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Macbook Pro and Illustrator
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sogbrightlight
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Aug 6, 2009, 02:58 PM
 
I'll be starting school late this month and I am considering investing in a new Macbook Pro.

I'll be taking a graphic art class which will be utilizing Illustrator and Photoshop.

My current model is 13in. Macbook 2ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2gb ram running leopard.

I got it back in 2007.

My question is which Macbook Pro will suit my needs

I've been looking at the mid and high range 15in models.

How much of a difference will the processor and increased graphics memory of the two models make?

I doubt I'd be able to get away with having a macbook pro with the built in gpu.

Thanks.

Another motivation was that they're giving away the free ipod Touch. I know that probably means an update soon but it seems like a nice addition.
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SierraDragon
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Aug 6, 2009, 03:56 PM
 
There is no absolute need to upgrade before starting your class. Your C2D Macbook with 2 GB RAM will work with current Adobe Creative Suite apps as long as one is not doing production work; a few unessential graphics bells/whistles limited in CS4 by the integrated MB graphics, and the 13" display size of the MB would drive me crazy. The new MBPs are far superior though, and next year (CS5, OS 10.6) I expect that the available 8 GB RAM on MBPs will be relatively much more important than it is today.

If you do upgrade I very strongly recommend the 17" size because with EC/34, many more pixels and screen real estate the 17" is the most "pro" Mac laptop for graphics usage by a lot. Also only the 17" offers a matte display if that matters to you (like it does to me and to most but not all other graphics pros). For real laptop performance get a 7200 rpm drive and an SSD in the EC/34 slot...

Lack of EC/34 slot is a huge value loss in the 15" size.

Check with OWC http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/pc to see if your MB can take more RAM.

Most essential is BACKUP. Essential student work gets lost/stolen all the time. Ideally two external FW800 hard drives stored in different locations. USB is slow but OK when used only for backup purposes. The new large-capacity USB thumb drives are pretty cool; one can back up work to his/her pocket at the end of every work session.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 6, 2009 at 04:26 PM. )
     
imitchellg5
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Aug 6, 2009, 05:05 PM
 
Really your current MB would be fine. But 13" would annoy me. Any 15" would be great.
     
slugslugslug
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Aug 6, 2009, 06:46 PM
 
Well, if you're going to be using your MB(P) for graphics work mostly at home, screen size becomes less of an issue. You can hook any of them up to a big monitor. If you'll be bringing it to class to work on, then the 13" is more likely to seem limited. In that case you'd need to decide the relative importance to you of weight, screen size, and price.
     
sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 6, 2009, 09:33 PM
 
I have to admit that the matte display of the 17in is a plus to me because I like the appearance of the screen more. I'm not a graphics professional by any stretch but would like to move away from the 13in screen. It gets tight for me even when I'm doing basic stuff. I stray from the 17in primarily because of its large size.

The one thing I don't want to do is upgrade anything on my current macbook.

Also in reference to the ec slot. I'm not entirely familiar with that technology as I've never used it before. What is the major benefit of it?
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kylef
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Aug 7, 2009, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
The one thing I don't want to do is upgrade anything on my current macbook.

Also in reference to the ec slot. I'm not entirely familiar with that technology as I've never used it before. What is the major benefit of it?
Why not? It's the most affordable way of making your mac faster (and it isn't against Apple warranty regulations). The benefits of the EC slot are user dependent. I would have no use for one; my brother uses his for an SD card (of which the new MBPs have one built in).
     
sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 7, 2009, 12:57 PM
 
Well my macbook has the old intel GMA950. I already have 2gb of ram and am unsure of whether there is much I can do to upgrade it that will improve it. Plus the 13in screen is small and limited.

When I've tried to use aperture I get really sluggish response from my computer.
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Aug 7, 2009, 01:21 PM
 
IMHO, a 13" screen isn't suitable for any graphic work. I use Photoshop, Lightroom 2 and Illustrator all the time, and I couldn't do it on my other MacBook, which is a 13-incher. 15" screens should be the minimum to preserve eye-health.
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SierraDragon
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Aug 7, 2009, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
...in reference to the ec slot. I'm not entirely familiar with that technology as I've never used it before. What is the major benefit of it?
The EC slot is a fast versatile connection to the cpu. EC stands for Express Card and 34 is the slot width in mm. I use the CF slot routinely and will not buy a laptop downgraded from EC to the IMO silly SD. Most important is those folks buying SD-slot laptops cannot add eSATA or second-drive SSD to their boxes, a HUGE limitation. Even if one does not use EC capabilities immediately, availability of such a strong port connection is very useful as regards extending the life cycle of a laptop.

-Allen Wicks

----------------------------------------------------
From an earlier post of mine regarding EC vs. SD slots:

Much of the point of having an EC slot is some currently unknown future usage that may significantly extend the useful life of the box. What portion of responding users currently use the EC slot is of very limited relevance. E.g.

• The useful the life of my G3 PB was doubled by the card-slot connections made to standards like USB that did not exist when the PB was new.

• I was still shooting film when I bought my G4 PB, but when I switched to DSLR the PB later turned out to be far more useful due to the CF card adapter. On my dad's G4 PB used as a desktop we (inexpensively) used the card slot to replace a failed port, again extending box life.

• When I bought my 2.33 GHz MBP eSATA and hard drive throughput seemed to be of low importance. Since then my pro photo workflow with Aperture, 2 computers and lots of drives evolved to make hard drive connectivity a huge issue that the EC slot eSATA helps facilitate.

• FW800 is pretty good, so eSATA's benefit to me although significant is not extreme. However, when I bought my 2.33 GHz MBP the ability to add a Solid State Drive in the EC slot did not exist. Now it looks like the availability of SSD in the EC slot will make this laptop like all the others have its useful life significantly extended by the existence of a fast card slot.

Make no mistake, removal of the EC slot is a serious cut in MBP capability. Folks saying "who needs it" maybe do not need pro level performance anyway, are simply short sighted, or perhaps enjoy playing the buy-a-new-laptop-every-2-years before-connectivity-gets-outdated game.

As to "gaining" an SD slot, that is simply part of Apple's (lower) product positioning concurrent with the serious cut in MBP capability, a cute party trick already well served by all the other ports on a MBP. SD cards are slower than FW800 or FW400, often even slower than USB, making the SD slot just a cutesy feature with which to attract non-pro consumers. Note also that pro cameras mostly use the much larger CF format, not SD.

Like I have said before, as long as the 17" (or bigger) is maximum competent I personally will remain satisfied. I whine on these boards about things like loss of the EC slot and loss of the matte display on all laptops but the 17" mostly out of fear that Apple may at some point also downgrade the 17" MBP - - and/or simply raise the prices relatively at the high end making MBPs a less cost effective pro solution.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 7, 2009 at 02:37 PM. )
     
sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 7, 2009, 03:01 PM
 
Do you find that having the 17in model is still mobile enough to be practical to carry with you on trips?

I'm not a professional by any stretch and don't forsee myself using it exclusively for graphic design and photography but I view it more as a hobby for me.

I do think the loss of the matte screen is a huge downer as observing both in store has made me realize how much glare there is off the new screens which bothers me more than any of the color differences.

I agree that not having the express card slot is a loss.

How much of a difference does the graphics memory between 256mb and 512mb make?

This is a tough decision as I don't have experience using illustrator but that I know it will be part of one of my classes and I'd like to pursue at as a hobby. Tough call. Why'd apple have to go and change it all up.
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Aug 7, 2009, 03:21 PM
 
Have you considered a refurb? Apple has a good selection of MBPs on their refrub site right now. You can get the previous MBP 15 with the EC slot and save some loot.MacBook Pro - Apple Store (U.S.)
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sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 7, 2009, 04:02 PM
 
Well I already get a student discount on the new models and with that the free ipod touch so the while a refurbished is a bit cheaper it's not THAT much cheaper.

It's just a tough call. I'm not sure if I'll personally ever need the express card slot because it's not my profession to use these graphic design tools. But I still am torn whether I would want to go with the midrange or high range. If I go highrange I might as well spend a bit extra for the 17in with matte screen.


I should add that I will be using this Pro for music creation as well.
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Aug 8, 2009, 04:27 AM
 
I don't really see a reason for you to upgrade, unless you need the screen estate on the go, you can simply connect a very large screen to your MacBook. Unless you're working on extremely demanding illustrations, I suppose getting a nice tablet is more important than updating your computer.

If you don't need an EC slot, then things are much simpler. Things like graphics memory are irrelevant for Adobe apps, Illustrator and Photoshop* don't really make use of the GPU.

* Photoshop uses it to improve panning, zooming and rotation of the canvas. No filters are gpu-accelerated, though. Aperture or Color, for instance, benefit very much from a fast GPU.
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imitchellg5
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Aug 8, 2009, 05:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
Well my macbook has the old intel GMA950. I already have 2gb of ram and am unsure of whether there is much I can do to upgrade it that will improve it. Plus the 13in screen is small and limited.

When I've tried to use aperture I get really sluggish response from my computer.
Aperture is sluggish on everything.
     
SierraDragon
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Aug 10, 2009, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Aperture is sluggish on everything.
"sluggish on everything" implies that Aperture is slow on all hardware. That is not true. The overall performance of a properly set up Aperture workflow on a Mac Pro smokes any competing application.

Aperture is a hardware hog that performs better as hardware strength improves, including GPU and RAM. In particular Aperture likes MacIntel and better graphics (like on MBPs). When one runs heavy pro graphics apps slower performance on lesser hardware setups should be expected.

Improper setup or operation can slow Aperture, but properly set up Aperture runs well on MBPs and very, very well on Mac Pros. Personally I run Aperture on an older 2.33 GHz 17" MBP and on a 2006 MP. Many folks report adequate performance on properly set up modern Macbooks, but obviously a MB's integrated graphics quickly become limiting with heavier usage. I would not recommend a Macbook as a primary Aperture box for reasons of horsepower and I do not recommend Macbooks for graphics in general for reasons of screen real estate.

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( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 10, 2009 at 01:11 PM. )
     
SierraDragon
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Aug 10, 2009, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
...unless you need the screen estate on the go, you can simply connect a very large screen to your MacBook.
Worth experimenting with, but some graphics apps will quickly show slowdowns when a very large screen taxes the integrated graphics of a MB.

...I suppose getting a nice tablet is more important than updating your computer.
A good workable 6x8 Wacom tablet is fortunately cheap.

...Things like graphics memory are irrelevant for Adobe apps, Illustrator and Photoshop* don't really make use of the GPU.
Agreed for OS 10.4/10.5 and Adobe CS3/CS4 today. However OS 10.6 next month and CS5 H1 2010 are likely to present very different environments. IMO buying a new box Fall 2009 it makes sense to err on the side of stronger graphics. For cost effective purchase decisions buying a new box one should look forward not backward.

CS3 took advantage of advanced graphics for 3D and then with CS4 Adobe for the first time in mainstream Photoshop made (limited) use of advanced graphics support. The likelihood of that trend continuing - perhaps in a big way - in Spring 2010 CS5 apps approaches 100%.

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( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 10, 2009 at 01:21 PM. )
     
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Aug 11, 2009, 04:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Worth experimenting with, but some graphics apps will quickly show slowdowns when a very large screen taxes the integrated graphics of a MB.
My best friend has used a MacBook with a 23" ACD HD for several years. Now he switched to a new Mac Mini + 30" display. 2D things run just fine.
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
A good workable 6x8 Wacom tablet is fortunately cheap.
Really? I thought these puppies were expensive … where do you get them cheap?
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Agreed for OS 10.4/10.5 and Adobe CS3/CS4 today. However OS 10.6 next month and CS5 H1 2010 are likely to present very different environments.
We have no idea what Adobe's suite requires next. And besides, with the exception of Lightroom or Aperture, photoshopping is not particularly resource intensive (most people do not work on 500 MB/layer files). So even if there are benefits, for single image manipulation they won't be nearly as significant as with modern image library apps.

My advice is to wait with the upgrade anyway, unless the OP does a lot of editing on the road. In all likelihood, my 15" ProBook will be replaced by a 13" ProBook next spring (yay!).
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SierraDragon
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Aug 11, 2009, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
Do you find that having the 17in model is still mobile enough to be practical to carry with you on trips?
Yes. The hugely useful extra screen real estate and pixels only costs 1.1. pound extra weight. I use mine daily, everywhere, and do not really notice the extra pound.

Obviously smaller is easier but for graphics a smaller display sucks. A constant plane-commuter doing simple text work would optimize on a smaller laptop, but for graphics and desktop-replacement duties larger tends to be better.

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SierraDragon
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Aug 11, 2009, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Really? I thought these puppies were expensive … where do you get them cheap?
$79 from Wacom http://www.wacom.com/bambootablet/bamboo.php but also available from Amazon, etc. even cheaper.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
We have no idea what Adobe's suite requires next.
I disagree. IMO we can extrapolate the evolution of CS3, CS4, OS 10.6, true 64-bit computing and falling RAM prices to anticipate that over 2010-2011 having strong graphics and more available RAM on hardware will be cost-effective beneficial. I would love to wager the issue, too bad it is not permitted.

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Simon
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Aug 11, 2009, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
IMO we can extrapolate the evolution of CS3, CS4, OS 10.6, true 64-bit computing and falling RAM prices to anticipate that over 2010-2011 having strong graphics and more available RAM on hardware will be cost-effective beneficial.
Umm, when was the last time having strong graphics and more available RAM wasn't beneficial?

No offense, but you're using a whole lot of words without really saying anything.
     
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Aug 11, 2009, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
$79 from Wacom http://www.wacom.com/bambootablet/bamboo.php but also available from Amazon, etc. even cheaper.
No, I meant the big (6 x 8 inches^2 was mentioned) ones, not the tiny ones
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SierraDragon
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Aug 12, 2009, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No, I meant the big (6 x 8 inches^2 was mentioned) ones, not the tiny ones
Those run ~$160, IMO still relatively inexpensive but I should not have called them cheap.
     
sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 12, 2009, 11:52 AM
 
Woah what is that little tablet thing? Can you use that along with the computer to draw and such? I've never seen anything like it.
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SierraDragon
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Aug 12, 2009, 12:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Umm, when was the last time having strong graphics and more available RAM wasn't beneficial? No offense, but you're using a whole lot of words without really saying anything.
No offense taken. Of course stronger is always "beneficial" but that is not what I said. You misstate me. What I said was "over 2010-2011 having strong graphics and more available RAM on hardware will be cost-effective beneficial."

Over the CS/CS2/CS3 years paying extra to obtain stronger graphics was generally NOT cost-effective beneficial for Adobe Creative Suite users, since until CS4 and except for 3D Adobe apps took negligible advantage of stronger graphics.

Similarly, RAM was expensive enough that 2007-2008 most CS users did not maximally fill out the slots they had available because buying maximum RAM was NOT generally perceived as cost-effective beneficial.

However I opine that ...we can extrapolate the evolution of CS3, CS4, OS 10.6, true 64-bit computing and falling RAM prices to anticipate that over 2010-2011 today's purchases of hardware with stronger graphics and more available RAM WILL generally turn out to be cost-effective beneficial.

Real world and relative to this thread what that means is that I suggest that the 4-GB RAM limit of Macbooks and the 2-GB RAM limit of Macbook Airs should be perceived as significantly limiting to the life-cycle value of those boxes for graphics usage, moreso than the same life-cycle analysis done a year and a half ago. IMO the RAM-limited Quad Mac Pro similarly has seriously degraded life-cycle value.

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SierraDragon
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Aug 12, 2009, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
Woah what is that little tablet thing? Can you use that along with the computer to draw and such?
Yes. Used by many graphics pros, the ~6x8 size being particularly popular. Folks who use them tend to really like them and think that anyone using any other input device for graphics is crazy.

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( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM. )
     
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Aug 12, 2009, 12:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Those run ~$160, IMO still relatively inexpensive but I should not have called them cheap.
$160 is cheap for this size, no? I thought they go for about $300.
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SierraDragon
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Aug 12, 2009, 01:59 PM
 
The "Bamboo" Wacom referenced (IMO totally appropriate for an entry-level student) is entry-level and has less resolution and less pressure sensitivity points than the ~$300 higher end Intuous tablets. The $240 Intuos tablet in your link is a good deal.

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SierraDragon
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Aug 12, 2009, 02:14 PM
 
Note that with tablets, size matters a lot. Too small is hard to deal with and so is too large; I have a 15" Cintique (now defunct) that was actually so large I could not really use it properly. ~6x8 size seems most preferred.

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Aug 12, 2009, 02:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Over the CS/CS2/CS3 years paying extra to obtain stronger graphics was generally NOT cost-effective beneficial for Adobe Creative Suite users, since until CS4 and except for 3D Adobe apps took negligible advantage of stronger graphics.
CS4 still does not take real advantage of the GPU (OS X had a heavily gpu accelerated UI since what, 10.2? ).
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Similarly, RAM was expensive enough that 2007-2008 most CS users did not maximally fill out the slots they had available because buying maximum RAM was NOT generally perceived as cost-effective beneficial.
Buying maximum RAM per se still isn't cost effective for most, buying when you need it is. There is no need for users to pay an arm, a leg and a first-born to put 8 GB into their ProBook. They can still do it later if they so desire.
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SierraDragon
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Aug 13, 2009, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
CS4 still does not take real advantage of the GPU
Agreed, but my expectation is that CS5 will in less than a year like the OS and some other apps do now.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Buying maximum RAM per se still isn't cost effective for most, buying when you need it is. There is no need for users to pay an arm, a leg and a first-born to put 8 GB into their ProBook. They can still do it later if they so desire.
Fully agreed. My point was that unlike in the past it is today more cost-effective beneficial for folks to pay for the capability of adding RAM later. E.g. MBP rather than MB or MBA; and avoiding the 4-core MP.

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sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 13, 2009, 12:35 PM
 
Well it looks like I'm leaning more towards the 15in Macbook Pro now since it now has the matte screen option.

Just one more question though.

Why is the matte screen superior?

From looking at the new glossy screens they look to be extremely reflective. The matte one looked rather nice.
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Aug 13, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
Why is the matte screen superior?
It isn't.

It's a personal preference. Some people prefer matte, others prefer glossy. What's superior to you depends entirely on your own user experience.

I sugget you go to an Apple store beforehand and look at both side by side. Don't forget to take note of the particular lighting there. You might have another lighting situation where you'll use your Mac. You'll probably notice more glare on the glossy screen, but less vibrant colors on the matte. Get what you like best. And don't believe anybody who tries to make you believe one is clearly better than the other. It's a rather irrational and at times religious debate. In the end the only thing that counts is that you get what you like best.
     
sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 13, 2009, 12:58 PM
 
ARG! It's difficult to do that since no Apple store exists in my neck of the woods. Although I have seen both and did like the matte screen because there was no glare off it. But they amp this glossy screen up making it seem like the picture will be better on it. I'm torn. I've heard both ends of the story.

Honestly I don't have a preference because I'm not experience with graphic design and such.
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Aug 13, 2009, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
Honestly I don't have a preference because I'm not experience with graphic design and such.
That's the great thing. You don't need the slightest clue about graphic design to decide which is the right type of screen for you. There's no right or wrong. There's just what you like. If you think you liked the matte better then get that.
     
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Aug 14, 2009, 07:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
Honestly I don't have a preference because I'm not experience with graphic design and such.
Get what your gut tells you to. And make sure to calibrate it afterwards. IMO it's not really that important since you'll need an external screen anyway for what you want to do.
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Aug 14, 2009, 12:15 PM
 
It is personal preference but if you intend more than just "a class" in the graphics arts field try to query a few pros in that field regarding the desirability of glossy versus matte displays for graphics arts work. Most but not all will opine that having the display add apparent contrast and saturation to images (makes them "pop") is generally a bad idea for design work. Matte does generally seem to be visually closer to what an image will present in print but print and display color spaces are different anyway.

That said, all kinds of other things are more significant than matte versus glossy: color management, room lighting and coloration, and the fact that all matte and glossy laptop displays are fairly lame from a color representation standpoint anyway. Pro work needing the best color accuracy is done in carefully color-controlled environments on expensive displays, but the vast majority of pro graphics is done on basic Apple Cinema Displays or equal in not-very-well-color-controlled environments.

A 17" MBP display is large enough and accurate enough to achieve what is necessary for bachelors' level college graphics art work, but folks doing any volume of graphics work find that running two displays (art on a larger secondary display and palettes on the laptop) is far preferable from a workflow standpoint. Or one 30" display which is big enough for both art and palettes but might tax the graphics hardware under heavy usage and would for sure tax one's pocketbook...

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 14, 2009 at 12:44 PM. )
     
sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 14, 2009, 01:43 PM
 
I start the class roughly a week from now. When I do start and get they syllabus I'll have a better idea of what I need. I know they have Macs that we use at the art lab but I also know they are ancient iMacs.
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sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 24, 2009, 12:41 PM
 
So I had my first day of class. Looks like we'll be using illustrator fairly exclusively.

Since Snow Leopard is coming out on Friday I'll probably purchase over the weekend.

I think I've decided on the midrange 15in Macbook Pro.

I can't reason why I need 512mb of graphics memory right now....unless someone can give me a solid reason. But I don't think I'm going to need it even if I did a little light gaming.

I'll probably keep it all pretty stock to keep costs down.

I wish there was an apple store around so I could see the antiglare screen again.
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davidflas
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Aug 24, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
I know you've pretty much come to a conclusion, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy my 17" MBP. Like you I was concerned about its size reducing its portability, but so far I have not found it to be the case. I love that its built in display has the same number of pixels as my 24" external monitor. When I bought it in late June, only the 17" had the matte screen option, which was essential for me. If costs are an issue, it makes sense to stay stock. Apple tends to overcharge for add-ons, especially RAM. You can upgrade the RAM and HD later yourself and save lots of money. Since I plan to keep my MBP for a while the ec34 slot was essential, I plan to use it to connect to eSata drives while on my desk. Just my two cents.
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SierraDragon
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Aug 25, 2009, 12:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by sogbrightlight View Post
I can't reason why I need 512mb of graphics memory right now....unless someone can give me a solid reason.
You do not necessarily need 512mb of graphics memory right now. The question has always been whether or not the potential future impact of 10.6, CS5, OpenCL, etc. makes additional hardware strength cost-effective beneficial relative to a new purchase today.

IMO at standard pricing your choice of the 256MB version is a very good decision if you choose the 15" size.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 25, 2009 at 12:59 PM. )
     
olePigeon
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Aug 25, 2009, 03:57 PM
 
15" MacBook Pro now has the matte option. Just FYI.
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sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 26, 2009, 02:06 PM
 
I'm holding off til Friday to buy since I inquired whether Snow Leopard would be installed if I ordered today.

I think I'm just going to flip a coin on matte or glossy. Unfortunately I can't look at matte or glossy side by side. So I'm having to try and remember which I liked more at the apple store when I was there like 2 months ago.
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sogbrightlight  (op)
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Aug 29, 2009, 01:35 AM
 
I bought it today. 2.66ghz model with the MATTE screen. I'm pretty pumped for it to show up. I went to the store to look at the glossy and the reflections were worse than my plain macbook with glossy.
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