Powerbook vs. Imac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Dave4311, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Dave4311 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2004
    am currently running a 15" imac, 800MHz, G4, with 1024 MB memory.

    I am considering upgrading to a 15" powerbook, 1.5MHz, G4.

    I am considering this because I am working with Final Cut Pro 4 and Photshop and the imac is just a bit slow for this. (I have edited a 50 minute documentary on it and it has held up fine). After this month I will no longer have access to the dual G5s at school and want something better than my imac that I can edit on fulltime. (I accept the fact that it will be a few years before I can have the G5 tower in a home studio :w00t: ).

    I need the portable Powerbook but am not sure what difference I will see in basically upgrading from 800MHz to 1.5MHz. I know I can load the Powerbook with memory and probably will. I am mainly editing film and not doing graphic design. But . . .

    What significant speed or power gains will I see?
    Is it worth getting the 128MB Graphics Memory?
    Is it worth getting the 5400 rpm harddrive?(what does this do?)
    and of course the million dollar question . . .
    Is it worth waiting for a G5 Powerbook(would the gains be that much better)?


  2. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2004
    As well as the sheer processing power effectively doubling, you'll be looking at a switch from SDRAM to DDR. That is, your ram efficiency will suddenly double as well. That being said, the gains will be significant. The architecture on the current Powerbook far and away beats that of your current iMac. Think about it. You're switching from the "i" series to the "Power" series. These things are named as they are for a reason.

    As for the graphics memory upgrade, do it, if only because it costs so little. As for the 5400RPM hard drive, you will notice faster access times, and it also costs so little that it can't hurt to do it while you're CTOing the machine anyway.

    As for whether to wait for a G5 Powerbook, as always, the rule is thus: If you can afford to wait, then wait, because no matter what, a better product will be released, even if it's only a speed bump. However, if you need the machine, buy it. Don't go worrying about how soon a product will be announced.
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I would wait untill mid-januar because apple will probably update the powerbook under MacWorld 2005 (ca. 10-15. jan)

    For videoediting the extra graphics memory won't help you much, except maybe in Motion (the app).

    A 5400rpm hd will speed the system up a bit, but an external FW800 hd will be more important. The internal HD is max 80GB (maybe 100GB after MW).
    You can get external HDs upto 1600GB and a 400 GB LaCie BigDisk extreme would cost you about $400 (this contains two disks @7200rpm).

    And yes, load the Powerbook up with memory!

    But get your RAM from another dealer than apple.
    Apple will charge you $1200 for 2.0GB RAM
    www.macsales.com will charge you about $600 for the exact same RAM!
    If you buy their brand you can get 2.0GB for $480.. it still has lifetime warranty
  4. Dave4311 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am still a little bit in limbo but am leaning toward purchasing the 1.5 15in PB.

    I figure the current version of the Powerbook has been revised a few times and is the best one yet. Kinks are worked out and it seems rock solid. It will blow away my imac, especially if I load it up with 2GB. I am actively editing FCP4 on my imac and have survived up until now - the jump to the powerbook will be nice, it won't be the Dual G5s in the editing studio, but neither would a G5 PB.

    Plus whatever PB comes out in January - G5 or Dual G4 - I won't see it until Feb 1st earliest and it will be more expensive and first generation. I might as well get the PB now with student discount, enjoy it, and revisit the G5 powerbook idea in 2+ years.

    Really, how much difference would I notice between a 1.5MHZ G4 PB or the possible release of a 2.0MHZ G4 or a 2.0MHZ Dual G4 or a 1.5MHZ G5 powerbook? :cool:

    -Thanks for the thoughts.

  5. jjmaximum macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2004
    Gainesville, FL
    PB vs iMac

    I own a 1.5PB w/ the 128 video, the 5400rpm HD and 1.5Gb of RAM and just bought the family a 1.8 G5 iMac. While I don't do much in the way of video editing, I don't notice any speed difference between the two...go with the PB.
  6. MisterGreen macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2004
    How much is portability an issue? You edit now on an imac... why not buy a G5 imac... it'll be quicker than the power book for editing... and cheaper...
  7. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    While I do believe that the Powerbooks will get a new revision in January (simply because they are due one according to Apple's historical 9 month average life cycle for Powerbooks). I agree with your comments Apple have now ironed out all the bugs in these PB's and are very reliable in my opinion.

    These current powerbooks can handle just about anything that you throw at them. I would plan to upgrade the Powerbook when Apple release the 2nd Gen G5 Powerbook. Also consider that even if Apple announce a new product in Jan, you might not actually get it for a couple of months, take a look at the 2.5 G5 shipping thread to see what I mean.


    I also completely agree with cluthz that you will need an External HD for the Powerbook. I have got a 15 Minute FCE project on my PowerBook at the moment and I am down to 20GB of hard disk space (on a 80GB Internal Hard Disk), however I do have a large iTunes Library on the Powerbook as well!
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    not likely, but it's not that far away so one could wait. powerbook upgrade in WWDC seems to be better guess.
  9. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    definetely. it's a must really.
  10. Dave4311 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks for the input. Two things - the portability is a must, I move my imac all the time, and - I keep all my FCP stuff on an external Lacie drive so no worries there.

    So the final decision factor . . .

    How much difference would I notice between a 1.5MHZ G4 PB or the possible release of a 2.0MHZ G4. And how much of a difference would there be between either of those and the slim chance of seeing a 2.0MHZ-Dual-G4 or a 1.5MHZ-G5 powerbook?

    -Thanks for the thoughts.

  11. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I would not worry much about the G5 PB or even a DCG4. From what is around the forums the predominate belief is that, if any (I hope something!) there will be a slight speed bump, maybe different vid.cards and updated screens, but the processor itself will most likely remain a singlecored G4. If the device is not a MUST HAVE INSTANTLY then you should just wait. It is only until mid-Jan, which is not that far off.

    I still do not own a Mac and I am quite excited to get one, but I might as well wait until after Jan 14 to get one to see if there are any new things I can benefit from.

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