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View Full Version : PC User looking to get a PowerBook 1.5 G4



Alliante
02-07-2005, 08:23 AM
I'm looking at a Mac PowerBook (12" or 15" - the 1.67 ghz G4 isn't that much different from the 1.5). What sort of performance am I to expect in Lightwave in comparison to perhaps a similarly priced XP laptop?

Is it usable? I understand that raw rendering speeds are probably not up to par, but the OpenGL and object manipulation and Layout performance is much more important. I can always render to a renderfarm if I need raw rendering power.

This is not meant to start any sort of Platform War or whatever, I'm just curious because this is a very important issue about purchasing my next laptop.

Thanks!
Jeff

Johnny
02-07-2005, 08:58 AM
I can't vouch for a PB's rendering performance, but, as I'm sure you know, it's best if you max out the RAM on the machine if you get it..

A friend bought a PB G4 last may, and barely saw a speed improvement over his 400mhz G3 Pismo!!

on MHz alone, his G4 PB should be about 3+ times faster.

I myself can attest to how much RAM factors in the speed of a computer..had sent back a DIMM for my iBook, and used it on it's factory 128 MB...it was basically an expensive paperweight 'til that RAM came back.

With OS X RAM is key, more is better, more more is more better and the most is the bestest.

As far as how a PB fares in a speed contest in a similarly-priced PC notebook, your mileage may vary. Many feel that PC's blitz Macs on all fronts and in all ways. Even *if* that's true, ya gotta look at the overall workflow in getting a project to press or in the can. I think the Mac platform is superior based on what I've seen and heard. Just in tinkering alone, I think my down time on the Mac side is about 1/10th that of a PC-using counterpart.

J

Captain Obvious
02-07-2005, 05:36 PM
The 12" PowerBook does have a rather crummy graphics card. The 9700 in the 15" is vastly superior. Other than that, you'll be fine. Just max out the RAM. It's not like people couldn't do 3D a few years ago. ;) And it's not like the G4 is downright slow, either. For its age, it's very fast.

Alliante
02-07-2005, 05:46 PM
The 12" PowerBook does have a rather crummy graphics card. The 9700 in the 15" is vastly superior. Other than that, you'll be fine. Just max out the RAM. It's not like people couldn't do 3D a few years ago. ;) And it's not like the G4 is downright slow, either. For its age, it's very fast.

I'm a bit concerned about the 5200 being sort of crummy. I've got the 5200 Ultra on my desktop PC and it's very good on that platform--though I'll admit that it's got 128 megs of ram.

Is this a driver issue or is the Go totally different than the standard PCI/AGP cards?

Captain Obvious
02-08-2005, 09:09 AM
I'm a bit concerned about the 5200 being sort of crummy. I've got the 5200 Ultra on my desktop PC and it's very good on that platform--though I'll admit that it's got 128 megs of ram.

Is this a driver issue or is the Go totally different than the standard PCI/AGP cards?

I don't think it's totally different. There are two versions of the standard 5200. One is downright horrible, the other is not so bad. The 64 megabyte standard 5200 has half the internal bandwidth of the 128 meg version and the 5200Ultra. The 5200Go in the PowerBook has 64 megabytes... But I really don't know if it's supersucky or just slightly subpar.

It's also a driver issue. Nvidia couldn't make Mac drivers to save their lives. Their drivers suck, plain and simple. If at all possible, the 15" is preferable. It has higher resolution, too. That's nice.

Alliante
02-08-2005, 10:10 AM
Great info here, Thanks Cap!

Looks like I'll have to save a bit more for the 15 or the 17" though I'm sacrificing alot of the portability I was looking for :)

Again, thanks for all your help.

toma
02-08-2005, 11:12 AM
Hi there !

just to say that I can use my powerbook to work… for modeling, scene setup and Fpriming it's OK : I mean not really speed (1,5Ghz) but more confortable than staying all night at the office or having to go there a sunday just to make a little photoshop work.

just max out the ram and don't get the 12" (lightwave's GUI fits in the 15", but if it's your main PC, the 17 will be better)… on a side note, more ram will bring better performance, but you'll see that a mac even with a few ram will do the job. a few month ago I had to use my powerbook to do the rendering because my PC wasn't able to render high res image, even if it has the same amount of ram thatn the mac…

cheers
tomas

Alliante
02-08-2005, 02:53 PM
Very good suggestions, everyone! Thank you!

stnage
03-02-2005, 03:27 PM
Based on my PC and Mac Experience, Mac worth 10 times more than PC with same money.
I am not saying because I work for Apple.
Ask your true friend who use Mac.

Well, I have a Dell Workstation..so I can say this. I use PC at work as well.
I have a 5 years old i-book which have 576 Ram and Mac OS 10.3.8...and running like a Chapm.
With my new G4 15", I can do movies and Lightwave....no problem.
You can do a lot done with Powerbook since you can work when you feel like to work wherever you want.

Don't waste your time..Get it now!!!
And Work and Play Hard!!

Peter from Minneapolis

calico
03-03-2005, 05:34 AM
i have 15" 1.25GHz 64MB VRAM and i use it a lot for LW. i know you can find faster
PC laptops but "overall" nothing beats powerbook. max your ram and you'll be happy.

Lowly Designer
03-10-2005, 10:06 PM
I got the 17" PB 1.5Ghz and it's the dogs hairy bits :-)

Maxed it out with the full deal including all the BTO options 2 GB ram, 128 G Card, 80GB HD etc etc it works sweet and has enough room for the LW interface, I personally would not go for anything smaller as there has been mention of bizarre screen issues with LW when the window size is small. Also I don't think LW would be much use on a smaller screen. Definately get the 128 G Card it works much better.

Not found any major issues with the speed it's not as quick as my old G5 but it's tolerable and for portability it's fantastic and you soon get used to the extra size - in fact I'd say that you don't even notice the size after a while and then suddenly everyone elses laptop looks too small!! :-)

trison
03-17-2005, 12:54 PM
The main problem I see here is that LW is so very unstable on a MAC. I Currently am running it on a dual g5 and got fed up and brought in my hp laptop because it crashes 9 time a day. I'm not exagerrating here.

stnage
03-17-2005, 01:10 PM
Sorry to hear that Man.

I just Use 6.5b and never crashed on me.
Are you sure your Panther Setup is upto current?

You should call Newtek about it and sure they can help out.

Peter - Minneapolis

trison
03-17-2005, 01:14 PM
I've got LW 8.2 and my panther is up to date. Aside from the crashes, there are several bugs that render some of the great features uselesss.

My main problem is that LW is actually taking the system with it when it crashes. I didn't know it could happen in OSX but the entire computer freezes.

Alliante
03-17-2005, 01:21 PM
Trison, unfortunately yours is not the only story I've heard about Mac compatibility in Lightwave. One of the reasons I am/was looking for a Mac laptop was the fact I could just pop my dongle off a USB port and I can model on the road (and do a bit of animation).

I'm NOT looking to do major rendering on the Mac platform, but these and other forums I hear that Lightwave for Mac is about 90% the quality of the PC version (which is still one heck of an app!).

I'm hesitant to invest in the hardware at the moment (though I am a technophile ;) )

Johnny
03-17-2005, 02:37 PM
The main problem I see here is that LW is so very unstable on a MAC. I Currently am running it on a dual g5 and got fed up and brought in my hp laptop because it crashes 9 time a day. I'm not exagerrating here.


Sorry about the troubles you're having, but I'd suggest you take a look at your system and what might be going on with IT...

My setup is just like yours: Dual G5...I don't think LW crashes 9 times a month let alone per day..

Maybe there's something about your scene that bears examination.

I'd hold off impugning Mac hardware and OSX in the face of the <b>many</b> Mac users here having a great experience with them...not absolutely free of problems, of course...but minimal ones.

J

Lowly Designer
03-17-2005, 06:06 PM
I agree with Jonny, I had no problems for a long time with lightwave installs. LW used to work great and it didn't matter what version it was, I tried them all 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.0.1, 8.2, 8.2.1 , none could crash my baby.

Although I am experiencing the other side of the coin at the moment, I still believe it has more to do with the whats on the machine, new installs of apps, general cleanliness, and the hidden depths of the OS that probably cause most of the upsets we experience. I have many apps on my laptop so any one of them could be causing my issues.

I found that sticking with the default LW 8.0 version works the best on my Powerbook, and weirdly i'm not experiencing the jumping cursor that plagued me when I first installed LW 8 on my machine, so something must have changed since then.

I still think that your decision to get a mac for mobility is a great one and I would still recommend Macs for LW without hesitation as I know it's something I have done that has stopped LW from working properly.

Go mac you'll not regret it.