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Apple Mac advice (iBook)

Discussion in 'Software' started by SparkuS, 21 Nov 2005.

  1. SparkuS

    SparkuS What's a Dremel?

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    Hi there,

    I have been set the task of researching Laptop's for my girlfriend, who is thinking about purchasing one before (or maybe just after) xmas.

    She is currently an Art student and also has a keen passion for music. The iBook is her preference at the moment, for the mobility advantages when shifting between uni and home. The standard iBook with educational discount comes in at £657. I am trying to encourage her to stretch her budget to include an 80 gig hard drive (+£65) and a gig of ram (+£65).

    For 1.5 gigs of ram its +£200, which I doubt is worth it performance wise?
    The standard 12" iBook with extras as listed above comes in at £787, would it be worth considering the 14" iBook (£845) with nothing added? I’m sure the 14" screen could be handy when dealing with images, but I’m sure the 12" will do the job?

    The Laptop will need to run image/photo editing, and some kind of recording, music based package? Perhaps someone with a Mac could suggest software? Or does apple provide sufficient tools for such things?

    I would very much like to hear from anyone that uses an Apple Laptop for similar purposes, and general advice is also welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    Hi!

    For audio recording: Garageband!
    Image/photo editing: Photoshop or GIMP (Gimp is free)

    Definatly get the HardDrive upgrade! For ram I think 1GB is more then sufficient.

    The 14" has the same resolution as the 12", so you won't see more.. the pixels are just bigger. If she has the budget, then I would go towards a 12" Powerbook. And after some time get a extra Monitor (expanded desktop) to work on bigger projects.

    L
     
  3. SparkuS

    SparkuS What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks Lovah, as I thought. I think the Powerbook is a bit out of her price range.

    I am not very familiar with the Mac scene. The standard iBook has 1.33GHz cpu, which in modern day pcs would be seen as minimal for her requirements. However would I be right in saying macs are not as cpu hungry, and generally ideal for design and art? Would the 1.33GHz cpu and a gig of ram be adequate?
     
  4. adam197

    adam197 What's a Dremel?

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    You may want to wait until January. Its widely rumoured new iBooks will be released at MacWorld SF (26th iirc)

    As for RAM, its alot cheaper to buy it from someone else, Apple really rip the piss with RAM prices. Its pretty simple to fit and has no effect on warrenty.

    As for the cpu, I can run photoshop and illustrator quite comfortably together. You would want 1gig RAM as a minimum.
     
  5. J-Pepper

    J-Pepper Minimodder

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    I think that 1.5GB of memory is not out of place...

    sure if it's just browsing and general usage 1GB will be fine (like many people probably do).. but if she's going to be photochopping with many and/or large files and using garageband, i'd recommend 2GB, I really do... it's not overkill, it's recommended.
     
  6. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    I have a 12" Powerbook with 1,5Ghz G4 power and 768mb of Ram. And I do just about anything with it!

    It will run photoshop, indesign and illustrator toghether, with no problems! Offcours a Dual 2Ghz G5 is going to be faster, but it does the job!

    As long as she doesn't need to photoshop 100mb images then 1Gig of Ram will be sufficient. Personally I think 2GB of Ram is really overkill. I would take a 12" powerbook with 1gig of ram over a 12" ibook with 2gigs of ram anyday.

    Yes, you can get ram from other resellers for a better price.

    You can't compare a G4 to a Intel processor. You should compare them too those Mobile processors. Its still not the same.. but just to give you an idea.

    L
     
  7. Sam0r

    Sam0r It's been a while

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    Well like any system, the more ram, the better.

    I use my iBook for exactly what your sister wants, and it handles it all, really really well.

    I use Cubae SE 1.07a for audio/midi editing, and it handles 5 VST instruments better than the 3.2ghz P4's at college do. Infact, it handles VST's so much better than the pc's there, that the teacher is asking for the old G4 iMacs from the art dept to be put in there when they upgrade them.

    On the art front, my iBook only has 512mb of ram, and it can handle Photoshop CS2
    well enough.

    The only thing that's a bit of a downer about the whole iBook range, is the display resolution. For audio/midi/vsi/whatever it does get in the way a bit, 1024x768 is really the minimum when working with as many vst's as I do, and also with photoshop its quite annoying.

    But I don't think she'll regret buying an iBook, at all :)

    Edit:

    For an extra gb of ram (iBooks max is 1.5gb), head over to crucial, their ram prices are a lot better than apples, and afaik, apple actually use crucial as their ram supplier.
     
  8. phantomxc

    phantomxc What's a Dremel?

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    I would also second the waiting till january. I believe that new ibooks will be revealed along with a $200 price drop on both models ;)
     
  9. adam197

    adam197 What's a Dremel?

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    Erm, afaik 1.5gig is maximum, due to one ram slot.
     
  10. SparkuS

    SparkuS What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah I just checked crucial there.

    512MB - £41 (£70 from apple without discount)
    1GB - £115 (£210 from apple without discount)

    Thats a bit of a farse on apple's part.

    I will persuade her to wait until the end of january, and probably buy the ram from crucial. Ashame a stick of ram isn't really classed as a traditional stocking filler. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    I've got a 12" iBook (well, did have, it got stolen :( ) and it is probably just about what you want. As people have said, the 14" iBook is no better really - I would take the 12" every time regardless of the price difference (See this thread). In fact I recently had up to £900 to spend on a laptop and I bought a 12" iBook. Which might seem a bit stupid, but I really liked that laptop!

    RAM: I didn't really notice a huge difference going from 512MB to 1GB, but then I don't really use the iBook for photoshop or anything (My PC is better). You can get an extra 512MB Ram from Crucial UK (guaranteed to work, and does work from my experience) for under £45, so there's not really any excuse not to have the extra. And it's stupidly easy to fit. As Sam0r said it runs Photoshop CS2 just fine, I expect it would run Photoshop 7 very quickly (Photoshop 7, on the PC at least, is a LOT less resource-hungry). As you suggest, buy it from Apple with the increased size hard drive (60Gb is only £27 extra IIRC). You can always leave buying the ram for later date if funds are tight.

    The only thing I would say is just because she is an arts student, that mean that she has to have an Apple. For ~£800 you can buy a very decent PC laptop, which will probably be more powerful than the iBook. Now I love my iBook and I'm not sorry I got it at all (size, battery life, stability are all amazing), but for all out power - I.e. hardcore Photoshopping - a PC would be faster. Most people compare the 1.33GHz Apple CPU to around a 2GHz Pentium4. Of course it does have the advantage that it won't grind to a halt after a year due to spyware... It probably just comes down to how much you like Mac OS X. It's beautiful :D
     
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