okies... it's another PB vs ibook thread but i need help..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bluemoon, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. bluemoon macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    hi all, i am new to this whole mac thing... am seriously considering changing over to a mac laptop... but like many others out there, i encountered the PB vs ibook problem... these are the specs of those which i am considering...

    iBook G4 12"1 at US$1200
    1 GHz PowerPC G4/512 RAM/30GB/Combo Drive/ATI Radeon 9200 32 Mb VRam/ Airport Extreme

    PB G4 12"1 at US$1600
    1.33 GHz PowerPC G4/512 RAM/60GB/Combo Drive/NVIDIA GeForce FXGO5200 64 Mb VRam/Airport Extreme

    PB G4 12'1 at US$1700
    same as above except with a SuperDrive

    These are student prices offered from my school... not too sure on which to get.. guess i am a regular user which will dabble in Phtoshop and play an occassional game... i basically want a machine which will last me a while... unlike my Toshiba laptop...

    really hoping to get opinions from all you experienced users.... Thanks a million in advance!
  2. kerb macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Lancashire UK
    a few things to help you out

    1. Do you need a bluetooth and wifi card?

    If you do, then these will add another $150 or so to the price of the iBook.

    2. Are you going to be burning DVDs regularly? Can you live without the Superdrive?

    You can always get an external one later for much much cheaper.

    3. What kind of VRAM do the games you want to play need?

    The iBook doesn't fare so well here.

    The Powerbook seems expensive but the wifi card and bluetooth are BTO on the iBook which is a perfectably capable machine for everyday use and dabbling in Photoshop. The Powerbook is more futureproof as it will support more Tiger features.

    Any of that make sense?
  3. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    It all depends.

    If your going to do some gaming then the you should go with a PB but the 12" would be to small. If you can get the PB then go for it, but try to get the 15" for gaming/movies. I dont do any gaming so i have an iBook, i watch movies, do work, surf the internet and much more without any problems. If i would have thought i would have done any gaming i would have the PB.

    If you need to burn DVD's then get an external burner since its faster and works great. iDVD dose not work with external driver but there are ways to get it to work.

    Buy the least amout of RAM from apple and get the extra RAM from somewere else since its much cheaper.
  4. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    This is misleading. Games will only run 'well' as a former PC user on the newest G5s. The PB you mention I have, and I'll tell you it sucks nuts at Call of Duty. Everything else Solafaa said is top notch, but personally the GPU upgrade (heh, upgrade to GO FX5200??) isn't worth it. The iBook is my favourite laptop ever, full stop.
  5. dobbin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2002
    Does anyone know which Tiger features will work on which machines? Will the 12" Powerbook cope with it all, or will we need the better video card in the 15".

    I am hoping to switch from a desktop (G4 cube) to a laptop, but I don't want to get a laptop if it will outdated as soon as I buy it. I don't mind not having the speed of a new G5, but I would like to use all the features of the OS, even if it is relatively slowly.

    If anyone could explain the 'futureproofness' of the various laptops then that would be great.

  6. bluemoon thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    woah...thanks for all the suggestions... made me think more bout wat i want... hmm... basically... futureproof is an important factor to me... tat i see myself using the laptop like in 4-5 years hopefully... however... as dobbins has put it.. if someone could like help us out with the futureproofness of the PB, it will be great....

    and also would like to ask... how about battery life? can PB sustain a 4 hour usuage? or is the iBook much better in this aspect... would be lookin at surfing and typing in this case... perhaps playing music too.... and how exactly useful will the extra 32 mb vRAM come in handy for the PB? currently i am only like playing Warcraft and Diablo... well... my current comp is only a 16 Mb but it's on a PC so not too sure bout comparison on this issue...

    sorry for so much questions... really appreciate it... thanks
  7. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i think laptops from 2 years ago should stiull be able to run tiger

    would be silly for apple to piss of its users by making tiger unusable
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Your specs say that you're getting a 1.33GHz 12" model with 512MB of RAM. Since the system actually comes with only 256MB, I hope you're not getting your RAM directly from Apple.

    Get it from www.crucial.com, but make sure you delete your cookies, then prevent cookies in your browser all together by going into Preferences/Settings, before going to Crucial. WHen you find the right RAM for the 12" 1.33GHz Powerbook model (don't worry, that's easy), keep hitting RELOAD in your browser so that you see what the various prices for the 512MB stick of RAM available from Crucial. Crucial prices change whenever you do this because of Dynamic Pricing, which reads your cookies and tells them if you're willing to buy the same RAM at higher prices. Many websites have it, but most people don't know that. You can get the 512MB stick of RAM for around $94 if you do what I said. :)

    I would get the 12" model with Combo drive. The Superdrive isn't THAT useful unless you have a DV camera and want to use iMovie and iDVD. Also, MacOS 10.4 Tiger will use something called CoreImage that will only be compatible with the GO5200 graphics card and up, not the 9200 graphics card in the iBooks. You don't want to be behind so quickly, do you?
  9. kerb macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Lancashire UK

    the iBook won't support CoreImage and CoreVideo.

    an example being you'll be able to use Dashboard but you won't get the watersplash effect when a widget loads.
  10. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    The iBook should do just fine for your needs.
    One thing that I'd suggest on the iBook is to max out the HD (surprised nobody has said this), the upgrade price is only like 45 dollars.
    A new iBook, while not as future-proof as a Powerbook, should still last a long time. 4-5 years doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
    The main reason you'd need a Powerbook is if you were doing some heavy Photoshop or needed a desktop replacement.

    (Also: iBooks run games fine, especially if you're only playing Blizzard games.)
  11. bluemoon thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    hmm.... well.... personally... i was more inclined to the ibook... since i heard that it has a longer battery life... however... i am scared of the futureproofness of the ibook.... but anyone noes how long can the PB last in terms of battery life when compared to the ibook?
  12. daxdagr8t macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2004
    i have a 12inpb and i get anywhere from 3-4hours dependind on what im doing.i would suggest to get the 12inpb, i bought mine for 1399 with the edu then ordred 512 from crucial which cost about 120 including tax and shipping.
  13. bluemoon thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    hmm.... forgot to add that i am from Singapore... so not too sure if www.crucial.com is for me... sigh... and bout that advice of HD... do i get it from Mac or from some 3rd party as well?
  14. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Internal drive has to come from Apple. I would also recommend an AirPort Extreme card weather you feel you need it or not. Lots of places are popping up with WiFi, and you don't want to regret that in the future.
  15. toezter macrumors regular


    Jul 12, 2004
    Madison, WI

    im stuck in the same rut as you, also with the same specs of the ibook and pb.

    see how i see it, if i get an ibook, i get to upgrade my desktop (pc) for gaming, while using the ibook at school for academics, small gaming, occasional PS when bored. or get a powerbook and have it completely replace my desktop, but in the same time limit me on my gaming.

    pb's also have dvi output, whereas ibooks use analog (yuk). i could use the dvi output to my monitor and use extended desktop. but the ibook would limit that and use cloneing (boring).

    i hate decisions.

    FYI, people if you read his first post, he's includeing a wifi for the ibook. BT module woudlnt add that much. but his setup of the ibook is very close to the pb.
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Look, its simple. Like several of us mentioned already, the iBook will NOT support CoreImage because of the video card. Its supposed to allow for some visual effects when Tiger comes out. Tiger will be out this coming January, or possibly in June. Its not a big deal, but once these visual effects are implemented widely, it'll probably be some time between August and December of next year....one year from now. So if you care about CoreImage capabilities (personally, I don't right now...not for another 1.5 years or so), or Line-In, or the better screen on the 12" PB than the iBooks, or the better PB keyboard (if you think the iBook's keyboard is good, this won't make a difference...) or attaching an LCD to your laptop and getting better than 1024x768 resolution on an external LCD that you may use (which can't be done on the iBook, but some people don't mind...or just use the hack), then get the Powerbook.

    If you don't care about the above, I wouldn't bother. If battery life is more important than the stuff I just said, get the iBook. It really really doesn't matter which you choose. They're quite similarly specced. I have a 12" 1GHz G4 Powerbook, and its great. I'm sure the 12" 1GHz iBook will give a very similar experience.
  17. Squire macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    My Pentium 166MHz 40 lb. notebook crashed as I was doing some homework yesterday and now I'm seriously considering the 12" PB, too. I guess one thing that even Apple says is an improvement over the previous model is the graphics card.

    Lightning-fast Graphics
    The 12-inch PowerBook ships with the NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 and now has 64MB of DDR SDRAM to kick your 2D and 3D performance into overdrive. In fact, with twice the video memory than it had previously, the 12-inch PowerBook delivers 34% better graphics performance. (Higher frame rates indicate better performance. Tests conducted by Apple using Quake III Arena, 1024 by 768 resolution at millions of colors.)

    I assume that 34% would be the same increase a Powerbook has over an iBook. Then there's always the aesthetics factor; the PB is a very attractive machine. You might also have an easier time connecting it to TVs and other displays.

    Now, here's another question: What will the next revision of Powerbooks look like for the 12-inch model? It's basically just been getting the goodies that the higher-end PBs had. Keeping that in mind, should we expect a 1.5 GHz G4, an 80 GB hard drive, and the backlit keyboard?

  18. newguy macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2004
    What's the difference in terms of battery life and heat production on the 4800 rpm and the 5400 rpm hardrives on the 12" PB?
  19. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    while the faster hard drive might consume a little bit more power, it will also lead to less "work" cycles and more idling --> no difference. the faster drive might actually run cooler (because of more idle cycles, compared to the slower one), but it all depends on what you are doing with your system...
  20. iPC macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2003
    East Windsor, CT
    I really hope so. My iBook is too damn slow now... opening 3 or 4 apps at once and waiting is getting old. Very old.

    As a side note - I noticed no change when upgrading my hdd to the 7200rpm. Of course the bus is rather slow... :eek:
  21. bluemoon thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    thanks for all the suggestions ppl.... really appreciate it... with regards to earlier advice bout buying a ibook den maxing the HD, i found out tat i couldnt up it to a higher rpm HD... oh well.... still... appreciate for all the kind input.... hee... lookin forward to getting my Mac!! yippee!
  22. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Apr 14, 2004
    Here is a testement to the iBook's "future-proofness"

    I have a G3 running at 600mhz running Panther.

    With the expection of the "Genie Effect" for minimizing windows, and som choppyness when using Expose, it runs like a champ.

  23. 18thTomorrow macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2004
    The Alpha Quadrant
    I was contemplating the same thing and finally bought the 14" ibook @ 1.25ghz. I use it for school and some pretty intense photoshop and imovie work (I'm a graphic design student), and it takes everything like a champ. I haven't tried any games yet. My iPhoto library is 3000 and counting, and it runs great (even though we all know iPhoto is pretty slow sometimes.) Garageband performs very well.

    I like the iBook's "bulletproof" plastic shell--to me it feels a lot more secure and durable than the aluminum on the powerbook. But you haven't mentioned that so...yeah. Maybe you don't care. The keyboard is fine, too--really haven't wanted anything more. Also, the trackpad is quite nice, imo. A lot better than some laptops out there.

    As for monitor spanning, browse the forum for the hack that's been mentioned many a time. It works great. I put all of my toolboxes on one screen and my project on another, and it's the ultimate in productivity.

    The only thing that bothers me a bit is the lack of midi ports on the sound card, which the PB has. But I got over it and bought a USB keyboard instead.

    All in all, I think the iBook is a worthy machine, especially if you're keeping a desktop next to it (even a slower desktop like my G3 and PII Linux machine). If you're looking for the ultimate in desktop replacement, you'll probably want a pb 15" or 17".

    Hope I've helped a little.
  24. bluemoon thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    okies... sorry people, just wanna know if 512 ram is enuf? or should i maxed the ram? i can't get the 5400 rpm drive for the ibook here but i can get it for the PB. at this point in time, the PB with the superdrive is out since i figured that i dun have much use for a dvd burner since i will be burning mostly songs and pdf books. thanks for all the suggestion guys, u people are really great.
  25. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    512 will do you fine. I haven't a problem running FCP, iTunes, Safari and Photoshop with mine. Then when a bigger, badder book comes out, you can just put a gig in there and feel cool again.

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