Illustrator needs powerbook advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by capsule, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. capsule macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    short version: I use illustrator and photoshop and intend to buy a portable machine. 15 inch 1.5 ghz 512 Ram...good or bad choice? more usage info below.

    i have been mulling this over for a while. i want a portable machine (my first mac, though I have always used them at work). I use illustrator primarily, but may get into photoshop more (and there is already the occassional huge photoshop file). At work we have 733 Mhz G4 with 512 ram...they gum up some if many files are open but are generally serviceable machines. I decided I prefer the 15 inch to the 17 inch, but in terms of processor and memory am I safe buying this as is at the store (1.5 and 512) ? I figured I would add memory later if necessary. There's also the nagging ? of is an upgrade/G5 release imminent- but I have been grappling with that since I first considered a powerbook in early summer. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

    Christopher
     
  2. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #2
    NO the G5's wont come out for a while.... a long while. just get the 15" and get the 5400rpm drive and the 128meg vram. The VRAM isn't necessary but recommended. trust me you will LOVE this powerbook!
     
  3. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    #3
    I have a TiBook 15" (which I will have had for 2 years this November) I think you will find the 1.5Ghz servicable for at least a few years. I don't run illustrator on my TiBook however my 1Ghz CPU is quite snappy and comparible to an 900 Mhz G4 in a desktop. (I would say just off of the impression I get from it. No scientific analysis here.)

    If I were you though I would max the RAM out. It isn't that expensive for the amount of speed you will gain. Also you are right on the 15 and portability. I have lugged a 17" around for a bit and it was cumbersome. My 15" goes where ever I go without any problems.

    As for the G5's I am waiting for Rev 2 anyway. Or at least 6 months into Rev 1. (Look at the problems they had with the Alumibook 15" screens when they came out...) So if you look at it like that, you will probably have a year with your G4 before it would be safe to get a G5 laptop...
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #4
    I'd get the PB as specified, but also look to upgrade the RAM from somewhere like Crucial.com to 1GB, which will come in handy with large Photoshop files.

    I've got an older 1GHz Ti 15" PB with 1GB of RAM, and it is quite serviceable with Photoshop.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about a G5 update any time soon, but there has been some significant speculation as to speed bumps (dual-core, etc.). You can do a forum search to track those down.
     
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #5
    Yeah get more RAM, if you are working with large files it will make a huge difference..
     
  6. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #6
    I have a 15 " PB (1.5 Ghz, maxed out the memory (2 gigs), 128 vRAM, 80 GB HD @5400) and use Photoshop, Illustrator and other CS programs. Have no problem with it even when I have many files open. A 15 " display is a bit small, but the 17" won't be that much better. Have you gone to an Apple Store and play around with the PBs? They usually have photoshop/illustrator as well as other programs installed in their display models. Play around with them.

    You might want to wait till end of October for the next PB update (rumored 1.8 Ghz, bigger hard drive?).
     
  7. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #7
    I have a PB 17' 1.33 GHz with the old 64 graphics card, maxed out (2 GB) RAM and the 80 GB 5400 RPM HD. I work with 500 MB+ Illustrator, Photoshop and Painter files regularly - the PB is more than ready for this kind of work. It may not be as powerful as a desktop but for my business it fits the bill. I'm on the road all the time and find the 17" to be very portable. I like the screen size more than the 15" due to all the palettes associated with most programs - the 17" gives me just enough room to put the palettes on the sides and have enough space to comfortably work in. Yes, many people will say - just hook up a second monitor - which you can - just not on the road, in a client's office or on a plane. The 17" IMHO is laptop perfection - after using it for nearly a year I can honestly say that I would never want a smaller laptop.
     
  8. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
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    here (for now)
    #8
    you'll wish you had those 2" when those palettes keep getting in you way. :p


    peace.
     
  9. capsule thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    Thanks everyone for your help. RAM it is...looks like I will be denying myself the thrill of walking into the apple store and out with my powerbook...video memory and extra RAM seem more important...still undecided on the 15 inch vs 17 inch, but having experienced the nuisance of pallette overload on a daily basis I am now leaning 17 (despite my gut response to the machine that it looks awkwardly large). I intend to test drive them one more time tomorrow. If anyone else comes across this thread and has more to contribute please do. Thanks.

    Christopher
     
  10. Enigma macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #10
    Just to chip in, I got a 1.5Ghz 15" Powerbook last Thursday, with the upgraded VRAM and hard disk, and I put an extra 512Mb stick in it to take it to the 1Gb of memory. Fantastic machine, I'm in love with it already, and I don't ever want to have to go back to Windows. I've got Photoshop and InDesign on, and both run fine, even with stuff like Entourage and Safari running in the background.

    Extra RAM makes all the difference, and while i've not been able to compare it to a machine with the 4200rpm drive, but I've not seen any noticeable lag loading files from the hard disk.

    Worth that wait :)

    *strokes Powerbook*
     
  11. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
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    Mac since 7.5
    #11
    Don't wait for a G5 PB, unless you can afford to put off the purchase for at lest a year.
    If I were planning on using my PB for PS and Illustrator, I'd have gone with the 17" for screen real estate, and the 5400 rpm hard drive and 1GB ram for performance. Even if you opt for the 15" for portability's sake, you won't be dissapppointed with your purchase.
     
  12. callmesideburns macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    #12
    my experience

    If you're deciding between the 15 and 17, more than just the real estate of the screen. See which one you find more comfortable on your lap, in your hands, carrying it around. I couldn't get the feel for it at Compusa because they lock them all down. It wasn't until I was able to actually pick up and handle the 17 that I found it quite wonderful and knew it was a perfect match for myself.

    If it's going to be too cumbersome for yourself, it is going to detract from your enjoyment and ability to work which is far worse than 2 inches of screen.
     
  13. Toppa G's macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    The exurbs, MN
    #13
    I think it's interesting that there are many concerned with whether a brand new PowerBook will work well with things like Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm running an iBook G3 500 mHz (over 3 years old) with 640 MB RAM, and I can run Photoshop & Illustrator just fine.

    So I wouldn't worry about it. Just get what you want, and you'll be in good shape with anything. :D
     
  14. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

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    #14
    remember, with these PBs you can use an external display too. :D

    i use a formac 17" with my 17" PB (their 20" displays <refurb> just went on sale).


    peace.
     
  15. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #15
    As posted in the Mac Rumors threads, there could be a dual core G4 chip coming soon. If not, a faster G4 chip. I would wait till mid October. Seems like you could temporarily use the computers at work then.

    It's nice to have extra memory, and extra 2" of viewing space. But again, test drive both in your local apple store.
     
  16. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #16
    I agree that a test drive is a good way to go. I found that the CompUSA people suck - they won't let you remove the laptops from their perch. If you go into an Apple Store they will unlock them for you and supervise you as you try them out on a bench.

    Personally I found the 15" didn't sit as well on my lap as the 17" while sitting on a bench. In bed or on the couch at home it's the same thing - the 17" acts sort of like a laptop tray table - just enough space to spread out and balance perfectly. I can rest it on my legs and work magic with the Wacom tablet effortlessly.

    If you search around these forums you'll find tons of debates on 15 vs. 17 in size an portability. Personally, I've never had a problem with portability - on planes, trains and yes, automobiles (nothing like editing video on a 16 hour road trip) I've never felt cramped with the 17" - and believe me, when you launch FCP, Painter or any Adobe product you need the extra palette real estate.

    Whatever size you decide upon max out the RAM if you can and, in a few months when they're released, swap out the HD with a 100 GB 7200 RPM - or just work off a fast external HD if you have huge files.
     
  17. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    here (for now)
    #17
    nice to hear 100Gs are coming... that should mean the 60Gs are going to be cheaper. :)

    i agree with the 17" size... it's perfect for a professional that won't sacrifice usability or portability. perfect for audio and visual pros on the go (or at least for those who like to move about the room). :)


    peace.
     

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