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Better for graphic design: Dell Studio 17(1749) or MacBook Pro 17?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
May 7, 2010 3:19:22 PM

Which laptop is better for graphic design: Dell Studio 17(1749) or MacBook Pro 17 and why?

I know Macs are the industry standard but it seems like that's based more on the lack of performance in past PC's rather than the current standards. The prices differ greatly so I'd like to know whether the performances are comparable.


Edit: Here are some basic specs:

Dell Studio 17 (1749) Laptop

Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Quad Core Processor 1.6GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache)
Can be upgraded to i7-820QM Quad Core Processor 1.73GHz (3.06GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB Cache)
Operating System
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
LCD Panel
17.3” HD+ (900p) Bright LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
Can be upgraded to 6GB or 8GB.
Hard Drive
500GB SATA HDD (7200rpm)
1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650

Macbook Pro 17
2.53GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 3MB shared L3 cache
Operating System
Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard
17-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1920-by-1200 resolution
4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Hard Drive
500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
Can be upgraded to 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
Intel HD Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with automatic graphics switching
a c 244 D Laptop
May 7, 2010 3:30:06 PM

Well if you want more battery life,better build/screen quality then go for the MBP otherwise the Dell model is faster in CPU-intensive tasks
May 7, 2010 4:25:13 PM

As you said, Macs are the industry standard, mainly due to their hardware performance. However, I do recall that the Dell Inspiron 17 (I think it was the Inspiron, not the Studio) can be upgraded to a Touch Screen system. I'm not sure if that also allows for tablet capability (17" tablet, lol), but I think that would be pretty cool/nice to have for graphic design. You'd be able to draw things a lot more easily if that were the case.

But regarding specific hardware configurations, we'd need to see the configurations you're looking at in order to give you a hardware comparison.
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May 7, 2010 4:52:03 PM

I'd give a slight edge to the Mac due to the better resolution for your purpose. Granted it's not a huge difference but to a graphic designer pixels matter. Performance wise the Dell is better due to the faster tier 1 processor and higher clocked memory. However, performance will not be an issue in graphic design unless you are rendering 3D images or processing video. Of course, there are laptops out there with 17" screens with the same res as the Mac.
May 7, 2010 8:10:18 PM

If I upgraded the display to a 17.3” Full HD (1080p) B+RG LED Display, would that bring the resolution closer to the MacBook?
a c 244 D Laptop
May 7, 2010 8:51:00 PM

May 8, 2010 9:11:45 AM

I'm not sure if mac pros use B+RG LED, but if they dont, the dell screen has a clear advantage. I've heard that B+RG LEDs are much better at producing accurate colors.

Personally, if i was going to buy a dell, id get the studio xps 16. i've heard wonderful things about the screen, including pc format magazine stating that it was one of the best that theyve seen.

I dont think youd require an i7, so if you happen to be choosign that product line for the i7 alone, id think about it.
May 8, 2010 5:26:42 PM

What apps are you running? The mac advantage in areas like graphics design used to be because of the apps that ran on the mac. I don't know if that is still the case or not.
May 10, 2010 2:47:59 AM

Not. Programs like Adobe suite run fine on either platform. The iMac has an advantage over regular LCD monitors because it has IPS technology, which is the most accurate way of displaying true colors. This makes them ideal for graphics design. IPS monitors are also available for PCs and are quite costly. However, IPS tech is NOT on the Macbooks, giving them no advantage in this particular function. If performance and cost are your main concerns, you'll want a PC solution. If on the other hand you want longer battery life and a lighter laptop, the Mac will be the way to go.