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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

ibook vs powerbook plus a couple of questions


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speedydave
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I'm currently a high school senior running a WinXP Pro desktop. I'll be going to college after I graduate and would like a laptop that will act as a desktop replacement/stand-in. Things I will be doing with the machine include surfing the net, talking on AIM, normal word processing, spreadsheets, etc, playing around in Garage Band, dabbling in video editing (imovie unless I really get into it, then Final Cut Express), and HEAVY Photoshop work (this is the majority of what the machine will be used for). Price should be taken into consideration, but I'm not on a strict budget. Most of the Photoshop work will be image editing (color accuracy and overall sharpness of the screen is important), not graphic design, though I will do some graphic design. If I go with an iBook, it will be the 14", a Powerbook, the 15". I am aware that the powerbooks are lighter, slightly thinner and much more expandable, but beyond that I'm not really sure what the differences are if both have similar or identical specs. Some minimum spec suggestions would also be appreciated, since I'm used to Windows eating my system resources, so I'm not sure what I can get away with in a Mac. Also, any Mac-specific software suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, what kinds of things might I miss by switching to Mac, or what, if any, general disadvantages or complaints are there with the current Macs?

One last question: When does Mac/Apple plan on putting the G5 processors in their laptops? What kind of performance advantages, other than raw processing speed, do the G5 processors hold over the G4?

Thanks!
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macman88

 
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difference in tech specs? the processor speed is different. 1.33 to 1.67. the fsb goes from 133 to 167. the total ram goes from 1.25gb to 2. the hd max on ibook is 80, powerbook 100. video card, which should be a big concern for you is, 32vram in ibook, to 128 in powerbook. wireless and bluetooth standard in powerbook, only wifi in ibook. games, you will not be able to play newer games. sims 4 does not run on my specs at all. i would wait as long as you can to purchase, we may see the g'5s by the fall, or in a year.
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mynameis

 
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One of the big disadvantages for many is the lack of games support, if you don't play games, you'll probably be fine. There are some apps that they don't make for OS X, just check all the stuff you do before you buy, an example of one is AutoCAD.

No one knows when G5 laptops are coming, I think the reasoning is that as of right now they require too much power to be in a laptop.

Mac OS X LOVES ram, even if your PC system only has 512mb, you may want 1gb when you go to OS X.

I would go with the 15in PB if you are looking for a desktop replacement, it is more powerful and the screen resolution is a lot better than the iBooks, plus it can take advantage of some of the new things in Tiger like Core Image that an iBook can't because of its low-end GPU.
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walkerj

 
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I think the key words in your post as far as specs would be concerned are "HEAVY Photoshop..."

Some things Photoshop likes: RAM (above and beyond what Mac OS X likes), scratch disk space/speed, and screen resolution so you can see what you are doing along with access to your palette of tools. CPU is kind of a nice thing to have as well, but unless you are rendering a filter on a mural sized billboard that might not come into play as much as having the RAM and disk speed.

So with that in mind, I would not want any computer for photoshop work that was limited to 1024x768px screen resolution, which as far as I know is what the iBooks are limited with their internal screens. Take that for what you will, I am no expert. I use a mere Mac Mini for my Photoshop work, but I do it with an external CRT monitor at 1600x1280, and even then I wish I had another monitor for the tools sometimes. Actually a lot of times. This only for humorous type photoshop stuff for those sites that have contests, occasional impromptu graphics for my employer, and my own digital pictures. For anything approaching professional quality...well, you want as much computer as you can pack into that small space.

Anyway do with that advice what you will...and what you paid for it. :p
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djlee12

 
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Like in most situations, you would probably be able to get away w/ the iBook. However, since you aren't on a budget, and you will be using it throughout College and doing heavy Photoshop work, I would suggest the Powerbook. You are going to want to Laptop to be in existince for 3-4 years, and you will definitly see this from the Powerbook. The iBook, not so much. It all comes down to what you are comfortable with, since the Powerbook will clearly provide better preformance. And, since the G5 Powerbooks are most likely long off, it's not worth it to wait.

In the end it's going to be your choice. We can advise you one way or the other, but it all comes to down what your comfort level is.

DJ Lee

Watts Up Productions
www.wattsupproductions.com
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chouk

 
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am using an ibook and it's so sad that i can't run Motion due to its graphics card. Go for powerbook if you intend to do video editing.
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speedydave
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Thanks for all the help so far! I went to the Mac store again today (my sister is looking at an iBook) and played with a PB w/Tiger. I'm officially hooked. I'm set on the 15" PB, but now need to decide on what specs to set it up with. Ideally I'd like to pretty much max it out, but I'd like to keep cost somewhat low (the machine I *want* is about $2600 and I'd like to stay closer to the $2k mark for the system since I'll be spending more on software). Or I could max it out and just not upgrade for a very long time. :mac: Decisions, decisions...
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amendolair

 
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good choice. im currently using a 17" PB at college and I wonder how I ever lived without it. it will really make you more productive, and ( I know this is crazy) sometimes I actually like doing work, because I get to use my PB. have fun with it and good luck!
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embries
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Get the unit stock + video upgrade. Upgrade the memory yourself at some point when funds permit.
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rs2sensen

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by embries
Get the unit stock + video upgrade. Upgrade the memory yourself at some point when funds permit.

Exactly right. After that, upgrade her to a total of 1GB of ram. You should be able to find a 3rd party 512mb stick to throw in for around $55. Then you'll be cruisin!

I do very heavy design work on a 17" Powerbook with 1 GB ram, and it works perfect. What embries, then I, suggested to you would pretty much be the same thing I have, but with a smaller screen.

Have fun with the 15", you'll love it!
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speedydave
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A question about upgrading the RAM: I notice that the PB is only available with single RAM chips or with two matching RAM chips. For two chips, do they have to match (like the RDRAM/Rambus on my desktop has to), or can they be different sizes of the same type (PC2700 or whatever it is in the PB's)? I'm looking at getting the PB with the base 512mb and adding a 1gb chip for a total of 1.5gb of RAM.

Yeah, I'm crazy. :mac:
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rs2sensen

 
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I know on my 17" PB, there was one 512mb chip, that is the only way they come for the large models. I then bought another 512mb chip and installed that in the next slot. I could have gone with a 1 GB chip. The Powerbook can only take a total of 2 GB ram. The Powerbooks all take DDR 333 PC2700 ram. It must be that type of ram, but can be any "size" (ie. 256mb, 512mb, 1GB...).
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rman

 
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I see that everyone is recommending the 17" powerbook. I find the 17" to bulky for me. I like and use the 15", which I find is big enough to handle the things that I do.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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sarahsboy18

 
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I bought a 12" iBook for my wife and couldn't believe it when I started piecing together a 28" x 14" @ 600dpi fully textured skin (for a product box) and that cute little white beast actually pulled it off. That being said once I got my 17" PB and saw the difference... If you really mean HEAVY photoshop... or you plan to do ANY video editing, go with the PB for sure.

As far as the PB sizes the 17" is a great machine but if you are the go at all you are going to want a 15"... plus you could put the saved money into that extra RAM which you will definitely want... as much of as you can afford.

"If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptable." -Mitch Hedberg
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WireFire
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Personally, I would say just go with the basic combo drive configuration with a video card upgrade. That should leave you with sufficant funds to upgrade your RAM to 2 gigs later on.
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