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iMac v pBook v pMac
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Join Date: Jan 2005
2005-01-21, 21:44

I have around $2100 to get a computer that will be for everyday use and FCP DV projects. I have a .edu discount, but there still is tax so before tax we are looking at around $1950 total. I've found 3 options, see which one you would pick. All computers come w/ 256MB of RAM (i'll upgrade after), Superdrive and AirPortX.

(#1) iMac - $1959
-fast 1.8Ghz G5
-nice 20" display 1680x1050
-big/fast SATA 160GB 7200RPM HDD
-wireless bluetooth/keyboard/mouse package
-crappy GeForce FX 5200 (non-upgradable)

(#2) Powermac - $1960
-faster Dual 1.8Ghz G5s
-no display (stuck w/ crappy old 17" Dell)
-same SATA 160GB 7200RPM HDD
-no bluetooth
-same crappy GeForce FX 5200 (but, upgradable)

(#3) Powerbook - $1979
-slower 1.33Ghz G4
-alright 15" display 1280x854
-small/slow 60GB 4200RPM HDD
-bluetooth stock
-better ATI Mobility Radeon 9700

a note on the Powermac... I'm not quite sure when I'll have the money to upgrade it, because this is purchase is pretty much sucking me dry. So its possible I could be stuck w/ the crappy monitor and GeForce FX 5200 for months or longer...
Cynical Old Bastard
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Hot, Hazey, Humid South
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2005-01-21, 22:39

I would suggest going with the PowerMac if you are going to be doing lots of FCP. I believe that the extra processor will definately make a difference long term. If its just a hobby, then the iMac would be fine.
Here is what I spec'ed out (edu pricing) for a PowerMac:
G5 DP 1.8
256mb RAM (upgrade later or go to 512 and get 80gb hd instead of 160)
160gb HD (see above)
no modem
ATI 9600XT
no bluetooth or airport
Fro Productions(tm)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
2005-01-22, 06:36

I think you should strike the PowerBook off the list. Unless portability will be very useful to you, a Desktop will serve your needs better.

But as Kretara asked, is your FCP/DV work a hobby or more serious? If its more serious or is likely to become more serious, the PowerMac may suit you.

When do you intend to buy your next Mac? What I'm getting at is maybe you will find that you won't need to upgrade the iMac before you are ready to buy another computer.

Are you a 'tweaker' (PowerMac) or do you want things to 'just work' (iMac)?

There are so many things to look at when making a big purchase (esp on a if-I-spend-any-more-I-won't-be-able-to-eat budget—I'm there now ). You've made a good start by writing down 3 different options. Maybe you should compare this with another detailed list of what you want to do now and in the future with your Mac; when you expect to have more money for upgrades, peripherals etc; if your living or working situation might change such that a portable would become invaluable and so on.


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