PDA

View Full Version : New 12" PowerBook: first thoughts


oingoboingo
May 19, 2004, 05:24 PM
I just managed to fetch quite a good price for my 6-month old 1GHz 12" PowerBook, with the aim of making a low-cost changeover to the new revision C 1.33GHz model announced about a month ago. I picked up my new PowerBook yesterday, and after spending last night re-installing my software and restoring my personal files, I can say a few things about first impressions of the new machine.

Firstly, the extra 333MHz of core CPU speed, and the increased front side bus speed from 133MHz to 167MHz is definitely noticeable. I haven't done any solid benchmarking yet, but there is a pronounced improvement in the overall perceived speed of the system. I know that the rotational speed of the 60GB hard drive in the rev C is rated the same as my previous rev B, but it also feels faster. I haven't checked the specific drive characteristics, but maybe it has a faster seek time or a larger buffer. Does anyone know? One thing is sure about the hard drive though...it's noisier. You can clearly hear the hard drive working when doing something disk heavy. On my rev B, you really had to listen closely to hear the hard drive working.

Expose seems to run more smoothly with a few windows open. I don't know if this is due to the extra video RAM, the faster CPU, or due to my imagination. Anyway, at this stage I can't tell the difference in the fluidity of Expose animation between the rev C 12" PowerBook and my 1.6GHz G5...there was a definite difference with the rev B 12" PowerBook...while Expose was never really 'choppy' with 5-10 windows open, it was clear that it had dropped a few frames compared to the G5/Radeon 9600.

Heat production also seems to be improved. The two palm rest areas on either side of the touchpad haven't got anywhere near as warm as the rev B used to. I've mostly been performing disk copy and software install operations so far, so maybe I need to get busy with some CPU intensive stuff to really warm this thing up, but impressions of heat production are good at the moment.

One of my few complaints with the rev B 12" PowerBook also seems to have been addressed...screen brightness. I don't seem to have to squint in a bright room with the rev C model...maybe screen brightness has been improved a notch or two. Or of course it could just be that I now have a nice clean screen free of any dust (for about the next 5 hours) :)

There's only one downside so far...IT WOBBLES!!! There is a very annoying wobble along the front left to back right diagonal axis of the machine. I have a folded piece of paper under the rear right rubber foot of the PowerBook at the moment to stop it driving me crazy while I type. The old rev B PowerBook didn't have any chassis or structural problems like this, although its battery never fitted flush with the chassis, whereas my new rev C has a much tighter fit between the battery and the chassis. Not perfect, but better. To be honest, I think I would prefer a little bit of an exposed lip from the battery rather than a wobbly notebook, but it's my only complaint so far.

So any other new rev C 12" PowerBook owners out there? Any first impressions?

tekno_geek911
May 19, 2004, 05:32 PM
Nice review!
But do you think it would be worth trading my Rev B and iPod for a Rev C? Is it really THAT much faster?

aswitcher
May 19, 2004, 05:52 PM
I just managed to fetch quite a good price for my 6-month old 1GHz 12" PowerBook, with the aim of making a low-cost changeover to the new revision C 1.33GHz model announced about a month ago. I picked up my new PowerBook yesterday, and after spending last night re-installing my software and restoring my personal files, I can say a few things about first impressions of the new machine.




Allot of people talk about gently pressing the wobble corners down to straighten the chasis out. Check the boards to see if anyone has caused any problems with it.

Hows the underside heat when using it intensly?

oingoboingo
May 19, 2004, 05:52 PM
Nice review!
But do you think it would be worth trading my Rev B and iPod for a Rev C? Is it really THAT much faster?

The reason I upgraded was that this year I am now a university student (for the second time), so I was able to qualify for Apple's educational discount. A combination of big price drops in Australia on all PowerBooks, the educational discount, and me managing to get a *very* good price for my Rev. B 12" PowerBook all combined to make the upgrade quite cheap...a few hundred Australian dollars, with the added bonus that .edu purchases in Australia receive a 3 year warranty instead of the standard 1 year deal. So, even without any speed improvements, it would have still been a tempting changeover for me, since the changeover cost was several hundred dollars cheaper than buying AppleCare to get the extra 2 years of warranty. I didn't really have any particular problem with the speed of the rev B, but extra speed is always nice :)

But...if you're not in that situation, and would be forced to lose something like an iPod to make up the price difference, then I would probably have to say that the speed increase isn't worth it. The 1GHz rev. B 12" was (and still is) a pretty solid performer for an ultra-compact. It's just that the rev C is a little faster on top of that, and the extra 20GB of HDD space and extra 32MB of VRAM are nice bonuses too. Like I said, I haven't done any proper benchmarking yet, but a friend of mine still has a 1GHz rev B, so I can do some proper comparisons. My impressions of speed so far are only subjective.

Wait a couple of seconds extra for big stuff to complete, and hang on to that iPod :)

tekno_geek911
May 19, 2004, 06:01 PM
Thanks! Your advice helped out allot since you owned both. I would miss my iPod(I just hate being outdated) lol.

I guess I'll keep my PowerBook until the G5's.

johnnyjibbs
May 19, 2004, 06:27 PM
If it wobbles that much can't you send it back to Apple for a free exchange? Just say you're not happy with it.

My advice would generally be to people that it's not worth the upgrade unless you have significant incentives such as the original poster here. My 12" PB 1GHz gets 100 on Xbench and I've seen 1.5GHz 15" scores only get 130 odd so I can't see there being much of a noticeable difference, certainly not on normal things. If I was to upgrade, I'd go for the BTO 80GB drive, as it's a 5200 RPM drive - something new for the 12".

All in all though I've had a good nice 7 months with my 12" 1GHz and am happy with everything on it. I will eventually replace with a G5 or G6 of some flavour.

oingoboingo
May 19, 2004, 07:42 PM
Allot of people talk about gently pressing the wobble corners down to straighten the chasis out. Check the boards to see if anyone has caused any problems with it.

Hows the underside heat when using it intensly?

Thanks for the tip. A bit of gentle pressure to the extremities of the case on and off for about 30 minutes seems to have improved the wobbling quite a bit.

I'll get back to you later on the underside heat issue...I actually need to go out to the lab and get some work done at the moment :)

ftf
May 19, 2004, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the tip. A bit of gentle pressure to the extremities of the case on and off for about 30 minutes seems to have improved the wobbling quite a bit.

I'll get back to you later on the underside heat issue...I actually need to go out to the lab and get some work done at the moment :)

I had the same problem initially. I got mine on the 10th May and i remember the wobbles when I was first setting it up on my desk. However, since then its almost like the heat from general use has caused it flatten itself out. I dont know how else to explain it really as i certainly didnt make any effort to bend the corners. But to contradict myself, the underside barely gets to warm although the longest I have had it on my lap would be 30-45 mins.

I have been impressed with the heat (or lack thereof) that the new rev C pb's generate. I only really notice it when its plugged in and even then it only gets warm - certainly not hot (in the palm rest areas). The thing is so quiet too. Only noise is the the hard drive here and there and it is only audible when there is no other noise around.

oingoboingo
May 19, 2004, 08:10 PM
If it wobbles that much can't you send it back to Apple for a free exchange? Just say you're not happy with it.

My advice would generally be to people that it's not worth the upgrade unless you have significant incentives such as the original poster here. My 12" PB 1GHz gets 100 on Xbench and I've seen 1.5GHz 15" scores only get 130 odd so I can't see there being much of a noticeable difference, certainly not on normal things. If I was to upgrade, I'd go for the BTO 80GB drive, as it's a 5200 RPM drive - something new for the 12".

All in all though I've had a good nice 7 months with my 12" 1GHz and am happy with everything on it. I will eventually replace with a G5 or G6 of some flavour.

I've managed to mostly sort out the wobbling issue (or the PB has sorted it out itself due to chassis heating issue as another poster has mentioned), so that's good.

I just ran Xbench on the 1.33GHz 12" and got a score of 120.78. I think a 20% increase in performance (well, according to Xbench anyway, it's not the most reliable benchmarking tool) is definitely noticeable, but I agree with your point anyway: unless you can manage a cheap changeover cost, the speed improvement from rev B to rev C probably isn't enough for most people to worry about. I just happened to be able to get a good enough resale price for my rev B, combined with an .edu discount and recent Australian price drops, that it made the small changeover cost worthwhile.

sentrido
May 21, 2004, 09:20 AM
I just got my new PowerBook yesterday and im very impressed.I am a switcher and this is my first mac. I have used macs in the past at school a little, but its changed a lot since then. I have had no wobbleing or uneveness
problems. None of the noises It made seemed out of line for a laptop. Getting on my network took about 0.001 seconds. Messed with some prefrences. Love expose'. Love the UNIX (Im a developer). I was really impressed with Garage Band. Its way more than any Amature deserves! I lost 2 hours just abusing a drum loop with effects! Awsome. Performace was snappy, but i will need some more memory If I'm gonna play with that a lot.I found the screen to be very bright and as sharp as any Laptop screen I have ever seen.This laptop is Perfect. Its so Perfect I'm afraid to touch it! Wanna Keep it mint!

keysersoze
May 21, 2004, 09:37 AM
I just got my new PowerBook yesterday and im very impressed.I am a switcher and this is my first mac. I have used macs in the past at school a little, but its changed a lot since then. I have had no wobbleing or uneveness
problems. None of the noises It made seemed out of line for a laptop. Getting on my network took about 0.001 seconds. Messed with some prefrences. Love expose'. Love the UNIX (Im a developer). I was really impressed with Garage Band. Its way more than any Amature deserves! I lost 2 hours just abusing a drum loop with effects! Awsome. Performace was snappy, but i will need some more memory If I'm gonna play with that a lot.I found the screen to be very bright and as sharp as any Laptop screen I have ever seen.This laptop is Perfect. Its so Perfect I'm afraid to touch it! Wanna Keep it mint!

I just got one yesterday. It's so awesome. Simply the nicest computer I have ever owned. After 2 iBooks, it kicks them handily. It's just so damn solid. And the screen, after all my concern, has turned out to be incredible. I love it.

konaforever
May 21, 2004, 11:00 AM
I've had my powerbook 12 inch for 2 weeks now. This is my first apple since my apple IIe! All I can say is that I love it so much, I wish I could marry it.:-)

GiantsFan
May 21, 2004, 01:19 PM
i got my 12" pb on weds. its nice. no wobbles. no dead pixels. everythin works.

:D

adamjay
May 21, 2004, 03:45 PM
i would be curious to see what the Xbench scores on a new 15" 1.5ghz with 128MB Vram and 5400rpm HD would be.

my RevA 12" is scores an 86, but if the 15" can break into the 150's... i'll definitely start scrounging for upgrade cash.

Anticipat3
May 21, 2004, 04:02 PM
I owned a Rev A Powerbook, and I had the "rocking" problem you describe with it too...

It seems to be a problem that happens across the whole line of 12" Powerbooks, and a matter of the luck of the draw, unfortunately.

I'll be ordering a Rev C soon I think, though I'm considering waiting to see what's announced at WWDC... we'll see :). I do like that it's noticibly faster, and I'm very glad for the extra VRAM... the smallest powerbook screen means the biggest need for dual displays :).

johnnyjibbs
May 21, 2004, 08:01 PM
Many happy people with 12" PowerBooks. That's what I like to see. This is a superb laptop, but many of the MacRumors community don't see it as one. Good luck to you all. Hope you manage to keep your PBs in mint condition!

oingoboingo
May 21, 2004, 08:45 PM
Many happy people with 12" PowerBooks. That's what I like to see. This is a superb laptop, but many of the MacRumors community don't see it as one. Good luck to you all. Hope you manage to keep your PBs in mint condition!

Agreed. That's why I bought a second one! :) Two of my friends have the 1.33GHz 17" PowerBook, and despite all the drooling that goes on in these forums over 'Lapzilla', I wouldn't trade the 12" for the 17" if you paid me. I feel that it's just too big to be practical as a true 'go anywhere anytime' portable machine. Oh yeah...and I have to take off my watch when I type on the 17" PB because the metal-link watchband scrapes on the left wrist rest of the PB and scratches the case :( I don't need to do that on the 12".

There's not much that I would want Apple to change in the 12". A faster video chip would be nice of course, and maybe exposing the second DIMM slot so that it was user accessible, but this might require a full motherboard redesign. Stuff like a backlit keyboard is a bit of a novelty feature for me, but I could see it being added to the 12" at some time in the future if Apple chose to. A FW800 port might also be handy, but I'm not sure if there is any physical room to put it!

Now that I've been using the 1.33GHz 12" for a few more days, I can definitely say that it runs cooler than the rev B...no doubt about it. I've shown the screen to a few people as well, and it seems to be the common consensus that the LCD panel is also brighter than the rev B panel too. A few nice little refinements.

BrianKonarsMac
May 30, 2004, 12:18 AM
i'd like to second the rev c 12" is amazing. i would like to see a few improvements tho beyond the video card and 2nd upgradeable RAM slot.

1. two firewire ports (800 would be nice)
2. 7200 rpm HD.
3. Gigabit Ethernet.
4. Digital Audio Output (S/PDIF via coax or optical)
5. Digital Audio Input
6. TWO button trackpad (1 button is ridiculous, my fingers all playing twister on the keyboard is a joke).
7. Larger Keyboard, there is still plenty of room, enough for a full function keyboard (volume buttons). Once again, typing FN+? is quite ridiculous.

Abstract
May 30, 2004, 09:52 AM
I'm glad to be in the same club as you guys. I have a rev B 12" PB, and its awesome. Its the perfect system, and all I can ask for is a brighter screen when its bright outside.

@Oingoboingo: The reason your screen looks brighter is because they're using a new display on the 12" PBs. They used to use the same display as the iBook, I believe. It used to be an XGA TFT, but now its just an XGA screen. Or vice versa.
However, screen brightness is necessarily the fix, as LCD's generally have a problem when used outdoors on sunny days. Its an inherent issue, and won't really go away until they develop those other display alternatives in the future. One low energy display is called ULED or something, and its supposed to be better regarding this issue.

QUESTION: What's the battery life on the rev C 12" PB's?? I've been trying to get a straight answer, because people keep telling me their rev C's last over 5+ hours. That's insane! I know that the rev C's use a new battery, but how long does your rev C last, and under what settings? (screen brightness, energy saver settings?) My rev B can last for 3h20min to 3h40min while working on MS Word and Excel, with Energy Saver set to AUTO and screen brightness set 1/2 or 2/3 full. If I turn on iTunes, it'll last 2h50min.

I want to see if the new battery for the PB is worth buying. ;)

johnnyjibbs
May 30, 2004, 11:20 AM
I want to see if the new battery for the PB is worth buying. ;)
That's interesting. I get the same kind of battery life that you get on my rev B. The batteries are quite expensive but then, another one would give me double the battery life as well when out and about.

Abstract
May 31, 2004, 01:34 AM
No, I OWN a rev B, and thats my battery life. The rev C 12" PB battery is new. It has a higher capacity, so I just wanted to get some battery life quotes from the new owners. The new batteries are compatible with the rev A and B 12" Powerbooks, so that's not an issue.

johnnyjibbs
May 31, 2004, 03:54 AM
No, I OWN a rev B, and thats my battery life. The rev C 12" PB battery is new. It has a higher capacity, so I just wanted to get some battery life quotes from the new owners. The new batteries are compatible with the rev A and B 12" Powerbooks, so that's not an issue.
Yes I know. I was commenting that my rev B with its rev B battery gets around 3:40 like your rev B with its rev B battery. You are looking to improve your battery life in your rev B by getting a higher capacity rev C battery. I was saying that I may do the same (also giving me two batteries - my old rev B one and the new rev C one, effectively more than doubling my battery life on the go, as I could swap batteries). Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Mind you, how do you know the rev C has a better battery? It doesn't say anywhere and you're the only person I've heard who's mentioned it. Just because the rev C gets the same battery life with better speed processor, etc doesn't mean anything - they may have improved the processor power efficiency, etc.

thedoc1111
May 31, 2004, 04:33 AM
1. two firewire ports (800 would be nice)
That would be nice but I'd still rather a smaller less expensive 'Book than 800
2. 7200 rpm HD.
Get one if you want but I like my 16MB Cache 80GB 5400rpm Toshiba which Apple now provides as BTO. Ijust don't think that 7200rpm Laptop drives are reliable enough yet to trust one.
3. Gigabit Ethernet.
How many people outside Universities actually have Gigabit LAN? Again, I'd probably rather have the cheaper 'Book than a feature which isn't really relevant to 95% of people.
4. Digital Audio Output (S/PDIF via coax or optical)
Agreed - This is a necessity on all high end Apples
5. Digital Audio Input
Don't know how many people need this though? I think a third party USB/Firewire adapter is more sensible for the few who require it over and above Analogue Input.
6. TWO button trackpad (1 button is ridiculous, my fingers all playing twister on the keyboard is a joke).
A two button trackpad is a very strange invention - it is not analogous to a two button mouse and is an inconvenience to most people.
7. Larger Keyboard, there is still plenty of room, enough for a full function keyboard (volume buttons). Once again, typing FN+? is quite ridiculous.
If you need Function buttons all the time you can swap the modifier keys around so that FN+? means you press the volume key or whatever.

I like the Rev C just as it is - Inexpensive with Combo option, fast, light and very quiet.

Abstract
May 31, 2004, 04:46 AM
Mind you, how do you know the rev C has a better battery? It doesn't say anywhere and you're the only person I've heard who's mentioned it. Just because the rev C gets the same battery life with better speed processor, etc doesn't mean anything - they may have improved the processor power efficiency, etc.

1. The battery life of the rev C 12" PB is reportedly 5+ hours. I don't turn all my energy sucking functions down drastically like some people do, so I'd expect to get 4.5 to 5 hours from what 3 people have told me about the battery. That would be an increase of 1 or 1.5 hours, maybe even more. All I'd like to hear are a few more experiences.

2. They don't normally have updated batteries for updated Powerbooks, but the 12" and 15" both got better ones after the recent updates. The new rev C 12" is rated at 50 mAh (milli-ampere-hours) or around that figure. It used to be in the 40's (approx 42 or 44 mAh). Its an indication of the size of the battery and how long it lasts. The 15" got a better battery, but not as big an increase as the 12".

legion
May 31, 2004, 05:01 AM
5 hours is listed as the maximum time for a 12"PB. I don't know why anyone would expect it to last longer when traditionally, in real usage, the maximum reached against Apple's numbers is 2/3 or so.

Abstract
May 31, 2004, 06:45 AM
People, ie: actual users here at this board, have reported 5+ hours of battery life.

Forget it. I'll just believe the 3 or so people who told me that they're getting 4.5 hours and greater.

Thanks?

oingoboingo
May 31, 2004, 08:37 AM
QUESTION: What's the battery life on the rev C 12" PB's?? I've been trying to get a straight answer, because people keep telling me their rev C's last over 5+ hours. That's insane! I know that the rev C's use a new battery, but how long does your rev C last, and under what settings? (screen brightness, energy saver settings?) My rev B can last for 3h20min to 3h40min while working on MS Word and Excel, with Energy Saver set to AUTO and screen brightness set 1/2 or 2/3 full. If I turn on iTunes, it'll last 2h50min.

I'm getting around 4:10 to 4:30 editing an MS Word document, with AirPort and Bluetooth turned off, screen brightness at about 1/3rd, and power settings at 'auto'.

chasingapple
Jun 7, 2004, 05:40 AM
I shall be adding one of these beauties to my arsenel soon! I have a buyer for my iMac 17" so me and the wife will be notebook only people :)

hi_im_rob
Jun 8, 2004, 11:32 AM
Of both the rev B and Rev C powerbooks I have, the part number for the batteries is different. The Rev C last over an hour longer.

-Rob-

tekno_geek911
Jun 9, 2004, 10:49 PM
Hello oingoboingo, after using your Rev C PowerBook for a few weeks is the graphics memory really that much more noticeable(mostly in Unreal 2004) than your Rev B? Im not too concerned about the speed bump since my Rev B is plenty fast for what I use it for.

Im not sure if I should save up and buy some accessories for my Rev B(larger external LCD,Airport Express,BT keyboard/mouse,1GB RAM and maybe an external DVD writer) and wait for the G5 PB or save up and get the Rev C.

Thanks again!

ingenious
Jun 10, 2004, 12:11 PM
Allot of people talk about gently pressing the wobble corners down to straighten the chasis out. Check the boards to see if anyone has caused any problems with it.

Hows the underside heat when using it intensly?

My Rev. A wobbles a little bit, but not as bad as others I've seen. What's the deal?!?!? :confused: My battery lip is also loose.... uh oh... Although, maybe it could get me a new laptop.... :D :rolleyes:

titaniumducky
Jun 10, 2004, 12:36 PM
I just got my new PowerBook yesterday and im very impressed.I am a switcher and this is my first mac. I have used macs in the past at school a little, but its changed a lot since then. I have had no wobbleing or uneveness
problems. None of the noises It made seemed out of line for a laptop. Getting on my network took about 0.001 seconds. Messed with some prefrences. Love expose'. Love the UNIX (Im a developer). I was really impressed with Garage Band. Its way more than any Amature deserves! I lost 2 hours just abusing a drum loop with effects! Awsome. Performace was snappy, but i will need some more memory If I'm gonna play with that a lot.I found the screen to be very bright and as sharp as any Laptop screen I have ever seen.This laptop is Perfect. Its so Perfect I'm afraid to touch it! Wanna Keep it mint!

The 12' (foot) PB! That thing must have an awesome resolution!!! And at only 50 lbs, it's perfect for the artist on the go! Starting at just $29,999... :D

puckhead193
Jun 22, 2004, 10:30 PM
What's apple's policy on dead pixels on a powerbook?

ToastCabbit
Jun 22, 2004, 11:40 PM
What's apple's policy on dead pixels on a powerbook?

Dang. I can't find it and I searched all over Apple's site! (Swear I've seen it on there.) Now watch someone will post right after me with the information. :p

abhishekit
Jun 23, 2004, 12:17 AM
I bought a new pb on saturday. And its one awesome machine. Finished to perfection. Trackpad click is real silent. Everything perfectly aligned. Beautiful as an angel, fast as a bitch.
I have noticed something though. I will try to explain it. When you keep it in your lap, then the 'thickness' side which is touching you, not the base. On that side, the right part is not solid, it goes in a bit if you push it. Did anyone else notice it?

cheers

adamjay
Jun 23, 2004, 12:54 AM
When you keep it in your lap, then the 'thickness' side which is touching you, not the base. On that side, the right part is not solid, it goes in a bit if you push it. Did anyone else notice it?

cheers

is the battery a little loose?

this is a general and common condition.

SuperChuck
Jun 23, 2004, 01:55 AM
I just got a new 12" Powerbook, as well. Thanks to everyone at Macrumors who helped me make my decision to go with the 12" PB.

I am very glad to report that I have had none of the craftsmanship issues that many people have reported. No wobble, no dead pixels, no lopsided trackpad button, the battery is nice and flush.

I have had some weird issues, though. For the first few days, everything crashed. All the time. And then on day three, it just worked. I've had the machine for a couple of weeks now, and the crashes have stopped altogether. Very weird, but I guess all's well that ends well.

Also, the color was very wacky. Things that should have been light green were beige, white was blueish. I tried fixing the color calibration myself, but I had no luck. Thankfully, a friend of mine who is a digital color guru did a calibration and got it all fixed, but it seemed odd that the default calibration was so far off.

I love my new computer, but I have to say that it has not really lived up to my high expectations. My last computer was a 400 mhz iMac DV, and I expected this new, 1.33 ghz machine to leave the iMac in the dust. It's definitely faster, but not 3 times faster. Barely twice as fast, I would say. And the TFT display takes some serious getting used to. I love the mobility, but it comes at a serious screen sacrifice.

Would I buy it again? Yes. I just hope I can learn to love it the way I did my old computer.

oingoboingo
Jun 23, 2004, 03:56 AM
I love my new computer, but I have to say that it has not really lived up to my high expectations. My last computer was a 400 mhz iMac DV, and I expected this new, 1.33 ghz machine to leave the iMac in the dust. It's definitely faster, but not 3 times faster. Barely twice as fast, I would say. And the TFT display takes some serious getting used to. I love the mobility, but it comes at a serious screen sacrifice.


Are you basing your impressions of speed on subjective measures like overall GUI responsiveness and overall system 'smoothness', or have you run some benchmarks? I'd be very, very surprised if a 1.33GHz G4 based system with a modern hardware graphics accelerator wouldn't utterly trash a 400MHz G3 system with an 8MB Rage Pro 128. AFAIK, the Rage Pro isn't even supported under Quartz Extreme, so CPU, memory, bus and hard drive speed aside, you don't even get any OpenGL-based hardware acceleration of the OS X GUI.

Can you come up with some benchmark figures (doesn't have to be complicated...maybe something like MP3 encode time from a WAV file on the hard drive, frames per second in a 3D game, or perhaps an iMovie effects render time) to show the small gap you perceive between your 400MHz G3 and the 1.33GHz G4? If there truly is only a small gap in performance, maybe something is drastically misconfigured with your new PowerBook. The other problems you were having with the crashing and the miscalibrated screen are very strange...perhaps something else is going on with the PowerBook.

oingoboingo
Jun 23, 2004, 04:25 AM
I love my new computer, but I have to say that it has not really lived up to my high expectations. My last computer was a 400 mhz iMac DV, and I expected this new, 1.33 ghz machine to leave the iMac in the dust. It's definitely faster, but not 3 times faster. Barely twice as fast, I would say. And the TFT display takes some serious getting used to. I love the mobility, but it comes at a serious screen sacrifice.

These benchmarks are from www.macspeedzone.com. They don't have an exact comparison for the purposes required here, so the closest comparison I can find is a stock 350MHz G3 B&W PowerMac versus a 1.33GHz 17" PowerBook. Since even the older 1.33GHz 17" PowerBook has a faster GPU than the new 1.33GHz 12", I will leave out any heavily OpenGL-biased tests. Of course the G3/350 is 50MHz slower than your 400MHz iMac DV (but has 1MB of L2 cache, whereas the iMac has only 512K) but it's the closest I could find. It shouldn't be too far off.

iMovie Effects Render ('Aged' effect, applied to 175MB DV file)
G3/350: 449.44 seconds
G4/1.33: 130.56 seconds
(G4 3.44 times faster)

AppleWorks Search and Replace test
G3/350: 329 seconds
G4/1.33: 60.19 seconds
(G4 5.5 times faster)

Microsoft Office X Word Macro (500 page document)
G3/350: 238.95 seconds
G4/1.33: 68.34 seconds
(G4 3.5 times faster)

Barefeat.com's suite of 20 PhotoShop actions
G3/350: 173.87 seconds
G4/1.33: 41.24 seconds
(G4 4.2 times faster)

QuickTime encode (5MB movie)
G3/350: 92.33 seconds
G4/1.33: 34.31 seconds
(G4 2.7 times faster)

CineBench 2003 single CPU test
G3/350: 35 points
G4/1.33: 121 points
(G4 3.5 times faster)

Granted, this is an approximate comparison, since neither of the machines in the benchmark are the actual machines you want to compare. But they are close. With a G3/400, you should still be expecting to see at least a 3 times speedup on tasks as diverse as Microsoft Word, Photoshop, iMovie and CineBench. The tests I have mentioned here do not include any OpenGL-related or Quartz Extreme benchmarks, where I think the performance gap will be even larger due to the G3/400s lack of modern 3D graphics hardware.

I'm a bit puzzled as to the lack of performance improvement you say you are seeing. Given the crashing problems and the colour miscalibration you had earlier, have you considered performing a clean re-install of Mac OS X? It may also clear up whatever strange performance problem you are seeing also.

SuperChuck
Jun 24, 2004, 01:21 AM
Thanks for your concern! I haven't done any serious benchmarking or anything, I was merely basing my assessment on my perception of the time it takes for apps to open and for the computer to boot up, etc.

I did consider a clean install of Panther, but after the crashes stopped, I thought it unnecessary.

As for the performance issues, after reading your posts, I decided to do a simple timed test, and it is roughly 3 times faster. It just doesn't "feel" as fast as I thought it would. I guess I expected Photoshop to just pop open, and it is still a moderately lengthy process. Since my expectations were incorrect, it feels slower than it is.

I guess I need a dual G5 if I want my apps to fly open immediately. That'll be my next purchase.

Thanks for the benchmarking info. That was awfully nice of you to look up.

Abstract
Jun 24, 2004, 01:35 AM
Dude, if I were you, I'd do a clean install of Mac OSX now. Its better than waiting for later when something else happens and you have heaps more files and what not. Its usually a good idea to do a clean install after getting a new system anyway, and in your case where you had a lot of crashes and a weird colour display.....sounds suspicious. Maybe there's nothing wrong now, but I'd do a clean install now.

tekno_geek911
Jun 24, 2004, 02:41 AM
Thanks for your concern! I haven't done any serious benchmarking or anything, I was merely basing my assessment on my perception of the time it takes for apps to open and for the computer to boot up, etc.

I did consider a clean install of Panther, but after the crashes stopped, I thought it unnecessary.

As for the performance issues, after reading your posts, I decided to do a simple timed test, and it is roughly 3 times faster. It just doesn't "feel" as fast as I thought it would. I guess I expected Photoshop to just pop open, and it is still a moderately lengthy process. Since my expectations were incorrect, it feels slower than it is.

I guess I need a dual G5 if I want my apps to fly open immediately. That'll be my next purchase.

Thanks for the benchmarking info. That was awfully nice of you to look up.

Also make sure you have "Processor Performance" in Energy Saver set to highest.

oingoboingo
Jun 24, 2004, 04:08 AM
Thanks for your concern! I haven't done any serious benchmarking or anything, I was merely basing my assessment on my perception of the time it takes for apps to open and for the computer to boot up, etc.

I did consider a clean install of Panther, but after the crashes stopped, I thought it unnecessary.

As for the performance issues, after reading your posts, I decided to do a simple timed test, and it is roughly 3 times faster. It just doesn't "feel" as fast as I thought it would. I guess I expected Photoshop to just pop open, and it is still a moderately lengthy process. Since my expectations were incorrect, it feels slower than it is.

I guess I need a dual G5 if I want my apps to fly open immediately. That'll be my next purchase.

Thanks for the benchmarking info. That was awfully nice of you to look up.

No problems. Photoshop takes a while to start up even on my 1.6GHz G5 with its 7200rpm SATA hard drive...I think with all the filters and plugins that it has to load at startup, it's a slow starter on all but the very fastest systems. Not much you can do about that. If you run into any more weird problems like crashing or colour calibration problems, I'd recommend (as others have already) a clean install of Panther. That's probably one of the things that Apple will suggest first up if you call them for support anyway.

Well, hopefully the 3 times speedup starts to sink in after a bit of usage, and you 'get that feeling' about your PowerBook the same way you had with your G3 iMac. The 12" PowerBook is a great machine...it grows on you with time as you realise just how damn portable and convenient this thing is, as well as being a solid performer.

iamartboy
Jun 24, 2004, 09:08 AM
I swear by my Roadtools 360 pad. It's small; raises the book about a 1/2" to improve cooling;keeps the bottom of PB out of whatever sticky goop that's on the coffehouse table; and gives you the ability to spin the thing around, which is fantastic in meetings. It would also make the wobbling issue moot :)

johnnyroesco
Jun 24, 2004, 10:12 AM
I'm a new mac user too. I'm on my second new 12" PB. This one seems great.
The first one had a major glitch right out of the box. It would'nt really turn off. Even after removing the battery. Put the battery back in and the PB would heat up and run the battery down.
Sent it back to apple and it came back promptly. It not only still had the problem but now showed evidence of additional heat induced damage.

After countless hours harranging with customer service and tech and some talk about the attorney general they ship a new replacement.
Now 7 weeks after the initial order I have a nice new computer.
I'm happy with it now but apple customer service was quite tedious.

Interesting to note that the local service provider called yesterday to follow up on what happenned, a nice fellow. Apple customer service has'nt bothered to follow up yet or appologize for the ordeal.

MikeLaRiviere
Jun 25, 2004, 09:55 PM
I too recently purchased a PowerBook 12 inch, two days ago in fact. This computer replaced my iBoook G4 800 12 inch. With the iBook, I experienced quite a bit of wobbling while at the desk. Also with the iBook, I had some trouble with Apple's support. The computer would fully lock up, with the screen freezing or going black. I talked to Apple support and received a new stick of RAM which didn't fix the problem. I then sent in the computer and didn't get it back for nearly a month... as one might well imagine, this made me quite angry, especially when the computer crashed immediately after receiving it back from Apple. After a few weeks, though, the problem vanished.

Like the iMac DV fellow, I really loved my iBook; unfortunately, it didn't meet my school's specifications. The PowerBook, from my experience thus far, is great. I only have 256 MB RAM in it (waiting on the 512 stick in the mail; I will not repeat the mistake of paying Apple the 170% markup on RAM), and it is quite fast. As I type at my desk, I cannot make the computer wobble. My only complaint is the dead pixel, but it is not enough of a nuisance that I would complain to Apple. So far, I like the PowerBook quite a bit. I can only hope that I become as bonded to this notebook as I was to the iBook.

If you're considering buying a PowerBook, don't hesitate, it's a great computer. If you're trying to decide between an iBook and a PowerBook, I'd recommend that you consider a few things: first, your budget; second, the requirements of your school or work; third, how often you like to upgrade. With this 1.33 GHz PowerBook, I don't imagine that I'll need to upgrade for a while. However, knowing myself, it is unlikely that I'll keep this computer long after the G5 PowerBooks or iBooks are announced and brought to market.

Mike Lariviere

michaelrjohnson
Jul 6, 2004, 09:13 AM
I have made the decision to purchase the Rev C PB 12". I have sold my iBook that I bought in late-March of this year, to do the upgrade. I am convinced based on reviews by you friendly people and the numbers, that I will again enjoy a hefty speed increase as well as an upgrade in style ;). I'm looking forward to joining the ranks!

PS I might be purchasing my new computer tonight at a local Apple Retailer. Wish me luck! :)

tangent23
Jul 25, 2004, 04:56 AM
hi!

my partner and i bought a pbook 12" recently and love it.

i have been in windows world for most the last few years, but i grew up with mac [apple II first] and i am so glad i am back :)

the size is right for us at home and for the occasions where i have to be mobile, it is so easy to carry around [esp with the stm sleeve].

more screen space would be good for my work [design] but as we got this as a general house machine [email, net, etc] it is perfect.

it is a beautifully built machine, and i am digging OSX, getting my head around terminal and reaquainting myself with ease and useability of mac.

recommendation without hesitation.

kerb
Jul 28, 2004, 10:31 PM
lots of 12" PBook users!

I'm ordering mine as soon as the UK's Cram and Jam offer comes into effect next week.

PBook and 4G iPod oooh yeeeeah

juicyapple
Aug 6, 2004, 11:25 AM
Hi guys,

I am new to these forums and a new 12" rev c with a superdirve pb user also. I just sold my 15" iMac g4... It was a sad day. Anyways, I got a 20gb 3g iPod with the pb with the cram and jam deal. As I was reading over this thread I noticed a few similarities with my pb. It wobbles, but only on certain parts of my desk. As it sits in the center right now, there is no wobbling. But if I put it to the left , it wobbles and is very annoying. But I have come to realize my desk is uneven, not the pb. But after reading all the complaints about the wobbling in the 12", I don't know what to think. Also, I always thought my trackpad click was uneven on the right side, but I thought it was just my imagination. Is it supposed to be silent, because mine makes a clicking sounds, similar to the clicking sound on the iPod mini. Other than that I love it and it has been perfect. I have a question though that may be real stupid, but what are those lights on the bottom of the pb. Sometime they are lit up and moving, and other times they are not.

-juicy


http://home.comcast.net/~jenpagonis/DSC03699_1small.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~jenpagonis/DSC03698small.jpg

mwpeters8182
Aug 6, 2004, 12:01 PM
I was unaware of this, because i've never checked, but when the battery is charging, do the status lights flash?

MP

vraxtus
Aug 6, 2004, 01:28 PM
Now an owner of a Rev B 12". I really do enjoy using it, save for the fact that it's now at Apple repair due to unexplained kernel panics that appear to be hardware related.

Like it a lot better than my old Rev A 12" iBook... man that thing was really trashy to me.

Also, everyone, please keep in mind that these are not gaming laptops... if you want to play games on a laptop and only a laptop GET A PC (sadly).

But right now I'm hoping Apple will replace my logic board with a Rev C since the one I bought was a refurb and evidently they screwed up in their "strict refurbishment process".

johnnyjibbs
Aug 6, 2004, 03:51 PM
Hi guys,

I am new to these forums and a new 12" rev c with a superdirve pb user also. I just sold my 15" iMac g4... It was a sad day. Anyways, I got a 20gb 3g iPod with the pb with the cram and jam deal. As I was reading over this thread I noticed a few similarities with my pb. It wobbles, but only on certain parts of my desk. As it sits in the center right now, there is no wobbling. But if I put it to the left , it wobbles and is very annoying. But I have come to realize my desk is uneven, not the pb. But after reading all the complaints about the wobbling in the 12", I don't know what to think. Also, I always thought my trackpad click was uneven on the right side, but I thought it was just my imagination. Is it supposed to be silent, because mine makes a clicking sounds, similar to the clicking sound on the iPod mini. Other than that I love it and it has been perfect. I have a question though that may be real stupid, but what are those lights on the bottom of the pb. Sometime they are lit up and moving, and other times they are not.

The clicking noises are the hard drive. Perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. No hard drive is completely silent. You'll notice the clicking sound comes from the left palm rest, which is where the hard drive is located.

The lights on the bottom of the battery indicate its charge status. Useful only if you have the PB turned off when charging. If they are flashing, it indicates charging (e.g. 4 solid + 5th light flashing equals nearly charged, 1 solid + 2nd light flashing = charging but only currently at about 20% charge, etc). If they are solid, they just indicate, on a scale of 1 to 5, the amount of charge remaining.

About wobbling - mine wobbles on one part of my desk, but is perfectly even everywhere else. I'm assuming it's the desk and not the PB. There were some problems with rev A's I believe, but I think they have been ironed out now. No need to worry.

Sounds like your PB is in full working order!

Mord
Aug 7, 2004, 07:00 AM
after lots of calculations and stuff i have figured that if i sell my ibook and my b&w g3 i can afford an american 12" combo drive powerbook and have it brought over to the uk in september by my dads friend, and it costs 802 including sales tax in San Francisco.

i cant wait i'm so excited, ive never had a powerbook before :D

JLS
Aug 8, 2004, 07:54 PM
after lots of calculations and stuff i have figured that if i sell my ibook and my b&w g3 i can afford an american 12" combo drive powerbook and have it brought over to the uk in september by my dads friend, and it costs 802 including sales tax in San Francisco.

i cant wait i'm so excited, ive never had a powerbook before :D

I was thinking about doing this.. but remember - US keyboads are different, the power supply and cables are different, and if customs do a spot check on your bag on return to the UK, you will have to pay tax on it.. I decided it wasn't worth the worry, especially when educational discounts are pretty good anyway.

Im still debating if I should wait a few months for a new revision of the PB with tiger and possibly a better gfx chip (5200 is totally pants) seen as im in no big hurry atm, and the 4G Ipod is ugly compared to 3G(cram&jam deal)...

Mord
Aug 8, 2004, 07:58 PM
the keyboards are not too different, i have the nessisary power heads you just use fig 8 ones and i have the head from my ipod charger, as for spot checks he'll take it out of the packageing as if it was his powerbook.

the 5200 in the powerbook is ok because it has 128 bit memory the 5200's are hated in the pc world because they are crippled by 64 bit memory. it's ok but still not nearly as fast as the 9700.

JLS
Aug 8, 2004, 08:03 PM
the keyboards are not too different, i have the nessisary power heads you just use fig 8 ones and i have the head from my ipod charger, as for spot checks he'll take it out of the packageing as if it was his powerbook.

the 5200 in the powerbook is ok because it has 128 bit memory the 5200's are hated in the pc world because they are crippled by 64 bit memory. it's ok but still not nearly as fast as the 9700.

It will still be problem if something goes wrong with it I imagine..

I currently have never owned anything apple (but have used them at college for 2 years..) and want a powerbook to be my first purchase but with Tiger so close to release im so very very tempted to wait a month or 2. Seen as the Cram and Jam offer ends in November, im assuming the new OS and any other possible updates (which might happen becuase of coreimage) will happen in December... just in time for the christmas sales rush...

Mord
Aug 8, 2004, 08:06 PM
the only thing that could go wrong is a customs check and I would still save a fair bit.

10.4 wont be out untill next year and a powerbook revision isent comming soon

JLS
Aug 8, 2004, 08:13 PM
the only thing that could go wrong is a customs check and I would still save a fair bit.

10.4 wont be out untill next year and a powerbook revision isent comming soon


I meant if there is a problem with the hardware..

Im not talking about a G5 update here.. just something better in the gfx department.. even a minor change like a switch to the Go5650. They can't keep that 5200 forever, and PB's seem to have minor revisions every few months don't they?

Mord
Aug 8, 2004, 08:15 PM
not really no, the warrenty is worldwide so if something go's wrong i can get it fixed here

JLS
Aug 8, 2004, 08:21 PM
not really no, the warrenty is worldwide so if something go's wrong i can get it fixed here


Interesting... Only thing is that you couldn't use the cram&jam money back thing which means that buy a full price ipod would wipe out pretty much all the savings. (if you interested in a new ipod that is... :P)

So you don't think there will be ANY changes to the PB config in the next couple of months then?

Natalia81
Aug 8, 2004, 08:24 PM
I Seen as the Cram and Jam offer ends in November, im assuming the new OS and any other possible updates (which might happen becuase of coreimage) will happen in December... just in time for the christmas sales rush...


November!?!?!...The site tells me Sept. 25th when I go there.

Mord
Aug 8, 2004, 08:24 PM
i have an ipod already but i might be doing the cram and jam thing as there is a student i know in america that could buy both of them at edu discount get the rebate and send me the powerbook and keep the ipod giveing me half the rebate.

JLS
Aug 8, 2004, 08:27 PM
November!?!?!...The site tells me Sept. 25th when I go there.


"Offer expires November 2nd, 2004"
http://www.apple.com/uk/education/cramandjam/