mini mac or ibook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by psyseed, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. psyseed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    #1
    I am buying a new computer sence my G4 Power pc died .... I work with video and need good performance, however I dont have a lot of money and this is all I can afort, I figured Mini mac with I gig or ram, and super drive with apple care for under 1000, sounds good, but I dont now if the ibook is a beter option, I need help deciding
     
  2. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #2
    well, if you work with video, I'd probably go for the mini with a bigger display. The resolution on the ibook isn't going to be so great for video...
     
  3. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    The mini would probably be the better option since you have all the extra's like keyboard, mouse, speakers and screen already.
     
  4. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    do you NEED portability? that would be the only advantage of the iBook, otherwise go for the mini, it will have more power for the money.
     
  5. CoMpX macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    I would go for the 14" iBook, because it supports Core Image. This takes graphics processing load off of the main CPU, so it is faster when working with graphics. I would know, because I have both! ;)
     
  6. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #6
    Some Macs are better than others in terms of speed--Core Image included--but just to be clear: contrary to popular misunderstanding, ALL Macs support Core Image.

    Core Image will leverage whatever hardware resources you have available: if you have AltiVec (G4/G5), it will use it. If you have multiple CPUs, it will use them. If you have a programmable GPU that will do the job better than the CPU, it will use that.

    A higher-end GPU is good to have, but you do not NEED one to use Core Image. Core Image is an ingenious software technique that reduces multiple image-processing steps down to one step, and anyone can benefit from that, whether using the CPU or GPU.

    Details here: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/15
     
  7. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #7
    Consider an Apple-certified refurb too (click Save at bottom-right of store.apple.com). G5 power would serve you well.

    You can get an iMac G5 for $999, or a PowerMac G5 for $1299. (Both have a single 1.8 G5, and you'd want to boost the RAM later when you could afford to.)

    I know you don't need a screen, but if $999 is the cheapest G5 you can get, it's worth considering. It's a 1440x900 screen, not bad.

    Also, new G5 towers are rumored for Apple Expo in September--and that could mean discounts on the outgoing models.

    And remember that you don't have to decide to buy AppleCare until just before your year warranty runs out. If it's AppleCare or RAM, I'd go for RAM. You can always buy AppleCare later.
     
  8. depill macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Location:
    Iceland
    #8
    This just isn't true. Core Image relieves the CPU of graphics task and load's them on the GPU. Core Image will not work if the graphics card used isn't supported by Core Image. Core Image can then not take advantage of the GPU and will then not work at all.

    This is why the development test of Core Image which is included with XCode 2.2 will not work on the Mac Mini as the graphics card is not supported. The new iBook is supported by Core Image the Mac Mini is not.

    This also applies to Core Video as Core Video is just an extension of the Core Image libary.

    Take not that when using application's like Photoshop this will not effect use as Photoshop does not even try to take advantage of Core Image. Apple has the development app which uses Core Image, as well a QuickTime can take advantage of Core Video the extension of Core Image to take the load of off the CPU. If Core Image is not availble QuickTime will not try to use it.

    Core Image does not have the availbilty of dropping the task's it want's do on the CPU if the graphics card is not supported. It is the developer's task to make their application check if Core Image is availble and let the application decied from there if it will take advantage of Core Image.

    An application developed only to take advantage of Core Image and has not extension to work with out it, will not work on a Mac Mini because the graphics card is not supported.
     
  9. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #9
    You're wrong--read the detailed explanation I linked to at Ars Technica (and Apple's own info agrees)--but I think I know why people think Core Image "will not run at all" if you don't have a high enough GPU: an individual app can check to see if certain hardware is available, and refuse to run if not. Presumably, Apple's dev test that you mention does this.

    In other words, Core Image CAN run without a special GPU. But a given APP has the option to enforce stricter requirements beyond what Core Image itself requires. An individual Core Image application CAN require Core Image to have a programmable GPU, just like an app can demand a G5 or a certain number of GHz.

    So the dev test you mention must NOT be a test of Core Image in general, but rather a more specific test of running Core Image on a programmable GPU. Which is just one way (the fastest) to run Core Image.

    So as I said, "A higher-end GPU is good to have, but you do not NEED one to use Core Image."

    That doesn't mean nobody needs a higher GPU--many people do--I'm just setting the record straight that Core Image itself does not need it.


    According to Ars, CoreImage DOES have that ability--and Ars explains in detail WHY CoreImage is useful even without a high-end GPU. And Apple's info on the Tiger pages clearly agrees:

    "For computers without a programmable GPU, Core Image dynamically optimizes for the CPU, automatically tuning for Velocity Engine and multiple processors as appropriate."

    From http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/coreimage/
     
  10. bebo macrumors member

    bebo

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    #10
    hrmmm

    I've heard that mac mini will upgraded to a g5 this sept, around the expo?

    might there be any truth to that rumor. All I've heard about is the powermac going dual core possibly, the itunes phone and powerbook speed upgrade
     
  11. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #11
    I highly doubt there will ever be a G5 Mini--slim chance at best, with the Mini being one of the first to go Intel anyway, maybe as soon as January possibly.
     
  12. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #12
    Some people may say portability is overrated, but I disagree. I love being able to take my 14" iBook out into the dining room or couch or hell just about anywhere and be able to watch movies or type while I'm sitting with my family. It beats sitting alone in your room being holed up using the computer all the time, right?
     
  13. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #13
    Couldn't agree more. I'd LOVE to have a dual G5 and top-end GPU powering my games and apps--and someday I will probably add a desktop Mac--but if I can only have ONE Mac, it has to be a portable. I seldom NEED portability, but I was instantly hooked on having it. Any room, any friend's house, in my car, wherever. Now THAT's functionality--which trumps raw speed for me any day.

    But for this poster's needs, speed may be the top consideration.
     
  14. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #14
    Isn't Quartz Extreme the one that offloads CPU useage to the GPU? But you're saying that's what Core Image does... :confused:
     
  15. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #15
    It doesn't sound like portability is a big issue for you (you are replacing a PowerMac G4, after all), so I'd go Mini. It isn't like the Mini is a huge hassle to move; it is tiny and the iBook actually weighs more.
     
  16. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #16
    They both can :) For different purposes. Short version: Quartz (in its various flavors) handles rendering of on-screen elements and is used all the time. Core Image is for specific image-processing tasks (like applying filters).
     
  17. masterapple04 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    #17
    Don't know what you've decided from the above posts, but here's my $0.02...

    I just bought a Mac mini last month with a gig of RAM, and I'm in love. I also bought a 20" ACD, which as absolutely amazing! All told, it was about $1750, at an Apple retail store (w/ Edu discount).

    You won't go wrong with the mini, and the display can't be beat. :cool:
     
  18. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #18
    yeah bro either way you win, it's up to your personal preference :D
     

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