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GP1138
Feb 1, 2008, 09:15 PM
So, I've reached a conundrum. I need a new laptop. I do a lot of power intensive tasks, such as light photo editing, and heavy audio and video work. I can do all of this in OS X and Windows, I know of equivalent programs... I'm stuck at a price block. I need to spend $700 or less.

My question is, am I going to be heartbroken if I purchase a nicely spec'ed Powerbook G4 (Aluminum) rather than spending the $900 more for a MacBook Pro? Do the older G4 processors pull their weight when it comes to processing effects and editing audio and video? I really wish I could afford a MacBook Pro outright, but as it is I have to hunt to find a MBP for $1100 on eBay, while Powerbook G4's of higher spec go for $600-$800, which is more my price range.

I really want the dedicated graphics, which is why I'm not going plain MacBook.

Anyone have any words of advice?



forafireescape
Feb 1, 2008, 09:18 PM
The PB can pull its weight - the main difference (for me) is the iSight and other random little things. But as far as big things go, I'd say you wouldn't be disappointed with a PB.

Eric Lewis
Feb 1, 2008, 09:18 PM
well what are you going to use the computer for?

tersono
Feb 1, 2008, 09:19 PM
Frankly, a MacBook will outperform any G4 powerbook quite comfortably and is the way I'd go. The MBP is worth the extra, but a MacBook is still a very useable machine.

munckee
Feb 1, 2008, 09:21 PM
Maybe hunt down a used MBP? Otherwise, I agree with the previous post. Go with the macbook over the Powerbook, IMO.

kabunaru
Feb 1, 2008, 09:28 PM
If you feel like you would do fine with the PowerBook G4 and don't want to spend $900 more for a MacBook Pro, go for the PowerBook G4.
Those PowerBooks G4s are still nice computers and a lot of people "underestimate" them right now.

Flynnstone
Feb 1, 2008, 09:29 PM
I just bought a MacBook. It's great.
Do I prefer "real" video cards ... yes.
When compared to my G5 PowerMac ... anything to do with drives is faster on the G5. No surprise. But for crunching numbers (video), the Macbook is great.
For instance, viewing a 720p movie file, the G5 can't keep up, but the Macbook can.
There have been refurb MacBooks for about $900.

KingYaba
Feb 1, 2008, 10:16 PM
Hunt around Craigslist and I bet you can find a used Macbook for $700.

FJ218700
Feb 1, 2008, 10:21 PM
I have a 15 in PB 1.67, 2 GB RAM, 7200 rpm HD, 128 VRAM. My neighbor's entry-level C2D MacBook (July '07) runs circles around it.

get a MacBook

dtklamf
Feb 2, 2008, 01:51 AM
get one of the late model powerbooks with high res screen and dual layer max out the ram and be good to go.sounds like we do similar tasks and i considered a macbook and external display but after trying out a macbook for a week i decided against it and stayed with the powerbook.the screen real estate was the clincher really

heatmiser
Feb 2, 2008, 02:09 AM
The slowest Macbook will be (way) faster than the fastest Powerbook. I'd get a cheap Macbook. There are cases where it's worth investing in obsolete technology. Throwing $700 at a non-Intel laptop is not one of them. You can find used Macbooks at Craigslist, or refurbs at Macofalltrades and, of course, Apple.

Believe me, looking at a non-Intel laptop may be very appealing when it seems as if the MBPs are hopelessly out of reach--but unless you have a specific need for the PPC processor, it's going to be a waste of money. The reasons Powerbooks are priced so high these days is because resellers take advantage of how much people want them, even though the performance difference between Powerbooks and MB/Ps is ridiculous. $700 spent on a Powerbook will not bring you any closer to a Macbook Pro. $700 saved plus $500 a few months down the line will be enough to buy a c2d Macbook Pro from a 3rd party reseller if you keep your eyes open. Think long term, not short term.

GP1138
Mar 2, 2008, 05:08 PM
Just wanted to update - a money crunch came about, so I ended up going with a Powerbook G4, and found that I really didn't mind the PowerPC. If I get into some heavy effect work, or something, maybe I'll save up a little a week, sell this one, and go for a used MacBook Pro, but in the meantime this is great.

Main reasons I chose a Powerbook:

Size - I don't like the MacBook's smaller screen (non-Pro)
Non-dedicated graphics - I realize that this is apples and oranges, considering the chip in the Powerbook ain't great shakes compared with today's technology, but it's still nice to not have RAM sucked away.
Form factor - Goddamn is this a nice laptop. Even if it was slower at rendering something, I could stare at the damn thing and forget about how much slower it is. :D The backlit keyboard is a little bit more useful than I thought!

Thanks a lot for the input everyone.

Edit: All told, I paid $600 for this.

Funny thing was, the very next month, some college student traded me his 12" Powerbook for a 60GB iPod I had sitting around. I threw a new hard drive into it, put all the screws back in that he had taken out, turned around and sold it for $500, and bought an iPod Classic. :D How's that for profit? I'll miss it though, the 12" Powerbook is more useful than I imagined, using it for web browsing at least.

TheMonarch
Mar 2, 2008, 05:15 PM
Good call. That PowerBook will be a pleasure to use for years to come. :)

jamesi
Mar 2, 2008, 05:39 PM
I would say i wouldnt spend any more than $600-$700 for a powerbook anymore. if you are spending the same amount as the cost of a macbook, then i would go with the intel over G4. dont get me wrong, my pb still does it for me for the most part, and the video in the pb is alot better than the macbooks obv.