Power Mac G5 vs PowerBook G4 for a switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by donotknow, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. donotknow macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2005
    So... my apartment flooded and killed my Compaq; basically I'm buying a new computer as soon as the insurance money comes in... That said, I'm worrying about switching; basically I'm afraid of becoming a complete idiot when it comes to computers, something that I'm not when it comes to PCs, but definitely am with Macs. I learned everything I know from idiot guides on the Web; am I going to be able to find resources if/when I run into a problem? Or is that something I shouldn't worry about, on the stable OS X? I usually don't like calling tech support. I always told myself that my next computer was going to be a Mac, but I always thought I was still going to have my Windows box to help me though the transition. Is a dual layer DVD drive a rumor, because I'd love that.

    Are PowerBooks really desktop replacements? I was looking at either the 15-inch or 17-inch superdrive versions. I have always only had a desktop, but I take 5 hour train rides frequently, where a laptop would be fun entertainment. That's the only pro I see for the PowerBook (let me know if I'm missing something). I was considering the Dual 2GHz or the Dual 2.5GHz Power Macs, depending on how much insurance money I can get. I was just going to use my old 19-inch CRT with it. I like the expandability of the Power Mac, considering the only reason my PC is worth anything because of all the memory, hard drives, and optical drives I put in it.

    I plan on using this computer for basic things: email, web, writing papers, dreamweaver, playing music, aim/chat, quicken (or something similar). More intense things: flash, photoshop, watching DVDs. And really intense things: burning DVDs, video capture, video editing (on Premiere, but I'll easily switch to Final Cut), video encoding (I always used TMPGEnc, is there something of the power available), I'm also taking a course in Maya and plan on using that, so Maya rendering. All my editing is very light, but expect the Maya rendering to be much more intense than that.

    Sorry for the long post, but what do you all think? I know it's not the time to buy the Power Mac or the PowerBook with the Mini out, but I can't live without a computer....
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    First of all, welcome to MR. I think you'll find all the help you need here. Sometimes, people might not see a post or two, but generally help arrives pretty quickly.

    Second, you don't need anything like the level of Windows knowledge you've accumulated. I doubt you'll have any problems figuring out OS X, and, if you do, come back here.

    Third, a PowerBook will do everything that you mentioned, but, obviously, slower than a PowerMac. On the other hand, depending on how often you take those train rides, a slower laptop might actually allow you to get more work done overall because you can bring it with you.

    That said, we are eternally hopeful that a new PowerBook revision will be out "soon" (but no one knows what "soon" means), so you might eventually think you should have waited on a PB. On the other hand, PowerMac changes will be merely evolutionary for a while, so it's perhaps a safer bet. Dual-layer burners are going to happen, maybe by summer? No one knows.

    One final point: what makes Macs so loved by Mac users is OS X, for the most part. No matter which Mac you get, you'll get OS X (and the accompanying product suite). That is where the real value lies.

    Edit: and sorry about the flood - that sucks. I hope something good - like a new Mac! - comes from it, but I'm sorry to read about it.
  3. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    You should be able to figure stuff out pretty fast in OS X. If in doubt, the Macrumors community are pretty good about knowing the answer to stuff, the Apple support forums are helpful too and if neither of those work, you can generally Google for an answer.

    I'm not sure I'd get a PB at the moment - you'll likely only get 3 hours out of it if you take it out so you'll still need another form of entertainment with you.

    How old is your old CRT monitor? And how much do you like expanding your old system? If it's pretty new and under warranty, and you enjoyed tweaking your system, then I'd get the Power Mac and get a PSP for the train trip. Or get an iMac, sell the old CRT, and get an iBook for those train trips.
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The Powermac G5 is much faster than the Powerbooks, but all of them will handle your tasks well.

    You can still use Adobe Premiere (I still do), but the latest version is 6.5.
    Adobe discontiniued Premiere because FinalCut pro and FinalCut express took too much of it's market. Premiere 6.5 is aging and I'm not sure how well it will work with furure OS upgrades, so I would choose FinalCut if you only have money for one of them.

    There are many videoencoders/decoders available for the mac, much because of its easy to port linux stuff to OSX (most of it you can even compile and run yourself with a little effort).

    If you get a Powermac, get the $50 videocard upgrade (from FX5200 to 9600XT)...
  5. donotknow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2005

    Thanks so much for all your help! I'm going with the Power Mac with the video card upgrade!
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Get some RAM, if not now then soon: OS X loves RAM.
    Aim to get at least 1gb in your machine to see it at its best...
  7. sjpetry macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2004
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    Good choice. :) :cool:
  8. destroyboredom macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2002
    Washington, DC.
    You won't regret it. I got mine the day after Christmas and couldn't be happier. Definitely upgrade the RAM as soon as possible though.

Share This Page