Imac or Ibook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cemorris, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. cemorris macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2004
    I am planning on buying my first Mac soon and getting rid of my Dell PC and 21 inch crt monitor. I have always told myself I really dont need a desktop and my next computer will be a laptop. However, I wanted to get opinons here. My primary use is for email, web surfing, image editing, personal accounting, and movie editing. And that is the order as to what I do most. The iMac I am looking at would be the 20 inch model with 1 gig ram ($2200). The Ibook would be the 14 inch model with 768 mb ram with the super drive ($1900). I looked at the powerbook, but the cost seems too much for me ($3000). I know the Imac would be fast, hopefully faster than my current 1.9 P4 Dell PC. But is the Ibook up for the heavy image and dvd authoring tasks that I want to use if for? Does anyone have times as to how fast the Imac and Ibook can render video? Example my current PC renders in about 7x, which means if my video is 1 hour, it will take 7 hours to render. Can the Imac or Ibook beat this? I guess screen size and resolution also come into play with the Ibook, only 1024x768 seems small. Anyone using this configuration to do photo editing? Any comments from user experience would be great. The appeal of just having a laptop to save tons of space is nice, but will I wish for more?
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    If you don't need to be portable, the get the iMac without doubt, it will be much faster, and the screen space will be a HUGE bonus to you.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I'm not sure what the rendering times are on either iXxx setup, but I'd guess that at least the iMac would be very competitive with your 7X (or, I guess, 1/7th) speed PC times. My dual-2.0 G5 renders significantly faster than that, so I'd guess the 1.8 GHz G5 would as well (rendering doesn't use both CPUs, so unless you're doing other stuff while rendering, the 1.8 and the dual-2.0 would be similar).

    Your choice has to come down to portability vs performance. If you strongly desire portability, get the iBook - it'll do what you want it to do, but not all that fast. If you don't strongly desire portability, the iMac is much faster, has better screen resolution, and doesn't take up much more space than an iBook (not like a PowerMac would, at least).

    Edit: edesignuk beat me to it....
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Why not go for a 12-inch powerbook with superdrive?
    It costs $1799 and you can add almost any pc2700 so-dimm.
    It won't cost you more than $1900.
    Then you have the possibility to hook up an extra screen.
  5. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    No matter which option you go with you could use the old monitor at attach it to your computer to give you extra screen space. Also the dual monitor hack seems to work for iMacs so you may be able to get dual displays out of it.
  6. cemorris thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies

    Thanks for all the replies. This has been on my mind literaly all day. I did like the 12 inch recomendation and it started more wheels turning. But the person who wants my current setup wants the monitor as well (not really a top of the line one to begin with). I think portability is a nice to have, but not esential for me. I can only really see myself going from office to kitchen table with it, and maybe for the ocasional airplane trip. Right now I am in the Imac camp. I have been browsing around for render times and I have heard some very good numbers. G5 Imacs (1 gig memory) in close to real time, and powerbooks (2 gig of memory) in the 2x range. I am left with the assumption that Ibook (768 mb memory) will at least not be slower than my current setup. I was disapointed when jsw pointed out that rendering does not utilize smp? I guess in a future release perhaps.

    I will head to the store this weekend to buy, and hopefully get some good comparison demos as well. Anyone know if the apple online store charges sales tax in AZ (since we have the retail store I am assuming yes)? Also, anyone know if the store have the Imacs in stock? Would be nice to bring it home the same day.

    Thanks for all the good advice.
  7. lamaditx Guest

    Oct 7, 2004
    go buy it

    I ordered my Imac last Week - it's the better choice! (unless you NEED mobility). Unsually they do not have them in stock. If you order one of the configs from the Webstore it will last 3-4 days. If you chance some of that config - i.e. BT, or more Ram or Airport it will take some more time (mine: 8 days).

    Hint: If you go for 1GB Ram I would order the Imac with 512MB - and ask the store what they charge for another 512 - saved me 30€ and the warranty is still valid.
  8. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Fitting your own RAM does not invalidate your warranty. You do not need Apple to do it for you to keep your warranty. Don't buy RAM from Apple, it's a huge rip-off!
  9. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    Just to echo what others have said, if you don't need the portability then go for the iMac. It should be portable enough for your Office -> Kitchen adventures (although using it on planes could be problematic ;)).
  10. J.Allen macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Agreed. Just pop the case off and slot it in.
  11. lamaditx Guest

    Oct 7, 2004
    Well, that's what I said. What is your point ?
  12. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    You said...
    Which indicates that if Apple hadn't fitted it you thought your warranty would have been void.
  13. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    My two cents

    I really bought in to Steve Jobs' declaration of 2003 as "the year of the laptop." (I'm not a power user, I do a little photoshopping, photo management, itunes, updating of websites, surfing and mailing and messaging, and logging into my office network). Having a laptop, with a wireless LAN, even though it never leaves my house, has changed my life. I can be anywhere in my house. I let my wife turn the old "office" into a bedroom. Its so much more comfortable and flexible. I can't imagine going back to a desktop. Steve realizes this. That's why its so unfortunate that he can't get a 2003 processor in his laptops and is still selling 2000 processors. (I KNOW that the g4 is perfectly good for anything I am doing, but even apple fans have to realize that a g4 is contemporaneous with a P3-- old news, and not suitable to Apple's cutting edge reputation). Personally, I was in the market for a new 'puter last fall. The 17 inch powerbook was $3000. The 15 inch nonsuperdrive AL book had just been released ($2300), and there was a HUGE uproar about the "white spots" problem. So I went to Amazon and got a 17" toshiba notebook for $1800. Its no Apple, but its a laptop with a 2003 processor. Apple's in a tough spot right now-- their customers are forced to a desktop to get a 2003 processor. Plus, I'm in a tough spot b/c now I want a 12" ibook for out of the house and I'll end up spending another 1200 bucks anyway...
  14. coconn06 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2003
    King of Prussia, PA

    iXXX...that would sure be an interesting Apple product :)

  15. lamaditx Guest

    Oct 7, 2004

    Now I get it. I bought my Imac at a store that sells Apple products but does
    not belong to Apple. It is a company on its own. Since you did not know that and I did not mention it that was a missunterstanding....

    As far as I know Apple allows you to "play" with your Imac concerning these issues. If you got a problem they will send you the parts and you can repair it on your own - if you want to.
  16. bdomz macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2004
    My vote goes for the notebook too. You never know when you'll need to have the portability. Plus you can hook it up to a decent LCD monitor and a USB keyboard when at home. I have a setup just like this and it works great. I also sprang for a 7200 RPM Hard drive, this really puts it on par with most desktop systems.
  17. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    Let's all wait for the new laptop lines, then say what to get ;)

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