Hello- I'm a sound design/post production student and my old dell laptop is literally on its last legs. Could anyone recommend me a good laptop that would work well with pro tools, logic etc and has a decent graphics card? This is bearing in mind that I currently have pro tools 8 which the new macs apparently don't support and I can't afford an upgrade and a new laptop. Thank you :)
I haven't heard before of any Mac issues with Pro Tools 8, so you shouldn't have to worry about an upgrade.
I bought myself a the 17" MacBook Pro in 2010 as my first audio workstation. It's still going strong with Pro Tools 10. I can usually run sessions between 30 - 40 tracks with plugins without too much hassle. I went with the standard 4 gigs of RAM, so I still have room to expand.
The graphics card is only ok (NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M), it's fine for video. Not much use for modern games.
I was a PC user before, but feel very at home using the Mac now. Though I would consider a custom PC desktop in future.
I think the benefit of macs is the OS, It's a bit more audio world friendly. Going with a windows laptop will get you roughly the same specs of a new macbook for a lot less money but with the potential for compatibility issues (correct me if I'm wrong, haven't used windows for audio work in yonks). I went for a 15" macbook pro back in 2011 and upgraded to 8gb of ram and also installed windows on it via bootcamp. I'm a student so it was financially crippling... but worth it.
I'm running protools 10 now but I was running 8 up until a few weeks ago, didn't have any compatibility issues what so ever.
Remember you get the educational discount on mac computers and lots of cashback sites (quidco etc) offer cashback on apple purchases, at least they do in the UK, so you can probably get a few extra quid off it that way.
Macbook Pro, as long as you don't read Apple's community forums, which will have you thinking Mac users deal with technical issues by way of weird rituals and shamanism.
I've said it before - PCs do tend to end up more specialised because of drivers/registry/DLL conflicts, whereas the Mac platform is a bit more neutral to the kind of software you load it with. It's to do with software architecture, the hardware is often equivalent. Actually, hardware on PCs is
better more powerful. Mac software, especially the OS, tends to remind you of itself less often.
To base your decision on having to support PT8 is looking backward, not forward. A mistake.