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Old January 19th, 2003, 05:29 PM   #1
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Dual Tower or Single Laptop

I am thinking of making the switch to a Mac platform from my current P4 1.6ghz. System. The two setups IM looking at is the dual 867mhz G4 tower with 512 ram. The other setup would be a 12inch PowerBook with 384 ram. Both systems will primarily be running PhotoShop, FCP3, and/or Avid Express 3.5.3. My question is what will the performance difference be with dual processors in the tower, compared to a single in the laptop?

Thanks in advanced
Alex

P.S. I have a Maxtor 80GB Fire Wire hard drive I will use with the setup
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Old January 19th, 2003, 06:02 PM   #2
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Alex,
While either system will work for editing, the tower will be much more flexible. In both cases, I'd recommend bumping up the RAM.
The Dual Processors are useful for any time intensive operations - rendering, filtering, conversions, etc.
With the tower you have many monitor choices, which means you can get something large with more pixels, than the 12". And if you want you can easily add a second monitor.
Plus with the tower, you can immediately add another ATA drive, and potentially 2 more ATA or SCSI drives inside the case with another drive interface. Internal drives seem to do better and are easier to deal with than externals, although I have 2 80's and 2 60's hanging off my tower (and an 80 and a 60 inside - there's never enough room for all my projects).

I edited a 2 hour feature on my PowerBook G3 400MHz, so it can be done. But since moving to a 800MHz G4, I can't move back ( A rolling title render on the PBG3 took 9 hours, on the G4, 15 minutes...) The 12" G4 is much faster than my G3 PowerBook, but still less capable than the Tower.

OH, and the 12" Powerbook only has one firewire400 port, so to connect the camera and the firewire drive simulatneously, you'll have to daisy chain your camera off the harddrive, which may cause capture problems -- it just depends on the drive and the camera. (but generally, isn't recommended.)

Hope this helps.
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Old January 19th, 2003, 06:16 PM   #3
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If you don't need the portability and compactness of the PowerBook I'd also recommend getting the G4-867. Also, as Michael suggested, bump the RAM if you can. 512Mb will do fine, but 1Gb will do more fine.

I edit quite a bit (with FCP) on a PowerBook G4-1GHz and used a PB G4-500 prior to that. It is definitely a workable system (with more RAM). But I also use a desktop G4-1GHz dual as my main edit and capture station. If I could use only one, I'd certainly go for the desktop.

Good luck and have fun! I think you're in for quite a treat (speaking as a "switcher" myself).
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Old January 19th, 2003, 06:27 PM   #4
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I am a student, and I was hoping to edit videos in some of my spare time at school, thatís why I was looking at the 12inch book. More ram would be nice but I donít think I could afford a gig of ram (even with the student discount I get). So I guess what IM trying to figure out is if the flexibility of editing any time, any were (along with school work) out ways dual processors and a bit more ram.

Thanks for the ripples so far and please keep them coming
Alex
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Old January 19th, 2003, 09:08 PM   #5
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I think FCP 4 will have features that only work on a dual processor G4. The only reason I'd go with the Powerbook is if portability was the single, most important factor. The tower will be a viable editing platform for a much longer period of time. I edit on a dual processor 450. It's well over two years old, but performing just fine. I'll update it either this fall or a year from now. A two year old Powerbook just wouldn't be cutting it, today.

Jeff
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Old January 20th, 2003, 07:19 PM   #6
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Anybody have any idea on whether, and if so, when, prices on the PowerMacs might be reduced (in the wake of MacWorld?)?

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Old January 20th, 2003, 07:45 PM   #7
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I would expect new G4s within the next four to six weeks. It could be as early as this week. Final Cut Pro 4 should be in the same time frame. Historically the price drops have been in the $200 to $500 range depending on the features, and original price.

Jeff
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