Switching from PC to Mac (powerbook)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cwheelz, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. cwheelz macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2005
    I am going to purchase a Mac once the expo in Paris is done. Hopefully awaiting good news regarding powerbooks! The question I have is in regard to the current or possibly slightly improved new powerbooks. I do a lot of video editing, webdesign, graphics etc... Use programs such as Boris (Red), Adobe After Effects, Zaxwerks, Adobe Creative Suite 2, and Studio MX 2004. Does a powerbook have what it takes to be a complete editing system or will I be frustrated with it. I do not own a Mac so I have no knowledge as to what it will do. It is very important for me to have a system that is mobile and performances well.

    Your input is greatly appreciated.

  2. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Well, it's never going to be as robust as a full desktop system, but they can do ok at this. If you're willing to do your preliminary work in low-res (OfflineRT etc.) you can speed it up a bit. One key is RAM, you will need as much as you can possibly afford (as much as will fit in the machine). The other bottleneck (besides the G4 CPU which you can do nothing about) is going to be the hard drive. Get a big, fast external FireWire drive (better yet, a portable RAID), or if you insist on the PowerBook only, at least put a 7200 rpm drive into your PowerBook.

    One other thing is beware playing the waiting game with Apple and new hardware announcements. Wait if you can, but never believe the rumors and base a purchase decision on them, they are very frequently wrong and you will end up disappointed.
  3. matthew24 macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2002
    Since you are a first time buyer, I strongly advice to visit an Apple-store and see for yourself and ask for demos. A G4 could be fine, it is up to you to judge.
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Good advice HiRez.

    PowerBook G4 should work fine for you cwheelz.
  5. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I wouldn't use a PowerBook as a main video editing machine, but for portable/in-the-field work it will be fine. If you want to do really heavy-duty stuff, you'd be better off with a PowerMac G5, which is IMO, the best machine you can buy for video editing. OS X is a much more multimedia friendly OS than Windows is. I do video editing and DVD authoring, and I did it on a PC for 3+ years before switching to Mac. I'm very pleased with the switch, and can't imagine going back to using a PC for video work.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    On the flip-side, I don't think a PB would be great using those particular programs. They're pretty intensive, and it'll depend on what you're going to do with those programs. Some things may take a long time to do if you're going from a PC desktop to a Mac laptop. Max out the RAM from a 3rd party vendor, but that's pretty much all you can do.

    Compared to Windows laptops out there, the PB will be somewhat slower, but you won't cry because the difference in performance isn't going to be massive. Plus you'd need viruscheck running in the background, and a bunch of weird things that you can't even turn off unless you tweak, and the difference in performance goes from noticeable to unimportant (although still slower on the PB's side, unfortunately). It'll make up for it by being better at multitasking, more secure, and it has a smoother feel overall.

    And getting an external HD isn't going to give a huge performance boost....
  7. cwheelz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2005
    Thanks for responses! PB would be until Powermac

    I would like to go and see the PB but the nearest store is about two hours away. SAD.. I would use this PB as the main editor until maybe a year or so and then I can invest in the PowerMac. The main concern is that because I am switching over to MAC I need portability primarily then when the finances are there I could buy the big boy! But until then I will have to use the PB to do everything. I just don't want to be incredibly frustrated. My current set up is laptop Pentium 3 which does everything and frustrates me and my desktop which I have no frustrations with is a P4 with 4 SATA Drives and the ATI 9800 XT. I have no issues with my desktop it works perfectly. I really want to get into Final Cut and OS X.

    I guess what I am getting from most of the responses is YES it will do it but invest later in the PowerMac? Input anyone!

    Can anyone tell me from their experience how does the current PB performance stack up to the current ratings of PC laptops? I have looked for some benchmark tests out there and have been unable to located them.

    Again thanks for your input.
  8. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    As others have said, it's really a good idea to test one for yourself.

    I'm not sure this will help but I created an hour long movie in iMovie, fully under-scored with titles and some effects that weighed in at about 35GB on my 12" Powerbook 1.33GHz with only 256Mb of ram.

    Not ONCE was I frustrated with the performance of it. My desktop is a P4 1.5Ghz with 1Gb of ram and the powerbook beats it hands down.

    I guess the Powerbook may have been slow when it came to doing the DVD render in iDVD but as far as cutting and editing the film it was fine. Amazingly so to me.

    Of course Final Cut is a beefier bit of software but with a beefier machine, I'd hope it would perform well.

  9. salmon macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2004
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    OT: Another Switcher

    Think is a bit off topic, but I thought I'd mention it here as it's not really worth creating a separate thread for.

    A new university student was looking for advice about buying a new computer, and I suggested that she look at Apples. Initially, there was resistance, but after a million questions and a demo, she was really impressed by what I showed her and she ended up deciding on a new iMac as her university machine! I believe she will be very happy with it.

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