New to Macs...iMac or powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by anba, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. anba macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #1
    I decided in October that the next computer that I buy would be a Mac, particularly the then new iMac G5. Now that I am ready to take the plunge, I can't decide which Mac to get. I have always wanted a notebook and with the upgrades to the powerbooks, they are now an option. However, I like the specs of the iMac. I now have a very sluggish 1.8 Ghz pc with only 256 mb ram that wont even render a simple slideshow. So anything would be an improvement. Any suggestions? Also, would I be better to wait for Tiger or take the plunge now?

    Thanks
     
  2. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    Whether you make the purchase now or wait until Tiger is released, you'll be getting a fantastic OS. If you absolutely must have the new features in Tiger, and don't want to spend $129 come June, then wait on the computer, otherwise take the jump.

    What is it that you intend to do with your new computer? Is portability necessary for you or is it just something that you would like to have? That should help in deciding which computer to go with.
     
  3. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #3
    You are comparing Apples to ... ok, well Apples, bad example. You are comparing oranges to bananas. If you need a notebook, get it. If you think a destop will suite you better, go for that. This is not something anyone else can help you with.

    As for tiger, I'll ask a similar question. Do you need a new computer now? Is it going to kill you waiting anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months? If so, buy it now. If you don't need it right now, buy it later. You'll get a newer OS and maybe an hardware upgrade.
     
  4. dgriff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #4
    PC user going to Mac

    Hi, I've used a PC for the past 12 years or so, and am mostly fed up with crashes, hardware problems, software gliches and a myriad of other problems with this system. My question is I have to buy a laptop for school, and I will need to run Autocad, Photoshop cs and AI, along with some office software. Can someone tell me how the MAC's hold up running these programs. I'm ready to switch, and I have read all the reasons I need to, but I really have to make sure it's going to fill the bill with these programs for school. Also, I have read a few reviews where the poster mentions a "dead pixel". Is that a random occurance? Thanks for any tips. :)
     
  5. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    As far as I know, AutoCAD isn't available on OS X; you might try searching for threads related to that. You'll be able to run Photoshop and Illustrator just fine, along with MS:Office (if that's the "office software" you speak of). I wouldn't worry about dead pixels; they're a possibility on any LCD display (Mac or PC). These are random occurances and if there are too many (usually >5 for most companies) on a display, the company will usually replace the display.
     
  6. anba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #6
    I guess I forgot my biggest question. I basically need the computer to do photo and some video editing, as well as the basics surfing, wp, etc. Will a powerbook handle these tasks fairly well? I am going into uncharted territory with the Mac to begin with, but also I want to start using Photoshop which I have never done either. So any help would be appreciated. I realize that no one can make the desicion for me, but I really like the portability of the PB, if it would be able to handle these apps well. Also, would my current wireless network (netgear 802.11 G) work with the airport card? I would hate to have to upgrade my home network also.

    Thanks
     
  7. Roz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    #7
    The powerbook will handle all those apps. I have the 17" 1.67 pb and run photoshop and illustrator very heavily being a designer. You'll also be a lot happier if you up the ram in the powerbook to atleast 1GB, especially if you're doing any video editing. I have 2GB and it handles FCP just fine.
     
  8. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    #8
    The PB will do what you're asking of it just fine, the iMac will do it just a hair better. It comes down to portability and money.

    In either case, 1Gig ram should be the minimum for you, considering the apps you'll be running.

    To the person above who was tired of crashing computers - welcome to the Mac world, where stuff just works. Mac's aren't bulletproof - you'll still crash an app here and there, but the good news is, you just quit the app, restart the app, and go on your merry way in about 15 seconds. It's very rare that an app crash will bring down your OS, or even affect it in any way. I know that's hard to understand in the Windows world - but it's true.
     
  9. erickg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    #9
    To answer the last question of your post. The powerbook will work fine with all standard wireless networks (802.11 B or G). I use my iBook (and used my Powerbook) all the time at uni on their network and I used to have a wireless netgear router... both worked perfectly fine. Now I am using an airport express and the only difference I notice between that one and the netgear is that the airport express transfers files much faster between macs (from my ibook to my wifes ibook).
     
  10. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #10
    PowerBooks (and any Mac) will not handle AutoCAD. It is, as far as I'm aware, Windows-only. There are some packages that will give you that functionality on Mac, some of which might be compatible with AutoCAD-format files. You'll have to look into that separately, though, since I can't think of any offhand. PM me if you're unsuccessful and I'll get back to you when I have a bit more time. Otherwise I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. Being a heavy Photoshop and frequent Illustrator user, I can say that they are extremely smooth on OS X if you have enough RAM. And firewire hard drives are a godsend (be careful not to doo too much Final Cut on battery, and beware serious slowdowns without a firewire scratch disk, if you need FCP at all).
     
  11. anba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #11
    Do you have to buy Apple Ram for the powerbook or are you able to upgrade it yourself from a third party? If you are able to upgrade it yourself, is there any advantages to buying it from Apple with the Ram already installed? Also, is the iBook able to handle photoshop and video editing, or am I just limited to the powerbook for these tasks? Sorry for so many questions, but this is all new to me and I don't want to kick myself later for making a bad choice.

    Thanks Again!
     
  12. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    So. Cal
    #12
    RAM is user upgradable. You don't have to buy it from Apple. The ibook could handle any task that a powerbook can......it would just be slower at doing so. The processor is the same, speeds are different and the software package that comes with each is different. Just make sure that you also get the programs you need to do what you want to do.
     
  13. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #13
    Honest question -- what does the PowerBook come with, software wise, that the iBook doesn't have?

    EDIT: looks like it's incidental software. The iBook has AppleWorks and a couple games, while the PowerBook has OmniGraffle, some graphics tools, and a FileMaker Pro demo. Both come with Panther and iLife '05.
     
  14. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #14
    Either system is great for what you're wanting to do. The latest Powerbooks are pretty comparable in terms of performance to the 1.8GHz iMacs. (faster at some things slower at others, but pretty minor in both cases)

    I've had a 20" iMac G5 and my current system is a Rev.D (latest) 17" Powerbook.
    For the programs I use, the Powerbook is actually faster, and it's great having the Portability when I need it.

    Initially when I got the iMac I thought it would be perfect for what I wanted; and it was at the time, but people generally keep Macs longer than PC, so I got to thinking that while I didn't need portability at the time, in the next 3-5 years, I probably would, so I got the Powerbook and haven't regretted it at all.
     
  15. dgriff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #15
    pc user going to mac

    Thanks to all that responded. I couldn't find any autocad software or links to any on the web, although I did find where autocad has done some research into producing a mac version, but it's not there yet. The school labs have the autocad I can use, so I will probably still go with a mac. As for the os system, the mac's use a unix version of some sort. I guess my question is, how different is it to navigate on the desktop of the mac vs the pc. Sorry for the ignorance, but I haven't had time to go by the local compusa and see what they have. A question for this post, what do you users find to be the most annoying thing about a mac. I know it can't be as much as a pc. I've got xp pro on mine, and it still acts up, especially when I need it the most. Murphy, you know. :)
     
  16. deebster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Olde Englande
    #16
    Not sure how good it is or how far its features go because I've never used it, but there is an app called Cadintosh, from the same developer who brings us (the rather good) GraphicConverter.

    It's also been a while since I suffered the horror of using Windoze, but fear not when it comes to navigating OS X.

    You have the 'Finder' app (similar to Explorer) for navigating your hard drive, and the directory of your hard disk is set up quite intuitively. Basically at the root level you have your Applications folder, as well as Library, System and Users folders.

    System speaks for itself and you will likely never need to look there (unless you are a power user / the tinkering type).

    Library contains additional files needed by certain applications and the system, and the chances are you won't neeed to go there much either.

    Applications speaks for itself, and Users contains a 'Home' folder for each designated user of the Mac, so that their files are kept separate from other users.

    Within your Home folder you have subfolders for (your private) Desktop, Documents, Music, Movies, Pictures and all the stuff you might want to store on your HD. As well as another Library.

    Takes a couple of hours (if that) to get a handle on and after that becomes a doddle to navigate.

    Welcome to the light side mate

    :)
     
  17. dgriff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #17
    Powerbook G4 15

    Thanks for all the help folks. I have it down to a 15.2" powerbook, but notice some models have a 1.5 GHZ processor, and some have a 1.67 GHZ processor. Is the difference all that great or better. Also, mac is coming out with the Tiger OS, and after checking out some it's features, I really like it. So do I wait, can I upgrade later to the newer OS.

    Don :)
     
  18. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    If cost is an issue, settle for the 1.5GHz. Also, the company is Apple, not mac. Mac is not coming out with OS 10.4 (Tiger), Apple is however. If you want to use the computer for about 3.5 months, then pay $130 to upgrade to Tiger, then buy now and upgrade when it comes out. However, if you have a tight budget and don't feel like a new computer is necessary for the next 3.5 months, then wait for the upgraded OS.
     
  19. dgriff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #19
    Apple to Mac

    Hi, sorry, I'm use to seeing Mac on websites instead of Apple. Costs isn't the issue, just wondering if the speed difference is that noticeable, that's all. Why does apple's website list the os a Mac OS? I apologize if I am offending anyone. Sooner or later, I'll get my nomenclature in order.
     
  20. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #20
    I have a 12" PB 876 MHz. Illustrator and Photoshop CS documents of above 100 MB are no problem since I have 1 GB Ram. So the new Powerbook should be perfect for that.

    Just looked into my airport utility. 802.11 G is supported so this should also work.
     

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