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Anticipat3
Jun 30, 2004, 11:45 AM
This thread was inspired by some of the other very helpful folks around these forums who have graciously reviewed and described their new Mac products.

I just recently purchased a New 15" Powerbook, the 1.33Ghz model with 256 MB of RAM, plus another 512 Stick from Crucial. The machine was basically stock, except that I opted for the 5400 RPM 80GB Hard Drive.

I have in the past owned a Rev A 12" Powerbook (867mhz) and a 15" 1Ghz iMac, and I use a 1.8Ghz G5 at work daily. I'll try to draw comparisons to these machines as appropriate.

My first impression, pulling it out of the box, was wow - this thing is big. Not nearly as small as the little 12" guy that I has not too long ago. Then I unpacked it and fired it up. Yeah, big screen... I was worried I'd have regrets about the size of the machine, as I use it in at least 3 different places every day.

Then I started using it, and I was impressed -- the Screen really is huge, and the extra resolution makes a HUGE difference in my general productivity in that I can open all of my Photoshop and Dreamweaver Pallettes, and I can open a web browser and only take up half of the screen, leaving the other half for my buddy list, finder windows, or widgets. The bigger speakers were also nice; they sound a good bit nicer than the ones on the 12".

The general design of the machine is kind of a mixed bag. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this machine runs MUCH, MUCH cooler than my Rev A powerbook, or any other modern laptop I've used lately outside of a G3 iBook. It never gets uncomfortably warm, and the palm rests rarely heat up at all (except when using the optical drive).

I was and still am a little disappointed about how the ports are layed out on the laptop, however. I loved how the 12" had all of its ports on the left side, so that nothing got in the way of one's mousing, even when attached to an external display, a wired network, and an external Hard Drive. The 15" is a nightmare in this respect -- when I hook all these devices up to it I have a DVI port, a Network cable, and a Firewire cable all hanging out of the right side of the laptop, where my mouse is supposed to be. I've basically resorted to simply using another keyboard and mouse when I have the machine "Docked." It's probably for the best anyway, it's good to save the wear and tear on the keyboard, and I like my MX500 mouse better than the Apple Bluetooth mouse I carry with the laptop while I travel.

Now on to performance. Given that I ordered the slower 15" configuration, I was a little worried that I would be wishing I had bought the faster configuration, but I'm glad now that I didn't waste the money. The machine is VERY fast with GUI operations, has plenty of video memory to drive the built-in display and an external 1280x1024 monitor (I might want the 128MB option if I was driving a 23" cinema display, however). The Mobility Radeon 9700 is MUCH faster than the GeForce4 Go and GeForce4MX chips that were in my other two Macs, and it really shows in games. The 12" really had no gaming capabilities at all -- Warcraft III was choppy and unsatisfactory on all but the lowest detail settings, and Medal of Honor and Ghost Recon were both pretty poor, as well. The iMac fared a little better, but It still wasn't good enough to play Warcraft without chopping at Medium detail settings, and its FPS performance was also mediocre at best. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how well the new laptop games. I've played several games of Warcraft III at the full 1280x854 resolution and high detail with no chop to speak of, I've played a lot of Multiplayer Call of Duty at > 90FPS at full detail and resolution, and I've even played Halo with all of the Pixel Shader effects with satisfactory results (Halo wasn't perfect at the very high resolutions, but still ran at > 20 FPS. Running at 800x600 it was silky smooth). I'm planning on playing World of Warcraft when it's released this fall, and while I still plan to do most of my playing on my 3ghz/Radeon 9800 Pro PC, I'm pleasantly surprised to find that my Powerbook will be a perfectly usable machine to play it on the road.

In terms of general system performance, I'm also quite impressed. The 5400 RPM Hard drive really helps bootup and (more importantly) App launch times. Safari, Mail, iChat, iTunes, and System Prefs all open with one bounce, and between the fast HD and the Gigabit Ethernet I was able to copy a lot of files off of my PC very, very quickly. The machine certainly speeded up noticibly after I added the extra stick of memory, but it was surprisingly usable with only 256MB. I'm very pleased with how much Apple has managed to Trim down OSX so that it's now very usable with only 256MB of RAM, and makes me see the G4 iBook and eMac as even better bargains.

A couple other lingering issues; first is the wireless reception. It's very comparable to my old powerbook, perhaps a little better. The battery life is still largely a question mark in my book. I haven't had it away from power for more than an hour or so, so I can't report back one way or another about the battery life with much accuracy. For what it's worth, the battery meter tells me I have about 2:30 when I unplug it and I've got the screen brightness on full, music playing in iTunes, and I'm browsing the 'net. This is about standard -- Not great, but not bad either. My 12" was very similar, it ran about 2:30 when blasting on it, and I could squeeze about 4:00 out of it if I ran the brightness on low, played no tunes, and turned the bluetooth off (maybe a little more yet if I turned the Airport off -- but I always use network).

After using the machine for a week now, I can say I've gotten a lot more comfortable with the size, as well. It still fits fine in my backpack, and doesn't take up any more room than the 12" did, really, and doesn't weigh significantly more. I've come to find that I really, REALLY love having the big screen on the road, and the slightly larger size to be a pretty minor inconvenience given the benefits. It's certainly nowhere near as painful as dragging around a Dell Laptop, since it's so thin, light, and durable.

All things said, I can recommend the 15" powerbook to users as a main machine with very few qualms, and even fewer qualms to people who don't plan to connect an external monitor. It's become my main machine very quickly, something my 12" powerbook never really did due to its small screen and poor performance driving an external display. It's fast, it's portable, and it's lap-friendly. I'd push power users considering the 12" as a main machine toward the 15".

michaelrjohnson
Jun 30, 2004, 01:05 PM
Very thourough and informative. Thank you very much!

matthewr
Jun 30, 2004, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the input. I'm on the cusp of a new 15 inch powerbook and was trying to decide if it was worth getting the faster driver, and if there was much benefit to the faster processor. Your write-up has certainly helped move me closer to the 1.33 Mhz model.

Megaquad
Jun 30, 2004, 02:46 PM
Thanks for info, I happen to get the same machine on friday!
Well... except mine has 4200 rpm, I hope it wont be slow :(

micsaund
Jun 30, 2004, 03:18 PM
Great write-up -- thanks! Your machine matches the one I just ordered 2 days ago (my first Mac) to a T(ee?) -- Crucial RAM, CPU, and all. I'm pleased that you've found gaming and general use to be so enjoyable on the "base" 1.33 model -- that makes me feel better about my upcoming toy :D

Anticipat3
Jun 30, 2004, 03:35 PM
I'm glad you guys have found my thoughts useful! It's always difficult to judge what one person's impressions of "fast" and "hot" and "long" are, and I found several posts similar to this to be very useful in deciding on the model I did, and thought it was only a little of my time to write this up, and it might very well help others.

I hope you guys that just ordered enjoy them... post your thoughts here when you do!

Oh, one other thing that I should mention here -- This powerbook (and others like it) WILL NOT BOOT from retail Panther CDs. I was very worried when it wouldn't, but a quick google shows this is normal -- you have to use the 10.3.4 DVD that came with the powerbook, or (in the future) something newer. Just thought I'd spare you guys the OMG NO factor when you tried it!

Also (heh) be aware that the games were not good when I only had 256MB of RAM -- this was not enough!

Coolvirus007
Jun 30, 2004, 03:53 PM
I couldn't have described it better. Now we can finally just tell those who keep questioning about 'buying their first mac' and/or wanting either a pb 15" or 12" to just come to this thread.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 30, 2004, 04:27 PM
Many thanks for the review.

Question on your impressions between the 1.33 PB and the 1.8 G5 (single processor I assume). Outside of gaming any impressions on real world differences between the two? XBench numbers don't seem to so great on a single G5 verses the G4 PB's. Have been waiting for the iMac G5, but am thinking that the G5 may not be that great of a deal.

nels0360
Jun 30, 2004, 11:55 PM
Nice job on the review. I just purchased a 12" PowerBook and I would agree that the 1.33 is plenty fast. I also purchased the Crucial RAM upgrade. One of the best places to spend money on a BTO upgrade is the hard drive. A 5400 RPM hard drive really does make a significant performance difference in my opinion and usage.

I would also agree that if a PowerBook is going to be used as a primary computer get the 15". I got the 12" because I use mine with a 17" Samsung 171P LCD which makes up for the screen size when I'm using it at home.

Flight16
Jul 1, 2004, 01:00 AM
This really isn't about the 15", but I've had this question for a while and haven't run across it much in the forums:

How does the 12" PB do at driving an external display in say, 1280 x 1024? I have a G3 800Mhz iBook with the desktop spanning hack and expose is very jerky and things feel a bit slow when resizing at huge resolutions. Was your Rev A (how fast?) PB just as bad even though it was built to have desktop spanning? I was thinking about a 12" iBook as a cheap alternative to a 12" PB since I'm in college, but I'd be using it as my main system and have a monitor and keyboard hooked up, so I want to make sure it can drive the external display.

Any comments anybody has about this issue would be appreciated

Thanks.

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 1, 2004, 05:08 AM
This really isn't about the 15", but I've had this question for a while and haven't run across it much in the forums:

How does the 12" PB do at driving an external display in say, 1280 x 1024? I have a G3 800Mhz iBook with the desktop spanning hack and expose is very jerky and things feel a bit slow when resizing at huge resolutions. Was your Rev A (how fast?) PB just as bad even though it was built to have desktop spanning? I was thinking about a 12" iBook as a cheap alternative to a 12" PB since I'm in college, but I'd be using it as my main system and have a monitor and keyboard hooked up, so I want to make sure it can drive the external display.

Any comments anybody has about this issue would be appreciated

Thanks.

I have a PB 12" rev. B. I don't use Expose much, but it is a bit slower when spanned than when not. Otherwise I haven't notice much difference if any when spanning to my Mistu SB70.

Akira
Jul 1, 2004, 07:16 AM
hey, nice 'review'.
I'm planning on buying a 1,5 GHz 15" PB with 128MB VRAM to replace my old Powermac G4 350MHz, but now since I read your story I'm wondering if the CPU-speed and VRAM-doubling is worth the cash..
a 1,33GHz Powerbook with the same options as a 1,5GHz Powerbook will cost me only 65 euros less

And of course, I'm not sure if I really need the Superdrive...

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 1, 2004, 07:20 AM
And of course, I'm not sure if I really need the Superdrive...

I went through the same thoughts when i bought my PB 12" rev. B. Glad i ponied up for the SDD. It really is a great way of backing up and saving HDD space from underused stuff.

phonic pol
Jul 1, 2004, 07:48 AM
Likewise - thanks again for the review, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I too have had my new 15" 1.33 PB for about a week. It's almost identical to the above spec i.e. 5400 hard drive, additional 512 ram from crucial etc. Only difference is, I went for the backlit keyboard option. I don't know if the PB's with no backlit option have screens that adjust to different lighting conditions or if this is a by product of having the light sensors under the keyboard, either way it's great and I would definitely recommend spending the additional £50. I haven't had to adjust the screen brightness once as the auto setting does it perfectly. The backlit keys are just an absolute treat. I keep turning the lights off just to watch them fade on!

On the performance front I was also concerned about going for the lesser 1.33 processor. I just couldn't justify the very significant difference in price for what seems like a small gain in performance. If I went for the 1.5 GHz option I would still of gone for the 5400 rpm hard drive and 512 memory from crucial making it a much pricier purchase. And all for less than 200 MHz and another 256 ram. I have to report that the performance I've experienced has been impressive. I've thrown a lot of hard work at my new PB over the last week due to a large photographic project deadline this Friday. Photoshop and Illustrator run like a dream and these are my main apps. I think my quicksilver powermac g4 933 will become redundant very quickly so if anyone is interested itíll probably be on eBay in the next couple of weeks.

I also went for the dvi to adc adapter so I can run my 17" apple display. This is absolutely superb with no difference in quality to running adc from my powermac. The only dilemma I have with this is that I run two displays from my powermac and would love to be able to do this from my powerbook i.e. laptop display plus two external displays - does anyone know of a work around for this?

I figured another benefit in going for the 1.33 GHz option is that you get 256mb of ram over the 512 supplied with the 1.5 GHz option. I think the price of the 1.5ghz machine is bumped up further by paying apple prices for the additional ram. By going for the 1.33 GHz option with 256mb ram you only pay crucial prices for anything additional. Tie this in with a further upgrade 6 or 12 months down the line to a 1gb module and one of the existing memory modules will have to be sacrificed; I would much rather trade in 256mb over 512mb when making this move because I donít think the resale will be good, especially if desirability of the 1gb goes up due to further drops in memory prices.

Akira
Jul 1, 2004, 08:57 AM
You're absolutely right, phonic pol.

But there's still one problem, and that is that you'll have to live with knowing that your powerbook isn't the fastes one available. I don't know about you guys, but I always want the best (I know I can't ever fill up my 40 GB iPod, but having a 20GB iPod and knowing there's a 40 GB iPod is something that would give me insomnia ;) )

phonic pol
Jul 1, 2004, 11:36 AM
You're absolutely right, phonic pol.

But there's still one problem, and that is that you'll have to live with knowing that your powerbook isn't the fastes one available. I don't know about you guys, but I always want the best (I know I can't ever fill up my 40 GB iPod, but having a 20GB iPod and knowing there's a 40 GB iPod is something that would give me insomnia ;) )

Akira, I guess you've got a point but I get much more satisfaction from not paying over the odds and getting the highest performance to £ ratio. I guess I'm your opposite because I get insomnia when I know I've just spent more than I could of because of some clever marketing!

The other point I'd like to make is that the really important thing is what I can do with my powerbook. If I had the 1.5ghz instead of the 1.33 am I going to be any more creative with it? Well, I answered that before I made my purchase.

I'm convinced the 15" 1.33 is one of the best buys avaliable from Apple.

Cheers

Anticipat3
Jul 1, 2004, 03:24 PM
Flight16-

First off, did you ever attend The Big Crap Shoot LAN Party? Your name is familiar.

Second, I can't tell you how well the current 12"ers drive an external display, but I can tell you that when I had a Rev A 12" the performance was not satisfactory. Note, however, that the current models have 64 megs of Video memory and not 32 like the original -- this probably makes a difference. However, the Mobility Radeon 9700 is a MUCH more powerful graphics chip than the GeForce FX Go 5200, so the 12" may not yet be all that great with an external display. Some of the other users are doing this however, you might want to ask them.

Chip Novamac-

I was actually surprised to find that for GUI everyday things that the Powerbook is every bit as responsive as the 1.8 G5. I expected the powerbook to be noticibly less snappy, but it hasn't been so at all. The Powermac also has the Radeon 9600 card, not the crappy FX5200.

phonic pol-

I'm glad my thoughts were useful, and I'm glad you're in the same boat. I don't have the backlit keyboard, but I can touchtype... so I wouldn't find it real useful. I used a 17" at work for a while that had it, and I just didn't find it real useful. The keys are already lit up by the huge display in front of you unless you have the brightness all the way down, and rather than power the keyboard lights, I'd rather just use that juice on the display's brightness. Plus, I use Expose a lot, and I didn't much like how the keyboard brightness controls stole my f8, f9, and f10 keys (having to hit Fn+F9 to activate expose - bleh). The bling/glitz factor was, however, off the charts -- it looked sweet, and it may have been worth it just for that :)

rogerw
Jul 1, 2004, 04:04 PM
Akira, I guess you've got a point but I get much more satisfaction from not paying over the odds and getting the highest performance to £ ratio. I guess I'm your opposite because I get insomnia when I know I've just spent more than I could of because of some clever marketing!

The other point I'd like to make is that the really important thing is what I can do with my powerbook. If I had the 1.5ghz instead of the 1.33 am I going to be any more creative with it? Well, I answered that before I made my purchase.

I'm convinced the 15" 1.33 is one of the best buys avaliable from Apple.

Cheers

Do you think that the optional 128 MB graphics card that can be had on the 1.5 is not necessary?

phonic pol
Jul 1, 2004, 04:12 PM
Flight16-

phonic pol-

I'm glad my thoughts were useful, and I'm glad you're in the same boat. I don't have the backlit keyboard, but I can touchtype... so I wouldn't find it real useful. I used a 17" at work for a while that had it, and I just didn't find it real useful. The keys are already lit up by the huge display in front of you unless you have the brightness all the way down, and rather than power the keyboard lights, I'd rather just use that juice on the display's brightness. Plus, I use Expose a lot, and I didn't much like how the keyboard brightness controls stole my f8, f9, and f10 keys (having to hit Fn+F9 to activate expose - bleh). The bling/glitz factor was, however, off the charts -- it looked sweet, and it may have been worth it just for that :)

I guess there are advantages both ways. I also touch type, I type faster than I can write so I guess the keyboard is really a bling thing but man is it sweet! The expose function keys aren't ideal; I use expose a lot to and I'm still getting used to having to hold the function key down but before long it'll be second nature.

The feature I really like about the back lighting is the self adjusting screen which is so good I just don't notice the change. The screen brightness just always looks right.

Grokgod
Jul 1, 2004, 04:15 PM
I am surprised to see nothing in your review about Heat!

I have the 1.5 with 128 vram and this thign after about one hour of use gets so hot that the rear of the unit can burn and the pam rest are uncomfortable to use!

what is your heat experience!

Thanks for the interesting review :D

Anticipat3
Jul 1, 2004, 04:21 PM
The general design of the machine is kind of a mixed bag. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this machine runs MUCH, MUCH cooler than my Rev A powerbook, or any other modern laptop I've used lately outside of a G3 iBook. It never gets uncomfortably warm, and the palm rests rarely heat up at all (except when using the optical drive).

Can't say I've ever quoted myself on a forum before :).

But yeah, the heat wasn't an issue at all on the 1.33, everything stays "warm" but nothing gets much more than that unless I'm playing games or ripping DVDs - then she gets toasty, but even then, it's not awful. My Rev A 12" got a lot hotter than this thing does, but at the same time, a G3 iBook stays a lot cooler.

phonic pol
Jul 1, 2004, 04:32 PM
Do you think that the optional 128 MB graphics card that can be had on the 1.5 is not necessary?

I guess if you need 128mb video ram then the 1.5ghz option is the only way to go.

It's the same graphics engine so should perform like for like until you start getting into high res high frame rates etc and even then the 64mb chip seems to do well in all the tests. If I remember correctly the 128mb version gives you a 12 to 15% performance boost on the top end. It's just a lot of money for a feature that will most likely rarely get used (in my case anyway!).

I mainly deal with 2D still images/graphics and 3D modelling using Ashlar Xenon so I'm happy with 64mb on a decent graphics chip.

I guess it just comes down to knowing what you're going to need it for.

phonic pol
Jul 1, 2004, 04:36 PM
I am surprised to see nothing in your review about Heat!

I have the 1.5 with 128 vram and this thign after about one hour of use gets so hot that the rear of the unit can burn and the pam rest are uncomfortable to use!

what is your heat experience!

Thanks for the interesting review :D

I haven't found heat to be a problem so far on my 1.33. I guess the 1.5 is going produce a bit more heat.

Are you using it full throttle a lot?

Anticipat3
Jul 1, 2004, 04:45 PM
I think the only reason to get the model with 128MB of VRAM is to drive a very large external display along with the powerbook display.

Remember that even the G5s, except the Dual 2.5, have only 64MB of Video Memory, and they do just fine driving the 20 and 23" Cinema displays. If you were to drive one of those AND the PB display (as some folks do) I can see why you might want that extra video memory.

Some games may benefit from the extra VRAM too, but IMO, any game that uses >64MB of Video memory is going to be too demanding to run on a G4 Powerbook anyway.

That said, if it was a $50 option on both models, I'd have gotten it just for the resale value added, but it wasn't worth the jump to the model with other things I didn't need -- i.e. the backlit keyboard, the extra 160mhz, and the extra price =O.

Akira
Jul 3, 2004, 11:59 AM
Well I just placed an order at the Apple Store for the Powerbook 1,33GHz (with the Pimp-Daddy Backlit Keyboard, 5400rpm HD and Superdrive of course :cool: )

I can hardly wait for it to arrive :D (which wil take up to 3 weeks :( )

Megaquad
Jul 3, 2004, 12:33 PM
I just got 15" 1.33GHz Powerbook, 256mb and 4200 rpm.
Coming from 350 MHz iMac this is huuuge improvement.
I'm ordering 512 MB more RAM tomorrow but it runs suprisingly well with only 256. I'll get 7200rpm 100GB HD in 9 months or whenever they release them. I must also mention that I'll soon get an external DVDRW drive :), since these days every kid has them...

It is *completely* silent, and sometimes fan turns on when I run processor intensive apps but even then its so silent that you can't even notice.

It gets really hot... its a little hard to use keyboard on these hot summer days, but I guess it will be useful when it gets colder.

All in all, very nice machine, runs Flash/Photoshop very well, games are smooth... just beautiful. I love it so much. :p

phonic pol
Jul 4, 2004, 02:18 PM
Just thought I'd add that I'm getting about 3 hours 20 minutes battery time. What sort of times are you guys experiencing?

Scorched X
Jul 5, 2004, 08:58 PM
Oh, one other thing that I should mention here -- This powerbook (and others like it) WILL NOT BOOT from retail Panther CDs. I was very worried when it wouldn't, but a quick google shows this is normal -- you have to use the 10.3.4 DVD that came with the powerbook, or (in the future) something newer. Just thought I'd spare you guys the OMG NO factor when you tried it!

I'm a little confused about this. How will Tiger have to be installed when it's released?

Studio Dweller
Jul 5, 2004, 10:01 PM
I too have enjoyed my first week of using my new PowerBook 15" 1.33 Ghz. I've been a Mac user since the Mac Plus which was followed by a IIci, PowerMac 8100, beige G3 266 and a G4 800, but until now, I've never had a laptop. All I can say is I should've bought one a long time ago.

I couldn't believe it when the FedEx guy showed up on Friday the 25th when the tracking info that same morning said it would arrive on Monday the 28th. I ordered it online from the Apple Store and I did not pay for overnight shipping, but somehow it made to my door from China in a single day despite the tracking info also stating that it was picked up after their cutoff time. Mail-order items NEVER arrive early for me.

I have my G4 desktop in a finished room in the basement so I've always ended up spending a lot of time down there. One of the main incentives in getting the laptop was setting up a wireless network so I wouldn't always have to go to the basement and at the same time, see a bit more of my girlfriend. I also picked up an AirPort Extreme base station which has been great (I'm writing this from the comfort of my bedroom).

That's enough back story so on to the computer itself. I ordered the PB with the following options:
80GB/5400 RPM HD
Backlit keyboard
768MB RAM (512 from Crucial)

I think Anticipat3 has covered everything really well in his review, but I will add the following. Although the PB generally runs without getting excessively hot, I do find that when doing processor-intensive operations, it can get quite hot and I find that I need to put something under the PB to insulate it from my lap. I would hardly say this is a big deal, but the thing can get toasty.

My wireless reception has for the most part, been good. I'm able to get at least 2 and usually 3 segments on the signal strength indicator from anywhere in the house and even in the back yard.

I too love the backlit keyboard and have also found that I have not needed to manually adjust the screen brightness. It just always seems to be right.

The only thing I need to get used to is the keyboard. Not having had a laptop before, I'm very much accustomed to a desktop keyboard and find myself hitting the 'Caps Lock' key with my left pinky when I intend to hit the 'A' key. Horrors.

As I also intend to by a G5 2.5DP very soon, I didn't want to spend the extra money on the faster 1.5GHz PB. I'm happy with the speed of the 1.33GHz and I'm glad to see that others here are too. I really couldn't be happier with this machine and can never see being without a laptop in the future as it has definitely been a quality of life improvement for me in not having to be a cellar dweller nearly as much. Now if I could just get my girlfriend to ditch her PC...

unregbaron
Jul 6, 2004, 04:09 AM
Well yesterday evening after a fair amount of time (like 2 months+) thinking it over (see prev posts) I took the plunge and decided to get the standard superdrive selling for £1749 at John Lewis.

I had been thinking about paying an extra £100 to get the 5400rpm drive and upgrading to 128mb vram but in the end the free 2year parts and labour guarantee at John Lewis won through.

I'm coming from a G3 400mhz pismo so in the end I thought the £100 would be better spent at some point in the near future on either more ram, wireless airport/itunes thing, bluetooth mouse, new bag - you get the idea.

I half regret posting this cause I know everyone will scream 'shoulda got the upgrade!' but I've made my decision.

By the way - re Illuminated Keyboard - I had seen a post saying the light from the screen reflects onto the keys making the keyboard light useless: this hasn't been the case with me. Last night playing a Call of Duty demo level (looked so great!) there was no reflection at all and interestingly the kboard light is white - (i had seen an apple promo quicktime thing with a guy in a recording studio being shown a new pb and it going blue)

... ....so amazing to have some apps opening in one bounce...



:o

yinyang
Jul 6, 2004, 06:53 AM
... ....so amazing to have some apps opening in one bounce...

:o

i've had my powerbook for a week now, and i think that is refreshing change seeing most of the apps just bounce once :) but then it has twice the speed and ram of my still beuatiful lcd imac.

so far the fan has only come on once, when the temp went passed 60C, though i'm still not sure why it did - i don't recall anything serious going on at the time. but otherwise even when it's around the high 50's it isn't too bad to touch!

i'm now waiting eagerly for the express so that i can rid myself of this 20m ethernet cable between here and the dsl modem.

only one gripe-ish observation... does everybody's powerbook close snugly - when i shut it there is a bit of a gap between the two halves and it 'rocks' a bit ie it's not like it isn't able to close properly, but that maybe if i tightened the hinged at the back it might close properly. other than that i am so pleased with this :) now i'm just waiting for the bt keyboard, mouse and iCurve to be delivered!

phonic pol
Jul 6, 2004, 07:22 AM
I have my G4 desktop in a finished room in the basement so I've always ended up spending a lot of time down there. One of the main incentives in getting the laptop was setting up a wireless network so I wouldn't always have to go to the basement and at the same time, see a bit more of my girlfriend.



Ditto the cellar girlfriend thing!!!

unregbaron
Jul 6, 2004, 07:41 AM
only one gripe-ish observation... does everybody's powerbook close snugly - when i shut it there is a bit of a gap between the two halves and it 'rocks' a bit ie it's not like it isn't able to close properly, but that maybe if i tightened the hinged at the back it might close properly. other than that i am so pleased with this :) now i'm just waiting for the bt keyboard, mouse and iCurve to be delivered!



good news - it's part of the design to have the gap - we all have it - it's to stop kboard getting in contact with the screen....

yinyang
Jul 6, 2004, 08:25 AM
good news - it's part of the design to have the gap - we all have it - it's to stop kboard getting in contact with the screen....

ccol - so i don't have to by that notebook screensavr from radtech :)

thanks for that!

zachhale
Jul 9, 2004, 03:40 PM
I just graduated from High School and I'm looking into a laptop for college this fall at the University of Washington. I have always been a PC guy and even used to despise apples, but I got an iPod and since then I have been obsessed with iTunes and the interface and the simplicity and wonder of the powerbook and OS X.

I am very glad all of you have posted these impressions because it makes my decisions a lot easier.

If money is not an issue, I will most likely get the 15" w/ the 1.5ghz processor w/ the default 512ram. If it is an issue, I'll get the 1.33ghz and buy the extra ram like others have and I'll upgrade the HD to something larger and faster.

I really need the 80gb hard drive.... so that's a definite consideration.

liketom
Jul 9, 2004, 05:02 PM
After reading this thread i have canceled my order for the 12' powerbook 1.33 and opted for the 15" . to be fair i have not actualy seen a 15" up close only the 12" thats why i opted for the 12" but..... reading what people have experienced here i hot footed it down to the ONLY place that shows mac's in my town! pcworld of all places have these in stock but of course not a sales guy in sight cos it's a apple lol and i don't think them monkeys could tell me much anyway ..imagine
me is looking at mac " can i help you sir? " ,
" yes i want this apple powerbook please! " ,
monkey says -" apple ??? whats one of them , the local market sells fruit sir ? "
i say - " o sod off you PC Junkie and swipe this for me , dont worry there will be some nuts and banana's in it for you ! "
- monkey strolls off sctraching his arse with my flexable friend in the other hand on the way to the till .

Anyway after looking at one in the flesh i was gob smacked at the sheer beauty of it 15" of pure screen it was like falling in love all over again .

anyway thanks for advice people

tom

phonic pol
Jul 9, 2004, 06:48 PM
- monkey strolls off sctraching his arse with my flexable friend in the other hand on the way to the till .

Anyway after looking at one in the flesh i was gob smacked at the sheer beauty of it 15" of pure screen it was like falling in love all over again .

anyway thanks for advice people

tom

Ha ha, Nice move Tom!

PeterD42
Jul 9, 2004, 08:37 PM
Hi, I am also thinking of getting the 15"PB
But unless I have doen my sums wrong, here in OZ it is only $120 more to get the 1.5 compared to the 1.33 with superdrive & 5400rpm HDD & backlit kb with 256 memory. So by the time I upgrade the memory they would be about the same.
So i think I will opt for the 1.5 unless convinced otherwise ( or look at my sumes again :) )

phonic pol
Jul 10, 2004, 04:41 AM
Hi, I am also thinking of getting the 15"PB
But unless I have doen my sums wrong, here in OZ it is only $120 more to get the 1.5 compared to the 1.33 with superdrive & 5400rpm HDD & backlit kb with 256 memory. So by the time I upgrade the memory they would be about the same.
So i think I will opt for the 1.5 unless convinced otherwise ( or look at my sumes again :) )

If there is that little difference in it I'd go for the 1.5 too. The pricing structure must be different in Oz. In the UK you can't get less than 512mb memory on the 1.5 machine which bumps up the price and the 1.5 also comes with a 4200rpm drive so has to be upgraded to 5400rpm just like the 1.33 machine. This has the effect of keeping the price between the two models quite far apart.

I also went for the non superdrive option which brings the price down further. I figured that the combo drive burns CD's faster than the super drive burns CD's and this is mainly what I use it for. I also figure on getting an external firewire DVD burner which will be faster than the super drive. Seems to me this is the best route to go unless you really need to burn DVD's on the go.

Akira
Jul 10, 2004, 09:56 AM
My motivation to buy a 1,33GHz Powerbook was this:
- the speed difference between them isn't that big
- you'll have to pay extra for 1 512MB SO-DIMM, because leaving it to 2x 256MB RAM is money down the drain, a 1,33GHz comes with 1x 256MB...
- the price difference is bigger than the performance difference

however, I did go for the superdrive, faster HD, and backlit keyboard, because those things are stuff you'll smack yourself in the head for if you didn't get them and see people who do have those cool options...

If you keep thinking, it's only $xx more expensive if I'll take this at every option, you'll end up buying a $3000 machine...

(not that that's wrong if you'll have the money to spend ;) )

phonic pol
Jul 10, 2004, 10:31 AM
Nobody else seems to have brought up the combo versus superdrive advantage.

I really beleive that the best option is to get the combo because it's faster at burning CD's. Also get an external DVD burner which is again faster than the superdrive at burnign DVD's. This way you get the best of both worlds!

kuyu
Jul 10, 2004, 10:43 AM
Phonic's right. while a superdrive would be great for keeping the HD empty, an external 120 GB HD costs less. Also, blu-ray/blue laser DVD's are coming in the next year/year-and-a-half. I'd rather have an external one of those.

The superdrive would also be nice for home movies, etc. But, most of us really don't have a need for it. Marketing is using the whole 'machisimo' thing against us here.

Still unsure about the superdrive??? Try this. Name 10 times/ways you are going to use the superdrive (DVD burning) in the next year. If you can do it, go for the superdrive. If you can't, send me $200 and I'll vouch for your powerbook being bad@$$. ;)

Akira
Jul 10, 2004, 12:31 PM
Marketing is using the whole 'machisimo' thing against us here.

I, for one, see my Powerbook as an extention to my manlyhood ;) , therefor it has a superdrive, just because it's cool :cool:

This goes the other way round as well: if your Powerbook doesn't include a superdrive, you're not that cool :P

Anticipat3
Jul 10, 2004, 04:25 PM
Glad this thread has helped out a few more people :).

The 1.5 was significantly more expensive in the US; especially since I didn't want the backlit KB or the superdrive. IMO, it's a little silly to buy a superdrive in a laptop right now when dual layer drives are already hitting the market. I also didn't want to shell out the cash that Apple wants for a memory upgrade from one stick of 256 to one stick of 512 -- I will replace the 256 stick with a gig chip once they're cheap, and i need an upgrade.

Cordless_Drill
Jul 13, 2004, 09:48 AM
Name 10 times/ways you are going to use the superdrive (DVD burning) in the next year. If you can do it, go for the superdrive. If you can't, send me $200 and I'll vouch for your powerbook being bad@$$.

Right on! I've burned a DVD maybe three times in a year. Two iTunes backups and an iPhoto backup that used like 3% of the DVD. Could have used a CD just as easily.

Very overrated piece of equipment IF you're not really into the whole video thing. I bought an expensive Sony videocamera and everything -- but it's too laborious and tricky to import, splice, etc. I just take pictures now!

Machismo: It can wrangle every man.

Raiden
Jul 13, 2004, 11:02 AM
I just bought a 1.5 gig 15 inch PB w/ superdrive, 512 ram, etc.

You guys are mostly right about the difference between the 1.33 and 1.5 being somewhat minimal for the huge price increase. The big differences are more out of box ram, bigger HD, backlit keyboard standard, and superdrive.

My justification? This computer will need to last me for 4 years of college, and a .17 percent increase in performance wont seem like much now, but in 4 years when everyone is running 5 ghz G6s, every little bit of performance/specs will be helpful.

Eh, whatever. I got a 90 dollar printer for free (itll be on ebay soon...) and a 15 gig ipod for 70 dollars (ditto on ebay), and the 200-300 I make off those, combined with the EDU prices I already got for the PB, will get close to closing the gap in the difference of prices.

Anticipat3
Jul 13, 2004, 11:23 AM
Yeah, I'm a little torked off that they just did that Cram + Jam thing now... I missed it by a couple weeks :-/.

On that note, anybody want a 10GB 3G iPod? I'm thinking of getting a 40 or a 60...

caseyD
Jul 13, 2004, 11:57 AM
I just got my 15' powerbook yesterday. Its 1.5ghz 128mb vid 1 gb and and runs a little hot when I get it wide open, doing several thing at once. nothing too bad. I must say that I did opt for the 4200 rpm drive for no other reason than the price was only 45 bucks more for the 5200, so i figured there was little real performance difference. Once 7200 rpm drives become practical (or even exist at 2.5 for the pb) I'll consider upgrading. But for now, I'm fine with what I've got.

smurphur
Jul 13, 2004, 12:41 PM
How many DVDs from a superdrive would it take to backup 120gb of stuff? I am considering getting the superdrive in my soon to be powerbook, but after reading this I am not sure I would use it all that much. My only real motivation for getting it would be to backup all my photos, mp3s and movies that I have ripped to my harddrive currently. After I did that I doubt I would use it anymore.

Thanks,

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 13, 2004, 01:19 PM
How many DVDs from a superdrive would it take to backup 120gb of stuff? I am considering getting the superdrive in my soon to be powerbook, but after reading this I am not sure I would use it all that much. My only real motivation for getting it would be to backup all my photos, mp3s and movies that I have ripped to my harddrive currently. After I did that I doubt I would use it anymore.

Thanks,

You are looking at about 30 DVD's.

Never thought that I would use the DVD-R much, but I have found that I use it a lot for backup. With discs going for less that $1 when on sale, it is a cheap and easy method for me.

Cordless_Drill
Jul 13, 2004, 10:10 PM
All these delicious descriptions pushed me over the edge. I ordered a 15/1.33 today -- with the COMBO DRIVE and an extra 512 ram.

Thanks for ending my indecision for me.

This Pismo 400 has been a worthy soldier. He's been on California beaches, a beach in Maine, the prettiest church I ever saw (Providence, RI) and in right field at Pac-Bell Park. Never failed me. Not once.

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 13, 2004, 10:27 PM
All these delicious descriptions pushed me over the edge. I ordered a 15/1.33 today -- with the COMBO DRIVE and an extra 512 ram.

Thanks for ending my indecision for me.

This Pismo 400 has been a worthy soldier. He's been on California beaches, a beach in Maine, the prettiest church I ever saw (Providence, RI) and in right field at Pac-Bell Park. Never failed me. Not once.

Congrats, any Powerbook is a winner.

xgsrpg
Jul 15, 2004, 09:15 AM
I just got my 15" SuperDrive PowerBook yesterday. I am very happy, and mostly agree with what Anticipat3 said. Except, I got the 128MB video card.

I have been very pleasantly surprised at how well the new laptop games. I've played several games of Warcraft III at the full 1280x854 resolution and high detail with no chop to speak of

How do you do this? When I put it at 1280x854 and high detail, it is very choppy. I even have the faster processor and better video card. Could you mind telling me the exact Video/Audio settings you had? Thanks.

Akira
Jul 15, 2004, 01:45 PM
Yay! I just recieved my new Powerbook, and celebrated with playing Warcraft III, and it runs perfect!

I had al the videooptions maxed and it still ran flawlessly

Anticipat3
Jul 15, 2004, 04:20 PM
Sure-

Be sure to update OSX, and be MORE SURE to fully patch Warcraft III and TFT!

xgsrpg
Jul 16, 2004, 07:58 PM
Sure-

Be sure to update OSX, and be MORE SURE to fully patch Warcraft III and TFT!

The first thing I did was update OS X to 10.3.4 and install the Warcraft updates. This is bugging me because on my $1,000 Dell I got over 2 years ago works better than my laptop (but besides that I am 200% satisfied :). To test WC3 what I did was used cheat codes to amass 12 flying units. I grouped them and did a move command to the other end of the map, and the squadron moves perfectly smooth for a few seconds then jumps. Do you have every option maxed out?

Thanks, xgsrpg

sethypoo
Jul 16, 2004, 08:04 PM
Very thourough and informative. Thank you very much!

I second that. Wonderful review, I'm forwarding that to my girlfriend, who is still trying to save up for a 15" PowerBook.

On qualm: I own a Rev. A 12" PowerBook, and Warcraft III runs flawlessly on it, even while running iTunes, Word, and iChat along with it. This may be because I have the RAM maxed out at 640 MB.....did you have that much installed?

Anyway, great review, keep it up! :)

xgsrpg
Jul 17, 2004, 09:36 AM
I second that. Wonderful review, I'm forwarding that to my girlfriend, who is still trying to save up for a 15" PowerBook.

On qualm: I own a Rev. A 12" PowerBook, and Warcraft III runs flawlessly on it, even while running iTunes, Word, and iChat along with it. This may be because I have the RAM maxed out at 640 MB.....did you have that much installed?

Anyway, great review, keep it up! :)

Unfortunately, I only have 512 right now. I plan on getting another 512MB stick from Crucial when I amass the money to bring it up to 1GB. It's kind of hard to get money when I'm not even in high school yet. Hopefully that should fix the problem. I just hope the thing will run WoW when it comes out...

KenDawg
Jul 17, 2004, 11:40 AM
This is all great reading so far, but I have one question for all of you who have previously used "newer" PCs, as in 2-3 ghz. How do normal programs (internet, PS, etc.) run on these 1.33/1.5 powerbooks compared to on the PC? Now I will still use my PC for gaming, but i am considering the powerbook for the portability and especially for the OS. Thanks. :)

Anticipat3
Jul 23, 2004, 12:26 PM
xgsrpg - I have 768 at the moment... that may be what's making the difference, though I'd doubt it. The Powerbook is NOT chop-free if you're doing something that's graphics-insane like tower wars. Turn down the spell effects a little and It's fine even for that though.

sethypoo - Apparantly you have not experienced "fine." I also had my 12" PB maxed out at 640MB, and it did NOT run WC3 fine at full detail. Again, I have a big bad PC that I game on, so I have a concept of what "fine" is :).

KenDawg - I much prefer my Powerbook even to Big Bad PC for daily stuff. I use Firefox/Thunderbird on my PC, and I find that Camino/Mail.app is superior, and I also haven't found any IM clients that I like better than Adium for any platform. Gaim is OK, and Trillian is almost OK, but iChat is nicer than either, and Adium is better yet. Photoshop stuff is (perhaps?) a little slower on the Powerbook than on the PC, but A lot of that feeling is load time (5400 RPM laptop HD vs. 10,000 RPM Raptor in the PC). I don't do heavy print photoshop work, but I do a lot of web graphics, and aside from the slightly longer load time, It works just as well on the Mac. Just be sure you don't try to use Dreamweaver or Photoshop on a 1024x768 screen... it's no fun. All the Office 2004 stuff is also plenty snappy, except for the first couple loads (when it installs all the fonts) Word 2004 Mac is just as fast as Word 2003 for XP. iTunes, XChat, etc. are of course also very snappy on OSX.

TreeHugger
Jul 23, 2004, 07:18 PM
I just got my 15" SuperDrive PowerBook yesterday. I am very happy, and mostly agree with what Anticipat3 said. Except, I got the 128MB video card.



How do you do this? When I put it at 1280x854 and high detail, it is very choppy. I even have the faster processor and better video card. Could you mind telling me the exact Video/Audio settings you had? Thanks.

A: in System Preferences go to energy saver and change it from Automatic to highest performance. Might help, might not, sorry I can't test it myself since I dont have that game, but I think it is something that might be easily overlooked.

This is all great reading so far, but I have one question for all of you who have previously used "newer" PCs, as in 2-3 ghz. How do normal programs (internet, PS, etc.) run on these 1.33/1.5 powerbooks compared to on the PC? Now I will still use my PC for gaming, but i am considering the powerbook for the portability and especially for the OS. Thanks.

It blows my PC (Pentium 4 2ghz 512 ram) out of the water. Apps open much faster, and in Photoshop it also runs much better. On a +400 mb file (yearbook cover, full tabloid spread at 300 dpi) it applies the filters only slightly faster (PC Photoshop had more RAM allocated - only noticed later), but more importantly it ran a lot smoother on the powerbook. whenever I would try to move something on my PC, like a whole layerset it would get scetchy. For the Powerbook on the other hand it was just the other way around. Much much smoother...
Internet browsing with safari is great, although I have found that my download speed (cable) decreases after a few days of browsing. Reseting the WEP encryption on my linksys router always fixes the problem, but it comes back after 3 or four days. I am sure there is a fix for this, sofar I just did not have time to call AppleCare for a solution. If anyone else has an idea, I'd appreciate it.

Nspace
Jul 23, 2004, 07:51 PM
Try installing the latest firmware for your router. I had similar problems with my Dlink router, and the firmware fixed the problenms.

Glad everyone likes their powerbook. Good to hear after spending the money. Mine is almost here. Frustrating thing is that it is going to arrive in my city tonight, and I am going to have to wait until after the weekend to get it!!!

Tom

rareflares
Jul 29, 2004, 12:32 AM
does the 5400 RPM drive REALLY make that big of an improvement? What exactly does a faster hard drive do for your the performance of the computer? Does it make games run faster?




for $113 it's not exactly a cheap upgrade.

TreeHugger
Jul 29, 2004, 06:21 AM
a faster hard drive will make saving and opening documents go faster and opens applications quicker too. I don't think it has a big effect on games! for that you need to upgrade the graphic card.
I did the upgrade of the harddrive and gfx card when both were still $45 witht the educational discount...

Anticipat3
Jul 29, 2004, 09:53 AM
Yeah, effect on games will be minimal, but your system boot time and application load times will decrease noticibly. I also wanted the extra storage, and It will also help out if you're doing any video editing on the road and need to use your internal HD as a scratch disk.

For me, it was mainly the faster app load times that would make it worthwhile. I hate waiting for thigns to load :).

rareflares
Jul 29, 2004, 10:32 AM
a faster hard drive will make saving and opening documents go faster and opens applications quicker too. I don't think it has a big effect on games! for that you need to upgrade the graphic card.
I did the upgrade of the harddrive and gfx card when both were still $45 witht the educational discount...



Apple changed the prices in late June to $90 from 64 MB VRAM to 128 MB VRAM and $113 from 60 GB to 80 GB 5400 RPM drive.

that's educational pricing too. :(



I guess it really isn't that necessary. If I need the extra space in the future, I could buy a faster external hard drive at a cheaper price. Right?

iEric
Jul 29, 2004, 10:54 AM
Apple changed the prices in late June to $90 from 64 MB VRAM to 128 MB VRAM and $113 from 60 GB to 80 GB 5400 RPM drive.

that's educational pricing too. :(



I guess it really isn't that necessary. If I need the extra space in the future, I could buy a faster external hard drive at a cheaper price. Right?

its wierd cause the canadian prices are cheaper..like its only $60 to change the HD and $75 to change the VRam.

charlesc
Jul 29, 2004, 11:40 AM
Hello, thought I'd jump in this cool powerbook discussion.

We ordered a new 15"/1.5ghz/128vram/combo on 7/21 at 2 a.m. thinking that would be enough time for a bto to arrive by the time my new classes start 8/1. Original ship date was on/before 7/28. Or course last night just before midnight I get the sorry letter from apple. New date is 8/3.....

How long has it taken you other guys to get your bto 15" (the ones who opted for the 5400, or 128vram, backlighted keys on 1.33, etc)?? From the date you ordered to the time it was delivered?

Nspace
Jul 29, 2004, 03:15 PM
I ordered my Powerbook 15" 1.5 ghz with downgrade to combo, upgrade vram, and 5400 rpm hd.

This was on the 21st. It shipped on the night of the 22nd. Received the package after the weekend on the 26th. This was with expedite shipping option.

Unfortunately I cannot say the same for my ipod, I am still waiting.

I have used OSX before but only on computers in my high school doing graphics and pre-press work. I am still a big fan of windows but I am really like the powerbook, I got it for studying Graphic Design in university in september.

The compactness of it, and lightweight makes it so nice for doing work anywhere in the house on the wireless network. Expose is really nice, i am really starting to get used to that. Also picked up a Kensington laptop backpack for it. Networking between my Xp machines and this as well as printer sharing was a breeze. Have not done any gaming on it though.

charlesc
Jul 29, 2004, 08:30 PM
I ordered my Powerbook 15" 1.5 ghz with downgrade to combo, upgrade vram, and 5400 rpm hd.

This was on the 21st. It shipped on the night of the 22nd. Received the package after the weekend on the 26th. This was with expedite shipping option.

Unfortunately I cannot say the same for my ipod, I am still waiting.

I have used OSX before but only on computers in my high school doing graphics and pre-press work. I am still a big fan of windows but I am really like the powerbook, I got it for studying Graphic Design in university in september.

The compactness of it, and lightweight makes it so nice for doing work anywhere in the house on the wireless network. Expose is really nice, i am really starting to get used to that. Also picked up a Kensington laptop backpack for it. Networking between my Xp machines and this as well as printer sharing was a breeze. Have not done any gaming on it though.

Man.... I'm jealous!!!! I ordered my PB on 7/21 as well (at 2 a.m.) and live just down in San Diego.... Damn apple. However I have already recieved my 40gig iPod ALL THE WAY from Shanghi for cripes sake!!!! The phone rep told me the PB was being put together in Northern California and would go out of Sacramento...... That is only an eight hour drive..... I need this thing for my classes starting on 8/1. The guy I spoke with today was rude and told me "well they only shipped the iPod from shanghi, it wasn't a custom ordered PB".... I asked to please upgrade my shipping to overnight and they said they couldn't do it..... Man this sucks. Been a dedicated apple freak since '91. First ever problem like this I've had.

BTW, use Apple/Shift/arrow keys in safari to switch between tabs... makes browsing so much easier with multiple tabs up.

yayfrogs
Jul 30, 2004, 02:18 PM
I also just got a 1GHz Radeon 9600 PB 15" and I notice that when playing games and running OpenGL demos there are sudden choppy pauses. My Rev A. PB 12" 867MHz with GeforceMX 420 Go graphics was smooth and didn't have this problem.

I put Energy Saver on Highest but the chop is still there. Reading the posts here I see others have this problem even with the 1.5GHz and Radeon 9700. Has anyone with a Radeon PB fixed this choppy frame problem?

vraxtus
Aug 4, 2004, 05:45 PM
I just bought a 1.5 gig 15 inch PB w/ superdrive, 512 ram, etc.

You guys are mostly right about the difference between the 1.33 and 1.5 being somewhat minimal for the huge price increase. The big differences are more out of box ram, bigger HD, backlit keyboard standard, and superdrive.

My justification? This computer will need to last me for 4 years of college, and a .17 percent increase in performance wont seem like much now, but in 4 years when everyone is running 5 ghz G6s, every little bit of performance/specs will be helpful.

Eh, whatever. I got a 90 dollar printer for free (itll be on ebay soon...) and a 15 gig ipod for 70 dollars (ditto on ebay), and the 200-300 I make off those, combined with the EDU prices I already got for the PB, will get close to closing the gap in the difference of prices.



If you want a computer to last you 4 years... a Powerbook is not the way to go.

I'm assuming you're going to be a college student? I'm currently going to be a 4th year student, and within that time I'm on computer #3. I've had several PBs throughout my lifetime, and as for lasting... I wouldn't recommend them.

I suppose I'm just more picky because I like to have a powerful machine. That said, the first gen dual USB iBook I bought in late '01 to take to college was a horrible mistake. It lasted me about 2 years before I got fed up with it's total lack of power. Prior to that, I had a 266 PB G3, which had more hardware problems than I could count. Failed HD, broken LCD light and hinge, broken CD drive, broken sound/power card, you name it. Prior to that, I had a Duo 280C, which at the time had to click pads, and one broke. Personally, I really enjoyed that machine the most. It was a decent speed, and extremely portable.

But now I've realized, if you need desktop power.... just get a desktop!

Laptops just don't retain the life that a desktop would, for the sheer fact that they are non-upgradeable... that and batteries need to be replaced every 2 years or so.

I have a 1.8 SP G5 that I absolutely love. I just bought a 12" refurb Rev B (1 ghz) which I find is GREAT for mobility ONLY. A 15" IMO is just not worth it in terms of lasting. It is however very convenient for on the road work, and if you are travelling between the office and home very often. For me the 12" has served well for the week or so I've had it, save for a billion kernel panics. But personally... if you REALLY want a computer to last... get a desktop.

vraxtus
Aug 4, 2004, 05:50 PM
a faster hard drive will make saving and opening documents go faster and opens applications quicker too. I don't think it has a big effect on games! for that you need to upgrade the graphic card.
I did the upgrade of the harddrive and gfx card when both were still $45 witht the educational discount...

You're partly correct.

http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html

Since Mac's keep a fairly large part of the HD available for virtual mem, a low RAM system might see a significant speed increase with a faster HD in game performance. This is going to be due to faster page in/outs to the HD as used for virtual mem. The faster the boot drive access, the faster the machine will run, essentially. Graphics chips do matter, however VRAM doesn't always. A Radeon 9800 Pro 128 runs much faster than a Rad 9000 128, but they have the same VRAM.

vraxtus
Aug 4, 2004, 05:58 PM
Unfortunately, I only have 512 right now. I plan on getting another 512MB stick from Crucial when I amass the money to bring it up to 1GB. It's kind of hard to get money when I'm not even in high school yet. Hopefully that should fix the problem. I just hope the thing will run WoW when it comes out...

WoW Beta Reqs are:

1.0 GHz or higher, G4 or G5 processor.
512 Megabytes RAM or higher. DDR RAM recommended.
ATI or NVIDIA video hardware with 64 MB VRAM or more.
3 Gigabytes or more of available hard drive space.
MacOS X 10.3 ("Panther") or better

I'd personally be more concerned about running Doom 3... I'm betting my G5 won't be able to run it well at all, even with my Rad 9800 Pro SE 256 -_-

Also, after having had so many laptops... mobile gaming is a joke. No FSAA and AA really sucks!

vraxtus
Aug 4, 2004, 06:01 PM
Man.... I'm jealous!!!! I ordered my PB on 7/21 as well (at 2 a.m.) and live just down in San Diego.... Damn apple. However I have already recieved my 40gig iPod ALL THE WAY from Shanghi for cripes sake!!!! The phone rep told me the PB was being put together in Northern California and would go out of Sacramento...... That is only an eight hour drive..... I need this thing for my classes starting on 8/1. The guy I spoke with today was rude and told me "well they only shipped the iPod from shanghi, it wasn't a custom ordered PB".... I asked to please upgrade my shipping to overnight and they said they couldn't do it..... Man this sucks. Been a dedicated apple freak since '91. First ever problem like this I've had.

BTW, use Apple/Shift/arrow keys in safari to switch between tabs... makes browsing so much easier with multiple tabs up.


Well you should know that typically CTO orders have a lag time of about a week. You can't expect them to magically "make" your PB instantaneously. Don't forget, PB architecture is all integrated... they can't swap OEM parts so easily as you can a desktop... furthermore OEM parts also take longer to make and aren't always as readily available.

And I've been a dedicated Apple freak since the Apple IIe :p

btw what Univ in SD? I go to UCSD.

puckhead193
Aug 7, 2004, 09:53 PM
i had my powerbook for 5 days now and I love it! i was concerned about the extra size compared to the 12" but no regrets. It worth it. The screen is amazing compared to my brothers 12"ibook. i like the backlit keyboard, i wish you could make it bright or darker. I agree with the ports being on both sides, kinda annoying, but if all the ports were on one side and they were on the wrong side (for you) that would kinda suck. I can't wait to get my airport (common UPS) I would recommand this computer in a heart beat to any one looking at a new computer. Its great for college. It a nice size. Not to big or to small just right! i like having safari and AIM open at the same time.
My only trouble was getting my old files from my old windoze computer to the new one. If your going to go from a pc to a mac, use your ipod! and put your mp3's on the hard drive so when u plug it in to your mac it just drag and drop.
The only negative about the computer is the mouse. the button is sreally small (I think) I enable the tap option on the track pad which helps, i'm gong to get an external mouse.

BrianKonarsMac
Aug 7, 2004, 10:07 PM
This really isn't about the 15", but I've had this question for a while and haven't run across it much in the forums:

How does the 12" PB do at driving an external display in say, 1280 x 1024? I have a G3 800Mhz iBook with the desktop spanning hack and expose is very jerky and things feel a bit slow when resizing at huge resolutions. Was your Rev A (how fast?) PB just as bad even though it was built to have desktop spanning? I was thinking about a 12" iBook as a cheap alternative to a 12" PB since I'm in college, but I'd be using it as my main system and have a monitor and keyboard hooked up, so I want to make sure it can drive the external display.

Any comments anybody has about this issue would be appreciated

Thanks.

I use a 12" PB (Rev C) to drive my 17" LCD (1280x1024). It runs perfectly, no flaws or "choppiness" when using even demanding tasks (full screen visuals, dvd in a window while chatting/browsing, full screen dvds, warcraft 3, etc). I'd prefer an ATi9700 with 128mb of ram, but I'd rather have the small form factor and better design (imo).

The 12" ibook and pbook with edu. pricing were only like $50 different when I priced them out, making the pbook the clear winner in value.

Demon Hunter
Aug 7, 2004, 10:40 PM
WoW Beta Reqs are:

1.0 GHz or higher, G4 or G5 processor.
512 Megabytes RAM or higher. DDR RAM recommended.
ATI or NVIDIA video hardware with 64 MB VRAM or more.
3 Gigabytes or more of available hard drive space.
MacOS X 10.3 ("Panther") or better

I'd personally be more concerned about running Doom 3... I'm betting my G5 won't be able to run it well at all, even with my Rad 9800 Pro SE 256 -_-

Also, after having had so many laptops... mobile gaming is a joke. No FSAA and AA really sucks!

Give me a break. If you really want to enable FSAA/AA you can using an override. And I really don't notice much of a difference anyway, maybe that's just me.

That G5 shouldn't have any issues at all running Doom 3. Unless you run it at some insane resolution with extra high settings, you may lose a few frames, hardly "not well at all." If you're a framerates junkie, why don't you overclock a PC?

As for mobile gaming, it is hardly a joke. My friend's 12" Rev. C PowerBook can run Warcraft 3:TFT, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Call of Duty without any problems whatsoever (on normal settings). Sure, if you want to be the "king of the hill" with the most frags at a LAN party, it's probably not your best choice. But for anything else, it's perfect, quick and dirty gaming that weighs less than five pounds.

I'm soon going to purchase a 15" with the extra vram and I can't wait to see how it performs. It should be a veritable LAN monster, being portable with Gigabit Ethernet, widescreen, backlit keys and great GPU... can't wait.

vraxtus
Aug 8, 2004, 04:51 AM
Give me a break. If you really want to enable FSAA/AA you can using an override. And I really don't notice much of a difference anyway, maybe that's just me.

You can, however the effects are often buggy (so I've heard) and most of the OEM cards are clocked at lower speeds and tend to not be as powerful as the retail versions. Furthermore, you WILL notice this difference on high resolution displays, especially ones that aren't serving below-average sized pixels.

As for mobile gaming, it is hardly a joke. My friend's 12" Rev. C PowerBook can run Warcraft 3:TFT, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Call of Duty without any problems whatsoever (on normal settings). Sure, if you want to be the "king of the hill" with the most frags at a LAN party, it's probably not your best choice. But for anything else, it's perfect, quick and dirty gaming that weighs less than five pounds.

You're right, except "without any problems whatsoever" to you is not the same to me. Running it at 640x480 res is definitely a problem. Game resolutions and detail are constantly increasing. With the exception of Doom3, running a game at 640 res in today's market is very much unacceptable... furthermore most gaming consumers don't want "normal" detail, even if it increases playability.

I'm soon going to purchase a 15" with the extra vram and I can't wait to see how it performs. It should be a veritable LAN monster, being portable with Gigabit Ethernet, widescreen, backlit keys and great GPU... can't wait.

Think what you like, but benchmarks prove it all. The current 15" PB still underperforms to nearly any desktop offered, and furthermore is creamed by other PC laptops. I love Macs but they are clearly NOT the way to go gaming wise. Don't believe me? Check the benches at barefeats, especially the ones on the DP 2Ghz G5 against the similarly clocked and configured Athlon, that showed a 50 FPS gain over the G5 performance. While OpenGL and bad drivers may be able to account for this, the gap in performance is STILL clearly there.

Maybe I'm just too much of a hardcore gamer/FPS/visual detail buff but honestly, man, truly powerful gaming on a Powerbook is a pipe dream.