Using intense apps on the imac g5 and ibook 14"

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by corywoolf, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. corywoolf macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2004
    Hey, I looked around and couldn't find much on using maya on an iMac g5 and a ibook 14" G4. I want to get a iMac G5 with 1 gig of ram and a ibook with 512 MB of ram. Will maya run on these and how functional will it be. I would rather get a 14" ibook and a 20" iMac G5 then a 17" powerbook. A 20" iMac G5 is a lot more powerful then the 17" powerbook, right? I can't afford a powermac G5 along with a laptop capable of using maya and fcp4.
  2. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Maya requires:

    10.3 or higher
    Macintosh: Power Mac® G4 and G5
    512 MB RAM
    CD-ROM Drive
    Hardware-Accelerated OpenGL® graphics card
    3-button mouse with mouse driver software
    450 MB of hard disk space

    I don't know if it has to be a PM, or that it can be anything with a G4 or better.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
  4. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004

    I had a 20" iMac G5 with 1gig dual-channel ram and everything else from the BTO options maxed, and aside from disk intensive stuff, the Powerbook is just about as fast. There's very little difference between the two; infact the Powerbook is faster in some ways, as the graphics card in the iMac is only suited for 2D, it's far too slow for 3D work / gaming at 1680x1050.

    I haven't done benchmarks, but it certainly feels just as quick, if only a little slower in photoshop (a couple of seconds with heavy stuff) and actually loading things.

    Edit: this is just the stock 17" Powerbook; I've not added any extra RAM yet. I'm trying to decide whether to add a 512mb stick (cheap) a 1gig stick, or go all out and get 2gig.
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Our opinions differ, then. To me, the graphics card doesn't outweigh the faster disk, the faster CPU, the faster FSB, etc.
  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I played somewhat with Maya with my eMac and it was okay but if you have the idea of an iMac that could be the best bet as far as cost goes. But get 2gigs of ram for Maya the more the better.
    Better yet look at the "Recons" for a G5 pm and a nice display with the option of getting a better video card later on.
    I have an iBook but have yet to put Maya on it so I really can't help you out there.
  7. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    Just because it's faster on paper doesn't mean that it is in reality. I'm pretty sure I read that, at the same clockspeed, the G4 processor is faster than a G5 (just like Pentium IIIs are faster than Pentium IVs at the same clockspeed)

    I have owned both systems, and would go with the Powerbook. The hdd being slower really only affects the applications loading up (after which I just leave them running) and the cpu is only marginally slower.

    If you're planning on using Maya, which makes use of the graphics card, it makes more sense to go with the Powerbook. (and Tiger will make use of it too)
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I do a lot of disk-intensive work, so I'm biased that way.

    Honestly, more powerful or not, I'd pick the 17" PB because, clearly, the portability is a huge plus. However, there is a pretty big tradeoff in going from 1680x1050 (20" iMac) to 1440x900 (17" PB) - you get a third more pixels with the iMac. If you can get a 2nd display for use when non-mobile, no big deal. But, otherwise, that's a huge loss in desktop space. There are, of course, 1920x1200 17" display rumors... ;)
  9. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    That's some crazy maths you're doing ;) I thought I'd have a problem going from the 20" down to the 17" but it's really a non-issue, the 17" is still a huge screen, and is perfect for most things. I'm actually finding that I wasn't making full use of the 20" screen anyway, but the 17" is forcing me to be more efficient with window management.

    I was planning on picking up a 20" ACD, or even saving for the 23" but even with the ammount of photoshop editing I do, I'm finding that the 17" is enough, so I may spend that money elsewhere.

    I don't know about these 1920x1200 rumors... it would take a lot more cpu/gpu power to work at that, and then everything would be horribly small. It's a nice idea, but you could always play the waiting game. The 100ppi screen that the current Powerbook has is perfectly suited to its size.
  10. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Did you set the iMac G5 at highest for the CPU, or was it set to Automatic. It makes a huge difference. And, BTW, an iMac G5 will run circles around a PowerBook hands down. The iMac has almost a FSB thats 6x faster, a faster CPU, faster HD w/ a faster connection (SATA), 8X AGP Pro graphics (nevermind the card), and yet it slower? Thats like saying that a VW Rabbit is faster than a Dodge Viper because the Rabbit has a turbo on it. Better do some real tests, or check your system settings, maybe even re-install your OS.
  11. bug macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    6 times faster FSB? 167x6 = 1002! No iMacs have an FSB that fast, you'd have to get a powermac for that. Really I'd think the CPU itself would not be a lot faster in the iMac.

    ...and what does "never mind the card" mean? Like, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain; check out this 8x AGP I've got here? Are you under the impression that the very low end 5200fx is somehow faster than a radeon 9700 128 just because it is on an AGP 8x interface? Have you looked at the actual speed difference that 8x AGP offers with low end cards? It’s like 5%, from what I remember. Sure it would matter if both of these were 6800 Ultras or something, but for a 5200? You could have a munchkin manually running the instructions to and from the bus using parchment paper and it wouldn't impact that card. (Now, I'm not saying that you can't find some operation that the 5200 is good at, I'm just saying show me that the 8x AGP is making a difference to that visual abacus)

    The hard drive, no question - probably way faster - but I don't think it is accurate at all to say that the iMac runs circles around the newest powerbooks. I'll agree that for many applications it is faster, but for some it is slower. The level of hyperbole in your post is what I'm arguing about.

    In any case - look at barefeats and you can find some actual benchmarks. The 1.5 gHz PBs are going to be pretty similar to the new ones.

    (and please notice the utter lack of hyperbole in my post. The 5200 is an abacus, and I am actually using one with a munchkin carrying parchment paper) ;) :p
  12. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    Yes, the moment I got it, I had the iMac on "highest" because the automatic setting doesn't seem to work very well on it; on the Powerbook, that seems to work properly, and kicks in when it's needed to.

    3D Graphics/Gaming is slower on the iMac due to the FX5200 and the higher resolution on the iMac; World of Warcraft is pretty much unplayable on the 20" iMac, but runs very nicely on the Powerbook. Even the GUI doesn't run as well on the iMac, five or six big windows causes exposé to start dropping frames on it. I've yet to see exposé drop frames on the Powerbook.

    Of course the Powerbook is running at a lower native resolution, but that's beside the point; the fact is that for anything relating to graphics, the Powerbook is faster.

    The hard drive is a lot faster in the iMac, there's no denying it, but from my experience it's only made the difference between waiting a couple of seconds more when starting up applications, or opening huge files; other than that you don't really notice it. (I've also got my Powerbook drive set to spin down, so that will add to it I'm sure) Once the app is open, I usually hide/minmize them, so you don't have that wait again, and with the Powerbook, I generally just sleep it.

    Infact that's something else where the Powerbook does better; the iMac takes 15-20 seconds to wake up from sleep, the Powerbook is almost instant.

    Just because the iMac has a higher clockspeed and fsb doesn't necessarily mean it's that much faster than the Powerbook. I do a fair bit of Photoshop work, and I've only noticed the difference in really intensive filters etc, and even then it's only a second or two different. I'm sure that I've read that in many cases, the G4 processor beats a similarly clocked, or even a higher clocked G5 processor, just like the Pentium III vs the Pentium IV, or the AMD vs Intel chips.

    Most of my cpu intensive stuff is done in Photoshop, and here's the results from Barefeats comparing a 1.5GHz Powerbook and the 1.8GHz iMac. Remember, the 1.67GHz is about 10-12% faster than the 1.5

    Like I said, I haven't benchmarked the machines, and don't plan to; all I know is that the Powerbook feels almost as fast as the iMac in most cases, which is all that really matters.

    Something that also makes a difference to me is just how much quieter and cooler the Powerbook is than the iMac. Sure, it may not be a big deal to some people, but I would say it's a pretty big plus in my book. I use open-back headphones for their better sound quality, and when listening to music at a reasonable level, I could still hear the iMac quite clearly, I can barely hear the Powerbook it at all with them at the same volume.

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