iBook vs PowerBook - which more suited to my needs?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm looking at switching from my PC (Athlon 1.4GHz, 512 MB ram) to a 12" Mac laptop. However, I'd appreciate some advice from those who've used them...

The main use will be typical web/email/music/WP etc, nothing too taxing. However, I also will be doing some of the following:

1) Photoshop Elements 2 - working with images from my 6MP camera. Nothing too fancy, just adjusting levels, colour correction, USM, that sort of stuff. JPEG file sizes from the camera are around 2.5-3 MB, RAW images around 6 MB.

2) DV movie editing - I'm currently using Pinnacle Studio DV 8 on my PC, and it's more than capable of doing what I need to do. I guess iMovie will do the job for waht I need, but will it run very slowly (bearing in mind that I'm not planning in doing anything too fancy)?

I know the 12" screen will be small for this type of work, but I have a 19" CRT monitor that I could span across (native on the PB, with a hack on the iBook, IIRC?), so that will help. However, I'd like a 12" laptop because they are even more prtable than the larger ones. Oh, and they look so cool 8).

My first instinct is to go with the iBook, as it's cheaper, and would hopefully cope with the tasks that I need it to perform. However, I'm aware that I would really need to increase the RAM, (definately on the iBook, possibly on the PB), so by the time I'd got the iBook to similar levels as the PB, the price difference has decreased. So should I just bite the bullet and go for the PB, and take advantage of the G4 over the iBook's G3? And finally, I want to be able to write CD's, not too worried about writing DVD's.

Thanks ,



  • Reply 1 of 10
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    go with the PB...
  • Reply 2 of 10
    ericj551ericj551 Posts: 89member
    and don't buy Apple RAM.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    save your money...

    get a 900 combo with a 512 stick of ram and an iPod

    its a better use of the money... you get a 900MHz lappy with, 640 megs of ram and an iPod versus 867 and 256 ram...

    but if you are willing to toss out the stock 128 module that comes with the G4 and throw a 512 in there and don't care about the iPod, you are probably better off with the G4.

    battery life will be about the same because of the DDR ram on the G4.

    will you be getting airport? if not you really should consider it... so liberating!
  • Reply 4 of 10
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    802.11b is far faster than necessary for even the fastest broadband. I say go w. the iBook. The are mature (instead of rev. A), and are basically the same computer in terms of speed and size. Max the Ram immediately. I recommend eshop.macsales.com, I've bought a HD and 1024MBs of Ram there in the past. AVOID coast memory/1-800-4-memory as they are sheisters.

    And screw the airport base station. Buy a US robotics 802.11b wireless broadband router. 3 ethernet ports, wireless, firewall, printer sharing (ask me how) for about $100 USD.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    digitaldavedigitaldave Posts: 445member

    Thanks for the replies . You're not making this easy though .

    One thing I'm not sure about... The iBook is a G3, whereas the Powerbook is a G4. For photo editing and home movie editing, wouldn't I be better with the G4? However, if the general opinion is that the G3 @800/900 MHz would perform at similar speed to my current 1.4 GHz Athlon in Photoshop Elements or when editing movies, then that would be fine for me, and save me some moeny .

    Does any one else have any more suggestions?


  • Reply 6 of 10
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    I've been telling people to get the iBook lately but for your usage you may want to consider the 12" Powerbook. The same size (a bit thinner) and packs G4 power with all the modern stuff like DDR-RAM, Airport Extreme, and a better video card.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    No problems with the 12" PB so far. To avoid the spanning hack, you never know when an Apple update might fool with it, and to get the altivec power that your intend use is crying for, get the PB. Not to mention a better case, and I/O.

    G3's are very close to the end of their lives, the G4 will go farther.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    augustwestaugustwest Posts: 157member
    I tested the powerbook and the ibook on "basic" photoshop transforms and didn't see much of a noticeable real-life difference (of course the powerbook was faster). I would say go with the ibook until the powerbook is seriously revamped.

    I actually opted for an ibook/g4 tower combo. I must say that even though the tower screams in terms of speed, I am partial to the ibook, because it's just, well, cute!

    When the day comes where I can get a 10 inch powerbook with lots o power, and an adapter for an apple flatscreen monitor, then I'll seriously consider selling my stuff on ebay. Otherwise, I'm very satisfied.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    stevesteve Posts: 523member
    The one major decision for me when I got my PowerBook was of resolution: 1024x768 is not adequate for regular, extended use in Mac OS X. It's fine for maybe checking some emails while you lay on your couch while the opaque exterior warms your tummy, but if you want to hunker down with some actual work, it can be insanely cramped and frustrating. At least the PB12" gives you an external monitor option.

    I seriously wouldn't want the hassle of dealing with some iBook video hack, especially if it required a restart here or there. Is it worth $300 more? Maybe not. But if you can step up to a G4, among other cool bonuses, why not?
  • Reply 10 of 10
    How long do you want this computer to last ?

    I do everything you mentioned on a 466 G3 iBook ... sure, PhotoShop rendering is a little slow, but the new iBooks have a faster G3 and a faster bus ... it'll work just fine.

    The G3 is getting a bit old though, (as someone else already mentioned) .... If you want this computer to still be able to run new software 2 years from now, you'd better go with the G4.

    two cents
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