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Jbasya

kiddo wants macbook

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Hi Brian!

My 13 y.o. wants to play with Adobe After Effects, and I'm all for encouraging that..... but she wants a Macbook for her birthday, too.

Can I assume that everything in recent threads about Photoshop and Macbooks more or less applies to After Effects? Are there some areas where I could skimp since she's not a professional, daily, heavy user? (Smaller hard drive is the only one I can think of).

I do want her to be able to run the software seamlessly without lags.

I appreciate your thoughts, though I suspect I'll have to disappoint her with a Windows laptop......

Thanks!

 

 

 

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Always remember: As with anything Macintosh related, or anything Apple related, they want you to "Go Big or Go Home."

On 7/25/2020 at 10:31 PM, Jbasya said:

I do want her to be able to run the software seamlessly without lags.

You are going to pay a premium for that to happen. With current Macbooks, both the 13" and 16" versions, you MUST upgrade the RAM to 32GB at the time of purchase, and pay Apple's insanely high prices as a result. Today's Macbooks are not like ones a decade or more ago, the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, and there isn't any upgrade sockets. So if you just get a Macbook with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, you are stuck with it and will have to buy a new computer if you want to go higher. Fun times, eh?

From my POV, spending $4000+ to run seamlessly with no lag on a MBP is a hard pill to swallow for a 13 year old. I'm 47 and I can't justify that kind of cost. Of course, your 13 y.o. is just starting out. Speed is relative. How complex are their videos going to be? Just 5 second Tic-Tok videos? Or stuff that is posted to YouTube? She might just love a 13" MacBook and the cost will be around $2600. Basically, start with the most expensive 13" MBP and upgrade the CPU, RAM and HD:
Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 1.26.29 PM.png

You will save about $1000 or so by choosing a Windows Gaming Laptop with similar specs. The Windows laptop will need to have:

  • i7 Intel CPU
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB EHD
  • A video card that has at least 2GB dedicated Video RAM. (More is better, like 4GB - 8GB.)
  • A IPS-Based display panel. 1920 x 1080 is fine. Believe it or not, this is the hardest thing to find on a Windows Laptop. When it comes to a Mac, it's a standard thing. Windows, especially gaming laptops, will have a cheaper TN display panel, which is faster / meant for video games. As soon as you add "Photo Editing" or "Video Editing" to the mix, your requirements really increase.

The problem with the 13" MBP is the video; the graphics card which After Effects or any current Adobe product for that matter, will definitely use...is under-powered. That "Intel Graphics" card that you get with the 13" MBP is only meant for "General Computing," not Photoshop. Not anything major. Will it work? sure. Will it work well? Probably not. So if you choose Apple, the only alternative is a tricked out 16" MBP for around $4000+.

Truth be told, you are going to pay out the ass for any computer now, as prices are $500 - $1000 more than they were last year, before COVID19. So if she is going to get really serious, and take classes and eventually become a Professional, then spending the cash if you can afford it might be a good investment. If this is just a fad and next month she will want to learn to play the guitar or whatever, then spending a huge chunk of cash for a laptop will be a decision you will have to make. Do not think for a second that you can get away with a $500 laptop for anything PS or Adobe Product related.

I can say this, my Mother was a single Mom and we didn't have a lot of cash. She was the 1st person to purchase my first DSLR camera, and well, she couldn't afford it. (What do you mean the lens is extra? This expensive camera doesn't come with a lens?!?? - I remember that day well.) Well here I am,  34 years later-still taking photos. :)

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Thank you Brian! This is really helpful. I’m not spending 4000 and your details will help me explain why to her. Hoping to convince her a dell XPS is “cool” and what smart people buy LOL. 

Love the story about your Mom ❤️

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Now, the only exception that you or I could make is if she has a friend that has a MacBook that is doing the same thing / using the same software. I'm curious on what the specs are with that Mac Laptop and we can use those specs against current models. That said, you still are paying at least $2600.

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So funny that you should say this. She told me yesterday she “knows someone” on discord or Tiktok using a MacBook for this and she’ll ask. 🤪

luckily she also knows someone using a Lenovo. 

lets see if these people respond to her queries!

one more q: your recommended specs say 1tb EHD—is that external hard drive? New (to me) terminology for internal drive? 

thanks again!

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On 7/27/2020 at 12:15 PM, Jbasya said:

one more q: your recommended specs say 1tb EHD—is that external hard drive?

Nope. That is an internal main boot HD. Remember, with today's Macbooks...both the Pros and the regular ones, you can not upgrade after the fact. You are forced to purchase things like extra RAM or bigger HDs and better Graphics Cards at the time of purchase. Everything is practically integrated or soldered to the motherboard. Gone are the days of you replacing your own batteries, adding a Stick of RAM or even having an access panel to replace / upgrade the HD. It's just not Apple that is doing this, but practically all laptop manufacturers, though Apple is the worst offender. Even so, laptops are made so cheaply these days, you really can break something quite easily taking one apart to upgrade something. In reality, if you get 3 years out of a laptop, you are ahead of the curve. They do not "...make them like they used to," now more than ever. It's more profitable to sell you a laptop every 24-36 months; yes, even if you spend $4000 on a fancy MBP, there are no guarantees that it will last longer than 3+ years just because your forked out $4000+ on a laptop. Again, spending that insane amount of money will not guarantee "better quality." Well, at least when it comes to laptops.

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1 hour ago, Brian said:

Gone are the days of you replacing your own batteries, adding a Stick of RAM or even having an access panel to replace / upgrade the HD. It's just not Apple that is doing this, but practically all laptop manufacturers, though Apple is the worst offender. 

Is this true of the customizable ones (versus off the shelf) too? Different price points?

Today I showed her the cost of memory on crucial.com vs Apple and made her help me open her 2 year old Dell Inspiron laptop and double her memory from 8 to 16 gb with a stick I had lying around, making sure she understood that this couldn’t be done on a MacBook. But also I noticed that her laptop seemed a lot more plasticky than my xps. I did worry that I might break something. 

anyway, now she’s playing Minecraft and her shaders, whatever that is, are working! So hopefully I made an impression!

thanks again, Brian. I really appreciate your input. 

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13 hours ago, Jbasya said:

Is this true of the customizable ones (versus off the shelf) too? Different price points?

It's all a crap-shoot. Nothing is standard and it really depends. But with the current models that I've seen, they are all sealed units.

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That’s so damn frustrating......

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It’s due to our “Throw Away Society.” Why bother making something that will last? How about we make the stock holders happy and make people buy new phones / computers / cars / blenders / washing machines, etc. sooner rather than later? 
 

This is why I recommend The more expensive options. Not because I’m a snob, but I hate-hate-hate wasting money on this shit. 

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I agree with you completely!  thanks again.... :)

 

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Hi Brian

sorry to bother you with this again.... the kid won. She’s getting her MacBook Pro 16”. Will definitely upgrade to 32gb memory. But what else must I upgrade (emphasis on must)?

I’m assuming the 6-core processor is good enough but am debating the hard drive—do you think I can get away with 500 gb? I’d get her an external drive for storage and she won’t be churning out tons of content.

Also, is it worth $100 to upgrade the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M to 5500M? They both have 4gb of vram. 

here’s a link for your convenience, I really appreciate your thoughts—thanks!! https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro/16-inch-space-gray-2.6ghz-6-core-processor-512gb#

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Remember, there is no upgrading after the fact. 32GB of RAM is a must. A 1TB HD is a must. Video, get the 5500M with 8GB. When you get to your price-point, 200 is chump-change. Just make sure you add AppleCare on top of everything.

Here is what I configured, it came out to $3199, which is a more realistic price for a "Good" MBP:

Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 11.33.01 PM.png

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The alternative is a 27" tricked out iMac. The price will be the same, and she will get more performance for the money, but let's face it...she's 13 and all her friends have Laptops, so there's no winning that battle.

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Thanks Brian! I appreciate you taking the time to respond even if you just cost me another $400.... :) 

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I’m VERY GOOD at spending other people’s money. 
 

It’s a gift...

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Well, you're also very good at getting a million-dollar smile out of my sullen, newly-minted teen.... worth every penny! Thanks again :)

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She better put that thing to use, otherwise I want you to adopt me!! :D

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But I'm totally broke now, you'll be eating ramen noodles three times a day if I adopt you.

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Just think, how are you going to top this for next year? Bwhahahahaha!!!

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With a vintage trs-80 :) 

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3 hours ago, Jbasya said:

With a vintage trs-80

As long as you include, "Dungeons of Daggorath" you should be good. ;)

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Ha ha I think part of the reason I’m a stickler for backing up is that I remember the days when drives/disks failed if you looked at them funny.

The game looks ahead of the curve for its time (but only by a year or two :)). I can see a straight line from there to games today. Very cool! 

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