ibook vs. imac dilemma

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mopppish, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Alright, I'm going to try and make this as short and sweet as possible. I bought a rev. B imac G5 this summer soon after they were released (by the way, I'm a poor college student, so it was an investment) and I love it. It was great to buy an up-to-date computer and as I am a music student that dabbles in recording, I was excited about being able to check out Logic Pro (which I've borrowed from the audio labs at my school and really dig). I decided on the imac because it seemed to be the perfect balance of price, performance, and portability (sort of).
    Fast forward several months. I'm seriously considering a 12" ibook for school and personal use, however it seems decadent to own a new ibook AND an imac, and even though I have the credit limit, I really can't afford it. I've gotten to the point where I think a laptop would truly benefit me in many areas of my life, and am thinking of selling the imac for the ibook. I would miss it a bit, but I'm not even close to using this thing's potential yet and I definitely can't put it in my backpack to take with me to the library.
    The dilemma is that recording is still important to me. I'd like some real-world advice from people with experience on this- will a new ibook still work OK with Logic? I'd probably use it with either a Firepod or MOTU 828mkII, and already have a huge external Lacie firewire drive. I have access to dual G5s at school any time I need them if I need to run some serious sessions, so my question is, can I reasonably expect to record 8-12 tracks of 24-bit audio in Logic to an external drive on an ibook and run a few plug-ins once in a while before I have to start freezing tracks or causing problems? I've pretty much already made up my mind if it will work OK, but I need to hear it from some folks in-the-know.
    Sure would miss the imac, but it may be the best option.
    Thanks in advance, ladies and gents.
  2. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    P.S. I would add some extra RAM right away.
    Oh yeah, and I've posted this in the gearslutz forums too, so sorry if you're experiencing deja vu.
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You might get by just barely with an iBook for recording mostly
    midi files, but you'll really be under load recording multiple
    analog miked tracks.

    You might want to think about getting a new revision 1.33 GHz 12" iBook refurb and keep the iMac as your primary workstation.

    They come and go quickly on the refurb pages, but go for $799.00
    which is not decadent at all.
  4. Will Cheyney macrumors 6502a

    Will Cheyney

    Jul 13, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Having owned just a PowerBook for a few years, and bought a Power Mac at the beginning of this year, I have to admit that I don't think I would enjoy working solely on a laptop now. I think a laptop should be an 'extension' of your desktop if you get what I mean.
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I have an iBook and an iMac and I think I'd struggle to going back to using the iBook for anything intensive. Having both is the perfect set up for me though. Fellow student, do you really have to eat every month? :)
  6. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2005
    the Netherlands
    If you were to get a 12" for permanent use, something I do when I work offsite for a few weeks, I would go for an external mouse and keyboard. You don't really need either as both the laptop keyboard and trackpad are good, but for powerusage, like writing long essays or working with exel, something less crammed is recommended. Adding 512 mb is a smart move, but I would go for non-apple, if you're on a budget. Plenty of threads on this forum about that. The harddrive may also be an issue, I don't know. I went with an external one, but in the end it's what works for you best.

    Performance-wise, I have no clue what recording requires... Other than that a 12" iBook is perfectly workable in many situations and more comfortable as you can use it on your couch and stuff.
  7. TodVader macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2005
    Quebec, Canada
    Keep that iMac. The iBook is good for everyday tasks but is kinda sloppy on pro apps like Garageband.

    I would def. keep that iMac G5!.
  8. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    Hmm. I have 2 iBooks and an iMac. What can I say. The iMac is just great for doing anything that requires some horsepower.
  9. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I agree! Another iMac G5 + iBook setup fan/user. :D
  10. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    There's a possibility right now that my pop might "buy" the imac from me (by buy I mean trade me for an ibook and an audio interface).
    I never doubted that I would miss the imac, but remember that I can open sessions on a dualie at school if need be. I just need to know if the ibook will get me by by recording a handful of tracks at a time. Anyone used one for that?
  11. kwajo.com macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2002
    Bay of Fundy
    get an iMac and spend 200-300 bucks on a clamshell iBook with airport to use on the go. that's what I did, well it was a Powermac not an iMac, but same thing :p the firewire clamshells run Tiger great, and are perfect as a typing and research tool. battery life is insane too, my battery is 4 years old and I still get 3-4 hours out of it
  12. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    No offense, but that is a terrible idea. The OP is wanting to do things that are a bit processor intensive, and this is not something a clamshell iBook could ever hope to handle.

    Now, to the OP: As much as portability is awesome, you will feel a huge difference between the horsepower of the iMac and the iBook. I'm talking about things will become tedious on the iBook. I have an iMac G5 and a PowerBook G4 15" @ 1 GHz, and I can't even stand working on it sometimes because all I see is the beach ball spinning. Best to stay with the iMac and get a refurbished PowerBook for your recordings.
  13. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    I definitely appreciate the responses. It looks like I will try to find a way to keep the imac and get the ibook, but I'm still wondering if anyone has any experience with this situation- recording with Logic on an ibook. I'm still curious as to whether it would function at all. Can anyone give me examples of track counts they've reached or plug-ins they've used on their laptop? Thanks.

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