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Advice re Powerbook G4 Config (X-mas Gift)

Old 12-17-05, 05:55 PM
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Advice re Powerbook G4 Config (X-mas Gift)

Hey guys:

Long time no talk. Hope all is well with everyone. I have yet another techie question and thought I'd get your opinion since y'all have been so helpful in the past.

My family plans to get my sister a Powerbook G4 (1.67 Ghz) for a Christmas present so it falls on me to actually buy the thing. My sister works in the music industry (hence the need for an apple) and she wants the ability to use the industry software on the laptop. Because of this, I was thinking I should customize the config rather than get the standard. Is customizing appropriate or should I just get her the standard config and let her customize if and when needed?

Standard Config:
  • 512 MB memory
  • 80 GB @ 5400 rpm harddrive
  • Superdrive (DVD+RDL/DVD RW/CD RW)
  • No installed software
Customized Config:
  • 1 GB memory -- is it better to get the 2x512 SO-DIMMs or the 1 SO-DIMM?
  • 100 GB @ 7200 harddrive (the also have 100 GB @ 5400 so let me know if the 7200 rpm is overkill)
  • downgrade to combodrive (DVD-rom/CD RW)
  • applecare protection plan
  • software: I have someone else in the music industry helping me out with software I'll need but any advice from you guys is appreciated!

Let me know if any of the customization is unnecessary since this laptop is getting way more pricey than I had anticipated. Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 12-17-05, 10:06 PM
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Customized is nice, if you can afford it. I'd add another 512 mb stick of memory, to the standard config, and not worry about it.
When you say "no software installed", you mean no industry software..............right? 'Cause Macs usually come loaded with software. Closest thing to industry software, that may come on it, is software called "Garage Band" (I think that's the name). The industry's professional software is very expensive, unless her job supplies it...........
Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 12-19-05, 10:10 AM
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You can buy the RAM third party if you want to save a few bucks (a 512 MB stick is about $40-$60; a 1G stick is about $80), but I wouldn't pay $200 for one 1G stick from Apple.

Downgrading to a Combo Drive would be okay I guess, but its only $50 and she might want to burn DVDs later (it does come with iDVD).

If she does video, then the 7200 rpm drive would be worthwhile, but the standard drive (or even the 100 G one) should be fine.

Apple Care is a must.

Are you going for the 15" or the 17" one?

I have students with both types, and the ones that have the 17" say its great, but with the new higher resolution on the 15" they are happy with that.
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Old 12-19-05, 11:07 AM
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It helps to know what "industry" software she'll be using so we can make better recommendations. Most of the time it's the software that dictates your hardware requirements.
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Old 12-19-05, 07:36 PM
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Just to echo what Goldberg74 said, she'll want extra RAM but it's much cheaper to buy it from a third party. I'd just go with the hard drive upgrade you mentioned, and I'd keep the Superdrive. I think she'll be thrilled, and won't mind adding a stick of RAM herself.

(If you do get her RAM, one 1 G SO-DIMM is better than 2 512's because the laptop only has two slots. If she wants to further upgrade in the first case she has a slot free, but in the second case she'd have to throw out RAM.)
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Old 12-19-05, 10:56 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I also got feedback from her boyfriend who also works in the music industry. Apparently she already has ProTools (the industry standard for recording) and Reason (composition software) so I took his recommendation and didn't get her any other software. I took everyone's suggestions and ended up getting my sister the 15" with 1 GB SO-DIMM, the standard harddrive config and superdrive. Lucky her

Thanks again!
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Old 12-20-05, 07:54 AM
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Oftentimes if you order something as big as a laptop or system through macconnection or macmall you get extra free ram & various other supplies. All for the same price that retail/apple stores carry the hardware.

Just checked:
Mac Mall offers the follwing on that model-
* Save an extra $100 via mail-in rebate or FREE 1GB Extra RAM!
* FREE Wireless 802.11G Router!
* FREE Carrying Case!
* FREE Printer!
* Save up to $250 on Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac products!*

macconnection has something similar.
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Old 12-22-05, 08:36 PM
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Dammit! Already had ordered the laptop... still good to know since I'm thinking of getting a powerbook for myself. I haven't made up my mind yet since the last time I used a mac was in grade school and that was years ago!!! Anyhoo, thanks for the headsup MC!
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