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Old 11-23-2009, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

So, I have a $2000 budget to get either a PC or Mac laptop and I'm not sure which one to get. While shopping on the Apple Online Store, I customized a Mac Book Pro that costs around $2100 and it consists of:
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
  • 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
  • SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display

I always hear about how you're really paying for the sleek look of the Mac, for the most part, but the specs themselves are crap.

So what do you guys think?
Can I get a laptop PC that's superior to this Mac for the same price or (hopefully) even lower?

This would primarily be used for graphic design and music production. I'm not much of a PC gamer though.

EDIT: Ack, sorry, this should go into the Laptop section. Can a mod move this please?

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Old 11-23-2009, 10:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

I pretty much can never see a reason to get a mac ever, but I'm no expert on them. I'm not sure how powerful of a video card you need for graphics design or I would post something up. It's probably not much.

And yes, that mac is horribly overpriced.

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Old 11-24-2009, 12:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

For graphic design you really don't want to get a laptop, irrespective of whether it's a mac or pc.

However if you're set on mobility, then the Macbook Pro's are powerful and have very good software for graphical application users.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?


I'd recommend a Macbook Pro if you're looking for a laptop for use in graphic design & music production.

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Old 11-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

Originally Posted by Druid View Post
I pretty much can never see a reason to get a mac ever
lol, sincerity is good
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

Originally Posted by Alvin.C View Post

I'd recommend a Macbook Pro if you're looking for a laptop for use in graphic design & music production.
I second this opinion. Historically there has been a "mac tax" if you will associated anything apple, but that is not quite the case anymore.

Check this article out.
(Mac Tax Repealed: New MacBook Meets or Beats Windows 7 PCs)

I know you have a $2k budget, but you really are not going to find another laptop out there that will have spec's and portability. Yes, you might be able to find a PC that mirrors the spec's for less than 2k but it won't be as portable as the 15" MBP. In my opinion there has not been a good alternative to the MBP since the Dell M1530--what I have. OK maybe I am a little biased, but the fact's don't lie.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

what type of graphical work do you plan?

Tablet PC, while "less performance" have touch screens, which can enable you to input art quickly and easily (draw on screen for example, then colour it with programs like Paint shop or whatever)

They typically won't play many games, and some overheat if actually put on your "lap" due to restrictive air flow.... so you wanna keep them on hard surfaces or just prevent the vents from being blocked at all.

If you don't need to draw on screen or anything like that, then you can still do better then Mac.

I looked into mac's "Modbook" the on screen capible portable.. and for the $1600 price, I can instead buy a $500 laptop, and a Cintiq 12WX onscreen tablet.

Since most programs in graphic art don't heavily require statistics until you finalize them - like making a movie- you can do a lot of editing and such on 2GB Ram, but to finalize the movie and compress to a usable size =- the more RAM the better.

SO it is do-able to do portable work, but before finalizing it - take it to a desktop and use a USB device (or CD, etc) to put it on the Desktop and finalize it, which even with a "slower PC" you can set it up to finalize, and take your laptop elsewhere to work on more projects - the Desktop will finish in whatever hours it takes, and your not just sitting there waiting for it to complete.

So really you should look at the programs you use, and figure out what kind of specs you need, and go from there.

The programs my roomy uses are:
Pepukura (or something, paper craft) designer
Paint Tools SAI (kinda like corel paint shop pro)
and some "Blender" a 3D design program

The specs he needed where a P4 2.0Ghz or =, 2GB RAM, etc. so not very "highly demanding"

Macs are gimmick- the only reason they don't have as many virus is the exclusive rights to the specific parts - and the copied OS , kinda like Alien Ware being 'top of the line' for gaming - sure it's nice stuff, but the price isn't worth it. (easily duplicated with other technology to get the same specs for less cost)

I hope to get my Roomy a Tablet this xmas, although this is looking less likely >< due to prices, and he can eventually get a Cintiq 12wx which will allow him to have 2 touch screens to work with at once, which is like having 2 monitors to do Audio/video editing on a desktop - but portable and touch screen to draw directly on them.

the HP Tx2510us is pretty fantastic - although depending where you get it can range from $500ish to $1200ish... there are some Toshiba and other tablets that are also very well.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

One advantage that the macbook has, along with some pc's is the screen resolution is higher than most other laptops but on a physically smaller screen. For instance, my 15" macbook has the native resolution of a 19" monitor, and the 17" has a native resolution of a 22" monitor. This allows you for greater work area on the screen, there are windows based laptops that do that, but more often then not they are higher end gaming systems that don't have any kind of mobility or portability.

Spending 2k on a system is to eliminate the need for another system just to do rendering and post op stuff. It also depends on the size of the piece you're working on, if you're trying to make edits to a 4000 x 3000 picture, any simple edit will take minutes to apply on a lower spec'd machine.

Tablets are generally a 12.1" screen which doesn't allow you much room to draw, and a lot of graphic designers don't necessarily use a tablet or any kind of drawing input, it all depends on what kind of stuff you're designing.

In terms of music production, mac is the way to go hands down, Mac has much better programs to do music production in my opinion, I've done a lot of work with Logic Studio, and as a base for performance, I mashed up close to 35 songs, with edit work in all of them, not a lot of editing, but some, and rendering it all to an mp3 file took like 15-20 minutes if I recall correctly.

With a Mac you definitely spend more than you could to get similar hardware on a windows based PC, but there are some different things that you get with a Mac that you can't get with a PC. If they matter to you, then fine, most people don't care because they want power cheap and that's their deal. With a Mac you get an IPS panel screen which allows for better quality colors and just a higher quality screen. Also the slot loading drive is much nicer than a pop out tray design. Mac's come standard with a firewire 800 port so you can move files on and off an external drive much faster than USB (most windows pc's don't have firewire800). Also I find that the track pad's on laptops make buying a mouse a necessity, the Mac track pad is much larger and much more customizable, I can play FPS games relatively well and MMO's without a problem, the convenience of some general hotkey macro's on the keys, like volume up/down, eject, brightness, backlight brightness, etc.

Bottom line, if you want a Mac, you'll pay more for it but it's a worth while investment in my opinion.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: [$2000 Budget] Mac or PC?

IMO if your looking to get a laptop and won't be gaming I would go mac. the MacBooks are awesome, they may not have the best specs out there but you have to remember that because OS X only runs on Apple computers they can optimize OS X and the software that will be running on it much better then Microsoft can with windows. This is good because even though a $2000 MacBook pro may not have the same hardware as a PC laptop for the same price the MacBook will probably run as good if not better then the PC and chances are it will last longer too because of the great design of MacBooks (like the mag-safe power adapter... best adapter ever made for laptops), you also get 1 year of free apple care which is awesome.

If you have something you need to run in windows and you have a macbook you can just use boot camp and install windows. However if you have a PC and you need to run something in OS X you can't install OS X to run it.

Macs also have extremely nice screens, I believe that every mac on the marked has a LED screen (far better then LCD) IDK what it is with PC laptops.

What it all boils down to is what you prefer, IMO Apple by far makes the best laptops on the market but if I were to get a desktop I would build one and put Windows on it, and like what Peter.Cort said Macs may cost more then a PC but it is a good investment.

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