Advice on Buying an iBook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by miseldine, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. miseldine macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Like many Windows people, its time for me to buy a portable Mac. Though, like many Windows people, its all a bit of a mysterious world. So I need a bit of help if anyone would be so kind to take a few minutes for advice.

    OK. I'll say what I need my Mac for. I'm doing a CS PhD and it's coming up to writing my thesis, and I want a nice speedy laptop so I'm not spending all my time waiting for window refreshes and hearing the hard drive spinning around all day long. So, I want to use Office 2004, listen to some music, browse the web wirelessly (it'll be summer after all and I want to be in the sunshine), and that's my requirements. And when I'm travelling, it would be cool to watch a DVD smoothly and store my photos. But that's all I want my laptop for: word processing, browsing, music. Not for games, serious editing with Photoshop etc., running in big resolutions...

    So, my questions are. First, I can only afford an iBook realistically. How much RAM do I need for those tasks to be done at the same, at nice speed on a G4 iBook 1.33Ghz? I'm thinking 512Mb, but do I need anymore? Of course, I'd love to be able to buy the maximum, but I'm a student so its simply not feasible ;(

    How much disk space is used up with Mac OS-X, iLife, and Office 2004 installed...roughly :) Are we talking a few Gb, or 10s of Gbs?

    Will the Powerbook give me enormous benefits in speed for these rather modest requirements? I might dig into my non-existant graduation fund (i.e. credit card) even more if only a Powerbook will suffice.

    Will my current broadband (Tiscali UK, good old basic broadband) will work on Mac OS-X? The ADSL USB modem has Mac OS-X drivers, but there isn't some kind of conspiracy within ISPs that stops Mac's from connecting easily is there?

    What's the performance of Virtual PC like? Its not essential to me, but I'd like to maybe shift back to some Windows apps if the going gets too tough!

    Oh, and if anyone is still reading...Tiger will work on an iBook right? Dashboard looks simply too cool for words, and I'd sulk if I couldn't use it on my new Mac.


  2. greenguy4 macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2005
    I also just switched to Macs, and got the ibook this past January so maybe I can be of some help.
    I got 512 and it has been working fine for me. The iLife,Office, etc... Don't take up that much room -- maybe a few gigabytes at the max however I sprung for the 80 gig harddrive because with all my music it adds up. Better to upgrade now then in a few years!

    My decision to get the iBook over the PB was strictly on price. The PB is really cool but the price jump was too large for me. The internet connection is also fine with whatever you use.

    I've heard good things about virtual PC however I have never had a need for it.

    Tiger will DEF work on a new iBook.
  3. ejtrowbridge macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I am going to try to address each of your problems so you can pick the very best Apple for you. There are so many choices, but which one's right? Well, here is the advice I usually give to customers.

    First off, welcome to the world of Macs! I am certain you will come to love your new Apple. So which one do you choose?

    From your description of how you would use it, I would probably say the higher end iBook is right for you. Since you won't be doing heavy image editing, video editing, ect, on it, and iBook will suit you perfectly. Make sure you get at least an 14", since the 12" probably will run a little slower for you.

    Addressing you RAM question, I can say with without thinking twice that you will need to upgrade your RAM. As you may, or may not, know Tiger itself takes 256MB of RAM just to run the operating system itself.

    Your best configuration would be to get an iBook with 1GIG RAM. It's worth it, and Tiger will run smoothly. Tiger is a very powerful OS, and requires more to deliver more.

    You hard drive space really depends on your photo and music collection. The programs themselves don't take much space, so if your collection is minimal, then you will find 60GB plenty.

    Will my current broadband (Tiscali UK, good old basic broadband) will work on Mac OS-X? The ADSL USB modem has Mac OS-X drivers, but there isn't some kind of conspiracy within ISPs that stops Mac's from connecting easily is there?

    Yes, that connection should work fine. :)

    Regarding Virtual PC, you are only going to want to use very basic windows programs under it. Obviously, windows was not built to run under a Mac environment, so Virtual PC is great for your small PC apps, but nothing more than that.

    Tiger will work on an iBook right?

    Are you serious? :) Of course.

    Hope that helps you. Feel free to let me know if you need further assistance. Good luck, and welcome to Apple!
  4. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.

    New iBooks are expected to come out REALLY soon. Wait for the speed bumpms and you'll be MUCH happier. :)
  5. miseldine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Thanks all for your great replies! I've got a great idea what to get now. Thanks.

    Not that I'm saying you're wrong StarbucksSam, but is this a well known fact? I don't want to wait months for an update.
  6. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Everyone was expecting updates before the end of April. I'd put money on first two weeks of May, to be honest. Wait a month, if you can.


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