Powerbook vs PowerMac. . .

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Right now I have a powerbook G4 Ti 1Ghz, loaded. It's pretty cool, but I'm thinking about replacing it sometime within the next 6 months or so.

I use my mac to do mechanical CAD and industrial design, so I use some pretty heavy apps like FormZ, ElectricImage, etc, and often have to do a decent extent of 2D work in Photoshop, often with very large files. It would certainly be nice to have some big performance, but I really like being able to carry my powerbook around.

I would be pretty cool with a G5 powerbook, and I'd probably get the 17". But it doesn't look like we're going to see those any time soon. Alternatively, I could keep my Ti and get a G5 plus monitor. That would be a good solution, but it's a lot of computer, and thus a lot of dinero.

So, adequately loaded G5 + big monitor =

($5,269.00)0.8 - $500 = $3715.2

Not too bad, really. It would be more expensive than the powerbook by about $1300, though I'd have 23" + 19" flat panels. . . that's pretty serious screen real estate. Though I'd also be able to sell my powerbook for, let's say 1200 if I got the powerbook. So that's $2500 difference.

Are there any graphics people out there who can tell me that the next gen Dual G5 is worth $2500 more than the next gen powerbook? (cough Leonis, cough) It's also worth noting that I do a lot more modeling than rendering/animating.

Yes, I have a Select membership at ADC. . . pays for itself.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    dmgeistdmgeist Posts: 153member
    As a Graphic Artist screen size is important, but yes it is good taking your work with you places. So maybe you might ask your self how much time do you spend at home, and if it worth not being able to be mobile.

    Plus the power mac is usually going to have a slight advantage as far as speed is concerned for the laptops are throttled back some. The choice is yours, but as far as G5 laptops are concerned im not holding my breath.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    I am kinda in the same situaton you and I've made up my mind to wait for the 17" G5 PB.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member

    Originally posted by ThinkingDifferent

    I am kinda in the same situaton you and I've made up my mind to wait for the 17" G5 PB.

    LOL i hope you're not losing business because of it--you're gonna be one bankrupt mac user.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    gsxrboygsxrboy Posts: 565member
    filmmaker2002 did a test of his new 17" 1.5ghz laptop vs his dual 1ghz desktop in FCP tests (similar ram in both) .. the lappy was faster and that was with him using a slower version of FCP on the lappy..
  • Reply 5 of 6
    shetlandshetland Posts: 1member
    My 2 ¢,

    Interesting about the 17" laptop results. I wouldn't mind looking at that link, if that's something you have handy.

    While I am a part-time grad student, I still work full time, doing mostly tech/sci visualization. So, I use a number of FPU intensive apps (3D, matlab, etc), and thus the "speed" of the computer is quite important. You have to ask yourself, what percentage of time/work, are you involved in apps that rely more on FPU vs integer - e.g, electricimage vs final cut. For the former, there can be a huge difference in productivity comparing laptops vs desktops, and until the recent addition of the dual G5, a considerable performance penalty using the Mac vs a PC. I know...I suffered much angst with the decision to go PC for the 3d/matlab portion of my work. I still happily use my Mac(s) for 2d/video.

    I recently purchased a dell latpop, thinking that I could get some work done in-between classes at school etc, - i considered purchasing a powerbook, no, actually lusted over a powerbook, but thought given my requirements, that the dell would be offer more performance. The reality is, that this kind of work pretty much demands a desktop, with large amounts of screen space, and the requisite cooling to avoid overheating - when I start cranking on the dell (and it is a fast mother - though if I ever need to work out with weights, it would come in handy here too!), the fans come on something awful. I realize now, that I should have bought a low end powerbook, it would have been much lighter, more than sufficient for 2d work, internet, etc and the occasional 3d touchup, and a hell of a lot cooler

    That said, I am really anxious to move completely over to the Mac, and when the next round of G5's come around, I'm jumping on it. The current crop performs quite admirably (in fpu, 3d render speed) to comparable PC systems as we all know. I expect that the next round will maintain that status quo, and I would prefer to be on the Mac if at all possible.

    So, if you do more video/2d, the powerbook would be fine (and i agree, that a G5 powerbook would make life so much easier , but if the percentage/time leans more towards the cad/3d, there is no comparison between the laptop and a dual g5.

  • Reply 6 of 6
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Right now I'm leaning towards the laptop solution, maybe waiting for the freescale G4, whatever. I have some Athlon's that are happy to be renderslaves, and EI can distribute renders right out of the box.

    Also, EI Universe modeler isn't written too well. That is, it's single threaded. Most of the complex, spline-modeling I do is in EI Universe Modeler. It also makes heavy use of OpenGL, so the 128MB graphic card would be a must. So a dual G5 isn't going to help me all that much, I wouldn't think, except for rendering. (EI Animator and Camera, the rendering app, are very well written, and Camera has a particularly good multiprocessor capability.) Plus, EI renders so damn fast that even the high resolution stills I crank out don't take all that long. If I were using Lightwave, C4D, or worst of all 3DSMax to render, I'd be much more worried about render speed. The only time where I know it would be nice to have a Dual G5 is when I'm doing product visualizations and have to test render all the time, use transparencies, etc.

    Even so, I would really LIKE to have a dual G5. I guess it's just a matter of how much money I have -- or can expense -- in the next few months. But I think the combination of my inclination and shetline's input have solidified my lean towards the laptop.

    And shet, I'd love to see some of your sci/tech visualizations. . . I used to do that kind of stuff all the freakin' time.
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