iBook vs PowerBook [for music production]

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ephex, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. ephex macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    I've decided i'm going to get a laptop for music production. I hate working with windows, and so if I get an x86 laptop, chances are i'm going to install some form of linux or freebsd, which would completely defeat the purpose of owning the laptop :p. I know I can dual boot, but I have my desktop set up for dual boot and 99% of the time I'm in linux.

    I've been looking at getting an Apple laptop, because OSX looks beautiful, is based off freebsd [so hopefully I won't feel restricted like on windows], and best of all, I can run Reason on it :D. [Too bad FL Studio is windows only, but Reason is still enough]

    Right now I'm looking at getting a 15" 1.5GHz PowerBook [after MWSF, or whenever they update the PB's to my satisfaction]. Problem is that 2500 + tax is a LOT of money, and I could spend a lot less money and get a faster notebook if I get an HP or Compaq, etc.

    The iBooks seem to be in a somewhat nice position right now. For 1300 + tax, I can get a 12" iBook. My main concern is the slower CPU and smaller resolution. I've used Reason on my desktop at 1024x768 before I got a new monitor, and it was not the greatest, but I guess I could live with it.

    So I have a few questions:
    How would an iBook compare to a 1.5GHz PowerBook for music production [assuming I got a 5400rpm hard drive in the PowerBook]
    How would a 1.5GHz PowerBook compare to an Athlon 64 3200+ notebook?

    Thanks to anyone who can help me out :)
  2. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    One thing about the iBooks is they don't have an audio line in on them.
  3. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    I'd go with the powerbook. Apple's i line is not for professional use like you want but it's great for regular people.
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    A athlon 3200+ notebook will be faster, but it will be bigger and have lousy battery life. Get a powerbook (after MWSF) and get 1.0GB+ of RAM and an external HD. Laptop hds isn't as good as exernal 7200rpm hds, and if you want to work with many audio tracks you'll need a fast and large hd. Ofcourse a 5400rpm internal will be great, but if you are doing much recording, 80 GB will be a problem..

    Apple powerbooks seem to be the number one choice between musicians. I'v been to 10+ concerts with bands using powerbooks onstage, but only once i've seen a pc-laptop onstage..
  5. ephex thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    thanks for your input guys
    ...so much for saving money :p.

    Apple's educational discount doesn't apply to high school students either does it?
  6. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    I believe it does apply to high school as well. Could cary from country and state. :)
  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    It applied to me...

    Go the PowerBook. The iBook isn't cut out for Pro use but rather for the average guy sitting around.
  8. magikpants macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2003
    get the i-book

    There's an interesting bunch of things going on in this thread.
    First....having a line in, does not make for pro sound. If you want pro sound, get an external firewire sound card like the M-audio Firewire Audiophile. You'll want that on either the iBook or PB.
    Also, you're talking about reason here. It's not "pro" audio. Don't get me wrong. I use it as my primary workstation. An iBook will save you over 2K, and will have roughly the same specs. The resolution differences will not be noticeable - all that much. You still have just a 14" or 15" screen. Not that much difference there.
    I have pressed tracks on vinyl and distributed them pretty widely without any problems from using just my iBook.
    Reason is written in assembler, and is intended to be very easy on a processor. If you are running the current 1.3 Ghz (i think) iBook, you will be getting along quite nicely with Reason. You'll also probably want to buy Recycle and Peak as well for editing audio and creating your own loops.
    There are plenty of people on this list that will tell you to shell out for the PB, but I am not one of those people, and yes, I have produced tunes on an iBook without a problem. Most people just think that paying more means getting more. At this point, I don't think that that is the case for the iBook and Powerbook - unless you want to get a 3G wireless card, which can only be done on a PB, but who wants to pay for a wireless service that's only available in a few US cities when there is Kismac which will let you enjoy many Wifi sites in the US that you never thought were there.
    Save the money on the iBook and get an Edirol PCR30 as a controller, a firewire audio interface and all of your software. You won't be disappointed.
    If you were doing graphics primarily, I might would say otherwise, but I doubt it cosidering the price difference.
    Forgive my ranting....I'm drunk. :p
  9. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    The education discount does NOT apply to high school students in any circumstance. It applies to faculty and staff at K-12 and higher education, and to students at higher education institutions.
  10. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    I fully agree with the general argument of magikpants, that you shouldn't buy an expensive computer if a cheap one will serve you just fine or if funds are an issue. Still, I have to disagree with the specifics ...

    14" iBook 1.33GHz with 512MB = 1674
    15" PBook 1.5GHz with 512MB and 5400rpm HD option = 2549.

    So what does the $875 get you?
    - slightly bigger screen, widescreen resolutions
    - better, faster video card with twice the VRAM
    - official support for non-mirrored external displays
    - faster HD
    - faster processor, faster system bus, faster RAM
    - backlit keyboard
    - aluminum case, is also less thick
    - gigabit ethernet
    - FireWire 800
    - PC Card slot
    - audio line-in
    - built-in Bluetooth ($50 option in iBook)

    Now, for $875, I can see all that being worth it-- unless, as magikpants cautions, you don't need or want, or just can't afford, any of it. That, of course, is for you to decide. Plus, if new PBooks are coming next month, you might just want to wait.
  11. IDANNY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    I called apple one time. One guy told me it did work for highschool students. I didnt think that it did. You may be right I am not sure myself.

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