Powerbook or iMac G5??


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2005
I don't know what to choose. A Powerbook, or an iMac G5. I can get an iMac with 1GB of RAM with BT and airport for aprox 2 grand, or I can get a 15" powerbook w/Backlit keyboard for 2,299 (these are education prices). I have been unpateintly waiting for the powerbook updates hoping for a price drop. I'm an animation major in college but do most of the work in the schools labs, but would like to do some After Effects, Flash, and some other minor stuff on my own computer. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what would be best for me?? I'm looking for the best bang and longevity for my buck. I can't make up my mind! HELP!


macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2004
Ann Arbor, MI
Maybe I'm oversimplifying things, but if you need portability, get the Powerbook. If not, go with the iMac since you will be able to get more bang for your buck. Even if Powerbook G5's came out next week (which they won't), it would be probably at least a month before you could get it and it would be much more expensive.


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2005
I thought portability would be what I wanted, but not if I'm going to lose a lot of power along with money. But then again, it would be nice to take my mac wherever I go. UGH!!


macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2005

I'm getting to be quite a fan of this site! I have more or less the same question regarding animation on the iMac G5. How far can I go on a Mac? I'm still on a 2nd generation iMac G3 working on OS 9.2. It still runs fine but, being a designer, I'm starting to salivate at the thought of a total change of tech-scenery as far as physical looks of my next computer and getting to grips with OS 10.4 Tiger. *But* I don't want to go overboard with what I might or might not use on my new mac. I'm only starting to learn 2D animation and Flash but will like to continue on to learn 3D programs such as Maya, Alias Wavefront and Motion. Which Imac is the most upgradable?
Will the most upgraded iMac be able to handle my future aspirations or am I better off with a Power Mac G5? Thing is, I want a sleek all in one and can't really afford a Powermac plus 20+" LCD widescreen that the imac already offers.
Sorry for rambling, any help would be greatly appreciated!


macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
If you're considering a primary workstation,
I would have to recommend at least a dual 2.0 PowerMac for any serious
animation or graphics work.

The PowerBooks are great for portable needs, but that's still a lot of money
for a single G4 processor.

The iMacG5 also limits you with a single processor and very limited expansion capabilities.

The newest OSX pro applications take up a whole lot of hard drive space,
so that limits the capabilities of a PowerBook.

I was shocked to read that the new Final Cut Studio suite uses 45 GB's
of hard drive space including the app, templates, plugins and sound loops.

As 64 bit applications progress, I would imagine that you'll want as much
storage space and speed as you can afford.

The Apple displays are beautiful, but you'll get a whole lot more bang for your buck with a Dell 20" HD display.
I'd put my money into the fastest processor I could afford.

Either way, I would wait for the next PowerMac revisions before making any final decision.
You could get a fantastic deal when they reduce the prices on the existing lineup.


macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
Sol III - Terra
You will find that a PowerBook 1.67GHz and an iMac 1.8GHz are not that much different in most of the benchmarks. And the 1.5GHz Powerbook is not that much slower.

The G4 and G5 chips at the same clock speed will run a lot applications at the same speed. The G5 having a faster memory buss and possibly a faster disk will be faster for a few applications.

And since the current iMac G5 and PowerBook G4 have a 2GB limit on memory, the iMac offeres no advatage there.

So, if you want/need the portability go with the PowerBook, if not, then go with the iBook.
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