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View Full Version : 20" Imac Vs. 12" Pb + 20" Display Combination?



morpheme2004
11th May 2005, 01:33 PM
Hi all, just got inspiration from another post (I forget who by).

I've been considering a 20" G5 iMac (so pretty), but it would be nice to update my G3 iBook in the meantime (it's 6 years old now).

So, the idea is: why not get a 12" PowerBook (really versatile, portable), and hook it up to a 20" Apple display (the colours match too - sorry, aesthetics matter to me).

On edu pricing that works out to be $3210 instead of $2515 - about $700 extra. Seems like a deal. But I have some questions:
Will it work?
Is the performance difference noticable? Particularly concerned about the disk space difference, and of course the G4/G5 difference. Although I've read that the G5 isn't much faster than the G4.
Are there any other pros or cons that I should be aware of?

Your expert opinions would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance. (Getting so hooked on this AppleTalk thing!)

Steve

osxuser
11th May 2005, 01:47 PM
yeah it'll work

spawnster
11th May 2005, 01:55 PM
G5 is already 64bit. That means all that Tiger goodness would be used fully. The iMac G5 also comes with 128MB VRAM as standard, the 12" still comes with 64MB. Not sure if you've considered that already.

iSlayer
11th May 2005, 02:00 PM
the 12 inch powerbook isnt overly great with a 20 inch display.
the video lags a bit on the 20.

morpheme2004
11th May 2005, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by spawnster@May 11 2005, 01:55 PM
G5 is already 64bit. That means all that Tiger goodness would be used fully. The iMac G5 also comes with 128MB VRAM as standard, the 12" still comes with 64MB. Not sure if you've considered that already.
So the G4 is only 32-bit and wouldn't use Tiger properly? Is the difference noticable?

Sorry, not really an expert in this field. What would half the VRAM mean?

Thanks again. :)

morpheme2004
11th May 2005, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by islayer@May 11 2005, 02:00 PM
the 12 inch powerbook isnt overly great with a 20 inch display.
the video lags a bit on the 20.
Aaah, this would be a problem. Good to know.

OziMac
11th May 2005, 02:10 PM
I don't think you'll notice the difference in VRAM unless you are playing GPU-demanding games or using high-end graphics / motion graphics software - and even then, unless you are a heavy Photoshop user, it really doesn't make too much of a difference.

If you want a portable solution that makes for good viewing at home, then this is a good deal (also might want to consider the keyboard and mouse). However, in terms of comparing value, I can't see how you can pass by any of the iMac models - they're such good value at the moment, and you could easily get an iBook for the difference in price to satisfy your portable needs. :)

spawnster
11th May 2005, 02:24 PM
I wouldn't say that the G4 wouldn't use Tiger properly. It's more the fact the Tiger has been made such that it can take advantage of the 64bit properties of the G5. It works fine on the G4 though. In common use, this really affects you very little but you'll see the difference in processor heavy tasks like iDVD encoding etc.

Squozen
11th May 2005, 02:47 PM
Mac mini + more RAM + keyboard/mouse combo + ACD = $799 + $100 + $100 + $1250 = $2249, less for students

OziMac
11th May 2005, 03:24 PM
I don't know - if you're going the Mac Mini option, I reckon you'd be better off not getting the ACD and getting a more appropriately priced 17" display for about $400.

So - $799 + $80 (where are you getting your RAM from?) + $100 + $400 = $1379, which is comparable to (though by no means better value) the eMac.

But how is that in any way related to the topic?

Squozen
11th May 2005, 03:32 PM
Well, it's cheaper than an iMac and as powerful as a 12" PowerBook hooked up to a big monitor... just another option to consider. Nevermind, I'll shut up.

Snowy28
11th May 2005, 03:50 PM
To contribute purely on aesthetics -

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v466/Jackus/AppleStoreRegentStreet5-12-04003.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v466/Jackus/AppleStoreRegentStreet5-12-04002.jpg

youngma
11th May 2005, 03:52 PM
morpheme2004,

There are clear differences in the two configurations that you have suggested. I guess the question becomes, what are you going to be doing with it?

After you've answered that question consider the following:

1. If you need a laptop go for the PB,I've got a 12" model and the size factor is great. However, they are by no means the cheapest machines on the block and if a silver case and more expensive video card are important you they are a natural choice.

2. As to the imac G5, yes its pretty. But, I've never been a fan of the all-in-one machine, I mean lets facte it get the same display as in a 17" or 20" cinema display with a sub-powermac G5 machine will NO expansion options. If you are considering this look at getting a powermac G5 and a 19" samsung LCD, great prices and way more performance.

Its funny I hear people rave on about the fact that G5 has 64 bit architecture, yes its an advantage but again its dictated in terms of what you are going to do with the set up.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
youngma

Squozen
11th May 2005, 04:02 PM
The 64-bit architecture will make ZERO difference to 99% of users.

edit: whoops, forgot to shut up :(

helloroto
11th May 2005, 04:07 PM
I would personally go for the 12" and the 20" monitor! Becuase you will literally have more screen real estate to play with.

OziMac
11th May 2005, 04:14 PM
Snowy - those photos look like they were taken in an official US/UK Apple Store, as opposed to an Australian reseller - where'd you take them?

Rayd
11th May 2005, 04:16 PM
this choice is becoming VERY common! people wondering to get a iMac or a powerbook... and the answer is always.... ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION

Desktop use? or Portability!?

Desktop use the answer will always be iMac G5.. portability will always be pBook 12" or in you case pBook 12" + 20" display

iPod_man.

mwot
11th May 2005, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by ipod_man@May 11 2005, 04:16 PM
ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION

Desktop use? or Portability!?

Ditto.

I'm to take receipt of my new iMac this Friday. A little further down the track, I also want to get myself an iBook.

Reasons? All the video/photo editing, managing of music/iTunes, gaming, etc. I'll be doing on the iMac. For browsing the internet, checking emails, researching/word processing - an iBook lets me do this sitting up in bed, or on the sofa so that I can appear to be sociable with my wife :D

OziMac
11th May 2005, 04:41 PM
So the iMac's arriving already mwot? Congrats! :)

Snowy28
11th May 2005, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by OziMac@May 11 2005, 04:14 PM
Snowy - those photos look like they were taken in an official US/UK Apple Store, as opposed to an Australian reseller - where'd you take them?
Taken from the regent street applestore in UK.

A person over at iOnMac (http://www.ionmac.com) took them.

morpheme2004
11th May 2005, 04:52 PM
People thanks, you've all be incredibly helpful. My first topic post and such a great response.

I'm still mulling over the issues, I'll keep you posted with any decision I make.

Thanks again! :thumbup:

Phillip
11th May 2005, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by morpheme2004@May 11 2005, 02:05 PM
So the G4 is only 32-bit and wouldn't use Tiger properly? Is the difference noticable?
Absolutely Nothing.

Tiger won't run on a G5 faster just because it's 64-bit. It will run faster, because of the architecture and the higher clock speeds. Tiger, contrary to popular belief isn't really a full 64-bit OS.

As far as speeds are concerned, the iMac is much faster. It has a much higher system bus, higher clock speed, faster hard drives, and better graphics support. In your situation, as much people have pointed already, is whether you want a portable or not. If you don't, there's no point on getting the PowerBook and Display combo when it costs much more. However, if you love the portability, (I know myself, I do) then its priceless.

mvjs
11th May 2005, 05:31 PM
I tend to go with the powerbook and cinima display, altough it is more expencive, but if you have the cash go for it!

morpheme2004
11th May 2005, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by islayer@May 11 2005, 02:00 PM
the 12 inch powerbook isnt overly great with a 20 inch display.
the video lags a bit on the 20.
does anyone else know about this lag? how bad is it? :unsure:

Rayd
11th May 2005, 05:39 PM
i havnt actually heard or seen anything about this... but my iBook 1ghz seems perfectly fine... but then again .. iSlayer has the pBook :P

bernie234
11th May 2005, 05:58 PM
I run a 12in power book with extra ram and a 20 inch screen. My main use is Photoshop CS and I do a lot of retouching on photographic images. It is not unusual to be working on very big files, mainly 16bit tiff files, and this setup handles it well

hope this helps.

OziMac
11th May 2005, 06:10 PM
Again, I've not specifically used a 12" Powerbook with the 20" display, but I suspec tthe lag that iSlayer speaks of is primarily in games - and possibly on an older Powerbook with only 32MB of VRAM (not 64MB like the current 12") - can you clarify islayer?

soul assasin
11th May 2005, 06:45 PM
islayer's sig says 1.5Ghz 12" PB (Current, with 64MB VRAM).

spargo
11th May 2005, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Snowy28@May 11 2005, 06:50 AM
To contribute purely on aesthetics -
Or better still, see my post here (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=7771&view=findpost&p=64563) on the PowerBook/Spanning issue..

Anyway this is what I call asthetics with a PowerBook:

http://www.griffintechnology.com/images/products/prod_icurve_lcd.jpg

pipsqeek
12th May 2005, 12:11 PM
A desktop machine will always be a better performer. Easier to work on and most likely faster.

Saying that. If you have the money, get whatever machine you feel you need. There is nothing worse then buying a $2K-$4K machine, then regretting it.

If you mainly do desktop based work. Get an iMac... besides the 64Bit stuff, think of the Serial ATA hard drive, the much higher Front Side Bus speeds, the fact that its got a G5 CPU.

If you really have to go to a cafe or a meeting with a machine, then get a portable.

My combination is perfect. I have a 14" iBook and a G5 tower. I use the G5 when at home and the iBook when out with clients.

pipsqeek

invisible
12th May 2005, 02:11 PM
I am faced with the exact same problem... well, if you could call it a problem. its all very personal stuff. i currently have a 1ghz emac that (contrary to popular belief) handles photoshop etc very well. not that i NEED the portability but id love to be able to move from my room when doing simple stuff that doesnt need a big screen like surfing the web.

hence, 12" + 20" = bliss. now... just need to find some money around here...

spargo
12th May 2005, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by pipsqeek@May 12 2005, 03:11 AM
If you mainly do desktop based work. Get an iMac... besides the 64Bit stuff, think of the Serial ATA hard drive, the much higher Front Side Bus speeds, the fact that its got a G5 CPU.

If you really have to go to a cafe or a meeting with a machine, then get a portable.

My combination is perfect. I have a 14" iBook and a G5 tower. I use the G5 when at home and the iBook when out with clients.

pipsqeek
I'm going to chime in here to support pip's comments above.

I've always said on this site that when I eventually go home to Australia, I'll be adding to my PB by buying a machine for my house, and I am almost certain that it would be a wireless-capable and spec'd up iMac 20" (or whatever the biggest and best iMac is at the time)... Because I will always be using the PowerBook for work and travel, and I also want a machine at home for all our personal stuff..

Main reasons: i'd want a G5, i also want a large screen without having to fork out for a dual-G5 box as well that i technically don't need for what I do on computers, and the all-in-one nature of an iMac is too good to refuse..

So while a laptop+LCD spanned screen is great, it may not be the best thing in the long run if that will be your only machine.. I wanted a PB last year because I new I would be basically mobile for the next 2 years and it suits that lifestyle perfectly. So unless the coveted G5 PB comes out next week (Which Won't Happen!), go and get a G5 iMac dude, and get an iBook/PB down the track.. better of getting a G5 desktop now, and then another G5 when they eventually make it into the portable range.

kee
12th May 2005, 11:55 PM
I would get a 20" iMac + 12" iBook.. Great value and color coordinates with each other and the iPod Color/Shuffle. Much better performance at marginally higher price than a 12" PB + 20" ACD.

You can also back-up data from your PB onto your 250GB iMac HD!

:)

Edge
13th May 2005, 01:22 AM
[quote]Originally posted by ipod_man@May 11 2005, 04:16 PM
[b]<a href=\'http://imdb.com/title/tt0357413/quotes\' target=\'_blank\'>I DON&#39;T KNOW WHAT WE&#39;RE YELLING ABOUT&#33;</a>

daOutlawz
13th May 2005, 05:14 AM
I am in the same shoes as you, just got a 12inch PowerBook and now I want to get rid of my WindowsXP machine and use the powerbook as the primary computer.
I was thinking about getting the 20" or 23" LCD display, but I have been reading some reviews + rants here and there comparing the Apple 20/23 displays with the Dell ones. All of the reviews and rants point towards Dell being the overall better choice.
I really can&#39;t understand why it would lag though, doesn&#39;t make much sense, but it might be just with the Apple displays.

pipsqeek
13th May 2005, 09:06 AM
Well, if you read a decent review of the Dell vs Apple display. Some state that although the LCD panel is the same, the rest is not... Dell uses their own stuff like the DC Board, the interface cards for the plugs, etc. As well as the backlight being totally different, compared to Apple.

When they say its the same, it isn&#39;t really.... There are hundreds of LCD monitors on the market all with the same LCD panel. But that&#39;s where the similarity ends. And all the other factors that differ one monitor from the other makes a significant difference in the performance and characteristics of the monitor.

Unfortunately in this case, the Dell is winning, compared to the Apple display in price and performance, but not in looks.

pipsqeek