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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > PowerBook G4 17-inch 1.5GHz OR Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5GHz

View Poll Results: PowerBook G4 17-inch 1.5GHz OR Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5GHz
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PowerBook G4 17-inch 1.5GHz 15 votes (48.39%)
Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5GHz 16 votes (51.61%)
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll
PowerBook G4 17-inch 1.5GHz OR Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5GHz
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davisrg
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Sep 21, 2004, 11:18 PM
 
For approximately $3000.00, one could purchase a Dual 2.5GHz G5 OR a pretty maxed out PowerBook G4 17-inch ... which is the better value? Buy the G5 and then maybe a cheap iBook for portability, or get the "portable desktop" ... being the G4 17-inch ??? Opinions from those who have used both? What CAN'T the G4 currently do that demands a G5?
PowerBook G4 12-inch 1.5GHz/1.25GB/80GB/SD
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icruise
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Sep 21, 2004, 11:24 PM
 
What do you do with your computers? I don't think there is any one answer that will fit everyone's situation.
     
davisrg  (op)
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Sep 21, 2004, 11:30 PM
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Icruise:
What do you do with your computers? I don't think there is any one answer that will fit everyone's situation. [/QUOTE

Software development, web page development, some video editing, plus general use ... iLife ...etc.
PowerBook G4 12-inch 1.5GHz/1.25GB/80GB/SD
Apple Certifications: ACPT, ACDT
     
icruise
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Sep 21, 2004, 11:37 PM
 
I don't think there is much of anything that demands a G5, but there are things that will benefit more from it. It doesn't sound like you're doing anything that would particularly tax a G4, but of course a G5 would nice. The main question is whether or not you need portability. If you don't mind always using the computer in one spot, then get the G5 (by the way, are you including a monitor in the costs for the G5?) If you think you might need to do some mobile computing, even just working around the house, a PowerBook would be a good choice.
     
azdude
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Sep 21, 2004, 11:38 PM
 
Originally posted by davisrg:
Software development, web page development, some video editing, plus general use ... iLife ...etc.
If you don't explicitly *need* or REALLY want the portability of a laptop, the PowerMac is almost certainly a better investment...

...however, don't forget to factor in the cost of a display for the PowerMac.
17" 2.33GHz C2D MacBook Pro / 320GB / 2GB
     
MrForgetable
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Sep 22, 2004, 01:50 AM
 
I would recommend getting a nice Dual 1.8 or 2.0GHz PowerMac G5 with a nice cheap iBook G4.
iamwhor3hay
     
powerduck
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Sep 22, 2004, 02:08 AM
 
Originally posted by azdude:
If you don't explicitly *need* or REALLY want the portability of a laptop, the PowerMac is almost certainly a better investment...

...however, don't forget to factor in the cost of a display for the PowerMac.
And the 17" seems more like a portable desktop than a laptop. Now, if I were given the choice between a 15" Al book and the G5 desktop, I'd go with the Powerbook any time. Fits in my backpack, can do everything I need.
     
sworthy
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Sep 22, 2004, 02:52 AM
 
Originally posted by MrForgetable:
I would recommend getting a nice Dual 1.8 or 2.0GHz PowerMac G5 with a nice cheap iBook G4.
Seconded.
     
scottkleinberg
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Sep 22, 2004, 07:25 AM
 
I think I'm a good person to reply here. I spent the last 2 months deciding between a powermac G5 and a 17 inch G4 and just last week I made my purchase. And the winner was ... the winner was ... the ... Powerbook.

Why?

I fell in love with portability when I got my first powerbook 3 years ago. Then, I didn't need it. I had an iMac and didn't do much outside the house. I went through a divorce and got very depressed and needed something to get out of the house. The answer for me was a laptop.

And even though I'm much better today, I still love the portability factor. It's powerful enough. Now, sure, I can't run Motion in real time, but I wouldn't anyway. And it takes 6 bounces to start Photoshop instead of one. But that's ok. I love knowing that I can go to Starbucks and take out the laptop and just enjoy life outside the confines of my walls.

I think that's a big factor. Where do you want/need to use it. If you are sitting at your desk thinking ... man, I wish I was outside, you'll be upset that you have the desktop. And vice versa, of course.

As for getting both, that wasn't an option for me, but if it is for you, then what the heck. That's one solution that gives you the best of both worlds.
     
Frogmella
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Sep 22, 2004, 08:37 AM
 
I've been struggling with a similar dilemna, but with less cash to splash, and have settled on the cheapest G5 configuration I can find - which turns out to be an iMac G5.

The reason is simply that I don't want to get left behind when Apple make their next big OS steps - maybe around 10.5, when the 64-bit enhancements will really start to be worth having.
     
g4zilla
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Sep 22, 2004, 09:12 AM
 
Originally posted by davisrg:
For approximately $3000.00,etc., etc...
The G5 is an awesome machine...just as long as you never want to take your hardware with you. I've got the 17" PB, and am extremely happy!

My "stationary workspace" has a second monitor, Bluetooth keyboard, Kensington trackball, Wacom tablet, and external FW HD (200 GB). Unplug it all at the end of the day, and away the PB goes, traveling with me wherever I go. (I feel a theme song coming on...
     
bojangles
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Sep 22, 2004, 09:33 AM
 
FYI, if you’re planning on going the G5/iBook route, my wife and I have exactly that configuration: a dual-2GHz Rev.A G5 and an iBook G4/800. The G5 is wonderful, but with the way my wife uses the iBook, it gets really bogged down, really quickly: she’s the type that always has about twenty Safari windows open—up to ten tabs in each. Anyway, point is that that much Safari severely overtaxes the poor little iBook, and she’s gotten into the habit of restarting it every morning. (Yes, we have Energy Saver set to restart it every night, but she rarely has everything saved and even when she does, that much Safari is just too much for the poor ’Book to close before the shutdown times out.)

Bottom line: the iBook is great for portability—I certainly wouldn’t trade it for an iMac—but if you do anything intense, you’ll probably miss your G5 while you’re on the road.

Just my 2˘.
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never tell if they’re attributed to the right person.”
—Abraham Lincoln
     
SEkker
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Sep 22, 2004, 11:44 AM
 
I voted by buying the PB17 a year and a half ago, when the speed difference was not so noticable.

At this time, I would love a high end desktop machine from time to time, but I live with my PB.
     
maxx9photo
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Sep 22, 2004, 12:55 PM
 
For home I'd vote the powerMac G5, outside I'd prefer a pb 12" w/same performance & features as 17".
     
mpetrides
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Sep 22, 2004, 04:46 PM
 
My uses are similar to yours and I can tell you that since I got my 17 inch Powerbook, my 2 desktop Macs (a flat panel iMac and a DP450 G4 tower) go unused.

I, for one, will hold out for a G5 Powerbook, even if it takes another year to arrive.

There's not a whole lot I can't do as fast as I need to right now with the 17 inch PB and the convenience of being able to take the PB where ever I want to use it is simply too compelling. And using one machine for everything avoids that annoying version control problem that I kept having when I used both a desktop and a laptop (re: your query about a G5 tower plus an iBook or low end PB).

Granted, if I did an enormous amount of work in Photoshop, lots of 3D rendering or video editing, my perspective might be different., but that doesn't sound like a major component of the use you will be making of a new Mac.

Marian
     
kentuckyfried
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Sep 22, 2004, 05:51 PM
 
It'll take forever for that G5 powerbook to come out....and just think, you probably won't want to buy a REV A machine when it does come out.

I recently sold my laptop in order to get a 1.8 G5. LOVE IT!!
The beautiful thing about desktops is that you can always upgrade the memory and video card as needed. Neverwinter Nights runs beautifully on it. When I had the laptop, I was mainly using it at home as a desktop. There still weren't alot of WI-FI cafes for me to frequent so I was not taking it out much.

If you really need the portability, just get the laptop. It will work for most people's needs, but it isn't a gaming machine. Otherwise, I'd stick with the G5.
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
     
SEkker
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Sep 22, 2004, 11:01 PM
 
A nice Apple laptop will change your use of the computer, if you've not used one lately. They really are a portable desktop machine.

The main advantage of the desktop is the nearly infinite storage space. I find this 60 GB HD to be rather tight, I actually do not carry everything with me I'd like.
     
MrForgetable
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Sep 23, 2004, 12:51 AM
 
Originally posted by SEkker:
A nice Apple laptop will change your use of the computer, if you've not used one lately. They really are a portable desktop machine.

The main advantage of the desktop is the nearly infinite storage space. I find this 60 GB HD to be rather tight, I actually do not carry everything with me I'd like.
after all the programs installed, it drops to an unthinkable 40GB
iamwhor3hay
     
moosecue
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Sep 23, 2004, 01:54 AM
 
i was considering a similar decision a couple of months ago, and i went with a 15" powerbook. i do a lot of 3-d cad, photoshop, and some video editing, and while the performance isn't as blazing-fast as i would probably like, it's still fast and i never feel frustrated. that said, i don't know how long it will last. here are my specs if you're interested:
1.5GHz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, 128MB graphics card (this is an option i would highly recommend), superdrive. storage can be an issue, but i figure i will never need more than 80gb of stuff available to me all the time, i can make backups to dvd-r or i may buy an external hdd, prices seem to be dropping pretty fast. hdds can also be upgraded down the track, with slight difficulty. i also often use a 15" crt as well, i find that very useful.
if you're not a full-on graphics professional who demands the higest performance, then a powerbook should meet your requirements for the forseeable future. i'm extremely glad i chose a laptop because it means if i'm working on something at home and i want to go to the library at uni, i can take my work with me, and vice-versa. being able to work anywhere is extremely convenient. it also means i don't have to fight for computers at the lab. i would love a dual-g5, but all in all, i'm very happy with my decision.
ps if you're going to get a desktop, better to spend the money fully tricking it out rather than buying a cheap laptop on top. as the germans say, keine halben Sachen (no half things, roughly "go the whole 9 yards").
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