Another misguided student!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by crowdaddy, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. crowdaddy macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario

    I am on a 2000$ budget as far as my university computing needs go. I am heading into the Biological Sciences, and I enjoy burning CDs, maybe messing around with iMovie once or twice, and Call of Duty.... after looking around here I have came up with the following, advice is greatly appreciated. PS I will get a monitor extra and already have an iPod Mini...

    1)iBook 12" 1.2GHz Combo Drive
    Part Number: M9623LL/A
    AirPort Extreme Card
    Keyboard & Mac OS X - U.S. English
    30GB Ultra ATA drive
    Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    256MB DDR266 SDRAM (built-in)
    Estimated Ship: 1-3 business days $949.00

    AppleCare Protection Plan for iBook $183.00

    2)Mac mini 1.42GHz
    Part Number: Z0B8
    Accessory kit
    Internal Bluetooth + AirPort Extreme Card
    80GB Ultra ATA drive
    4x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    56K v.92 Modem
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
    Mac OS X - U.S. English

    Estimated Ship: 1-2 weeks $758.00

    Cart Subtotal: $1,890.00
  2. gallivant macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2004
    Why are you getting a mini and an iBook? The mini has barely any performance edge on the iBook, and it's nonportable. If you're set on a SuperDrive, why not just get a 12" Powerbook?
  3. crowdaddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario
    People have told me that based on my everyday usage, as mentioned in my opening post, a powerbook would be cutting butter with a chainsaw.
  4. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    there any reason for two machines? id go with putting my money into one. like a PB or an iMac. then later if you want get a second to play around with. you will get greater performance if you put the cash into one machine.
  5. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I would go with the 12" powerbook and get an extra battery (you know after a few 1.5-2.5hr. classes back to back) or something else for your needs. Check out the edu. discount you can get a good deal on a powerbook with a superdrive :) since you will be getting an extra monitor the cash you save will come in handy later, man those books add up ;)
  6. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I agree with the others. I would save your money and put it into 1 really good machine. Otherwise your basically buying 2 machines that are almost useless for what you want to do with them.
  7. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i agree, your computers as you list them seem just fine for a student, or most students

    but i was wondering how much computing horsepower you need for call of duty?

    of course, you will be using your computer(s) for course work as opposed to call of duty, but in the long run, you may find that you use your machine for games and multimedia more

    many classes you take may not require you to do more than word processing and internet search...and it may be the games you like which determines how much video ram you need...the ibook is definitely limited in that arena

    ...and i have never heard anybody have any complaints about the powerbook outside of initial price
  8. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    Why not a 17" iMac loaded with RAM?

    This will cover all your needs....
  9. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Getting two machines is silly. Either get just a Mac mini or just a iBook/PowerBook if you must have SuperDrive. You can then just hook up the iBook/PowerBook to a monitor, and pretend you have a Mac mini... for free! :rolleyes:
  10. crowdaddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario
    Yeah, now that I come to think of it, two computers would be absolutely stupid. What about an iBook and a cheap video cam to capture all of my drunken adventures....can you get a good video cam for 700-800$?
  11. aesth3tic macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2005
    University of Washington
    powerbook 12" for sure.

    who ever is telling you that a powerbook would be too much power is wrong, especially if you are going to do some gaming. because the ibook and the mac mini only have 32 mb of video ram you are going to see lower frame rates and power performance. i would suggest getting a 12" Powerbook w/ superdrive, that comes out to around 1650 after student discount and taxes and crap, so that leaves money for upgrades, even though it comes standard with enough ram for your needs.

    by getting the macmini and an ibook you are essentially getting the weakest computers apple offers and they have practically the same performance.

    get the powerbook, its a lot better and it fits on those small arm desks that lecture halls have!!!

    hope that helps.
  12. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    With $2000 your best bet would be to buy a 15" 1.5 gHz PB. You all of what you want: Power, CD burner, good graphics, iLife Suite. If you want, you can upgrade the hard-drive or put a superdrive in to burn those movies made with iMovie.

    Don't forget that since you are a student then you can get the EDU discount. With that you can get a stock 15" 1.5 gHz PB for $1799 and a 15" 1.67 gHz PB for $2099.

    Like people said before, You don't need 2 computers for college. If you did then you would find yourself using 1 more then the other. I, myself, don't even take my 12" pb to classes. Reason? Really, no purpose to. I type about as slow as I write and sometimes a notepad and pencil are just easier to use. Plus nobody I've seen carries a laptop to class to take notes, so I figured I would follow the crowd :). My PB ends up setting at my desk all week plugged up to all my nice attachments.
  13. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    Thats not cheap! You can get a canon ZR 80for $300 and that's apple i'm sure u can find it for less
  14. crowdaddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario
    But by getting a BTO iBook, I have that extra cash to spend on upgrades and other stuff such as cameras and what not. I am just not convinced that a powerbook is what I need...ah this is frusterating. Come to think of it, I do not think I will even game much on it as it slipped my mind that I really do most of my gaming on my x-box. Are there ANY students out there with a 12" ibook??
  15. hob macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK
    I'm a student.

    I had an iBook G3... which I managed to get changed for a PowerBook G4... Would strongly advise the PowerBook, although my friends iBook G4 is now a little bit faster than my PowerBook (newer) there's still little things the PB just does better. The only reason I miss the iBook is how sturdy it is, what with me being a bit clumsy...!

    I did what everyone's advising - more money into one machine. My PowerBook's great and will last another few years, but as I need raw processing power for editing, and would rather do it on FCP than the crappy peecee's my university provides, I'm gonna put some money into a low-end G5 tower...

    I'd say don't blow all that money right now just because you can... Get a powerbook, save $500 or so and put it towards a desktop later on... like me! :D
  16. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Powerbook, plus a cheap 17" flat screen monitor (and that's from an iBook owner).
  17. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I'm a student, working on a MS in informatics and a BA in the history of religions. I replaced my old Pismo with an iBook G4@800 in Nov 2003, and the iBook is now my only (working) machine...

    I take it to all my classes, and the battery wil hold for two consecutive double lectures (just under 4 hrs), even if I have Airport on the to surf a bit for about of those two hours, and this machine's battery is 16 months old. When it was new I could get 6 1/2 hours (with Airport off and screen and sound turned way down, but still) now I get just over 5 hours (same settings).

    I use my machine as a jukebox, and have ripped all my music into iTunes (33,21 GB) and even do a bit of gaming (mostly CM4, but also some classic games like MOO and Civilization, that is until I broke Classic... :eek:)

    I recommend you get the 12" iBook, the largest HD BTO you can get, and a 3rd party 512 MB RAM stick (or even 1 GB) which you can easily install yourself. You'll have a cheap yet quite powerful machine. If you need a Superdrive, get an external...
  18. Montserrat macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2004
    Powerbook for sure

    I bought my PB as a student because at the time the iBook was still G3 - and therefore the speed jump was really noticable.

    There is still a sizeable performance jump which I think justifies the extra expense (and given the PBs have been more recently updated than iBooks), with extra mobility features (scrolling trackpad/SMS HD...) that help too. Also, thinking long-term, the PB is more future-proof, so if a mac game comes out in the future that requires 1.5Ghz & 64Mb RAM you'll have a better chance of being able to play it. Add that to the noticable improvement in general desktop performance - program loading, expose smoothness - makes the PB the best choice.

    In summary, buy 1 computer and make it the best you can afford (and use the student discounts to the maximum)

    Having said that - I did a quick experiment on my Rev A (867Mhz) PB 12 last night and managed 30 Apps running concurrently, so there is life in the old beast yet! (expose worked with no probs too.) A similar task may just crash the Win2000 machine I'm being forced to work on at the moment... (BTW I think it could have run more, but I was beginning to run out of things to click! - 1 App that couldn't take it was Reason (music software), but I think it needs t a certain amount of free RAM to get the Reason synthesis engine up to speed) Sorry to go o/t but I was quite impressed that my oldie could run so many!

    Oh yeah - another reason for buying the most powerful you can is that if your experience with macs goes anything like mine, you'll end up doing things that require much more horse-power than you originally thought...
  19. h0e0h macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    My recommendation

    I went w/ a 12" Rev. C PB last semester and i just bought a 17" flat screen for like 210 shipped. I also got a copy of Office 2004 and .Mac. I would highly recommend that setup to anyone. Be sure you go with the Superdrive for your iMovie projects, and that canon is a great novice camera. I love mine. You'll also need to think about accessories... a good sleeve, firewire cable, USB or BT mouse and maybe an iCurve and BT Keyboard, which I highly recommend...

    Good Luck...
  20. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    there is a considerable difference b/w the powerbook and the iBook. i dont exactly know how to explain it. i will use an obscure metaphore b/c i like cars, maybe other people can relate. i drive a VW jetta, so i will use this as an example. The iBook is like driving a jetta with standard cloth interior which is durrable and usable with the normal 2.0 L engine. The poerbook is like driving a jetta with the nice package of leather, nice stereo and with the 1.8T (the T is for turbo!!!) Is there much of a difference? They both get you from point A to point B, but one is more fun and just slightly more powerful than the other. so, if you want that extra kick of power and performance go for the powerbook. if you are satisfied with simplicity stick with the ibook. (and btw do not start a post about PB vs iBook, there are many man many of them, just search around and read more)

    as for cameras (a cool idea, i am a college student and know how handy they are!!!!) i would say go for a nice digital still camera. most of them have the ability to record video clips. smaller is better (for video or still)for still id say get a pentax optio s (there are a number of different moddles like si etc they are all good) but they are cool b/c they fit in an altoids tin and i always get comments on my camera at a party when i pull it out of an altoids tin! as for a video camera you can get a good one for 7-800 but for around 3-4 you can get a decent one. just make sure it has the ability to connect through firewire (or ie1394 or sony iLink (i think thats what its called) they all mean firewire)
  21. csubear macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2003
    i'll second the 12". best thing ever for school......

    and world of warcraft...
  22. crowdaddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario
    Sorry, I didn't mean for this to start a PB vs ibook war, just trying to get the best solution for my dollar, thats all. But thank you all for your advice it is greatly appreciated given I have no experience in the Mac arena outside of my ipod mini.

Share This Page