In the offtopic threads I have a thread with that title and I go step by step installing all the necessary for it to look great.
A linuxmint is an ubuntu but without the iphonization. When it updates it does from ubuntu repository.
Also you can use your Mac and have an USB or HardDisk with an ubuntu installation. When partitioning, I create three partitions: 40GB for Linux, 8GB (same as RAM memory you have) for swap and the rest of the disk a NTFS partition (so I can write there and boot the computer in windows and read there.
I usually download things and write files in my linux home folder but then the Friday I usually move all to the NTFS partition.
I use SystemRescueCD to make a backup of the linux partition. Or use Acronis in Windows.
I like to have my computer with several hard disks and each one is partitioned in a similar way: the OS, and the Data (and the swap in linux too)
Then I boot the computer and press F11 and a menu shows and I choose the disk where I want to boot. By default if i do nothing the disk with linux (the third disk) boots because i selected to make that one the default one in the BIOS.
When installing Linux, in a computer where there is already Windows installed. People usually let the grub install in the windows disk. So then when they boot windows, the grub shows asking them if run windows or linux. I DON’T LIKE THAT. And that happens because when installing Linux, in the same window where you choose this partition to be swap, this other to be / and this other to be ntfs and so, just below in that window it says something like “boot loader disk” and by default the first disk is selected. You would need to change that to the disk where you are installing linux. That way Windows will boot as always and if you want to boot in Linux you need to select it as I said (if your BIOS don’t have the handy F11 option then you would need to enter on the BIOS and do it there, so make sure you buy a computer with a motherboard that has the F11 (or other key) option to select the booting disk in boot time.
Ubuntu has not the latest of the latest nvidia controller but very similar. I for example just now have a much more recent driver in Linux than in Windows7
In Linux you will miss Photoshop. And also some other windows program so at the moment I recommend to have windows also installed. But I myself very rarely now go to windows. Only for photoshop and some video converter and video muxer now.