Should I ditch G4 iBook for PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by 512ke, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. 512ke macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    Bought my iBook to dabble. Ended up going crazy. Importing tons of video. Analog to digital video conversion. Huge iMovie projects. Tons of Garageband recording. Stuff I never thought I could do.

    Problem: I may be overwhelming my 1.2 G4 iBook. For instance my 14 GB iMovie projects beachball. My Garageband stutters with an overabundance of tracks. My 7,000 photo library doesn't scroll smoothly.

    I'd like to get into Logic, Reason, Final Cut Express and pro programs.

    My iBook has 512 memory. 60 HD. Do I need a different machine (say a PB), or would I be better served by amping up my iBook's memory, buying an external FW HD and investing otherwise?

    Two things I do adore about the iBook: battery life and Wifi range.

    Any advice would be appreciated esp by folks doing similar stuff. 512ke.
  2. crackrock macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2004
    Cracktown, USA
  3. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    You wouldn't notice a huge improvement in performance by getting a PowerBook.

    Upgrade the memory in your iBook and buy a big external hard drive.

    ... or, sell it and get a Dual G5. :D
  4. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    I'd say upgrade the RAM to 1 GB and get an external HD. I have a 1 Ghz 12" PB with 768MB RAM and a 200GB external HD and it crunches massive FCE files without skipping a beat. The render could go a little faster, but I think it may be because I'm using a USB HD and not a firewire one.

  5. 512ke thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    A firewire HD would certainly cost a lot less than a new 'book! Good to hear that your PB can handle FCP files.

    I'd love a G5. However, I greatly value mobility.

    Any recommendations for a particular firewire drive?

    Many thanks!
  6. mulletman13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2004
    Los Angeles.
    If you're on a budget, buy a 3.5" regular hdd, then get a firewire/usb enclosure.

    I spent about $90 for my 200gb Seagate Barracuda drive and Firewire/USB 2 enclosure with 2 internal fans, it's real nice and cheap :)
  7. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    I had an external FWHD from here for about 2 years.....worked without a problem.....though I sold it with my G4 iMac to pave the way for a G5 iMac with a 250GB HD.

    Also, I owned a G4 800 12" iBook from 12/03 - 3/04 and I loved it. But we then decided to sell it and get a 17" PB. It definitely outperforms the iBook.....but maybe not enough for you to justify spending the money to upgrade (since you wouldn't really get any more HD space).
  8. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    I am glad to here that the Powerbook 12" works so well, I just bought a Rev.B 1GhZ and can't wait to give it a work out.
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    upping to a gig of RAM would make a lot of difference. But even a 1.5 Ghz powerbook would slow down on some of the things you describe.
  10. 512ke thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    mulletman13, if you buy a regular hdd and get an enclosure, is that a portable solution?

    ("If you're on a budget, buy a 3.5" regular hdd, then get a firewire/usb enclosure.")

    Similar question to Jovian9. Thank you for the link ( How large is the unit?

    Is there a big difference in size and portability among hdd solutions, or are they all pretty much the same? Do you need an external power cable?

    Thanks again for your input.
  11. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    My thoughts echo those of the others.

    First off, you WOULD see a small performance improvement going to a PB. For:

    1) You can get another 300Mhz of speed in the processor.
    2) 167 FSB vs. 133 makes a slight difference.
    3) Faster ram.
    4) You could get a 5400rpm HD vs. the 4200rpm HD you have now.

    Would you see a difference... yes. Would it be worth the cost of a complete upgrade? Only you can answer but would say no.

    Some of your iMovie and GB problems are definitely being caused by lack of RAM.. go to 1.25GB of ram for sure. Next up is disc access time. Get a FAST external Firewire HD. 7200rpm minimum.

    I think you will see a noticeable improvement, at a reasonable cost, by doing these two things. Powerbooks are amazing, I love mine to death and do all of the things you mentioned above with it. I think you will find that the advice above would be to your, and your wallets, satisfaction though.


  12. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    the PB would be a nice upgrade, but i think it would be only minimal (dont get me wrong, i love my PB!) but for a significant jump i would go for G5 of some sort. or just upgrade the ram and get an 7200 RPM external drive. . . it might also be good to upgrade to a 5400 RPM internal drive to speed things up a bit. then in a couple years once your iBook is slow get a G5 or maybe a G6 by then!
  13. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Echoing everyone else; don't swap it for a PB. I did, waste of time, for such a small gain. OK, it is a lot more comfortable having more CPU power but at the end of the day... too much hassle & expense.
  14. 512ke thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    I really appreciate this advice. I was almost set to sell my iBook and buy a Powerbook. The cost would have been con$iderable.

    Instead I'm going to upgrade my RAM and buy a 7200 rpm external firewire drive.

    I will save a lot of cash for the future purchase of a G5, either tower or PB.


    (By the way I do have a 512ke Fat Mac. Still runs great. I also have a Centris 610 that works and a functioning PB 1400c. I just can't bring myself to do any "Spring Cleaning"...)
  15. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    It works flawlessly - I've never had a problem with it :). A RAM upgrade makes a big difference in performance so I would recommend it. I'd be happy to anwer any questions you might have.


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