Buying iBook tommorrow, need advice.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Breatheher, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Breatheher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Hello,

    Now PCworld in the UK have been offering ibooks for £500, they are g3 800mhz, 128 ram, cd only. I ordered one, but heres the deal -

    It's my first mac, I'm a 16 year old student and I want to use it for college (design and image editing) and music making (with garageband) and general internet use etc... Now I'd have to update the g3 quite a bit to do this, and I've heard that you can't even use software instruments on the g3! I'd really like alot of the extra power and features avaliable with the g4 933mhz 256ddr dvd/cd-r... but it's another £500, I can afford it, but I need to know, is it really worth it? I want the machine to last and I'm thinking of taking the g3 that arrives tommorrow straight to the shop up the road to swap for the g4 933...

    Thanks in advance.

    Mart.
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    If you're interested in music, you need at least a G4. It's just not worth it on a G3. You could get the 12-inch 800mhz G4 for £849. Or you could look for refurb models for less. The only benefit of the 933 is a slightly faster CPU and slightly bigger hard drive--though the monitor is bigger, it's at the same resolution as the 12-incher.
     
  3. Breatheher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Thanks, yeah I'm really interested in making music. I think I may go for the higher model, thanks. Any advice on cheapish ways to input my guitar straight into the computer? I heard it doesn't have an audio input. I would like to use a midi keyboard but not right away as I don't really have the money.
    Will the computer be able to handle photoshop, flash and iDvd editing etc as I will be using these tools in college?

    Edit - Yeah I was looking at the 933 because of these slight updates (Hard Drive, CPU, slightly larger screen etc...)

    Thanks alot,

    Mart.
     
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    Check the Garageband forums for lots of advice on audio input. One thing you might consider is a refurb 12-inch PBG4. I don't know what the market is like in England, but stateside you can get these for less than a 14-inch iBook new, and I believe they have audio-in capability (check before you buy, though!).

    Edit: The 933 iBook (or the 800) can handle all those things except iDVD since it doesn't have a DVD burner. You can create DVD images, but you'd have to burn them on another iDVD-equipped computer.
     
  5. Breatheher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Oh thanks for the tips with the forum. I'll look at refurbs, I'm not sure what prices are like over here but really my budget is no more than £1000, with a little I'd like to spare for RAM, Airport Ex. etc...

    Thanks.

    Edit - (just saw your edit :)) Thats ok because the towers at college have the burners so I can use them.
     
  6. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #6
    Breatheher,

    If you have a John Lewis shop near you, I would cancel the order with PC World and buy the 800 Mhz G4 iBook from JL. It will cost the same as PC World, but you will get an extra year's warranty on top of the Standard 1 year Apple warranty.

    The only downside to the 800 MHz iBook IMO is the 30GB HD. If you don't have a John Lewis near you, or you don't want the extra warranty you can order online at the UK Apple store, an extra £60 will double the Hard Disk to 60GB. My iTunes Library comes in at 17GB! (I have a lot of CD's though).

    You will need some additional RAM 256 MB is the bare minimum for OS X these days. If you can afford it go for an additional 512MB (but 256 MB will make a big difference). Don't buy from Apple as they charge too much. www.crucial.com/uk are one of the best places to buy memory from, many people recommend them.

    Sorry if I have persuaded you to spend more money!
     
  7. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #7
    One further point (I don't work for John Lewis - honest!)

    John Lewis (at least in Bristol) often have some returned units for sale. I was in there today and they had a 12" Powerbook £100 off at £1,199. I over heard one of the sales people telling an interested customer that often people buy Mac's because they look cool and don't realise that they don't run Windows until they get it home and they get returned the next day. Certainly the one on display looked brand new. They also had some reconditioned 40 GB iPods on display as well.

    Not sure were you live in the UK, but if it is anywere near Bristol the Powerbook was still there at 6.00 PM today!
     
  8. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Location:
    54140
    #8
    i just purchased an iBook G4 12 (stuck in Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay in indianapolis, IN), and I am a graphic design major with a computer information systems minor. thus, i do lots of computing, but i concluded that it just wasn't worth my money to go any higher than that machine. (i wanted a laptop)... so, if you can afford the G4 12 iBook, i'd say go for it. i did a few months of research and decided it was enough for me.
     
  9. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #9
    well... if you are 16 now, top of the line Mac right now may or may not comfortably last you through college. (you'll be graduating in 5+ years from now, no?) mind you, it will be usable, but may not be very comfortable. it'd like trying to get by with a Lombard now. (and Lombard was the top of the line 5 years ago... your iBook is not top of the line at this moment...)

    i'd save up a bit more and wait until you are closer to going to college..?
     
  10. Breatheher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Thanks for the replies.

    James - Lol, thanks for the advice. I'll check the nearby Lewis' and see what they have :)

    Micheal - Thanks, I was also thinking that I don't need to go above this and it should do what I need.

    Jxyama - My course lasts 2 years, by then if I take a higher course I may upgrade, as I'll be using it at home as much as college It'd be useful to me now, I still have quite a bit of work to do anyway. This model seems to do juswt what I want. Thanks for the advice though!

    Edit - One last question, Is the 14" really worth it over the 12"? I mean, is the speed difference big, I dont really need the extra screen size and I can always get a firewire drive once I fill this. Would I be better off with the higher spec, or the extra money for RAM and Airport (and the garageband extra instruments :D)

    Mart.
     
  11. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #11
    I don't believe so, as the screen resolution is the same on both. Some people like the 14" as the text is easier to read, but providing you eyesight is OK then not a problem. The processor speed is not significant IMO. To be honest once you start looking at the 1GHz iBook the 12" Powerbook starts to make more sense, unless you really need the bigger text.

    Come back and tell us what you purchased!

    Happy shopping!
     

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