College Computer help

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by rzback543, May 21, 2003.

  1. rzback543 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    #1
    I need to buy a computer before August, I need a computer for everyday college needs, I am not a big gamer or anything i just want one that will handle music very well and one that will be very fast. I am probably going to be a business major. I am for sure getting a Mac and i am looking to get a 12 inch powerbook or iBook. I cannot decide if i should buy one now to get the computer ready and get used to it since i am currently a PC user or wait and see what comes out before august. I see there is a new 15 inch powerbook coming out but i do not want to spend over 2000 on this computer and since the current one is over 2000 I'm sure this new one will be the same or even more. Would it be better to get the 12 inch iBook and get all the memory and updates i can from apple including more memory and bigger hard drive or just get the base powerbook. What would be my best plan of action.
     
  2. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #2
    when will you go to college?

    no, that7s not the real question... the real question is, how long can you wait?

    the longer you wait, the better the computer you get will be. 15" are due for updates like nobody's business and i think you are correct in your assumption that prices will be unlikely to drop. however while the 15" PB gets updated i think we can assume that so will the 17" AND[/] 12" PowerBook.

    waiting will always bring better and faster. buying now will always mean you can use it now. i doubt you need to buy the PB now to 'get used to' it, but if you buy it now it means you can USE(play) it now!
     
  3. t^3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2001
    #3
    If you're not planning on doing any graphics-intensive or video work or don't really care about playing the latest games, I'd recommend getting a maxed-out iBook. The current iBook will be plenty enough for music and is actually faster at some tasks than the 12" PowerBook. There are a handful of games though (Soldier of Fortune 2 and NASCAR Racing) that require a G4, should you ever want to play those, and an increasing number of applications, including the OS itself are being optimized for the G4 if you want to be future-proof. I doubt there will be another update to the iBook before school starts this fall, but I'd wait a month and see what happens at WWDC. The iBook has been consistently updated around April/May and October/November, so the next update will probably be too late for you, which has been rumored to bring a G3 that has AltiVec, essentially making it a G4. But if you decide to get a 12" PowerBook, I definitely think it'll be updated this summer, perhaps with the new PPC 970 chip which will blow everything away.

    Getting used to the Mac OS doesn't take that long. I'd say it would take about a month of regular use to get used to everything. As long as you are not afraid and keep track of what you are doing, exploring and seeing what you can do will help out a lot. Welcome to Macintosh!
     
  4. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #4
    I would wait until July. I doubt you will have to wait until after the 1st of July to see a PowerBook update. Othewise your statement of real speed kind of drops the iBook off of the list even though you haven't listed any requirements that need a computer faster then an iBook.
     
  5. wallinbl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    #5
    IMO, the only reason for getting the 12" PB over the iBook is the SuperDrive. I just ordered a 12" w/SuperDrive. I would have purchased the iBook if not for the SuperDrive.
     
  6. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #6
    Ah, but the G4 does so much better with OSX as nearly the entire system is optimized in one way or another for Altivec.
     
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Bay Area
    #7
  8. rzback543 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    #8
    thanks very much for the help i think i will just wait and see what happens at the conference in june. My birthday is in July so i can probably get some help in the money area since i can say it is a birthday present and something i need for college. thanks everybody
     
  9. skymaXimus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    #9
    I was in the same situation a few months ago and decided to go w/ the powerbook over the ibook. I did a lot of thinking and i had to money so i decided to just go for it. I'm so glad i got the powerbook. It just feels like a whole lot more machine. I go to compUSA a few times a month and when i go i always type on all the macs and when i type on the ibook i remember why i got my powerbook. the keyboard on this thing is phenomenal. The keyboard alone is worth the extra money. and it even does a decent job on UT2003 which i was suprised by
     
  10. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #10
    So I take it you chose to ignore the last half of the page where the 12" Powerbook just smokes the iBook. Look at the multitasking tests and the iTunes test and any other test that relies on Altivec that's nearly a third of them. Also these tests don't show overall system interface performance which is what I was referring to by OSX being optimized heavily for Altivec.

    My main question about the tests I saw are how much ram was in the 12" the ibook was maxed. Also I don't look at disk copy tests as hard drives are cheap and we all know the Powerbooks and iBooks have been neutered in recent years with slow hard drives.
     
  11. physicsnerd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    West Lafayette, IN
    #11
    I take it that you're going to be a Freshman in college so I'm gearing my response towards that. First off, I would recomend that you wait till you're actually at your school to buy a Mac. Because College bookstores can get much better deals on mac's then a single student can. Apple has been passing deals to collge bookstores where if they order 10+ at a time they'll take somewhere between 10-35% off the cost. (I saved almost $1,000 on my 15" powerbook going through the bookstore). Not all schools do this, and it varys from month to month depending on what Apple wants to move out. So it's not a sure thing by any means. But, you'll never spend more money going through the bookstore then if you went to an Apple store/ordered online with your student discount. You can always call your college's bookstore and see if they have any deals now.

    As for the G4 (maybe 970 by Aug) vs. G3 it really depends on what you want to do. The G3 is fast enough for most anything you'll need to do. That said, I think the powerbook is the one to go with. Comparing my 15" 1ghz powerbook (512 ram) to my friends 700mhz ibook (640 ram) there are a few differences.

    Powerbooks Pro's (note: 15" features, some may be different on 12")
    Faster
    15" has an excellent screen (worth the extra money over 12")
    Audio-in
    Can run an external monitor with lid shut.
    Card slot (15"/17" only)
    More ram
    Superdrive
    Better resale value

    ibook Pro's
    Cheaper
    A little more durable
    better battery life by about an hour
    Runs cooler
    Runs Silent (powerbooks have fans)

    I would highly recomend looking at the 15" powerbook too. I love mine, and the screen is what really does it for me. After hours in front of excel spreadsheets and word docs, the better screen really reduces my eye strain over using the ibook.

    physicsnerd
     
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
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    Bay Area
    #12
    um... are you looking at the same results I am? Out of 20 tests where the two are compared, each wins in 10 of them. Now, of these "wins," many on each side are so close that it's essentially a tie.

    Of the tests that the PB wins, 2 of them are by 10% or more difference. These are the photoshop altivec test and the altivec fractal (carbon) test.

    Of the tests that the ibook wins, 2 are by 10% or more: the burn cd test and the Appleworks search and replace test.

    I didn't "choose to ignore" anything. Maybe you can show me where the powerbook "just smokes" the ibook. From where I'm sitting, it's on 2 tests, both altivec. Yes, the ibook loses the itunes mp3 encode test... but by 2%! Ditto for the 1st multitasking test, and it's 3% on the second multitasking test.

    The "overall system interface performance" isn't on here, so you may be right about that; we'd have to see numbers. But the results of those tests are simply not what you say. I never said the ibook smoked the powerbook, only that your claim that "the G4 does so much better with OSX as nearly the entire system is optimized in one way or another for Altivec" is not supported by objective data.
     
  13. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #13
    It's not supported by those tests because they didn't test the OSX interface and I pointed that out in my last post. The overall inteface window opening/closing scrolling in system windows etc. is optimized for Altivec. I still have a question in my mind on how much Ram was used in the 12" PowerBook. If I had to guess by the numbers it was a base amount of no more then 256MB.
     
  14. rzback543 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    #14
    thanks i am going up to college on july the 2nd to register and if the new powerbooks are out then i could order through the bookstore and get this big discount all in one trip.
     
  15. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #15
    Sounds like a plan!! Good luck with school and your new computer. Though I think the later will help the first and the luck is not really needed with the later.
     
  16. Schiffi macrumors 6502a

    Schiffi

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    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
    #16
    I got the 15" PB for my upcoming college experience. Just would like to point out that the current 15" PBs are still able to boot into OS9. To my knowledge it is the last Mac to be able to. Of course you might not need the size and power of the 15 (I'm going into Visual Communication w/ Photoshop/Premiere/Illustrator) but you might need the backwards compatiablity of OS9.

    P.S. Don't forget to get Office.X with the Educational discount. You'll get it for like $200 instead of $500. I think you only save $50 with the actual hardware though.
     
  17. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Bay Area
    #17
    and as *I* pointed out in my last post, "The 'overall system interface performance' isn't on here, so you may be right about that; we'd have to see numbers."

    But you also made claims about the PB "just smoking" the ibook on the last half of the page, and that simply isn't true.

    There's simply no way to know about the RAM on the PB unless you want to e mail the guy who did the tests to ask him.
     
  18. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    It's a good idea to wait, rzback543, but even July might be too soon. If classes start in September, buying in August or September might be wise in case prices drop over the summer. But be aware that you might have to buy from available stock, since a newly announced Mac might not actually be shipping to your school in time for the start of classes.
     
  19. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #19
    I don' t know which school you'll be going, but at Michigan, you can get Office X for $45. We have a site license. You get just a CD, no manual, but can't beat the price!

    So you can expect a pretty good discount once you are a student... Bigger the school, chances are, bigger the discount... (UM has 12" PB for $1600.)

    Good luck.
     
  20. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #20

    True. I admit a poor choice of words. So all in all with those test the iBook 900 and the 12" Powerbook 867 come out fairly evenly except with Altivec enabled programs which are nearly all of the 'i' programs and more and more of the cocoa programs. Also we all know tests are tests and the only way to truly judge is to try it yourself.

    Though as I said in my first post I don't really see why he needs anything but an iBook based on the uses that were listed.
     

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