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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Buying first Mac


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HerrRacoon

 
Member Since: Jan 29, 2013
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I'm a college student who just recently switched from international business to a graphic design/industrial design program, which, as most would expect, means I switched from an all PC area to an all Mac area. I have always been big on my graphic arts so I made sure I bought a rather strong computer. Right now I have a Samsung Laptop with an i5 processor at 2.67 Ghz w/ 4GB RAM and 500GB Hardrive. Now im looking at the 2012 MacbookPros (non-retina). Would it be better for me to get a 13" with i7 at 2.9 Ghz or the 15" Quadcore i7 at 2.3Ghz, as in since I'm going to be spending so much money, I'd like to see an upgrade in my computers speed and power, especially because I most likely will need to be running AutoCAD on it at some point. I know no matter what I will be upgrading the RAM and most likely the Hard Drive. Anything would be helpful, from personal experience to cold hard facts.
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pigoo3

 
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My first question to you is...what sort of display do you prefer in a notebook/laptop computer (13" or 15")? If you prefer more "screen real-estate"...then you have to go with the 15".

In either case (13" or 15") you can always connect a much larger display when you are working at a desk...but when you are mobile (away from a desk) and the percent of the time you are mobile...the difference between a 13" and a 15" built-in display could be very important.

So I would say first decide how much portable/mobile computing you do...and then if a 13" or 15" is what you prefer while mobile.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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HerrRacoon

 
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The screen size really doesnt matter too me, I typically only use my laptop in class or at my desk where I would buy a larger display no matter what. i'm more concerned on how the speeds would be affected. is the quad core really faster? does it really fully get utilized that often? or would sticking to a dual core with higher speed be better? I'm sorry I dont really know how effective quad cores are nowadays, especially with a mac interface. I just remember back in 2010/11 when i compared the quadcore it ran slower. In reality I know the difference probably wont be astronomical, but I like to over think these things and make sure i get the best I could have.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrRacoon View Post
The screen size really doesnt matter too me, I typically only use my laptop in class or at my desk where I would buy a larger display no matter what. i'm more concerned on how the speeds would be affected.
I understand that you are concerned about the performance of the computer. In many cases (some folks) do have preferences in terms of the display size...so I had to ask the question...since if one size was preferred (13" or 15")...this would then narrow the possible choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrRacoon View Post
is the quad core really faster? does it really fully get utilized that often? or would sticking to a dual core with higher speed be better? I'm sorry I dont really know how effective quad cores are nowadays, especially with a mac interface. I just remember back in 2010/11 when i compared the quadcore it ran slower. In reality I know the difference probably wont be astronomical, but I like to over think these things and make sure i get the best I could have.
Your concern regarding each computers cpu makeup (cpu speed and 2 vs. 4 cores) is important...but one other very important area is the graphics hardware. Both of the 13" MacBook Pro models have "integrated" graphics hardware...and both of the 15" MacBook Pro models have "dedicated" graphics hardware.

In case you are not familiar with this terminology...dedicated graphics hardware is superior to integrated graphics hardware...since dedicated graphics have their own "dedicated" video hardware & memory to perform the graphics tasks. "Integrated" graphics share the computers ram with the cpu...and are less powerful.

So what I'm saying is...if you're switching to the "graphics arts" area of study...and you want/need a very powerful laptop computer (for now & future needs)...then it would be a great idea to get a laptop computer with "dedicated" graphics hardware. And to get dedicated graphics hardware in an Apple laptop computer...you need to purchase one of the 15" MacBook Pro computers.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrRacoon View Post
i'm more concerned on how the speeds would be affected. is the quad core really faster? does it really fully get utilized that often?
Yes, thanks to Apple's "Grand Central" technology (and the Adobe apps you'll likely be using being VERY multi-core/multi-processor aware)

https://developer.apple.com/technologies/mac/core.html
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