Speed: New 1.5Ghz G4 PowerBook versus my 500MHz G3 Pismo?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by atari1356, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    I'm considering purchasing a new PowerBook... either the 1.5GHz 15" or 17". Right now I do okay with my 500MHz G3 Pismo and publish articles online with it every day, and even do a small bit of photo editing with it in Photoshop despite only having 256MB RAM.

    I just bought a video camera and played around with iMovie, and the speed of processing transitions and effects is pretty slow. So, I went to the local CompUSA and tried out iMovie on a 1.33GHZ PowerBook.... and honestly it didn't seem all that much faster. What gives? I would have thought it would be at least twice as fast as my machine. Does iMovie depend a lot on hard drive speed? I also tried it on a Dual 1.8GHz G5 and it was speedier, but still required a lot of sitting around and waiting.

    Are my expectations too high? Or is my test with iMovie just not a good indicator of how much faster the new PowerBook would be? I need a reason to justify spending $2500 for a new laptop... the superdrive is nice, but I could just get an eMac for $999 to have that feature.
  2. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    You should see a pretty nice boost from the new PowerBook. I'm not sure why you didn't with the unit that you demo'ed in the store. Those machines tend to get used and abused so maybe that is a factor.

    Video editing is mostly dependent on processor. The G4's AltiVec will help tremendously over the G3 not to mention the much higher clock speed. Fast hard drives are also important for video. Is Apple putting a 5400rpm drive in the PB or is it still 4000rpm or so? You can always get an external firewire enclosure and put a 7200rpm drive in there.

    Also remember that you don't have to "sit and wait" for transisitions and effects to render in iMovie. They will render in the background and you can continue editing and creating your masterpiece. I find that I don't even notice rendering because I'm so busy editing clips, etc.

    This was probably the last G4 PowerBook so you may want to think about it. There is hope for a G5 PowerBook in the fall, probably early 2005 is more likely. But those will be Rev A and may have issues. It's a tough spot to be in right now. Go to another store and test again.

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