new iBook vs. PB ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by switcher22, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. switcher22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #1
    I am in the market for either an iBook or PB and am thinking about waiting until the iBook is refreashed (maybe November).

    How will the performance of the new G3 stack up against the
    new G4s ? Any other important comparisons between the iBook / PB I should think about?

    I am a student and plan to use the machine for the standard web surfing, email and wordprocessing as well as some more intense apps like graphics and development.
     
  2. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    the powerbooks usually have much better graphics chipsets in them, and unless this changes (and it could) with iBook updates, you can only get a superdrive with a PB. I have both and I recommend the PB. Plus the iBook doesn't have altivec which is handy with some graphics and video apps.
     
  3. switcher22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2003
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    How much impact does the altivec have on day to day operations like word processing and surfing the net? In non-altivec enhanced apps is there much of difference at all?



    As a student I am also on a tight budget making me look specifically at the 12in PB - it sure is portable but is the screen size a problem? what about the heat ?
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    I have the new 12" PB and used to have a 900 mhz ibook. The PB is much faster. It is worth noting that my ibook scored a 43 on xbench while my PB scored an 87. Take xbench results for what they're worth though. (how the 12" PB will do against the new ibooks is anyone's guess).

    the G4 ONLY has an advantage over the G3 in altivec-aware apps. However, most graphics apps are altivec aware I believe, and I think apple's iapps make some use of altivec as well. You shouldn't see any advantage of G4 over G3 with word processing or internet.

    the screen size is no issue for me, but then I'm not a graphics guy. Keep in mind that the PB supports an external monitor whereas the ibook does not (except with a hack). Also, even on the 14" ibook you get the same screen res. as the powerbook, so you're not going to fit any more stuff on an ibook screen than a PB. If that's your main concern, the ibook will do great.

    I know many people are worried about the heat due to the problems with the rev A 12" PB, but the new ones are much better. My PB gets a little warm to the left of the trackpad - that's it. No burning or egg frying... in fact, the heat is entirely comparable to what I used to get on my ibook. Heat should not be a factor in your decision.
     
  5. kaishakunin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #5
    @switcher22

    Don't look now, but I think Christmas came a little early for you. Apple has the new IBooks on tap and they seem like a steal.
     
  6. davy the bunny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas
    #6
    Yup, there goes the altivec argument. . . You should get signifigantly better performance from apps "enhanced with the velocity engine" now. Photoshop, iTunes, iPhoto, isn't the OS also enhanced for G4s?
     
  7. aethier macrumors 6502a

    aethier

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    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #7
    well now that the iBook is a G4, then it is an even easier choice, well not really, it is probably harder to choose now.

    aethier
     
  8. kaishakunin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #8
    About the Altivec thing...I haven't compared, but how do the graphic cards compare with the PBs? Do you think its that big a difference?

    Ships with Panther so I guess you're right about the OS being optimized for the G4 (or shouldn't it be G5?)
     
  9. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    #9
    I did a bit of comparison between the new iBooks and the 12" Powerbook over at MacUnderground.

    Simply put, the new iBooks are good, but the 12" Powerbook is still better. Apple made sure that little - but important - things, like a small cache (12" PB: 512K, iBook: 256K) and RAM limitations (new iBooks are limited to 640 MB, 12" PB maxes out at 1.25 GB) would keep the iBook lagging behind the Powerbooks (extra RAM will be especially important with graphics work).

    If you're looking for something cheap, the iBooks are better than ever, but they're not Powerbook good. Also, be aware that two of the new iBooks are 14" models. I'm still not a fan of the "big screen" iBook because it's really just the "big pixels" iBook (it's bigger and bulkier, but it has the exact same screen resolution).

    My advice is to go with the 12" Powerbook. I just got one recently, and it's a great machine. It's pretty fast, too (and I haven't even upgraded the RAM yet).

    Either way, enjoy your new Mac (and don't buy your RAM from Apple!) :D
     
  10. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    #10
    I don't know graphics cards as well as a PC users would (seeing as they replace them on a weekly basis), but they seem pretty much the same.

    The 12" Powerbook has an nVidia 32 MB card, and the new iBooks have ATI 32 MB cards. Both are DDR, and seem basically the same.

    Considering the current list of things that aren't quite up to par with the iBooks versus the 12" Powerbook, I'd guess the graphics card in the iBooks is no better than the one in the Powerbook.

    Just as a note, Panther isn't necessarily "optimized" for the G5. If it were, it would be a 64-bit OS. Really, Panther - like previous versions of OS X - is optimized for the PowerPC processor architecture.
     
  11. kaishakunin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #11
    Thanks for clearing those things up. Unfortunately, it hasn't made the decision making any easier. Sigh...and here I was just trying to get advice and upgrade my Pismo...somebody shoot me now.
     
  12. Dros macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #12
    max memory?

    The Apple tech page says:
    Processor and memory

    * 800MHz, 933MHz or 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor with 256K on-chip level 2 cache running at full processor speed
    * 133 MHZ system bus
    * One of the following memory configurations:
    o 256MB of SDRAM (128MB built in and 128MB in SO-DIMM slot)
    o 384MB of SDRAM (128MB built in and 256MB in SO-DIMM slot)
    o 640MB of SDRAM (128MB built in and 512MB in SO-DIMM slot)
    * One open SO-DIMM slot; support for up to 1.25GB

    What does the last line mean?
     
  13. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    #13
    Well, that sounds like the memory specs to the 12" Powerbook, not the iBook.

    According to the iBook's Technical Specs, it can only be expanded to 640 MB of RAM (ouch).
     
  14. marcel2k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #14
    PowerBook or iBook?

    I'm planning to buy a new PowerBook 15" with the SuperDrive. But just today I've seen the new G4 iBooks announced and wondered, if I should rethink my decision. I don't really need a SuperDrive, it would just be nice to have one, since I'm selling my 5 months old PowerMac G4 1Ghz and my iBook 800Mhz right now.

    - Would you recommend buying a PowerBook now or an iBook?

    - Has there been any rumor about G5 PowerBooks?

    Looking forward to your answers. Thanks!
     
  15. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    #15
    Re: Powerbook or iBook?

    First off, go for the Powerbook. Just because the iBook has a G4 now, doesn't mean it's nearly as good as the Powerbook (especailly the 15").

    And yes, there have been rumors about G5 Powerbooks. Specifically ones that have the release late next year at the earliest. Don't hold your breath (it could be 2005 before we see these).

    These iBooks might be good, but they don't compare to the Powerbook line.
     
  16. fraeone macrumors regular

    fraeone

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    I'm bothered that the new iBooks don't have Bluetooth built in. I'm planning on buying from the Apple Retail Store, is it possible to get them to put one of the internal BT modules in? Or for me to buy an internal BT module and put it in myself? I'm not thrilled with the idea of the wireless dongle.

    Thanks
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    sitting on your shoulder
  18. switchingGeek macrumors member

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    Oct 11, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #18
    A review on tomshardware.com suggests that the Go5200 will be 20-30% better than the Radeon.

    This is because the Radeon is one generation behind the 5200. If you go with the 15", there is no contest, the 9600 whips the 9200, maybe even by an order of magnitude.
     
  19. fraeone macrumors regular

    fraeone

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    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    Yes but I'm curious if that is an available option at the retail store.

    Thanks
     
  20. marcel2k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #20
    Thanks for the replys so far!

    What's that with the graphics power? If I wanted to play some decent 3D games (like Tony Hawk 4 and the likes) on such a new PowerBook 15", would that be possible - without having to compromise on graphics resolution or detail settings? It would be great so have a game or two on that machine to play it while being on the road.

    But my main concern is still the processing power over all. I heard that this thing might even outrun my 1 GHz PowerMac G4 I bought 5 months ago. If so, is the new PowerBook capable of being a desktop replacement? I do have the wireless mouse and keyboard. But I am referring to heat and the stress on the components.

    And where do you suggest I could get real affordable external storage housings? I plan to re-use an 80 GB 3.5" HD from my PowerMac in an external housing with FireWire ports. Preferrably in Germany or in a shop that ships worldwide and is inexpensive.
     
  21. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #21
    I'm a student also with a 12" PowerBook with maxed options. I love it to death but I think I might recommend the iBook. Used one extensively last year and it was a wonderful machine. One thing to consider is the application package. iBook comes with word-processor, encyclopedia, quicken, etc. All great programs for students. PB has none of them. I actually bought an iMac application cd just so i could have a word processor to type papers on. If you have a lot of cash to burn, go with the PB and buy Microsoft Office v.x or some comparable program. If you want a great machine for a great price, go for the iBook.
    This is all student stuff, although you mentioned graphics and development as well. The PB definitely has more headroom when it comes to working with high demand programs, but I think with the upgrades to the iBook that is still your best bet for now and then go for the upgrade in a few years.

    Either way you're going to love your machine..

    -
     

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