Powerbook g4 maxed out, or g5!?? Help...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by lukesk3, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. lukesk3 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2004
    Hey, I am looking for a little bit of guidance on a purchase I am going to be making. I go to school for Graphic Design, so I use a lot of photoshop. I also do a lot of High Res. image editing, as well as use audio programs for my band. Right now I am a PC user, but I would like to switch over. My problem is I really want the portability of a powerbook, but I know I need a lot of power, which is where the G5 would come in. If I were to buy a maxed out powerbook, would it be a huge difference from a g5? Would I still be able to do what I want on the g4 Powerbook? Would it make more sense to sacrifice the portability and get the extra power? I need some guidance! Please help.
    -Luke. :eek:
  2. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Hmm... Good question. It really depends on how much you need the portability. The powerbook would be great if mobility is the real factor, but if it's performance you're after, the G5 beats it hands-down. Not only would it have a faster processor, but it would also be much more expandable, and would give you the much-needed screen space by connecting to an external display.
  3. lukesk3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2004
    See..thats the thing. I'm just thinking it would be great to have it portable so I can do my homework wherever I need to etc. The only thing is, I would really like it to perform well. It doesnt have to be "which is going to do it the best", I just sorta want to know if the powerbook will still do what I need it to, or if it would just be smarter to get the G5. I figure if i'm already spending about $4000 (CAD) on a powerbook, should I just spend the extra thousand or so and get a G5? Those of you that have laptops, is it more worth it to have the portability, or is it something I could/should do without?
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    graphic design using photoshop?

    a G4 powerbook will do just fine .....get lots of ram

    you would be surprised how much graphic design is currently done by working professionals using older G4 systems....and even G3 based machines

    just get a bunch of ram
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    definitely need a lot of ram!! for either system :)

    but you can get by no problems with a G4 powerbook, however just remember that the G5 is upgradeable and is more future-proof

    you will see a power increase over the G4, but again it depends upon you, i mean portability is a factor that only you can judge is how important it is to have, i thought that having a powerbook would get me to the library more, but not much, i mean its nice, and its as powerful as i need it to be, im no super power user either, so its not an issue for me

    in the end, if you think the power and upgradability are worth it i would defiantly go the Powermac route, but if portability is that big of an issue get a powerbook

    another thing to consider is getting the single G5 and maybe an older G3 or Ti book used for the portability, but i dont know what your budget is like
  6. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    Portability is amazing

    I must say, I could not be happier with my portability. I'm at college here in Canada and it is so nice to sit on my bed on the web, or take notes in class. Shoot, when the fire alarm goes off, I take it outside and sit in my car and do stuff for fun, like ichat. BUT! Although this thing is not slow by any means. The G5's are sooooo much faster! We have some dual 1.8's here in the lab and they just kick the butt of this thing. I've done photoshop, with one gig of RAM and it's not slow in the least bit. The only thing this is quite slow at is rendering video. It does take it's time where as I have seen G5's rip right through that. I recommend the Powerbook because for what you want, it will perform well. I just switched this year from PC and was in your shoes, although I did not have special requirements like you. I just knew I wanted a laptop. You will ALWAYS find new things to do with your new portability. I didn't think that I would be taking my computer everywhere with me just because I wanted to. Good luck
  7. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    Ask mymemory first...

    I do not work with Photoshop only but with Final Cut Pro wich is way more demanding. I am about to get Digital Perfomer for OSX, I am an Audio Engineer specialized in sound design and I have a masters in Multimedia from 5 years ago and my final set up is a 12" Powerbook G4 1Ghz, 1.256 Ram and external 160GB HD with a 20" Apple screen wireless mouse and keyboard (please get the wire once). And I can do EVERYTHING and still having the spectacular mobility of the PB.

    For what you need it would be the perfect set up, I bought a G5 dual 2.0 and I returned it because IT IS A PIECE OF S... and no one wants to admid it, I rather get another 12"PB instead.

    Attached Files:

  8. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    If you bought a single 1.8 G5 then the increase in speed will not be as much. The G5's do much much much much better when they are dual processor, because Final Cut Express/Pro are both MP aware and so is Photoshop. I can do Photoshop work just fine on an 800 Mhz iMac G4 with 768 MB of RAM. But I would highly recommend looking at a 15" PowerBook. And don't worry about screen real estate. You can connect an extra monitor very easily. You get a DVI->VGA adaptor with it (with the 12" PowerBook you get the miniDVI->DVI and miniDVI->VGA) so you have no real issues with connection. But go DVI if you can. VGA sucks if you do a side by side comparison.

    And get at least 1 GB of RAM, but the maximum amount of RAM is always nice...
  9. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    We are getting closer and closer to a PB upgrade though... so I would hold off a little bit and see what it is. It may be a big upgrade, it might just be a small speed bump with a better HD, etc. Still, it has been 7.5 months since the last update, so I would expect to see one in the next month or two.
  10. *Y* macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2004
    Have you thought about getting a middle line G5 and the lowest class ibook? That way you'll have power and portability.
  11. lukesk3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2004
    I've thought about getting the mid class G5 and an ibook, or an older powerbook or something...but I dont really want to have mid class stuff. I want one thing thats going to do everything I need it to. It sounds like if I can hold out a couple of months there could possibly be a nice update to the powerbooks...who knows. Its about the same price for a powerbook with 2gigs of ram as it is for a dual 2.0ghz g5 with 4gigs of ram...Its so tough. Do any of you know if I could possibly get the powerbook with the lowest amount of ram possible through apple, and then buy 2 one gig cards of Kingston or something? I dunnoo....it just seems sooo expensive.
  12. cschell macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2004
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Defnitely don't buy RAM through Apple -- too expensive. Go to www.crucial.com or OWC (www.macsales.com) and look at the RAM prices there. Much better.

    As far as which to get, I'm strugling with the same problem. I currently have a Dual 2.0 G5 at my job (art director for an ad agency) which is wicked fast (not sure what the poster complaining about how lame the G5 is is talking about) which was an upgrade from a 450MHz G4 tower.

    A friend of mine has the 17" powerbook and absolutely loves it. He uses the machine for everything and it works fine.

    I've worked on everything from a 180MHz 7300 to the G5 and I would say that of course the G5 is the best, but even my 500MHz G4 tower at home handles photoshop just fine with 1GB of RAM. It's really a gut call... a hard one, I'll probably end up picking up a powerbook though.

    Good luck, and don't worry, you'll be super happy with whatever you buy.
  13. cypher macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2003
    Hey is it ok to out that external HDD on top of the PB like that? Wont it damage the screen. Can it take that much weight. I'm always concerne about my PB when i carry it around in my backpack with book even tho its in a sleeve.
  14. thevessels macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2004
    hello - im actually picking up my 15 1ghz powerbook tomorow - and its commin with 768(or so) of ram - would you recomend going the extra for 1gig + to be well worth it ? ( i also do pro tools and graphic work )
    thanks !
  15. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    think of a 12"iBook + 1.8 GHz 20" iMac G5. costs about the same as a maxed out Powerbook but gives you enough power and screen size for the heavy duty tasks.
  16. Eevee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2004
    New Haven, CT
    I have a maxed out 15" PB (2 g RAM) and am thinking of purchasing an external monitor (23" from Mac), just like MYMEMORY. I use photoshop a lot and the extra memory helps a lot!

    I would also hold off on purchasing a PB since there might be an update, though not not a significant one.

    Good luck...

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