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View Full Version : PowerBooks really overpriced now


Little Endian
Jan 16, 2005, 01:52 PM
The Mac mini uses a notebook slot load drive virtually identical to the type found in the Powerbooks. You can upgrade the Mac mini to a Superdrive for only $100 more but it costs $200 to upgrade in the Powerbooks to the exact same specifications. Also if the mac mini really uses a 2.5 inch HD it only costs $50 to bump it from 40GB to 80GB sure it might only be 4200RPM but so are the stock drives in the Powerbook. In the Powerbook one has to pay $125 to go from just 60GB to 80GB but then you get the 5400RPM speed bump but still the cost deferential is much more than the Mac Mini.

Even if Apple speedbumps the Powerbooks in coming weeks it will still be G4 and that does'nt Justify the Current Pricing scheme. I think the Powerbook should get a $200 price drop across the board actually Apple should have done that months ago. Even with a $200 price drop on the 12" PB it would still cost more than the 14" ibook. The $300-$400 premium that the PB commands does not Justify the Aluminum enclosure slightly better GPU and a 34Mhz bus boost that makes almost no real world difference.

hcuar
Jan 16, 2005, 05:42 PM
Well... the PB has an LCD screen attached to it... plus a keyboard, trackpad, etc. It's a totally different system... I don't see how you can compare. Oh yeah... the battery + charger adds cost as well.

Daveman Deluxe
Jan 16, 2005, 05:49 PM
Actually, he raises an interesting point. The main thing that I find interesting is in the upgrade costs.

The Mac mini costs $100 to upgrade from a Combo Drive to a SuperDrive. The same upgrade in a PB costs $200. There's a similar issue with regards to upgrading hard drives.

FWIW, that 34 MHz bus clock frequency increase is actually a big deal.

themacman
Jan 16, 2005, 05:59 PM
or how the differnce in exspensive between ibook and pb ram prices

carlos700
Jan 16, 2005, 06:03 PM
Both the Mac mini and PowerBook G4 have a 167 MHz Bus. Is the 1.5 GHz G4 Processor in the PowerBook just an overclocked 1.42 GHz part?

I'm wondering this because the 1.5 GHz and 1.7 GHz processor upgrade cards are 1.42 GHz overclocked.

RGunner
Jan 16, 2005, 06:50 PM
um.... 1.7 upgrade cards are NOT overclocked 1.42 CPU's.


Both the Mac mini and PowerBook G4 have a 167 MHz Bus. Is the 1.5 GHz G4 Processor in the PowerBook just an overclocked 1.42 GHz part?

I'm wondering this because the 1.5 GHz and 1.7 GHz processor upgrade cards are 1.42 GHz overclocked.

Capt Underpants
Jan 16, 2005, 06:56 PM
or how the differnce in exspensive between ibook and pb ram prices

The powerbook uses faster RAM than the iBook.

Little Endian
Jan 17, 2005, 06:57 AM
Actually, he raises an interesting point. The main thing that I find interesting is in the upgrade costs.

The Mac mini costs $100 to upgrade from a Combo Drive to a SuperDrive. The same upgrade in a PB costs $200. There's a similar issue with regards to upgrading hard drives.

FWIW, that 34 MHz bus clock frequency increase is actually a big deal.

The 34Mhz makes a negligible difference from 133-167Mhz. In the best case scenario it may make a 5-8% difference but in most cases it makes almost no difference. Show me some benchmarks showing that it makes a big difference.

http://barefeats.com/ibG4.html

take note of how the 15" Aluminum Powerbook at 1Ghz with 167Mhz FSB compares to the older 15"Ti book @ 1Ghz with a 133Mhz FSB.

I also can speak from personal experience I use a 17" 1Ghz G4 imac with a 133Mhz FSB and my brother uses a 15" 1Ghz G4 imac with the 167Mhz FSB and there is virtually no difference in performance.

Little Endian
Jan 17, 2005, 07:02 AM
Well... the PB has an LCD screen attached to it... plus a keyboard, trackpad, etc. It's a totally different system... I don't see how you can compare. Oh yeah... the battery + charger adds cost as well.

First Paragraph I was comparing upgrade costs that Apple Charges. Second Paragraph I was saying how the Premium that the PB commands is excessive in comparison to the ibook.

aus_dave
Jan 17, 2005, 07:41 AM
The Powerbook and Mini are in totally different market segments. The Mini is going after the switcher market, where price is everything. The PB is catering to Mac users that are willing to pay a premium for a nice, sleek laptop. It might not be 'fair' in your eyes, but profitability is the ultimate goal for Apple. If you drop the price you need to sell more units just to get the same gross profit, and still more to increase it.

I can imagine an Apple marketing manager standing up at a sales meeting - "I read on MacRumors we need to shave $200 off the cost of Powerbooks, let's make that happen!" :rolleyes:.

Winstonp
Jan 17, 2005, 08:38 AM
yeah, it's as if apple gets all their ideas from mac rumors.

but anyways. You also have to to in consideration the cost of parts (drives, boards etc.) compared to how many you order. Apple makes far fewer powerbooks than it does macminis, and therefore the price for say one superdrive should cost less, for the mac mini, if they order say 5X the amount.

cluthz
Jan 17, 2005, 09:31 AM
The 34Mhz makes a negligible difference from 133-167Mhz. In the best case scenario it may make a 5-8% difference but in most cases it makes almost no difference. Show me some benchmarks showing that it makes a big difference.

http://barefeats.com/ibG4.html

take note of how the 15" Aluminum Powerbook at 1Ghz with 167Mhz FSB compares to the older 15"Ti book @ 1Ghz with a 133Mhz FSB.

I also can speak from personal experience I use a 17" 1Ghz G4 imac with a 133Mhz FSB and my brother uses a 15" 1Ghz G4 imac with the 167Mhz FSB and there is virtually no difference in performance.


I believe that the Titanium had 256k L2 cache and 1024K L3 cache vs the albook only had 512k L2.. That would give the tibook slightly better CPU performance..

But the extra bus speed helps, but it doesn't make it much faster.

Little Endian
Jan 31, 2005, 08:40 AM
I can imagine an Apple marketing manager standing up at a sales meeting - "I read on MacRumors we need to shave $200 off the cost of Powerbooks, let's make that happen!" :rolleyes:.

Well with today's Powerbook Updates it looks very much like Apple actually was listening to me. :) Actually it was more to the fact that Powerbooks really were overpriced and it's just that some people always want to justify Apple's Pricing Schemes.

Sure maybe only $100 price drop however the 15 inch Super Drive 1.67Ghz actually did get at $200 price cut down from $2499 to only $2299. An overall good move more for less. Still think the rest of the lineup should have got an $100 cut in price.

Bear
Jan 31, 2005, 09:18 AM
It's $150 for the SuperDrive and $50 for the larger hardrive on the 12" PowerBook. That together adds to a $200 price difference between the two models.

And remember the Mac Mini has a 4x SuperDrive, this is an 8x SuperDrive.

Lancetx
Jan 31, 2005, 02:16 PM
I believe that the Titanium had 256k L2 cache and 1024K L3 cache vs the albook only had 512k L2.. That would give the tibook slightly better CPU performance..

But the extra bus speed helps, but it doesn't make it much faster.

The AlBooks are faster than the TiBooks regardless of the lack of an L3 cache. A 512K L2 cache is faster than a 256K L2 + 1MB L3. Plus the bus speed is 167MHz on the Al instead of 133MHz on the Ti as you pointed out. The reason it's better is that the L3 cache only ran at 40% of the CPU speed, whereas the L2 runs at full processor speed. Therefore the new cache design even without the L3, along with the much increased CPU clock speed and 25% faster bus means the AlBooks are superior in every way to the old TiBooks.

Sun Baked
Jan 31, 2005, 02:42 PM
Motorola never updated the L3 cache on the G4, it continues to use DDR SSRAM memory.

DDR memory at the speed needed to really keep up with the current specs is expensive -- DDR2/DDR3 would have cut this cost, but it hasn't been implemented yet.

iGary
Jan 31, 2005, 03:19 PM
Mac mini = 4X SuperDrive
PowerBook = 8X SuperDrive

jamdr
Jan 31, 2005, 04:31 PM
What I'm rather miffed about is that, although Apple cut the price of the 12" PowerBook by $100, it did not cut the edu price, which is still $1400. Why couldn't they cut the edu price to $1300? The cost of the upgrades does seem a little high, but at least a lot comes standard now, such as 512MB of RAM.

wrldwzrd89
Jan 31, 2005, 04:54 PM
Motorola never updated the L3 cache on the G4, it continues to use DDR SSRAM memory.

DDR memory at the speed needed to really keep up with the current specs is expensive -- DDR2/DDR3 would have cut this cost, but it hasn't been implemented yet.
As far as I am aware, DDR3 only exists as GDDR3 found in advanced graphics cards. It hasn't found its way to consumers yet (DDR2 market penetration is weak compared to plain old DDR right now also).

Personally, I think Apple will move to a more advanced DDR in the future. I think Apple's more likely to skip DDR2 entirely and go straight to DDR3, given how little DDR2 is being used. Imagine the marketing possibilities for Apple: "Introducing the new PowerMac with DDR3 memory: 4 times faster than the previous model."

Sun Baked
Jan 31, 2005, 08:33 PM
As far as I am aware, DDR3 only exists as GDDR3 found in advanced graphics cards. It hasn't found its way to consumers yet (DDR2 market penetration is weak compared to plain old DDR right now also).

Personally, I think Apple will move to a more advanced DDR in the future. I think Apple's more likely to skip DDR2 entirely and go straight to DDR3, given how little DDR2 is being used. Imagine the marketing possibilities for Apple: "Introducing the new PowerMac with DDR3 memory: 4 times faster than the previous model."Not talking about the consumer memory, but the cache...

Motorola let it fall far behind the times, sort of pointless for Apple to add L3 cache when Motorola let it lag like the FSB.

Would have been different if Motorola had updated the cache to DDR2 when Apple switch to DDR main memory -- but Motorola didn't.

Converted2Truth
Jan 31, 2005, 09:35 PM
I told myself that I wouldn't buy a new powerbook until they had doubled in speed. My Ti800 just wasn't cutting it for me. Netbeans ran like a dog. Well, now they've doubled. My titanium powerbook was 3300 bucks... this one will run me 2300 bucks. Quite the savings really. Hurry up tax return!

wrldwzrd89
Jan 31, 2005, 09:49 PM
Not talking about the consumer memory, but the cache...

Motorola let it fall far behind the times, sort of pointless for Apple to add L3 cache when Motorola let it lag like the FSB.

Would have been different if Motorola had updated the cache to DDR2 when Apple switch to DDR main memory -- but Motorola didn't.
I don't think there's such a thing as DDR cache anyway - that's why I assumed you were referring to memory.

Sun Baked
Jan 31, 2005, 09:56 PM
I don't think there's such a thing as DDR cache anyway - that's why I assumed you were referring to memory.I'm glad you think that DDR caches don't exist.

Don't know what changes were in the 7457, but the 7455 L3 cache is...Level 3 (L3) cache interface (not implemented on MPC7445)
Provides critical double-word forwarding to the requesting unit
Internal L3 cache controller and tags
External data SRAMs
Support for 1- and 2-Mbyte L3 caches
Cache write-back or write-through operation programmable on a per-page or per-block basis
64-byte (1 M) or 128-byte (2 M) sectored line size
Private memory capability for half (1-Mbyte minimum) or all of the L3 SRAM space
Supports MSUG2 dual data rate (DDR) synchronous Burst SRAMs, PB2 pipelined synchronous Burst SRAMs, and pipelined (register-register) Late Write synchronous Burst SRAMs
Supports parity on cache and tags
Configurable core-to-L3 frequency divisors
64-bit external L3 data bus sustains 64 bits per L3 clock cycleEdit: didn't feel like bothering with looking for the 7457 docs on the Freescale site.

In any case the L3 cache is most likely dead in the coming generations, and will probably be replaced by on board memory controllers.

But between the time DDR cache was added and the time we get an on board memory controller, it'll have stagnated like the FSB.

wrldwzrd89
Feb 1, 2005, 04:38 AM
I'm glad you think that DDR caches don't exist.

Don't know what changes were in the 7457, but the 7455 L3 cache is...Edit: didn't feel like bothering with looking for the 7457 docs on the Freescale site.

In any case the L3 cache is most likely dead in the coming generations, and will probably be replaced by on board memory controllers.

But between the time DDR cache was added and the time we get an on board memory controller, it'll have stagnated like the FSB.
Thanks for that Sun Baked - I had never heard of that before. I guess it just goes to show that if you don't look through the documentation carefully (or at all), you're bound to miss something.

aus_dave
Feb 1, 2005, 05:15 AM
Well with today's Powerbook Updates it looks very much like Apple actually was listening to me. :) Actually it was more to the fact that Powerbooks really were overpriced and it's just that some people always want to justify Apple's Pricing Schemes.

Sure maybe only $100 price drop however the 15 inch Super Drive 1.67Ghz actually did get at $200 price cut down from $2499 to only $2299. An overall good move more for less. Still think the rest of the lineup should have got an $100 cut in price.
Well if people keep saying "drop the price" long enough someone will be right eventually :rolleyes:.

I'm not justifying Apple's pricing, just marketing in general. Profitability is a significant part of the equation, particularly when you are selling in a very small market segment.