Confussion- Please Help me switch

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by CramSoup, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. CramSoup macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Ok, I'm looking to make the switch but I don't know much about computers. I will be using it for e-mail/net, itunes, photo editingand word processing.

    ??????What I'm confused about is.???????

    1-What makes the computer fast ? obviuosly the processor but what I mean is, would a ibook 1ghz with 1GB ram be faster than a pb 1.5 with 512MB ? All i hear is (you won't notice the processor speed but make sure you have enough ram! )
    Is there a noticable difference between the 1.33 and 1.5 PB????

    2-How do G4 compare to Pentuim 4 (speedwise)
    I see that P4 are up to 3.5 and PB only have a 1.5, are they that much slower or do they not compare?

    what speed pentium be compairable to a PB 1.33

    3- Would I and how, notice the difference between the ati 9200 -32m, or the nvida And ati 64m or just upgrade the whole thing to the 128 ati video card?

    4) Will I notice the difference between the 4200 rpm and the 52 rpm hard drives?? I've heard the 42 uses less power but is it noticable slower?

    5)Last, The Combo Vs Super
    CAN I OR CAN'T I....
    Use idvd with an external burner?????
    I can buy a faster burner for less money and save on my laptop. But from what i hear, the software iDVD is great for editing and I'd want to be able to use it and make dvds.

    Hopfully my questions make sense!!! I've been going back and forth for weeks!!!!!!
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Okay, some answers:

    1. It depends. The 1.5 Ghz machine will be faster, but often what slows you down is lack of memory--especially if you're running lots of applications at once. Then the computer needs to access the hard drive, which is MUCH slower than RAM or the CPU.

    2. Don't forget that P4s are crippled in laptops. When plugged in, a P4 will blow a 1.5 G4 out of the water, but running on battery, the G4 catches up pretty quickly. The P4 uses so much power that it can't run at full speed on battery.

    3. I don't know on this one. I think it depends on what apps you're using.

    4. I've also heard that the 5400 rpm hard drive doesn't actually use more power because it spins for shorter periods of time (because it's a faster hard drive!), so I think the consensus is you CAN have your cake and eat it too with a faster hard drive.

    5. You cannot use iDVD with an external burner. Some people get the combo drive on a laptop because they have a desktop Mac with a DVD burner, but if this is your only Mac and you want to use iDVD, you should get the superdrive.
  3. CramSoup thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    So.... if a Pentium is SOOO much faster than a mac G4, when i switch am i going to be disappointed while on the net and working on my computer becasue the speed is much slower?????

    I am using a dell P4 1.7 with 256md ram laptop now and it's what I'm looking for speedwise. but I'm turned on by the ilife and OS X and want to make the switch. something inside feels like I'm going backwards and buying a slower computer.
  4. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    You won't be disappointed with a 1.5GHz Powerbook. I switched from a 2GHz IBM Thinkpad T30 to a 1.25GHz Powerbook G4 1.25GHz. It's not QUITE as fast, but it's far from disappointing. It was WELL worth it.

    Lee Tom
  5. micsaund macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2004
    Colorado, USA
    Also, remember that comparing clock speed on 2 *totally* different CPUs is an "apples to oranges" comparison. Doing that is similar to only looking at the number of cylinders in an automotive engine (6 vs. 4 for example) and ignoring the fact that the "smaller" 4 cylinder has a larger displacement and twin turbos.

    Anyway, considering your current P4 1.7/256 Dell, I doubt that you'll find much in the Apple laptop line which would disappoint you speed-wise. Especially if you get the Apple with 512MB+ RAM since 256MB in a Windows (XP?) machine is really the bare minimum that you want.

    Also, remember that OSX (based on FreeBSD) is a *totally* different OS than Windows and is generally *much* less flabby and bloated. I run FreeBSD on an ancient Celeron 300MHz machine at home and it works fairly well whereas trying to run XP on that same machine would choke and die horribly.

    So, I don't think that speed will be a huge issue for you compared to the laptop you're used to. Also, remember that with a laptop, you generally don't want excessive speed since that reduces battery life, increases heat, and increases weight (that's why I unloaded my low-end Dell 2.2GHz machine and am going to buy a PB15 after Monday when I can make sure that Jobs does not change the PB line at WWDC). If you *truly* want "maximum" speed from a laptop, you need to get one of those Alienware laptops that uses a desktop P4 CPU, huge video card, etc. and also therefore only gets 45 minutes on a battery charge, weighs 10 pounds, and will burn your crotch if you actually try to use it on your lap... :eek:
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    if your current computer is a P4 1.7 with 256 MB then none of current Macs will be slower, provided you put in at least 512 MB RAM. (i mean, none, including the eMac.)

    if your performance benchmark consists of "being on the web," then you were hardly using much of the computation power anyway.
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I totally agree with everything said above by micsaund as well as everyone else who has posted until now. You won't have a problem surfing, email, photo editing, etc. with any current apple product.

    I would go with the built in superdrive (cheap really when you consider it is around $200 more on a powerbook or iBook. When you configure your computer you can go with a 15" powerbook without a superdrive and then add your superdrive for $200 more, then decide if you want the little bit faster processor, more HD space, memory, etc. sometimes it pays to go with the "souped up computer" and sometimes it is cheaper to go with a basic and add the few things you really want like HD, superdrive, etc. does this make sense? I hope so. If you have not really played around with a mac go to an apple store, comp. usa or local mac dealer and try out OSx and see how easy it is to switch between applications, move stuff around and check out "expose" which is a huge time saver. Remember, like someone else said, the OS makes these computers faster for tasks than XP.
  8. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    For the applications you want to use it for, you probably won't notice any difference between 1.33 and 1.5 GHz. For the money, more memory and the faster hard drive will probably improve performance more than the faster processor. The eyecandy in OS X will also be snappier with more VRAM, but anything from 64 MB and up should be fine for your needs.

    There's no sense comparing the G4 to a's just not directly comparable, and there are so many other things that will influence system speed. To give you an idea, I only notice a slight difference between my work machine (a 1.8 GHz P4 with 256 MB memory) and my home Powerbook (667 MHz G4, also with 256 MB memory). The old Powerbook's still running Jaguar, too; if I updated to Panther the difference would probably disappear.

    Get the best system you're willing to pay for. But definitely get the Superdrive rather than an external. You're buying a laptop, why tote around a bulky external drive when you can include that functionality in your laptop?

    Whatever you end up with.....welcome to the Mac! :)
  9. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    G4 vs P4
    for starters any apple laptop will function much better than any wintel laptop for what you want. about the only thing an apple wont do is serious gaming. as for the speed of the G4 vs P4 i have a 12"PB with an 867mhz with 256mb ram at home while i had a P4 1.something Ghz machine with 1GB of ram at work. i noticed little to no difference b/w the two. i just got a new P4 3.0ghz 1GB ram at work and in normal applications like internet browsing or word processing i notice no difference. the only speed i notice is when i am working on a large drawing in autocad (at work) compared to a large drawing in photoshop (at home). its not much of a difference, and you probably wont notice b/c it only shows when you are using processor intense applications, which by what you described you wont be using. i think you will be very pleased with an apple laptop and the onlything that will disapoint you is that you hadnt gotten one sooner!!
  10. CramSoup thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2004
    Great INFO

    Thanks for everyones Time. It Helped out alot!!!! :)

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