iBook vs PB: Battery life, L2 Cache, etc

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dogus1, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. dogus1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #1
    I too now fall into the great confusion about what to buy -- the outstanding new iBook, or the venerably powerful PB... up until recently, the PB was a now brainer, but now seeing what I can get for so much less, the iBook G4 is really pounding my head...

    Apple suggests that the 14'' iBook can get "up to" 6 hours of battery life, and the 15'' Aluminum PB can get "up to" 4... now, how much truth is in these statements? I've read reviews and rants that the PBs actual battery life, in any sort of use that would make the POWER asepect shine, goes down to something like two hours! And even if all the energy saving stuff is implimented, I've read that the battery life still doesn't reach 4... anyone care to agree or disagree? And, what of the iBook -- are it's claim to batterly longevity more well founded? If it really does last even 5 hours doing anything the least bit "taxing," that would be sexy! I've heard people say the PB can't even last through a two hour DVD movie! So what the hell is the point then? I want this thing to be a mobile movie watcher, not a smaller desktop!

    And, really, how much speed difference are we looking at between 933 Mhz and 1Ghz? This is a question relevant to both the middle of the road iBook and the top of the line, and would relate back to the PB as well. Right now, for those 67 Mhz, you have to pay 200 more bucks, and as far as I can tell, the only more you get is 20 gigs of 4200 rpm hard drive space, which on any PC HD would be far less than 1gig/dollar (so, at most, 20 bucks, though Apple says $45, but you can't downgrade anyway on the 1gig model...). Are 67 G4 Mhz worth 200 bucks in any performance sense? I'm sensing not... And, how much of a speed difference do we look at between 1 Ghz and 1.25 Ghz ...I've read reviews stating only a 13% performance gain in the new PB 1.25 over the old Titatnium 1 Ghz (and so, I suppose, the new Aluminum 1Ghz).

    Good Lord, this is long, but this is it, and probably the most important -- how much will that doubled L2 Cache come into play? 256 iBook versus 512 PB ...comperable 1Ghz systems should still do better on the PB, but so much better to warrent all that extra money?

    Essentially, I'm looking for good reasons to justify my desire to buy a PB! That's what I want, but pragmatism shouts iBook 933, the best bang for the buck... so, iBook or Powerbook? iBook 933 or iBook 1Ghz!?

    All these recent rumors of Powerbook design failures isn't very comforting, and I hear the beast can get HOT AS HELL...

    Finally, for editing real movies (Final Cut kind of stuff), how well suited is the PB, considering it's rather slow 4200 HD? I've heard people say it can't keep up? The PB just seems between a rock in a hardplace, what with the iBook being so powerful now, and the PowerMac G5 being the kind of desktop that a "desktop replacement" laptop simply cannot catch up with, and probably will not be able to for years to come!

    Oh, and Airport Xtreme -- I've read that the iBook gets signifcantly better reception than the PB, for whatever reason, perhaps differences in case material... any truth to this?

    And what of PBs less-than-rugged design, compared to the iBooks invincibliity?! I would have thought that a PC encased in damned Aluminum would be a potent force, but I'm told that it is quite fragile! Does 3 year super-duper Apple Care cover accidental spills and falls for these machines, because if not, I would be too afraid to take it out of the house!

    ARGGGH!!!! Convince me to buy that Aluminum beast! I plan to use my computer for the best gaming Macs can get, wireless surfing/gaming, dvd playing, mobile word processing -- It's a pipe dream that I'd use it for OS X style audio/film editing ...I realize if I ever want this pipe dream to come true, I'd have to get the PB, but I don't if the pipe dream risk is worth the cash - and I realize that yes, the G5 would be a much better way to realize my dream. Can a 933 play games, like Halo which should be on Mac in December? Or the best Mac can offer now?


    If anyone answers even 1/2 of this, I'll be beyond satisfied!

    Yours in excellence,
    Dogus1
     
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #2
    in general, you get what you pay for. iBook G4s look great. but they are not substitutes for PBs. consider your needs (including your personal preference on the encasing - yes, it might sound silly to pay for designs but it counts a lot for some people!) and not just benchmarks to decide what you want.

    also remember that 14" iBook screen has a very low screen resolution compared to the 15" PB.

    battery life: i can't say much about the specific machines you are talking about, but my PB 12" (Rev. A) was listed at 5 hours. i get 4+ hours of surfing, emailing, iPhoto + iTunes with reduced processor, no CD/DVD burning/reading, Airport Extreme turned on, no BT, screen brightness turned down and a USB mouse plugged in. the number quoted is the MAXIMUM so i think most of don't get that number using normally, but unless you are doing some battery draining functions, it's fairly accurate... if you are doing what i mentioned above, i imagine the 6 hour iBook to get a little over 5 hours and 4 hour PB to get a little over 3 hours.

    other points:

    -spinning DVD/CDs eat up a lot of battery.

    -you can't get $1/Gig if you are talking about 2.5" HD in laptops.

    -iBook G4 and PB G4 are different. so comparing speed simply based on GHz won't make much sense. that said, for everyday apps and functions, i don't think there'll be that much difference.

    -i think the most recent rev. of PB has dealt fairly well with the hotness issue.

    -iBook is made of plastic and has better wireless reception in general. however, new Al PBs have quite good receptions. the only really bad ones were Ti PB.

    -iBook is more rugged than PB. that said, neither will survive a serious fall. this is a computer we are talking about, afterall. iBook plastic is probably more durable but susceptible to scratches. Al PB is pretty "fragile" (like dents) but pretty tough to scratch...

    -applecare will not cover accidents. only hardware failures due to manufacturing defect. take out regular insurance and buy a good bag if you are worried.

    i think you really want the PB. you are just looking for reasons. believe me, when you get it, you will be happy. i love mine, and i need no justification on where the money went, etc.
     
  3. phantommaul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    istanbul,Turkey
    #3
    same problem here

    i know your concerns "dogus1" i was planning to buy a 15 PB one month ago but due to the price issues i had to retire my dreams for a while. but apple heard my prayers and made a portable g4 for 1000$-1300$ price range which is great. i really tought if i really needed FW800, dvi output audio in and so. and i also tought the great battery life of iBook and the durability. i want to share a real life experience with you they say it is not durable enough but i know numerous falling and car passing over issues yes this is true i know a ibook smashed by a car and only the display has been broken. the machine was operational with an external display !

    i know this is a extreme example but i let you do the math for the normal use durability.

    so now i changed my mind and i will go with the 933 14" iBook. because after all its a g4 iBook and it is not gonna be dead like the PB G4 because everyone knows apple is gonna release the PB G5 at the end of 2004 so the PB's has one year left for market. later it is inventory emptying and low second hand prices. but iBook G4 will be on the market for at least 3-4 years.

    and one more thing dont bother the low resolution of the machine there is a third party add on that enables monitor spanning and higher resolutions on external display. you still have to use 1024 on the go but it is better than nothing.

    so don't be too excited for consuming more and think of your real needs from this purchase. don't forget there will always be a new portable (G5) you are gonna desire.
     
  4. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #4
    have 2 15" 1.0MHz AlBooks. Both get just over 2 hours on the battery. Not good. One had the Jag update that screwed the battery, Apple sent a new one, brand new: 2 hours. Still, it's the finest lap I've ever seen or used. Just ing to buy two more batteries.
     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    Re: same problem here

    ok, rest of what you said is fine, but this kind of attitude really bothers me. you seem to be implying that G5 PB will make G4 PB "more obsolete" than G4 iBook. this is utter non-sense. newer machines do not alter the performance of the older machines. also, saying "G4 iBook won't become obsolete because iBook won't get a G5 in it for a few years" is like saying "my Pentium 100 MHz is not obsolete because the new machines these days still uses a processor named 'Pentium.'" it's just a product line name, iBook, PB, etc.

    i also do not agree with your implication that getting a PB when you only need the performance of an iBook is going overboard. you will be spending quite a bit of money regardless and you will be using the machine for a few years. you should buy what you want that lets you do what you want to do. design and looks can and do go quite far in satisfaction... i do not think getting an iBook is being cheap but i don't think getting a PB is going overboard either.

    the bottom line - get what you want, as long as you can reasonably afford it. if one is purchasing on such a tight budget that getting a PB instead of an iBook won't leave much room for RAM, software, etc., then you should probably save $$$ and get an iBook. but if your gut tells you that you want a PB even though iBook might suffice, then you should consider a PB and see if the satisfaction of having a PB and not an iBook is worth the extra money or not. this is strictly personal... no one can put a definite value on something like this.
     
  6. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #6
    Re: Re: same problem here

    A common enough thing... being brainwashed into having the latest and greatest because that "old crap" is obsolete. I have a 7200 that does a great job at image manipulation w/photoshop, web design, Bryce designs... etc., etc. Slower than a G5 true, but it does work. I'm sure we all have examples of this. So now how do I convince myself that the 25K+ worth of stuff I bought since then was really the smartest move financially? So I could play UnReal 2003? Ghost ReCon? I'm worried. Thanks for this thread. No, really, thanks a lot. :)
     
  7. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Remember that the iBook, however good it is, is less powerful than the PowerBook (even the 12"). It's quite a lot cheaper, so that's its main selling point.

    The PB and the iBook are equally good macines depending on what you want from your machine. Both are perfectly good at surfing the net and writing emails or word documents but the PowerBook has more pro features like DVI out and external display spanning, optional internal Superdrive, and better keyboard. It is also more powerful.

    I don't think durability is an issue. If you drop either of them you will be screwed. The PowerBook is more scratch-resistant but probably slightly more fragile in other areas.

    My PB 12" gets 3-4 hours battery out of the advertised 5 when doing word processing constantly and a mouse plugged in. Not bad I think. The iBook will probably get a bit more.

    Think of the iBook as a budget version of the PowerBook - lacking some features and power, but providing tremendous value for money. And remember that tyhe 14" iBook is no match for the 15" PB.
     
  8. phantommaul macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    istanbul,Turkey
    #8
    what i meant was...

    hold on a sec pals. dont make me the scapegoat here. i used first rev imacs for many years and made serious design works on them but one thing is fore sure that apple became more betrayal to its back technologies than before.

    think of the first pb g4 and the last powerbook g4 there is a huge gap and for serious video workers the specs of the pb 400 is really uncapable.

    apple sends out new techs like fw800, DVI and so - ok i agree that apple is the biggest computer tech company but. they first made this with the announcement of quartz extreme which was needed min a 32 MB graphics card to be idle.

    so the older iBook and Powerbook owners used the X without this option opened.

    then they upgraded the final cut pro with real time effects which needed min G4, again older G3 owners. down

    now the dvi ports and the FW800, i bet after 2 revs the displays would only support DVI and the ipod only FW800.

    **i strongly remind you that i totally agree with your ideas about dont beeing too obsessed about wanting to have the latest, but the truth is that.

    i have written those commends because i didnt want "dogus1" to be hurt with the purchase. i he wants the long living he should go with the iBook, i he has the money he should go with the PB. i just said my ideas about the second hand prices.

    i also want you to remind that once a 400Mhz G3 was enough for video editing. - aging is inevitable because this is what we call technology.

    i want to end it with saying that please dont take this post as a retaliate. i agree with your commends.
     
  9. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Re: what i meant was...

    The iBook is less powerful than the PowerBook. How does that make it have a longer life?

    My advice - get what you want now. Everything has just been updated. My 1999 P3 500 MHz with Windows 98 still works perfectly well for audio production. I have Final Cut Express on my new 12" PB rev B and I expect it to work as well in 5 years as it does now, regardless of what technology exists then. Even if Final Cut Pro 8 (or whatever) requires a G7, my Final Cut Express will still work well on my computer. The iBook G4 will be less capable at running Final Cut Express than my 12" PB so I can't see how it would last longer.
     
  10. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    14" iBook 933 vs. 12" PowerBook 1Ghz

    I was in the same position just last week. I went to the Apple store and used both the iBook G4 and the PowerBook (although I was only considering the 12" version of each), and I just liked the PowerBook better. It was like the difference between an Accord V6 and and an Acura TL. The Accord has 240 hp and the Acura has 270 horsepower--an edge, but not really enough to justify the extra cost. However, the Acura has other features that makes it easier for the customer to justify the price. I liked the feel of the aluminum and the sturdy keyboard, and the way that the screen was attached. The iBook's screen felt too stiff and the trackpad is too big. The keyboard is better than the G3 model, but still not as nice as the PowerBook.

    As for speed: the iBook 800 Mhz scores about an 80 on XBench and the PowerBook 1 Ghz Scores about a 95. The 14" iBook 933 Mhz scores around 86. Will you notice the speed difference? Definitely, but is it really enough to justify the $500 difference in price? If all you are interested in is speed, you should get the iBook because it's that close and the price is so much more reasonable. If the "luxury" features of the PowerBook are important to you, then get the PowerBook. If the G5 PowerBook does come out in a year, you will be able to sell your PowerBook for a lot more than you would the iBook if you wanted to upgrade.

    I ended up getting the iBook because I really just couldn't justify the $400 price increase (with the edu discount). However, if I had gotten the PowerBook, I wouldn't regret it at all, and sometimes I wish I had.
     
  11. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #11
    I know this ia na old thread - what did you end up doing?
    I'm in the same boat - owned a 667 tiBook.
    Now trying to decide between al15 and 933 ibook.
    Woz said it right when he said - the PB is desivbned as a replacement for your desktop - the ibook as a second computer".
    I do plan to get a G5 once the neww ones come out (nexzt week or next quarter) and withthe 933 can wait and be ok.
    If I got the PB I'd be cash strapped for a long time - withthe iBook I can afford a low end G5 when the Rev Bs come out - maybe even a DP if I use my ADC discount.
    So, I'm usng my educ discount to get a 933 after work today.
     
  12. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #12
    Ditto maclamb.

    I use my ibook for presentations and only the most basic applications. Never as a main computer. If I need to do serious work, I always want to use a desktop. I may never own a powerbook for just that reason. iBook for me.
     
  13. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #13
    agreed - got the 933 today (actualloy a "refresh" for 10% off ;-)

    This will more than meet my needs till I decide on a G5 desktop...
     

Share This Page