Any reason not to buy a iMac G5 + Intel iBook combo?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Emzak, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Emzak macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2006
    #1
    Hi all. Newbie here.

    After much soulsearching, I decided to buy an iMac G5 so I can keep using my Dreamweaver, Photoshop, current games, educational software, etc. without worrying about Rosetta.

    However, my iBook G4 is on its last legs and, assuming it will stay alive until March/April, I'm wondering if I should get the new Intel iBook instead of sticking with a PPC one. Since I can do all my graphics/website/movie stuff on my iMac G5, I'll only need the iBook for MS Office, internet, and iTunes, meaning the Intel version might suit me just fine.

    My only question is will I run into potential problems having two machines on different platforms? I don't really plan on syncing or transferring a lot of data between them, but before I pull the trigger, I want to know what possible limitations (if any) I will face by having this set-up.

    Any suggestions/advice?
     
  2. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #2
    I can't foresee any problems with that setup. In fact I think it sounds like a very wise solution for the moment.

    What machine do you currently own? I've gone from a PowerBook 1.5GHz (1GB RAM) to a new Intel iMac (1GB RAM) and I can tell you that Photoshop, Word and Dreamweaver are all much speedier on this machine under Rosetta than they ever were on my PowerBook.

    So if your previous machine was a similar speed to a PowerBook I would say that you'll find a speed improvement in pro apps even if you do go with the Intel iMac.
     
  3. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #3
    hmm it can work but being some one who owns both a laptop and a desktop computer I find my self not using laptop much any more (mind you it is older than my desktop and it outdated). worse problem I have is forgeting what I put on each of them and when I need a file for class work only to discover it is on the other computer.

    I would say spend the extra money and buy a Macbook Pro and forget the iMac.
    If you buy an external keyboard, mouse, monitor, extral speakers and extranl hard drive. That gets you past all the draw backs of laptop only and still have the power of the desktop.

    Mind you you can easily drop the monitor to save money and it would work fine. Only other thing I can think of getting if you are running laptop only is a USB 2.0 hub.

    I think that would be a better use of you money and cost wise it would be about the same. You have the power of the desktop and mobilty of the laptop. All of it with out having to keep them both synic with eachother.

    Now if you desktop and laptop where stagerd in age it would be another story. (for me i want to have them on a 1.5-2 year off set but I dont really want to have both new at the same time)
     
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #4
    I don't see how you can go wrong with the iMac G5, it is a great machine, esp. if you can get a good buy on it. As for the iBook, I don't know what is coming out, or when. Just one note of caution. Somebody on here and on the Apple forums said that after he connected his G4 systems to an Intel iMac in Target Disk mode, the G4 systems never would boot again. This is the only problem I see with a mixed setup, and the fact that you need an external drive specially formatted for the Intel (does it also work on a PPC? I don't know...).
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #5
    If you plan to keep these machines for several years then I would suggest the intel iMac. Even though those pro apps may currently be a bit slower by next year most if not all will be universal binaries and run at nearly twice the speed of the G5. However, assuming you still get the G5 iMac only buy a refurbished unit. Spending nearly the same amount for a much lower tech machine is robbery. Since that G5 processor is nearly 2 years old and the Radeon X600 is over a year old, while the Intel Core Duo is brand new and the X1600 is two months old.
     
  6. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    #6
    Yes if you are going to be using this setup for a long time i would get the intel iMac for the single reasons that if some needed application go intel only, some documents you create may not be able to be edited, converted, worked with on a PPC based computer.

    Yes i know it is a stretch of the imagination but it is plausible
     
  7. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #7
    I own an iMac and did own a PowerBook which I've just sold because I'm getting a MacBook. For me having both a desktop and a portable is fantastic and I use both almost equally.

    I use the iMac most of the time when I'm at home but the odd time I'll use the laptop in bed or sitting in the main room just to be more comfortable. However, the main use for the laptop is obviously for mobility. I take my laptop into the office every day and bring it back every night. I also travel a lot and would clearly be lost without a laptop.

    Sure, some people don't need both but I certainly do. That said it looks like the OP is a student and yeah a laptop and a desktop is overkill for a student.

    As for synching the best way by far is to run OS X server on the desktop and set up a mobile home account on the laptop. Everything syncs automatically whenever it's changed so you don't have to worry. Work on a document on the desktop then pick up the laptop and go and the doc is there ready for you.
     
  8. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #8
    It's not. Some games companies have already said they will switch completely to Intel by the end of 2006! Now this is just the tip of the iceberg... games are first but more and more apps are going to be going Intel only; probably sooner than most people expect.
     
  9. bah-bah'd macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2006
    #9
    You mean that instead of creating UNIVERAL binaries like everyone is saying they are going to do, software developers are really going to be creating Intel only code? I don't think so...

    I just bought my G5 iMac and damn happy about it. I expect it to work well for me for 4+ years, no hitches. I'll get the MacBook Pro as soon as I can if I don't wait for a solid revision change.
     
  10. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #10
    I do mean exactly that. I do mean things will switch to Intel only. From http://www.macobserver.com/gamingnews/2006/01/25.2.shtml .....

     
  11. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #11
    Additionally, other quotes in the same page talk of two and three year cutoffs... so 4+ years is extremely optimistic.

     
  12. Emzak thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #12
    Thanks everybody for your input so far. Just to clarify my situation since I think my first post was confusing:

    1) I already bought the iMac G5 (with the $200 Apple discount AND my edu discount :D) but will need a new laptop in the very near future. The only question now is whether to buy the Intel ibook or another G4 ibook (right now, I'm on an ibook G4 800mhz that's about to croak on me at any minute).

    2) I'm not so concerned with the speed of Rosetta as I am with software compatability. I use a bunch of law-related and writing software/shareware and I just don't want to risk messing around with Rosetta. I also heard that some software doesn't run on Rosetta, and I had enough trouble finding Mac OSX versions of these programs (some of them still run on Classic). I tend to upgrade my computer every 2 years so I just didn't want to spend months and months waiting for UB software (and having to pay extra $$$ to upgrade). I only play Sims 2, SimCity, Civilization, and Chessmaster anyway so I'm not so concerned about games going Intel only. If it weren't for the fact that I will have an iMac G5, I wouldn't even be considering getting an Intel ibook. But since I now have the iMac G5 for backup in case some of my archaic software doens't run on Intel, I am playing with the idea of an Intel laptop.

    3) Yes, I am a student so I definitely need a laptop for school. I also wanted a desktop as a "family" computer so my husband can use it too (no way is he touching MY laptop! :) ). I'm hoping that he'll get hooked on the iMac and I can finally get rid of his butt-ugly PC desktop that's a current eye-sore in our living room. Muahahahahahahahaha! :D

    4) To danny_w who warned me about the Target Disk mode transfer issues--THANKS! I'll be sure to avoid that if I do end up getting an Intel ibook. Also thanks for the heads up about the potential incompatibility with using an external HD for both an iMac G5 and an Intel laptop.

    If you guys know of any other incompatibility issues (either real or rumored), please share. Thanks! :)
     
  13. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #13
    I don't see anything wrong with a G5 desktop and an Intel laptop. Heck, that is what I am doing, since I do some small software development projects and would like the code to be runnable on both systems.

    As for your critical software, is there something in your mind that makes you worry about Rosetta compatibility?
     
  14. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #14
    And what I was saying is buying a high end laptop making it a desktop replacement. Just get the correct extrenal parts for it and it funiction just like a desktop. (I think it about 1min to switch it inbettween for when I was running that way.)

    So I fail to see the point of buying both at the same time besides beign a huge waste of money
     
  15. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #15
    I did this for over a year. Had a 20" Apple ACD and a USB hub. So when I put my PowerBook on my desk I plugged in power, Ethernet, DVI and one USB connection (which went to iPod, mouse, phone, memory stick).

    If you look at the UK prices...

    For laptop only solution...
    20" ADC + 250GB external drive = £750

    For 20" iMac
    £1229

    So that's £479 difference. I would say that the conveniance having a second machine adds, and the peace of mind of having a constantly synched backup, is worth that. I mean it's convenient not to have to plug in a pile of wires all the time and it's convenient to sit on one side of the room browsing the web on my laptop whilst using FrontRow to play a movie on the iMac.

    I've seen this from both sides. Used a laptop with extras for over a year and now use a laptop and desktop. Neither is a perfect solution for everyone but to say a laptop + desktop is a waste of money is just short-sighted. Just because you don't think it would suit your needs doesn't mean it isn't the best solution for others.

    For example, I would love to hear your solution on how I can buy a single machine that lets me do the following while I am travelling...

    * Run a web and FTP server which is accessible 24/7
    * Use BitTorrent to download a massive file that will take say 24 hours
    * Charge my USB iPod, iPAQ and phone

    Can you explain how a laptop is going to manage to do any of those things while it's in my bag in my car or in a plane?
     
  16. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

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    the states for now
    #16
    I must have a laptop since ill be a student and will need the mobility but I was going to go the desktop(intel imac)/laptop(intel ibook) route. My Imac can double as my TV since I only download TV shows, and it can also be my gaming machine since it will have more power than an intel ibook. The combination I think will be the perfect balance of power and portability. A lightweight laptop with spectacular battery life and wifi signal and then a larger screen, faster processor, more HDD space. Together they have every advantage over the macbook pro.

    Syncing cannot be that tough to dissuade such a seemingly perfect set-up? I ran the numbers and if we see a $1000 intel ibook the difference is only $300(imac + ibook being the more expensive solution)
     
  17. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #17
    There are plenty sync solutions out for OS X but unfortunately I don't know of any good free ones. Previously, before switching to using OS X server, I used Synchronize Pro which you can get from here...

    http://www.qdea.com/pages/pages-sprox/sprox1.html

    I think that's probably the best solution but it is really expensive at $100. Perhaps you could post in the application forum asking for a recommendation for a free synching app. There must be decent ones out there. You mention that you want one that will work over the network so you don't have to connect the machines with a wire (synchronize pro works over the network which is why I liked it so much).
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #18
    I have an iMac G5 and an iBook G4, and I'm also thinking of getting rid of the latter in a year or two and getting an Intel iBook or MacBook or whatever.

    I'm still learning how to do synchronizing just right (It seems like, unless you get .mac, you're going to have to let one computer own a lot of things). iTunes is somewhat onerous.... But I'll straighten that out.

    As far as Intel specific issues, I think you should be fine.... It sounds like a good plan to me, and very well thought out. :)
     
  19. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #19
    I have .mac and it's really quite useless for synching anything other than addresses, calendars and bookmarks. It does not sync your iTunes libraries or your document folders. It only gives you a shared iDisk space which essentially means you don't have an automatic backup as you have to drag anything you want to backup into the iDisk rather than it happening automatically.

    Also, seeing as it's on the Internet it can be annoyingly slow at times.
     
  20. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #20

    Well first off I would say dont get a ADC monitor since they are massivly over priced. Go get a dell for about 50% the cost.

    That is among the few things. Just buying them both at the same time just would seem like a waste on a limited bugget. Yeah you can do a lot of that stuff but it easy enough not to live with those. It all about how much money you have to blow.

    Now if I only had lets say 3grand US and I need a computer I would go with the laptop set up. It limited bugget. Now if I had like 6grand I would do both but I need a larger bugget to do it.
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #21
    Thanks for the feedback. It's really too bad you can't FW two Macs together and synchronize the home directories or something like that. Right now, my iBook basically "owns" most everything -- the iPod, my phone, etc, all sync with it. So the calendars and iTunes sync on it. But I gave my iMac ownership of my iPhoto library, because my iBook HD was too full. :eek: So it owns that. And has copies of everything else.
     
  22. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    #22
    I agree, once you throw in budget constraints then you have to reconsider and if I could only have one I would end up using just the laptop too (which is what I was doing before). However, when the iMac came out I sold my ACD and the external drive and paid just about £500 to get a brand new machine. Well worth it for me.

    As a developer sharing code with my co-developers a local FTP and web server that are up all the time is an essential I can't be without so for me I don't really have a choice. I NEED a desktop that's always on to provide these and I NEED a laptop for mobility.

    I looked at the Dell displays when I was buying and ended up going for the ACD as it looked like it would be better quality. I'm glad I did as my work colleague bought two of the Dells and they both have lighting problems with backlight leakage. I'm very picky about my displays so I would hate to have that. He hates it too and wishes he'd gone for the ACD. So if you are on a budget then yeah go for the Dell but if you want a good quality display then go for the ACD.
     

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