Switcher - Got Few Questions about I-book G4.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by tripper, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. tripper macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey ppl.
    I'm new to this forum and to mac community. This is my first post :)
    I'm planning to buy i-book G4 and i have a few question before i do so.
    I currently got Pc desktop - Pentium 4 1.7 256rdram and a Geforce 3 64mb. Few days ago I also sold my Pc laptop ( i mostly work with the laptop ) which was slighltly better than the desktop - Pentium 4 1.8ghz 768ddr Sis650 built in gfx ( i know it sucked ;) both were with WinXp sp 1 and the laptop also was dual boot ( Slackware Linux )
    I wonder how would i feel with the i-book performance ? How should it feel ? like my desktop ? or more like the laptop i used to have. because for what i do my desktop is not enough because of crippled memory ( 256 ) but the laptop worked great in xp - no lags, simply smooth. will it be the same with i-book 640ram and OSX ?
    another question is about heat in i-books. I live in a very hot country and temp in C is going from 35 and upto 45 at summer with lots of humidity - how will i-book perform in such conditions ? will it perform at all ? anyone got any expirience in such conditions with i-book ?
    I'm going to buy 12' 640ram G4
    going to work mostly in Photoshop and networking stuff for which i will install linux.
    another questions if you dont mind ;)
    I got 5.1 sound system and i wanna sometimes plug it to headphones jack in the i-book, i know i wont get 5.1 but will the sound be ok ?
    does i-book includes built in mic ? very important because it lacks audio line in.
    I also wanna plug my 19' Mag 810FD trinitron to the i-book so i would be able to use better resolutions - is it possible ? i know there is a hack and i'm willing to use ( never had any problems with hacks ;) but will it work at all - the monitor is a PC monitor with regular VGA connector.
    sorry for my english - i'm not native speaker :)
    and thanks :)
     
  2. svenas1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #2
    Re: Switcher - Got Few Questions about I-book G4.

    I can't say much abut the performance comparison, but regarding the monitor, you will need a hack to span your desktop. The way to do it can be found here:

    http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html

    Good luck and enjoy the iBook !
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    A couple of your questions:

    1) The iBook comes with an adaptor to use standard PC monitors and LCD/DPM projectors. If you've seen a Sony or other mini laptop that has a USB-like plug for the monitor, and then an adaptor to attach to it if you need to use a PC monitor, same deal.

    2) It has a microphone on the upper left side of the screen (single hole below the "foot" that rests on the main body when you close it).
     
  4. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    The iBook should be fine performance-wise. Now it is G4 you will have no problems with Photoshop either.

    It does have a microphone as already stated (problem is, it's next to the fan but that's usually not on). iBooks do lack line in (god knows why) but you can always add a cheapish USB interface if you really need one.

    Oh, and you'll find that OS X is not as snappy as Windows XP, even on a dual G5. However, it's not slow, and it has many more benefits over Windows XP in my opinion...

    Go get it. They are nice computers!
     
  5. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #5
    I have a 933 G4 IBook and like it alot - also have a dell laptop 2.4 Ghz.
    The dell GUI is definately faster and more responsive, but the multitaskign - doing many things at once, switching between programs is nto as good as the mac.
    The mac is vusally more appealing andeasier to use. I recomned the 14 screen - I liked the larger screen size.. I use the hack to span monitors and right now am typining this looikg at 12x10 on a 21" crt andit looks great-
    Audio shoul dbe ok - look at griffin iMic if yo want a USB option for more audio input/output choices.
    Speed wise the Apple GUI soaks up a lot of CPU cycles - so linux should be very fast.Check www.barefeats.com for speed comparisons of intel vs G4
    If speed is a BIG considerationj - look at buying a 7200 RPM drive and get an apple tech to install it - should speed things up considerably.
     
  6. tripper thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    i wanna switch more and more :) but i'm really concerned about the heat problems i might have... anyone can help me with related information ?
    thanks

    btw why os x is not as snappy as winxp ? with quartz extreme and enough memory it should be very snappy... is it software problem ? or is hardware ?
     
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #7
    The microphone on *my* 12" iBook G4 isn't anywhere near the fan... it's near the top right corner of the screen...
     
  8. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #8
    My fiancé has an iBook G4 12" and it's quite good. It does get a bit hot on the underside, but not alarmingly hot. I don't think you'll have a problem. You may want to get this:

    http://www.roadtools.com/podium.html

    OS X is fast enough. It may take a second or so longer to open an app than in XP, but once it's open you're set. Definitely max out the RAM. 640 should be great for Photoshop. If you get an external monitor, you don't need the 14". The 12" is very portable.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    I think the heat problem is limited to powerbooks, because they are metal and so they conduct heat too well. :) I can also say that the iBook 12" does not heat up too much.

    I think Win XP is a big improvement in being "snappy" over previous win OSes. I'd say they each have their strengths. My experience with OS X is that it multitasks well in the sense that it does a good job telling what the high priority tasks are and making sure they get what they need. For instance, if I record multiple audio streams in the background or burn a CD in the background, the foreground task may not be fast, but I'm very comfortable that the critical BG task is getting processor time -- I'm more comfortable that the CD will not fail to write with errors, or that there will be skips etc with the sound recordings, than I have been with Win.

    OTOH, I was a little surprised at how slow OS X is to boot, and a few apps like Safari don't handle doing multiple things at once so well (like if you open a link in a new tab, then click on another link in the first tab, then click on the second tab, to read it while the first loads, Safari won't switch tabs until the first tab is half loaded, defeating the purpose....)

    But the iBook 12" is the slowest G4 available and I still find it quite acceptable.
     
  10. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    #10
    Full screen Anti-aliasing, per-pixel transparency, bi-linear interpolation, z-buffering, double buffering etc. does winxp UI do this? No. In OSX this is all done (except for window compositing) in software on the CPU - one of the reasons for this is a constant FPS....

    Current GPUs are just getting powerful enough to do all that in OpenGL (handling very high texture resolution being one and quick FSAA being another). If you wanted to render everything as vectors on the GPU or CPU though, framespeed will still be way way to slow.

    Currently, winXP just renders simple rectangles for each window and UI (square buttons etc) and a few simple low-res textures for some things. NO anti-aliasing except for some text, no double buffering (wich can make things look slower because nothing is re-drawn until the whole window is done), no transparency (except for very simple operations), and no interpolation...

    Oh, and a big nono but MS does it any way, is to (like internet explorer, IIS, Exchange etc.) integrate the graphics engine into the kernel giving is a performance leg-up on other designs. Combine that with the lack of compositing effects, and windows UI can look magnitudes faster, but also look magnitudes uglier too...
     
  11. laserbeahm macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    #11
    I would say that OS X is only slightly less snappy, if at all, than XP. The reason for any such discrepancy has to do with the fact that OS X's graphics are far superior to that of Windows XP.

    One thing that has always bothered me about Windows, not so much in XP, is how pixilated that Windows logo is at start up. When Windows 98 or 2000 is booted up, it looks horrible. It looks like they took a 5 KB GIF image and blew it up to full screen size. I don't know if that bothers anyone else... but it really bothers me.
     
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #12
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #13
    I always laughed at it, just one more reason...
     
  14. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    London, UK
    #14
    On ther 12" PB it is next to the fan, I guessed it would be in the same place on the iBook.

    Regarding snappiness of OS.. For some reason, OS X has recently got a lot faster for me. One is changing my processor setting from Automatic to Highest while plugged in but now everything minimises and exposes with complete silk. I still don't really know why brushed metal windows take twice as long to resize as aqua ones (Something to do with re-rendering the texture I suppose). Cocoa apps tend to scroll through quicker. Scrolling in iTunes is only acceptable (2000 songs) while a large iChat window complete with bubbles and pictures and text scrolls as fast as XP. I suspect, iTunes slow scrolling is down to bad programming - i.e. having to access the database on the fly to know what to display.

    However, the OS is slowly getting more responsive with every new release. I'm on an upgrade Panther install and everything is MUCH faster than Jaguar. Individual apps seem to require tweaking by Apple with individual updates. You tend to get the features first, then the performance later (e.g. iPhoto/iMovie). Hopefully this will continue with GarageBand.
     
  15. tripper thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    thanks for answers :)
    yeah that windows start up logo sux ;)
    i'm a bit dissappointed that os x might be slow on ibook, because i though that with all the acceleration it gets from hardware it should be very fast - still its os x and it looks just great comparing to winblows so I guess i will learn to live with that.
    Is there any options in Os X that allows you to lower render quality and make it faster this way ?
     
  16. coolkamio macrumors newbie

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    Jul 16, 2002
    #16
  17. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

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    Jul 19, 2002
    #17
    Well, not really. But, TBO the only thing that is really still slow UI-wise on OSX is window resizing. Right now I'm on a G4 only 450 MHz and the UI is fine, the only lag is really just window resizing...I don't think you have too much to worry about. I only get a lag on Higher-res settings, and that is helped by better GPU or more Gfx Memory usually..I just have a pokey Geforce 2...
     
  18. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #18
    Yeah, OS X is not slow, it is just not as fast as Windows XP. Now, go get.
     
  19. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #19
    I have had a very diff. experience with safari. Have no complaints except the bookmark menu is somewhat slow, but I ony have 256 on my 1ghz imac...getting a 512 delivered in two days though:D My iMac boots up very very quickly and I am still using Jaguar! I would think about the 12" Powerbook as well. More money, but might fit your needs better...won't come with appleworks, and other software, but has all the stuff like mail, safari, imovie, itunes, ical, etc. Good luck and hopefully welcome to the Mac world.
     
  20. niter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    You will love the 12". I got in in late Nov. with 60 GB HD and BT. I immediately upgraded to 640 MB RAM from crucial and eventually got the Airport Extreme card. I find my iBook to be very zippy compared to Windows XP. Moreover, it is oh so stable (I cannot remember the last time I turned it off).

    I use my iBook for Internet apps, all the iLife applications, Photoshop, Keynote, Office X (PwPt, Excel, Word), Photoshop Elements, and Dreamweaver with no troubles whatsoever.

    As people have posted, the microphone is in the upper right corner about 0.5 inches below the corner of the screen.

    You will be very happy with the iBook G4. It is the best computer I have owned to date.
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #21
    Oh, no, don't get me wrong. I like Safari better than any other browser I've used to date. I only had speed issues on a few specific things. I think, for instance, if you try the tab thing I mentioned, you'll get the same. In general, the speed of Safari is very good.

    I wouldn't call my boot time outstanding...faster than Win 98 but slower than XP in my experience.

    Couple of semi-OT:

    - The PB doesn't include Appleworks? Really?
    - Does Jag boot more quickly or more slowly than Panther?

    But bottom line, I adore my iBook. :D
     
  22. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #22
    Consumer products (iMac/eMac/iBook) get AppleWorks, a couple of games, Sound Studio. Pro products (PowerBook/PowerMac) get Omni Outliner and Graffle instead, QuickBooks (USA only), and a few pro tools like Art Director's Toolkit, etc (which I don't use). I think they could easily throw AppleWorks in there as well. Of course everything comes with iLife.

    Panther boots a lot quicker than Jaguar due to file journaling (I think). When I upgraded, Panther was about twice as quick to launch as Jaguar. However, since 10.3.2, it now takes much longer, and the desktop takes ages to become active (no menu bar at top or dock for ages). I guess this is a bug that will be fixed with 10.3.3 (due very soon).

    BTW, XP is fast at booting up but then runs slowly for the first 3-4 minutes (at least on my new Dell at home - try to open up 'My Computer' and it takes at least 2 minutes). I assume that it's faster to the desktop, but then cheats because it has to load everything up in the background then. Just my guess though.
     
  23. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #23
    iBook questions...

    With regards to potential heat issues w/ iBook...if your pc laptop worked in such conditions, you should be fine...enjoy (BTW I second the upgradeto a 7200rpm disk...will do wonders fr speed)
     
  24. tripper thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    I think i'm going to order it in a few days now and I still dont know what to do about the memory upgrade.
    Apple reseller in my country want 170$ ( not including VAT which is another 18 % ) for 640 upgrade.
    I checked on Crucial.com and it seems like it going to cost me 95$ to buy 512so-dimm over there.
    Should I order from them ? What is the exact stick I should get that will work with the I-book 12' ?
    I must know if there are any problems with crucial memory on I-book, because if i will have any problems I must send it to crucial and it gonna cost me 30$ and same back - so if i might get any problems with them maybe its better to buy it from apple reseller, pay more but later work without problems...
    total cost from crucial - 125$ ( with shipment )
    total cost from local reseller - 200$
    what do you think I should do ?
     
  25. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    London, UK
    #25
    Get it from crucial.

    Reasons?

    - Apple allegedly uses crucial memory, so you'll be getting the exact same memory. Certainly it is high quality and GUARANTEED to work.

    - Free, quick delivery from crucial.

    - To know which RAM to get, just click on the 'Manufacturer' pop-up on the crucial.com website, select Apple, then iBook G4, and you'll have a choice of modules. I'd reccommend the 512MB (which is what you were wanting anyway). Click buy and you're done.

    - Installing RAM is easy. You get instructions fom crucial with your package, but there are also instructions (step-by-step with illustrations) with the manual that comes with your Mac. Installing RAM is a simple operation and you can't go wrong with it. (If you think you are doing something wrong, just don't force anything and nothing will break.)
     

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