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praetorian_x
Sep 16, 2003, 07:06 PM
Just cancelled my 15 inch powerbook order. I've been waiting for these updates since the start of Summer. I just bought the thing *automatically* this morning. I start school next week and really, really wanted a new powerbook to go with me. The PB I ordered was:

1.25 ghz
80 gig drive @ 5400 rpm
512 MB
Combo Drive (no need for the super drive)

About noon today I decided to cancel. Here is why:

1) The l3 cache issue. I'm not convinced that it will make a huge difference, but I don't want to be a guinea pig either.

2) It just kills me to fork over 2500+ for a laptop that doesn't support a DDR front side bus.

3) The screen resolution wasn't upped.

4) The new pb is thicker and heavier than the Ti book

5) Battery life is a questionmark: apparantly (according to the ars thread on the powerbooks) apple went with a cheaper battery.

6) I know this isn't a common opinion, but I like the aesthectics of the Ti book better. I like the white edging on the ti book and the contrast of the keys with the flat of the computer. The current al book doesn't have appropriate contrast to break up the lines of the computer. (I realize this is entirely subjective, and is simply my opinion.)

7) I just don't like where the screen sits in the new enclosures. It seems slouchy to me, with the bottom edge nearly obscured by the keyboard. I like how the ti books screen sits up and off the computer.

8) There are already threads about how hot this laptop runs on the lap.

9) With all the above, I just wasn't feeling it with this rev. 2500+ (even with my edu discount) and I feel like I should be panting for the thing.

All that being said, I *may* reconsider, after I hear how people like them. They are decent machines, and have quite a few nice features, but I feel like these features are bolted on an old about-to-be-obscolete frame.

So, my options are:

1) Wait a bit, and then go with the 15 inch depending on feedback.

2) Get another, cheaper model (maybe the 12 inch? maybe an ibook? refurbed 1 ghz 15 inchers are already gone off the apple website!) and stow the rest away for the eventual g5 powerbook (mwsf?).

3) Go centrino. Probably with an IBM thinkpad. (Spare me the PC sucks comments. Centrinos are nice. Windows blows. But it is usable, and, as a developer, I spend most of my time in emacs.) Again, wait for the fabled g5 pbs, and possibly resell when they are released.

Damn.

Cheers,
prat

tomf87
Sep 16, 2003, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by praetorian_x
...

So, my options are:

1) Wait a bit, and then go with the 15 inch depending on feedback.

2) Get another, cheaper model (maybe the 12 inch? maybe an ibook? refurbed 1 ghz 15 inchers are already gone off the apple website!) and stow the rest away for the eventual g5 powerbook (mwsf?).

3) Go centrino. Probably with an IBM thinkpad. (Spare me the PC sucks comments. Centrinos are nice. Windows blows. But it is usable, and, as a developer, I spend most of my time in emacs.) Again, wait for the fabled g5 pbs, and possibly resell when they are released.

Damn.

Cheers,
prat

If you think the 15" gets hot, slap that 12" on your lap and go ahead and admit yourself to the local burn center. The part over the hard drive gets pretty warm (I'll admit it. I'm a wimp when it comes to heat.) Even the iBook 12" generates a good amount of heat.

The 17" I played with in the Apple store wasn't near as hot as the 12". My guess is due to the small frame, but hey, if you want a small screen then that's a good deal for you.

cb911
Sep 16, 2003, 07:25 PM
i wouldn't be worried about the 'lack' of L3 cache. Apple wants to keep upto speed with the PC world... if removing the L3 cache would severly effect performance, then i doubt Apple would take it off... even to save money. Apple needs every advantage they can get, and they know it.

about being thicker and heavier... yeah, i'm not real psyched about that, but i really need a new PB, so i'm still going to get one.

also the 7457 that is in the new PB's is said to be up to 40% faster then the previous 1GHz G4's. and the fact that it doesn't really need the L3 cache should prove that.

i don't blame you for waiting though, but do yourself a favor. go to a Apple Store and use one for yourself. the Al case is so much 'crisper' and stiffer than the Ti. you'll love it. :D

PowerBook User
Sep 16, 2003, 07:25 PM
Those are good points. In a couple weeks or less you'll know what other people think of them after buying them. You could also go to a store to see one in person. I actually like the black keyboard on the TiBooks better than the silver ones.

dswoodley
Sep 16, 2003, 07:27 PM
praetorian_x,

you raise some good points about the new PB. I disagee with your aesthetic assessment, but I undestand why you have that opinion. In general, I think its in your case a good idea to wait a few weeks and see what the first buyers think. I am in the exact same position. I love my 12"pb, but really need something with a bigger screen.

I'll spare you the windows jeers...

good luck

pseudobrit
Sep 16, 2003, 07:28 PM
4) buy a new TiBook from any number of retailers who have them still in stock.

panphage
Sep 16, 2003, 07:45 PM
I don't think your cache concerns are a real worry. From what I understand, the L2 cache runs at the same speed as the proc. And you only go to L3 after the L2 is full. Previously, you'd have to go to L3 every 256k, now you only have to go every 512k. The L3 ran at either 2x system bus or 1/4 proc speed, I can't sort out which. With double the L2 running 4x faster than the L3 did, I think you are still coming out ahead. Plus, the L3 was a major power drain and heat generator from what I understand. Someone with some actual system architecture knowledge might want to chime in here and correct my shakey guessing.

Size: The 15" powerbook is now 0.1" thicker. Please don't tell me you are serious about this being a problem. That's 2.5 millimeters. Go look at a ruler. It's less than the thickness of a floppy disk. And if you can pick up two items that are 0.2 pounds different and weight and tell me which is heavier I'll give you a nice, shiney new dollar.

saabmp3
Sep 16, 2003, 08:12 PM
How about this, if you like the "old" 15, then I'll sell you mine right now. I'll just use the money (plus alot more hehe) to buy a new one.

BEN

sparkleytone
Sep 16, 2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by praetorian_x
...as a developer, I spend most of my time in emacs...

well then, you are definitely going to need some sort of quad-processor rig, such as a Power4 machine in order to get acceptable performance. in fact, you may need to rent out the Va. Tech supercomputer cluster if you want to get some real productivity going.

Sun Baked
Sep 16, 2003, 11:06 PM
[edit - re-read Motorola 7457CE]

In the past when Motorola doubled onboard cache and Apple dropped external cache, the machines suffered, and there was a boost when Apple returned the external cache to the lineup.

praetorian_x
Sep 16, 2003, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by sparkleytone
well then, you are definitely going to need some sort of quad-processor rig, such as a Power4 machine in order to get acceptable performance. in fact, you may need to rent out the Va. Tech supercomputer cluster if you want to get some real productivity going.

Quite. Perhaps to clarify: from a *UI* perspective, I spend a lot of time in emacs. However, like most other developers, I do a fair amount of processor/disk intensive operations. The cannonical example would be compiling.

Let me know if I need to further clarify, and thanks for the constructive comment.

: |

prat

revenuee
Sep 16, 2003, 11:11 PM
I don't think your ever going to get rid of the heat problem on the laptops.

The Ti powerbook had to be made of that material because apple needed something that could take the heat produced with the G4 in the first place. They went to aluminum because they found it even more durable.

You can't expect it to run cold, to many things inside it moving - giving off heat, especially that hardrive ( which from what i understand, and remember from personal experience is where most of the heat comes from), add to that the battary pack pumbing out all that power, it's to be expected.

I can't speak much for the last generation of G4 powermacs, but my early G4 tower (400 mhz AGP) gives off enough heat that i can easily use it to heat my room in the winter by just leaving it on all day.

Now that i think about it, i remember using the older iBooks and being and wondering if there wasn't something wrong with the unit

- Conclusion, if your concern is the high temp. then your never gonna be happy with any of the laptops

But this is all relative to what i've read and my own personal bias, the heat issue shouldn't stop you from getting a "kick-ass" piece of technology

Powerbook G5
Sep 16, 2003, 11:14 PM
The points raised are valid and waiting is always a good idea just to see how they are and hear from others. I for one ordered mine in the same config except with the Superdrive and with .Mac bundled with it, also. I can definitely give you my opinions once I get mine, but I already see threads now from people answering questions about that exact model, so it's up to you. I personally prefer the Aluminum look and seeing how every feature seems to be upgraded, I am definitely happy with my purchase. It just sucks dumping a large sum of cash...especially when you are a student on a budget, but hey, I already knew that going into this investment.

Powerbook G5
Sep 16, 2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
The same "L3 cache doesn't work at 1.5V" problem that was in the 7455 r3.3 also nailed the 7457 r1.1 ...

Very good chance that Apple may have had to drop the L3 until Motorola fixes this problem, like they've already done for the 7455 r3.4 ...

Since Motorola has been dealing with getting the 7457 ramped up, the L3 cache fix may be in the next mask revision -- if it's in the current new mask, then I have no idea why Apple would kill the L3 cache.

In the past when Motorola doubled onboard cache and Apple dropped external cache, the machines suffered, and there was a boost when Apple returned the external cache to the lineup.

I don't know if it will really make a huge difference or not. The L2 cache runs much faster than the L3 and there is twice as much of it now, which definitely gives it a little more bang. I'm also looking at the system as a whole, since there is also the matter of a faster HD than the Ti with both ATA/100 and the 5400 RPM option and a blazing ATI 9600, so there is definitely a good performance boost overall from the older Ti model. I'm not even going to add the extra MHz since we all know an extra 250 MHz isn't exactly going to make one sit up and do a little dance, but overall, I don't see how this could be slower than the Ti model it replaces.

sparkleytone
Sep 16, 2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by praetorian_x
Quite. Perhaps to clarify: from a *UI* perspective, I spend a lot of time in emacs. However, like most other developers, I do a fair amount of processor/disk intensive operations. The cannonical example would be compiling.

Let me know if I need to further clarify, and thanks for the constructive comment.

: |

prat

i don't think you really 'got' my joke. read it again.

praetorian_x
Sep 16, 2003, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by sparkleytone
i don't think you really 'got' my joke. read it again.

Read it again. Nothin.

Maybe I'm just pissed because I ordered and then cancelled, thereby rendering what would otherwise be hilarious nothing but ash in my sodden mouth.

I'm gonna go look at the pb again tomorrow. The XBench specs being put up aren't awful...

Cheers,
prat

sparkleytone
Sep 16, 2003, 11:31 PM
i guess you aren't emacs vs. vi experienced.....

Sun Baked
Sep 16, 2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Powerbook G5
I don't know if it will really make a huge difference or not. The L2 cache runs much faster than the L3 and there is twice as much of it now, which definitely gives it a little more bang. I'm also looking at the system as a whole, since there is also the matter of a faster HD than the Ti with both ATA/100 and the 5400 RPM option and a blazing ATI 9600, so there is definitely a good performance boost overall from the older Ti model. I'm not even going to add the extra MHz since we all know an extra 250 MHz isn't exactly going to make one sit up and do a little dance, but overall, I don't see how this could be slower than the Ti model it replaces. Systemwide it's better...

But, the last times Apple dropped the cache the system performance suffered -- compared to the machines where it was added back.

Of course, youv'e got to wonder how well the machine would do with 2MB L3 DDR ...

---

[note -- the L3 cache voltage problem should be fixed in current revs of 55 & 57, but the newest 7457CE isn't out yet]

Powerbook G5
Sep 16, 2003, 11:33 PM
I look at it this way: 400 MHz G3 with 6 gig HD, 8 meg video card, and 192 megs RAM vs. my newly ordered 1.25 GHz G4 with 80 gig HD, 64 meg video card, and 512 megs RAM...yeah, I think it will seem like a nice little upgrade to me! :)

Powerbook G5
Sep 16, 2003, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
Systemwide it's better...

But, the last times Apple dropped the cache the system performance suffered -- compared to the machines where it was added back.

Of course, youv'e got to wonder how well the machine would do with 2MB L3 DDR ...

---

[note -- the L3 cache voltage problem should be fixed in current revs of 55 & 57, but the newest 7457CE isn't out yet]

In that case, I wonder how well this PowerBook would do if there were dual G4s, 4 gigs of RAM, and 16 megs L3 cache...I know, having L3 would be one extra "nice" thing to have, but if you look at it that way, then wouldn't you just be disappointed or wish that instead of 512 L2, there would be a meg, or instead of 1.25, it was 1.33, or instead of...etc. At the end of the day, I had to think to myself "Which is better for me, to stick with my current G3 which has been showing its age and giving me some trouble as of late, or finally get this new G4 which is beyond better in every imaginable aspect and be happy using a new Mac with a new OS that I have wanted since 1999 but could never run well enough to be a primary OS". I'm happy. I'd be bouncing off the walls if it were a G5, but still, I'm pretty damn excited with this as is.

vollspacken
Sep 17, 2003, 05:41 AM
I agree that the toBook is way better looking than the aluBooks (aaaaahhh, the titanium, the black keys... hmmm :))

BUT!, the aluBook should be significantly faster... so get one or a used/refurbished maxed out ti, and stop whining.

vSpacken

Powerbook G5
Sep 17, 2003, 08:53 AM
I don't know, I like the new keyboards better. I've had a G3 that has the same basic keyboard as the Ti besides a different color and I am ready for a new look. I tried typing on the new Aluminum PowerBooks, too, and it just felt so much better and much more solid, too.

Nik_Doof
Sep 17, 2003, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by panphage
I don't think your cache concerns are a real worry. From what I understand, the L2 cache runs at the same speed as the proc. And you only go to L3 after the L2 is full. Previously, you'd have to go to L3 every 256k, now you only have to go every 512k. The L3 ran at either 2x system bus or 1/4 proc speed, I can't sort out which. With double the L2 running 4x faster than the L3 did, I think you are still coming out ahead. Plus, the L3 was a major power drain and heat generator from what I understand. Someone with some actual system architecture knowledge might want to chime in here and correct my shakey guessing.


At last! someone who agrees with me :)

Double the L2 that runs at full proc speed is a god send, we seen that in the (dont flame me) Duron/Athlon days, they doubled the L2 and they flew compaired to the P3 equiv. L3 should only be there to make up short comings of on die cache, like they did in the old versions. Now they have a new proc with beefyer L2 they probably said "hey, we dont need this sluggish L3 anymore, the L2 makes up for it!"

Just imho, i've never mentioned it before cause it was a flamefest waiting to happen :)

Nik_Doof
Sep 17, 2003, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by sparkleytone
well then, you are definitely going to need some sort of quad-processor rig, such as a Power4 machine in order to get acceptable performance. in fact, you may need to rent out the Va. Tech supercomputer cluster if you want to get some real productivity going.

Oh dear, emacs/vi war....i thought i escaped this when i moved to mac :D

Powerbook G5
Sep 17, 2003, 09:26 AM
Nope, welcome to Mac OS X...you didn't think you could escape Unix, did you? Don't you know? Unix is for life...it will find you, it will hunt you down, and it will trap you in its emac v. vi v. pico war until the end of time!

praetorian_x
Sep 17, 2003, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by sparkleytone
i guess you aren't emacs vs. vi experienced.....

*laugh*

Actually, if you must know, I use viper-mode in emacs, which implements a variant of the vi keymappings. Emacs is a great operating system. With viper, it gets a decent editor...

Aaaaannnnnyway, to get back on topic, the results posted over at barefeats:

http://www.barefeats.com/al15.html

look good. I'm going to go take another look at the pb today, and I may reenter my order. Does anyone have any experience with the heat these guys put out?

I'm still not swooning over this rev, but f**kall if I'm going to get a dell, and thinkpads are just as expensive...

Cheers,
prat

praetorian_x
Sep 17, 2003, 07:21 PM
******. All the other laptops out there suck in their own special way. Really, there is no choice: despite the less than overpowering chip, powerbooks are the best laptops out there. The price parity is even pretty good.

Order is back in.

Powerbook G5
Sep 17, 2003, 09:11 PM
That's so true. Just look at everything else it has: FW 400 and 800, USB 2.0, APE, BT, DVD-R, ATi 9600, backlit keyboard, a nice fast HD option BTO...no one could rationally complain about the overall feature set of that kind of combination.

G4scott
Sep 17, 2003, 09:53 PM
Personally, I like the way the screens are on the PowerBooks and iBooks, but that's just me. They seem sturdier than before. More solid.

Anyways, the current lineup of PowerBooks is a dream come true. You have an ultra-portable (not super thin like a tiny vaio, but small by terms of laptops) 12" PowerBook that you can get with a SuperDrive. It's fast enough to handle photoshop, final cut pro and express, and everything in between. The 15" PowerBook has just the right size screen (although I can't say much about the resolution, as I don't use one...), packs a punch with the 1.25ghz G4 and the Radeon mobility 9600. The backlit keyboard is really cool, and the actual keyboard on these things is much, much better than the TiBook or iBook keyboards. As for performance, the dropping of L3 cache doesn't seem to have any effect. I guess that in the past, it was something with the processor that actually needed the L3 cache, where here, the increase in L2 cache seems to do the trick. I also think that the aluminum finish is better than the TiBooks. The TiBooks were nice, but the aluminum PowerBooks seem more sturdy. I've dropped mine (12" PowerBook), and it didn't even dent the aluminum. As for heat, that's usually based on the comfort level of the user. I can tolerate quite a bit of heat, and it's actually pretty nice in this cold dorm room, but it should only get hot when you're running any CPU, graphics, or disk intensive apps, such as folding, photoshop renders, or disk things... You can't feel the heat through the keyboard (or at least I can't), and if you put it on a desk, and get one of those riser things, it makes a big difference, elevating the back of the PowerBook making it easier to type on, and raising the screen. It also keeps it cool.

If you need a laptop now, I'd say get the 15" PowerBook. New stuff will always be coming out, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and make a purchase. It'll be obsolete in about 8 months, but that's longer than most PC laptops. My 12" PowerBook, which is 9 months old, still works fine. I don't feel it's obsolete, just because I don't have DVI, USB2, or a 1ghz processor. Actually, when I got mine, I thought that the lack of L3 cache would make a big hit on performance, but my 12" PowerBook runs just fine.

I hope you make a decision that works best for you. I'll just warn you that even centrino laptops have problems, like being made out of plastic, and will become obsolete before your 15" PowerBook.

Good Luck!

Powerbook G5
Sep 17, 2003, 10:04 PM
As much as I love entering into a pissing contest over having the best/fastest system, at the end of the day, I don't even need a 1.25 GHz G4 probably. I just need it fast enough to handle OS X, do word processing, some Keynote projects, some light photo editing, some video work once I get a video camera, internet/research stuff, etc. It's always nice to have the extra power when you need it, but even though I thought I'd be disappointed getting a G4 when there are G5s out, the thing that really gets me excited are just all the great features these things have. At the end of the day, that is what really makes it the most useful to me. Not an extra hundred MHz here or there, but having FW 800 when I need it, or DVI for all my presentations, or being able to use APE/BT for convenience and so on. These are what make the PowerBook so desirable and useful to me. That, and they are hands down the sexiest laptops ever. :)

HasanDaddy
Sep 17, 2003, 10:31 PM
The 1ghz TiBook is one of Apple's best and most reliable products

I say grab one of those to hold you over until the G5 comes out

ryme4reson
Sep 17, 2003, 10:34 PM
Hey Prat,
Why dont you buy my 12" PowerBook 867 with 640 RAM, and Airport Extreme card for 1400. The computer is only 3 weeks old, and I am in the Bay Area so we can meet up. This way, you can save for the g5, and get a new comp till you upgrade!

jamesk777@mac.com

actionslacks
Sep 17, 2003, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by praetorian_x
*laugh*

Actually, if you must know, I use viper-mode in emacs, which implements a variant of the vi keymappings. Emacs is a great operating system. With viper, it gets a decent editor...

Aaaaannnnnyway, to get back on topic, the results posted over at barefeats:

http://www.barefeats.com/al15.html

look good. I'm going to go take another look at the pb today, and I may reenter my order. Does anyone have any experience with the heat these guys put out?

I'm still not swooning over this rev, but f**kall if I'm going to get a dell, and thinkpads are just as expensive...

Cheers,
prat

I have had one all running all day today (1.25 standard config). it doesn't sem very hot at all. Not nearly as warm as my officemate's 867mhz 12" version which gets rather warm.

All I can say is that it is a hell of a machine.

panphage
Sep 17, 2003, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by praetorian_x
*laugh*

Actually, if you must know, I use viper-mode in emacs, which implements a variant of the vi keymappings. Emacs is a great operating system. With viper, it gets a decent editor...

Cheers,
prat

OMG That's killing me. The funny...make it stop! Aaaahh. I'm a vi guy myself, but I've always been fascinated by the everything-including-its-own-programming-language-AND-spacestation angle on emacs. But I'm a vi guy cuz it's tiny, "simple" and my small brain can comprehend it easily. Emacs has TOO much power, it baffles me. It reminds me of go vs chess sort of.

Just wanted to post a followup on cache concerns, from other threads here, it looks like the L3 would have to had jumped all the way to 2mb (which is no prob for the 7457) to really help out such a large L2. And I'm guessing that 2mb L3 would be costly financially and power-wise.