View Full Version : iBook G4 vs iMac G5 - which one should I get?

Feb 23, 2005, 07:43 PM
A cheery greeting to you all,

Next Thursday, the 3rd of March, I will be strolling down to my local Apple reseller and purchasing a Mac. But which one, I do not know. I am tossing up between the entry level iBook G4 and entry level iMac G5. Both have pros and cons in multitudes, but which one is the right one, I don't know. The iMac has power, speakers and a lovely big screen. The iBook is portable, adequate and cheaper (I can also afford to buy a dual layer DVD burner with it). I already own a Pismo PowerBook, but, the battery is stuffed, and new ones are rare as hen's teeth. I use the computer mainly at home, but, in the next few months, I'm not sure what will be awaiting me in life as my parents move away. This is a most confounding dilemma. Therefore, I throw myself upon your mercy and humbly seek your wisdom!

Thanks in advance for your advice, it's always greatly appreciated,


Feb 23, 2005, 08:03 PM
You should ask yourself how important portability is to you. As you know you will get more machine with the iMac but not the portibility and vice versa with the iBook. Its a tough choice, I had to make the same one not to long ago. All the best with your decision.

Feb 24, 2005, 11:52 AM
Get the iMac G5 (17" I assume). My wife has the iMac G4, and she loves it. And by the way, you already have a laptop, though it's a G3.

Not a big fan of the iBook (12" or 14"? small screen, hard to see). Heard many problems about it (logic board repairs), though the new ones should be okay.

Go and test drive some more, but I highly recommend the iMac G5.

Feb 25, 2005, 11:26 AM
I'd say go with the iBook. Unless you are doing anything that explicitly requires power (high end creative stuff) just get the ibook. You'll regret not having the portability later. I am facing a similar dilemma, my dual 1ghz G4 is becoming too slow for my needs, (audio cracking up and dropping out one some multitrack recordings in ableton and logic) but a laptop would be great. If I didn't need as much power as I could get I would definitely get a laptop because being able to take your computer places is amazing. Any of apple's currently available laptops would be ideal for me if I wasn't a music technology student, in fact for live performance they would be ideal, but I've had to make creative choices based on my cpu's limitations too often. So I'm chained to ground by a G5.

Feb 25, 2005, 06:40 PM
Goodness me, my friends, you've certainly given me food for thought. I thank you for your insightful and intelligent answers, and both sides have excellent arguments for and against the purchase of those particular products. But, I'd expect nothing less from my fellow Mac users. My brother's gone to fetch me some brochures from our local Apple reseller. I promise to let you know what the outcome will be.

Thanks once again for your hard work and poignant insights, and talk to you soon,


Mar 3, 2005, 06:04 PM
A balmy greeting to you all once again,

As promised, I indeed wanted to get back to you about my decision regarding the iBook vs the iMac. After much deliberation and helpful demonstrations, I decided to purchase the iMac G5. Overall, it was the best value machine and will be useful for longer. The iBook is to be updated in April, while the iMac won't be reviewed till August. It should be here by Monday. Once again, thank you for your sage advice and wonderful insights. I couldn't have made a sensible decision without you.



Mar 3, 2005, 06:10 PM
I bought a 14' iBook w/ 768MB of Ram total and love it. I would say get the iBook for sure, just make sure you have enough ram for what you need to do... the more the better and remember, their is only one free slot, so get the most you can upfront to save money and hassle in the long run.

I got the iBook because i was deploying to iraq (which is where I am at now) and its great, espically since I move around so much.

Mar 3, 2005, 09:07 PM
I know not practical for your situation. I have a 20" G5 and an 12" ibook G4 and here are my thoughts. I prefer to use the 20" over the ibook because of the screen space. The DVD burner is not the fastest but adequate although I wish it was a dual. The small screen space on the 12" drives me crazy after working on the 20" so if you do go for the ibook go for the 14" if it is going to be your main computer. Also make sure you get additional RAM. My ibook lags a lot of time because I have not done this. Although I have 1 gig in the iMac and I can get it to lag as well; especially when I am doing half a dozen things at once. I think it lags when I am exceeding my ethernet bandwidth and sometimes if I have over 50 PDF files open at once. So in short, I think if you don't need the portability go for the 17" G5. I am so happy with that computer. And I am not totally impressed by my ibook. It works and works well but is not as slick as the iMac. I'm sure you will be able to make up your mind once you get to the store and carry around the ibook or sit in front of the iMac. Enjoy.

whoops lagged on that response. GOOD CHOICE!