get very cheap as a student, and even cheaper if your school gets a mass license program.

in case you already have the software, then i would look at a really good wide format printer, and maybe a continuous ink system. i have my eye on a Canon Pixma pro9000 in the next couple of months. i used my printer like crazy while i was in design school. i do a lot of stuff with medium format film in my design work, so i also got a good scanner as well (epson 4990 photo.)

is this a grant, or is this a loan you will need to pay back? if its something you need to pay back then i see no reason to get another machine when the MBP is gonna be just fine. if its a grant then i think there are other things to spend it on other than another machine (unless the grant/loan is specific to computers only)
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,604
406
Redondo Beach, California
I just found out today that I have a $3000 computer budget through financial aid at school. I have some options to consider. I am a Graphic Design major
If you already have a MBP then you will need

1) A good LCD monitor, the biggest one you can afford and fit in the space.
2) A Wacom graphics tablet
3) A big external disk drive, much larger (by 3x or 4x) than the one inside your MBP so you can keep many, many sets of incremental backups. Would be nice if thise were RAID (mirror, not raid zero)
4) Some other external drive so you can make anuther backup and keep it some place not near the first.
5) As much memory as will fit inside the MBP.
 

creator2456

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
1,648
2
Chicago
If you already have a MBP then you will need...
These came to me after the original post, but it will all depend on whether or not that this money can be spent on anything computer related or just a computer.

Just to note, the $3000 can not go directly to the purchase of anything. It is used to reimburse me after I purchase the product. I am guessing that I must submit receipts or something for the reimbursement.
 

ktbubster

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2007
793
1
US
umm if that's the case, you could always buy a 2.2 mbp 15 inch... and sell your 17 inch 2.16 ... use the money from selling that (i only say that for SR, LED and the reciept.. and slightly upgraded other stuff) and then buy a kick ass external with the money from selling your current mbp.. 15 inch is fine for design if you have a set of external stuff. That way you get your reciept, a kick ass external, a new chip set, and more portable (for studio and classes.. 15 is fine... i have one in a design major) and you can buy a really nice ACD or dell which is close for gd at school, and some software.. a nice smaller wacom too.

Just a suggestion on a way to upgrade, get more portability and cheat the system if you need to spend this money on a comp with receipts...
 

j26

macrumors 65832
Mar 30, 2005
1,504
18
Paddyland
If you're tied to buying a computer, go the 17" mbp, and use the full reimbursement amount, flog yours, and use that money to get an ACD, external hd's etc, and still have money over for beer. You will be a student after all.