Question : iBook 14 " or iMac 17 "

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

  1. aJester macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2005
    Hello people!

    This is my first post (although I have been reading this forum for awhile now).

    Am a switcher-in-waiting :)
    Never used a Mac before, was on the fence for a few months, have made up my mind, finally!

    Have been saving for a few months. Now am all set to throw some cash once Tiger is released. But am unable to decide on which one - iBook 14" or iMac 17". So thought of asking help!!

    I wud be using the computer almost exclusively as a home computer. But I move a lot (say once in 6 months) and so was planning to buy an iBook 14". (I had this dream about iBook getting one of those e600 Core G4+ with 600 MHz FSB :D ).
    But I realized just now when I visited the Apple Store that the new iMac is NOT very thick either and so I might as well get the iMac (if it is NOT too heavy or packaging too large) BECAUSE :

    + It has a G5 <-------------- Longer life as Apple seems to be migrating to it; proc speed > 1.45 Ghz is good G4/5
    + FASTER FSB due to G5 <-- (BIGGEST plus)
    + Larger screen (17") <----- (Watching movies wud be better)

    Both iBook 14" and iMac 17" cost the same ($1299) + RAM. I know the graphics cards used are also different. I do not know which one is better (ATI Radeon 9200 or nVidia Fx 5200 Ultra) but I do NOT play games on a computer. Does it matter?
    Or is OS X faster on one of the above?

    So the big question is: If u were to start with a clean slate which one wud u buy - iBook 14" .. OR ... iMac 17"? Why?
    (Assume u came back home and found ur mac missing... instead there is a cheque for $1500-/-- on ur desktop. :p )

    I apologize if this has already been asked ..... :)
    - JES
    (Short for JESter)
    (Short for EnigmaticJester)
  2. Hydra macrumors regular


    May 25, 2004
    FX5200 is better than R9200 and the nV card supports the new features of Tiger while the Ati card doesn't.

    As you don't even need portability iMac would definitely be a better choice for you. But I'd wait at least until Tiger is released and there are also rumors floating on new iMacs as well.

    btw why would you get the 14" iBook if you decide to go laptop? As it has the same resolution as 12" iBook.
  3. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I would still buy an ibook G4 because I already have a desktop. I think in your case, you should get the iMac. More bang for your buck. And if you don't need portability, why even ask?
  4. aJester thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2005
    Screen size, Portability and wireless

    Thanks much 4 ur replies.....! :)

    Hydra : Why 14" ovr 12": coz it has a bigger screen. I somehow feel 12" is way too small. Wud have loved a 15" BUT....(1) cannot afford a PowerBook right now, (2) this being my first Mac, I would prefer to take baby Steps.

    leeKohler : On Portability.
    I wud not be taking it the mac with me work or otherwise too much. BUT as I mentioned I move a lot (Once in 6 months depending on where I get the contract). Moving from Indianapolis to California wud be easier with an iBook than the older iMac (LampShade). But someone mentioned that the new iMac, when packed it "portable" if-U-know-what-I-mean :)

    I wud also like to add a couple of questions...

    1) Why does a home user need an Airport Extreme Card?
    2) Why does a homer user need a Bluetooth Module?
    3) Is (1) or (2) necessary
    4) If (3) above is YES, which one should I buy ?
    5) As both are wireless standards wud they interoperate.

    Pls forgive me if this is a dumb question.
    Am just trying to get my specs ironed out before Tiger is released into the Wild. And since this is my first mac, I want to buy it proper and not miss any of the NECESSARY features.

    Thanks again for patience... :)

  5. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    I would go with the iMac. You do not need the mobility (moving I would not consider necesitates moving). The power on the iMac is much greater...

    In response to your questions, there are some scenarios where you would need one or both. For instance, I would need Airport on my comp if I had a desktop as there is no internet dealy in my room. It is all run from a central base station, where the only internet dealy is located. And in the case of a BT mouse, some people just don't like wires on periphials (I suppose wireless USB would be better though), or they want to hook up to their phones...

    Hope that I helped...:)

    PS Get the edu if you can...:)
  6. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Virginia Beach
    1. I have a wireless network. I have two computers, so both need internet access.
    2. Bluetooth = wireless keyboards and mice, cellphone and PDA syncing
    3. If you think they are.
    4. "
    5. NO. 802.11g/b is 2.4ghz. I have no idea how bluetooth works.
  7. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I think he answered your questions. Based on what you said- I still say iMac.
  8. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I would also go for the iMac. It's faster, bigger screen, better resolution.
  9. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Hi, as said the iMac, I have an iBook but now I don't need the mobility and for the price the iMac is much better if you plan to work it hard or start to.
    I really like my iBook but it's an equal liking for the iMac :D
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Three more thing you can do with wireless, if you want to (these are all Airport, not Bluetooth):

    1) Apple routers (Airport Express or Extreme) can host a USB printer so that you can locate it away from your computer, should you want to for some reason (more of a laptop thing).

    2) The Airport Express can also be used to wirelessly stream music to a stereo from iTunes -- so if you can set up your cable or DSL modem near your stereo, and then put the airport express over there too, you can run a short audio cable from the Express to the stereo, and wirelessly send music from the iMac/iBook to the Express.

    3) Get a network drive that lives next to the wireless gateway and can be used to store things (but it will not be super fast).

    Keep in mind to actually use Airport/Wifi, you will need in most cases to buy not only an Airport card for the iMac but also a base station or wireless router/gateway (such as the Airport Extreme or Express) . The latter is available at much lower cost from non-Apple sources too, and most/all of them work very well with Macs, although features (1) and (2) are less available with non-Apple routers.
  11. aJester thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2005
    decisions decisions!

    Thanks everyone for your response!

    JzzTrump22 - Liked ur response. Screen size and resolution. I didn't know iMac had a better screen resolution (Guess, I am dumber than I thought :0))
    Ham_Man : Not a student. So do not have edu discounts :(
    AuxPlage: ur response was very helpful AND SIMPLE enuf 4 me to understand.
    I think I shall go with Wireless but skip the Bluetooth module for now.
    coz, my Cellphone doesn't have BT (I think), hate PDAs and am not sure wireless KB/mice is a good habit :0)
    Do you think I can add the BT at a later date at the same cost? Or will it be cheaper if I buy it with my mac?

    MKrishnan. I like the idea of streaming music to the stereo from iTunes. But I think I wud need a base station to Xmit the signal to my stereo. So I guess the Airport Extreme isn't helpful for this. Or did I get it wrong?

    Artful Dodger: I think u were at some point of time in the same boat as I am right now (from the specs of ur iBook) and I think what I read between the lines is that if u were to do it again, u wud go for the iMac :0)

    To Conclude :
    It looks like the Best Plan of Action is to :
    1) wait 4 Tiger to get it pre-installed (read free)
    2) appears Apple might increase the base config to 512 MB RAM
    3) iMac (if it comes in small enuf packaging) seems to be the best "bang for the buck"
    4) Get the wireless option
    5) Skip the Bluetooth option (Unless someone can pls educate me why I need it)

    One final question:
    The iMac I configured at came to $1500.00
    Base iMac + 512 RAM
    How much wud it cost me if I had a Student discount? I have a friend who is a student. Is the savings substantial enuf for me to buy "thru" her?
    Addentum : I also wud buy iWork and MS Office (word/excel)
  12. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Hi, yes if I had to do it again I would buy the iMac: power, screen size and res., being able to put 2gigs of ram in it, a bigger internal HDD and the price being about the same with edu discount.
    Yes I enjoy the iBook but if I did it the other way I could have both by now since I would have gotten a 12" iBook for being somewhat mobile and still saved money. :D
  13. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    The difference is $100 base price, -10% for each of the options you choose.

    Why buy iWork and Office? Buy one or the other, or try out NeoOffice first.
  14. eRondeau macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Go iBook!

    Dude, I was faced with the same decision. I went with the iBook as my main computer and have absolutely no regrets. I'm not an expert on tech stuff, so I'll let others go there, however once you've experienced the total portability of an iBook you'll never go back to a desktop. I take my iBook to bed every night (ahem...) and when I wake up I can wirelessly check my email and the news sites in seconds, without ever getting out of bed. When I travel it goes with me, and I never risk leaving anything behind or getting data out of sync. Normally my iBook lives on my porch but on a nice days I can work from our picnic table. And when my brother's little kids come out to tear-up the place, my iBook safely disappears in seconds. Not to mention that I live in a rural area that's prone to burglaries, and I'd worry myself sick leaving all my $$$ computer gear in plain sight of burglars (my Lacie 160GB HD and DVD-burner are hidden out of sight under the table.)

    My suggestions to anyone who would use a laptop as a "main" computer:

    1) Max-out the RAM and HD, and buy the fastest processor you can afford. My 1GHz G4 was state-of-the-art when I bought mine, now it's low-end.
    2) Go wireless! Get a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to minimize connections and an AirPort Extreme or Express for your internet. I normally have just one wire (the power cord) plugged in to my iBook.
    3) Buy a Griffin iCurve or similar stand, the best $50 you'll ever spend!
    4) Back-up everything religiously!

    I guess different people have different priorities, but in my case, simplicity and portability took precedence over raw processing power. My iBook does everything I want and then some -- on my desk or anywhere else. (And all my friends think it's the coolest computer in the world, by the way...)

    Attached Files:

  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    To do this, you would need an airport extreme card in the computer (iBook or iMac) and an Airport Express as the base station -- you need both of them.
  16. aJester thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2005
    a Mac future!

    Thanks folks!
    You have been incredibly helpful!!!!! And I appreciate it a HUGE lot!
    For a 'switcher" some of these are very confusing... and ur knowledge of the platform is very helpful!

    I do agree that the iBook is a cute laptop. My girlfriend has one. And she loves it to death. Infact, now she wants an iMac too.... :D

    That said, I am leaning towards iMac (IF it comes in a small enuf package) as I want to make an "investment". IF on the other hand it is heavy and not small enuf, I might go back and buy the iBook 14 " (assuming it has a substantial update and an e600 core G4++).
    As it is right now, am concerned about the iBooks FSB and graphics card. Otherwise I like it.

    I also hope to do some programming on my Mac and learn Cocoa programming .. but these are all plans for the future.

    Thanks folks for all your inputs and advice!!!
    Once I get my mac, I would need your help and support as I struggle to learn the Mac-way of doing things.... :)

    The wait for Tiger begins... I hope to be a proud Mac owner by End of April!

  17. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    Yes, the iMac is perfect for you!


    Let us know when you get it!
  18. buryyourbrideau macrumors 65816


    Mar 1, 2005
    if anyone comes back to read this new ibook 1.33 and what not..will the poopy 32 vid card support ALL the new features of tiger bc if it does not i dont really see a point to upgrade as panther is a great OS in itself...if im spending 130 on a new OS...i want to notice a huge diff so yea will my vidcard support all new tiger features?
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm not sure anyone knows for 100% sure (who isn't bound by an NDA to not tell you). A few months ago, Apple had a list of video cards supported by Tiger's CoreImage, which would be a list of cards that would support all the new OS level stuff that Tiger would have. The iBook video card was NOT on the list. But the list mysteriously vanished from Apple's website some time ago. It's possible that Tiger will release with enhanced video drivers for this card that will let it do everything. Likely is it will do nearly everything noticeable, unless Apple plans on updating the iBook, the Mac Mini, the eMac (?) and maybe even some of the iMacs all at once when Tiger releases (since I doubt anything major will fail to be supported by the computers that are being sold at the time Tiger bows).

    Personally, if I got Tiger, it'd be for Spotlight and Mail 2.0 / the next versions of iCal, iSync, Address Book, etc. And to a lesser extent, Dashboard, Automator, and the fact that in the past, Macs have run *faster* when they were upgraded to the new OS, unlike every other kind of computer. :rolleyes: I wouldn't buy it for the special effects. But that's me. (Also, aren't you a student? The student price will likely be a lot less than $130 - Panther is only $70).

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