What should I get for my Next Mac? Need some insights please!



Hey there!

I'm ready for an upgrade very soon! I will probably buy with in 3-6 months (I SURE HOPE!)

I need a new mac! I just am not sure which will be the best for me! Right now, I have a G4 400Mhz with a 20 GB HD- which is HARDLY enough space! I do have an external HD, but still...

What I'd like to do, is buy a new mac, and use my current one just for music. I am going to use it as a part of our whole-house home theater system. Which will allow us to listen to music anywhere in the house. I can't wait to do this!!!

So, with that in mind, my new MAC! To help understand which would be the best for me, I'm going to give you an idea of what my requirements are.

FIRST, I want top o the line! But I am not loaded, and it will depend upon how well my freelance pays me! I'm hoping to spend about 3-5K - or should I say earn this much! ( I Have a full-time job, so freelance is like my second job, i can only handle so many clients at one time!) but it still needs to be with in reason! I guess supplying me w/ a few different options based upon different price options would help!

OK, So, I'm art director/graphic designer. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Director, InDesign and so on.... I need a very powerful graphics machine that will be able to handle these graphic applications, as well as 3D apps. and graphics. I really would like to get into 3D design, and have dabbled a bit. But my G4 just is not the best support! I'd also like to get myself a wacom pad. AND add in a second graphics card-or have one installed that will let me hook up a second monitor.

Also, I'll probably utilize it for some sound and video editing. And would also like to be able to use it to play some intense-high graphics 3D games and the such. So I think I do need a top notch machine here!

Also, I would like to consider, if possible, a laptop such as the 17" G4. Can I get the powerful machine I want from a laptop? Since I already have a monitor, if I did get a desktop, I would only need the desktop tower, not the display. I am so hoping to get a laptop, but if it isn't going to give me the power I need, then it will be worthless to me! Although I really wish I had that mobility! I'd love to be able to use my MAC at work!! Right now, I'm stuck on a PC, unless I buy it myself.

So, with these in mind, I'm open to your suggestions!

Thanks for your insights!



Retired Staff
Dec 24, 2002
Reaction score
Los Angeles, California
Your Mac's Specs
14in MacBook Pro M1 Max 32GB 2TB
From your description you want a powermac, but you say powerbook. The problem is the graphics card. You will not be able to change a graphics card in the powerbook. The internal drive on a powerbook is limited to 80GB, whihc may not be a problem. If you are lookinag a dual displays, then you are looking a powermac. If you are looking at a mirrored display (what ever is being displayed on the powerbook will be displayed on the external monitor), then a powerbook is okay.

I think you need to narrow down your requirements more. What do you really want the hardware to be able to do and how you are going to use it.


Ask yourself how important portability is.....and what you'll be doing w/ your Mac @ work. I'm pretty sure a new 17" PowerBook will feel much faster than your current G4, but it sounds like you're in the market for a G5. Maybe one of those w/ an iBook or 12" PowerBook, and sell your current tower.


powerbook also do dual display; I do it all the time. If you go into your display settings when you have an external monitor hooked up...it lets you choose between mirror, or not mirrored.
and I use my powerbook for Photoshope, Illustrator, Indesign, Flash, etc....and have had no problems...and I have the 12"...which doens't have as good a video card as the 15 or 17"......so a 17" should be right for you....especially if you pump it up with ram....I have 768....and I kill things with my computer...I kill slow things....

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