Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Powerbook vs. G5

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
March 19, 2005 9:53:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm looking to get a new computer for recording. I'd perfer a
Powerbook, but I've noticed that the G5 1.8 Ghz dual processor machines
are just under $2000. I only record one track at a time so my main
concern is mixdown; I like to use a decent amount of effects and EQ. I
have a $3000 budget (this is for software too, something other than
protools). A usual song would be around 16 tracks. Just trying to get
some opinions so I don't get stuck with a machine that can't handle the
workload. I know the G5 is a more powerfull computer, but If there is
a Powerbook out there that could handle this I'd perfer it.

Thanks for the time,

Adam

More about : powerbook

Anonymous
March 19, 2005 1:40:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

adaM wrote:
> I'm looking to get a new computer for recording. I'd perfer a
> Powerbook, but I've noticed that the G5 1.8 Ghz dual processor
machines
> are just under $2000. I only record one track at a time so my main
> concern is mixdown; I like to use a decent amount of effects and EQ.
I
> have a $3000 budget (this is for software too, something other than
> protools). A usual song would be around 16 tracks. Just trying to
get
> some opinions so I don't get stuck with a machine that can't handle
the
> workload. I know the G5 is a more powerfull computer, but If there
is
> a Powerbook out there that could handle this I'd perfer it.
>
> Thanks for the time,
>
> Adam

I've been running Protools LE on a G4 Powerbook for 2 years.
Substantial track counts/fx, no problems. I would imagine the G5 is
even better. The powerbooks are great machines.

Mark
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 12:36:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I'm looking to get a new computer for recording. I'd perfer a
> Powerbook, but I've noticed that the G5 1.8 Ghz dual processor machines
> are just under $2000. I only record one track at a time so my main
> concern is mixdown; I like to use a decent amount of effects and EQ. I
> have a $3000 budget (this is for software too, something other than
> protools). A usual song would be around 16 tracks. Just trying to get
> some opinions so I don't get stuck with a machine that can't handle the
> workload. I know the G5 is a more powerfull computer, but If there is
> a Powerbook out there that could handle this I'd perfer it.

Audio requires two things: hard drive access speed, and high CPU clock.
Every other aspect of a computer is not taxed heavily by audio DSP
processes. That includes system bus, ram, graphics, FPU, etc etc. What I
consider bare minimum for mixing in-the-box is 2GHz (or dual 1GHz). The
bitch with Apple is that they consistently make sure that their
stripped-down desktop models (eMac, iMac, Mac Mini etc) and their powerbooks
have NOT QUITE ENOUGH CPU. Now that convolution reverbs are becoming
standard, I'm bumping my minimum up to 2.4GHz, which means next month Apple
will release a 2GHz iMac... seriously, just watch.

All ranting aside, get the tower. Not because it's a G5, not for the
expandability, just for the fact that it's more than 2.4GHz. However if I
were to get a Mac for audio it would be a $400 used Sawtooth G4 upgraded
with a $600 Powerlogix dual 1.3GHz G4 CPU, which would work exactly as well
*for audio* as a 2.6GHz G5, which of course does not exist, thanks to
Apple's knack for missing price/performance points.

Maybe I shouldn't point out that it would also work as well as a $400 2.6GHz
Athlon...
Related resources
March 21, 2005 6:24:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 19 Mar 2005 06:53:21 -0800, "adaM" <rygar8@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I'm looking to get a new computer for recording. I'd perfer a
>Powerbook, but I've noticed that the G5 1.8 Ghz dual processor machines
>are just under $2000. I only record one track at a time so my main
>concern is mixdown; I like to use a decent amount of effects and EQ. I
>have a $3000 budget (this is for software too, something other than
>protools). A usual song would be around 16 tracks. Just trying to get
>some opinions so I don't get stuck with a machine that can't handle the
>workload. I know the G5 is a more powerfull computer, but If there is
>a Powerbook out there that could handle this I'd perfer it.
>
>Thanks for the time,
>
>Adam

Hello Adam,

I've been honeymooning with a Powerbook (15", 100gb drive, 1gb ram)
for a couple of weeks now and my desktop is Wintel equipment.

Not thrilled with how hot the Powerbook gets (actually sort of
distressed), delighted with not being tied to the desk, sort of kind
of would've liked one of those ridiculously huge 30" dispays, able to
concurrently operate the wlan and bluetooth mouse (but can cause
grotesque emi chatter when I hold the mouse button down an extended
amount of time).

What software are you considering? Be sure and consider a package
that will let you use the Powerbook's line in as a hardware i/f
otherwise you'll have to lug around your audio interface all the time
(i.e. PT and Audio Desk won't work without the interface connected but
DP 4.52 will allowing me to do roughing work plunked down at the pub
watching the NCAA tournament).

I guess in your case, you'll have to reckon portability versus
horsepower.

Good luck with your decision -- Just trading notes.

Andy
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 7:17:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sugarite wrote:

> Audio requires two things: hard drive access speed, and high CPU clock.
> Every other aspect of a computer is not taxed heavily by audio DSP
> processes. That includes system bus, ram, graphics, FPU, etc etc. What I
> consider bare minimum for mixing in-the-box is 2GHz (or dual 1GHz). The
> bitch with Apple is that they consistently make sure that their
> stripped-down desktop models (eMac, iMac, Mac Mini etc) and their powerbooks
> have NOT QUITE ENOUGH CPU. Now that convolution reverbs are becoming
> standard, I'm bumping my minimum up to 2.4GHz, which means next month Apple
> will release a 2GHz iMac... seriously, just watch.
>

Not entirely true. The Apple G4 & G5 have a technology they call
AltiVec or the Velocity Engine:

The Velocity Engine, embodied in the G4 and G5 processors, expands the
current PowerPC architecture through addition of a 128-bit vector
execution unit that operates concurrently with existing integer and
floating-point units. This provides for highly parallel operations,
allowing for simultaneous execution of up to 16 operations in a single
clock cycle. This new approach expands the processor's capabilities to
concurrently address high-bandwidth data processing (such as streaming
video) and the algorithmic intensive computations which today are
handled off-chip by other devices, such as graphics, audio, and modem
functions.The AltiVec instruction set allows operation on multiple bits
within the 128-bit wide registers. This combination of new instructions,
operation in parallel on multiple bits, and wider registers, provide
speed enhancements of up to 30x on operations that are common in media
processing.

The above is from the Apple developer site. If you can, go to an
Apple retailer or store with an MBox with you and try the latest
Powerbook. Make sure it has at least a gigabyte of RAM. PTLE on an
MBox can do multitrack mixes.

Good Luck,
Robert A. Ober
!