Just need a bit more advice on Macs

in General Discussion edited January 2014
This may well be moved to a past thread I made, sorry if it is in the wrong place!

Some of you may have read/posted in my thread about which Mac to get. Sorry for being a bore but I have still not completely settled on my decision and have struck some new thoughts tonight and wondered what you more experienced mac users thought about it . . .

The MBP is very much a professionals machine, am I a professional? Will I really get the most out of it and get my moneys worth? I am only a first year degree student and will not be a professional for a good couple of years yet.

Would I be better to go for a full spec iMac 20", using the money I will have saved on a decent external hard drive (to take files and designs between home and uni) a new graphics tablet and a big RAM upgrade and then get a macbook ready for year 2 or wait until my third year and get a MBP which will by then be very much more updated I would expect!

I also asked myself if I were to have a MBP would I actually take it into uni each week risking breaking/losing/having stolen my £1600 investment!

Sorry I keep rambling on about this one, but it is alot of money to be considering and I want to make sure I make the best and most informed decision when it comes to taking the plunge. And by asking lots of questions, I learn more and become less of a newbie!

Any opinions, constructive please, are welcome! Thanks!


  • Reply 1 of 2
    Hi, you need to evaluate your needs based on function.

    Do you teach at all? That is, do you give lectures, make presentations, and so on? Do you need to have access to personal documents and files while you are in lab or the classroom? Do you need to take notes during classes of your own?

    If these are important things you need to be able to do, then by all means you need a notebook.

    If you're doing things that are graphics intensive, such as Keynote/PowerPoint presentations, etc, then the Pro is the way to go as its dedicated GPU will be a significant advantage. If you don't, and still need the mobility and portability of your data a notebook provides, save yourself the money and buy the regular MacBook.

    On the other hand, what would you use a desktop for? Do you do any heavy duty number crunching such as statistical analysis, mathematical calculation or modeling, bio-informatic work such as modeling protein sequences and structures, etc?

    If these are your most important needs, then you should go for the power, storage, and screen space that an iMac will give you over the MacBook or MacBook Pro.

    In either case, each type of machine will give you the ability to do music, photos, web content work, etc. The only difference in this case is the horsepower, storage, and screen space. Designers tend to focus on screen size above all else, as being able to seem more of a document, or more documents usually results in more productivity than mere horsepower.

    In sum, sit down and make a list of your needs; what do you want your Mac to do for you, and what would you like to be able to do with your Mac. Then, make two columns next to that list, one for "Notebook" the other for "Desktop" and just go down the list and put a check in whichever column that need would be best met by.

    Hope this helps, and welcome to the fold. I've been a happy Mac user for 15 years, and could never use anything else.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Cheers for the advice!

    Im a graphics and advertising student in my first year in the UK. I need a fast Mac that is capable of running all the adobe software. I need an element of portability but can take files from an imac at home to an imac at uni on a external hard drive which is where my thinking has stemmed from you see. My needs will be very much graphics and RAM based with an element of portability thrown in. Hence why I need to work out where my priorities and finances lie!

    And of course, I could always just sneak a refurb'd macbook in a couple weeks/months for Mac'ing on the move!
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