15" or 12" PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ColoJohnBoy, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Posing a question here: I've decided to upgrade my PowerBook, but I can't decide whether to get a 1 GHz 15" or an 867 MHz 12" with SuperDrive. In either case I'll max out the RAM, include AirPort, and get the 60 GB hard drive; basically as good as it gets. My concerns are as follows:

    The 12"............
    *Has no L3 cache.
    *Has an inferior NVidia graphics card with only 32 MB
    *Apparently gets very hot.
    *Only has 867 MHz processor.

    The 15"............
    *Is much larger.
    *Weighs nearly three quarters of a pound more.
    *Has the external hinge.
    *Has shorter battery life.

    I would like the power the 15" provides, but much prefer the body of the 12" (Despite the smaller screen). I would use either one for......

    *Frequent editing in iMovie
    *Heavy use of iTunes (Large library, iTMS purchases, etc.)
    *Occasional use of iPhoto
    *Occasional use of iDVD
    *A lot of word processing, for school and creative writing
    *Playing games like The Sims, Civilization III, Age of Empires II
    *Daily use of iChat AV
    *Quite a bit of web browsing (with Safari of course!)

    I have a wireless network setup with a snow base station and Comcast Broadband, and would like to move around my apartment. If there are any things I haven't addressed. let me know. I'm going to be using this thing for awhile. Even in the event of updates soon, I figure I can sell this PB, toss in a few hundred bucks more and buy an updated one. I just want to make sure it's something reliable and powerful. Thanks!

    Visit Blue Pudding!
  2. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    My suspicion is that your expectation to use your Mac for significant amounts of video editing means two things:

    1. More RAM is going to help you greatly -- more than most. That means that you'll feel the no-L3 cache and 640MB max RAM more than the average user. This alone would lead me to suggest the 15".

    2. You'll need more screen real estate than average. The smaller screen may be more of a liability to you than most. (I used a 12" Sony VAIO for 80% of law school and it was fine for word processing.) Of course this can be solved with an external monitor -- but then you run into the fact that the 12" PB only has VGA out, not DVI or ADC.

    Also, the 12" doesn't have gigabit ethernet, a nice feature (take it from someone who uses a Rev. A TiBook without g-bit e-net).

    As for weight, size and the external hinge, I think that if this is going to be your only computer, you may have to just suffer there (and it's not as bad as all that). If you had a G5 PMac and THEN you wanted a 12"....
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    if you use wireless a lot, 12" has a better antenna placement...

    it's just too bad because you are exactly the type of person who'd benefit greatly from an "updated" 15"!!

    hurry up, apple! :D
  4. ColoJohnBoy thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Don't I know it! I've been dreaming of what the perfect New 15" would be like........

    15.4" LCD screen (1600 x 1200 res)
    1.33 GHz 7457 G4 Processor
    2 MB L3 Cache
    DDR 400 RAM
    ATI Radeon Mobility 9600 Card (128 MB)
    80 GB 5200 rpm Hard Drive
    SuperDrive (Writes DVD at 2x, CD at 16x,
    CD-RW at 12x - Reads DVD at 16x, CD
    at 32x)
    Light-up Keyboard
    AirPort Extreme (Repositioned antennae)

    Here's to hoping.
  5. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    if you weren't planning to use iMovie so much i'd suggest you forget the PowerBook and get an iBook, but iMovie barely even runs on a G3. am i the only one who thinks Apple should make the iApps work best with the iMachines and the "Pro" apps work best with the PowerMachines? why do they target iMovie and iPhoto and iDVD towards iBook owners when the hardware can't even properly run the software? i guess i'm just saying that iMovie 3 is the most worthless, p.o.s., bugtrap ever to poison our computers. ok, i feel better now. anyway dude, i have a 12" PowerBook and i have a real love/hate relationship with it. the 15" TiBook is mature and getting old but damn if it's not operating just about perfectly by now. the 15" TiBook is Apple's baby and it's a VERY safe buy, unlike the Rev A 12". that's about all the worthless advice i can offer right now.
  6. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    Now that you can get SuperDrive iBooks through MCE, the only differences between the iBook and the 12" PB are

    1. The G4 chip (granted, big difference), and
    2. The case.

    All the other stats are the same.

    If you want to do movie work, IMO you need a better machine than the 12" -- not so much in the chip, but in the rest of the components.

    If you're considering waiting to see new PB's, who knows -- maybe Apple will answer my prayers and give us a actual POWERBook in the 12": L3; 1GB DDR333; DVI; Gigabit; decent video...

    ...or _at least_ make these pay-for upgrades available in the custom build options. Hey, I'd pay $79, $99, $129(?) for the gigabit ethernet upgrade.
  7. IDTheft macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2003
    US, Asia, Europe....Everywhere
    Just so you have a perspective from someone who just got a 12" Pbook, I think its a wonderful little machine. The keyboard is the best I've ever had the pleasure of using.

    As for the screen size, well, it's not too hard to get used to. I was using a Dell with a 1400x1050 screen and I do a lot of newsletter layout, web graphics stuff on a daily basis.

    The heat is really not too bad and a little utility call "SuperCal" to calibrate your screen makes everything look even better.

    But then, why not wait just a month or two for the update powerbooks to come out? ;) Mean while Moto might get there act together?:D
  8. pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000


    Dec 30, 2001
    The SimCity Deli
    Wait for the updated powerBooks and...

    ... to keep the machine running cool, place it atop a rubber-coated wire dishrack. It's what I'm using now with my ol' 500mhz iceBook -- though you have to be careful and make sure the wire rack isn't slippery rubber coated like some cheap ones are.
  9. picturelife macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2003
    15" or 12"????


    Just wondered what you decided to do in the end?

    I'm actually having the same dilemma as yourself. I'm a photographer and would find the 12" very useful for travel although I'm worried that it won't be poweful enough when using large file sizes. When I'm at home I would connect the computer to an external monitor.


  10. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    I haven't seen it mentioned yet but the 12" PB doesn't have a PCMCIA slot. It may not make a difference to you but I was surprised. I ended up getting an 800Mhz ibook with airport and 60 gig drive. Loaded it up with some RAM I had in the parts pile. Makes a perfect machine for day-to-day tasks. I use my old PC (AMD XP1800+) for games and video work. Firewire and USB let me share peripherals between them.

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