15" pb or 12"pb with 20" apple ext?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Rob587, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Rob587 macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

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    Orlando, FL
    #1
    ok, Im going to college soon and I want to know what you guys think would be better..... a 15" powerbook to use as desktop replacement, or a 12" powerbook with an external moniter? I will do some occasional gaming so the video card difference is an issue, but Im not all that great at telling the diff btwn that type of stuff unless it makes it run slow. I just might play some first person shooters like call of duty. I assume most of you will say the 12" powerbook.... so will the graphics hurt me?
     
  2. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

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    Oct 5, 2004
    #2
    Save your money for the next big powerbook update. Go with the 12 inch and get an awesome external. No the video card wont hurt you on the 12 inch. I think it has a pretty even kill temperment. And ive yet to hear of one act out violently toward its owner. :D :D Ok on a more serious note, the fxgo5200 is outdated. But that card will suit you just fine for some of todays games. I wouldnt go trying to play Doom 3 on it or anything though.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    I'd get the 15" Powerbook in your situation + the upgraded card. I don't understand the fascination with getting a 12" and external monitor. Well, not in most cases, although there's a good reason for some reason to do so. In your case, just get the complete package.

    Also, video cards aren't ungradable once you get your PB. You could even get an external for your 15" if you really have a problem with it.
     
  4. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #4
    I have a 12" and an external monitor and it works fine. The only reason I would really like a 15" is becuase I travel from time to time and it would make my design work easier on the road. The performance of my 12" is not a problem at all. However, abstract does have a point in the prior post about not being able to upgrade the graphics card. If you plan to hold onto this powerbook for a long time then it would probably be best for you to get a 15" with the upgraded graphics card. It is really up to how long you want to keep the computer and how important size is to you.
     
  5. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #5
    You'll have to disconnect the monitor everytime you play games... the 5200FX can't drive that many pixels. It will choke and die.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    I understand that a 12" has decent performance. Well I made my recommendation for him to get a 15" PB even though I'm a 12" PB owner.
     
  7. mikehoffa macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #7
    i, too, am trying to decide between a 12" pb and a 15" pb. i have a dell inspiron 8100 now that is almost 4 yrs old and since getting my iPod and using a friends 12" pb to demo, i am hooked. but his 12" pb is almost 2 yrs old.

    i probably will keep this computer for at least 3 yrs. i am a grad student as well, with one semester left, then onto my MBA for work. won't play many games on it, will use my ps2 and psp for those. mainly email, web surfing, spreadsheets, photos and video.

    i hope to place an order asap! any tips will be great.
     
  8. shane-o-mac macrumors regular

    shane-o-mac

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    Jan 24, 2005
    #8
    15" all the way

    I was in a similiar situation for college. Get a 12 inch and add an apple external display or the 15". For me the portablity seemed like a hughe issue, till I realized I actually only took my computer with me during finals week and a couple times during the quarter. In the end I was simply blown away by the widescreen on the 15" and the price became a factor when it got right down to it. I got not only a kick ass desk replacement, my first mac, and a really impressive machine, but I also saved some cash and got a pretty portable laptop too! In the end you will have to make the call for your needs. Personally I like simplicity, one machine and nothing to hook it up to.
     
  9. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

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    #9
    keep battery life in mind when you are making your decisions... its something very important whether you're going to and from class or to and from that long away game... i love my 12" so i'm not gonna make my recommendation, because it would be totally biased... the only thing i can recommend is looking at the specs and your specific situation and make your mind up that way...
     
  10. Coolnat2004 macrumors 6502

    Coolnat2004

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    Jan 12, 2005
    #10
    If you're going to be taking your PB with you everywhere, you might want to go for the 12" and get a docking station at home. It is lighter and more compact. The 15" is a great machine, it's just a bit heavier/bulkier. Though this isn't much of a problem if you get a shoulder bag for it, I guess.
     
  11. mikehoffa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    #11
    thanks shane. i was originally leaning towards a 12" pb w/superdrive and maybe an external monitor if the scren becomes an issue. i have a 15" screen now with a res of 1400x1050. then, looking at the 15" pb with the widescreen is nice...but to bump up to the 15" w/sd is a sizeable $$ jump, too.

    one question i have, since i dont have one now, is just how often will the dvd burner get used? if not much, then i most likely will get the 15" 1.5GHz/100GB/1GB RAM.

    i am trying to spend $2500 +/- 10% on a laptop, printer, software and AppleCare plan.

    i have spec'ed the above with the iWork, .Mac promo bundle and epson C86 for $2620 and a 12" pb 1.5GHz/100GB/768MB RAM with Office '04, .Mac and Epson RX500 for $2375.

    Not an exact comparison, but two i have put together so far. trying not to drive everyone crazy for their opinions while also checking the machines out at a retail store.

    guess i just dont want to make a "bad" choice is all...but i think moving to a Mac can't be bad at all!
     
  12. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #12
    that really depends on you as a user.

    If you are using your computer for notes, light photography, maybe the occasional video edit here and there ... you could get away without the superdrive and just burn CD's once in a while.

    I myself ... am heavy into photography and have gotten significantly back into video production -- i don't have a DVD writer with my desktop -- i've been using the machines at school and have been authoring my work onto DVD and i am absolutely in love with the idea of writing DVD's

    backing/saving images onto CD as digital negatives has always been something that i did

    but

    i have always out-put my video work back to mini DV and VHS for playback, but recently i've output some projects to DVD and I LOVE IT --- i've only used iDVD because i have been on very tight schedules and just needed something functioning -- but i've been playing around with DVD studio Pro and it looks like this method of authoring is just SO COOL and it has inspired me to get a DVD writer --- but since i'm in the market for a new computer i've been looking at the powerbooks --- just waiting till June for the next mac world since i'm not in a huge rush

    are you a note taker, or are you a visual producer?

    how important is it to you to be able to output your product on the run/road?

    you could get the combo drive and save yourself money and then if you find you could use the DVD writer once in a while, then you could always get an external one <-- they have dropped in price significantly
     
  13. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #13
    This is a misleading quote. You can run games just fine with an external monitor. I play UT2003 at 800x600 and it runs at the same frame rate if it is on the laptop screen or the external display. The reason for this is the resolution gets set down to 800x600 by the game software and when the powerbook is in clamshell mode, the same amount of memory (all 64MB) is dedicated to the external display. Yeah, the quality may seem lower if you have a huge screen but nothing that is really noticable.
     
  14. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #14
    No hard feelings Abstract. I was not trying to slam what you said I see your point completely. I too at times long for a nice 15" with a 128MB graphics card ;) I guess we are both 12" users wishing we had larger :) However, I must say I have been very pleased with my 12" and I really have no complaints.
     
  15. panphage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #15
    Well, I'm on the other side and the grass is green enough over here but I still think I'd have been a smidge happier with a 12". I love the tinyness. I envy the battery life. The 12" just has that ultra-portable, ninja appeal.
     
  16. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Bristol, UK
    #16
    A lot of this comes down to how often you will be using the laptop in your room with the external monitor, if the answer is most of the time then the 12" will be fine. However I would say that the 15" is the best compromise between portability and screen size. I would suggest that you see before you buy in the store. This is what I did.
     
  17. mikehoffa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    #17
    well, i tend to take more notes at this point. my wife has a dell desktop with a dvd burner in it, so i guess i have an option there. the coworker who has the 12" pb suggested that the newer 12" pb with superdrive would be a good bundle, especially with the edu discount, and then buy an external monitor if i find that the screen size is bothersome. i just would like the fact that i have the capability of makikng cd's or dvd's right then and there.

    i travel for work and need to use the dell they gave me. but i am not allowed to save programs for school on it, so would most likely tote both with me. also, the next program i start with be sort of like an executive mba program and will need to travel occassionally.

    anyways..off topic, sorry....i really like the portability of the 12" pb and will just need to visit the apple store again to see the 12" pb and 15" pb side-by-side.

    thanks!
     
  18. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #18
    i think you answered your own question :)
     
  19. mikehoffa macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #19

    you're right, i did. so a superdrive it will be...still need to decide between the 12" and 15".
     
  20. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #20
    it's tough ... i think about editing in Final Cut Pro at that resolution and how much it would probably suck so i start leaning toward the 15 again

    but then i lug around my G3 lombard which ways a little more then the 15 and the weight starts to add up and i lean toward the 12 again ...
     

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