Powerbook configuration

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by gundam, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I am getting my first Mac and trying to choose between the 15.2" and the 17" Powerbooks. I will be loading Final Cut Pro and spending some good time learning my way around video editing techniques. Obviously the 17" has the bigger screen with sharper resolution (is the difference between 1280x854 and 1440x900 that noticeable?) but it's substantially less portable and pricier too...and I already feel I am spending a fortune on this purchase.

    As for the processer, is the 0.08ghz difference even noticeable? Why do they even make the two separate processors? How about the option to upgrade to 5400rpm - is it considered a necessity for video editing work? (I'd hate to skimp out on the last $150 and lose out after already spending so much). Thanks for any advice.
  2. macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2003
    In my head
    I use my PB almost exclusively as a desktop. Why not get a good size 7200rpm external drive for a couple of hundred?
  3. macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I do a fair amount of video editing with my 12" PB and the 4200rpm drive doesn't noticeably hamper my work or production.
  4. macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan

    There's been several discussions about the differences between the 4200rpm and 5400rpm. Most of those who've actually compared the two believe that the 5400rpm is somewhat faster with little effect on battery drain. That said, if you are going to be doing video editing, make sure you get a fast 7200rpm external HD, preferably one that takes advantage of the FW800. If you do a lot of projects on FCP or Avid, saving your files on the same drive as your OS can really slow down and stress your system.

    If your PowerBook is going to be your main video editing computer, you may want to invest in an external display as well. There is a difference between 1280x854 and 1440 by 900, especially when you have multiple windows opened on FCP. The extra resolution and the size will help. But if you get the external display, I'd go with the 15 inch, as the CPU clockspeed difference may be very small.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2003
    Check this dual displaying!

    True it is a Tibook, but you get my drift. I do have an external HD (not shown). I have had good experience with the ADS external drive kit which converts an internal ATA drive to FW for $120.
    Granted you'll have to purchase a HD separately, but it is worth the option to upgrade later if you feel the need.

    Go for the 15, and with the money you save, get a superdrive!
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2003
    So the question of 4200rpm vs. 5400 isn't a big issue since any serious editing should require an external firewire drive?

    So that leaves it as a trade-off between screen size & resolution, vs. price & portability. I see so many glowing comments about the 17" screen, but is the 15" screen also worthy of praise or just your run of the mill laptop TFT display? And the difference in power is negligible?
  7. macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    15" or 17"


    I know a lot of serious video editors who use Final Cut Pro that use the 15 inch TiBook (with 4200rpm HDs). For many of them, it's their only machine, but it seems as though they got their jobs done fairly well. (They did max out on RAM though).

    I think that with that in mind, and the fact that you are learning your way through FCP, which itself has a very steep learning curve, the 1.25Ghz and the 1.33Ghz shouldn't affect you that much. (I bet increasing the amount of RAM can almost offset the CPU clockspeed differences). If you do a lot of traveling or take our computer outside your home often, the 15inch seems like the best option. If you move around in your home (say from your bedroom to your living room), then the 17inch makes sense. If you never move away from your desk, get a G5.

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