PB, Monitor and General Mac advice for Possible Switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mrgrill, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. mrgrill macrumors newbie

    mrgrill

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm currently deep in thought as to whether switch from PC to MAC to splash the cash on a PB. My preferred option being the 12", superdrive, Possibly 1 Gig of RAM, 80GB hard drive. A pretty top notch spec. This is mainly cos I do graphics/web design (work and at home) plus I want to mess around with digital music production. I know the 12" PB isn't what you'd call a designers machine, cos of the small screen, but I really want the portability and I'm looking at buying a new monitor to hook up to when I'm at home.

    I'm also looking at home networking using AirPort Express (iTunes etc), but I'm looking at getting a decent router for Mac and PC compatible.

    As I've never owned a Mac and switching for me a major deal, I'm looking for advice on the PB, and decent, but reasonably priced monitors aimed at Designers (not necessarily Apple branded), plus Wireless Routers etc for home network. Any recommendations are welcome.

    My main concerns are that the PB 12" will not be up tot what I want to do, and that I should wait for a G5 to be slapped into the PB?

    Oh and I'm based in the UK.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Koree macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #2
    Portablility and video editing not a very good mix on pc or mac. But the powerbook 12 inch should handle it. May i suggest you get the 15 inch so you can get a better video card? I think that'll help your editing, and it comes with a better proccessor. And do you know how to install/upgrade stuff on computers? cuz ram is quite expensive on apple.com and you would probably be better off using www.crucial.com, use their little thing where they suggest ram for your computer. about airport. If your not gonna be doing the wireless music thing don't get airport express and just get an airport base station. And i think it is both mac and pc compatible at once.

    You will be happy if you make the switch :)
     
  3. Koree macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #3
    so just get one 512 ram stick (make sure you do this right on the order form) and get ram from crucial.com And make sure you upgrade the hardrive to the fastest speed (rpm) cuz that is a major speed boost that is not expensive.
     
  4. Koree macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #4
    Sorry i keep forgeting stuff

    :eek: anyway yes you can get an external monitor. anything will work as long as you get an adabtor which will probably come with your powerbook.
     
  5. iBert macrumors regular

    iBert

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #5
    Don't worry too much about adapters. If you get the 12" PB, you'll get them. Since the monitor adapter for the 12" differs from 15" and 17". you get both vga and dvi. About the memory, do what others have recomended. A lot of people are suggesting that. Does speed matters in your situation? If not, I'd say go for it. 12" PB are wicked awesome, their portability couldn't be better. I love mine! and I use it for almost everything. From coding to doing chatting and reading this forums. I have a friend that is an art design major and he wants a 12" PB bad. About the networking if you don't have enough $$$ for an apple base station, get a wireless G router. will work for both Mac and PC, the same way an Apple Base Station will work for both Mac and PC.

    About G5 PB, my thought is that is just a myth. Remember the G5 generates a lot of heat. It's going to take a long time to work that out for laptops. I hope they come up with something, but I think that's a long wait. Could be a year or less, or even more than a year.

    If you are set on getting the PB, whichever you decide. Doode, the switch is worth it. I did it this past Xmas and I'm not looking back at all. I'm looking into getting a G5. Can't wait to hear about my job, when I do spending a lot of money :D :rolleyes:
     
  6. mrgrill thread starter macrumors newbie

    mrgrill

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #6
    Thanks for the advice but....

    I've been looking at the 12" PB on Apple Store UK. It says you get 256mb built in. Does this mean I could easily remove this stick and say, slap 1 GIG from a 3rd party in there (e.g. crucial.com or some UK site)?

    I only want to make the purchase If I know everything is going to be ok? And what about warranty if I change the RAM ? Will this affect it? I guess so?

    Any thoughts?
     
  7. mrgrill thread starter macrumors newbie

    mrgrill

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #7
    oh and in terms of monitors...

    I've been looking at the Formac 20" LCD. Looks a pretty impressive monitor slightly cheaper than the Apple LCDs. Any thoughts on monitors?
     
  8. mrgrill thread starter macrumors newbie

    mrgrill

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #8
    And I just noticed about crucial

    Sorry, I thought crucial was US only, but it seems i can get RAM from the UK. Good news. But is it easy to replace the 265MB module in the 12 PB with 1 GIG? I've changed RAM before in a desktop PC and it seemed all ok.

    Cheers
     
  9. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    #9
    here in the US changing the RAM yourself does not void the warranty. Apple even shows you how to do this in the manual. i will go out on a limb and assume that Apple UK has the same policy :D
     
  10. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #10
    Is there a possibility that you could afford and older G3 iBook and then something like a Powermac? That way you have a portable computer and you have a powerful workstation.

    Mike
     
  11. daxdagr8t macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    #11
    ahhm the 256 is soldered in the motherboard, but you have one extra slot for adding more ram.putting the ram is easy its just unscrewing the screws is a pain.
     
  12. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #12
    Just get the 15" PB. Its portable and fast computer. Don't look at the 12 (sry 12" fans) Yes portable. But you could just get the 12" ibook. The 15" is portable. It only weights a lb. more. and you get a much better computer. I was deciding on the 12 or 15 but decided to go for the 15 because its a much better computer.
     
  13. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #13
    I agree with puck on getting the 15". I wanted a 12" for the portability but went with the 15" for the better video card, FW800, and PC slot. I wanted the SD and better hd, but to save money I opted to buy a storage drive with FW800 and an external DVD/R (which would burn above 4x) later when I could afford it.

    Oh yeah, and I love the extra screen real estate.
     
  14. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #14
    I say go for the 12"PB I have one and I have no complaints.

    Also, on the networking side, look around al local office stores. I got a 802.11B wireless router for 10 bucks (after rebates of course). Sure it is B, but hey you can't hardly beat the price
     
  15. matthutch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #15
    well if you do take the plunge and go for the powerbook, i am sure you will find whatever machine you happen to buy a pleasure to use.

    I do web and graphic design work myself, I originally purchased a 12" rev a powerbook, and I couldn't have been happier. Yes the 12" screen is rather small, but if you are doing work "on the go" it is fairly reasonable - personally I don't find it too bad, as when I do more 'heavy duty" work I like to have an external moniter attached.

    The main thing you need to remember is that if you are serious in using the powerbook for graphics and web work using applications such as quark photoshop etc, is to get as much ram as you can in your machine. The more ram your apps can access the faster it will respond, in Photoshop especially - as accessing ram is MUCH MUCH faster then paging to scratch files on your hard drive. As others have said previously, in the current 12" Pb there is 256mb of ram soldered on to the logic board. Adding extra ram in the 12" machines is incredibly easy, and is able to be done without voiding warranty (they have instructions on how to do it on the apple site - in the support section i think, it is fairly easy to find though).

    If your wondering about external displays the best advice I can give you is go and have a look at some in person. You can get some extremely good CRT displays for quite cheap these days, yes they are not LCD and not quite as nice (in some peoples opinions) if you are some what pressed for cash, or are not wanting to spend a huge amount CRT maybe the way to go. I personally have not seen formac displays in person, but from what I have read on these forums, the actual displays are rather nice - some people have said better the apples - but I have read that some people have had some problems getting in contact with the actual company.

    The main thing you need to think of when making your choice between the 12 or 15 is do you want the expandability that the 15 allows. As puck, and others said, it has the pc card slot, fw 800 etc. And as you said that you were not sure if the 12" would be quite what you want it to be the 15 would be your best bet, they really aren't that much heavier.

    Well good luck choosing your powerbook, and no matter which one you do end up getting I am sure you will love it.
     
  16. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #16
    www.crucial.com/uk is where i bought my ram for my powerbook + g5 in the past, very good delivery (Royal Mail) and quite cheap as well. Dont bother with ram from a store as mac's tend to be a tad fussy and crucial has always worked.

    I really recommend poping along to your nearest selfridges (probably Manchester) and having a go on one.. John Lewis also sell them and maybe a local Leed's dealer? but i really recommend splashing out extra for the 15" you get a much better graphics card and both ram slots are available, plus you get the funky illuminated keyboard (with the superdrive) model.
     
  17. dejaentendu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    Roseville, CA/Santa Barbara, CA
    #17
    Let me get this straight because I have a similar question as mrgrill here.

    The memory upgrades on the apple store are listed as 256MB built in or 256MB built-in + 256MB, 512MB, etc. If I wanted to upgrade with more from Crucial instead, should I just get the 256MB built-in without anything added on? Someone said to get "one 512MB stick" but I don't see how you make sure that you're just getting that. Is that referring to the 256MB built-in + 512MB?

    By ordering with the minimum 256MB built-in, I'll get an empty slot that I can then insert a cheaper, Crucial purchase into? Is that how it works?

    Sorry, just a little confused about all this ram talk. :)
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #18
    Yes - the built-in memory is just that: built in, not removeable. There is a free slot for another stick (note: 15" and 17" PBs have TWO slots, no built-in memory). Therefore, buying with 256MB built-in and buying an additional 512MB (or, preferably, 1GB) stick yields 768MB (or 1.25 GB w/the larger stick).

    Edit: so yes, to be clear: buy only with 256MB built-in RAM. Buy a 512MB or 1GB stick from Crucial, Kingston, etc., then insert it. If you get a 15" or 17" PB, with two slots and no built-in RAM, the advice might be different.
     
  19. dejaentendu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    Roseville, CA/Santa Barbara, CA
    #19
    Perfect. Thanks for the quick clarification. I'm ready to make the switch. :D
     
  20. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #20
    As for the airport - I've got a Linksys Wireless G 4-port router that works on both Mac and PC and I love it.

    As for 12 v 15 or 17, hard to say. If you're doing serious design work, the 15 or 17 will give you better video performance because of the improved cards, but you may not need to worry about it.

    I'm going to get a chance to play with the new 30" Apple Cinema Display - a little pricey, but you can't beat the screen area, huh?

    The Formacs are good devices as well, especially for the price.
     
  21. mrgrill thread starter macrumors newbie

    mrgrill

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #21
    Cheers everyone

    A couple of things. Firstly thanks to all for helping me with this. As it was my first post to a Mac forum and I guess many people have bored you with the "Shall I get a PB 12 or 15?" before, I appreciate all the advice.

    Although I'm still unsure what to get :confused: one part of me is saying wait until Q4 or early 2005 to see if there is gonna be a new PB release (please G5!!!) I know for sure I'm making the complete switch from PC to Mac though, although I still have to use my work's Dell latitude 600 (Although I did install object dock on it, to make it more like OS X :eek: ).

    Don't know if anyone is interested but I think I'm gonna go for:

    PB 12" 1.33mhz Superdrive
    1.25GB RAM (256 built in plus 1GB from crucial)
    80GB hard drive
    Formac 2010 display (although I'm really thinking about a £100 quid extra for the 20" Apple display - I just don't really know which is the best for mutlimedia designer?)
    Netgear DG834G wirless router
    & Airport Express

    the only thing left to do is to get a new iPod. My original 2G wiPod is 2 years old this september and is scratched all over, and battery life is either 7 hours one day or 2 hours the next. It's on its last legs....bless! I think I'll wait till the next release of an iPod next year though, as I just am not attracted to the 4G iPod - looks cheap n tacky. But thats another discussion. sorry folks, just went off on one.

    Thanks again!
     
  22. the future macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #22
    Hi, maybe your decision (to get a PowerBook now, that is) is made a little easier if you take into consideration that not only is a G5 PowerBook probably quite far in the future, but that when it materializes, the 12" model (that you seem to favor) is absolutely the least likely model to include that shiny G5 due to heat reasons. I'm not even sure they will manage to get it into the 15" model.
     
  23. mrgrill thread starter macrumors newbie

    mrgrill

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #23
    Yeah I guess you're right. But no one for sure can say it will or won't happen. I've read many posts about PB G5 speculation, when or if they will appear, etc. But at the end of the day you can't say the 12" is absolutely the least likely to have a G5, unless of course you work for Apple ;) .

    But I don't want to start this debate again, so moving on, I know I want a PB, but at this moment in time I can't afford all the kit I want and it's likely that it will be october when I can buy anything (or perhaps later? hope not!). At which point, we may know more on a new PB release - whether it's G4 or a G5, so it means I can spend my hard earned cash on the latest model.
     
  24. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    #24
    even the 17 is portable! :D And for graphic design, I just love working on full page spreads in full screen mode!
     

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