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View Full Version : Powerbook G4/1.67 vs Macbook




Powerwing
Sep 19, 2007, 04:21 AM
For quite some time now, I've been in doubt whether to buy a new Macbook or Macbook Pro (after Leopard is released). I'd really prefer a MB Pro but my budget won't really allow that. I guess I'll have to settle for a Macbook. A black one, no white in any case. But a MB, though fast and 'cool', remains a consumer notebook. I've always had pro machines : a G3/400 pismo powerbook, quicksilver Powermac G4/800. Now, I've been looking at some second hand Powerbooks, especially the last models (1.67Ghz, dual layer sd and high res screen) are of particular interest to me. I've always wanted a machine like that, but I didn't have the money when they were released at the end of 2005/beginning 2006. Now I do. And it's hard to resist.
I know that a Powerbook G4 quite a bit slower than a Macbook, not to mention a Macbook Pro. But it's not all about processor speed, but rather the whole 'experience' of working on such a notebook. I also believe that a 1.67Ghz G4 Powerbook will be a lot faster than my Powermac G4/800.
My question is whether it's worth it buying a G4 Powerbook when Leopard is about to be released. It'd be foolish to buy a new mac right now ; better to wait until Leopard is released and save myself some money. However, if I should opt for the powerbook (they came with Tiger and iLife 06), I'd be happy with Tiger which will be supported for quite some time, still. I use my computer for Word, Excel, some web design (rapidweaver), imovie, idvd, iphoto, quicktime pro, keynote, macmame and some older games like WC3, RTCW, Jedi Knight 2, etc. No heavy stuff.
Would I be right in saying that such a Powerbook would keep me happy for the next 3 to 4 years ? Is it wise to pay almost as much for a second hand powerbook as for a low end macbook ? Will I ever sleep again of be in doubt forever ? Am I crazy ?



worriedmac
Sep 19, 2007, 04:38 AM
I had this same dilemma last year. I ended up buying a 17 inch powerbook and upgrading the HD and the RAM and overclocking the ati card too. My machine is pretty zippy and I'm happy even when video editing. The new imovie however would be useless on the G4. If you buy into the G4 now and keep it for 3 years, you will have to accept that no software coming out now will be very good for your machine. The old stuff is great though especially the powerpc specific stuff. The os for me seems to be bringing speed increases all the time for me, so don't worry about that. I like having my pro connections over the macbook although I can't deny the "general" speed of the macbook. Anywho thats my 2 pennies on the matter.

CocoPops
Sep 19, 2007, 04:47 AM
I sold a 1.25 15" PB to buy a Macbook when they were first released.

I literally just took delivery of a new 2.4ghz MBP...

It's GREAT coming back to the ally Pro look machine I have to say, over the almost toy looking MacBook.

However, the "currentness" and speed aspects were the things that caused me to sell the Pbook and buy the Macbook.

So... as much as I love the Pro look, I would prefer to have a macbook over a powerbook imho.

chaosbunny
Sep 19, 2007, 04:58 AM
I would NEVER trade my 15" powerbook for a macbook.

It really depends what you are doing with the machine. For me as a graphic designer, a certain screen size is important to do some work on the road, and the 13" screen is just too small (for me) when working in Illustrator or Photoshop.

So, if you need the screen space or other benefits of the pb like the backlit keyboard or fw800 I say go for it.

If you need the much better processor of the macbook depends on what you are doing. For normal CS2 work I don't notice much difference between my 1,67 ghz G4, the 2,3 ghz G5 at work or my new 2,8 ghz iMac at home. It's only when I make illustrations or photo editing for large printed stuff with many layers in photoshop, where a file can have 200+ mb fast, that I notice a difference. And such things are not created on the road anyway.

Powerwing
Sep 19, 2007, 08:40 AM
Anyone else care to share his/her thoughts ?

Squonk
Sep 19, 2007, 08:59 AM
Anyone else care to share his/her thoughts ?

I'm holding on to my PowerBook until I can afford a MBP which will be in about 4 months.

Now, if I were buying a machine today, I'd be hard pressed to purchase a G4 over an Intel. Yes, the MB is very different from a PB/MBP as far as class of machine, but I could not see putting down good money on a machine for the next 2-3 years that will not adequately run the current versions if iLife. And then what happens when Leopard comes out? And the next version of iLife?

Everyone is different, but I like to upgrade my software that I use all the time for the latest features and a G4 has reached the end of it's life for being able to do that to my personal level of satisfaction.

QCassidy352
Sep 19, 2007, 09:02 AM
for a little while I owned both a last gen 17" powerbook and a core duo macbook. I opted to keep the macbook, and I'm certain it was the right decision. My reasons:
1. Speed. Even a core duo blows away the G4. Though as others have said, the relevance of the speed difference depends on what you're doing.
2. The screen. The powerbook screens just look so dim and washed out compared to a macbook screen. Side by side, the difference is striking.
3. Ability to run windows. May or may not matter to you, but can be very handy.
4. Will be a lot longer before the macbook can't run new software.

Of course the PB has advantages too, but those factors, esp. the first and second, made it an easy choice for me.

doowrehs
Sep 19, 2007, 09:34 AM
Well, I actually upgraded from the 1.67 PowerBook you have in mind to the latest MacBook (2.16Ghz), so I can offer you my thoughts...

MacBook vs. PowerBook pros:

- speed (obviously); the MacBook really does fly compared to the PowerBook
- Intel inside: while I'm not interested in the whole PPC vs. Intel thing, it is reassuring to know I'll be able to run most (see below) current and future software
- size: this is obviously a personal preference, but since swapping to the MacBook, I've become aware of just how big the 15" PowerBook was. For me the MacBook is the perfect size for a laptop, and computing on the train/plane is now a comfortable experience again
- built-in iSight: again, this may depend on personal preference - but I've found this feature indispensible and so much more convenient than having to carry around and plug in an external iSight
- Apple remote: although I at first thought this was more of a gimmick, having used it I've now come to find it very useful. More and more applications can now make use of it (Logic Pro 8, for example, has just integrated it), and if nothing else it's great to be able to control iTunes from the couch


MacBook vs. PowerBook cons:

- build quality: unfortunately, imo, the MacBooks just don't feel as robust of or well-finished as the PowerBooks did. Having said that, I've had no hardware problems with my MacBook - but it just doesn't feel as "solid" as the PowerBook
- no keyboard backlight: really miss this sometimes, although the MacBooks have brighter screens than the PowerBooks which does somewhat lessen the need for the backlight in some situations
- no Firewire 800 on the MacBook: never used it myself, but it may bother some people
- graphics: the elephant in the room. While I personally don't care too much about graphic performance beyond playing videos, etc., this is a genuine issue for a lot of people. The limited graphics ability of the MacBook hasn't noticeably impacted me in any way so far; however, it's worth noting that a few new applications (and potentially more in future) feature impaired functionality because of this (e.g. you can't use the "flame" build in Keynote)


All in all though, I can honestly say I'm very glad I chose the MacBook and would find it hard to go back to the PowerBook now...

KingYaba
Sep 19, 2007, 10:24 AM
Powerbooks have that nostalgia.

I would recommend a Macbook Pro. You could save a little money buying refurb or even an older model if you do not mind being slightly "behind the curve" when it comes to technology. Though if you are interested in a Powerbook, I doubt having the latest and greatest bothers you.

My cousin owns the last Powerbook model to be released and he loves it. Uses it for all the typical college processes.

yhline
Jan 2, 2009, 01:51 PM
If you're thinking about switching from Powerbook to Macbook, here is my experience that might help.

Bought a Black Macbook couple months ago as upgrade from PowerBook G4 12" 1.5 Ghz. Just sold the macbook and went back to the PBG4. I am a grad student so I do lots of writing and researching, some dreamweaver and photoshop. no video games or video editing.

So for somebody like me, the 12" is the most complete (non-graphic-intensive) workhorse laptop. As somebody has mentioned, the build quality on the pro series is unparalled. The keyboard is perfect, the chassis is solid, the hinges never loosen (this powerbook is almost 3 years old?), metal feels better than plastic. You guys who have had a PB know this.

So, whats the Macbook got ? Its got SPEED and SCREEN QUALITY; the intel duo cores are just blazing fast, the screen is beautiful. Theres no argument about these 2 factors. Other nice factors : isight cam, stronger wireless card.

But...
1. the macbook plastic hassis creaks and bends a little,
2. the plastic scratches easily and get stains. it also snaps and cracks off; i had a piece of the plastic on the edge break off in regular use typing a paper!
3. the speakers are the worst ive ever heard, max volume is equal to about PB 6 bar,
4. the keyboard is klik-klakety, where the powerbook keyboard is quiet little thuds. macbook keys get loose easily, just like the old ibook keys.
5. its heavier and bigger than the PB12".

I switched back because Id rather spend 5 hours writing and reading on the powerbook than the macbook, Id rather drag the powerbook on a long overseas trip than the macbook.

If Apple put the intel chips, isight, and some small component upgrades in the 12" aluminum form... that would be the most perfect laptop.

alphaod
Jan 2, 2009, 02:44 PM
I would only get a non-Intel if and only if either:
1) I was on a tight budget.
2) I need it for a specific application.
3) I already have a current machine and I'm looking for another (and I want a classic).

Old Mac Geezer
Jan 22, 2010, 04:51 PM
I just picked up a 1.67ghz hi res 15 inch and love it. The Macbooks and Macbook Pros are still too expensive and the x1600 models have the lines on screen issue and the 8600M GT models have total video failure so the only safe models are the unibodies. The Intel GMA video in the Macbooks until recently is slower and weaker than the video in my G4. You have to go up to something with nVidia 9400M graphics to be worthwhile so getting into any decently spec'd Macbook or Macbook Pro without major failure issues and that totally outspecs my G4 requires getting one from the last year or so. Pretty much any MB or MBP pre nVidia 9400M/9600M graphics isn't worth it. All that being said, I MIGHT, MAYBE one day risk a 2.33 ghz Core 2 Duo MBP model at some point in the future because that seems the safest but the weak video of the Intel GMA Macbooks and the colossal failure rates of the 8600M GT models makes the early Intel books unacceptable to me.

commops106
Jan 4, 2012, 06:38 PM
I have a 15" 1.5 ghz PB and a 15.2" 2.33 ghz MBP that i just bought off ebay for 350.00
I did not notice much difference with loading safari and most other programs on mbp. The battery life sux in mbp vs pb i have over 3:30hr on PB 2hours if im lucky with the mbp it sux wish i didn't buy it. Powerbook g4 still viable minus youtube.

GermanyChris
Jan 4, 2012, 06:53 PM
I have a 15" 1.5 ghz PB and a 15.2" 2.33 ghz MBP that i just bought off ebay for 350.00
I did not notice much difference with loading safari and most other programs on mbp. The battery life sux in mbp vs pb i have over 3:30hr on PB 2hours if im lucky with the mbp it sux wish i didn't buy it. Powerbook g4 still viable minus youtube.

we watch you tube on my daughters 12" G4..1.33 1.25gb with tiger and 10.1 with the 11.1 plug-in you find around here... It's not playing HD but hey WTF it's still working

burnout8488
Jan 5, 2012, 01:50 AM
I have over 3:30hr on PB 2hours if im lucky with the mbp it sux wish i didn't buy it.

Why don't you just put a new battery in the MBP?

And why did you resurrect such an old thread?