Buying a new iBook this weekend

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by sethwerkheiser, May 14, 2004.

  1. sethwerkheiser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #1
    This weekend I'm getting another iBook. A basic G4 12" model (256MB of RAM, 40GB harddrive, Airport Extreme Card, Apple Care). Now, I'm getting this with just the base memory, and I'm wondering the performance of this machine with just 256MB. We still have our G3 900Mhz iBook, running at 128MB of RAM, and well, it's certainly not zippy. heh. So for basic stuff (Safari, iChat, Mail... yea, thats about it. hehe) is the G4 decently fast? I know I can add RAM later on (for cheaper through Crucial, etc.), so I'm just wondering ;)
     
  2. dvdh macrumors 6502

    dvdh

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    #2
    128mb???

    Put some more ram in that G3 900 (maybe spend $120 on another 512 mb) and you will think you have two new computers. . . .

    I run a ibook G3 900, and with 640 mb of ram its a totally different machine than with 256. I can't image what a difference it would make jumping from 128.

    Enjoy the new G4 as well. . .
     
  3. sethwerkheiser thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #3
    Yea, in another thread I was told to upgrade our G3 :) I love that machine, but at the base 128MB I must say I don't love it ALL the time (dang beach ball of doom!)

    So I guess a G4 with 256MB should be aight... we'll see I guess.
     
  4. iBook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    On a tugboat
    #4
    I agree. If you stick with the base ram, you will be disappointed. OS X loves memory, especially if you want to use some of the iLife apps such as GarageBand.

    I added a 512 mb stick to my iBook, and it performs brilliantly. I can run a couple of Classic apps and a couple of apps in Panther -- all at the same time with no real slowdown in performance.
     
  5. vwguy macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2004
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    Silicon Valley
    #5
    Does it mean that the start up time of all program will be faster than before?
     
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    I used to have an ibook 900 and it was quite responsive with 640 RAM.

    The difference before and after adding RAM, especially when you start with a low amount like 128, is like night and day. My family's 1 Ghz emac was barely usable with 128 RAM; a day later, the 512 stick came, and now it does everything without a hitch.

    I don't understand spending > $1k on a computer, and yet being unwilling to spend $100 on more RAM. Seriously, it makes no sense. If you're on a very tight budget, you'd be better off with an ibook G4 800 with maxed RAM than with an ibook G4 1 Ghz with base RAM. And if you can afford to up the RAM on a Ghz ibook, you'd be crazy to just stick with the base amount. For roughly 10% of the cost of the ibook, you're going to improve performance *way* beyond 10%. On some tasks, I would guess that an ibook with 768 RAM would be twice as fast or more than an ibook with 256 RAM. The difference between 128 and 640 would be even more pronounced.

    Apple does us a disservice by shipping machines with so little RAM. A modern mac on OS X will be severely hamstrung if you stick with the base amount, but by making that the default, apple is sending people the message that that amount is sufficient and any more is "extra." Not true!!
     
  7. Godfather macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    #7
    but then again, u can add that on their site, and it's dumb to sell macs standard with 768 MB Ram, coz it will pump up the price, and the offer isn't that attractive... if u think logical, u understand it's the marketing which doesn't allow Apple to upgrade the laptops with more ram (standard).
    I did buy a powerbook 15", the new kind fully maxed out with 1 gig of RAM, I am curious if it will really go fast :D

    I saw some posts earlier here that a laptop can never be a gaming machine, but I am waiting to find out, 128 MB VRam, 1 gig Ram, 1.5 gighz CPU and 5200 80 gig HD... should be a fine gaming console :D
    Not that I wil only use it for that though...
     
  8. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
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    Los Angeles
    #8
    I'm going to take the unpopular opinion. You'll be okay with the stock 256MB. You may want to add more later, but give 256MB a try--it's not bad.
     
  9. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    #9
    I have a brand new 12" PB 1.33Ghz. I was amazed at how slowly the machine booted up and the ridiculous amount of time it took applications to launch. Sure, it's got a slower HD than my dual-867 MDD but the processor is quite a bit faster.

    Then I remembered I was still running with the base 256MB Ram. I got the extra 512MB and installed it last night (for 768MB total) and everything is very fast now (booting, launching apps, switching between apps, etc...).

    Running OS X with less than 512MB is just madness. Put as much RAM in that sucker as you can afford. Under no circumstances would I consider using an OS X machine with only 256MB (and 128MB is just insane)

    In your case, if speed is the only reason you're buying a new machine I think you'll be disappointed. The speed increase from the processor will probably be negligible. You will be much better served buying some new RAM for your G3.
     
  10. sethwerkheiser thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #10
    Well, I'm not the one paying for it, so I gotta watch myself ;)

    But yea, I think I will try to get 512MB of RAM. You're right, it's not that much more.
     
  11. Nybombers142 macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2004
    #11
    I read some where that more ram slows down the boot up time. That doesnt make sence though. What is the boot-up time for an ibook with 256 and one with 728? :rolleyes:
     
  12. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #12
    256 is fine for those apps you mentioned, but you will enjoy the speed if you bump it up. but for ur purposes 256 should fit the bill
     
  13. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    #13
    256MB is fine only if you aren't going to use ANYTHING except safari, mail, and iChat or don't mind HD thrashing.

    On my computer the system takes up around 175MB. Safari, by itself, runs another 80+MB on most days. We're already maxed out on a 256MB machine at this point. Mail is good for about 25MB (and I have a small mailbox).
     
  14. 1rottenapple macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #14
    Since I am a broke college student, the 256 standard ram is working fine for me right now. I mostly go on the net, burn cds, listen to mp3s, word processing, and it is fine for me. Of course I will upgrade to a 1gb stick down the line, but 256 works right now :)

    btw: ibook 1ghz, 60gb hd
     
  15. sethwerkheiser thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #15
    Thanks for the info!

    Hey everyone, thanks for the info and insight.
    Yesterday we went to the Apple store and picked it up. We got a Returned iBook (out of the box deal, one dead pixel, which I can live with), G4 1Ghz, 256MB Ram, 30GB HD, for like $989. We also scored a refurb Airport Extreme card for $79, and a refurb Airport Extreme Base Station for just $149 (they're usually $249). They threw in some screen wipes, and discounted Applecare using my wifes student ID, and the "free" printer (after mail in rebate) for about $1600. Yowza.

    So I'm sitting on the couch now, posting this without wires. As I said before, I got a dead pixel, but that's okay, I can live with that. Thanks everyone for your insight on this thing.
     
  16. Godfather macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    #16
    nice, especially the airport deal. That are the only times I wish I buy my stuff @ a real store, to make some deals :D
     

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