12" ibook/PB graphics performance

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AJ795, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. AJ795 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Sorry, another ibook vs PB question!

    The 12" PB didn't get much of an update last week and as a result I'm still a bit confused as to what to buy now.

    I want a 12"er. Now the ibook has a 32MB VRAM compared to the 64MB on the PB but apparently the PB's graphics card is slower than the ibook's (according to various posters). I am specifically interested in digital video editing (just basic stuff as a hobby, not professional by any means!!!)...What is the difference in graphics performance between these 2 machines based on the graphics cards? Also, how much of a bearing does the FSB difference have on this as well? Whichever one I go for, I will max out the RAM.

    Apart from the video stuff, other stuff I do is basic (internet, email, office, etc).

    Any opinions?



    PS Any thoughts on whether the 12" PB will get any updates in the very near future to address the fact that it is the only mac with 256 RAM soldered on and has an old video card???
  2. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    It really depends on what you are using it for, macs by definition of "mac" are not gaming machines. So it doesn't matter if it is a ibook, powerbook, or powermac quad core even. You can't game on these as you would on a equivalent PC.

    Having said that, I'd say the main reason to get a PB 12' is essentially really to get real monitor support instead of relying on the iBook spanning trick, that nicer aluminium casing, and pretty much that's it.

    Bear in mind that wireless reception and battery life on the iBook are WAY SUPERIOR as compared to the Powerbook. I'd recommend you get the iBook, good computer for its price.
  3. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I think they might get an update soon... but there's been virtually no rumors, so it's hard to tell.

    The faster FSB and VRAM will definitely negate any speed difference between the Radeon 9550 and FX Go5200 (PowerBook). 64MB is essentially the new standard, or will be very soon. Also, the .13GHz doesn't seem like much, but for tasks like video editing, you'll never look back.
  4. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    He didn't mention gaming once... :rolleyes:

    Look for some rendering benchmarks and I think you'll agree, the 12" PowerBook has more on the iBook than just cosmetics.
  5. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    If you need to do video editing, get the iMac. If you need to be on the go, get the iBook.

    Currently as it is, while the PB line is still a good portable, it is no longer a worthy "power" line product anymore.

    ie: If you are considering a 15" PB, but do not REALLY crave the portability -> get the Powermac dual 2.0 system (same price btw)
    if you are considering a little machine that you can carry around always -> iBook 12" (cheaper)
    I'm not even going to talk about the 17", desktop replacement.. why not just buy 2 iMac 17"s, and put one in the office and one at home?

    IMHO, the PB line is currently a solution looking for a problem.. it fits into none of the currently defined market segments.
  6. AJ795 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Thanks for the replies guys! Much appreciated.

    I do want a portable otherwise the imac is what I'd be going for.

    The price difference between the PB and the ibook is the other thing. If the PB came with more base RAM and an updated video card I would go for it in an instant (in fact, that's what I was expecting with the updates last week) so as many people say, the ibook looks more favourable from a financial point of view at the moment.

    Is it worth hanging on a few weeks for a further update to the 12" PB or is this unlikely? I think I'll give it a couple of weeks and if there's no PB update I'll go for the ibook. Good plan???

    While we're on the subject, PCs more often than not come with VRAM shared with the main RAM. How does 64 or 128MB shared RAM compare with, say the ibook, which has 32MB dedicated RAM. If I was going for a PC laptop, is it better to have more VRAM even if it is shared or is it still better to go with a machine which has dedicated VRAM, albeit a smaller amount???

    Thanks again,

  7. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    That sounds like a decent plan. My gut feeling is that they won't bother bringing out a 12" update anytime soon. If they do, it'll probably be to introduce a 13.3" widescreen display - something a lot of people have been asking for.

    The current price points put the 12" iBook way ahead of the Powerbook. Another example (other than battery life and wifi signal) is the fact that the iBook can be upgraded to 1.5GB of RAM, rather than 1.25GB like the PB. And it only costs about £95 for a 1Gb RAM stick from Crucial (even cheaper if you live in USA). However the PB still has the advantage of the 5400rpm hard drive. The iBook's plastic housing means fewer sleepless nights worrying about scratching - I owned a 1.67Ghz 15" Powerbook for a couple of weeks, and was petrified it was going to get dented (this happens to a lot of them) or scratched.

    Some modern laptop video cards that share RAM also have a minimal amount of dedicated RAM, for example the NVidia 6200 with Turbocache. It has about 32Mb, but shares up to 128Mb from the system. These types of cards will either outperform the iBook's card or at least give put up a strong challenge.

    The video cards that depend 100% on system RAM will usually not perform as well as the video cards with even minimal amounts of dedicated memory.
  8. AJ795 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Thanks for the reply PcMacUser.

    I'll hopefully be making my purchase in the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for the advice again,

  9. RottenSpam macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2005
    There is a good review at macspeedzone where they compare a 12" powerbook 1.33 vs a 12" iBook 1.33.

    Basically, everyone talks about the FSB speed difference of 133mhz on ibook vs 167mhz on powerbook being a mjaor performance factor. Its not. There benchmarks run on the two machines show almost no difference in peformance just by rasing the FSB. Its also quite clear that the 9550 is faster then the geforce5200......

    Basically for the $1249 you pay for a powerbook you get 1.5ghz vs 1.33ghz a miniscule performance improvement. The real performance improvment in the powerbook is the 5400 rpm HD vs the slow as molases 4200rpm in the ibook.

    The ibook has better wifi recpetion, better battery life, can be hacked to do video mirroring for $899.

    Seems to me $350 is a lot to pay for 133mhz CPU speed improvement, and a 5400 rpm hd with worse battery life. Basically from a performance spec the powerbook dosen't make sense. Get the more portable ibook, and use a real desktop for heavy lifting.

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