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Zarog
Feb 16, 2002, 11:13 PM
After alot of research I've decided to ditch my Intel based laptop. I've been waffling on what to replace it with however and hope you guys can provide some guidence.

I could go for broke and get the 667 Mhz powerbook however I generally go for the lower models like the 550 Mhz. I even considered the ibook but that powerbook is just so sexy. If I got the 550 Mhz I could max out the memory within a few months which should help the performance. I debated to wait until Macworld Tokyo before my purchase but then I'm not to sure there will be any hardware updates. I figure there will be some at MWNY but then it also becomes a cost issue however when prices drop I could easily afford the 667 Mhz without going for broke. But then again I'd have to continue using my Intel laptop until July and that would suck.

My uses for the laptop would be web page updates and would be using the itools suite and imovie or Final Cut Pro.

What do you guys think? Go for the 550 Mhz? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Gelfin
Feb 16, 2002, 11:18 PM
Personally, I went for broke. The 133MHz bus in the 667 was just too compelling to pass up.

krossfyter
Feb 17, 2002, 01:03 AM
I too have been doing research into this area and I have found that the 550 is exactly what i need within my price range. Get a 550 and ram that baby up you be better then fine. Im going to do that. Im not to concerned with the noise factor that many people say is an issue with the rev b modles of tibooks in which the 550 and 667 are in. Some go for the 500 because the noise factor isnt that bad and it is better in some ways compared to the 550...which i dont really care for. The 500 does not have the combo drive so that why im going for the 550!!! i cant pass up that combo drive....for that price.

PyroTurtle
Feb 17, 2002, 01:33 AM
if you're doing Final Cut stuff, get the 667. in FCP 3 it does real time rendering, and that saves hours upon hours after a while...i have my Ti 400 that I bought for stuff, but i have an 867 (well, my MOM does, but we share ;)) that i do all video editing on. and i almost upgraded to the 550 (price, damn being a high school student, 4 months left!) but then tried my friends in stuff and it isn't that much faster. but, the 667 was quite a bit faster, especially in PS 6 (classic and in OS 9 boot) and even more especialy in FCP and iMovie. so ya, might as well go for broke!

krossfyter
Feb 17, 2002, 03:10 AM
how much faster?

AmbitiousLemon
Feb 17, 2002, 07:01 AM
well its hard to decide what someone else should buy since we dont know exactly how your financial situation is but i think there are a few major differences between current powerbooks. Bus speed is the biggest difference. the 100mhz bus in the slower powerbook is going to feel very slow in as little as a year. bus speed is a lot more important than hz and this should really catch your eye. the next thing is hard drive rpms. nearly every laptop has a 4200rpm hardrive. this si compared to desktops where the average desktop has a 7200 rpm drive. the biggest performance boost i ever gave my laptop was moving from the 4200rpm to the 5400rpm drive. the 5400rpm drive is a bto otion from apple and only available at 48gigs. its kidna expensive as well. but it also ensures you get an ibm drive rather than the cheap toshiba drives apple often puts in its products (ipod!). also get as little apple ram as possible and upgrade using 3rd party ram this will save you a few bucks. if i was crimped on money id buy the 133mhz model as stripped as possible (least amount of ram smallest harddrive) then buy more ram and buy an ibm drive when i get the cash (if you do this you could buy a 32gb, 48gb, or 60gb ibm drive all 5400rpms).

krossfyter
Feb 17, 2002, 03:19 PM
how much difference does a 100 mhz bus speed make with a 133mhz bus speed? whats the real world difference here? 10 seconds? do they make 550 tibooks with 133mhz bus speed and whats the bus speed on the 500s?

mymemory
Feb 17, 2002, 03:35 PM
Man, I have a G3 500 (the old Powerbook line) with 256MB of ram. I love that thing. I justo would put more ram to it, not because I need it, just to not to worried any more about Ram.

If you could push it to the 600Mhz better because of the system bus (100 in place of 66).

For web design is more than enought because web design is very light. With Final Cut Pro is not the best plataform but it will work better with a bigger monitor and remember you will need a bigger hard drive for video, unless you are doing small things for the net, in that case you are just fine.

Consider getting an old Powerbook G3 500 Firewire. It has 100Mhz system bus and 1MB back caché. The only thing missing is the super drive, but you may get the same features, a bigger LCD 14" fro less than a Powerbook. At the end you will see you got the best for less.

PyroTurtle
Feb 17, 2002, 05:57 PM
in FCP 3 the ONLY laptop that can do the real time renders is the 667

and the 667 uses the graphics card more efficently and the battery last longer at times for some reason...go fig! just saying what i've found while using a 400, 550, and 667 at the same time

Onyxx
Feb 17, 2002, 06:21 PM
mymemory i have a g3 400 powerbook and i have to agree with you on the fact that it kicks @ss. But, being a final cut pro user i have to dissagree with you on the "all you need is ram" statement.

When it comes to editing video and such, there is nothing like a heafty processor under the hood to make everything go along that much smoother. I edit almost all of my pieces on my powerbook but I'll RENDER the final on someone elses machine. reason? well my g3 400 doesn't have the horsepower (metiphorically of course) to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Especially if you shoot footage in 16:9 and then render it out to normal 4:3.

Although it may not matter for many apps, final cut pro (especially in FCP 3 - my g3 400 is just barely able to work with fcp 3) is very much aware of those altivec engines in G4 chips. This makes a huge difference.

to Zarog- I would hold out a little longer. The next systems to be updated will most likely be the powerbooks. But, if you really need it right now I would go with:

1) the 667 WITHOUT A COMBO DRIVE. You can find these things for much cheaper than their newer brethren.

2) A refurbished 667. Refurbs are great things, take advantage of them

3) And if you really want both a combodrive and that 667 processor but aren't ready to spring the cash consider the following (requires guts of steel): Buy a refurb (or new) 550 with a combo drive. Pop open that case [voiding your warranty, but hey who needs it] and over clock your BUS to 133 mhz. This will turn your 550 into a 667.
This also works with ibook 500's by the way. For those of you ibook users feeling slighted by apple's recent 100mhz bused g3 600 ibook, just up clock your bus and viola! ibook 600 mhz 100 mhz bus.

but if it was my money i would wait.

AlphaTech
Feb 17, 2002, 06:45 PM
I recommend going for broke and get the top of the line model (brand new then add the AppleCare protection plan). That will get you the faster system bus, higher speed processor, larger hard drive and a new system.

I went for broke when I got my rev a TiBook, and have never regretted it.

alex_ant
Feb 17, 2002, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by Onyxx
And if you really want both a combodrive and that 667 processor but aren't ready to spring the cash consider the following (requires guts of steel): Buy a refurb (or new) 550 with a combo drive. Pop open that case [voiding your warranty, but hey who needs it] and over clock your BUS to 133 mhz. This will turn your 550 into a 667.
This also works with ibook 500's by the way. For those of you ibook users feeling slighted by apple's recent 100mhz bused g3 600 ibook, just up clock your bus and viola! ibook 600 mhz 100 mhz bus.

Onyxx, do you have more information on that overclocking trick? How is it done? Are there any firms that I can pay to have it done for me? My 550MHz TiBook is just not fast enough, and I would at least *consider* overclocking it.

Alex

britboy
Feb 17, 2002, 07:43 PM
as if the Tibooks weren't hot enough already.

AlphaTech
Feb 17, 2002, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by britboy
as if the Tibooks weren't hot enough already.

Yeah, and I would rather not void my AppleCare protection plan for a few MHz more.

krossfyter
Feb 17, 2002, 09:13 PM
550 not fast enough?? what are you talking about? how much faster does it need to be? whats that mean in the real world? 10 seconds difference? or 10 minutes? i dont get it.

Onyxx
Feb 18, 2002, 12:59 AM
on a long render, that 117 mhz can make a heck of a difference. But to tell you the truth, it isn't really worth it. Powerbooks are a bitch to overclock because of their exteremly tight tolerences and that little heat problem. The bitch of the matter is that the tibook 2 was designed to run at 133 no matter the processor that was put it. all apple did was down clock the bus (they did the same with the ibook)
If you really want to do it, and i'm not saying you should, it involves cutting and soldering 2 sand grain size resistors on the back of your processor daughter card. I think there is an open firmware tweak as well (i know there is one for the ibook) but don't quote me on it.

A site that is just the facts on overclocking various macs (no mention of the tibook 2 or tibook here)

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~t-imai/maine.html

How to overclock the tibook1 (daughtercards are identical for both but im not sure how the overclock the bus, yet :D )

http://www.voelker.com/service/void/powerbook/

I wouldn't do it though. not worth the risk. worth it on the ibook but not on the ti

AlphaTech
Feb 18, 2002, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by Onyxx
on a long render, that 117 mhz can make a heck of a difference. But to tell you the truth, it isn't really worth it. Powerbooks are a bitch to overclock because of their exteremly tight tolerences and that little heat problem. The bitch of the matter is that the tibook 2 was designed to run at 133 no matter the processor that was put it. all apple did was down clock the bus (they did the same with the ibook)
If you really want to do it, and i'm not saying you should, it involves cutting and soldering 2 sand grain size resistors on the back of your processor daughter card. I think there is an open firmware tweak as well (i know there is one for the ibook) but don't quote me on it.

A site that is just the facts on overclocking various macs (no mention of the tibook 2 or tibook here)

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~t-imai/maine.html

How to overclock the tibook1 (daughtercards are identical for both but im not sure how the overclock the bus, yet :D )

http://www.voelker.com/service/void/powerbook/

I wouldn't do it though. not worth the risk. worth it on the ibook but not on the ti

Just a minor point, but it is my understanding that Apple made the TiBooks with the processors on the motherboard, not on a daughter card (like the G3's were). That pretty much eliminates the chance of a processor upgrade for the TiBook.

I have opened up my TiBook before and there is a heat sink that goes over the processor section of the motherboard, but the chip is part of the board.

Also, the links you posted for the PowerBook G4 indicated that soldering was required on the logic board (which is the same as the motherboard).

Just some FYI's.

krossfyter
Feb 18, 2002, 01:51 AM
okay forgive me but im not versed on this stuff so stupid questions i will ask...

how many seconds/minutes faster is the 667 compared to the 550? i just want to know exaclty what is the difference, in real world terms...laymen terms....between the two rev b models?

besides the bus speed spec

ex: the 667 is 10 seconds faster on a gaussian blur filter then the 550....something like that...you get the point...so please help!


if you have any links to share then please do..im trying to do some research here between the 550 and 667. i dont think barefeats has comparisons between these two guys.....just the rev b, the rev a and ibook. i was looking for some but didnt find any.

Onyxx
Feb 18, 2002, 10:50 PM
AlphaTech- correct. I was wrong about the daughtercard bit (seem to have my head in the past, maybe its just the machine i'm working with...)
yes the soldering is done on the logic board unlike the mod done to the g3 powerbooks. The disadvantage to this is that unlike the g3, if you cook the g4 you cook the whole logic board , unlike the the g3 were it was only a processor card (daughter card)

Still looking for that bus resistor spec i saw not too long ago.

alex_ant
Feb 19, 2002, 01:36 AM
Onyxx, thanks for the info - I don't have the AppleCare plan, so I would at least wait for the existing warranty to expire before trying anything like that. And I'd probably rather try to find some brave and daring PC/electronics repair shop that would do it for me for a couple hundred bucks instead, because I certainly do not have the balls/stupidity to do that myself. :)

An OpenFirmware tweak would be great. At least it would be (a bit more) reversible. (Unless you meant it would be required in addition to the soldering.) But if I could just enter a few commands in OF, that would rock! It's a bit frustrating to know I have a CPU intended to run at 667/133 clocked down to 550/100.

Alex

alex_ant
Feb 19, 2002, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by krossfyter
how many seconds/minutes faster is the 667 compared to the 550? i just want to know exaclty what is the difference, in real world terms...laymen terms....between the two rev b models?

besides the bus speed spec

ex: the 667 is 10 seconds faster on a gaussian blur filter then the 550....something like that...you get the point...so please help!


if you have any links to share then please do..im trying to do some research here between the 550 and 667. i dont think barefeats has comparisons between these two guys.....just the rev b, the rev a and ibook. i was looking for some but didnt find any.

http://www.barefeats.com/pb06.html might be what you're looking for.

Or you can take what I call the OmniWeb on a TiBook 550 vs. IE 5.0 on a Pentium 200 test. Load up a page with huge nested tables, like a Slashdot comments page at -1. Notice how IE on the Pentium actually outperforms OmniWeb on the TiBook.

Sorry to all the Mac zealots reading this. I'm not pro-PC - I'm just strongly anti-OS X-and-its-related-software-being-so-friggin'-slow.

Alex

AmbitiousLemon
Feb 19, 2002, 08:50 AM
Sorry to all the Mac zealots reading this. I'm not pro-PC - I'm just strongly anti-OS X-and-its-related-software-being-so-friggin'-slow.

Alex

hear hear. (although comparing to omniweb isnt really fair, it doesnt really matter in the end though, all browsers are slower than ie on a pc). mac os x is definitely an operating system of the future. now we just need some hardware of the future to run the darn thing. i swear the only reason i really want apple to unveil a 64 bit g5 processor is because im hoping it will be able to run osx at an acceptable speed. had a chance to test drive osx on a brand new dual 1ghz pm the other day. very nice. but guess what! osx is still "friggin'" slow! im not buying another computer until apple creates a computer than can run apple's software. ok i know there are people out there with 233 g3 with a 66mhz bus and 128mb ram who swear osx runs great on their machine and will promptly tell anyone who mentions osx is slow that they should run some disk maitenance like we are some kind of moron who doesnt know how to maintain a computer (hell half the people who visit macrumors mac their living doing this). well some people might be happy with osx performance, but the overwhelming majority of mac users arent. despite its slowness i understand the advantages. but that doesnt help when you try to get other mac users to switch and the first thing they notice is its so slow. 9 times out of 10 people i introduce to osx just keep using os9 for one reason, osx is too slow.

sorry for the rant. im writing this now in netscape 4.7 in classic mode on osx because no other browser in osx is as fast (now how crazy does that sound!). but this rant does have a point. if you can squeeze out an extra 33mhz on your bus or 100mhz on you processor. or if you can drop an extra few bucks and spring for broke and get the faster computer, your computer wont be fast but when apple's hardware is this far behind ever little bit helps. forget about photoshop filters (yes you will save a significant amount of time) lets talk about ease of use in the finder. the slower the computer the more annoying the osx finder will be. if i was buying now (which im not as i mentioned before) id try to get the most i could afford, every last dollar is another dollar going towards a less annoying osxperience. because lets face it, until we are all on 64 bit machines with a 64 bit optimized osx we will need every but of power we can get just to run the darn operating system!

krossfyter
Feb 19, 2002, 12:07 PM
i guess youre waiting for the 28 stage pipeline.

AlphaTech
Feb 19, 2002, 12:16 PM
Why only 28?? How about a full 128+??? :D

I know, just being silly...

Even if Mac's are 32 bit, they are still a hellofa lot more stable, and faster then the peecee's out there. :D

krossfyter
Feb 19, 2002, 12:36 PM
128 gigaflops!


nah i hear ya man.


say umm alpha tech, what if one buys a powerbook from a retailer that is not apple authorized and in the event that something happens to the powerbook how can one get it fixed???


quick question

AlphaTech
Feb 19, 2002, 01:05 PM
Unknown... Except that you know, or at least reasonably so, that if it comes from an authorized reseller that they are not units that 'fell off the truck' so to speak. The same with buying memory from a company that has a posted policy about memory. I had a little problem with the upgrade I picked up over the weekend, but was able to get it all ironed out yesterday. The salesman sold me the incorrect chip for the upper slot. They took back that one, and I was able to get the correct one. No restocking fee, just the difference in price ($21 to be exact). :D

With the authorized reseller, you have a valid paper trail to follow. I believe that if you purchase it from one of them, and they go under, you can still get support. This might be true either way, but it gives you the security feeling (that warm fuzzy that comes with getting a new Mac system :D) that just can't be matched from getting a peecee.

I want a terraflop system next.. :D I wonder how long before Apple has those.

Onyxx
Feb 19, 2002, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by krossfyter
128 gigaflops!


nah i hear ya man.


say umm alpha tech, what if one buys a powerbook from a retailer that is not apple authorized and in the event that something happens to the powerbook how can one get it fixed???


quick question

i'm pretty sure that all new apple products (as well as apple refurbs) have an apple care card or some other piece of paper in with the product info. This card entitles you to a limited warranty and the option of purchasing the applecare extended warranty. This was the case with my pb G3 but i purchased it from macmall.