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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?" :)

New to Macs. Need Help Picking a Model


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tavitulle

 
Member Since: Feb 22, 2013
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I am going back to college and starting in the summer session this May. I am going to school for a media studies program. The program is a 2 year program that covers: web design, graphic design, videography, photography, with some communiciations/pr/marketing courses. Per the orientation package received we'll be using Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Fireworks, Flash, DreamWeaver, Illustrator, and InDesign. We'll be using CS6, and Office, plus some additional design programs. We're required to get a computer that meets the standards for CS6.

I want a laptop that is:

Lightweight (as light as possible) since I'll be traveling by public transit daily to and from school for about 2-3 hours per day.

Meets the requirements for CS6

Could possibly meet the requirements for CS7 once it's released (so I guess an extra 2GB of RAM?)

Can last me the duration of the 2 year program, but an additional 1 or 2 afterwards for freelancing as web designer before needing an upgrade.

I was thinking of getting a macbook air due it being lightweight, but would that work? Would I need to get a pro instead? A macbook air/pro + iMac? I'd like to pay under 2500 if possible (I'll only go over if necessary). I'm eligible for the 10% student discount.

Thanks
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pigoo3

 
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Member Since: May 20, 2008
Location: U.S.
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tavitulle View Post
I was thinking of getting a macbook air due it being lightweight, but would that work? Would I need to get a pro instead? A macbook air/pro + iMac? I'd like to pay under 2500 if possible. I'm eligible for the 10% student discount.
I would not recommend a MacBook Air...simply for the reason that considering your CS6 (and maybe CS7) requirements...the MacBook Air does not have dedicated graphics hardware.

Where does this leave you??...only the 15" MacBook Pro's have dedicated (more powerful) graphics hardware. With all of the graphics/video work you will be doing...you most likely will really need a laptop with powerful graphics hardware.

This leaves you with the choice of a:

- 15" MacBook Pro
- 15" retina MacBook Pro

If you don't need/want the retina MacBook Pro...then this leaves you with only ONE choice...and that's the 15" MacBook Pro (non-retina). There is only one stock model of the 15" MacBook Pro (the 2.3ghz model) for $1799. So your decision is rather easy after narrowing things down.

HTH,

- 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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tavitulle

 
Member Since: Feb 22, 2013
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Wow that's for the quick reply. I guess MacBook pro it is. How heavy is it? Is it worth it $$$ wise to update the ram and processor? I want a bigger screen too, can I get a vga adapter and hook the laptop up to my tv, or do I need a mac monitor?
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pigoo3

 
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tavitulle View Post
I guess MacBook pro it is.
Technically...a 15" MacBook Pro (non-retina I'm assuming)...since there are 13" MacBook Pro's and the retina MacBook Pro's (13" and 15") as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tavitulle View Post
How heavy is it?
Does it really matter?...the 15" MacBook Pro is really the only model that will truly meet your needs. Just being honest.

But technically:

- the 15" MBP is 5.6lbs.
- the 13" MBA is 2.96ibs.

To be fair to the 15" MBP:

- the 13" MBP is 4.5lbs.
- the retina 15" MBP weighs 4.46 pounds

Of course...with the 15" retina MacBook Pro...it is about 1 pound less weight than the non-retina 15" MacBook Pro...but the retina model costs a bunch more as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tavitulle View Post
Is it worth it $$$ wise to update the ram and processor?
If you upgrade the processor...you also get a graphics upgrade (1gig of vram vs. 512meg). This could be useful for a graphics/video "person". The processor and graphics CANNOT be upgraded after purchase.

As far as the ram...you can upgrade the ram later (DIY)...and it would cost less than Apple's prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tavitulle View Post
I want a bigger screen too, can I get a vga adapter and hook the laptop up to my tv, or do I need a mac monitor?
Well...I would hope that your TV isn't so old that it has a VGA port! You would be much better with a DVI or HDMI port. But yes...you can hook a MBP up to a TV (I'm assuming a large flatscreen TV). BUT...depending on the TV's resolution...you may not be able to see more than the laptops display (everything will just be larger on the TV).

And no...you do not need an Apple monitor.

- 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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Member Since: Jan 22, 2010
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Mac Specs: 2012 MBP, Black speakers, Black Benq second monitor, black(ish) iPhone 5s, Black 2012 iPad, etc.

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With a $99 Apple TV, you can not only mirror your MBP wirelessly on your HDTV, you can use the Apple TV as an entertainment center. I recently spent a week in LA with one, and it really reminded me of how insanely great the product is (I can't have one at my house because my landlord provided a non-HDTV so I'm stuck for now).
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