Speed of the iBook, nay or yay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by wako, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    Alright, Im going to buying a Mac laptop soon. However still torn between a PowerBook and an iBook...

    I was wondering if there would be any noticeable difference in speed between the two. The applications I plan on using are, Word, Powerpoint, AIM, and probably watching videos (either divx or straight off a DVD). Would the iBook be able to handle all those applications running all at once? If I do get the iBook I would probably add an additional 256mb of RAM into it.

    Also is the iBook outter construction durable as the outter casing of the powerbook?
  2. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    Not really, if you are doing video as in making it, yes you will see a 20min. difference (I'm guessing on that) in how your video's transition etc., but for usage like that, its not noticeable. I got my iBook today from TechRestore and I love it. they are so light and portable. + My battery is like 4 hour charge, which is good from a used iBook. The Powerbook is more towards those who need high performance with video cards and processor speed. the 256 upgrade should do you fine. If you plan on getting serious into different applications such as Photoshop or that, just plan on getting more RAM. I say yes to iBook, the construction of the iBook I think is stronger.

    I also recommend Adium for messaging if you use Yahoo or Jabber or MSN or AIM.
  3. ibookowner2 macrumors regular


    Mar 29, 2005
  4. wako thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    What about heat? Which one is cooler? I have a laptop right now that can probably fry an egg...

    Also more importantly, what is the learning curve on a mac? I NEVER used a mac before, only windows.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Very easy to learn, and, if you get stuck, we're here :)
  6. rccola70 macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2004
    i *think* the iBook is cooler..but I don't know, my iBook got really warm today playing a game.

    Oh ya, and its REALLY easy to learn..its almost the same, except everything is easier. ( i really liked the organization in the Hard disk..)
  7. asqy macrumors regular

    May 3, 2005

    I've had experices of other peoples ibooks running ms word with typing lag...just a thought. I dont know if that happens with peoples powerbooks.
  8. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005

    If all you're concerned about is the speed for those applications, then by all means you should get the ibook. I use an 800 mhz titanium powerbook with 512 mb ram and a 1.25 ghz aluminum powerbook with 1.5 gb of ram, and am astonished at how little difference I perceive using the two. They both have the same speed hard drive (4200 rpm), which is the big bottleneck on the snappiness of applications loading on laptops. The only time I really notice a difference is if I have a ton of applications loaded at once and the tiBook has to start swapping, or if there's a lot of video intensive stuff going on, which happens pretty rarely.

    That being said, if I was making the same choice, I'd still probably fork over the extra for the powerbook. Once you load up with the extra ram (on the pb it comes standard), the airport extreme (or is that standard on the ibooks now?), the price ends up being not that far off from the 12" powerbook. The big advantage of the powerbook in my mind is the greater amount of video ram and the DVI output, so that you can plug it into a 20" or 24" lcd display and have the display look totally crisp. Given how cheap the dell version of the 20" Apple display is getting ($325 at one point), that's an upgrade path that I know I would take at some point, and adds a lot of life on to the machine as a functional desktop, even if I later get a different portable. Plus, I happen to think the screen on the powerbook looks a bit brighter and crisper, though maybe the ibooks in the apple store were just old.

    You can't make a bad choice, they're all good machines. Try and think about it in the long term, though. People tend to keep and run their apple laptops for quite a few years, so a few hundred bucks in that sense really isn't much.

    happy buying.
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The 12" PowerBook is currently a far better choice, especially when teamed up with a nice external display.

    If you can take advantage of the education discount, then the price difference
    is even a better value.

    Most new users find that what little learning curve they go through is all supported by a permanent case of the grins :D
  10. yklxcq macrumors member


    Jun 22, 2005
    for the heat thing, i got an ibook G4 1G for about 6 months, after 2 hours of listenting to music, suring web, the machine, especially your left palm,where is the HD located become a little bit warm, rather than that i do not think the ibook is a heater maker machine, very handy,quite, and cool; however, i should say PB 15 is much much nicer,which i bought after sold my ibook, but the price tag is a big issue:p
    And the learning curve on mac, i should say much much easier than windows, as i have been a windows use for about 5 years, and found the os x is so solid, and got much more friendly UI than windows, remember easy use is the main principle of os x.
    finally, get your mac, and happy ever after!
  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i totally agree

    when i look at pc laptops, it's like a minefield because there are actually bad choices out there and some pc laptops come full with too much junk you won't use, but still have to pay for

    apple really puts great software on their computers and makes the whole package a machine you and your family will find useful and easy to operate...people i have taught macs to take to it like a duck to water so if you ever need to convert a pc user or disciple a new computer user into the world, your mac could be shared with them or even given to them when you buy a new machine down the line
  12. wako thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    From some of the posts in this thread and other threads I've read I been hearing that the screen on the iBook isnt good or something? Whats wrong with it? I heard that it isnt as bright as that of the Powerbook but has more battery life?

    Anyhow so far from what I hearing there isnt much of a point going towards a powerbook, atleast for my needs because I wont really be using the extra video power, or the processing power. Im also not interested on hooking it up to a display because Im taking it to college and Im still bring my desktop with me. If I needed anything bigger I'll just simply transfer the file to my PC.

    So right now this is what Im thinking...

    I buy a 12'' iBook Combo Drive
    Upgrade to 60gb
    Upgrade to 1.25gb of RAM (Im probably going to wait for newegg to have some sale so I can get it for $100)
    And of course AppleCare

    So according to the mac website it should be 1199 just the system, hdd, and applecare, with student discount. Another 100 for the later RAM upgrade making it a total of 1300.

    I did read in another forum that there was a $100 mail in rebate for students? Where might I find that?
  13. runninmac macrumors 65816


    Jan 20, 2005
    Rockford MI
    The mail in rebate for $100 ended yesterday sorry. But there should be cram and jam coming up soon its were you get iBook or PB and get $200 to spend on a iPod. I think what you have for your iBook will be good and if you want to get a display there is a hack (that voids your warenty) for it.
  14. nightdweller25 macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
    Actually, I reccomend getting the entry level PowerBook, and up the ram from 512, t0 756, and with the student discount, it will only cost $1,467 dollars. I upgraded from a 1 Ghz iBook to the PowerBook in my sig and i noticed the difference in speed from the moment I turned it on. I don't think it's the processor alone, it's the combination of that, faster memory, faster bus, faster hard drive, and faster graphics. Get the PowerBook, you'll be able to squeeze out much more life out of it than the iBook. But I guess you could just buy an iBook and upgrade that more often, but whatever floats your boat.
  15. tsk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2004
    The screen on the 12" iBook and 12" PB is identical, so there is no difference in quality. If you look at the iBook and compare it with the PB (12" models here), the differences are: the PB is lighter, has screen spanning built in,better video, bigger HD, BT and can get a SD (I'm sure I missed some other stuff, oh yeah like the faster HD). The iBook gets better battery life and better wireless reception.

    Based on the specs you mention the iBook is $1200. The comparable PB is $1638. You would have to spend $$$ to upgrade either's RAM to 1280MB. The PB is definitely a nice computer, but based on your statements, I think an iBook will suit you fine and save you over $400.
  16. wako thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    Really the PB is lighter?

    I hadnt noticed that the pb is 4200rpm HDD and I had thought the BT was actually built in...

    Hmmm I guess Ill just take an extra week to think about it then... I was hoping to use to BT functionality and dont want to use the BT dongles..

    BTW what is this cram and jam thing Im hearing about? Anyone mind clarifying me on that? Free iPod?
  17. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    The PB's HD is actually 5400, and I believe the reason a lot of people say the PB's screen looks better then the ibook's is because the better video card in the PB. I know when I was at the Apple Store and I watched a dvd I thought the PB looked much better. My wife was watching the Fantastic 4 demo on the two and she said the PB looked much better. Don't forget the memory is faster in the PB to! :)


    oh, the cram and jam is a coupon that you get a $200 mail in rebate if you buy a laptop and a ipod together, i'm hoping they do it again this year very soon as i'm in the market for one of each!
  18. mxpiazza macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2003
    cleveland, oh
    in my opinion, the upgrades necessary to make the iBook comparable in speed to the lowest end 12" pb makes it like a $50 difference, and the PB is still faster. especially if you are going to hold onto the laptop for a while, i would reccomend going PB.. i went from a 12" 1GHz iBook to a 12" 1GHz powerbook, basically same specs, ram, etc. and the powerbook just felt so much faster to me... i guess it depends on how much you are using it, and what for, but for the difference in price, for me, the powerbook just makes sense.
  19. mikemodena macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    My iBook does so much for me, and yet yawns at me. Here's how I feel about it..

    Last Christmas I was dying for a Mac.. My stepdad (curse him.. he recently left my mom, his 10 month old (at the time) daughter (my half-sister), and I for a woman in Wisconsin.) was a total moron. He always went crazy with accessories. He bought me an iBook with 512 RAM, an external DVD burner, an external HD, Final Cut Express... it all came to be a little bit more than a 12" PB Combo Drive, which had everything built in... but I've grown so partial to the iBook line. I'm going to get a PowerBook when I graduate High School.. but for now this is my baby.. I love it so much I won't even touch it.. I use a 17" LCD and the BT mouse and keyboard.. and I had to buy a dongle for that too. ;) I also tossed a gig of ram in it. I barely ever get a beachball. I run Final Cut, Photoshop, and iTunes at the same time and I rarely see a beachball.. Given their not all processing at the same time. Just browsing I'm running Firefox (Macrumors of course) iTunes, AIM, Dashboard, and Limewire and it just speeds right through everything. The iBooks are sometimes underrated... so keep that in mind. A little bit of RAM goes a long way.
  20. johan_tanying macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2004
    PowerPoint on iBook

    Go for 1 GB RAM at once - you will regret it later otherwise. Especially if you are planning to make some more sophisticated presentations in PowerPoint - that app eats memory!! Running the Adobe CS suite also benefits from adding 1 GB - it is common at least for me to simultanuously run InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator with crosslinked documents.

    Authoring dvd:s and other heavy lifting I leave to my G5 at work; the same for using iPhoto with 17000 images - that is something you don't want to to with anything below a G5!

    iBook G4 12" 1,2 GHz 1.25 GB RAM at home
    PowerMac G5 2x1.8 GHz 1,25 GB RAM at work
  21. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    Actually if you buy a 1GB stick of ram to make the iBook have a full 1.25GB of RAM, as of 11:11CST, it only costs $144.27 which I don't think is that bad. But then again, that may be me.
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    My 12" PB 1GHz G4 is even worse than the iBook you're about to get, and yet my system handles everything you want to do, and much more. ;)

    Everything here is correct except for the first line. There was no difference in screens before the rev C 12" PBs. However, the 12" PB's screen is nicer now, but not by much. ;)

    Listen very closely.......the diff in GHz between the 2 systems is negligible, especially for what basic users do. In this day and age where we're talking about GHz, not MHz, this puny 0.3GHz isn't gonna make so much of a difference in terms of how long they last. They'll both become obsolete at the same time. :D In 2 years, your concern about 0.3 GHz will seem quite silly. Same with the bus speed (133MHz vs 166MHz....both crap anyway). The speed of the Harddrive matters a bit, but usually when opening applications. So a iBook will be a tiny smidge slower at opening apps.

    Sillyness? Lets talk about differences in thickness and weight. :p The 12" PB is 0.3 lbs lighter and around 0.2" thinner or something, but unless you have lost all muscle mass in your arms, you couldn't tell the difference. ;)

    The iBook is basically just the previous generation PB, except with much better battery life and WiFi reception, more durable outer shell, worse keyboard, slower + smaller HD, poorer video card, and no Bluetooth built-in unless you upgrade, but that's not a big concern for you.

    Get an iBook, save $400 by doing so, and add:

    - an extra 512MB or 1GB of RAM from Newegg or OWC. You'd need to upgrade RAM even if you got a PB, in my opinion.
    - upgrade to larger HD

    Done. :)

    Get it from the APPLE EDUCATIONAL STORE that's located on the right side of the APPLE STORE page. Its under the heading "More Stores," and 1 of the 4 links should say Education.

    No way. ;)
  23. gog macrumors regular

    May 13, 2005
    Jobs' kitchen cupboard.
    I agree with that. I recently chose powerbook over ibook on the basis that I can squeeze more life out of it. And once you up the RAM, HD, Bluetooth on the ibook the $ difference isn't so much. I'm still at base powerbook ram and it is ok for now. The greater speed and better graphics are a big bonus.
  24. mxpiazza macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2003
    cleveland, oh
    yeah, the 512 base ram on the new powerbooks make them that much more nice, although having 512MB spread over 2 SODIMMS is a kick in the pants :)

    if you are going to upgrade the HD, BT, AE, RAM, etc. on the iBook to make it do what you need it to do... just get the powerbook.
  25. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    For your needs I would recomment iBook loaded up with RAM and HD space. But PowerBook is so much more beautiful!

    Yes PB is lighter:

    PowerBook - 2.1 kg (4.6 pounds)
    iBook - 2.2 kg (4.9 pounds)

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