iBook or eMac?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Mindfield, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Mindfield macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2003
    Hello to the good folks of MacRumors.com!

    My dad and I are buying a new Mac for me. We are not sure, that what computer we will be buying, because I'm getting some extra cash in a few days - the sum is unknown, because it's a present from my relatives. I've been looking at eMac and iBook as a possible purchase. At this point I have to tell you, that I'm not able to buy any other kind of computer (meaning like I'm not able to buy a used PM) and it'll only be the cheapest computer (eMac) or the mobile one. I do have some questions, that I'd like to ask from you:

    1. I'm planning to play some FPSs with it - e.g RTCW, GhostR, Jedi Outcast. I looked at this speed comparison - which only had the cheapest iBook model in it:


    Although iBook looses in iMove & MP3 conversion-tests, but shines in 3D-rendering. The iBook also looses in some of the game-tests, but they are tested with the crappy 16 mb Radeon. So my question is, that will the 32 mb Mobility Radeon be equal or better in gaming, when compared to eMac or iMac?

    I'm not that demanding in game's graphics, because I got used in putting the graphic settings to low in every game with my rev b iMac:p. Other uses of my future computer will only be browsing, listening to music and that sort of thing. Nothing graphics intense, except for games.

    2. Could the iBook's G3 800 mhz processor with 512 kt L2 cache be faster in non-Altivec-processes than the eMac's 700 mhz G4?

    3. Your personal experiences/advice.

    I'd really like to use an iBook, but it might fall to price difference between the cheapest eMac and the middle-model iBook. In my country, the eMac costs 1201 euros - which is almost the same in dollars - and the iBook costs 1695 euros. My father already said, that we should split the price of eMac between us (he preferes the eMac), so I think, that I might not be able to raise the extra amount of money required to purchase the iBook. It's an unfair world :(

    Eagerly waiting for your replies:
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Unless you need/want the portability of an iBook the eMac will be a better value.

    The $999 iBook and eMac have 700mhz proc, the 1299 iBook and eMac have 800mhz procs. Clock for clock in non-altivec the G3 would out perform the G4, but for things w/heavy number crunching (like ripping CDs) the G4 will come out on top. You also have to consider how long you need this machine to last. The G3 will become obsolete before the G4 will.

    If I had to choose between the two (and portability was not an issue) I'd go for the eMac hands down. If for nothing else than I'd rather have a 17" CRT monitor than a 12" LCD on my main/only computer. If you can save up enough to get a 1299 eMac you'll have an 800Mhz G4, 256megs of RAM, 60gig HDD, and a Superdrive.

  3. Gus macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    As much as I love my iBook 800, I have to agree with Lethal here. The G4 does make a difference with the heavy numbers. While games do play very well on the 32 MB Radeon 7500 in the new iBook, I would think you would enjoy playing them a little more on the bigger screen, although, it doesn't bother me in the slightest and I play Medal of Honor, Warcraft III, Jedi Knight, Diablo II, etc. without a hitch.

    Like Lethal said, it all comes down to whether or not you need/want portability.

  4. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    They are both excellent...

    They are both an excellent choice in a consumer computer, again the main thing here, is what is more important to you...portability or raw power. The eMac will be faster, mostly due to a faster HD, and will allow more RAM to be added, plus it has a G4 and it also offers an optional SuperDrive model.

    Of course, if you need or want a computer to carry with you and to set up different places, that eMac might be a little hard to fit in a backpack. In that case I would recomment the iBook.
  5. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I have to agree with Lethal, the eMacs are pretty nice machines, especially with the bigger monitor compared to the iBook. It will probably be more durable at home and more comfortable for everybody to use.
  6. Mindfield thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I'll now explain to what needs my computer will go:

    My computer should last about 5 years or even more. I'll use it to browse the Net, write e-mails, rip some CDs & listen to internet radio stations and to do a bit of programming with METAL Basic.

    IF I buy the iBook, then I'll be able to do these: I'll be able to carry my computer with me to friends, relatives or to school - although I'm not sure about that, because no one else doesn't bring THEIR computers to school either:rolleyes: . What I mean with this is, that I might get some bad publicity with this kind of snobby behavior. My back gets pretty sore sometimes - hehe, the pains of today :D -, so I think, that iBook might give me a more ergonomical choice.

    What comes to games, well, I'll buy my computer, so that I'm able to play games like Ghost Recon, RTCW, WC 3 & Jedi Outcast. But I'm not buying my computer, so that I could be able to play upcoming games. Playing with your computer is a very expensive hobby and I have a PS2 for that use.

    I'm planning to max. my possible iBook's RAM or optionally add 512 mb to the eMac. And I have to agree, that I might need to get used to iBook's 12" screen.
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The largest reservation I have about the iBook and long life is the G3 proc. It wouldn't surprise me if future OS versions and software required Altivec (possibly leaving you out in the cold). And do you need to carry your computer to yer friends/family and around school or does it just sound like something cool/fun to be able to do?
    Unless you need portibility you'll get much more bang for your buck and a "longer life" w/the not as cool looking eMac. ;)

  8. Mindfield thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2003
    Ok Lethal, you got me convinced

    I just had to make myself convinced, that eMac is the way to go. Otherwise it would've felt like a wrong purchase. I'll buy an extra 512 mb of RAM to it and possibly a new mouse to suit to those long hours of RTCW :D.

    Thank you very much! You all just saved me 500 dollars, which I can now use to buy the accessories above :)
  9. Xapplimatic macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2001
    I would take the iBook ANY DAY over any eMac because of these particular problems:
    • It has a CRT. CRTs contributes significantly to eyestrain and headaches in people who use computers for extended periods of time such as students, office workers, and good old net addicts... Not to mention seizures in people with epilepsy.
    • The CRT has suffered 15-60% IVAD cable failure rate depending which store you ask resulting in the dreaded raster shift problem where the display makes zapping noises, loses screen size loss, and even becomes distorted with snow. The problem may have been fixed since in new production, but regardless the damage to its reputation has been done leading to the next point..
    • Apple is rumored to have http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=20548]quietly discontinued eMac production[/URL] to let inventories dwindle down before they release a revised replacement due to the failure rate and the poor reputation it has given the eMac.
    • The eMac isn't only unportable.. its huge/bloated. It takes a sizable amount of deskspace away, permanently. The older G3 iMac was bad enough, but the new one is even wider (and deeper and heavier)

    In these times, a laptop is not so much of a compromise or a luxury. Frequently it is as good as a desktop for normal uses--in fact, two friends of mine only use laptops. I myself haev used an iBook exclusively for the last 2 years as a student doing papers, graphics, some video editing, and website maintenance while letting my iMac 500 MHz catch dust. You won't regret getting the iBook because the portability is worth it, the reliability is worth it, and your eyes will thank you for it (wether you realize it or not.. most people only realize the difference when they start suffering CRT-induced eye strain). With the same 800 MHz clock, the G4 doesn't offer much real-world performance improvement for average users worthy of justifying being tied to an eBrick. Note however that the iBooks and eBricks are both the last Apple computer lines not to have been refreshed this year. The price breaks with no hardware changes on eBricks would seem to indicate that they are being revamped or totally wiped from the line-up. Rumors are floating that there is an education iBook coming out with a G4 (should we call it an "eBook"?), so stay tuned! Wait until the next iBook rev (due by April many say) before making your purchase decision if you can.. It might make the decision even easier. :)
  10. Mindfield thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I usually haven't had any headaches, even though I use the same rev b iMac with a 75 hz frequency. Besides, the eMac's frequency @t 1024 * 768 is about 85 hz, so I think that's enough. My eyes's have always seen the the 3rd smallest letter in every eye test, that I've had.

    After we compared the older iMac's dimensions to eMac's dimensions and we found out, that the eMac is actually 2 millimetres shorter in depth. Sure it is few centimetres higher and wider, but my iMac has standed on the same place on my desk for over 2 years and it hasn't bothered me that much - even though one of my arguments for an iBook was, that I could put it to my drawer after use, thus clearing some desk space.

    Hmm...I actually thought of this myself as well, but rumors are always rumors: They might be right, but they might be as much wrong. The one thing, that I've learned from computers is, that if you start to play the waiting game, you'll have to wait forever. Buy what you need today (although this rule doesn't apply, if MacWorld is just around the corner ;))I won't have money to buy a brand new model, because its price will be quite steep. The only positive thing in it is, that you will get a discount on older computers. But since this is ment as a birthday present, I doubt, that my dad will accept to start waiting for a new model.

    Anyway, thanks for your informative reply :)
  11. Mindfield thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2003
    Me and my dad decided to play the waiting game. If the possible new models of iBook/eMac are only a few months away, then we might benefit from it by purchasing the older models even cheaper :D. Or we might buy a completely different model. Who knows :rolleyes:. I'm not in a hurry in owning an eMac. I don't even have the necessary money for the purchase!

    We'll wait a few months and then check the status again...
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Good idea, the emac is the way and you wont need to buy a mouse. the optical one works great with RTCW because i use mine with the game almost everyday.Also the emac has those pro speakers built in. Find a isub on sale instead of the mouse and you will have one jammin machine. Unless you absolutely have to be portable, forget the ibook for gaming. 3d Gaming requires all the muscle you can muster. Anyways it will be time for a emac upgrade soon! good luck!
  13. yzedf macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2002
    Emac. Max out the RAM and hdd.

    5yrs is a lot to ask of a laptop, regardless of which one. iBook might have the durability physically, but sure not proc-wise.

    OS XI (pronounced "oh sexy") or whatever it will be called could end up being G4 only (just a fear at this point).

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