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  • laptop vs desktop

    Hi, I'm ready to invest in a new computer that I plan to run CS5 premium on. what is your opinion on a super desktop and a mediocre laptop, vs. a super laptop with an external monitor and no desktop. Thanks

  • #2
    Are you planning on doing video?

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    • #3
      Hi. thanks for replying. no. not really. just imovie, family fun things. but the more serious work will be with InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver...CS5 Design Premium programs.

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      • #4
        Because most any new machine, laptop or tower, can run Design Premium the real question is what you plan to do with the laptop? Having a super high-end laptop getting bumped and dragged around the countryside in the rain/sleet/snow is not my idea of dependability when it counts. The abuse will eventually wear it down.

        If you do go the laptop route, get an external drive for backup. Don't keep everything on your laptop. You don't want to take a chance that someday you drop it in the puddle getting off the bus and lose all of your paying work.You also need scratch space to run Photoshop effectively, even on a tower. I tend to partition my drive right off the bat and set 40+gigs aside just for scratch. Nothing else.

        Max out your ram and get the latest processor and you should be fine where Adobe products are concerned.

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        • #5
          I love the idea of a laptop for everything ... but we have two in the house and neither can handle all the stuff I do on my Desktop.

          Maybe the really high end ones could but they are way out of my price range .. but as PD said if you are going to be traveling around with it ... anything could happen... and that scares me to death lol
          _______________________________________
          Hello... My name is Kittie and I'm a Font-a-holic.

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          • #6
            I've said this before in other threads, but I've given my whole staff high-end, maxed-out $3,500 MacBook Pros (laptops) with solid-state drives. Our video guys sometimes use towers for the monotonous stuff, like encoding, but even the HD editing is done on laptops. Quite honestly, I suspect that I'll never need another desktop tower.

            That said, there is still a place for desktop machines. For example, if you're working on humongous files, juggling dozens of open apps, needing lots of hardware add-ons and planning to do all your work tied to one desk, yeah, a big desktop machine is the way to go.

            Also, if you're looking to save money, you'll still get a bit more for the price with a desktop machine, and as PrintDriver mentioned, laptops break due to the physical strain of moving them (I backed over one a couple of years ago with my SUV and lost another off my motorcycle on the freeway).

            As for the future, my prediction is that big desktop machines will be the new mainframes. There will still be a niche market for them, but laptops, notebooks, tablets and other specialty devices will increasingly rule the game.
            Last edited by B; 03-27-2011, 05:35 PM.

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            • #7
              Thank you everyone for your input. I hadn't considered the vulnerability of a laptop. Of course that makes sense. I don't think I can afford a solid state drive yet. I'm leaning toward trying to get the most I can between two. With more emphasis on the laptop with external drive. I must have a laptop (as I travel a lot), but it seems it would be smart to consider something to work on at home, to minimize the abuse to the laptop. And it sounds like I might be able to get a desktop that can run CS5 Premium without buying a very high-end machine. maybe even a used one. or at least a refurbished one.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by <b> View Post
                laptops break due to the physical strain of moving them (I backed over one a couple of years ago with my SUV and lost another off my motorcycle on the freeway).
                I've broke about 5 power supplys for my laptop in the last 2 years. They just are not built for constant moving around. I've got two supplies now so I don't have to move them that often. At 80 a pop it's relatively cheap to replace them but a complete nuisance.


                I much prefer working on a desktop, or if on a laptop with an external monitor and keyboard and mouse - so I might aswell have a desktop! I do some work on my laptop and I find the the track pad is under the plam of my hand when typing and it's distracting and simple tap of the trackpad makes a click or a swoosh with the cursor.

                Laptops are handy though - I'll often make house calls or drop into someone's place of business and setup and get something done there and then with them.

                But I much prefer the desktop - as you have a desk all setup with a large monitor multi-function keyboards, and tricked out mouse with 8 buttons for all sorts of goodness.


                If you need to go places then a laptop is the way to go. If you can sit at home or in the office I much prefer that.

                "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by eugenetyson View Post
                  I much prefer working on a desktop, or if on a laptop with an external monitor and keyboard and mouse - so I might aswell have a desktop!
                  At both work and home, I have external monitors, keyboards, tablets, mice, track balls, backup devices, scanners, printers and all the peripherals. Hauling the laptop back and forth, along with a little external 500GB G-Drive, becomes the common denominator that ties them all together. In both places, I've got a complete desktop setup powered by a portable laptop that also gives me the flexibility to take my work to meetings, on the road, out in the courtyard or down the hall.

                  At our organization (my part of it, anyway), we're increasingly adopting a more free-form working structure that doesn't depend so much on cubicles, offices and specific physical working locations. Settling in to do some work increasingly depends on what location within the building or elsewhere is most suited for the task at hand. This sort of a structure isn't possible when an employee is tied to a desktop computer. Giving a new hire a new high-end laptop loaded with software is also a nice perk that has landed some talent that might otherwise have gone elsewhere to work.

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                  • #10
                    Well I've never worked at a place that respects the graphic designers need for a high end computer. If I had it my way I'd spend €3000 on a new computer no problem. But alas, I can't even get RAM bought for the stupid thing, at a low cost of €50.

                    It's a nice setup there <b> and if there's anywhere I can send my CV let me know.

                    "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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                    • #11
                      thank you <b>. this is the vision I have for a solution to my problem. the problem being: how to get the most out of my investment in a system that allows me to travel and work, without limiting functionality. I'm moving from a career in engineering, and work with p.c.'s to graphic design and mac's. So it's I've been stumbling along with 30 day downloads and an aging pc, while I gather info before I invest in the software and hardware. I'd started with the question of PC vs. Mac, and finally decided on a Mac. but then the laptop vs desktop question. I'm sure I need a laptop and want one that can easily run CS5 Premium. As you have for your staff: My idea is to get the best laptop I can afford, and set it up like a desktop at home. with the right keyboard, monitor, etc. and to use an external hard-drive. So that when I can be stationary, I am not stressing my laptop any more then I need to and I get the extra joy of a large monitor, etc. And when I have to travel I have more of a laptop then I could afford if I were to split the money between two computers. Now, which laptop? Under $2000. onto another thread I guess?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bopper View Post
                        Now, which laptop? Under $2000. onto another thread I guess?
                        If you're willing to go with the 15-inch as opposed to the 17-inch PowerBook Pro, you could squeeze one in at $1,999 with 8 gigs of SDRAM and a 500 gig 7,200 rpm drive (according to Apple's online store). I don't own a 15-inch PowerBook Pro, so I'm assuming that they're just like the 17-inch models, but smaller. You might be restricted to lower external monitor resolutions, though I don't know. Maybe someone else has more experience with them.

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                        • #13
                          To keep your costs down, but still have a stable and relatively quick machine I would suggest an iMac (or PC equivalent) for home. And then if you need you can have a laptop at some point as well.

                          I am not a huge laptop fan for doing "everything" on. They are too finicky as far as I am concerned and I've seen a lot of them crash when they should have lasted a few more years. Usually it's b/c they are not taken care of. So I guess the question is how careful are you?
                          I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Audentia View Post
                            They are too finicky as far as I am concerned and I've seen a lot of them crash when they should have lasted a few more years.
                            In my workgroup, we've been using mostly MacBook Pros for about five years now probably about a dozen of them. During that time, the durability issues have been limited to accidents, battery replacements, hard drive failures and malfunctioning LED screens.

                            The new MacBook Pros don't have consumer-replaceable batteries, but we've yet to have one go bad. Hard drives wear out on any computer (which is one reason we're moving to solid state). Laptops are particularly prone to accidents and theft, but we've not had one stolen yet. As for accidents, we've replaced an entire machine and the LCD screen on other, but that's it (both due to my own personal clumsiness). We've also replaced two additional LCD screen that, in my opinion, gave out because of constantly applied pressure to the various components inside the screen as the laptops were picked up time and time again. We're replacing the old MacBook Pros with new ones now, but we haven't had any actually die yet (other than the motorcycle fatality).

                            The MacBook Pro I'm typing this message on right now is five years old, and is the one I ran over with my SUV still works fine, but required a new screen.

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                            • #15
                              We had this discussion just last week B in another thread.
                              I respect that you think your MacBook Pros are amazing. That's cool you can post that.
                              I disagree and like to give people more options.
                              I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain

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