Which portable for a sound-recording and music-making system?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Esharpest, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Esharpest macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2003
    Hi all. It's my first post on the forums, so please be gentle....

    It's time for me to upgrade from my old vintage 1998 Beige G3 minitower (running at a whopping 233 MHz). It's faithfully running 10.2.8 but things are getting slower and slower, and I think the video chip is beginning to go. I've been saying for a while now that when I do get a new computer, I'll finally be able to get into digital audio. At the moment I'm not working professionally in music, but am hoping to get back into it - if only as an amateur for the moment - and have recently made some baby steps with some live (classical) recording work for others, and a few collaborations with local producers as a session player on keys.

    I'd say the 15" 1.25GHz is perfect except a) it's expensive and b) I'm going to be taking this machine to and from work every day. It's a twenty-five-minute walk, and the lighter and smaller the machine, I assume, the better. I'm sure I could take the 15" back and forth, it's only a pound heavier than the 12"; but I need to know if it's 'worth' that extra pound of weight.

    For what it's worth, I've got a 17" CRT at home and a 15" one at work that I can use for display spanning when I'm sitting at my desk (and yes, I'm aware of the iBook hack).

    I'm currently torn between the 12" 1GHz PowerBook and the 15" 1.25GHz PowerBook (along with a USB or FireWire interface of some sort and the usual software; we don't need to discuss that here). I'm going to need to be able to record several live tracks, edit and master etc. with something like Logic or Cubase; but I'd also like to experiment with production of entire tracks using virtual instruments.

    So I'm torn between the 12" 800MHz G4 iBook (I don't see the point of the 14" at 1024x768, frankly), the 12" PowerBook, and the 1.25GHz 15" model, in a BTO configuration with CD-RW instead of the SuperDrive. I've priced them out on the Apple Store, and (with .edu pricing, I love being a student!) the figures go like this (RAM prices from Crucial.com):

    iBook 12"/800MHz/CD-RW/768MB RAM/40GB HDD/WiFi/BlueTooth for $1277

    An extra $333 buys me a PowerBook 12"/1GHz/CD-RW/768MB RAM/40GB HDD/WiFi/BlueTooth for $1610, that gets me the (oh-so-pretty) aluminum case and 200MHz of processor with double the L2 cache (and arguably a worse GPU, I suppose!).

    For $441 more than that - $774 on top of the iBook! - I can have a PowerBook 15"/1.25GHz/CD-RW/512MB RAM/60GB HDD/WiFi/BlueTooth - another 250MHz of processor speed, a bigger screen in wide-screen format, a better graphics card and, of course, that nifty backlit keyboard.

    Do you think the $333 to upgrade from the iBook to the 12-inch PowerBook is worth it? Or, for that matter, the $441 to go from the 12" PB to the 15' 1.25? Any idea what the chances are that I'd have at least a year longer useful computing with the 15" 1.25 than with the 12"?

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks for your help....
  2. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)

    12" sounds perfect for you.

    i do audio with my Ti 15 just fine (live, studio, and virtual).

    there's an 867 12" in the Special deals section right now for 1199. that's one hell of a deal man.


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