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Old Nov 28, 2005, 02:20 AM   #1
mopppish
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ibook vs. imac dilemma

Alright, I'm going to try and make this as short and sweet as possible. I bought a rev. B imac G5 this summer soon after they were released (by the way, I'm a poor college student, so it was an investment) and I love it. It was great to buy an up-to-date computer and as I am a music student that dabbles in recording, I was excited about being able to check out Logic Pro (which I've borrowed from the audio labs at my school and really dig). I decided on the imac because it seemed to be the perfect balance of price, performance, and portability (sort of).
Fast forward several months. I'm seriously considering a 12" ibook for school and personal use, however it seems decadent to own a new ibook AND an imac, and even though I have the credit limit, I really can't afford it. I've gotten to the point where I think a laptop would truly benefit me in many areas of my life, and am thinking of selling the imac for the ibook. I would miss it a bit, but I'm not even close to using this thing's potential yet and I definitely can't put it in my backpack to take with me to the library.
The dilemma is that recording is still important to me. I'd like some real-world advice from people with experience on this- will a new ibook still work OK with Logic? I'd probably use it with either a Firepod or MOTU 828mkII, and already have a huge external Lacie firewire drive. I have access to dual G5s at school any time I need them if I need to run some serious sessions, so my question is, can I reasonably expect to record 8-12 tracks of 24-bit audio in Logic to an external drive on an ibook and run a few plug-ins once in a while before I have to start freezing tracks or causing problems? I've pretty much already made up my mind if it will work OK, but I need to hear it from some folks in-the-know.
Sure would miss the imac, but it may be the best option.
Thanks in advance, ladies and gents.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 02:25 AM   #2
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P.S. I would add some extra RAM right away.
Oh yeah, and I've posted this in the gearslutz forums too, so sorry if you're experiencing deja vu.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 03:41 AM   #3
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You might get by just barely with an iBook for recording mostly
midi files, but you'll really be under load recording multiple
analog miked tracks.

You might want to think about getting a new revision 1.33 GHz 12" iBook refurb and keep the iMac as your primary workstation.

They come and go quickly on the refurb pages, but go for $799.00
which is not decadent at all.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 06:02 AM   #4
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Having owned just a PowerBook for a few years, and bought a Power Mac at the beginning of this year, I have to admit that I don't think I would enjoy working solely on a laptop now. I think a laptop should be an 'extension' of your desktop if you get what I mean.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 06:07 AM   #5
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I have an iBook and an iMac and I think I'd struggle to going back to using the iBook for anything intensive. Having both is the perfect set up for me though. Fellow student, do you really have to eat every month?
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 08:13 AM   #6
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If you were to get a 12" for permanent use, something I do when I work offsite for a few weeks, I would go for an external mouse and keyboard. You don't really need either as both the laptop keyboard and trackpad are good, but for powerusage, like writing long essays or working with exel, something less crammed is recommended. Adding 512 mb is a smart move, but I would go for non-apple, if you're on a budget. Plenty of threads on this forum about that. The harddrive may also be an issue, I don't know. I went with an external one, but in the end it's what works for you best.

Performance-wise, I have no clue what recording requires... Other than that a 12" iBook is perfectly workable in many situations and more comfortable as you can use it on your couch and stuff.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 08:38 AM   #7
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Keep that iMac. The iBook is good for everyday tasks but is kinda sloppy on pro apps like Garageband.

I would def. keep that iMac G5!.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 09:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad jew
I have an iBook and an iMac and I think I'd struggle to going back to using the iBook for anything intensive. Having both is the perfect set up for me though. Fellow student, do you really have to eat every month?
Hmm. I have 2 iBooks and an iMac. What can I say. The iMac is just great for doing anything that requires some horsepower.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad jew
I have an iBook and an iMac and I think I'd struggle to going back to using the iBook for anything intensive. Having both is the perfect set up for me though.
I agree! Another iMac G5 + iBook setup fan/user.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 10:25 AM   #10
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There's a possibility right now that my pop might "buy" the imac from me (by buy I mean trade me for an ibook and an audio interface).
I never doubted that I would miss the imac, but remember that I can open sessions on a dualie at school if need be. I just need to know if the ibook will get me by by recording a handful of tracks at a time. Anyone used one for that?
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 10:29 AM   #11
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get an iMac and spend 200-300 bucks on a clamshell iBook with airport to use on the go. that's what I did, well it was a Powermac not an iMac, but same thing the firewire clamshells run Tiger great, and are perfect as a typing and research tool. battery life is insane too, my battery is 4 years old and I still get 3-4 hours out of it
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwajo.com
get an iMac and spend 200-300 bucks on a clamshell iBook with airport to use on the go. that's what I did, well it was a Powermac not an iMac, but same thing the firewire clamshells run Tiger great, and are perfect as a typing and research tool. battery life is insane too, my battery is 4 years old and I still get 3-4 hours out of it
No offense, but that is a terrible idea. The OP is wanting to do things that are a bit processor intensive, and this is not something a clamshell iBook could ever hope to handle.

Now, to the OP: As much as portability is awesome, you will feel a huge difference between the horsepower of the iMac and the iBook. I'm talking about things will become tedious on the iBook. I have an iMac G5 and a PowerBook G4 15" @ 1 GHz, and I can't even stand working on it sometimes because all I see is the beach ball spinning. Best to stay with the iMac and get a refurbished PowerBook for your recordings.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 01:00 PM   #13
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I definitely appreciate the responses. It looks like I will try to find a way to keep the imac and get the ibook, but I'm still wondering if anyone has any experience with this situation- recording with Logic on an ibook. I'm still curious as to whether it would function at all. Can anyone give me examples of track counts they've reached or plug-ins they've used on their laptop? Thanks.
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