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kitt321
Nov 8, 2006, 05:32 AM
i am on the market for a new computer and have come across two that i like, i have seen a mac mini core duo (1.66 ghz, 1gb ram, 60gb hdd) and a 12" powerbook g4 (1.5ghz 1gb ram, 80gb hdd) they both cost around the same price, and the main things i would be using it for are web browsing, watching movies and maybe some light movie editing or music making, now i know they are in two totally different markets (desktop and laptop) but i already have a keyboard mouse monitor etc from my old computer, so which one do you guys reckon i should go for? thanks :)



thworple
Nov 8, 2006, 05:40 AM
I have a Powerbook similar spec to the one you mention here, and its been, without doubt the best computer purchase I have ever made. I love it for its small form factor, and the fact that it still tootles along at a fair old pace, especially when using it for Web browsing, watching films, and some editing in FCP.

However, I recently purchased a Mac Mini CoreDuo 1.66Ghz, 1GB RAM etc. etc. for my Mum, and when I popped over to help her set it up I was quite surprised to find how much quicker it was than my beloved Powerbook. I can't underline just how much quicker the Intel chipset is over a G4. The only technical draw back with the Mini is the built-in graphics chip, however, you don't look like you are going to be running anything in need of this, so it won't matter too much.

If you are in need of a portable then get the Powerbook, but if you planning on simply using the machine at your desk, get the Mini. Either way, you won't be disappointed. Good luck! :D

MikeTheC
Nov 8, 2006, 12:19 PM
Kitt:

Well, there's a couple things.

If you're going to be dabbling in A/V production (that is, audio/video) you should really consider where we are in the state of software production.

If you buy a PPC-based Mac, at the moment you should be able to then buy any of the music or video editing software out there and run it without an issue, since it's all written for (at least) a PPC-based system. Of course, in time all of the software out there will be released with Intel-native code, so this will become a moot point.

Also, if you really want to "future-proof" your purchase, clearly the Intel platform is the best choice. Is the Mini itself the best choice? That's really for you to decide.

Regarding the PowerBook, I have a 15" 1.5GHz (I'm on it right now), and most of the time I have it set up in a desktop configuration. That is, I have an external 17" LCD (1280x1024) display connected, external speakers, external Apple keyboard, external Microsoft (sorry, it's true!) Laser Mouse 6000, external DVD-RW/DL, LaCie 160GB FireWire HDD, etc.

And, as Thworple said, you'd never know it wasn't a full-blown desktop computer. Plus the form factor and it's ready use as a laptop is a killer combo, especially for me.

I have to agree with Thworple though that, having used this system extensively and then having gotten to play around with the C2D systems, there's no question which one is faster.

For me, if I were to buy another system, the Intel-based Macs would be the only logical way to go, since that's obviously where the Apple platform is going, and buying anything else is pretty much guaranteeing a faster and more premature rate of obsolescence.

macg4
Nov 8, 2006, 01:56 PM
depends really if you need the portability of a laptop or not. if not go with the mini, if so then go with the powerbook. easy as that man!

kitt321
Nov 8, 2006, 02:40 PM
to be honest for the music making and video editing i would only use the bundled ilife software and that would keep me happy, but would the g4 be fast enough for my needs or would it be slooow, not in comparison with an intel chipset but just speed in general. thanks :)

MikeTheC
Nov 8, 2006, 03:23 PM
I'll answer this a couple different ways.

First, the latter generations of G4, and the motherboards they were connected to, continue to give very respectable performance. On that basis, it's really nothing to worry about.

Second, let me give you some insight in terms of my own configuration, and this may further shed some light on your question and concerns.

I generally run my notebook in "Reduced" processor mode. I do this for two reasons: I don't like it generating that kind of heat, and when I use it as a "laptop", I want to conserve battery power as much as possible. So, what does this mean to you?

Basically the G4 CPUs can be run at one of two speeds; 100% and 50%. In real world terms, that means 1499 MHz (1.49 GHz) and 749 MHz (0.75 GHz).

So, like right now, my 1.5 GHz G4 is really running at the speed of an older Titanium PowerBook, and frankly system performance is practically identical, especially where user interaction is concerned.

About the only times I run it at full speed are when I'm fooling around with Garage Band, or if I'm messing around in a 3D game (and I don't do either all that often).

Even when I'm running Photoshop I have no issues running an effectively 749MHz PowerBook.

So take all of that for what you will.

kitt321
Nov 8, 2006, 03:29 PM
thanks! that was actually a good help, seeing as you can ru photoshop at 749mhz with no problems then doubling that will be even easier! i thought that running a g4 in 2006 would be like running a late pentium 2 or something but it seems alot faster, thanks! :)

macg4
Nov 8, 2006, 03:29 PM
to be honest for the music making and video editing i would only use the bundled ilife software and that would keep me happy, but would the g4 be fast enough for my needs or would it be slooow, not in comparison with an intel chipset but just speed in general. thanks :)yes it should be good enough for what you needs sound like anyway

lamina
Nov 8, 2006, 03:47 PM
I'll answer this a couple different ways.

First, the latter generations of G4, and the motherboards they were connected to, continue to give very respectable performance. On that basis, it's really nothing to worry about.

Second, let me give you some insight in terms of my own configuration, and this may further shed some light on your question and concerns.

I generally run my notebook in "Reduced" processor mode. I do this for two reasons: I don't like it generating that kind of heat, and when I use it as a "laptop", I want to conserve battery power as much as possible. So, what does this mean to you?

Basically the G4 CPUs can be run at one of two speeds; 100% and 50%. In real world terms, that means 1499 MHz (1.49 GHz) and 749 MHz (0.75 GHz).

So, like right now, my 1.5 GHz G4 is really running at the speed of an older Titanium PowerBook, and frankly system performance is practically identical, especially where user interaction is concerned.

About the only times I run it at full speed are when I'm fooling around with Garage Band, or if I'm messing around in a 3D game (and I don't do either all that often).

Even when I'm running Photoshop I have no issues running an effectively 749MHz PowerBook.

So take all of that for what you will.

How do you set it to reduce processor speed? Is it just the power preset "Better battery life"?

MikeTheC
Nov 8, 2006, 08:13 PM
How do you set it to reduce processor speed? Is it just the power preset "Better battery life"?

No. There's an options setting, and below you'll find a pop-up menu for CPU performance. There's three options: Auto, Highest, and Reduced. (Or something to that effect). Simply choose "Reduced".

Now, for some reason, these options are not made available on Intel-based Macs. All you can do is change the power profile setting. I have no idea why that is.

Silentwave
Nov 8, 2006, 08:22 PM
No. There's an options setting, and below you'll find a pop-up menu for CPU performance. There's three options: Auto, Highest, and Reduced. (Or something to that effect). Simply choose "Reduced".

Now, for some reason, these options are not made available on Intel-based Macs. All you can do is change the power profile setting. I have no idea why that is.

Probably because the processor auto-throttles itself based on the load. My MBP runs half the time at 1.5 or 1.67GHz rather than 2.16.

kitt321
Nov 9, 2006, 07:17 AM
well i have made my mind up, i went for the powerbook, mainly because i like the portableness of it and if i want to i can use it as a desktop, and from what ive heard it seems fast enough for what i want, thanks for everyones help :), now all ive got to do is wait for my powerbook to arrive :D

lamina
Nov 22, 2006, 11:15 AM
No. There's an options setting, and below you'll find a pop-up menu for CPU performance. There's three options: Auto, Highest, and Reduced. (Or something to that effect). Simply choose "Reduced".

Now, for some reason, these options are not made available on Intel-based Macs. All you can do is change the power profile setting. I have no idea why that is.

Where can I find that option? I don't see anything in the Energy Saver pane.