Paying for the new "rig"

This may be better suited in Software and tech, but as it isn’t focused on tech I chose to post it here.

I need to get a new computer, my 2008 asus f3 laptop just isn’t cutting it anymore. I have to finance it, I just don’t have the loot and there is no certainty that situation will change anytime soon. I think I want to get a new PC laptop as it is cheaper, I love the qulity of a MBP but a 15" will be running me at least $1500. However apple has 18mo financing as does best buy.

Should I:

A) Buy a MBP via 18mo 0% interest and work/hope that this will let me reach a spot that I can pay it off under the wire of high interest?

B) Buy a PC (around $800), 6mo 0% at micro center and work/hope that this will let me reach a spot that I can pay it off under the wire of high interest?

C) Incorporate open a checking account, and get a company credit card and try to get that going? I just wrapped up on a freelance project and I’d need to beat some hedges to get something else coming in ASAP to start paying for the hardware.

D) Keep rocking the 2008 laptop and continue to feel that I am being out spent and limited in my ability to showcase my skillset and thus leverage it to get a job/ more freelance work.

E) other?

Thank You for any and all suggestions

FWIW the Macbook offers a cool factor but generally speaking is not going to make you a more productive designer than a similarly spec’ed PC unless you are making use of Apple specific software (Final Cut Pro, etc).

With that said, 18 Month financing would be cheaper per/month by that cost proposition - but keep in mind if you are so strapped for cash you miss a payment, the interest rate will immediately kick in (probably at 19% or more).

A third option would be to try and take out a 0% credit card and buy a used PC that is enough to solve your workflow problems but the minimum you need to spend if you have no extra cash flow. You can buy a very useful desktop for under $500 with a decent 24" monitor for another $150. I’ve had great luck on sites like Hardforum buying used hardware from geeks who are on a 6 month upgrade cycle.

Frankly you don’t sound financially positioned to be dropping the cash for a new machine…is this far off?

What problems do you have with your existing laptop? I also have a machine from 2008 that I still regularly do work on. If it’s nothing crippling then maybe a fresh install and an SSD upgrade could be all you need.

I did this in the past. Citi Simplicity, Chase Slate, Discover It, all have long 0% introductory offers. (14-18 months). Might be a good way to get a short intrest free loan, as long as you pay it all back before the 0% offer expires.

Don’t go credit or finance. It’s not worth it to your personal financial status in the long run. Finance a home, yes. Not a computer.

Are you now working? Student?


If you can handle the debt responsibly, it shouldn’t ding your credit or financial status. With that said if you get to the end of a trial period and don’t have any money (by then I would hope you would have taken a job at Starbucks since everybody needs money somehow) that’s another story.

I financed computers in college. I worked in the summer but not during the school year, so it was a way for me to get stuff for use during the year and pay it off with my summer funds. I never had an issue with it since they were never massive purchases. $50-100 a month was enough to get me by on my un-funded tech binges without plowing myself into debt and still having money left over for beer.

My laptop was running a bit slow/hot. Then I opened her up, and removed the dust in front of the ventilator, and now it works smooth again.
Maybe you already clean up your laptop regularly, but in case you don’t, it should be your first step!
And what Mike said makes a lot of sense, try to find a nice used desktop if you really can’t get your laptop running nicely again. I would think that a new MBP in your situation is a bit of a stretch.

I read somewhere last week that you can get the new cheaper iMac for as low as $850 using student discount and some other deal. Forgot where though, maybe gizmodo or engadget.

Thanks for all the feedback! I am working, but it feels more like “working”. I’m doing some freelance work and need to ramp up that, or get a position inhouse or firm. I was at a Fed. contractor but I decided to move to Chicago because I just didn’t like it. I wasn’t doing work I could show, or be proud of. Since relocating I have had only a few freelance projects and mostly worked at bike shops and at a race car shop (not doing ID, but utilizing my skills where I could). At my current rate I am working towards applying this fall for grad school next fall (more debt yay :unamused: ). I have been learning Python on my own and want to learn other languages but I don’t really know what to focus on that will be valuable? I choose Python because I have a lot of experience with rapid prototyping and the machines I build all used python more or less.

My current laptop has a core2 duo (t4700?) 2.2GHz, 4GB (3GB usable) RAM, 256gb HD. I do like the idea of putting in a SSD and a clean install. My issue is with solidworks and large Ps/Ai work. In Solidworks assemblies and renderings take f o r e v e r, even feature heavy parts will really bring it down. The monitor isn’t what you would consider HD, and I know I could just buy a new stand alone monitor. I have thought about just building a newer desktop out of stuff I could get off of friends who game and filling in the gaps with whatever deals I can find. No matter what I would keep my old computer and at least clean it up and keep it to do work on while the other one was rendering or doing something else.

If I did a financing thing, and R I am with you that it is not the best solution, and I got to the end of the 0% interest my parents said they could pay if off then I could pay them back. But it sounds like going used and maybe building up something myself is a better route. Should I still incorporate? I have wanted to for a while and my uncle is a lawyer in the state I live in so nbd with that aspect.

If your PC supports it, (try looking for your original laptop documentation), you can likely cheaply upgrade to 8 gigs of ram, Windows 64 bit (to support more than 4 gigs of ram) and add an SSD for quicker loading.

That CPU is slow, no doubt about that. If you are doing enough work that you need a faster machine then I’d say it’s worth jumping to a newer desktop with a faster CPU (even a low end i5 will blow that away) and memory than it would to retrofit a 6 year old machine.

Just about 75% of my colleagues have a Macbook Pro, I just don’t see why I would pay so much extra for that.
I’ll be looking to buy a laptop especially for CAD work one of these days, I heard HP has some good ones. I spoke to someone doing generative design lately, he had one with 8 cores but I don’t remember which one it was. I would select mostly based on CPU speed, then RAM, then graphics card, then maybe the SSD.

Does it need to be a laptop?

I killed the graphics card in my last MBP and just upgraded to a used 2012 retina MBP for 1400$. It runs great. Though it’s a lot of money for the performance you’re getting. I’m justifying the extra because I have to do most of my work on my laptop (on it’s screen too). While unrelated I also need to run Logic Pro X.

Maybe look for a used gaming desktop. Looking at my local adds, there are some really nice systems to be had in the 600-800$ range (current gen top i5, GTX 650ti, 8GB ram, 1TB drive, 27" screen for 800$) f. You can even build a decent rig in that price range. And luckily, you can upgrade as you get money in or as your needs grow.