What do the PBs have that the mini doesn't?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by anthonys, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. anthonys macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2005
    London, UK
    The new Mac Mini (that Apple hasn't officially launched yet) apparently comes with a 1.5GHz G4, 64MB VRAM, 5400rpm HD and Bluetooth 2.0

    The only noticeable difference I can find is the 15" and 17" have the 9700 with 128MB RAM? Aside from the obvious fact that one is a notebook and one is a desktop and a few minor details like .17 faster CPU, FW800, able to take more RAM and digital audio is there any other major differences between the specs that I'm missing? The mini costs 60% less than the PowerBook where I am, and even if you add a 17" LCD its still about half the cost.

    I'm just trying to figure out which machine to go for. I need something I can put in a suitcase. If I had the Mac Mini I'd have to leave the screen behind but wouldn't be doing that for another year and the loss on that would probably be similar to the depreciation of the PowerBook anyway.
  2. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    I believe the Mini is comparable to an iBook, not a Powerbook.
  3. bob909bob macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2005
    How is it comparable to the ibook when it's specs are above any Ibook and identical to the 12 inch PB?

    Anyways if you need portibility at all go with the laptop, even though the mac mini is a way better value. If your looking for a 15 or 17 inch PB go with the mac mini and an ibook, if you can get by with a ibook. What will you be doing on your computer?
  4. plasticparadox macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2003
    Nice one, dum-dum. Maybe you should go check out the Apple site before you post.
  5. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Right. I was looking at the current Mini's specs.

    Still, this "update" was supposed to officially happen a month ago... :confused:

    Also, with a laptop, he can power 2 screens off of it in a screen spanning mode (the 128MB of video are important then). The Powerbook also includes another Firewire port (not that the current iPods use it).
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    the powerbooks only have 1 Firewire 400 and the 15/17 have firewire 800...right
  7. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    You mean an additional firewire 800. So they have a 400 AND an 800.

    The 15/17 also have 2 USB 2.0 ports.

    Also the PC Card slot if you need that thing..
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Yeah, but that is a HUGE difference. The mini is transportable, true, but not usable portably.

    If you do not need/want a laptop, you'd be foolish to spend money on one.

    If you DO need/want portability, you'd be foolish to buy a mini.

    Performance-wise, they're similar (assuming the specs you quote become reality, as is expected), although the GPU on the PBs is superior, the 7200 RPM drive option on the PBs is superior, FW800 is a huge difference, the I/O ports on the PBs blow away the mini's, etc.
  9. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    Well, you have named most of the advantages yourself. You consider them minor, while others may not get by without them. The only advantage I think you missed is that the PBs GPUs are more advanced and fully support Core Image.

    If you still consider those advantages minor and you don't need the day to day portability, the Mac mini is definitely for you.
  10. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    The 12'' has 2 USB 2.0 ports as well.

    I think if your not going to need mobility for a year, you should get the Mac Mini now, sell it when the time comes, (or keep it) and buy some new form of PB when you are going to take advantage of the mobility. There should be some nice updates within the next year for the 'books
  11. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Don't forget the laptops not only have built-in displays but keyboard, trackpad, and battery. Resulting in even less things to worry about making sure to bring when transporting it.
  12. cepler macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Ya, you ever try holding a mini, keyboard, mouse, monitor, USB to serial cable and then typing in a datacenter trying to setup switches and routing gear?!? Wow, that'd be a mess! Heh...
  13. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
  14. anthonys thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2005
    London, UK
    Thanks for the replies. I need something I can take home with me (Japan to Australia) is what I mean by portability. So weight is the issue, which is why I've had to rule out the PowerMacs and iMacs and anything G5 it seems. To courier a computer back to Australia is going to cost too much, I had to sell my 20" iMac when I came over because I was quoted too much to send it that way as well.

    The main use of the machine is for design work and I therefore can't use any of the low res screens (12" or 14") so it's really down to the 15" powerbook or the updated Mac Mini (when Apple finally put the updated specs on their website). The computer will also be used to play a few games, but I don't care if they run a bit slower and I save money .. the main game played will be WoW.

    A Mac Mini, keyboard and mouse is still lighter than a 15" powerbook, but once you add the screen it's a lot heavier - so I'd have to leave the screen behind, or sell it, when I leave. The last Powerbook I had had to get the screen replaced twice for uneven illumination, and I'm not sure this has been resolved?? Anyway, that's why I hesitate to go out and buy another too.

    My external HD is only FW400, so FW800 isn't going to do anything for me. The only thing that I can tell that is going to make a difference is the graphics card, and then only for games - is this right?

    So performance isn't going to be that different, it's mainly form factor? I don't think a 9700 128MB is worth that much more than a 9200 64MB? With the 9200 not supporting core-image, does that just mean I'd miss the animations in OSX?

    And like Koodauw suggests, I'd probably just hang on to it until the Powerbooks get a decent update.

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