My Dilemma: 14-in. iBook with SD or 15-in. PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Porchland, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Porchland macrumors 65816

    Porchland

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    Option A: 14-inch iBook, 1.2 GHz G4 with RAM upgrade to 512 MB ($100) and ComboDrive upgrade to SuperDrive ($200) is $1,800.

    Option B: 15-inch PowerBook 1.5 GHz with 512 MB RAM and SuperDrive standard is $2,500.

    Use: I haven't had a Mac in 10 years, and I want one primarily for working iLife apps at home and on the road. I will probably be doing a lot of video, and the only thing I've edited video on before was Adobe Premiere (a greedy app) on a PIII 933 MHz Gateway (a needy machine) so I'm not used to speed.

    So here's my question: Is a slightly larger screen and a 0.3 GHz speed gain worth the $700 difference? Are there other PowerBook advantages I'm not considering?

    Talk amongst yourselves.
     
  2. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #2
    same problem here

    I'm facing the same problem, just I'm looking at a 14" iBook or a 12" powerbook.
    The Powerbook looks great with it's 64 meg video card and dual monitor support out of the box. But it's about $600 more than the iBook I'm looking at.
    I currently have a 17" 800MhZ iMac, which runs the iApps just fine, so I know that the iBook which has better specs than my iMac would run them just as well.
    I'm trading in my iMac for the notebook, so now I need to decide if I want just a small performance jump at a decent price (the iBook) or do I want a large jump at a much larger price (the Powerbook).
    I know this isn't helping your decision at all. The iBook will be able to run iMovie and iDVD and everything just fine, but the Powerbook will do it faster.
    Decisions, decisions.
     
  3. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a

    titaniumducky

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    #3
    The PowerBook has a higher quality screen, dual monitor support, can run with the lid closed, has a 300 MHz faster processor, faster video card, faster RAM, and looks MUCH cooler.

    That being said, is it worth $700 more? Probably not, for your needs. The PowerBook will probably last a *little* longer, but I think the iBook is better for you.

    I do everything you describe and more on a 15" PowerBook 1GHz system with no problems. A 1.2 with more L2 Cache and a slightly worse video card (than mine) should offer no problem. 300 MHz is noticeable, but not very.

    I would DEFINITELY advise the iBook for you.
     
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #4
    Okay, maybe I'm just being pessimistic, but do you REALLY need a superdrive? The non-superdrive model is very affordable and can burn CD-RWs.

    Depends on your needs, I love my powerbook (with SD) I just don't use it as much as a thought. Were I to buy now, I'd go combo.
     
  5. Porchland thread starter macrumors 65816

    Porchland

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    The need for SuperDrive

    It's going to be a desktop replacement for home, so the DVD authoring capability is going to be a must. If it were a second machine, I would just go with the ComboDrive, work my projects to the portable drive and burn from the desktop machine.

    Making DVDs is my killer app.
     
  6. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #6
    Of course, if you know or are a student or teacher or school system faculty member, you can go for an educational discount... :)

    Actually, I'm looking at getting either the 14" iBook 1 GHz or the 12" PowerBook 1.33 GHz. I've been reading on this site to get a better handle on the merrits of each. I think I'd really rather have the 14" screen, and since both come with USB 2 and internal WiFi and Bluetooth (yeah, an option on one and standard equipment on the other), I'm hard pressed. I like the thinner, metal case, a faster bus speed and a faster CPU, so the question is: which trade-offs are the better ones to make?

    From what I understand, PowerBooks have worse WiFi reception because of their Aluminum cases. How much worse? WiFi is important to me. What about the faster bus speeds? How is battery run time?

    Any thoughts or input on this would be welcome.
     
  7. Maverick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    #7
    Get the iBook. Trust me. I bought one of the older model 15-inch PBs two weeks before the new ones came out. As soon as I saw that new iBook, I DEEPLY regretted my purchase. I could have maxed out the sucker and had a machine almost as powerful as my PB (and with more RAM too) for $700 less. I could have used that $700 to buy Applecare and a DV camcorder with.

    Of course, I'm an idiot for buying two weeks before updates, especially with all the rumors floating around, but I was without a computer and needed one, so...oh well.

    Get the iBook. Use the money you save on some nice extras. You won't be sorry.
     
  8. Maverick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas
    #8
    Oh yeah, another reason to get the iBook. Battery life is horrid. I can only squeeze about 2.5 hours out of my battery, and Airport reception drops to 3 bars in my living room, and two in the bathroom (and I am in a small dorm). I've heard the iBook far exceeds the PB in both respects.

    In fact, I'm seriously considering cutting my losses, selling the PB on eBay and using the money towards one of the new iBooks. I was a fool to buy this thing just for college use. :(

    Do yourself a favor and get the iBook. I think you'll be much happier with the bang-for-your-buck.
     
  9. belf8st macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #9
    I've had the 867 15", the rev b 12" powerbook, and now the rev c 12" powerbook. The rev c by far is the best machine out of the three. seems like apple has worked out all the bugs on the latest release. no heat issues at all. haven't even heard the fan kick on! noticeable speed increase over the rev b. battery life on the latest model seems to have increased as well. i'm getting at least an extra hour more from it than i did on my previous two models. i spend most of my time compiling code on my powerbook and haven't hit a road bump yet. my main concern was portablility. when at home, i plug into an external monitor and use the bluetooth keyboard and mouse. works like a champ! i did purchase the 12" combo. i've got an external pioneer dvr-107 dvd-r (8X) and after applying the fix can burn using idvd. do a search through the macrumors threads for the fix. :)

    good luck. you'll love either machine. apple really has done well with the latest round of updates.
     
  10. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #10
    That's what I've been reading a lot of. However, there are some who have not had WiFi reception problems, though the majority have.

    WiFi is my "killer app" because I'm going to be moving shortly into a new house and instead of running Cat5 everywhere in the house, I'm going exclusively WiFi. When I bought my current iBook, I knew that at the time it had a low end video card. I went into it with "my eyes fully open" as it were. But now I want to have a better video card to play games, and also so I can have Quartz Extreme (which I really enjoy on my FP iMac).

    I wonder under what circumstances having the 64 MB Go5200 is noticibly better than the Radeon 9200.

    Mike
     

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