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View Full Version : How much more powerful is a MacBook than my G4 Powerbook?




tomwebber
Mar 3, 2008, 03:03 PM
I am looking to take advantage of my student discount before it runs out in the summer.

I currently have a G4 Powerbook, 15", 1.67, 80GB, 512MB RAM.

I used to use Final Cut, but now only use Photoshop, iMovie, Dreamweaver, Flash, so I do not think I have any need for a MBP.

Will a new MB be significantly more powerful than my old PB for all the tasks I want?

Thank you very much, Tom

Also, can anyone suggest a good place to find out the value of my Powerbook (G4, 15", 1.67, 80GB, 512MB RAM)?



killmoms
Mar 3, 2008, 03:06 PM
Yes, yes it will.

As for your PowerBook, the low amount of RAM hurts its value somewhat, but if you have all the original accessories and it's in good condition (manuals, system restore DVD, adapters, etc.) I'd say you could get a good $350 - $400 or so for it. You could probably get $500 if it had more RAM (like 2GB).

iMpathetic
Mar 3, 2008, 03:08 PM
Yes, yes it will.

As for your PowerBook, the low amount of RAM hurts its value somewhat, but if you have all the original accessories and it's in good condition (manuals, system restore DVD, adapters, etc.) I'd say you could get a good $350 - $400 or so for it. You could probably get $500 if it had more RAM (like 2GB).

Wow! I'd pay $400 for that thing in a friggin' HEARTBEAT!!!!! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

theLimit
Mar 3, 2008, 03:19 PM
If it's in mint condition it's worth at least $700. I just sold my PB with identical specs except max RAM for about that, but the case was dented in a couple spots. Check Mac2Sell (http://www.mac2sell.net/) for good pricing info.

Demon Hunter
Mar 3, 2008, 03:56 PM
If it's in mint condition it's worth at least $700. I just sold my PB with identical specs except max RAM for about that, but the case was dented in a couple spots. Check Mac2Sell (http://www.mac2sell.net/) for good pricing info.

That website is cute but I would never rely on it for an estimate.

tomwebber
Mar 3, 2008, 03:59 PM
If it's in mint condition it's worth at least $700. I just sold my PB with identical specs except max RAM for about that, but the case was dented in a couple spots. Check Mac2Sell (http://www.mac2sell.net/) for good pricing info.

Wow. Thank you for all the help.

Mac2Sell quote £440 which I'm really surprised at; it does have scratches and has been well used, so obviously I would have to sell for a lot cheaper.

A new 2.4GHz MB will cost me £800. I'm definitely going to do it.

Thanks for helping. Tom

timdafweak
Mar 4, 2008, 04:25 AM
I sold mine, only with 2 GB RAM for 1520$. Additionally, it still had the Applecare plan for another year.

tony-in-japan
Mar 4, 2008, 04:59 AM
I used to use Final Cut, but now only use Photoshop, iMovie, Dreamweaver, Flash…

A new 2.4GHz MB will cost me £800. I'm definitely going to do it.

Thanks for helping. Tom

I have a Powerbook and, although I can afford to upgrade to an intel mac, one of the reasons I have not yet is that I would also need to upgrade most of my software too.

Remember that if you get a ‘new’ MB then it is going to be installed with Leopard only. I had Leopard installed on my PB but a lot of my software that works smoothly in Tiger crashes in Leopard (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite 1 series). So you would need to think about your software too. If your Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Flash is CS3, then that would be fine.

chaosbunny
Mar 4, 2008, 07:02 AM
Another thing to consider is screen size. I have the same 15" powerbook with 2gb ram. I know a macbook would be faster, but to work with these CS3 applications on anything smaller than 15" is just painful for me. I've tried it on a friends macbook and I simply couldn't stand it. That's just my opinion though.

Apart from that I currently have no problems with it, CS3 and Leopard work ok. 2 gb vs 512 mb ram sure make a huge difference.

munckee
Mar 4, 2008, 07:18 AM
Another thing to consider is screen size. I have the same 15" powerbook with 2gb ram. I know a macbook would be faster, but to work with these CS3 applications on anything smaller than 15" is just painful for me. I've tried it on a friends macbook and I simply couldn't stand it. That's just my opinion though.

Apart from that I currently have no problems with it, CS3 and Leopard work ok. 2 gb vs 512 mb ram sure make a huge difference.

That also depends a lot on whether he's got a hi-res or a lo-res PB. I went from a lo-res 15" to a macbook and the net difference is all of about 50 vertical pixels. Not the end of the world.

RedTomato
Mar 4, 2008, 07:24 AM
I've just gone from a PB15 1.5ghz to a macbook c2d 2.2 ghz. Here's my comments:

- As someone who often carries their laptop, I LOVE the smaller size and ligher weight. It makes a real difference every day.

- Macbook battery life is MUCH better. Hours and hours longer.

- Wireless reception is about DOUBLE the performance. On my PB, I was lucky to pick up my own base station in the next room over. On the MB, I can connect to base stations from the buildings way down the road.

- Dual layer super drive is nice to have.

- Keyboard takes a little getting used to, but I now actually prefer it to the PB keyboard.

- 1GB ram in the MB is not enough. I was very disappointed with the slowness of switching between apps. Then I upgraded to 4 GB, and WOW it's like a whole new machine. So, definitely budget for 4GB, especially with the apps you run, it will make a lot of difference.

- Leopard has its own quirks that take getting used to.

- Time Machine is a must.

- I find screen a bit tight on the MB, which is not unexpected, and I'm getting an external monitor for my workplace. Didn't need one with the PB15.

- iMovie editing is far faster.

- Graphics are about the same on the MB. A tiny bit less smooth cos of the integrated graphics. With 2 extra years of tech development, it's almost but not quite the equal of the PB's dedicated graphics card.

All in all, I'm very glad I made the move. Webcam and access to XP are the icing on the cake.

chaosbunny
Mar 4, 2008, 07:56 AM
That also depends a lot on whether he's got a hi-res or a lo-res PB. I went from a lo-res 15" to a macbook and the net difference is all of about 50 vertical pixels. Not the end of the world.

Well, I have the lo-res 15", and although the resolution difference is only 50 vertical pixels a 15" screen is still bigger than a 13" one. When I was trying my friends macbook I felt like looking into a tiny box and my eyes became uncomfortable, while I can comfortably work with my pb for hours.

Again, this is only my personal experience. I have to wear glasses as my eyesight is not the best, which might be a reason why I feel this way.

tony-in-japan
Mar 4, 2008, 08:12 AM
Talking about screens, also the Macbooks are glossy only and the Powerbooks are matte. If you are doing much design work, you should make sure that a glossy screen (with higher contrast, saturated colours and reflections) is okay for you to work on for long periods of time without being too distracting.

(Or, I suppose, you could just connect it to a matte external monitor for the best of both worlds.)

andiwm2003
Mar 4, 2008, 09:42 AM
I've just gone from a PB15 1.5ghz to a macbook c2d 2.2 ghz. Here's my comments:

- As someone who often carries their laptop, I LOVE the smaller size and ligher weight. It makes a real difference every day.

- Macbook battery life is MUCH better. Hours and hours longer.

- Wireless reception is about DOUBLE the performance. On my PB, I was lucky to pick up my own base station in the next room over. On the MB, I can connect to base stations from the buildings way down the road.

- Dual layer super drive is nice to have.

- Keyboard takes a little getting used to, but I now actually prefer it to the PB keyboard.

- 1GB ram in the MB is not enough. I was very disappointed with the slowness of switching between apps. Then I upgraded to 4 GB, and WOW it's like a whole new machine. So, definitely budget for 4GB, especially with the apps you run, it will make a lot of difference.

- Leopard has its own quirks that take getting used to.

- Time Machine is a must.

- I find screen a bit tight on the MB, which is not unexpected, and I'm getting an external monitor for my workplace. Didn't need one with the PB15.

- iMovie editing is far faster.

- Graphics are about the same on the MB. A tiny bit less smooth cos of the integrated graphics. With 2 extra years of tech development, it's almost but not quite the equal of the PB's dedicated graphics card.

All in all, I'm very glad I made the move. Webcam and access to XP are the icing on the cake.

thanks for that comparison. i'm on the same PB as you and think about upgrading later this year. from what you say about graphics it seems the MB is still rather weak or were you referring to 3D performance? i thought for 2D performance it should be far faster than the PB?
also how much faster are encoding tasks (avi to mp4 or similar)?

RedTomato
Mar 4, 2008, 05:45 PM
thanks for that comparison. i'm on the same PB as you and think about upgrading later this year. from what you say about graphics it seems the MB is still rather weak or were you referring to 3D performance? i thought for 2D performance it should be far faster than the PB?
also how much faster are encoding tasks (avi to mp4 or similar)?

I can't really tell you as I don't measure these metrics. I can only say that effects in iMovie are much faster. For that kind of precise detail, you need to look at reviews and benchmarks - there are plenty out there on the web.

Basically, I'd say the MB graphics feels broadly similar to the PB of 2 years ago. There are a few modern games on the Apple website that specifically say they don't work with integrated graphics, but will work with G4 or better laptops with discrete graphics cards i.e. powerbooks or MBP. Doesn't really affect me, there's lots more games out there.

EDIT: encoding is processor and RAM limited - expect a C2D MB to absolutely thrash the PB. Especially with 4GB ram.

I bought my MB just after the Santa Rosa refresh, as that seemed the best time, especially with 10.5.2 out. Last week's Penryn update makes no practical difference. Either buy right now, or wait till the Nehalem platform refresh in the summer.

Abstract
Mar 4, 2008, 06:11 PM
Wow! I'd pay $400 for that thing in a friggin' HEARTBEAT!!!!! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

I wouldn't. I know it's worth around $700, but I wouldn't pay $400 unless I planned on selling it to someone else for $700. Slow is slow, regardless of how good it looks. A slow computer is useless to me. My C2D MacBook isn't slow. I don't need great graphics. I just need a laptop that responds quickly for what I do.

I don't get why PBs still sell for so much. I sold my 12" 1 GHz PowerBook 2 years ago to buy a new MacBook. I almost sold my PowerBook $850 AUD (it was over 3 years old), when a new MacBook cost me around $1350. My MacBook KILLS the PowerBook in every way. It also needed a new battery, so it was either buy a new battery for $200, or sell the 12" PB and pay an additional $500 for a brand new laptop, which happens to come with a new battery. ;)

RedTomato
Mar 5, 2008, 10:16 AM
I don't get why PBs still sell for so much.

A few reasons:

-A PB12 is still the smallest mac laptop ever made. It still does the business for email, web browsing, word processing, excel, powerpoint, which to be honest covers about 80% of most people's needs.

-A PB or MBP is still the only way to get a 15'' or 17'' apple laptop. If you don't need all the speed of the MBP, then a PB will suit you at half the price.

-PB and MBP look almost exactly the same. If you're wanting to project a professional image, with a high end laptop, but don't have much money, then a PB does the trick.

-PB are pretty solid machines. If your working life and workflow is arranged around a PB, then buying several cheap spare or replacement PBs instead of dealing with the expense and workflow changes of a MBP is a large time and moneysaver.

- There is a lot of very expensive software out there that people use with Tiger on a PB. Changing to a MBP with Leopard means having to buy new expensive licenses / upgrades. (sometimes the specialised software isn't in Universal Binary yet, and has to be run in PPC emulation, which robs a MPB of a lot of its speed advantage.)