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tsaiborg
2005-02-04, 10:16
I'm about to purchase my first mac, 15" powerbook. However, I'm conflicted on which Video Card to get, the 64MB or the 128MB. I do enjoy the occasional game, but am not a hardcore gamer. What other advantages does the 128MB card have(what other apple applications need that much memory)?? Thanks for the help!

DMBand0026
2005-02-04, 13:42
For $100 US, you'd be stupid to not get the 128. It's a smart choice to make. The best advice we usually give here is to get the best machine you can afford at the time. You won't regret it, especially when it's still useable in a few years when the 64MB cards aren't enough for things anymore. Spring for the 100 bucks, just do it :)

tsaiborg
2005-02-04, 13:59
thanks for the response. yeah, i was beginning to think i should spring for the 128 card. The money may be a big deal to me now, but in two years, the money will be an afterthought, however I'll be kicking myself if I'm unable to run applications because of a 64MB card.

However, I was orginally looking at the 1.5 combo drive, which is about a $300 difference from the 1.67 model. Ugh, so much money...

pjuffo
2005-02-04, 14:14
Mac OS X uses hardware accelerated video when available, so the more video ram the better. You'll notice the performance difference more than you think in a lot of applications.

And, as has already been said, it will make your Mac seem less outdated in the future.

Even for the casual gamer, 64mb is getting pretty dated. In a year or two you won't even be able to enjoy the 'casual' game.

curiousuburb
2005-02-04, 14:15
thanks for the response. yeah, i was beginning to think i should spring for the 128 card. The money may be a big deal to me now, but in two years, the money will be an afterthought, however I'll be kicking myself if I'm unable to run applications because of a 64MB card.

However, I was orginally looking at the 1.5 combo drive, which is about a $300 difference from the 1.67 model. Ugh, so much money...

While not specifically referring to this version (1.5/1.67GHz 15"), there is a BareFeats test page on the previous 15" in its 64 vs 128MB VRAM and various BTO drive options (http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html) if you want another opinion to go with your grains of salt.

You can't upgrade VRAM later, so if you want to keep this PB for a few years and buy a Dual-DVI Display as they become more common/cheaper, you'll be glad you spent the small difference now.

If you're not a serious graphics fiend or pixel pushing to the envelope, you might not need the extra VRAM, but it will give you double the amount to share with external displays and may seem more worthwhile once Tiger opens the Widget space.

Nuendo
2005-02-04, 14:18
Some days ago I was asking me the same question. I ended up ordering a fully loaded 15". I not only took the video card with 128 MB memory but also decided to go with the 100 GB hard drive although I don't really need either of them at the moment.

But I think this makes sense if you plan on reselling your PowerBook in the future. The better equipped devices will probably get more hits on eBay.

tsaiborg
2005-02-04, 15:45
Thanks for the replies everyone, it's been very helpful.

Wow, I went from looking at the 12", then convinced to get the 1.5 15", and now convinced to get the 1.67 15". I'm looking at a $700 dollar increase from my original cost...somehow, I kind of knew this would happen.=P

Just curious, has anyone run pro applications on the 12"? How does Pro Tools, Logic, Final Cut, etc. run on the 12"? My original thought was to buy the 12" PB, get familiar with the OS and the software, then sell it a year or two later and purchase a more powerful model once I get acclamated.

brian4610
2005-02-04, 19:02
Funny, I'm in the exact same boat as you are TAISBORG....When the new PB's were released, it was almost a done deal for me 12" SD with 100GB HD....now, with the price cut, and the upgraded processor, you can get one of the best Laptops for around $2700....too good to pass up...

Initially i didn't want to spend more then $2000, but feel that the if you can get the best, do it, and you won't worry about it in the future.....

IonYz
2005-02-05, 03:07
Just curious, has anyone run pro applications on the 12"? How does Pro Tools, Logic, Final Cut, etc. run on the 12"?

I would assume no better then a PowerBook 15". Except for FW400/800 (faster external I/O) and the obvious built-in screen resolutions they should handle things evenly. Of course both would be dwarfed in performance by a Power Mac and cost the same.

But if you will truly be using this as a portable, the 12" screen will hinder you more then any performance problem. If I had a 12" I'd have "zones" to work at when I whipped out larger projects. Where I could span to a larger monitor.

tsaiborg
2005-02-06, 13:06
brian4610, you know exactly what I mean. I was all about the 12" until it came time to buy, now all I can think about is the 15". After listening to a whole of people, including these forums, I'm gonna go with the 15".

I'm still debating on this superdrive thing, I'm kind of iffy about forking out the money for one if it's not a dual-layer burner. My friends have a single layer dvd burners and they often times cannot burn an entire movie onto one disc, at least not without reducing the quality. Of course, I could always get one of these installed: http://www.mcetech.com/pbg4dvdr8dl.html
but I'm worried that it may void the warranty, and I'm not sure how reliable the drive is.

The Return of the 'nut
2005-02-06, 14:04
For $100 US, you'd be stupid to not get the 128. It's a smart choice to make. The best advice we usually give here is to get the best machine you can afford at the time. You won't regret it, especially when it's still useable in a few years when the 64MB cards aren't enough for things anymore. Spring for the 100 bucks, just do it :)

it would not be "stupid" to choose 64MB. It is not just a 100 dollar option as you put it. Choosing any BTO option means you also have to buy from Apple which means you must pay tax. Tax adds quite a significant amount to the powerbook. That 100 dollar option soon turns into a 400 dollar option because you have to order with tax.

tsaiborg
2005-02-06, 16:15
Well, as it is, I'm using the education discount anyway, so I would have to buy from the Apple website regardless. I've calculated the difference, w/ NYC (insane) tax, to $277, provided I get the combo drive on the 1.67 model.

The Return of the 'nut
2005-02-07, 17:57
Well, as it is, I'm using the education discount anyway, so I would have to buy from the Apple website regardless. I've calculated the difference, w/ NYC (insane) tax, to $277, provided I get the combo drive on the 1.67 model.

yea NYC tax sucks. Go buy it in a apple retail store with lower tax rates :P

Koodari
2005-02-08, 16:02
I'm obviously in the "only buy what you need, and if you don't need it, sell it" camp.

I didn't find 64MB on a 15" Powerbook limiting in any way, when I had the last 15" 1.33GHz combo model. In fact I think the current 1.5GHz combo model with no BTO options is the very best value in the Powerbook line.

I have since then moved on a 12" iBook (for cost reasons) that has just 32MB and I did initially notice a slight lack of fluidness in Expose, etc. The lack of fluidness is still there but I don't think of it at all. I tend to have about five windows open, 15 if you count Firefox tabs, the same I had on the PB.

When I still had the Powerbook I took a look at the Quartz monitor utility. I recall it told me I was using over 50MB memory in my desktop use - so this supports my later finding that up to 64MB can be useful. I also connected a 19" CRT at 1280x1024 and things were smooth. It's clear I would not have profited from 128MB. I doubt you will.

As for dual link DVI, what the hell do you need that for if $300 is now a significant difference for you? It will take years for dual link screens to come down in price to manageable levels. I can't see into the future but I'd bet money on that you'll be changing computers before you buy a dual link screen. Regular DVI will drive the 23" flatscreens, I think that's plenty good.

tsaiborg
2005-02-08, 20:11
Koodari, that really puts things in another perspective, thanks.

How do you like the 12" screen? I was originally looking to get the 12" PB, but was worried about the screen size hindering my ability to run apps. I can see myself using pro tools and logic immediately, and possibly get into some amateur video editing in the future. How have you fared with your 12"?

brian4610
2005-02-08, 20:24
people are acting like if you buy from the apple retail store, no tax. how is that? You're going to pay tax either way, right? where can you buy from apple (online or retail store) where you're not charged tax? Serioulsy, i want to know.

I know if you buy from amazon, then you're tax free....but if you want a BTO, then you have to go through apple, which means taxes...is there some other tax free avenue?

ummagumma
2005-02-08, 20:37
people are acting like if you buy from the apple retail store, no tax. how is that? You're going to pay tax either way, right? where can you buy from apple (online or retail store) where you're not charged tax? Serioulsy, i want to know.

I know if you buy from amazon, then you're tax free....but if you want a BTO, then you have to go through apple, which means taxes...is there some other tax free avenue?

No tax man in Oregon.

BlueRabbit
2005-02-08, 21:18
No tax man in Oregon.
Correct. There is no sales tax in Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, or Alaska. So, Apple stores in those states have no sales tax at all. :)

bassplayinMacFiend
2005-02-08, 21:22
people are acting like if you buy from the apple retail store, no tax. how is that? You're going to pay tax either way, right? where can you buy from apple (online or retail store) where you're not charged tax? Serioulsy, i want to know.

I know if you buy from amazon, then you're tax free....but if you want a BTO, then you have to go through apple, which means taxes...is there some other tax free avenue?

Oregon & New Hampshire don't have sales tax. There is an Apple store in NH (I don't know about Oregon). If you know someone who lives in these states, have your order shipped there. Apple's online sales charges tax based on shipping address.

Or you could always drive to one of these states. :)

Koodari
2005-02-09, 09:35
Koodari, that really puts things in another perspective, thanks.

How do you like the 12" screen? I was originally looking to get the 12" PB, but was worried about the screen size hindering my ability to run apps. I can see myself using pro tools and logic immediately, and possibly get into some amateur video editing in the future. How have you fared with your 12"?I have fared well with the iBook, no external screen so far, but then again I don't do media. I'd definitely pick the 15" PB in your shoes. If you have the 12" you'll be strapping it into an external screen all the time, and at that point, I think it seems just a bit silly to have a laptop. But whatever works for you...

In general I think the 12" screen is okay value when you're paying for the iBook, but not so good in absolute terms and unacceptable when you're paying for the Powerbook.