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View Full Version : I want to switch, need some info


FusionMachine
May 1, 2003, 07:19 PM
Hello, after buying an iPod a few months ago and being blown away by it I started to seriously consider switching to Mac. I do lots of multimedia, including music production, and I'm a fan of great design, so it seems natural. I'm going to college in the fall, which means i'll porbably end up buying a laptop. I was looking at the 15" PowerBook and liked it, but have become concerned that it's due for a replacement, since it lacks things like DDR RAM. Does anyone have any idea when Apple plans to do this? I don't need a date or anything, i'm just wondering if it'll be before the end of August, which is when I leave. Also, does anyone forsee USB 2.0 ports on the next line of PowerBooks?

Macpoops
May 1, 2003, 07:55 PM
USB 2.0 will not be in powerbooks let alone any mac for a while. The only thing apple makes that supports USB 2 is the new ipods. Updated 15" powerbooks will probably have a feature set very similar to the 17" powerbooks. Rumors now are saying within 2 months for new 15" but their have been rumors of new 15" for about 6 or 7 months now.

Wildcat
May 1, 2003, 08:17 PM
I would wait but thats just me

QCassidy352
May 1, 2003, 08:19 PM
well, not quite that long... 6 months ago the current 15" PBs weren't even out (released mid november). But yes, rumors have been around a long time, and no one really seems to know for sure. If it's for school next year, you have some time until you need it, right?

USB 2.0 is not coming to macs anytime soon because Steve Jobs says that "mac users prefer firewire." (shrugs) You'll likely get firewire 800 on the new 15" PBs though. (not that anything uses that yet... [shrugs again] but firewire 400 is about as fast as usb 2 anyway.)

cb911
May 1, 2003, 09:38 PM
personally, i think (or more like, really really hope) that new 15" PB's will be realeased in July sometime.

if it's not going to hurt you to wait to see if any new ones come out, then just wait a bit for them.

MarksEvilTwin
May 1, 2003, 09:50 PM
Removed

patrick0brien
May 1, 2003, 10:49 PM
-Gents

Take this with a rumor grain of salt, but I've heard from several sources (including some on these boards) that the USB2 chipset is already in the latest generation of the MDD Powermacs and the Aluminum Powerbooks. Apple has installed them due to low cost of parts and the added advantage of wait-and-see. If USB2 turns out to be a success, all Apple has to do is activate through a firmware update.

Personally, I have yet to see a compelling reason for USB2 over FireWire 400.

Reed Black
May 1, 2003, 10:55 PM
I'd wait but remeber no matter what you really cant lose going with MAC over WINDBLOWS so get a Mac for sure. Just wait til you see something that suits your needs better.

reed black

Catfish_Man
May 1, 2003, 11:42 PM
Ummm... the current PowerMacs HAVE USB2 ports. They don't have a driver yet, but I'd be very startled if one isn't included by the time 10.3 comes out.

As to the original question; I would wait. An aluminum 15" with DDR ram seems like a logical update to me. I'd say 50/50 chance of USB2.

Moe
May 2, 2003, 12:10 AM
I'm a potential switcher too, and am waiting for the rumored "new" 15" Powerbook, mainly for the ATI M10 video. From what I've been able to determine, the current Mac architecture doesn't take advantage of DDR memory due to limitations in the cpu to memory controller bus (1.3GB/sec), but can take a little advantage of 133 or 166MHz bus over 100.

It would be great if all these rumors about a 970 processor with 400+MHz bus were true, but I don't expect to see the 970 until this time next year, and then only in PowerMacs, not PowerBook. I think we'll get 133MHz bus DDR memory and an ATI M10, but that's about it, in the upcoming 15"PB.

If you're concerned about power, wait til this summer and buy a 3.0HT P4 processor with 800MHz FSB (200MHz clock X 2 (for DDR leading and trailing edge) X 2 (for dual-channel memory) in a Sager (http://www.sagernotebooks.com) and if you wanna play with *nix, put a partition on the drive for Linux. They'll have ATI M10 with twice the video memory as Apple, in a month.

If you wanna Mac, or wanna play with BSD, and power isn't as much of an issue as ease of use, get a Mac PB. BTW, Windows guys doing video work say Firewire 400 is still faster than USB2 despite the specs.

yzedf
May 2, 2003, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by patrick0brien
-Gents

Take this with a rumor grain of salt, but I've heard from several sources (including some on these boards) that the USB2 chipset is already in the latest generation of the MDD Powermacs and the Aluminum Powerbooks. Apple has installed them due to low cost of parts and the added advantage of wait-and-see. If USB2 turns out to be a success, all Apple has to do is activate through a firmware update.

Personally, I have yet to see a compelling reason for USB2 over FireWire 400.
Hardware that is already available (scanners and such).

Politics should not be involved in hardware decisions...

mim
May 2, 2003, 05:39 AM
Originally posted by MarksEvilTwin
Yes, wait for the next revision.

As for USB 2...<snip>...The transfer speeds are about the same because of some technical difference i dunno.


The protocol for USB takes up an enormous overhead (for usb 1.1 I'm sure I read in the order of 25%(?!) - but that can't be right). Firewire does some DMA trick similar to the PCI bus to reduce the overhead. So although UBS2 'may' be 'sometimes' faster than Firewire, more of >your< data (rather than the transfer protocol data) is actually pushed through the bus. So your file gets there faster though firewire than with usb2.

There is also various latency issues here too - usb has to wait to have data requested, etc.

I know this is fairly vauge...but there is so much fud out there over this issue. Maybe someone else can straighten out this muddle i've made.

But anyway - point is that you don't really need usb2, unless you get a camera or something that only supports usb2. And in that case you should have bought the one that used firewire...huh.

I'd wait till after June before buying too. As hard as it is, that's what I'm doing. (I think. Or maybe I'll just get a Pismo to tide me through. Or maybe a new iBook. <SIGH>)