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Old Apr 17, 2005, 10:15 PM   #1
thunderclap
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PowerBook vs G5

I posted this at the Apple forums but have had little response.

I have several questions regarding PowerBooks and dual G5's. I know a lot of people ask similar questions but, like a lot of people, each situation is unique so I apologize if my questions are similar to others. I did some searching here and on other forums but there was nothing specific for my questions.

So... I currently have a dual 2.0Ghz G5 system. I'm considering selling it and buying a PowerBook G4 15" system. What I primarily do with the G5 (and would primarily do with the PowerBook) is e-mail, web browsing, and video editing.

First let me tell you that I'm thinking of picking up the 15" PowerBook with 1GB RAM. My current system has 1.5GB RAM.

I'm concerned about speed for one thing. I know the G5 is a faster system but I'm wondering how MUCH faster. To give an example: for me to build a 2 hour DVD with my G5 takes approx. 3-4 hours. How fast would a PowerBook be able to do this?

Now, with Tiger days away, how will this improve on system performance? I know a lot of people haven't gotten Tiger yet but I assume there are some developers or beta testers here that tested the new OS. Since Tiger is a 64-bit OS does it drastically increase speed performance on a G5? How is the speed increase on the 32-bit PowerBook?

I assume people will mention that it depends on if you need to be mobile. Right now it's not a necessity to be mobile but something that could become beneficial in the near future. Also, I'm moving soon and with a PC and a G5 the two systems take up quite a bit of room. I'd like to reduce the amount of space taken up by my computers.

Currently the projects I generally edit are weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, music videos, short films... that sort of thing. Nothing commercial where the product needs to be turned around within a few hours.

So, can anyone give me there thoughts and recommendations? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old Apr 17, 2005, 10:35 PM   #2
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Question: Why do you want to sell your dual 2 ghz?? I'm no Mac expert (I don't even own one) but from my understanding that system is 10X better. Do you need the portability??

I'd stick with the PM hands down. G5 processor, dual core, 2 ghz, 1.5 GB RAM, more upgradeable...
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Old Apr 17, 2005, 11:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuhmann
I'm concerned about speed for one thing. I know the G5 is a faster system but I'm wondering how MUCH faster. To give an example: for me to build a 2 hour DVD with my G5 takes approx. 3-4 hours. How fast would a PowerBook be able to do this?Thank you.
I wouldn't sell the Pwoermac G5. If you want to do any Video editing at all then you will be MUCH beter off on a G5. It's doable on a G4, I do it all the time, but there's tons of down time. I have a 1.5 GHz with 1.25 gigs of RAM and the rendering and compressing takes a long time. I saw this benchmark for my Powerbook, which said rendering took 12 minutes and some amount of seconds. For the exact same thing on a Dual 2.0 G5 the rendering time was 5 minutes and some about of seconds. I don't read into benchmarks that much, but that difference is significant.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 02:11 AM   #4
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The G5 is more future proof, only do this if you REALLY need the portability.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 02:34 AM   #5
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It really depends on what you're doing, and how important portability is to you.

My 17" Rev.D Powerbook, before I upgraded it to 2gb RAM, was faster than my 20" 1.8GHz iMac G5 w/1gb in most, if not all of the tasks I was using it for.

Photoshop is faster on the Powerbook (which was the main thing I was worried about) as is browsing, video playback, and all applications in general. The only thing I've found to be slower is the hard drive, but that only affects loading things by a second or two at most really.

So I'd say the 1.67GHz Powerbooks are pretty comparable to a single 1.8GHz G5.

I believe if you install the CHUD tools, you can disable one of your processors from being used by OSX temporarily. (it won't save when you power off or reset the system)

I can't say about video encoding, as I think that's one thing the G5 does better than the G4 (but it's not something I've done) however, I would try limiting your G5 system to using one CPU and then expect about 15% slower than how it performs. That's probably underestimating the Powerbook, but this way you'll have a rough idea of how it will be, and if it's faster than that, you'll be pleasantly surprised.



The CHUD tools should be on your OSX disc; open it up, go to the Xcode tools folder, the packages folder inside that, and run CHUD.pkg to install it.

You should then have a hardware icon in System Preferencese that will let you change the settings.



Personally if I had to make a decision when choosing which to buy, I would go with portability over raw power. Speed is nice, but what use is it if you don't have access to it? Even just being able to take my Powerbook about the house with me is great, and it means I'm not just stuck in one room all the time.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 02:37 AM   #6
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I can't see any benefit from downgrading to a PB, especially when portability isn't a huge factor.

The G5 will also serve you a lot better in the long term. Already some of features of the newly released Final Cut Studio rely on a G5 processor, especially if you ever plan to go down the HD route. This is an indication of things to come. Stick with the PowerMac.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 08:38 AM   #7
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Thanks, so far, to everyone who responded. Like I mentioned in my first post, the portability isn't necessary at this time but might become so in the future.

I guess it would be wiser to keep the G5 at this time and just upgrade to Tiger.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 08:44 AM   #8
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Keep the G5, and get a PowerBook 12" or 15" as a second machine if and when the need for portability occurs... the G5 will still be FAR superior with video, but you may start some projects "on the road" with a PowerBook...
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfee
It really depends on what you're doing, and how important portability is to you.

My 17" Rev.D Powerbook, before I upgraded it to 2gb RAM, was faster than my 20" 1.8GHz iMac G5 w/1gb in most, if not all of the tasks I was using it for.

Photoshop is faster on the Powerbook (which was the main thing I was worried about) as is browsing, video playback, and all applications in general. The only thing I've found to be slower is the hard drive, but that only affects loading things by a second or two at most really.

So I'd say the 1.67GHz Powerbooks are pretty comparable to a single 1.8GHz G5.

I believe if you install the CHUD tools, you can disable one of your processors from being used by OSX temporarily. (it won't save when you power off or reset the system)

I can't say about video encoding, as I think that's one thing the G5 does better than the G4 (but it's not something I've done) however, I would try limiting your G5 system to using one CPU and then expect about 15% slower than how it performs. That's probably underestimating the Powerbook, but this way you'll have a rough idea of how it will be, and if it's faster than that, you'll be pleasantly surprised.



The CHUD tools should be on your OSX disc; open it up, go to the Xcode tools folder, the packages folder inside that, and run CHUD.pkg to install it.

You should then have a hardware icon in System Preferencese that will let you change the settings.



Personally if I had to make a decision when choosing which to buy, I would go with portability over raw power. Speed is nice, but what use is it if you don't have access to it? Even just being able to take my Powerbook about the house with me is great, and it means I'm not just stuck in one room all the time.
How did you find that your Powerbook was faster than your iMac G5??
There was clearly something wrong, like you setting iMacs settings to automatic or something because there is no way the Powerbooks would be faster than the iMac in any area.

Oh and for the thread i would definately not get rid of dual G5 if you are doing a lot of video editing, video editing needs raw power, lots of ram and a fast hd. You will be dissapointed if you get the Powerbook, unless portability is really necessary.
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Last edited by Fredstar; Apr 18, 2005 at 09:03 AM.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 11:43 AM   #10
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Well since you mentioned in your post that you are moving and space is a factor since you have a PC and a G5 may I suggest replacing the PC with a powerbook.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkle
I can't see any benefit from downgrading to a PB, especially when portability isn't a huge factor.

The G5 will also serve you a lot better in the long term. Already some of features of the newly released Final Cut Studio rely on a G5 processor, especially if you ever plan to go down the HD route. This is an indication of things to come. Stick with the PowerMac.
this is the part that is killing me

i'm in the market for a new machine -- and since a despise sitting in offices, i've been looking at getting a powerbook

but i've been thinking about picking up a HDV cam but now i see no point as i won't even be able to author HD content since you need G5 to author HD DVD

-- my question is ... do you really need that, or will it just take FOREVER?
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revenuee
this is the part that is killing me

i'm in the market for a new machine -- and since a despise sitting in offices, i've been looking at getting a powerbook

but i've been thinking about picking up a HDV cam but now i see no point as i won't even be able to author HD content since you need G5 to author HD DVD

-- my question is ... do you really need that, or will it just take FOREVER?
From Apple's website, it says authoring of HD DVD's requires a G5 processor. To even playback an HD DVD authored in DVD Studio Pro 4 requires a G5!
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkle
From Apple's website, it says authoring of HD DVD's requires a G5 processor. To even playback an HD DVD authored in DVD Studio Pro 4 requires a G5!
this will work won't it?

editing HDV, downgrading to SD and burning to SD DVD since no one has HD DVD devices yet anyway

so recording back to the miniDV tape the edited HDV footage for storage when i actually will have a REAL need for HD DVD

or the other solution... editing HDV, storing it on external hard drives, hooking it up to a machine that can handle it and then authoring the HD DVD when needed?
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 06:52 PM   #14
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buy my 15" wsd

I will trade you for my 1.5 15" sd w1.5 ram I love the portability but just got a sweet deal on the older 23" monitor and it will not run on my PB. LMK
Thanks
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 07:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuhmann
Now, with Tiger days away, how will this improve on system performance? I know a lot of people haven't gotten Tiger yet but I assume there are some developers or beta testers here that tested the new OS. Since Tiger is a 64-bit OS does it drastically increase speed performance on a G5? How is the speed increase on the 32-bit PowerBook?
I wasn't aware that Tiger was going to be a 64 bit OS, I'd always heard that it was still 32 bit.

Developers?
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 07:29 PM   #16
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I currently have a 15" 1.5 Ghz Powerbook... I'm not going to lie to you, I love it...but if I had a choice between a dual 2.0 Ghz G5 Powermac or a 15" 1.5 Ghz G4 Powerbook then I would without a doubt go with the G5...the fact is is that G5 is the future modern technology... why would you want to take back steps just for emailing and websurfing? Believe me... keep the G5. If you really want a laptop then wait for the G5 Powerbooks to come out (when that will be is a different subject) and trade in your Powermac for one of those...until then, stick with the Powermac
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 07:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSleaze
I wasn't aware that Tiger was going to be a 64 bit OS, I'd always heard that it was still 32 bit.
Maybe I'm wrong. Thought I heard it was 64-bit though.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 08:13 PM   #18
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Well, if you need the mobility get the PB; however, i agree with most of the others that editing on a G5 is much much better than the G4; I have done both, and now just use my G5 for editing and more intensive tasks. The portabililty of the PB is nice, but why not consider getting an iBook at a cheaper price which you could use for browsing and email and stick to the G5 for editing. Other thing is, if you are editing on a PB, you won't be able to do much else, as it sucks up the processor and memory, whereas on your dual G5, you can easily do something else while your DVD is being created... good luck
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 10:22 PM   #19
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see: Apples vs. Oranges





Pardon the pun.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 11:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingSleaze
I wasn't aware that Tiger was going to be a 64 bit OS, I'd always heard that it was still 32 bit.
Here is a link to Apple's site where it talks about Tiger's 64-bit features. Click here.

Now, I don't know if this means the OS is 64-bit or just takes advantage of 64-bit systems, but there is something 64-bitty (for lack of a better word) about Tiger.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 12:54 PM   #21
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I'd stick with the G5 if I were you, and save your money so that you can buy a PowerBook later on down the road when you really need it. By then there's a chance that G5 or dual core G4 PowerBooks will be out, and you'll be glad you waited. I use a PowerBook as my main machine, but I also have a Dual 1.8 GHz G5. The G5 is specifically for video editing and I am very glad I have it instead of being forced to use a PB for editing.
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