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  • Looking for a Graphics Design Laptop for College

    Hi there.

    As I already wrote in my introductory post, I'm a high school senior and I'll be heading to college this fall. Currently I own an old laptop which was fine for school. But I can't really use it for college anymore. It still runs on Win7 and has 2 GB RAM. PS and AI are running pretty slowly.

    So I decided to get a new laptop for graphics design. I did some research online and had a look at dozens of models on common trusted websites for classified ads. But it's really hard to pick one.

    Mainly I will use Adobe Creative suite. I also do some minor 3D stuff with Blender. So I figured out the following specs:

    * Intel Core i5 (Or should I get an i7? Does it make a big difference?)
    * min. 8 GB of RAM, better 16 GB (I still can get some more later)
    * min. 500 GB HDD (Maybe SSD? For storage I can use an external one.)
    * a dedicated graphics card, no integrated (due to 3D stuff)
    * display size at least 13.3 (I can hook up an external monitor)

    So does it all make sense? The main issue is, right now I'm a bit on a budget. So I'm looking for a cheap one. I know it's quite tough with these specs. Or maybe I can get a used one for sale?

    My current budget is about $900. I probably can stretch it to a grant. But this is the total maximum. Any recommendations are highly appreciated.

    Nigel.

  • #2
    Max your ram or check that it can be upgraded later if needed.
    Some laptops are selling now with Ram soldered in at the plant and can't be upgraded.

    The SSDs are faster. 500 gigs should do ok for school level work. The real trick to making Adobe products run faster is to have lots of scratch space available for them. Like keeping 150-200 gigs of your hard drive empty if you are doing image intensive work or video(or large format, like I do.)

    Get an external backup. Not just a storage device. Consider school to be real world. It will suddenly become important to you should your computer go toes up just before a final presentation in class. Though you might get a pass from the professor for ''hardship loss'' you won't get that in the real world. I gotta admit, it wasn't until Apple released the OSX Mountain series that I ever needed a backup. Between Apple and Adobe, I've reloaded from backup more times than I care to remember in the last 5 years. The same is true with Windows updates (we use PCs to run some production machinery.) Always run a backup save and physically disconnect your backup device right before doing any system update in Windows (or Mac.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Alright. Any suggestions for a specific brand or model? I guess Apple is out of reach due to my budget. I wouldn't get a used one there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry, we only use low end PC towers, not laptops.
        Someone else will be along. Or you could do a forum search. This question gets asked a lot.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NigelS View Post
          Hi there.

          As I already wrote in my introductory post, I'm a high school senior and I'll be heading to college this fall. Currently I own an old laptop which was fine for school. But I can't really use it for college anymore. It still runs on Win7 and has 2 GB RAM. PS and AI are running pretty slowly.

          So I decided to get a new laptop for graphics design. I did some research online and had a look at dozens of models on common trusted websites for classified ads like http://www.for-sale.co.uk/laptops. But it's really hard to pick one.

          Mainly I will use Adobe Creative suite. I also do some minor 3D stuff with Blender. So I figured out the following specs:

          * Intel Core i5 (Or should I get an i7? Does it make a big difference?)
          * min. 8 GB of RAM, better 16 GB (I still can get some more later)
          * min. 500 GB HDD (Maybe SSD? For storage I can use an external one.)
          * a dedicated graphics card, no integrated (due to 3D stuff)
          * display size at least 13.3 (I can hook up an external monitor)

          So does it all make sense? The main issue is, right now I'm a bit on a budget. So I'm looking for a cheap one. I know it's quite tough with these specs. Or maybe I can get a used one for sale?

          My current budget is about $900. I probably can stretch it to a grant. But this is the total maximum. Any recommendations are highly appreciated.

          Nigel.
          I think a found a good one. It's a Lenovo Z70 17.3-Inch Laptop:

          * Core i7
          * 16 GB RAM
          * 1 TB HDD + 8 GB SSD
          * Windows 10
          * NVIDIA GeForce GT840M, 2GB

          I got it for $899 on Amazon. Should be alright.

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