Keep Ti PB/add ram or buy iBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by faintember, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #1
    First of all, i really apologize for posting yet another "Should i but this now, oh no PB updates soon, then Macintel!!!111ONE111!!!!" post, but my situation is somewhat complicated, and this will be my first possible upgrade since switching to Macintosh. So here we go...

    My current Mac is a Ti PB 1ghz 512ram 60gb hd sd. Great machine, still runs great, no dead pixels, etc. The only issue is that i work with audio processing a lot, being a grad. student in music composition and all, but that is the only really strenuous thing i do with it. Some of my audio software tends to 100% my cpu, so i am looking for something with a bit more processing power.

    So either i am going to update my current PB by upgrading the ram to 1gig ($200) and upgrading the HD to a 80 5600 rpm(or 7200 rpm, $150-$220), or buy a new 14" iBook with my edu discount for $1154+tax (upgraded HD to 80 gigs and dropped the superdrive). I would also bump the ram to 1.5 ($140 for 1gig so-dimm from crucial), for a total of ~ $1375 (after ram and tax).

    My thoughts are that i will notice a large difference in speed b/t my Ti PB and the new iBook because of the difference in ram and the difference in processor speed. Any drawbacks to the iBook? Will the 1" in screen size make a difference? Will my fellow grad students make fun of me doing "serious" work on my cute, white iBook? :p

    So it is either spend $400 on my Ti PB and wait until the rev b Macintels to buy my new laptop or spend $1375 and buy the iBook now and wait until rev b or c of the Macintels to buy my next PB. Buying the iBook would also mean me selling the iMac in my sig. and maybe after using the iBook for a bit, selling my Ti PB. Any ideas on what the iMac and the TiBook would go for?

    I am really stuck on this decision everyone, and any help/comments are more than welcome. Thanks in advance!

    Edit: Also the iBook would give me airport extreme and bluetooth 2.0. AE is not that big of a deal to me, but i am working on a electronic musical instrument and it would be great to transfer the MIDI data wirelessly via bluetooth (which is possible with a certain analog switch-to-MIDI interface).
     
  2. St Soichiro macrumors regular

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    #2
    IMHO the PB to iBook upgrade(?) will not gain you much. Have you thought of getting an iMac G5. Better processor, retain portability by keeping the PB. Increasing RAM on the PB, and maybe a faster harddrive will be close to what the iBook will offer. You may want some specific input on the Audio software you use. Find out, on MR or elsewhere, who uses that software and on what kind of a Mac.

    Also, BT seems like a wish-to-have feature rather than a need-to-have feature. You could always get a BT-USB dongle to do that on the PB.

    Finally, depends on how much money you have to spare.
     
  3. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #3
    An iMac is out of the question is it is not portable. I need the speed in a portable (i never plan on owning a desktop again, ever). Dongles dont sit well with me as they defeat the purpose of portability.

    So you think the difference b/t a 1ghz G4 and a 1.42ghz G4 would not be noticeable? I would think it would be considering the fact that it would be, well 42% faster? Or am i wrong??? Jeez this is confusing...

    Thanks for the comments though, more info to fuel my thoughts...
     
  4. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #4
    Being a fellow composer I know exactly how you feel.

    I'm studying music for media and get by on My eMac (1.25GHz) and an iBook. I tend to go between basic scoring in Sibelius and then the arranging in Logic which takes up the majority of the processing power. The main absolute important factor here though is two things; disk speed and ram. The processor is very much secondary to these two things. Audio takes up a lot of disk space especially if you're using samples and synths like SampleTank and the like, but when loading the samples into memory, you can't afford to be running on 256 or 1Gb of Ram - so get the maximum you can and you'll notice one heck of a difference. To give you an idea, on 256 Mb I could load 2 SampleTank Samples with approximately two effects on each channel. With 1G I can now use ten, minimum. With bouncing capabilities in the new logic (express and Pro) you can get by with ten.

    I honestly would reccomend holding off buying a new mac. 1.4 GHz just isn't going to give you the speed boost that will make you sit back and think "Thank god I brought this". It's more of a "Oh right". Plus, I myself have owned a Powerbook Ti and then gone to the iBook (1.2Ghz) and to be honest, I find it slower. I really do.

    Stick with what you've got, upgrade the Ram, maybe get a faster disk (external drives are a good bet too and do the job) and hold out for a year or so. You'll thank me you did.
     
  5. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #5
    Maxiseller, good to hear from a fellow composer.

    I of course use Sibellius and Finale as well as Cubase, but the program that gets me (or rather it eats my CPU) is Max/MSP. I am constantly writing new electro-acoustic compositions that are quite complex on the audio processing side of things. I really do not load audio samples off of my hd often, rather i do real-time processing.

    I am starting to think (once again) that keeping my Ti and doing some upgrades will be my best bet. So when it comes to the cpu, when will a difference be big enough to be worth it? Am i right in thinking that it this will come with the rev b Macintels? Also a nice plus of waiting would be the ability to get a 17" Macintel PB.. drools.....mmmm.....

    All/any other thoughts are welcome, and thanks to the ones that have posted
     
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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  7. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #7
    Thats all good kingjr3, and i appreciate the offer and the advice. (BTW nice looking system you have for offer and i am sure that you will be able to sell it).

    It is just too crucial for me to be able to put my laptop and audio interface on stage, and not have to worry with setting up a tower, monitor, keyboard mouse and the table which they must be on. That would work great if every performer had their programs running off the same computer, but often i am the only person with an electronic composition that is being performed, which means the computer has to be struck from the stage before the next performance can take place.

    Humm, i wonder if i can weld an monitor support onto the new PM??? It would make one hell of a "laptop"! :p
     
  8. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #8
    Update

    Thanks to everyone that posted for their help!

    I have decided to upgrade the Ti PB and keep it a while longer.
    I just wonder if anyone would give me some feedback on what i plan on doing:

    -2 x 512mb ram from OWC=$196
    -External 2.5" FW400/usb2.0 HD enclosure from OWC=$43
    -Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 100gb 5400 rpm 8mb cache 2.5" HD from Newegg=$167
    -also a Screensavrz from Radtech=$15

    The current internal 60 gb hd will eventually reside in the FW enclosure as a back up drive/extra storage, and the 100 GB Hitachi will be in my Ti PB (along with the ram of course!!) The HD will be a gift from my parents for my birthday, and i will be paying for the rest myself. So money isnt tooo much of an issue right now. Remember, my hopes are that this upgrade will help my Ti PB last until the rev b Macintel PB.

    Any other help/suggestions/comments/"hey, sounds good" works, and i really want to know what some forum members think about this before i spend a little over $400!!!
     
  9. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #9
    Ummmm anyone?

    I hate to bump, but i would like to get some feedback on my most recent post. Sometimes it really irks me that the "Man dies after sex with Horse" thread gets a ton of responses, but people like me hardly get any. :(
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #10
    OK, here's what you do, get a new 14" iBook (if indeed your programmes are 100% processor intensive you're gonna need all the Hz you can get). Once you've done this, you'll have a spare 1GHz TiBook doing nothing, so you might as well put it to good use and ooh, I don't know, give it to me?????
     
  11. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #11
    How about reading everything above???? Yeah already decided against the iBook.

    Anyone with some helpful info regarding post #8????
     
  12. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #12
    Don't be rude faintember. I'd personally go for the iBook too, but nevertheless, I respect your decision not to.

    One question: why are you buying two 512MB sticks? One would probably be fine IMO. Also, it might be easier/cheaper/faster to just get a 3.5 inch external bay and put in a proper desktop hard drive. :)
     
  13. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #13
    Sorry to be rude, but i took Chundles post as being rude, hince the response. That and the fact that sometimes it is sooo very hard to get anyone to actually respond to one of my posts.

    2 512 sticks b/c i have 2 256 sticks in now. Everyone is raving about how 1 gig of ram is making their PBs fly, but no one seems to be tooting the "768" horn.

    I only need the external for backups and such, nothing major. The main reason for going with a bigger, faster internal is, well, b/c more space that is portable is good, and a faster HD= faster response from my computer.

    Those were my thoughts.

    From previous posts, most people seemed to think that the iBook would not give me a noticeable performance difference, although i thought it would. (btw, previous thread on that got buried)
    If i bought an iBook i would go with the 14" 80 gig hd, combo drive (have no need for a super drive) for $1154 with edu discount.
    The only issue i see with this is i would want to add ram ($150 for 1 gig through Crucial). So basically $1300 for a iBook.

    So would the iBook mentioned above be worth while? I am somewhat slightly afraid that once i upgrade my Ti PB that i will have hinge problems, or something else. Just wondering what i should do.
     
  14. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #14
    the tibook has L3 cache, it makes a decent difference.

    keep the tibook.
     
  15. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #15
    Yes, upgrade PB. The diff. in speed will be around 40 % which is pretty decent, but not worth the upgrade. L3 chache in PB makes big difference. The difference between 14" and 15.2" screens is pretty big (1024x768 vs 1152x768(?)). Extra screen width is really appreciated in apps with timeline.

    1GHz is still pretty fast. One question though: why take out both 256 MB sticks and slap in 512s? Why not just take one 256 MB out and replace the other one with 1 GB? That will give you 1.2 gigs of RAM.
     
  16. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #16
    I'd have to agree with eXan's last statement... $196 should easily buy you a 1 gig stick (unless the Ti PB can only go up to 1GB).

    EDIT: Looked it up, the 1GHz TiPB is limited to 1GB.. so I guess your original plan to do the 2x512 is all good. :)
     
  17. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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  18. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #18
    Yeah, sorry to accuse you of being rude faintember. That was probably a bit over the top and I know what you mean. It can be really frustrating when people seem more than willing to post SPAM in other threads about PowerBooks on Tuesdays and horse being... nevermind, but then get no response for questions actually far more relevant to today's Macs. It's been a long day, please forgive me. :)

    Anyway, I reckon replacing both RAM sticks just seems a bit drastic on such an old machine. At most, go for 768MB and you'll notice a slight difference, but it'll still be beneficial. Still, chances are that the iBook is going to last you longer since other parts of TiBook will start to go earlier than their equivalents on a new machine (self explanatory). Plus, you get all the new Mac benefits such as latest OS, warrantee and smell. :p

    I'd seriously consider the iBook. The only reason against it is the screen width IMO. Oh, and is the 12 inch iBook an option?
     
  19. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #19
    First of all, thanks to everyone that has posted since my, ummm "outburst"!

    I was not aware that the L3 cache made that big of a difference, so that is good information to know. So thanksto Hector, exan and stonyc for that info.
    I still do not understand why a 1 gig stick for the new iBook is cheaper than 2 X 512 for my Tibook. I just dont get ram prices at all.

    mad jew it is all good. I sometimes get my dander all up for no reason at all. The combination of the horse thread/spam, etc. and the fact that yesterday was my first day back at university, and thus finding out that my office had been moved, (literally over the weekend) to an office with 5 other people in it, and that the two Windows machines that i am in charge of (in our digital music studio) are both not recognizing their external sound cards. Nothing like trouble shooting Winblows problems for about 5 hours when i could have been getting some work done.

    Right now i think i am just going to pick up one 512 mb stick, for a total of 768mb, and still go with the 100 gb hitachi and firewire enclosure. This way i would be spending about $300, and should still notice somewhat of a performance increase. Thinking about it, the 14" vs. 15" would be an issue. I love my 15", and when the Macintel PB's reach rev b, i plan on buying a 17", so a 12" just wouldnt work for me! Hopefully the upgrades will give my Ti some new life, and help me last through the wait for the rev b. Spending $300 or $400 now sounds so much better than spending $1200 for the iBook, then spending $2000-$2800 (or whatever the Macintel PBs will cost) within the next year. Besides, i am looking into selling my iMac to start a little nest egg for the future PB.

    Thanks for the responses and help everyone. I am feeling much better today, so no outbursts today, i promise! :p
     
  20. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #20
    Update!

    Went ahead and bit the bullet, so to speak

    Just purchased 1 gig of ram, the 100 gb 5400 rpm HD and the FW enclosure for my old HD and a screensaverz. I probably shouldn't have done it all, but damn it, my birthday is coming up in Sept, and this is my present to myself (plus, part of it is a present from my family :p).

    Looks like everything will be here by Friday or Monday at the latest.
    One question though, i ordered all the parts for my PB through OWC. My shipping address is different from my mailing address (at grad school currently) so they sent me a form to fill out, and also to fax or email them with pics of the front/back of my credit card and my photo id. Is this normal? Sounds a bit extreme to me, especially if my shipping address is verified through my credit card company. Any thoughts on this???

    I will post back once the ram, and new HD are up and running, and give a review as to performance boost or whatnot.

    Btw, a big THANKS to everyone that helped me out in my decision. Your comments were truly appreciated.
     
  21. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #21
    The Ram will make a big difference on the Tibook. My 667 DVI TI flew with 1 gig of ram (I just sold it to a mac rumors member) and the 5400rpm drive will make it fly even better. The only other way to make it faster would be a 7200rpm drive but they're only at 60 gigs now. I noticed a big difference on an old Tibook when I dumped the stock 4200 drive for a 5400rpm drive with 1 gig of ram. Just out of curiousity, how loud is the 1ghz Tibook with its double fans? And do you use an ice pad or something to keep it off the desk and keep it cool? That seems to me is the best way to keep Tibooks living longer. Also, Daystar technologies have worked out a way to bump old Ti's CPUs up. Maybe they will figure out a way to bump up the CPUs on the DVI machines.
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    You know, you can't just assume that people are going to rush to your aid. Massive board.......lots of forums.......lots of people......too many people asking for help....... and we're all doing it on our own time for free.

    So unlike Mad Jew, I'm not even going to apologize for saying that it WAS rude.

    And besides, it's not like you waited long for responses. What......you posted on the 11th and 16th and you got more than a few responses.
     
  23. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #23
    Thanks for the info California! I really appreciate the words of experience/advice!

    The dual fans are not too bad unless i am running something cpu intensive, then it is still quieter than any non-mac laptop i have heard with the fans running. Mine is usually on my lap, no cooling pad or anything. It does get hot, but it is cool compared to the Al PBs. I may look into getting a pad though; any suggestions? And i will be checking out Daystar as well, for giggles.

    Thanks again California.
     
  24. PaRaGoNViCtiM macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I don't think faintember meant to offend anybody.
     
  25. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #25
    I have a plastic Macally ice pad with grey gripper grooves on it for better airflow. It also positions the pb at several angles that helps prevent carpal tunnel or just plain tired wrists. It also doubles as a lapdesk when opened up; I like it better than the weird wirey stands that I've seen. Also, Macally replaced the funny plastic piece on it when it broke on me, more than a year after I bought the thing for 20 bucks, for free! Now, that's service. Somehow, with the Ti on a stand on your desk, it makes it look like the substantial machine it was meant to be. I can't work on a Ti now without it. Finally, one thing that I have done to keep my Ti's in good working order is that I don't really ever close them all the way unless I am FORCED to take them on the road. I just don't stress out those hinges at all.

    And for the last bit of info that i know about Ti's and iBooks, is that I also use the iSkin keyboard protector on them, this keeps the keyboard areas pristine and has saved me from some water/coffee/tea accidents a few times. Oh and the other big reason I don't want to switch to Albook is I've heard the keyboards are squishy. It is the same layout and pressure on the keys for the Ti's and the 14" iBooks, and that's why I'm keeping a pristine maxed out Ti and a new 14" ibook until kingdom come.
     

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