iBook or PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by JacobiB², May 3, 2004.

  1. JacobiB² macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2004
    Hey everyone...

    My birthday is coming up this summer, and I can't decide which to get: the most expensive iBook, or the least expensive PowerBook. The PowerBook,which costs the same as the iBook under an educational discount, has a better video card, better processor, and a few more better features. However, the iBook has a larger screen, which will have a pretty big impact on my choice.

    I don't need to use it for super-intense programs such as Photoshop, Premiere, etc. but I do want to video edit. I don't edit professionally, but I don't just do one or two small movies either. I think the larger screen would be better, but would having the better graphics card and processor make the PowerBook better for video editing?

    Other than video editing, I'll be using it for listening to music/burning CDs (I don't plan on purchasing a SuperDrive because my desktop PC already has a DVD+R drive), surfing the internet, checking email, and probably playing DVDs (another reason to get a larger screen)...

    I'm kinda mixed up here...help will be greatly appreciated ;)
  2. thrillz3 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2004
    With the screen size, the 12" PB has just as many pixels as the 14" iBook. The iBook just has bigger pixels. Remember, if you're going to be using this at a desk at any time, you can connect the PB to another monitor and have an extended desktop. That's what I'm going to do when I get mine.
  3. JacobiB² thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2004
    true, but I also want to be able to have a nice screen size on the go...another question of mine is how much of a difference is there really between the 12" and 14"?
  4. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    I was basically in the same position, except that I plan to use Garageband a great deal (and not do video editing...not initially, anyway). I ended up with the iBook, mainly because of screen size (it's really a big deal, I think--especially if you plan on working at the computer for extended periods of time!)...I was also sold by the iBook's reputation of being tough...powerbooks are lovely...but if their hardware gets messed up by being jostled around in a bag, traveling on an airplane, etc., what good are they? I'm careful with my computer...but I feel a lot more at peace knowing that iBook's are tough.
    However, depending on how much time you plan to dedicate to video editing, it may be worth getting the 12 inch PB for its more powerful video card...that's the only advantage I see to it...expandable RAM is the same...it's .13 ghz faster...but that seems to be not a great issue. In any case, it's worth checking out www.expercom.com before you buy...they've got good prices, deals, and service.
  5. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States

    I do some editing on my 1 Ghz 12" PowerBook (with an external 7200 RPM hard drive) and I have no problem. With a nice iBook (which will be better than my PB), you should be fine. You might want to consider an external Hard Drive, though, for editing. Whatever you choose will be perfect.

    Best Wishes,
  6. JacobiB² thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2004
    Thanks ;) ... also, how much of a difference is there between the 32MB and 64MB video cards? Is it a big enough difference to have an impact on editing?
  7. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I am interested in this as well, but not only in terms of editing, but also in terms of playing games. I thought I read in another thread that someone said that the Radeon 9200 was a better card than the one in the 12" powerbook, is that still the case now that it has more vram?
  8. freddiecable macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2003
    bigger VRAM has little impact on editing video...it's better for work or gaming with 3D - as far as I know. to optimize video editing and work in indesign, photoshop etc lots of RAM is the best way to go :)
  9. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    how about comparing the least expensive powerbook agains the least expensive ibook? that way the both are 12" and you can decide what features you would be missing by choosing the ibook, and directly see how much the features would cost if you chose powerbook.

    i'd say take the 12" ibook and load it with accessories with the money saved. although the powerbook's case is tempting you'd most probably get more value from the ibook ;) that is, unless you know what you need, and if that's the case, no need to ask others...
  10. JacobiB² thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2004
    I could do something like that...do you guys think upgrading to 512MB would be good or would it be better if i upgraded to 768MB of RAM?
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I have the PB 12" 1ghz and was concerned about be happy with the 12" screen. I didn't need to be. The 12" is a great size even for my aging eyes. The only time it is a pain is with some mail that comes in to the Mail app. The text on some mail is very small.

    I work at the desk with my PB on a iCurve stand with teh screen about 2 1/2 to 3 feet from my eyes. And it is OK. I can connect my 17" CRT when I need a larger workspace.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well, a 14" 1.2GHz iBook is probably faster or as fast as my 12" 1GHz PB is today, and it is plenty fast for what I do. I'd get the PB anyway. The video card is definitely better on the PB, and the harddrive is much bigger, which would be necessary if you were going to do video editing. And I'm not sure if you can upgrade, but upgrading to the faster HD may be possible on the 12" PB, but not on the iBook. I'm not sure about that one, but check it out because that may also make a difference.

    And upgrade your RAM, but don't buy RAM from Apple. Just get it from www.crucial.com.
  13. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    512MB definitely!

    As long as you're going to buy extra RAM, you might as well add 512MB...it is basically double the price of 256MB (which means you aren't paying extra for it being larger...whereas the next step, to 1 GB, is about 3x-4X more expensive!) You'll definitely want the extra RAM! and this way you won't have to think about it again for a year or two, when 1GB will be a lot more reasonably priced...
    BTW-the iBook's hard drive is the same size as the 12 inch PB's...the 12 inch PB's is not "much larger" (though you can upgrade to 80 GB on the 12 inch PB)
  14. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    the differences as I see them:

    PB has faster processor, faster system bus, faster RAM, twice the VRAM, 5400 RPM HD option, DVI out, audio in, more scratch resistant, higher quality screen.

    ibook has a larger screen but same resolution, better battery life, better wifi range, more resistant to impact.

    IMHO, there's not even a question. Although the difference is not huge, it is clear - the PB has more features and will have better performance. And even though the ibook screen is bigger, the PB screen is brighter and crisper, and those also effect readability and eye strain.
  15. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    How old are you? You mention the educational discount--so will this be a college computer? It makes a difference because the iBook is "bomb proof"--that is, it will take a lot more punishment then the powerbook (which is pretty tough, don't get me wrong, but it does dent). So rowdy friends and inconsiderate dorm roommates won't damage your ibook when they're partying in your room.

    Also, looking to the future--if this is freshman year of college, again, an iBook is better. It has better wi-fi and will do the job for college while you save up your money for a PB come graduation (i.e., for that time when you know what kind of laptop you need for what you're going to be--Lawyer or Video editor?).

    If, on the other hand, you're going to graduate in a year or so, then that's a different story....
  16. JacobiB² thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2004

    I'm afraid you're talking a few years ahead of me ;) ...but I still understand what you mean about the iBook being a little more rugged. I still don't feel this will have too large of an impact on my choice, though, because I plan to purchase a case and be EXTREMELY careful with it (I'm very careful about all of my high-tech stuff)...

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