iBook questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by SilentPanda, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #1
    I'm pretty much set on buying a 12" G4 iBook. With my edu discount it's gonna be $1290 + tax & shipping. This would be the base model with a 60 GB HD, Airport Extreme Card & and the full 640 MB RAM. I know I know... RAM is cheaper if you buy it yourself... I went to crucial.com and it was about 8 bucks cheaper...

    Anyhow I have 2 broad questions:

    1) Right now I have the original 15" FP iMac (800 mhz) with 768 MB RAM. Will there be that much difference in speed? It seems like the cache is the same but the Bus Speed is going to be faster on the iBook. The only main difference I see is I'll have a wee less RAM in the iBook, a smaller screen (same resolution though), and no DVD burner. Am I missing any other differences that should make me rethink my purchase. I'm content with the current speed of my iMac but I'm selling it to get the iBook.

    2) Here's the big question. What kind of extra things should I eventually buy? I'll probably need a bag/case (any recommendations?), an extra AC adapter, a screen cloth between the screen and the keyboard(?), maybe an extrernal optical mouse, etc, etc, etc. What would be your list o' accesories? Is there some sort of good "phone home" program or security type of thing I should install in case it gets stolen?

    3) Yeah I said two but... the Apple on the back of the lid lights up right? ;)
     
  2. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #2
    I'm actually in pretty much the same position as you. I also have a 15" iMac 800Mhz and am planning to sell it to get the 12" iBook G4. I think the speed of this iMac is great, and wouldn't need anything faster for now, but I have to tell you that the iBook is noticeable slower. However, since you are upgrading the RAM to the maximum, you shouldn't notice the effect too much. I think the $999 price tag will make the relative slowness of it a little easier to take http://forums.macrumors.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif.

    As for your second question, based on my previous experience with an iBook G3, I would definitely get a bag if you plan on taking it with you anywhere (I don't know any specific brands). I'm not sure why you would need an extra AC adaptor unless you want one to keep one at work and one at home (or something like that). Personally, I think buying a mouse for a laptop defeats the whole purpose of a portable, integrated design, so I would just get used to the trackpad. And as for the protective screen cloth, I don't think it's necessary for an iBook because there is more space between the keyboard and LCD than there is in the PowerBook. However, I guess better safe than sorry; you don't want to get those keyboard marks on the screen.

    If you do end up getting the iBook, let me know how you like it. I'm basing the speed comparison just on using the stock display model at an Apple store, so maybe the speed won't be as bad on your upgraded one.
     
  3. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
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    The Bamboo Forest
    #3
    The iBook is slower? It has the same amount of cache and the same amout of processor speed but with a faster bus... that just seems weird... I'm not calling you a liar or anything... but it seems odd...
     
  4. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    Yes, the 800 Mhz iBook G4 is slower than the old 800 Mhz iMac G4. I'm basing that on just using both and also benchmarks. On the iBook all of the iApps are slower and take longer to open, and the different is especially noticeable when using a program like Photoshop.

    Also, I did Xbench tests on both. My iMac scores an 82 with 256 MB of RAM and Panther. The iBook I used scored just a 60 with 256 MB of RAM. That is a big difference. However, I noticed that other G4 iBook users were getting higher numbers, as high as 67 or 68, but that's still quite a bit slower than the iMac. While it does seem strange, since the iBook has a faster system bus, it's just the way it is. I think the hard disk might have something to do with it--doesn't the iMac have a 5200 RPM drive, while the iBook only a 4200 RPM drive? I'm not sure that would account for such a big difference, but it might contribute.
     
  5. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
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    #5
    That makes sense... I'm gonna go home and redo XBench on my iMac and see what turns up... last time I did it was 10.2.6 so I'm sure it's faster now... my iMac was getting about 62 on 10.2.6... I see the iBook G4 800's are getting from about 60 - 80 on the XBench website but with a newer OS and with a newer version of XBench... so I'll redo mine for my own comparison against my current setup... didn't think of that for some reason... thanks!
     
  6. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    #6
    I don't know how much of an issue cost is for you, but I'd reccomend that you go for the 12" Powerbook instead of the G4 iBook.

    You probably won't see that much of a difference from your iMac (the new iBooks DDR RAM is an improvement, though 640 limit will prevent you from matching the iMac in total RAM). The cache is also faily unimpressive (and the processor is basically the same). The lack of a Superdrive really shouldn't be an issue, though (unless you plan on selling your iMac).

    The 12" Powerbook simply improves on all of the iBook's features. It's faster, can take more RAM, has a better graphics card, and more cache. I just went from a 15" 800 MHz Superdrive iMac to a 12" Powerbook (I still use the iMac as a server and video editing workstation, though), and the Powerbook is definitely faster.

    And yes, the Apple lights up (it looks really cool on the Powerbook). ;)
     
  7. CMillerERAU macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno, CA (Prescott, AZ for school)
    #7
    It's probably slower because its a laptop. They throttle the CPU for better battery life. Check out the setting in Energy Saver Control Panel to see what's going on. You can usually specify how much throttling is being done from there.
     
  8. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #8
    No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!

    Stop trying to tempt me... I want to do it but I just... I just... shouldn't! NO NO NO NO...

    :D

    I'm considering it... although the initial RAM of the 12" powerbook would be 256 instead of 640 and I woulnd't get the Airport card until later... stop tempting me devil person!

    Money is sorta a concern... but... as long as the XBench results of my iMac meet up about what I'm seeing the iBook G4's XBench at then I'll probably stick with the iBook. I'm content with the power my iMac has... most of what I do is Mail, Safari, iTunes and that's it. I do Flash MX for about 2 weeks every 6 or 7 months, a little Graphic Convertor here and there, the occasional iMovie... but nothing I can't wait on. As long as it'll do it... waiting 5 hours to export a movie and waiting 10 hours to export a movie doesn't matter to me... I have it do it overnight and while I'm at work. Either way I'm not using it.
     
  9. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #9
    The iBook and the iMac have the exact same processor, but the iBook has a faster FSB. It definitely should be at least as fast in all CPU bound tasks, when the processor is set to high performance. It also has a faster graphics card (Radeon 9200 Mobility > GF 2MX). The thing that is going to be significantly slower on the iBook is the HD. That will really affect things like opening apps, or any other disk intensive task. I would imagine that is why the iBook might feel/bench "slower" in some cases.
     
  10. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #10
    this is what i would buy if i were you. you only have one chance to add bluetooth internally so i would add internal bluetooth for your machine. it will nice later on if you ever get a wireless keyboard or mouse, as well as a bluetooth phone. i noticed you got the airport extreme card, you may want to get a base station as well and hook your imac into it so you can share your files between both computers, unless you already have another setup for sharing files. i would also pick yourself up a 6 to 6 pin firewire cable so you can transfer files from each computer via firewire target disk mode. other than that you are pretty much set. you will learn very quickly out of the box your ibook will do probably everything you need it to without extra software, but that all depends on what you are doing.

    iJon
     
  11. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #11
    I'm actually getting rid of the iMac... I'm getting the wireless card "for later" so I might even not get that initially... no point if I'm not going to use it... but I might since I will have the money... I thought the bluetooth was external. But since it's internal I'm definitely going to get that. Maybe I'll swap the Airport Extreme for bluetooth for now... then get the Airport next month. Thanks for the note on bluetooth. Otherwise I don't think I woulda caught that...
     
  12. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #12
    oh ok, then just bluetooth. apple solders the bluetooth to the motherboard and is only 50 dollars. it has to be done at apple. if you buy any mac without it your only option later on is buying a 3rd party usb adapter. i have played with the bluetooth mouse by apple and it is very nice, but i gotta have a scroll and 2nd button so i would consider the logitech mouse. microsofts was to bulky for me.

    iJon
     
  13. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
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    #13
    Sweet! iBook G4 800 mHz. 640 MB RAM. Bluetooth. 60 GB HD. *does a lil' crazy dance*

    I probably have to order that from Apple huh? The Apple stores probably can't do that (the HD and the bluetooth) at the store... I'm using my edu discount for sure though.
     
  14. markjones05 macrumors 6502a

    markjones05

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    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #14

    Alright somebody please tell me what xbench is and how do i do one on my computer??
     
  15. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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  16. SilentPanda thread starter Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #16
  17. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #17
    im not sure, im sure they have some ibooks with that hard drive and bluetooth already in there, but who knows. just gotta go ask them.

    iJon
     
  18. job macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #18
    is the ibook bluetooth option really internal?

    when i click on the bluetooth option in the tech spec section under the build to order options of the ibook page (all the way at the bottom in the grey) it takes me to an external bluetooth dongle for $50.
     
  19. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #19
    yes it is, go read the tech specs, it is internal.

    iJon
     
  20. job macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
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    in transit
    #20
    ah, cheers. looks like i didn't read close enough. ;)

    in that case, i think the ibook is a great deal. :)
     
  21. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #21
    The new iBooks are really nice, my only question to Apple is why didn't they offer a 933Mhz 12" too, they always had one 12" model with better specs.
     
  22. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #22
    maybe it wasnt able to be done. may have been to hot or to low of battery life. but i do agree its kind of dumb, they are advertising the 14" now with two models like people are actually buying the 14 over the 12.

    iJon
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    All of the 14's are sold out at my local Apple Store (even the display model) but they still have 12's instock. I'm leaning towars a 14 over the 12 for the larger screen (yes, I know they are both the same res), I want the faster proc, and because I think I like the overall size of the 14 more. I hate feeling confined and the 14 feels more comfortable than the 12 while using them on my lap. I'm still not sure though. I prefer the smaller size when it comes to portability, but I prefer the larger one when actually in use... oh well...


    Lethal
     
  24. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #24
    hmm interesting. i hardly have anyone interested in the 14's, but i guess many people do like them.

    iJon
     
  25. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #25
    I really would have prefered a 933/1 Gig 12in iBook G4. I agree with the assertion that a heat issue may have prevented that from happening.

    I wonder if a cooler G4 is coming down sooner, rather than later.

    I seem to remember that the iBook 600 came out 10/2001 and then in 1/2002, the iBook 700 appeared.

    Could we see a G5 powerbook in early 2004 with an enhanced (and cooler) G4 for the ibook/iMac sometime soon after?
     

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