June 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm #161786
Hey, I am just about to begin my MLA and I am looking to purchase a new computer and I am looking for any insight/suggestions. I have always been a mac users but I have been looking at both, does one better supports the programs I will be using?
Thanks you for your help!June 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm #161909
Your education is going to be expensive enough, so don’t spend too much money on a computer. With that as a guiding principal it pretty much eliminates the MAC as an option, which is fine because a majority of firms use a PC platform. MACs are more of a status symbol than anything else, and I don’t buy the whole stability / virus problem thing that MAC users swear by.
When I started my MLA i got a $3000 laptop because I thought I would need the power, but now that I am paying back my student loan I partially regret it (even though I sold it and used the proceeds to pay for my current desktop computer). Most campuses have PC labs that you can use, so invest in a really nice self powered external hard drive instead and just use the campus computers, they have all the software that you’ll need so you won’t have to pay / pirate it, which again saves you money and potential legal / viral consequences.
If you still feel the need to buy a computer, I have always been one who prefers desktops because they are cheaper, more powerful, more reliable and easier to upgrade. They take up space, but that isn’t the end of the world.
Best of luck in your studies!June 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm #161908
I like PC’s they are not as flashy, but they are more adaptable. Most offices use PC’s and you are presumably training to work in one of these offices. Check with the dept. When I went through, my school required we buy a portable computer and it had to meet the depts. specs. They even had it all printed on a sheet for me. Very straightforward.
I shouldn’t forget to mention that I ended up spending most of my time using the schools computers since they were updated all the time and my computer was getting older every year. By the end it was a really expensive paperweight.June 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm #161907
Yup. Save the dough. I struggled with this decision for a while and decided to stick with the PC. And if you are not sure about software you will be running, at least Vectorworks is available on both Mac and PC. AutoCad is only available for PC.June 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm #161906
Thanks alot guys! I was leaning towards saving the money and it is nice to know that you recommend the same:)June 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm #161905
The new version of Autocad for Macs cost as much as the PC edition.
I would buy a Mac. You buy more upfront, but you save in long run. There’s constant Windows upgrades and anti-virus installs, etc. And Macs last longer, just look it up at Consumer Reports. Even PC Magazine had an average Macs ranked number 2. Their highest ranked computer was windows based and actually cost more than a Mac, because of the added power to it.June 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm #161904
as if thats a question. dump the idea of a pc. They are bulking, disfunctional, non helvetica capable, and just plain un aesthetic. now that you can have auto cad on a mac, there is no reason to own a pc. all design programs work best on a mac. yes they cost more, but by the time you purchase 2 crappy pcs you can own 1 superior mac. i have had mine for 5 years, and it still works like a dream.June 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm #161903
I disagree. I have had my PC for 5 years too and it is still more than capable spec wise, I currently have no need to upgrade or replace anything. Building a PC with a long shelf life is all about the components you put in the thing, which if your a PC user, you can tailor to your needs not accept the pre-packaged MAC trend of the moment assembly. I could build a top of the PC right now for 1/2 the price of the MAC, so the debate ends there for me. Plus, the aesthetic of your computer may matter if doing your work in a Starbucks somewhere with your MAC, but if you work at home (or at a real coffee shop), it matters little.
Alex, there are better sans serif fonts than Helvetica, check out Geometric, its nice. Also, tell me where has it been proven that programs run better on a MAC anyway? That sounds like branding to me, a way to rationalize the spending of more cash a piece of electronic equipment that essentially does the same thing as a lesser priced competitor. We all know how good Apple is at branding. Regarding Acad, a software company is not going to radically alter their software for a cross platform release, it wouldn’t make economic sense to make two separate and distinct versions of the same software, so in reality they are the same exact program, the only difference being the operating system.June 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm #161902
i “built” my mac as well. I got to chose the specs to fit me. It is not off the shelf by any means.
I dont like pc’s because of the clunky chargers, heafty weights (see mac book air), un appealing ctrl alt delete commands, arialness, blue screen of death, annoying start up sounds, traditionalist-ness, GIS-ness, slowness, virusness, association with bill gates ness.
i prefer a feline approach to operating systems, not to mention the addition of “i” to everything. i will never own a pc again. moms always say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” well i havent been to the Dr in a long time, thank you steve jobs!June 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm #161901
COMPLETELY FALSE: AUTO CAD IS AVAILABLE ON A MAC!!June 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm #161900
worth every penny (or k)June 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm #161899
Sheesh. My bad people. We’re good. But who wants to run AC when they can run Vectorworks anyway, right?June 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm #161898
Most Graphic design and advertising shops use Macs. You have the rare PC that is still running after 5 years without any hiccups. How many times has it been infested with a computer virus? That’s the problem with the PC, you have to “build a top of the PC” to equal a pre-packaged Mac. Compare oranges to oranges and most people do not know how to build their own computer. What is your billable hourly rate at the office? You have to factor that into your PC building cost. If it takes 2 days and several trips to the computer store and online shopping, then the overall cost soar over purchase of a ready made Mac.
Don’t take our word for it. Look it up in recent PC magazine and Consumer Reports. Google, Apple and tablet computers will make Windows and the PC desktop irrelevant in the future. Tablet computers and cloud storage will only get better, thus making desktops obsolete or the very least regulated to a niche industry. You ever see a Commodore 64 and 5.25″ floppy disk drive? You’re not following the current business trend. Even your own Intel corporation is throwing lots of research and tech on the wave of the future. Which company always seem to be a step ahead of everyone else? iPad give you a clue? If you purchased 2,000 shares of AAPL stock in 1998, you too would be defending their product today and reaping the benefits. And I haven’t even touched upon cell phones and how revolutionary they are evolving.June 21, 2011 at 11:34 pm #161897
J. Thomas GebauerParticipant
AutoCad being available for Mac’s is a huge benefit. The other bonuses of getting a Mac are: you get to be part of an elitist mentality, your coffee gets served quicker at coffee shops, boot time is faster (not by much), programs start quicker, and printing is a little bit quicker which can be huge during final product time. But after that there really aren’t many reasons to get a mac.
They are way over priced. Some programs are still not available such as ArcMap which is basically and essential program for all grad students. Almost all Mac users end up having to use a PC or install Windows by partioning their hard drive. But a PC user never gets put in a bind where they need a Mac. During finals times when we were using our computers the heaviest Mac users were having a lot of problems with their computers crashing while most PC users weren’t having such problems. BOTH computers are susceptible to viruses and is largely up to you the user to use your computer appropriately.
If you’re a little bit savy you can acquire programs for free plus a lot of programs have free student versions (AutoDesk). If you’re a helvetica nut, that can be downloaded easily so that’s not an arguing point and if you do a little bit of shopping you can find better looking PC’s than Macs.
The cheapest route to go would be to get a netbook and a good hard drive then use your schools lab computers. Good luck to you in your program.June 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm #161896
Wes Arola, RLAParticipant
Spend a third or a quarter of the money on a nice PC that way you are not paranoid about scratching it or having it stolen etc… and you will be able to run… AutoCAD!
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