My first mac...g5 or powerbook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bmwdmb1, May 17, 2004.

  1. bmwdmb1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    #1
    I am in a real delema here...i am about to buy my first mac :D but i can't decide what to get. My choices would be either a 1.6GHz or maybe dual 1.8GHz g5 or a 1.33 GHz powerbook g4. The main apps i use are photoshop, illustrator, dreamweaver, in design, and all the normal stuff like web, music, etc. My question basically is would i really notice THAT much of a difference between the g5 and the powerbook for what i do? Also do you think that the powerbooks are able to function well enough to be your main desktop system?

    Thanks so much
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    Do you want portability or expandability?

    As long as you drop the SP 1.6 G5 from your choices, the biggest thing the G5 gives you besides finishing stuff a bit faster is expandability, dual monitor (or more), and MEMORY.

    For some that work on large pictures, the ability for the machine to have more memory is a blessing.

    Since all the machines can be expanded externally equally.
     
  3. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #3
    I agree...do you need the expandability OR portability?

    If portability isn't a major issue, I would go with the G5 tower. The only thing to keep in mind is that, this beast they call a G5 is amazingly fast BUT you'll need to invest in some RAM. I would say start with 2gigs and if you'd like to increase, do it in pairs (2, 4, 6, 8). I would buy it with what it has and then buy the RAM from a place like www.CRUCIAL.com. They have great RAM and way cheaper than Apple. That's my 2 cents.

    ~e
     
  4. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502

    thirteen1031

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #4
    Well, yes and no on noticing a difference. If you're using photoshop, etc. seriously--I mean, it's your job, your business and you're doing it 7 days a week, and you've got deadlines to meet--a resounding "yes!" That G5 is going to noticably be faster and better for that.

    If, however, you're just a photoshop hobbiest--it's your pleasure not your business, there's no deadlines and you're not going to go into computer animation for a living (so no homework due) then you might as well go for the Powerbook.

    Yes, the pb is more expensive and not as powerful. But the lighter power won't make a difference given what you're doing. The portablity, on the other hand, will make a big difference under those circumstances. Being able to fool with photos while lazing around in bed or eating breakfast is a wonderful thing. Being able to watch a DVD or create music on a bus or plane is a delight. And being able to drop in at hotspots to surf the internet while drinking down a latte, priceless :D In short, if this computer is very much for multitasking, then you probably want a powerbook. It will do the job AND free you from that desk.

    I'm not saying the powerbook can't handle serious photoshop/illustrator work, by the by. I'm just saying that if you're very heavily into those, there will be a difference. The desktop G5 will be faster and, if you're on a deadline, then that becomes more important than the joys of portability.

    P.S. If you haven't already, go to a Mac Store and play on both. We can advise you and answer questions, but in the end, both computers are wonderful, high-end machines. Ultimately, only you can decide which is best for you--which, in short, you really, really, really want and must have. Dont' rely on us. Take them both for a spin and see which one calls to you.
     
  5. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #5
    Well i have a G4 400 Powermac and i recently aquired a G3 333 powerbook, and i must say for my photoshop work i use the G3 much more because as a hobbiest, even though it is slower, i get way more pleasure doing it because i can do anywhere -- sometimes i like to throw it into a back pack, and drive down to a waterfront park, pull up near the water, take the seat back, throw open my Powerbook and do a little work while enjoying the view

    I laptops
     
  6. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #6
    Yup, you sure would!

    Regardless of whether you buy a PC or a Mac, there's a large difference in speed between them. Obviously how much of a difference depends on what - and how many - apps you're running.

    Lap-tops offer the convenience of mobility, but as one wise sage said "There ain't no free lunch!"

    Lap-tops have built in compromises in order to reduce heat and extend battery life, the downside is that these compromises also slow it down. How much, and how important it is to you only you can say. Best to go to a store and compare the two side by side.

    My friend has a Sony Vaio 2.8Gig lap-top and a home built comp with a 2.8Gig Pentium4, he said regardless of which apps he's running, when he hits the *enter* buttons simultaneously, the lap-top always lags the desk top. The differences should even be bigger for the dual processor Macs.
     
  7. aussie_geek macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #7
    hang on a minute

    I would be putting off your selection for a little while so you can see what advances are comming round the corner with the G5's. It has been rumoured that there will be updates soon. You wouldn't want to buy a new G5 now and in a month there would be an update and a price drop.

    As for the Powerbooks buy one if you want some portability. They will be able to run your apps quite well and let you sit on the lounge while doing it!! They have been recently updated so now would be the best time to buy.

    Just remember to put in some additonal RAM...

    aussie_geek
     
  8. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #8
    i think the G5 might be the better bet for what you are doing. as powerful as the PB's are, the G5 is the way of the future. they are also better for what you are doing.
     
  9. denm316 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #9
    I have a 1.8GHz G5 and just ordered a 12 inch PowerBook, I would say get the powerbook. I love my G5 and it is nice and fast, however I just love the mobility more which led me to biting the bullet and ordering a powerbook.
     
  10. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #10
    Everyone keeps talking about how the G5 isn't that much slower than the PowerBook... I know the new PowerBooks are faster, and I do have the fastest G5, but I have a dual 2ghz G5 and a 1ghz PowerBook, and the PowerBook seems pretty slow. I'd go with the dual 1.8 G5.
     
  11. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #11
    Yes, when comparing a dual G5 with a single G4 (in a notebook enclosure), the G5 will be bunches and bunches ahead. However, when comparing a single G5 with a single G4, there is less of a difference. There is still a difference, but it certainly isn't as much as comparing the PB to a dualie.

    If I were you, I'd try and stretch for a dual G5. If you can't get a dualie, then I'd get the powerbook. Portablilty is just so cool. I've enjoyed using my computer more since I bought a laptop. I can surf wirelessly, or plug it into an external monitor, and it will act as a desktop (although not quite as fast as one).

    I am biased, though (see sig).
     
  12. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #12
    What does a PC and a mac have anything do do with this thread. Isn't he trying to decide between a mac and a mac (powerbook or powermc)? :confused:
     
  13. bmwdmb1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    #13
    hmmm...after thinking it over i just can't see giving up portability, so i think i may be leaning toward the powerbook g4...now the question is 15" 1.33GHz or 15" 1.5GHz...again is there a large difference between these two? :confused:

    all the help is greatly appriciated, thank you again :)
     
  14. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
  15. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a

    JOD8FY

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    United States
    #15
    Here's what you should get.

    15"
    1.5 Ghz
    Backlit keyboard (comes standard on this model)
    Largest (and fastest) HD
    128 MB Graphics
    DON'T upgrade the RAM

    Upgrade the RAM at www.crucial.com and install it yourself. It's very simple - just look in your manual when you get it.

    These specs should put you in power range of a 1.6 G5. It should be perfect for what you want to do.

    Best wishes :),
    JOD8FY
     
  16. bmwdmb1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    #16
    well after thinking some more i have figured i would probly get either a 1.33GHz with an extra 1GB stick of ram for a total of 1.25GB or a 1.5GHz with stock ram. Would i the extra 1GB of ram bring better performence then the faster processor?

    Sorry for all the questions, but i am quit new to the mac world, but i hope to enjoy my stay :D ;)

    thanks
     
  17. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a

    JOD8FY

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    United States
    #17
    No problem.

    I just checked and the stock RAM on the 15" 1.5Ghz is 512MB. I'd still go with that. The faster processor will make up for any lost RAM, but like I said, you could pick up another 512 stick at crucial for just over $100.

    Go with the 15" :) .

    JOD8FY
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #18
    Extra MHz does not make up for lost RAM.

    When you don't have enough RAM you need to use the drive -- at 50MB/s.

    When you have 'enough' RAM -- it's accessed by a G4 (166MHz FSB) at about 1000MB/s.

    Usually simple MHz don't make up that big a gap, which was one reason the G5s fared so poorly in benchmarks when they used stock RAM amounts -- and how adding memory made a BIG boost in benchmarks.

    ---

    A faster CPU on a 166MHz bus will give you bragging rights. Which is sometimes more important. :p
     
  19. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a

    JOD8FY

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    United States
    #19

    Thanks for the info, I didn't know that :). I guess the only other reason to go with the 15" then is that it's a 15" screen and more portable than a 17". But, if it won't move around too much, then get the 17".

    Thanks again (learn something new everyday!)
    JOD8FY
     
  20. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
    #20
    I really wish apple would offer a two button option on their laptops. One button mice are fine on a desktop because they are easily replaced, but there is no replacing the buttons on a laptop. When is apple going to get over this stupid notion of a one button mouse. All pro apps have second button options and apple shouldnt expect you to hit control+click to access them while working on a "pro" level laptop (powerbooks)! This may seem like a small inconvienence but I edit video for a living and the lack of a two button option is all thats holding my back from buying a powerbook. I dont want to have to plug a mouse in everytime i want to use my powerbook, it kind of defeats the purpose. Well, theres my rant for the day. :)
     
  21. furrina macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    In tha 212
    #21
    get a bluetooth wireless mouse

    no plug. Problem solved. Don't they make 2 button mac compatible wireless mousies? I never liked laptop trackpad/click setups anyway.
     
  22. bmwdmb1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    #22
    hmmm...still debating between the 1.33 and 1.5 PB's :)
     
  23. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #23
    I'm just putting in my 2 cents. If you go on the road and want to do Illustrator and Photoshop stuff and that then go with the PowerBook. The G5 is just as it is, a desktop system (or can be run as a snazzy file server, but get G3 for small servers lol). Laptops may be used as a main desktop system, thats why they have USB ports, so you can hook up a mouse and keyboard to it. If you do buy a G5 you have to buy a monitor for it too, unless you get a converter or have a DVI connector. The single 1.6GHz processor for the G5 is $1,799.99, 1.8 Dual is $2,499 - The 15" PowerBook is 1.5 GHz single G4 Processor is the same price as the 1.8 Dual $2,499.99. If you go with the PowerBook you'll miss out on 64-bit processing (which they need to get some apps out for). But with the G5 you'll be missing out on extreme portability to take your computer anywhere. Honestly, I'm going to try and save up and buy an iBook. I do want to do somethings with 3D and that, but I don't want to go out and buy another monitor for another computer (for the Mac) and we don't have the space for another desktop. Like I said, thats my 2 cents. You make your own decision. Good Job for going with mac though. Congrats!
     
  24. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #24
    Yes and no. Obviously a single CPU G5 isn't going to be as fast as a duallie, but the difference between my G5 and my 12" PowerBook is night and day. You definitely notice the difference. Apart from the faster CPU, bus and memory system, you've also got a 7200rpm SATA hard drive and a full-spec AGP 8x graphics card (not a watered down 'Mobility' version).

    If you can afford it, for sure...go for a dual processor G5. But the single CPU G5 isn't the retarded stepchild that the Mac community seems to (for some unknown reason) make it out to be. Check out www.xlr8yourmac.com. There's a link within the past few days to a fresh set of benchmarks comparing the G5s to the G4 PowerMacs. The single 1.6GHz G5 beats the dual 1.25GHz G4 PowerMac in almost every test they throw at it.
     
  25. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Yes, it's much better to get extra RAM but that can always be got later (and for far cheaer outside of Apple).

    I think more MHz is more important on the initial decision because that can't be upgraded later on. I think it's much wiser to get the 1.5GHz 15" than the 1.33 (sans-backlit keyboard) 15" with extra RAM. It sounds like he was going to get the poorer model with expensive Apple RAM, so IMO this was not so good advice.
     

Share This Page