I-book 800mhz OR I-book 1ghz OR I-mac 1.25 ghz?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Synapple, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Synapple macrumors regular

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    #1
    First of all, hi everyone!
    I'm a newbie here, though I've been devouring mac forums for a month now, being so fascinated by the whole Apple world..
    I'm still a depressed pc user and saving up my money to buy a mac and switch asap..
    The thing is I have no clue of which model to buy and I need some help.
    I've narrowed down my choice to 3 models: I know that I will eventually buy both a desktop and a laptop so I've opted for an I-book and an I-mac.

    As for the I-book, a 12"/800 ghz would cost me €1.500 and a 14"/1ghz would cost me €2.000... the question is: does this ghz difference really matters for doing coomon stuff like surfing, e-mail, typing (a lot of!), music and some photoshop? Is the price difference worth it? [apart from getting a bigger screen of course.. I'm used to a 10" sony vaio so a 12" would be huge to my eyes anyway!)

    As for the I-mac, the 17" model with a 1.25ghz g4 would cost me €2.400.. I have to decide whether to buy the laptop first or the i-mac and since I wanna be impressed by the first mac i own (and probably play with it 24/7 for the first few months), what do you think I should buy first? I don't immediately need portability ('cause I still can work, even if depressed, on my vaio) but if the i-mac doesn't give you a much better performance than the i-book, i'd rather go for portability now...

    Thanks for any reply!
     
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #2
    get the 12" iBook. for your needs, it's enough.

    if you are used to 10" screen, then 14" iBook makes no sense. it's got the same resolution as the 12" screen anyway.

    so decide between 12" iBook or 17" iMac based on your preference for portability. i'd personally go for iBook even if you think you don't need portability now. portability is something you will find definitely useful once you have it.
     
  3. dudeami macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    It is hard to determine exactly what you are looking for. You state that you will being using the computer for more common tasks, yet want to be impressed. Do you want to be impressed by speed, or stability, great OS and good engineering?

    I don't tink any of these machines will impress you with speed (but for me only a G5 would truely impress me), but they are all pretty fast, in otherwords you definitely won't be disappointed. The iMac will of course win out on several fronts, faster processor, faster RAM/motherboard speed, better graphics card with twice the RAM of the iBook card, and a faster hard drive (about twice as fast from the benchmarks that I looked at). For the tasks that you mentioned I think you would be fine, choosing any of the three machines that you listed. You asked about the 1 GHz iBook being worth the additional cost. In my opinion the 933 MHz iBook gives you more for the additional cost above the 800 MHz. It gives you the 14 inch screen, faster processor and a larger hard drive. I don't really feel that there is enough of a difference between the 933 MHz and the 1 GHz to justify that jump. If you want a 14" iBook I would recommend the 933.
    It sounds like you want the portability addressed first, so its seems to me that could be the deciding factor. I think you would be more impressed by a future model of the iMac line, then the iBook line when waiting to buy your second Macintosh. In my opinion, it has more room to grow in the near future, so i think Apple will be putting something faster under it's hood, when compared to future enhancements to the iBook. Also I think buying the laptop now will give you more flexability in purchasing your desktop later. In other words, if you discover that you like a program that needs some horsepower, you could still opt to get a G5 tower (if the G5 is not already in the iMac) when you buy your desktop.

    Just my 2 cents. If I had to vote, I would pencil in the 933 MHz iBook.
     
  4. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #4
    the difference between the 933 and the 1Ghz is hard to justify
    i'd suggest trying out the 12 and 14 inch ibook in person and then making your decision

     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    how are you defining speed? this is the biggest problem for most comparisons. the real speed difference shows up in something like rendering. if run iMovie side by side and see that G5 finishes a job 50% faster, then that's a real speed difference. however, how often do you make such comparisons? only people who've actually done side-by-side comparison will be able to tell the speed difference between 800 MHz and 1 GHz. and i'm not at all convinced that most people will do such comparisons to begin with and that it's not worth spending money for the speed difference most people won't even find out... from the orig. post, the heaviest use he will do is "some photoshop." short of buying both 800 MHz and 1 GHz machines and running same tasks side-by-side, i don't think you will notice any speed difference.

    however, OS responsiveness (which is often what people mean by speed) is hardly dependent on the processor speed. as we found out, OS optimizations have far greater impact on the responsiveness than the processor speed. (re: jaguar vs. panther) so again, i don't think it's worth paying extra money to gain miniscule amount of responsiveness when 10.4 may trump any responsiveness difference between 800 MHz and 1 GHz anyway...
     
  6. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Los Angeles
    #6
    I always assumed that the laptop/desktop debate just depended on whether you needed portability. Evidently it doesn't.

    I'd suggest the iMac. I think it will overall be more comfortable to use. Laptops kind of get you hunched over to use them. The speed is adequate either way, but I think the ergonomics are better on the iMac. Laptops make great second computers.
     
  7. dudeami macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2004
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    Texas
    #7
    jxyama,

    If you are refering to my post, I'm not really trying to compare the speed of the 800 MHz and 1 GHz iBooks in there. What I recommended is that if that person was wanting a 14" iBook then go with the 933 MHz, because as you said it would be difficult to judge the speed difference between the 800 MHz and 1 GHz it would be even harder to judge the difference between the 933 Mhz and 1 GHz. I was trying to address the original poster's question regarding the 1 GHz being worth the extra money, and basically what I was saying is that if they wanted the 1 GHz to get the larger screen (12" compared to 14") that I would personally go with the 933 MHz model in order to get the 14" screen.
     
  8. Synapple thread starter macrumors regular

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    Rome, Italy
    #8
    Lol.. that's for sure BUT in my case the fact is that, as much as I don't like it, I bought this ultra-portable vaio a few months ago and it's doing its job just fine.. so, while on one hand I'd love to have an i-book and take it wherever I want (at work, especially!), on the other hand I'd love to see my Panther run on a brilliant 17" screen in all its splendor and finally get rid of this huge pc tower I got under my desk..

    And I'll buy both, eventually, but I'll have to wait and save some money and I just can't decide between portability on a small screen or visual awe..


    As for the differences between 800/933/1 thx for all of your replies! What I meant by "speed" (problably using a non-expert improper term) is the general feeling you get from the machine.. being a windows user I'm used to having my system slow down when running several applications or for no reason whatsoever sometimes.. I read that Panther can be slow on some macs and was wondering if the low-end iBook could give me any problem of this kind..

    Any help is really appreciated.. thank you all!
     
  9. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #9
    i think it used to be that portability definitely was the major issue - because you really, really paid a lot more for laptops and they were lesser featured. while this is still true, now you can get very capable laptops at decent prices. iBooks aren't full featured, compared to G5, of course, but it's affordable and will do most everything you'd normally want to do.

    my thought has changed from buying a laptop if you need portability to buying a desktop only if you know for sure you don't need the portability or absolutely needed the top notch performance...
     
  10. dudeami macrumors regular

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    Texas
    #10
    Synapple,

    As far as slow down is concerned when running multiple apps, you would probably be a little less inclined to notice this on the iMac then the iBook. With one assumption. Let's see if this makes sence as far as what you want. I feel you are wanting the OS to feel snappy when switching between these apps when they are all running, and aren't concerned with crunching power when the processor is concentrating on one particular app. That will be my assumption, please let me know if this is wrong.

    If that is the case then the potential bottleneck I think you are concerned with is the memory and virtual memory. With multiple apps open your memory usage will be greater. To combat that, the iMac can hold more RAM then the iBook, thus it will be less inclined to have to page swap the memory between the hard drive and RAM. Also the memory is faster and the hard drive is almost twice as fast (as I posted earlier) in the iMac, thus it can load and swap the memory faster then the iBook, and will feel snappier when it has to rely on heavy page swapping.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Maverick macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    Beaumont, Texas
    #11
    I'd go with the 933 MHz iBook like most everyone else is saying. There isn't a noticeable performance difference between it and the 1GHz, it still has the 14-inch screen, and you can use the extra money you save to buy more RAM.

    The 933 MHz will be plenty of power for your needs, and you can get rid of your Sony. :D
     
  12. Synapple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    dudeami, thx for your reply.. that is exactly what I meant...

    and now, after all the other replies, I'm thinking about the 14" 993 ghz iBook.. I read on this very site that iBooks are gonna be revamped in a short time.. from what you could tell, is it gonna be a major change or what? Guess I should just go with the iMac now and wait a few months to get the new iBooks...

    AND I would love to sell my vaio BUT after a week of working with it (and I mean very minor working, like word and IE) one of the hard disks suddenly decided to stop working and I had to have it replaced.. of course, it was coverd by warranty, but they replaced it with a lower quality hard disk and that means that, if a sell it, I'll lose a lot of money of what I paid for that f***in peecee.. (otherwise I'd just sell it right now and get both a mac desktop and laptop!)
     
  13. tekno_geek911 macrumors 6502

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    I would go with the iBook instead of the iMac,I think the iMac's will get an update before the iBook gets one....Im stuck in the same situation,not sure if I should get a 12" iBook or 14" iBook 933.Im using a 12" PowerBook 867 and it does fine in just about everything I use it for(mainly PhotoShop and Cinema 4D)....I just like the new iBook's design better.
     
  14. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #14
    Hmm - you're quoting Euros, which means...

    ...pick up a cheap flight to New York, and buy a new 12" PowerBook from the Apple Store.

    With the money you'll save, you could also get a new iPod thrown in the price! Also - the build quality of the PB over the iBook is substantial. You won't regret it.

    :)
     
  15. tekno_geek911 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Im not to sure about that...The iBook's are built to take a beating.The PowerBook's can dent and warp.
     
  16. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #16
    Regardless of which model you choose, get at least 512MB of RAM.
     
  17. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #17
    Ok, I have no insider info, etcetc, but, imo, the iBook won't be seeing an update all that soon. The 14" iBook compared the the 12" Powerbook is very close in performance terms, and even the the larger screen, the iBook is cheaper. Point is that the PB will have to get an upgrade before (crosses fingers for today) the iBook does. If you buy an iBook I would say that it will be top of the line (for its model) for awhile, and compare favorabley to new iBooks that come out later in the year.
    That sucks :( Sony is usually pretty good about such things, in my experience... Have you called and complained about the repairs being not satisfactory?

    Anyways, you haven't mentioned what kind of PC desktop you are using currently... I would say your decision should be based on that as well... if you are using some old P3 or something in dire need of an upgrade, considering that you have a new Vaio, I would say an iMac makes more sense.

    On the other hand, if your PC is pretty new, and doing what it needs to do, the 14" 933mhz iBook is really a great bargin. Also, it may help 'get you into' OSX and the Mac world if you hace a system that you can use everywhere you go (work, the living room, in bed, in the park, at the cafe, etc).

    So, what kind of PC desktop ARE you using? :)

    Rob

    OH wanted to add my concurrence about RAM. If you get an iBook just go ahead and max the ram out at 640MB. If you get an iMac I would suggest that you get the standard 256MB ram, and then add your own 512MB dimm to save money, giving you 768MB total. That will improve performance more than the 200mhz jump in the 12 to 14" iBook models.
     
  18. Synapple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18

    Yeah, I called the vaio-link service and they treated me like an arrogant little ignorant who hadn't even bothered reading carefully through the warranty papers.. and I hate admitting that, but they were right :( it was actually clearly stated (clearly if you go around with a magnifying glass sticked to your eyes) that you get your pieces replaced for free but they're not necessarely gonna be the same quality as the ones that are being replaced.. which IMHO totally sucks. But there was nothing I could do.

    As for my desktop pc, there are no words to describe how sucky it is.. it's a pretty old pc that I got for free a couple of years ago, when I brought my old desktop to a repair store and they literally burned it, wasting all the documents I had on it (nothing important 'cause I had back up cds, but I pretended they had just wasted my whole life so I could get a new pc for free!).. anyway, my desktop definetely needs to be replaced and that's why I was considering the iMac in the first place..

    I'm still very undecided.. and as Kiwi suggested, I might just go to the U.S. and pick'em both.. lol.. I wish :rolleyes:

    Anyways, since you seem to think that no major upgrades are going to happen in the near future, I'm now more into getting the 14" 933 iBook.. and wait till the iMacs get a new update.. but I have the feeling I'll change my mind in a while.. sheeeeess.. I so don't know what to do!
     
  19. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #19
    Well, don't take my word on the iBook upgrades... who knows what apple will do?? That's just my GUESS, as Apple seems to like to keep a pretty good gap between por and consumer lines...

    Anyways, if your PC is a joke, and you have a brand new sony laptop that you aren't going to be able to get rid of without major loss, why not get an iMac now? You can get a faster system, more ram, a superdrive, etc etc...

    S'pose it all depends on your needs, really... but I personally like to have at least one high power machine around for multimedia authoring, image editing, massive storage space, games, etc, so I guess what I am saying is that if I were you, given:

    - Old desktop
    - New laptop
    - Only can get one machine now
    - First time mac buyer

    I would get the iMac now. Save up some more money, sell the Sony in 6-8 months (take a loss, but at least you got half a year use out of it!) and buy whatever iBook looks good then.

    But, that's just me. Hope I have helped at least a little, and not just made the chioce harder for you :)

    Rob

    PS you could also consider getting a top of the line Powerbook... if you add the prices of a mid range 17" iMac and a midrange iBook, each decently configured you get (in the US anyways) about $3500. In comparison, a 17" PBook with an upgraded harddrive and aftermarket/add your own 1gig of ram is about $3200. The Pbook would have the same size screen as the iMac, be portable (to an extent), get the Superdrive, the same speed cpu (still wont be quite as fast as the iMac, raw power0wise, i am guessing), a better video card, and overall save you a few hundred dollars... Plus the PBook is expected to get an update pretty soon (see page 2 discussion), so you will probably getting even more for slightly less, or get the current model at a prety good discount, further saving money. Just something else to consider!
     
  20. Synapple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    I see your point Rob and I've pondered about it too.. thing is I know I need to have at least a desktop and a laptop and, knowing myself, once I switch I wanna switch completely.. and that's why I thought about consumers' mac.. I can afford them! If I got a PBook I'd have a top of the line laptop, but the unbearable desire of gettin a desktop too, and couldn't afford it! that's why I'm still stuck on the iMac and iBook..

    Anyway, all your replies are truly helpful.. I've got 'till mid april to choose ($$$ coming up!) so keep'em coming!
     
  21. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #21
    I'm in the same boat, with regards to time that is. Mid-April I'm getting a new mac, but I know it has to be a portable. Doesn't make it any easier tho. :p

    Well, if the 17" Pbook is out, then I still say get as nice an iMac as you can now, and grab up an ultra portable ibook when you can afford one. As it stands, the MacRumors.com buyers guide lists the iMac as mid-cycle, so a pretty safe buy. While it list the iBook as end of cycle, I still think it will be awhile before the next revision comes out. Like late summer availablity. Maybe by then you can afford to ditch the Sony and get the newest iBook. :)

    Rob
     

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