G5 or G4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bellis1, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2003
    I am stuck on trying to find out which to buy. I recently lost a 17' rev A powerbook in a home robbery. It basically was my life since I am a Ph.D. student writing my dissertation. Thank god for back-ups. It has been very traumatic but now with the option of buying a replacement computer (insurance please come through!) I am stuck between considering buying another 17' powerbook or the 20' imac. I really like the large workspace and the ability to have at least two full windows open is a godsend and a necessity. My questions are:

    1. Will I see a noticeable difference in performance between a 17"pb and a 20" imac? (I don't own a desktop and doing some video, dvd burning, etc. was sometimes pretty labor intensive for the 17", I also came close to filling my hd in the last year)

    2. Provided I needed to actually move, which frequently happens, is the iMac 20" somewhat portable? Could I fit it in a case and bring it carry-on for an airline. I am currently working abroad and can't see one so I don't know the actual dimensions once you remove the stand. I'd really like to make the purchase and hopefully have it awaiting my return at the end of the month.

    3. Let's say I buy the 20" to use for now with the thought that I will eventually by a new powerbook g5. What is the normal timeline on these things in years?

    Advice. Advice. Please.
  2. Benj macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2004

    Can't speak for how much faster it would be but I went to pick up the new 20" iMac as I was also wondering about portability. I am a weakling but I thought it was very heavy. Certainly too heavy to tote around on a plane. And it's just, well ugly.

    The 17" may be light enough, but then you knock out one of your main arguments.
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    1) The iMac is a bit faster cpu wise, but the Powerbook has a much faster CPU, so overall snappiness wold be about the same i think.
    The iMac has TWICE the disk space and could easil be upgraded.

    2) The powerbook weigths a little more than a fourth (1/4) of an iMac

    Size and weight (iMac 20-inch)
    * Height: 18.6 inches (47.2 cm)
    * Width: 19.4 inches (49.3 cm)
    * Depth: 7.4 inches (18.9 cm)
    * Weight: 25.2 pounds (11.4 kg)

    Size and weight (Powerbook 17-inch model)
    * Height: 1.0 inch (2.6 cm)
    * Width: 15.4 inches (39.2 cm)
    * Depth: 10.2 inches (25.9 cm)
    * Weight: 6.9 pounds (3.1 kg) with battery and optical drive installed

    Well its possible to take the iMac with you, but it wouldn't do any travelling with a iMac.

    The powerbook g5 won't be around for some time yet, it has been discussed in this forum for the last year or so, so search for it.

    Anyway, todays powerbook 17" is much faster than your 1st Gen 17".
    1.5 GHZ vs 1.0GHZ
    Radeon 9700 128mb graphics vs nVidia 440 64mb graphics
    (the r9700 is WAY faster than the nvidia 440...)

    You probably had a 60GB 4200rpm hd in you pb, now you can get a 80GB 5400rpm, which also is faster.

    On the other side, yu could get both an iMac 20-inch and a ibook for the same price as a loaded powerbook 17-inch...
  4. iBert macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2004
    first thing, are you talking about the iMac G4 or G5. If it's the G5 their is going to be (i'll say a little difference in speed, but I think it's going to be more tan that). Anyways if video editing and burning DVD are of most importance. I'll say go with the iMac.

    Protability, I think carrying around an iMac will be (or should be) more troublesome than many of us (if not everyone) would like to have to handle. So, if portability is going to be the most important feature you are looking for, then go with the PowerBook. At, least with the PowerBook you'll be able to carry it with on a plane while you might have to check in you iMac.

    About PowerBook G5, from what I've read and others in the forum have talked about. I think not likely in a year or maybe longer. (let's hope I'm wrong) But their are talks on a dual core chip, which is what I think is going to happen for next year. When exactly not too sure when they'll come out. But the idea seems pretty cool with that. The dual core will still be a G4 chip.

    If you are almost done with your PhD, then you might want try and get a low-end 15" or 17" PowerBook and save a couple of $$$$ and then you might consider in geting a desktop. Thats what I've done. I have a 12" PowerBook and a dual G5 2.0 Since i'm doing alittle more video editing I really like the speed of the G5 and burning DVD it takes minutes which could turn into an hour or two, but with my PowerBook burinig dvd turned into hours and hours.

    Hope this can help any!!!

    Good Luck in your studies!
  5. V.A.Toss macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003

    The increase in CPU speed of the latest powerbook over the 1st gen is largely irrelevant though, the fsb on that machine hinders the performance. Its a major bottleneck. Ive not used the 17", but on a 15" i noticed it wasnt a hell of alot faster than the previous generation.
    But as the previous poster said, the graphics card will play a huge difference. That nvidia was rubbish.

    Ive not used the new imac either, so i wouldnt know how fast or not it is. All i will say is that if it is similar to the powermac G5 then you have no performance issues to worry about.

    My advice would be that if money is not an issue, go for the 17", max the Ram out and fit a bigger HD.
    But with the imac being so relatively cheap, its probably better price/performance.

    If you were going to resell before buying a powerbook G5, then the imac will hold its value better than the powerbook 17".

    The general consensus for a powerbook G5 is it will take 10-12 months after the next powerbook release. The next powerbook release is imminent (apparently) with small speed bumps. Apple isnt going to wait around for motos G4 to creep slowly up to 2Ghz, they want a G5 in a powerbook. There is a possibility that apple may never fit a G5 in the powerbook, in which case MP G4s is what u have to look forward to.
    My money though is on a G5 powerbook in june.

    I havent seen the imac in the flesh, but from the photos i have to agree with a previous poster, its just not very handsome. Sorry Ive, got it wrong this time mate.

    Hope this helps a little.
  6. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    I would agree that the FSB is a bottleneck, but I would disagree that the speed increase of the CPU is irrelevant. I own a 1 Ghz PB and I have a friend that owns a 1.5Ghz Powerbook and his will kick the crap out of mine on CPU intensive tasks. 500Mhz is a pretty good bump in speed regardless of the FSB. It does make a fairly significant difference.

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