Here we go again: iBook vs PB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by pjkelnhofer, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. pjkelnhofer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2003
    I know this question comes up everytime there are updates, but is the 15" PB worth the money over a 14" iBook now that both come with a SuperDrive? Here is what I am considering:

    15" PowerBook
    • 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 with 64MB Graphics Memory
    • 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 2x256 SO-DIMMs
    • 60GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200 rpm
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • 15.2-inch TFT Display
    Subtotal $2,299.00

    14" iBook
    • 512MB DDR266 (256MB built-in & 256MB SO-DIMM)
    • 60GB Ultra ATA drive
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • Keyboard/Mac OS X - U.S. English
    • 14.1-inch TFT XGA display
    • 1.2GHz PowerPC G4
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 w/ 32MB DDR video memory
    Subtotal $1,799.00

    So for $500 you get a slightly larger screen, faster system memory, a better video card and an extra 133 MHz of processing speed (I remember when I had a 133 MHz PC).
    Looking for opinions if it is worth it. I don't need the PowerBook, but I like it. So the question is, will I really appreciate the extra $500 that would go to the PB?
    Thanks for any opinions.
  2. jamesfowler2k macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2004
    I have a 800Mhz G4 Ibook and im considering geting the 15" Powerbook but not the superdrive cant afford that much. but im selling my ibook on ebay hoping to get a good price then spend a bit on the upgrade...
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    you get more pixels...

    you also get backlit keyboard, PCI card slot, no-hack monitor spanning...

    i think PBs are cool - if you are going to indulge and get a laptop to begin with, i'd go with the best you can afford, even if you don't need it. it's gonna be quite a while before you buy another laptop, right?

    i think PB is worth $500 more. if you are going to go budget, get the 12" PB with SD. i don't see much point in iBook 14" - it's kind of gimmicky, for people with bad eyesights because the only advantage it offers over 12" PB is that is has bigger pixels. (and slightly cheaper)
  4. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    Hobbist vs. Professional?

    If you were asking about the differences between a 12" powerbook and an iBook, that'd be different--in most instances, you wouldn't notice the differences. But between a 14" iBook and a 15" pb....

    I think you're going to notice. Especially if you go for the Superdrive 15" with 1.5 ghz processer. Check out these specs:

    Now compare to this:

    I suppose it could be argued that the difference is between Hobbist (iBook 14" enough) and Professional (needs the 15" pb). A hobbist might not notice or care about the differences, but a professional would.
  5. pjkelnhofer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2003
    I cannot find the resolution of the new iBooks anywhere on the Apple page. Does anyone know them.
  6. pjkelnhofer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2003
    Let me ask this then, is the new 14" iBook better than the older AlBooks that plenty of professionals are still using?
  7. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    While this subject has been brought up many times, I think the best comparison is between the 14" iBook Superdrive and 12" PowerBook Superdrive. The PowerBook wins hands down in my opinion. Looking at student prices, the 12" PowerBook is cheaper by about $25. This is looking at the 14" iBook with Superdrive and Bluetooth. And the PowerBook has a better video card (64MB instead of 32MB). The resolution is the same on both I believe.

    If the PowerBook is cheaper than the iBook and has better features, you should always get the 12" PowerBook IMHO.

    Now when you compair the 12" PowerBook to the 15 PowerBook, it depends on preference and how much money you have. I would personally just get the 17", which is what I'm going to do around Christmas.

  8. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    From the same Apple page page: "Support for millions of colors at 1024 by 768 pixel resolution." (Look under "Display" at the bottom of the page) :)
  9. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    for the PB go to here then look in the same place and you will see that the 15" PB says :

    "Support for millions of colors at 1280 by 854 pixel resolution "
    so you are getting much better resolution out of the PB.

    in my opinion in having both a 12" iBook and 12" PB the PB is much better. so in all iBook vs pb fights, i must say PB (unless money is the only key difference)
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    12" PB also has a faster system bus than the 14" ibook (167 mhz to 133 mhz)
  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000

    are you a hardcore laptop gamer or graphic/web/video person?

    if not, get the "superdriven" ibook, with applecare and some software for that extra 500 dollars
  12. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    Cons - Lack of spanning, no s-video, poorer screen resolution, the slow bus, half the graphics card, etc

    Pros are that's its cheaper (Applecare etc).

    If you can afford it the 15" super is clearly a better performer...
  13. pjkelnhofer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2003
    It does have s-video, and the iBook costs less than 80% of the PowerBook. The question is how much does that $500 really get you.
  14. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    A good rule is to assume you will be doing more with a computer than you plan on...with that in mind, if you will be doing anything that is system-intensive/requires a decent amount of screen real-estate, I would definatly go with the PB....hell, even if you dont need it, and have the money to burn, I'd say to get the PB! :D

    Me and my college roomate each got our first Macs this past December. I got a 12 inch iBook, and he got the 15 inch PB Combo. While I love my iBook, I do kinda wish I would have waited/saved a little longer, and gotten a PB.....

    You'll love your mactop, no matter which one you get, but IMO, there aint nothin like a PB...
  15. Scubasteve343 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2004
    I have the same problem... I really don't know if I will need the powerbook but if the ibook is gonna break within a year of my purchase I'm all for dishing out the extra cash for reliability...all i'm going to use my mactop for is ichatting (soon to be with isight, which one has the better performance with that?) surfing the web, listening to itunes, iPhoto, word processing, and SOME movie editting... I currently have an 800 mhz 17 inch superdrived imac at home and I do all my movie editting on that. By some movie editting i mean 30 to 45 minute movies... nothing too extreme. So all really am I asking is:

    1.) Is the iBook reliable... this will be my laptop for years (7-10)?
    2.) What makes the powerbook such a better buy?
    3.) What should I get???...assuming you were in my situation, which laptop would you invest in?
    4.) Is the ibook really that bad in resolution? like noticably bad? I checked both out recently at various apple stores and i didnt notice but I wasn't looking for that

    Please, Someone reply ASAP because i'm very eager to buy my first apple laptop!!!!!!
  16. dudeami macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2004
    It depends one what you need it for, I think it would be worth it primarily for the graphics card, and the speed boost. Also the Firewaire 800 port could come in handy, but I also like a larger screen. I think both are computers.
  17. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    in this day and age, no computer will "last" 7-10 years. they may physically function and will run the apps they run right now, but they will be near useless by then.

    think of computers back in 1995-1997 range. you are talking about machines that aren't even close to G3. or for PCs, around 100 MHz 486 with 100 MB HD.
  18. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    You need the optional mini-VGA to video-out adapter to get S-Video out on the iBook. Similarly, you need the mini-DVI to video-out adapter to get S-Video on the 12" PowerBook.
  19. pjkelnhofer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2003
    I disagree, I am still using my 400 MHz iMac G3. It is four years old and it still runs most of the programs out there. It runs Panther just fine (in fact in runs noticeably faster since I got Panther). Does it run like a G5? No. But, it does run Safari just fine (which is 75%) of what I do on it. I actually runs (albeit very slowly) FCP 4.0 after hacking it to install, and so far everything I have tried on in FCP works fine (you just have to have something else to do while it does its thing). Max out the ram on any computer (1 Gb in my iMac) and you will be amazed what it can do.

    I use Photoshop and Illustrator on it pretty regularly and don't have any problems with them. I am hoping to buy an iBook myself (now that it has a SuperDrive option), but if I can't get the money together (due to, uh, credit problems I need to save the money first), I fully expect to use the iMac for another year or two.

    So if you need not just want the latest software, then a computer will not last that long, but if you are an normal user, it can.

    ps. Before my iMac, my Mac IIx lasted seven years as well. I finally bought the iMac when tracking down non-PowerPC software was just too much of a pain.
  20. ()verBored macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2004
    If I had cash coming out of my wazoo I would have sprung for the 15" PB...due to it's really nice size and feature set. And I of course love that metal sheem finish to all the PBs. BUT, I purchased the 12 inch iBook maxed out, because I wanted the most inexpensive, and feature packed notebook my dollars could buy (at that price level). I thought about the 12 inch PB, but it would have cost an extra $250, and the benefits weren't really great enough for me to shell out the extra dough.

    As a few notes, the iBook can support s-video, composite, and VGA output. There are adapters on the market for every connection you could I wouldn't use that as any sort of PB advantage. The Radeon 9200 is a superior graphics card than the GF 5200 GO. Even though the 5200 in the PB has 64 MB of RAM, the extra mem won't really come into play until you try to bump up the resolution...but at 1024 x 768, the 9200 will beat the 5200 in every category. Anyways, that's for the diff between the 12 inch iBook and 12 inch PB. The 15 inch PB has the vastly superior Radeon Mob 9700, which is a tight video platform! If I were you, I would save the cash, let the iBook handle your needs for a while, then buy the latest and greatest in a year or two. Heck, buy the apple care thing for three years with that extra cash (you would still pocket $300!), then in 3 years, you could probably complain about enough stuff with your aging iBook to get them to do an upgrade or something for very little extra cost! :) (I have no idea if that would work)

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