View Full Version : Which of these Powerbooks would get better performance?

Oct 22, 2004, 03:01 PM
12" 1.33 Ghz G4, 1.256 GB of RAM, 60 GB HD @ 4200 rpm


15" 1.5 GHz G4, 512 MB of RAM, 80 GB HD @ 5400 rpm, 128 MB graphics

My main "power intensive" tasks that I do are Garageband, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro.

Oct 22, 2004, 03:05 PM
Oh yea, the 12" would be hooked up to a 17" Samsung LCD if that matters. I would prefer to do dual display, but would that slow everything down? What would Expose be like on the 17"? Do you think it would be choppy?

Oct 22, 2004, 03:38 PM
expose on both screens is not a problem (i'm using two screens on mine)

The 15 inch will be faster in most UNLESS its using more than 512 mb ram (and have to disk swap) (512 mb ram costs less than $100 from most thirdparty dealers).

You can always upgrade RAM later, but you can't add a better GPU to the 12", nor a faster CPU.

Oct 22, 2004, 04:44 PM
the 1.5 Ghz will help alot. as mentioned, you can always upgrade the ram if you need to.

Oct 22, 2004, 06:15 PM
So something like GarageBand will run better on the 15"? Just because of the extra 0.2 MHz? I would think that the double amount of RAM in the 12" would provide better performance.

When you are going visually, yea, I'd assume the 15" would do better because of the better graphics card. But wouldn't things even out a bit with the more RAM in the 12"?

and for the record, yea, I know more RAM could easily be added to the 15", but I'm just trying to compare these two machines as is.

Oct 22, 2004, 10:36 PM
Go for the 15" Youll be much happier with it in the long room. I use mine for the same things and although when i only had 256 ram FCP was difficult to work with, I would get the 15" and only 256 ram from apple than save up a little more money and buy ram from crucial. THE 12" doesnt have firewire 800 which is much better for rendering to an firewire 800 hd. Well good luck with your decision.
Hope this helps.

Oct 22, 2004, 11:18 PM
the 15 also has a faster drive, that will help in some cases

Oct 23, 2004, 02:55 AM
wo wow wow, hold up, if u need portability, and small physique, id go with the 12", its so small and cute, and u can say, ya i pack all that power in this tiny little baby, with the 15" its more like, i can fit that much power in, a normal sized laptop... cough.. wow thats amazing..

James Craner
Oct 23, 2004, 03:36 AM
To be honest, unless you need the smaller form factor of the 12", because you intend carrying around all day, I would go for the 15", I would expect the performance to be slightly better on the 15", with the memory config that you specify, but I would recommend the 15" because

1. You have specified 20 GB more HD on the 15", which you will need for Final Cut (unless you intend to get an external drive).

2. While you may not be able to afford more RAM now, if you get the 15", you will be able to add more in the future. You will not be able to increase the CPU speed if you go for the 12".

Oct 23, 2004, 03:58 AM
There is no excuse to get the 15" with 512MB RAM. For a lot of things, the 12" would beat it due to the ram issue. Get the 15" with 1GB, or forget it.


It's currently about $140 for a 512 chip. I know, because the one that came with my Powerbook died (****ers). Of course the one that I got from Crucial works fine.

Oct 23, 2004, 03:59 AM
If you'll be hooking the 12" to the 17", if you can get the 17" to run at better than 1024x768 resolution (not sure if you can), then get the 12". You're obviously a bit tight with the cash.

Oct 23, 2004, 04:15 AM
Ofcourse 1.5 ghz is better than 1.33 ghz, but its only a difference of 0.167 ghz... The difference is in the GPU, and for many that doesn't matter. (unless you are a gamer or uses motion..) FW800 is a big plus if you are in the need of an large and fast external hd..

I'm very happy with my 12" and my external 17" screen...

Oct 23, 2004, 11:05 AM
Hey, I'll help you out here. The 1.33 will suit your needs as long as you up the ram to 1.25GB, but with 1.5 only having 512 that'll be slower. Don't determine everything on speed, be sure to think about the RAM. RAM is more important than the speed at most times. Because you store instructions in the RAM and how much it can store determines how fast you're going to be able to work. I'd say get the 1.33 just for how much RAM you're putting in to it. Unles you can wait with the 1.5 and up the RAM to 1.25GB

Oct 23, 2004, 12:59 PM
Well the thing is, I own the 15" right now.

Someone wants to trade me their 12". I will be buying a 17" Samsung LCD to hook it up to if I do the trade.

So I'd have a huge 17" LCD at home (plus the 12", dual display), and the portability of the 12" on the go.

I really don't know if I should do the trade.

Oct 23, 2004, 01:27 PM
Oh lord. :rolleyes:

DON'T DO THE TRADE. Just buy more RAM for the 15".

Oct 23, 2004, 02:22 PM
Well he would also give me $400. That's how I'd buy the LCD.

Oct 23, 2004, 08:20 PM
Well he would also give me $400. That's how I'd buy the LCD.

keep the 15"... sheesh. as stated above.. unless the portibility is a big issue.. why trade? I personally prefer my 15" over the 12" i have used. sure the 12" is smaller but I love the wide screen on the 15" and it has a much better video card and screen resolution... i don't play games but the video card being better means quartz works better.. especially for things that will be in Tiger.. keep the 15"

Oct 23, 2004, 08:42 PM
I have the setup with a 12" PB connected to a 17" LCD. It's works very well.

It all depends on if you would value the portability of the 12", because there is no doubt that the 15" will be faster once you can afford to up the RAM.

I'm saving up money for an iMac (also hoping for a better GPU in January). Then I will have the 12" PB, which I love for the portability, and a powerful desktop. That is the ultimate combination for me.

James Craner
Oct 24, 2004, 11:21 AM
Don't do the trade, I have a PowerMac with a 17" LCD, and to be honest I don't think the 17" gives you that much more over the 15" PowerBook screen. In fact I have ordered a 23" LCD screen to replace the 17" screen ( I do quite a bit in FCE and Photoshop). Think why someone is prepared to exchange their 12" + $400. Unless they are family, or someone doing you a favor then they must think that they are upgrading. Only do this swap if you really, really need the smaller form factor. Finally get them to bring their machine over and run some tests on it to see if it is faster.