View Full Version : Laptop Advice Mac/PC

03 March 2003, 09:21 PM
Aesthetically speaking the Powerbook wins hands down. Now lets get down to my problem :-)

I come from Product design background, working as a graphic designer and soon will get more into compositing and video editing.
I have an Athlon 2000xp(1.6Ghz) PC at home + an very old Mac (NO firewire port on both) . I travel 3 hours every day to get to and fro from work.
I want to use this time as I don't get much time to learn when I get home... as it's late.
I really can't decide whether I should get a PC laptop or a Mac laptop.

The applications I use are- Indesign,Photoshop,Illustrator,Flash,Dreamweaver (I have both Mac and PC versions)
I am newish to the following softwares and will be using them comparitevely more-
Maya (I have PC version),Premier or Final Cut Pro + After effects(my purchase will depend on the laptop I choose) .

If you were in my position which laptop would you get? A PC one or the Mac????
The PC laptop would be Dell M50 a 2 GHZ+ machine with a quadro 700 card. So in theory it will be more powerfull than my desktop.

On the other hand the 17" Powerbook would be1 Ghz PPC machine and will run everything I need apart from Maya.

I just can't decide. They cost about the same. I really need your advise. What will be a more sound and wise investment. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

03 March 2003, 09:53 PM
When is your buying date? Apple is "supposedly" going to announce what cpu they will be moving too something in april/may.

(Aka the replacement for the G4/Motorola boxes)

All rumors point to "utterly massive" increases in performance. (Compared to current G4 offerings)

03 March 2003, 10:54 PM
I have been trying to decide for last 3-4 months. I have been waiting fro Dell to come out with new laptops. Precision M60 (comes out in 2 week time apparently). Plus the G4 17" laptop does not come out for another month. So I won't be able to buy any for another month anyway. The replacment for G4 won't come out for ages. You know how Apple is.
I want to get good with the above mentioned software and change my current job... so the sooner I can use my time wisely the better my situation will be with regards to leaving my current job:-)

03 March 2003, 12:20 AM
I asked around if the M60 or whatever might be coming out soon from Dell and was told 3rd quarter this year at least. I wanted to wait for the centrinos to come out if anything to lower the prices on the P4Ms. But an update of Dells laptops is overdue so maybe the M60 or other will be out soon, the Dell 8500 with 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce 4 4200 Go AGP 4X Graphics the same chip as the 700 goGL is now out ...
Hopefully the M60 or whatever has 8x agp support for the 700GoGL.

I can tell you first hand the M50 with 700GoGL performs very well with Softimage XSI and Houdini in single or dual screen 1600x1200 etc, and the firewire output of long movie files from the 5400 rpm drive is fine. It blows away my current 3D desktop. Not that specs mean much, Here's a spec comparison of this years top cards that does not include many of last years pro or mid-low end cards.
not too many other sites compare specs including the 700 gogl

I agree about the aesthetically superior apple and if XSI and Houdini ran on OSX and the apple had pro cards I would have purchased one of them. I and other owners agree that the Dell is "clunky" compared to apple, hp, toshiba, compaq etc, but its the only one with the 700gogL.

You can hack an 8200 to be a M50 500 GoGl and soon a 700 GoGL when the part 6X935 is available but it won't be supported:

Good news for M5 500 GoGL owners, you should be able to upgrade to the 700 GoGL by ordering the part too even though some Dell reps say no, others have said yes which is more likely considering just the adapter card and bios are different.

Good luck with whatever you decide, it was a very tough decision for me too, I was looking at the toshiba 5205 with built in DVD burner for 1500 cdn less but only a GF Go card. What sold me on the M50 was David at NVidias recommendation and insights about the 700 goGL and Dells prices fluctuate weekly, two weeks ago there was some more $ offonline plus another bit off given at purchase time and some HW thrown in made the price difference only a few hundred :)

Keep checking back online to see what current deals for it exist. I think this week you get double the ram free and $350US off . And check

Reserching the Dell M40 and 50 last year was a nightmare of poor Dell Customer Care.
The Dell sales rep I used did not know a lot about OGL but was very kind, and very very helpful with all issues that arose and tried and was able to find answers to all my questions. Dennis_Brathwaite@dell

Again good luck with your purchase,

03 March 2003, 07:40 PM
As Greg pointed out in the deleted thread , If you do a double post again , both of your posts will be deleted.

Please do not spam the forum by making multiple postings , thanks.:shame:

03 March 2003, 09:08 PM

03 March 2003, 09:56 PM
He means me. It was agenuine mistake. I posted it in the general forum but then later saw that there was an hardware forum. I am sorry:shame:

ggg- :thumbsup:
Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate that you took the time and effort to type all that. Right now there arer huge price cuts on the M50 so I assume something is on its way.
Anyway can you PLEASE answer few more simple questions

1- I will be carrying it with me every day. Is it physically possible?
Can I put it on my lap when I am on the tram? Can it handle being transported all the time???

2- With 2 batteries will it give me atleast 4 hours?

3-What do you advice personally W2k or XP?

4- The firewire port is not powered what does that mean in practical terms?

Thanks once again Mr ggg:thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 10:45 PM
on the PC side of things, i'd go with winXP for two main reasons:

1) it's newer software and supports more features than win2k

2) it has much better power management for mobile chips.

remember also that a mobile solution is NEVER as powerful as a desktop equivalent. low power chips are used in mobile laptops, which generally increase battery life and lower heat output, but do put a strain on performance.

the precision M50 is quite bulky compared to the 15" powerbook. this is by no means a super lightweight machine. then again, i deck most of my guys out with dell C400's and X200's, which are much lighter but completely gutless for CAD work. of note however: they are architects and care only about asthetics and not functionality. :p

03 March 2003, 12:15 AM
1)It is physically possible to carry it every day but its heavy especailly with two battaries which is likely what you'd do. You could put it on your lap but its hot and I believe the M60 will be wider and shorter so less likely to take up the length or your lap but soemone "mentioned" CPU airflow underneath making it dificult to put on a soft surface.

2)(corrected)4+ hours with two battaries but I have not tested this enough yet, I find it can last longer or less depending on how bright I set my screen and how much I tax the CPU and drive, which is not an issue since I'm mostly using it to model and animate and have not noticed yet any power drain using full screen OGL versus just typing in notpad word or whatever.

3) XP for reasons Elvis mentioned

4) I use the firewire to capture video or monitor dv playback using a sony media converter, and in the future for an external drive which I guess I'll have to carry around a power cord for. There are also pccard USB 2 adapters

The M60 whenever it comes out has one less bay for battery or another spindle I think than the M50 the board and cpus are same "type" I read, just different layout, its advantages might be the better air flow of the 8500 video board, wide screen and USB 2 and future upgrades if youre inclined to open your lapotp to get at the video card, but who knows maybe dell will switch ODMs(spelling?) by then anyway...
8200 M50 c840

Yes I assume too that something is on its way ;) look here:
and here under workstation:

03 March 2003, 08:41 PM
just spoke to Dell rep and they say its quarter and half away on the M60 plus at least a month lead time.

also in regards to question about using it on your lap look at the cooling in the above video card diagram and note in document below where the vents will be underneath (blocked by your leg) or carry around a small piece of wood same size as laptop(It sounds silly but I do for my laptops, really)

03 March 2003, 09:32 PM
ggg- Does not sound silly. That is exactly what I had planned to do. Great minds think alike :-) I was even thinking of having the wooden piece few inches longer for the mouse.
How do you use the mouse?? TOmorrow some laptops might be announced apparently with the Centurion....cpu.

Looks slightly better without the blue inlay.,3959,922702,00.asp

OK I have made my decision between PC and Mac. It will be a Dell PC unfortunately. Now which Dell model hmmm. ggg if your info is right then thats almost 5 months before I can use a M60. Is it not possible that the rep was telling you Porkies, is he a friend or something???

Or I have to get the current M50 or the new Inspirion850 or the NEW lattitude. Can't I get a Quadro in the lattitude?
Thinks are heating up. ggg what is your take??? What would you do???

03 March 2003, 10:35 PM
I guess you could get an 8500 or D800 and hope to upgrade to a Quadro 700 GoGL later but it won't be supported by your warranty and the part availibility will be even more months away after the M60s release as is usually the case with relase dates and spare parts according to other Dell laptop owners I spoke with that unofficially upgraded their Dell 8200s.

edit added: note in above images the new 8500 D800, M60 video cards are differnt layout so the current 700 GoGL won't fit and even owners of 8200s etc cannot get the current 700 goGL part yet that comes with the M50, and Dell parts has told them a month or so away at least and who knows if the new 700 goGL will fit in the 8500...

Yes my rep could be full of it but don't you think its odd that Dell released the M50 with 700 GoGL last month but did not release the 8200 with GF4 4200 Go, if they were going to replace the M50 this month with the M60, like they replaced the 8200 with 8500 this month? and soon the D800

Another issue with getting the GF4 4200 Go although I'm sure it will run 3d apps very well, will be possible issues with future 3D apps and ther may be some problems trying to softquadro it, I couldn't get any info on it from the writers of those drivers unless I switched to theirs for other cards. But I am new to using NV cards and know very little about this area, perhaps ask Elvis.
I guess you'll also need to change the bios if you get the 8500 or D800 to possibly support he 700GoGL, dunno.
Also like the M50 compared to the 8200 the price diff between the 8500 and M60 may only be a little more for "Dell/NV pro support" than the price of the 700 card.

Perhaps in two weeks the M60 will be out and this will all be mute...

03 March 2003, 05:31 AM
take it with a grain of salt, the comments are from 8200 and 8100 owners, here's some "opinions" on the 8500 with GF4 4200 go
from that same forum you found

03 March 2003, 04:59 AM
Why do you said that the 17" Powerbook won't run Maya?

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 03:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.