iBook setup- does this sound reasonable?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Chubby Cox, May 2, 2004.

  1. Chubby Cox macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    Currently, I have a Dell desktop with a 1.7 gHz Pentium 4 and 256 MB of RAM. It does a decent job, but I would love to have something portable. Aside from the usual word processing/internet browsing stuff, I will be doing some audio editing. I use Reason and have an Oxygen 8 MIDI controller for softsynth applications, and would probably end up just using GarageBand for audio recording until I got the money for something nicer, like Logic. I plan on getting a simple USB audio interface such as the Tascam US-122 for recording (since I would only be recording myself; I don't really need anything with a crazy amount of inputs) and getting a firewire enclosure for my 120GB 7200RPM hard drive. Most stuff I record probably won't use more than 5 or 6 tracks going at once, so with a RAM upgrade, will the iBook's processor be able to handle it allright? I was looking at the Powerbooks too, but is it really that much better than the iBook to justify spending that much more money? Also, I'm currently a college student and will be using the edu discont. Does anyone else use an iBook for audio, and if so, how well does it work?
  2. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    And one other thing- my school has a fairly extensive wireless network, so I'd definitely be getting an Airport card.
  3. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    The powerbook will be a lot better suited for audio. Especially if you want to upgrade to a more processor intensive program in the future. Personally, i just bought a 15" Powerbook, and I'm worried it won't be enough!

    p.s. I know that my school store is running a kick a$$ spring special deal on Powerbooks- I got my 15" combo for 1850 with apple care included.
  4. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2003
    you might want to wait for the G5 powerbook, i have a 1.7ghz P4 with 512MB RAM other than annoying windows XP problems it gets the job done i'm waiting for G5 powerbooks to upgrade since right now the ibook will be a step down for me with slower RAM and bus and HD speed
    take a look at the G4 powerbooks especially if you plan to BTO your ibook the 12inch G4 powerbook is only a few hundred more yet offers much better performance
  5. Ajmbc macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2003
    With how long it is taking for the desktop processors to come out- the G5 Mobile processor is probably going to be far away. The designers face some serious issues- heat, and space, and price.
  6. Chubby Cox thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2004
    Would a 1 gHz iBook really be that much slower than my 1.7gHz Pentium, and would a 1.33 gHz Powerbook really be that much faster than the iBook? For me at least, overall speed isn't as important as stability (of the OS and the software) and ease of use, in the sense that my computer does what I expect it/want it to do. I used to do some audio editing on my parents' old 600 MHz Pentium 3 running Pro Tools on Windows 98. I had no problem with the speed, the problem was that it would crash quite often, and hang up and become unresponsive even more often. Of course, those problems are nowhere near as prevalent in Windows XP, but it still is a bit of an issue and, above all, I want to get something portable and at a reasonable price.
  7. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    The more processing power you have available, the better it will run at higher settings (buffer, CPU usage etc.) not to mention plugs. Get the powerbook and for christ's sake will everyone STOP WAITING FOR THE g5 POWERBOOKS! THEY ARE NOT COMING OUT ANYTIME SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Maverick macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    Guys, PLEASE. He doesn't need a G5 PB for what he's doing, and it's going to be a while before they're released anyway.

    I'd recommend purchasing the 1.2 GHz iBook myself. It's well-suited for the tasks you describe, and you can use the money you save on it to max out the RAM (which will more than compensate for the slower processor). Personally, I just bought a 1.25 GHz 15-inch PB and now I'm regretting not getting the new iBook.
  9. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    The 12" iBook is plenty for you- just max out the RAM and you should be good to go.

    Ignore any comment saying you need a G5 Pbook... not only with the current G4 sufice- but considering they just updated the lines, they're not going to update them again any time soon.

    If you're worried at all, then consider the 12"Pbook- it's a little more expensive- but has a tad more "oomph"

    Either would suit your needs...from the sound of it you're not going to be pushing it too terribly hard.
  10. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    It's really hard to tell what is faster when you are comparing such different systems. Everyone in this forum would give you a different answer.

    For you, since speed is not the most important thing, than go with the iBook. I doubt you would notice much speed difference with what you are doing.

    I think Win98 crashes sometimes for no reason at all.

    I will have to add, that Macs do have wonderful battery life, which is more than I can say for most PC laptops.
  11. Ramza macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2003
    Winnipeg, Canada
    I do my main audio work at home in my studio, but if I go on the road, I bring my trusty iBook G4 (rev a) along with me. It does the job fine, but I strongly recommend going with a better sound box (like a digidesign mbox or firewire/usb audiophile) because you could run the program with a smaller buffer size. With reason, you'd really appretiate more screen real estate if you went with a 15" powerbook, because frankly, there's just not enough room there.

    Nonetheless, the iBook is a fine machine for Reason 2.5, Cubase SX 2, and Ableton Live 3.0, which is what I have running on mine.

    Just make sure you get a soundbox (make sure it's portable and good ... don't go out and buy a motu 828 mkII just because it's nice :p), max out the ram, and get a firewire hd for it.
  12. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    I would consider a 12" Powerbook. Look at a comparable 12" iBook to a 12" Powerbook with Airport, Bluetooth, and 60 Gig hard drive. Airport and Bluetooth are necessary with portable computers, and the 60 Gig hard drive will probably be something you want for your applications anyway.

    For $199 more (at ed. prices) you get a bump in processor speed (1 GHz to 1.33 GHz), better graphics (32MB to 64MB), and the Powerbook has an Audio line in. You might really want that Audio line in for your applications.

    I think the $199 more is worth it IMHO. Up to you to decide.


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