Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Kimberley, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. Kimberley macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004
    Yes I am still using a PC. :eek: Cant wait 2 get rid of it and get an Apple Mac. :D

    I am currently studying Graphic Design at University so would therefore need a portable machine.

    I am finding it difficult to make a decision on what portable to get as there are so many options available. :confused: So where best to get advice than from you all.

    The options I have looked at are:
    * G4 ibook 14" 1.2GHz
    256 Ram (probably max out to 1.25GB RAM)
    DVD-R/CD-RW (Superdrive option)
    Radeon 9200 (32 Mb)
    Bluetooth, 2 x USB, 1 x Firewire, Applecare

    1625.50 (UK Price inc. educational disc.)

    * G4 Powerbook 15.2" 1.5GHz
    512 Ram (What is the difference between 1 SO-DIMM and 2 SO-DIMMs)
    80Gb (5400 rpm)
    Radeon 9700 (128 MB)
    Bluetooth, Airport Card, USB, Firwire 400 & 800, Backlit keyboard, Applecare

    1964.76 (UK Price inc. educational discount)

    As I am a student getting the ibook would save me a bit of money. I still have to consider software for mac platform.

    Will the ibook manage programs such as Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign? Are there any major disadvantages with the above ibook model?

    Advice appreciated. Thanks
  2. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    When the iBook was G3 based, running those applications might've been an issue. However, with the new iBook G4s, they should run without a problem.
  3. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004

    Video Processor and Video ram wouldnt be an issue?
  4. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    I don't think it should be an issue. If it is, there's always the 12" PowerBook which starts at $1599 US, $1399 with student discount. I don't know how the prices run outside the states, though.
  5. minstryoffunk macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Obviously, if you can spring for the better machine, you'd probably find things like the better video card and larger screen worthwhile. However, the iBook would, i expect, serve your needs adequately
  6. Skiniftz macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2004
    Please - it's Mac, not MAC. MAC in caps is a recognised acronym of "Media Access Control" and is part of the Ethernet standard and nothing to do with the Apple Mac.

  7. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Actually, it's an Apple.
  8. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    The question you need to answer is what screen resolution is acceptable (for the cost).
    The iBook is 1024x768 ( 12" or 14")
    The 15" PowerBook is 1280x854.
  9. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
    Go for the PowerBook for the bigger screen. You'll need it for design work. plus you can hook a "real" monitor up to it and it can be an extension of your desktop. iBooks only mirror what's on your laptop screen on your monitor.

    Powerbook is a MUCH better decison.
  10. brhmac macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2003
    Planet Earth
    Who cares?

    Blah blah blah.

    Who cares?

    Mac? MAC? maC? MaC? mAc?

    Who cares? The guy wants advice on a Macintosh computer and the only insight you have to offer is a diatribe on "Mac" vs. "MAC."


    You knew what he meant. We all knew what he meant.
  11. Blackheart macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2004
    I think it's the same idea with someone spelling coconut wrong by spelling it "kokonuht". Just because you know what he means, doesn't mean you should let it be ignored. For his sake, let him know his mistake, and he can do with it what he wants.
  12. Grokgod macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2002
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    ohh I hate it when people get in a uproar about spelling or capitals or anything of that nature!

    Who cares!
    You understood him and that means that his post was good, it worked and no intelligent people were harmed in the posting!

    This is a internet forum not your personal school of bad charm.
    Give it a rest!

    Ok on to the actual reason for the post.!

    I think that you should get a powerbook!
    Here is my reason why.
    The LCD is number one for me.
    The iBook is great and would do a great job but the LCD < all caps ohhh>
    doesnt portray the color and contrast ratio well enough for real design work.

    Now if you use another external screen, it could be a fine choice, but that is an additional cost and I am not sure about the VGA out that the iBook uses.

    One of the newer lower end Powerbooks with a EDU discount would run about $1799. Not too bad, i think.
  13. Skiniftz macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2004
    I care. And that's "she".
  14. Skiniftz macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2004
    Actually it's Macintosh, commonly abbreviated to "Mac". Yes everyone knows that Apple don't market "The Mac" as "Mac" anymore, however its what it is still referred to as. If I said I have a Mac, people know what I mean. (If I have a MAC then I would be talking about something else.)
  15. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2004
    Hey, Kimberly! Welcome to the Mac (MAC, mAc) World. You're going to love it, I promise. Please don't let that little tiff over the spelling scare you. Apple lovers are a little obsessive, but usually very friendly, informative and concerned.

    Answer to your question:
    Get the best laptop you can buy.

    If you were just going to be writing essays and surfing the net, that would be one thing. But you're doing Graphic design. What your laptop will be required to do will change and increase every year. It may need to run new and larger and more demanding programs. YOU may need it do more detailed work--you may need better video, etc. And the quality of this essential tool of the craft you are learning will make a difference. The better it is, the better you can be at graphic design.

    If money is VERY tight, then go for the new iBooks. An iBook will be satisfactory. However, if you can afford it, get the new powerbook. Think of it as an investment. It may cost you a lot now, but you'll use it longer, it will be able to adapt better to your changing and growing needs, it will likely serve you not only in school but through your first internship and it will have a great re-sale value when its finally time to get a new one.
  16. Skiniftz macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2004
    The 15" PowerBook can take two SO-DIMM chips for RAM. Basically if you used 2x256 SO-DIMMS that would give you 512Mb RAM, with no room for expansion. If you plan to upgrade it past 512Mb (strongly recommended) then you will want to only use 1 slot for your first 512Mb, leaving a spare slot that you can use to upgrade in the future. Generally with the Mac and OSX you will want to put in as much RAM as you can. This will both increase performance and battery life (battery life as it doesnt have to keep spinning up the drive as much).
    when choosing you basically have to decide what you are going to be doing. From your last paragraph, I'm guessing that the software you mention is what you will want to do. The Powerbook will be faster; obviously it's CPU is a little faster than the iBook, but normally another difference between "i" and "Power" class Mac's is a faster system bus in the Power models.

    You can see the tech specs here:

    iBook Tech Specs
    PowerBook Tech Specs

    Notice that the iBook system bus is clocked at 133MHz while the PowerBook is 167MHz. It's not much, but it does make a difference in performance.

    The models you are looking at will run the software you mention just fine, it's just the PowerBook will be a little faster. If you can afford it, and particularly if you want to run them all at the same time, get the PowerBook but the iBook will run them ok. You will want to get as much RAM as you can in whatever model you get. (However the PowerBook can take 2Gb(!) - 1.5Gb should be more than enough for peak performance depending on the size of images you are working on).
  17. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    oooh! my mistake I thought this was a MAC forum, could someone tell me where I find the real MAC forum, I've become so confused since people started talking about Apple Mac computers, I really don't know where I am. I know there are only a couple of members on the MAC forum so it shouldn't be too difficult to spot. All I have to do is head out to some dullard corner of the internet and start typing Apple MAC and my good friends should be there in seconds.

    As far as PC to Apple PC goes, I would keep yer windo$e box to do folding with, then you can join Macrumors Team Folding! yee!

    a Mac is better than no Mac. :)
  18. Kimberley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004
    Thanks for the great advice. :D

    Yes I am a "she"!

    Anyway, no bidg deal! :cool:

    Im growing on the Powerbook more now as I can see where it would have more potential and be benificial for my needs. :)

    Just a few more questions:

    1) Should I choose the build 2 order option of 1Gb RAM (1 x SO-DIMM) or
    should I leave the standard 512 (2 x SO-DIMM) and get a 1GB RAM
    elsewhere and install myself (is it easy to install memory on a portable -
    I 'm ony aware of how to install on a desktop).

    2) Could anyone let me know more about airport extreme and how it works.
    I use broadband with USB - should I just stick to using this.

  19. Kimberley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004

    Boy have you got time!

    Im NEW to Mac so didnt know you can't spell it a certain way!
    People like you will make mac users decrease. You're doing apple no justice!

    Its better you teach than preach sarcasm.

    If you havent got any good advice then why bother waste your time?
  20. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    somebody called? :D :D

    Nobody ever said that the ENTIRE Mac community was loving :D
    But in general they are a lot nicer than the windose crowd. Just don't listen to those people and for who cares: Only those who do nothing don't make mistakes. Live and learn.

    To answer your question:
    1) Don't buy RAM at Apple. Take the 1x512mb stick and upgrade later with RAM from Crucial
    From what I know Apple uses this brand and they are considered the best RAM producers.
    2) broadband over usb? Never heard of that. Airport extreme is Apple's WLAN. I hope this explains it... if not I would have to be more specific. :D

    Hope that helped.
  21. MCCFR macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2003
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Kimberley, there are plenty of snot-nosed types on Mac forums. It genuinely isn't representative of the community as a whole.

    If cash is really tight, you may want to speak to a company like Cancom (Guildford) regarding their stock of Apple refurb/ex-demo equipment, which is quite separate from the kit that Apple sell on their website every Wednesday morning from 10am (http://promo.euro.apple.com/promo/refurb/uk/).

    An answer to your two other questions: RAM is cheap, but not nearly as cheap if you let Apple sell it to you. Fitting RAM to any PowerBook is a relatively simple task, so long as observe simple rules about handling the module. It's just a question of whether you want a spare RAM module hanging around.

    Airport Extreme is just Apple's term for its implementation of the high-speed (54mbit) wireless networking standard 802.11g. If you want to go with this, you'll need to spend extra money for the base station although cheaper variations are available from manufacturers like NetGear or D-Link (although these are obviously not up to Apple's levels of ease of use).

    Do you need AE? Well, it's just incredibly convenient to be able to use your laptop without being tethered to your USB modem. Also, in the opinion of myself and several colleagues, it actually works more efficiently simply because it's designed to be used for networking as opposed to USB which was originally conceived as a way to connect keyboards, mice and the like.

    Hope that helps.
  22. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    If you can spare the cash, I would tell you that the Powerbook that you selected would be a better investment.

    The Powerbook would have a little more power and the screen would be a little bigger. There is a BIG difference between a Radeon 9200 32MB and a Radeon 9700 with 128MB, but I am not sure how much those programs would use the extra power.

    While saving money now would be great, you need to consider the long term cost. The iBook might only last two years, while the Powerbook might last three. (lasting as in still being powerful enough to run the new apps) So with that you can find the monthly cost of ownership:

    Powerbook: 2000/36 = 55 month
    iBook: 1650/24 = 68 month

    Lastly, when it came time to sell your Mac, I am sure the Powerbook would fetch a much better margin than the iBook.
  23. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Get the 512MB (1xSO-DIMM). Do not buy extra RAM from Apple. It is WAY overpriced. Crucial has a 512MB for only £69.99 compared to Apples £193.21 (edu price) for the same 512MB!

    First check and see if the cable/dsl modem you have has an ethernet connection. If so, then you can still use. If not, you are going to have to get a new cable/dsl modem to use airport extreme.

    The airport base station is nothing but a wireless router, and other companies sell wireless routers for much cheaper (Linksys is my favorite), but they might not be as easy to setup as Apple's.
  24. Skiniftz macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2004
    If you were to get 512Mb in 2x 256Mb SO-DIMM, then to upgrade you will have to remove one of the 256Mb SO-DIMM modules to fit the upgrade, meaning you just wasted your money! Get it with one 512Mb SO-DIMM then obtain extra memory elsewhere - Apple's RAM is obscenely overpriced.
    Ok I'm assuming that at the moment, you are using a PC with either ADSL or cable modem and you have that connected into the PC using USB (incidentally are you in the UK? If so what ISP do you use?).

    Airport Extreme is basically Apple's name for what is known everywhere else as an 802.11g wireless network. The new PowerBook's have AE built in, and can connect to any standard 802.11b (11Mbps) and 802.11g (54Mpbs) wireless network kit. For a home broadband connection, to use Airport you are looking at either buying a wireless router that can connect directly to your ADSL or cable and then connecting to that from the Mac wirelessly, or if you have cable (with a cable modem that has a built in network socket (i.e. can take a standard CAT5 network cable) then you can get more or less any wireless bridge or router and connect it into that using a network cable, then connect via the Mac using wireless.

    You can get wireless bridges and routers for around £80 in the UK. AE is overpriced.
  25. MCCFR macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2003
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    And the video arrangements on a PowerBook are more beneficial to your line of work, especially when you cease being a student and have to earn money as efficiently as you can.

    Because the PowerBook lets you - when you can afford it - run two screens (properly, as opposed to just mirroring), you can put things like palettes from Adobe's software on one screen and then the actual 'work' windows on the other.

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