What are your thoughts on my upgrade plan?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by owen-b, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. owen-b macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2005
    Hi all,

    I currently use a Powerbook G4, 1.5Ghz, 1GB RAM, 128MB VRAM, with a 100GB hard drive. I'm down to about 10GB space on the drive and it's starting to slow down. It's pretty much 97% of the time chained to my desk by a firewire drive, DVI cable, power lead, external keyboard, WACOM pad and ethernet, and is sitting on a stack of books to get it to eye-height, so the poor thing never has it's portability taken advantage of.

    Professionally I use it for my photography using CS3, and it's becoming a real chore to use, so I decided that I need to upgrade. Here's my plan:

    • Keep the Powerbook.
    • Buy either a 20" or 24" iMac (probably 20" as 24" seems extravagant and frankly stupidly wide, requiring an actual HEAD turn to scan across the whole screen!). I'm going desktop because you get good speeds for less money, I will have a Powerbook still for portability, and ergonomically a desktop will be better for my posture etc.
    • Upgrade the RAM in the iMac to 2GB.
    • Upgrade the hard drive to 250GB or even 500GB.
    • Buy a matching external hard drive size for backups.
    • Dump nearly everything except music and current projects off the Powerbook, freeing up vast amounts of it's hard drive space.

    At the moment, of course, I'm waiting to see when these new iMacs will be released.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? Advice as regards size? Anyone think getting a desktop is silly?
  2. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    sounds like a plan... but the end result is you keeping that PowerBook. Will you be using it later on? If not, you should probably sell it to help fund for the iMac
  3. curiosa863 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    I'm considering this too.
    I'll get a 24" imac after the update, and keep my ibook for portability.
    I think it sounds like an excellent plan.
    Especially if you've got an adequate portable.
  4. owen-b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2005
    Oh definitely - being able to take it on locations to download images to and work on them in brief lulls on a shoot (I do short film stills, for example) is invaluable. Also, if I go on holiday or anything, it's still an absolutely phenomenal machine that perfectly holds it's own with almost everything I throw at it. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm missing out on a HUGE power bump for Photoshop, and the ability to lug the PB round the house/on the road more often, I wouldn't need to upgrade.

    Okay, this is my next question - 24" looks amazing but in practice is it not a tiny bit wide for sitting right in front of? Is the resolution much higher than the 20" (may seem a stupid question but the 14" iBooks had the same res as the 12", which just made everything bigger)?
  5. Silverbird0000 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2006
    Fort Myers, FL
    I did the exact same thing a few months ago. I have a Powerbook G4 15" and it never really left the desk. I had it up on an iCurve and used a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I was thinking about going with a Macbook pro, but for less I could get a more powerful iMac. So I decided to get a 20" iMac fully loaded. The 24" is ridiculously big! I am very happy with my decision! I use the powerbook about once a month for going to my local coffee shop with wireless and the occasional photography outing. But not enough to justify getting a Macbook pro with a smaller screen than the iMac and for way more money! The only thing I wish I had was an external iSight for the powerbook for when I go on vacation I could keep in contact with family. I went to buy one a week after the discontinuation! I was so pissed!! They are selling on ebay for ridiculous amounts!! If anyone knows where I can get one for cheap seeing as I will only use it like once a year let me know! The iSight is the only external camera that I think is worth it!!
  6. owen-b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2005
    I'm afraid I have no idea about the iSight - what would you use it for? Web chats? I've never done that sort of thing although if I had loved ones, like my girlfriend, that I couldn't see for long periods of time then it would be great - but I only have my mum and brother and the phone is enough. :)
  7. Denali9 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2007
    20 vs 24

    I may be wrong and it's worth verifying with other members of the forum but the 24 Imac has a screen that is an 8 bits display and hence you would get to see a better color accuracy on it. Where as the 20 Imac is a 6 bits screen and use dithering to make your eye believe they are seeing millions of color.

    Since you mention doing photography and film, color accuracy may be an issue and hence the 24 may be better if I am right.

    BTW only an 8 bit screen has display angles above 170 and since the 20 and 17 inch have a viewing angle of less than 170, they are very likely 6 bits.
  8. owen-b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2005
    That's useful info for me too as I do photography processing on my 15" PB at the moment.

    Still, is it THAT crucial?
  9. curiosa863 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    The 24 is a lot of pixels.... It will depend on what the difference in specs is between a maxed out 20 and a fairly well loaded 24. If there is extra speed, bigger HD, more ram, more vram, I can see the 24 being well worth it, even if the screen itself is a bit of overkill.

    As far as the difference between the 6 and 8 bit... it depends on how big a factor color accuracy is for you. If you don't feel like your powerbook is horribly inaccurate, I'm sure the 20" won't dissapoint.

    The difference in resolution is:
    17-inch (viewable) 1440 x 900 pixels, millions of colors
    20-inch (viewable) 1680 x 1050 pixels, millions of colors
    24-inch (viewable) 1920 x 1200 pixels, millions of colors

    This is the current line-up, and I believe it is very likely that the next 20" will boast 1920x1200 pixels.

    I've heard that leopard will have a scalable OS GUI...
    So too many pixels won't really be a problem any more.
  10. owen-b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2005
    I've heard that about the scaleable OS GUI - what does that mean? (I know what the acronyms stand for but what does it mean?).

  11. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    definitely go for the 24"...I was pondering the same thing but once you're spending the money, it's better to go the whole 9 yards. Your plan makes a lot of sense!

    The iMacs might not even be upgraded for a while...in december I wanted to buy and so I waited for MWSF thinking I would get iLife and a new iMac even and nothing happened...if you need now buy. you can never win with technology :)

    it's a great time to buy because of the great promos (iPod, printer, etc).
  12. curiosa863 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Instead of the menu bar being 10 pixels tall on every screen, it will be 10 pixels tall on a low res screen, and 15 pixels tall on a medium res screen, and 20 pixels on an HD screen.

    These of course are just an example, but as screen resolution gets larger, the menu bar will get bigger. So you won't be squinting to see the time, or your battery life etc.

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