Which To Buy: 14" iBook G4 vs. 12" PowerBook G4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by LaMerVipere, May 1, 2004.

  1. LaMerVipere macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I graduate in a month, and even though I have a 12" Rev. A iBook G4, I definitely want to upgrade by the time college comes around (and I have pretty much given up on the idea to wait around for PowerBook G5's unless they magically appear like next week)

    The 2 options I am going to choose from will be:

    14" iBook G4
    1.2 GHz Processor
    Superdrive
    Bluetooth
    60GB HD@ 4200 rpm
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 w/32MB DDR SDRAM
    •$1,624.00

    vs.

    12" PowerBook G4
    1.33 GHz Processor
    Superdrive
    (Bluetooth pre-installed)
    60GB HD@ 4200 rpm
    NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 w/64MB DDR SDRAM
    •$1,599.00

    The $25 price difference isn't an issue to me, but what I am really wondering about is which will perform better. I am going to be doing the usual college activities (writing papers, surfing the web, blah blah blah...) but in addition I do a lot of Photoshop and am going to be taking a some digital video and hope to build on that classes.

    Which would perform better for what I'm going to be doing, and which would probably hold its value the best in the longrun?

    Thanks in advance MacRumors members! :)

    –LMV
     
  2. dragula53 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #2
    powerbook

    I had a 14" ibook

    the 12" powerbook is much nicer.

    trust me on this one ;)

    the resolution is the same on the two computers. the ibook just has bigger pixels

    and it has a worse video card.

    save yourself some money, and get a better computer.. that won't have a warped lid that won't close.

    unless you have a vision problem where the bigger pixels are for some reason more visible to you.

    that's my .02
     
  3. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #3
    I had the same choice as you- and decided on the PBook 12" instead after seeing them in person.

    The 12" screen isn't nearly as small as I had thought it would be- which was my only real concern about getting it.
    In every other area, the PBook wins- it's faster, prettier, and just feels "better."

    The only big plus I've read on here is that the iBook is indestructable- but then, if you plan on taking good care of your Pbook, I don't really see this as an issue.

    Whichever way you go though, I'd recommend changing the hd as a BTO option... the speed increase from the 4800 to the 5400rpm 80G is very noticable.

    And upgrade the RAM asap (just don't get it via Apple- www.crucial.com is much cheaper) as the stock 256 won't be enough to do anything with.

    Best of luck on you choice.
     
  4. intrepkid21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    #4
    What can you not do now that the extra mhz will let you do with this minor update? I would wait. Take it from me, you will not have the time to do many Garageband or iMovie projects in college if you are doing a lot of work..and things take a beating in the dorms...the minor speed improvement does not seem worth the purchase imho.
     
  5. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #5
    What's wrong with your current G4 iBook ?... Save your money for the important stuff you'll need when you get to college — MORE BEER !!!! ;-)...
    Seriously, you don't need another computer, that G4 iBook is plenty, just max the ram, if you haven't already, & treat yourself to a PB for graduation...
     
  6. mms macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    CA
    #6
    I agree with the above that your current iBook will be fine for a while. I recommend keeping your iBook and saving up for whenever the G5 PowerBooks come out. Your present computer will serve you fine until later when you do get a G5. The new generation of chips is supposed to make a difference, and is probably worth waiting for.
     
  7. Dirty Harry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Valencia, SPAIN
    #7
    Screen size does matter

    I had the same decision, except I don't really need Bluetooth, wich leaves the iBook cheaper than PBook.

    By the way, for these same configurations you are thinking of, the apple store shows a different deal in my country, since the iBook+SuperDrive would be cheaper (1848 Euros) and PowerBook SD more expensive (1970 Euros)!!!

    I decided the iBook.

    The key factor for me was the screen, 14 vs 12. Resolution might be the same, but comparing them in the shop last week (it was a 14 iBook 933 Mhz and a 12 Pbook 1 Mhz), though the 12 PB was crisper, biger icons on the 14 IB seemed "easier" to watch. I don't have any vision problem at all, it's just that "easier" screen really matters as hours pass by cleaning image details on Photoshop or fine editing.

    PBook will be only slightly faster, nothing to worry about: while you´ll need the full power only from time to time, you need a nice screen all the time. Plus, the iBook is sturdier, wich is important if your are taking it to college.

    So:
    -PBook slightly faster vs. iBook nicer screen and sturdier: I got the iBook.

    Dirty Harry
    Make my day!
     
  8. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Wakayama, Japan
    #8
    Since you are going to be doing photoshop and video editing I would consider one of the two following options

    1) Go with the 12" PowerBook and get an external monitor. the 1024x768 is going to make video/photo editing kinda cramped.

    2) Get the 15" PowerBook with ComboDrive for only $200 more. The bigger screen again will help with video editing.
     
  9. Dirty Harry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Valencia, SPAIN
    #9

    3) Or get the iBook and use an extended desktop resolution for free on external monitor thanks to http://macparts.de/ibook/ ;)
     
  10. LaMerVipere thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    I am going to beg the parents for a 15" powerbook, but spec wise it's just the combo drive 12" PowerBook with a bigger screen and gigabit ethernet, and is that really worth 200 dollars when for that 200 less i get a superdrive albeit with a much smaller screen.
     
  11. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #11
    Yes, the screen size alone is worth the $200 increase.

    ...and if it'll help sway the parents- bring up that the resale value on a 15" will be higher then the 12"... and far more then the iBooks. :)

    best of luck
     
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #12
    12" PB has DVI, audio line in, faster bus (167 to 133), faster processor, faster RAM, twice the VRAM, 5400 RPM HD option... and the ibook has a bigger screen with the same resolution.

    If someone could explain to me why anyone would take the ibook, please do. The way I see it, the PB is better in every aspect where there is a difference.
     
  13. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Wakayama, Japan
    #13
    Durability for one thing, easier to read the screen for another.
     
  14. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #14
    ok, fine. But conversely, the PB is more scratch-resistant, smaller and lighter, and has a sharper, brighter, higher quality screen.
     
  15. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #15
    Originally Posted by QCassidy352
    12" PB has DVI, audio line in, faster bus (167 to 133), faster processor, faster RAM, twice the VRAM, 5400 RPM HD option... and the ibook has a bigger screen with the same resolution.

    If someone could explain to me why anyone would take the ibook, please do. The way I see it, the PB is better in every aspect where there is a difference.


    Durability for one thing, easier to read the screen for another.
    _____________________________

    It depends on what you see as important...I chose the 14 inch iBook because the screen is larger...that was the main issue for me (and I didn't want to pay nearly double for the larger Powerbooks!) Yes, you can get an external monitor, but when one buys a laptop it is for its portability...what's the great avantage in having an external monitor if you only use it half the time? Anyway, there is apparently a software hack that enables spanning for the iBook, so that's not really an issue.
    Another possible option is the late model 15 inch PB without a superdrive...you can get a new one for about $1799. From what I can tell you aren't going to need the superdrive...unless you plan on burning lots of DVDs while on the run...more likely than not, an external DVD burner will more than suffice, when the time comes that you really do need it...and it will be a faster drive, as well!
     
  16. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #16
    For that same price, he could get the new 15"... he's a student.
    ...best my knowledge, there aren't any student discounts on late model equip.
     
  17. papersushi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    #17
    G4 processor on PowerBook has totally different design from G4 on iBook. PowerBook is still a lot faster than iBook on most tasks. Get PowerBook!
     
  18. IrishGold macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    #18

    Where did you read this :confused:
     
  19. papersushi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    #19
    G4 processor on iBook is MPC 7455
    G4 processor on PowerBook is MPC 7457
     
  20. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #20
    No! The difference between any of the 15" models and any of the 12" models are much more than just gigabit ethernet and a larger screen.

    - Video: 15" PowerBooks have the ATI Radeon 9700 Mobility, 12" PowerBooks have the nVidia GeForce FX5200 Go. The Radeon is a much superior 3D graphics chip...it's in a completely different performance league to the nVidia graphics in the 12" PowerBook. If 3D gaming, 3D visualisation, 3D modelling, or using video effects processing like Apple's new Motion package are important to you, the Radeon is worth the price difference alone

    - RAM capacity: 15" PowerBooks have two RAM slots, 12" PowerBooks have only one. That's a maximum capacity of 2GB on the 15" versus 1.25GB on the 12". This could be important down the track, depending on how heavy your needs become.

    - FireWire: The 15" models have both FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports. The 12" models have only a single FireWire 400 port.

    - PCMCIA/PC Card expansion: All 15" models have a PC Card slot for future expansion. The 12" models do not have this feature available at all. The PC Card slot could be useful if you wanted to add, for example, extra USB or FireWire ports, a flash card reader, microdrive cards, or other hardware expansions in the future which will become available as a PC Card.

    - Video out options: 15" PowerBooks have full-size DVI out and S-Video ports built-in. 12" PowerBooks have a mini DVI jack, which requires an external dongle to connect to any type of external display at all. S-Video out requires purchasing an optional adapter from Apple.

    - Keyboard backlighting: This may be considered a frivolous option, but in any event, it is only available on the 15" and 17" models. It is not available on the 12" models at all.

    - And finally, as you mentioned, the 15" PowerBooks have physically larger screens, with a wide-aspect pixel setup of 1280 x 854, versus only 1024 x 768 on the 12", plus the 15" has gigabit ethernet, versus 10/100 on the 12".

    So that $200 difference actually buys quite a bit of extra stuff, even on the 'low end' 1.33GHz combo drive 15" model. The 15" PowerBook is much more expandable and futureproofed than the 12", and if you're doing anything that relies on 3D graphics power, the 15" absolutely wins hands-down, no questions asked over the 12".

    I'm not trying to sway you from a 12" PowerBook...I have one myself (the 1GHz model) and I wouldn't trade it for anything (except maybe one of the newer 1.33GHz 12" PowerBooks :) ), but that $200 difference you mentioned does buy MUCH more than just the screen and faster ethernet. It's worth thinking about.
     
  21. win_convert macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Aus.
    #21
    you do realise the ibook doesnt come with a superdrive?
     
  22. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #22
    Yes, it does.
    It's an available BTO option on the 14".
     
  23. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #23
    Yeah...but who needs a superdrive? Seriously...how often does your average laptop user need to burn DVDs on the run? With hard drives being as large as they are these days, if it ever became a serious need (in a pinch), you could just download the files onto the hard drive until you get home, then burn them onto a DVD via a faster and cheaper external DVD burner...is my logic screwed up, or does this make sense?
     
  24. Dirty Harry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Valencia, SPAIN
    #24
    Is that so with the new models?

    The Apple site says: "Thanks to the special energy-saving features built into the PowerPC G4 processor, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics processor, and Mac OS X Panther itself, iBook G4 consumes energy highly efficiently."

    New 12 iBook seems identical to previous 12 PBook.

    On the iBook side, a part from easier screen and durability I think iBook battery has longer life too.
     

Share This Page