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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?" :)

Pbook v ibook?


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misskool

 
Member Since: Jun 01, 2004
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hi guys,
i'm trying to decide if it's worth the extra money and buying a pbook instead of an ibook. i will be doing quite a bit of graphics work on it so will definately need the 15' monitor.

basically, i will be running final cut express and photoshop. and the usual word-processing stuff. will there be a noticeable difference in speed between ibook and pbook?

and does anyone know when the next upgrade will be?

thanks a lot!
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witeshark

 
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For those uses you'll be more happy with a Powerbook and it's higher system bus speed
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Graeme43

 
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It is worth the extra money. Everything is better in a PowerBook!

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schweb

 
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I may be in the minority. I don't think it's worth the extra money. But I like the iBook G4's.

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MoltenLava
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I am also in the minority to prefer the iBook.

I personally don't understand the price premium on the PowerBook. The performance difference if any is marginal at best. The only issue I see with iBook is 640MB limit in the total memory. If you require application that use a lot of memory, 640MB is not going to be enough.

Also, if you are thinking about getting a laptop that has larger than 12" screen, ask yourself, do you really NEED that screen ON THE ROAD? If you do, great, you should get the laptop with large screen. Otherwise, it's actually cheaper to buy a 12" laptop and 17" or 20" LCD for home use. Sure, everyone wants a large screen. But do you need it on the road??
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Graeme43

 
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My iBook has 768MB RAM and the limit is 1.25GB

I just wish the iBook had more VRAM and higher resolution

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Absolute Zero

 
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You basicly answered your own question, get the 15" PowerBook.
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MoltenLava
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme43
My iBook has 768MB RAM and the limit is 1.25GB

I just wish the iBook had more VRAM and higher resolution

Doh! I stand corrected. 640MB limit must be from iBook G3. 1GB DIMM is still pretty rare, but I am relieved that my iBook can be extended beyond 640MB in the future.

Yeah, if the 14" iBook comes with 1400x1000 screen I'll buy it without even blinking.
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ratz
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If you are doing Graphics/Video work I would go with the Powerbook. I bought my Mac when going to school for Design and wish I would have bought the top of the line now because my machine is pretty much outdated. My next machine will be a 15" Powerbook, maybe by then they will have figured out how to get a G5 into a Powerbook. I would go for the 17" but man I don't know if I want to lug that thing around. I do digital photography with a Canon EOS 10D also and want to be able to take all of my gear and the Powerbook so I think the 15" is best. At home I will use another monitor and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
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Aptmunich

 
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I think for video editing you might want the powerbook IMO...

I've done a little bit with imovie and the ibook, and rendering effects etc. takes AGES... i doubt it would be much faster on the powerbook, but even a bit could make a difference if you're editing video on a daily basis...
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MoltenLava
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I don't think Powerbook is any better than iBook in video editing. The only major differences between the Powerbook and iBook are processor and bus speed, videocard and amount of maximum memory.

Processor and bus speed are about 10% difference, which will yield 2-3% practical difference running applications. Not a big deal.

Powerbook has better videocard, and the difference is in 3D rendering only. You will not notice any difference running OS X, as Quartz Extreme is not a demanding 3D app. The only measurable difference will be the frame rate when running FPS games like Unreal, and I don't think the difference is greater than 10%.

Memory capacity might have the biggest impact. If you run applications that demand a lot of memory, 1.2GB limit may be an issue for you. Again. not a big deal with average users.

The performance difference between a Powerbook and an iBook is much smaller than a Mac and a PC, i.e. not a big deal.

The real difference between a Powerbook and an iBook is in packaging.

If you want a screen larger than 14" and higher resolution than 1024x768, Powerbook is the only choice.

The Powerbook has newer aluminum case which is lighter than iBook's polycarbonate plastic. I personally prefer iBook's look and style, but it's a personal choice.

Powerbook comes standard with Bluetooth and Airport, where they are optional in iBook.

Powerbook has cool backlit keyboard where iBook doesn't.

The fastest processor available on the Powerbook will be faster than the fastest processor on iBook at any given time. Also the standard disk and memory will be larger with Powerbook. That's because Powerbook is marketed as a premium line of the notebook.

Note that most of those do not really affect performance. The performance is not really the factor between the Powerbook and iBook.
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ratz
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misskool didn't say she was the average usre she said she had "quite a bit of graphics work" and "will be running final cut express and photoshop".
I consider the average user to be using MS Office and the internet.
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MoltenLava
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratz
misskool didn't say she was the average usre she said she had "quite a bit of graphics work" and "will be running final cut express and photoshop".
I consider the average user to be using MS Office and the internet.
And this I think is the common misconception among the users. Tell me why Final Cut Express and Photoshop would run faster on Powerbook. They are no different than MS Office and a web browser. Just because you are not familiar with certain application it doesn't make them run faster on Powerbook.

Don't take it personally though, I am just not comfortable with misguided advices such as "fixing permission will make your computer run faster", "video processing runs faster on Powerbook", "delete cookies and cache if your browser crashes", "you can't use PC memory on a Mac", and the list goes on.

IMHO misguided advices are worse than no advice.
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ZenithApricot
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I went with the PowerBook - because it was lighter weight. They looked pretty much the same to me.
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technologist

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoltenLava
And this I think is the common misconception among the users. Tell me why Final Cut Express and Photoshop would run faster on Powerbook. They are no different than MS Office and a web browser. Just because you are not familiar with certain application it doesn't make them run faster on Powerbook.

IMHO misguided advices are worse than no advice.
This is really an oversimplification, but it's not without a basis in fact.

We're assuming, of course, that a PowerBook is faster because it has a faster CPU clock rate. Since we're comparing Apples to Apples, this is almost certainly the case: an task that requires x amount of time on a 1.2GHz G4 iBook will probably require less-than-x amount of time on a 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook, regardless of whether we're reading a web page on cnn.com or exporting a movie in FinalCut.

Digital video and photo editing applications typically involve large amounts of data and complex calculations (often floating-point math). Word processing consists mostly of memory operations (loading and storing [small amounts of] data.) Rendering web pages is only slightly more complicated; here, the bottleneck is usually your internet connection.

It's not uncommon to have Photoshop filters take several minutes to complete, and digital video filtering, rendering, and encoding can take several hours to process, even on a "fast" computer. [Most of this time is procesor-bound, ie; the speed of the CPU is the bottleneck, and not the memory, disk, etc.] Displaying a web page usually takes a few seconds at most, most of which is download time. A 10% increase in processor speed makes no noticeable difference in how fast Google appears; there's no difference between 0.9 sec and 0.8 sec as far as human beings are concerned. If you're a media professional working with PS or FC, though, it can mean several hours of productivity over the course of just a week. For these people, the faster processor in a PowerBook makes it worth the investment.

[Edited for somewhat better clarity]
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