12" PowerBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by EJBasile, May 23, 2004.

  1. EJBasile macrumors 65816

    EJBasile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    #1
    Hey Everyone

    I am getting rid of my DELL- FINALY

    I am thinking of the...(with edu discount)

    Powerbook G4
    1.33ghz
    12"
    256mb + 256-512
    60gb
    Super Drive
    Airport


    Anyone have any last pros/cons on this model?


    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  2. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #2
    I would consider dropping the SuperDrive in favor of a Combo Drive. How often are you honestly going to burn DVDs? If you drop the SuperDrive, max out the RAM. If you keep the SuperDrive, definitely go for 768 MB RAM.
     
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #3
    I have the previous model (1 Ghz) with a combo drive. I have never wished I went superdrive. I would never use it, but maybe that's just me. I have 768 RAM and it's really responsive - it would probably be fine with 512, but RAM isn't that expensive and it's an easy way to really effect the performance of your computer. If I were you I'd also think about the 80 GB 5400 RPM hard drive. HD speed can be a bottleneck on this computer.

    So in sum, if I were making your purchase, I'd go combo drive, 768 RAM, and 5400 RPM hard drive. But I guess it all depends on your own needs. You'll love it regardless.
     
  4. Macdantheman07 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    if u need an apple portable right away, go with that one.
    otherwise i'd wait till sept. or oct. when the new Moto e600 or e700 chips will be in the 12 inch
     
  5. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a

    JOD8FY

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    I also have the previous revision 12" PB with the combo drive. It seems that most people on this thread seem to not want you to get the Superdrive. Here's my take on things: I didn't buy the superdrive because at the time, it could only burn at 1x. Since I do video editing, I decided to get an external DVD burner instead running at 8x. Now, however, the superdrive burns at 4x. If you need the burning on the go, this is a good option. It mainly comes down to whether or not you need it. You might consider an external one. Other than that, the 12" PB is a wonderful machine - I love it to pieces.

    Congratulations on the switch :) ,
    JOD8FY
     
  6. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    What he said :D Seriously, I know that a lot of people say don't get the superdrive. Well I have had my revision A for about a year now and I am surpised how much I burn on the go. Have a whole stack of DVDs that I have burned on the go. Then again, I am on the go alot. It all depends on you ;)
     
  7. rinseout macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #7
    Where can I find this information?
     
  8. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    Information on the new Motorola chips is (obviously) available on Motorola's website, or you can search the discussion forums here, as there was quite a bit of debate generated when Motorola updated their CPU roadmap about a month ago. You could start here:

    http://e-www.motorola.com/

    However, if I were you, I wouldn't attempt to base any serious buying decision on the future availability of these chips. Accurately guessing Apple's future movements is next to impossible, and Motorola certainly doesn't have a good track record of delivering products on time or as promised.

    The new 1.33GHz G4 12" PowerBook is a very nice piece of equipment. I've just upgraded to the 1.33GHz version from the previous 1GHz 12" PowerBook, and it's noticeably faster, runs cooler, and seems to have a brighter screen. Considering that I already thought the 1GHz 12" PowerBook was an excellent notebook, this is high praise.

    I would also tend to agree with others in this thread about the Superdrive/Combo drive argument. Unless you really think you'll be burning DVDs on the road often, buy the combo drive model and plug in an external FW400 or USB2 DVD burner. It'll be faster and cheaper (and upgradable in the future too).
     
  9. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    With regards to the RAM, even if the applications you run perform OK with 512MB RAM, extra memory is never wasted with OS X. Free RAM is dynamically allocated to and from disk caches as required, so RAM your apps aren't using is put to work by the OS to benefit the whole system. It all comes down to what you can afford...512MB is good, but 768MB is better :)

    Unless you're made of money, it's hard to recommend a 1GB SO-DIMM at the moment...they're still priced at a high per-MB premium compared to 256MB or 512MB sticks.

    As for the notebook itself, it's hard to think of any problems with it (at least not with the 1.33GHz 12" I have here), apart from glaringly obvious ones like the 1024x768 12" screen possibly not being large enough for some people. However, that's the necessary tradeoff for portability. The only other thing you might be concerned with is the nVidia GeForce FX5200 graphics chip. It's never going to be a 3D gaming monster, but you can still get playable frame rates on a lot of modern games if you drop the resolution and details settings down a notch or two. Of course if gaming isn't your primary concern, then the GPU is more than powerful enough for any 'regular' graphics app you can throw at it, and the upgraded 64MB of VRAM is beneficial if you're running a dual-monitor setup. Apart from that, it's an excellent notebook. I have no regrets buying either the Rev B 1GHz or the Rev C 1.33GHz 12" PowerBooks.
     
  10. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #10
    i don't understand people and there "MAX THE RAM" attitude...my computer doesn't even use up the 512 stick I have even when running Photoshop, Director, iTunes, Safari, Mail, Address Book and burning a DVD with Disk Utility....Do you really plan on doing more than this with a 12" powerbook? if so, consider a desktop instead. I just bought the 12 with combo drive and an extra 256 stick today, and I love it. I didn't get the super drive because it can't burn Dual Layer DVD's, which will be the next step in DVD burning for consumers. You can't upgrade the DVD burner internally without alot of hassle, and the Combo Drive burns music CD's faster, which is what I tend to do on the go. I burn DVD's at home. That's just me, if you really think that extra 256mb of RAM will make a difference, your money would be far better invested in a 7200 RPM Hard Drive.
     
  11. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Home of Al-Qaida
    #11
    I agree w/ the above post. If you want a real improvement on a PB, get a Hitachi 7200 RPM HD to replace the sorry 4200 rpm default HD.

    For everyday tasks, 512MB is plenty and 1GB is pushing it.

    As for the SuperSlowDrive, if you're thinking about burning a DVD at 4x, you better have something to do for the next 30 minutes, 'cause it's gonna take that long. Even 8x is slow. I'm just gonna wait for the 16x to come out.
     
  12. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Secret Moon base
    #12
    Absolutely right. OS X gets very aggressive with caching if you have a lot of RAM. I have 2GB and once when using 10.2 Jaguar I read a 200MB file from a CD-ROM, then a few minutes later when to use it again, and the whole thing had been cached in memory. I thought: go Apple!
     
  13. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #13
    Just get it.

    I just got a PB 12" @ 1.33 and it kicks the tail out of all other machines I have owned. I love it. And I have no problems with the 4200rpm drive...it comes with 60GB. If Hitachi made a 7200rpm drive with 80-100GB I would think about upgrading, but I would want speed AND storage space to make it worthwhile.

    Oh, and I have 768MB of RAM. Do yourself a favor and get a 512MB stick from OWC at http://www.macsales.com for ~$100. you won't regret it. And it's amazingly easy to install (No airport card removal or any of that...just a small panel on the bottom of the laptop to unscrew.)

    Go get it!
     
  14. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    I have the 2x SuperDrive on my 12" PowerBook and it only takes around 30 minutes to burn a DVD. I don't see what the big deal is with the burn speed as I don't create them on a production run or anything. And I can be doing anything else (except using the optical drive obviously) while it's burning.

    If I were you, I'd upgrade to the 80GB 5200rpm BTO option. I upgraded to the 80GB when I got my PowerBook but then mine is only a 4200 rpm (that's all that was available for mine). You could swap out the internal drive and put a 7200 in there but you'd need special help to do that and that thing would probably get hot.

    I love my 12" 1GHz PowerBook so you'll love that one, especially with the improved speed, front side bus, twice the graphics RAM, etc.

    RAM is not as important as everyone said but I did notice a hell of a difference upgrading from 256 to 768MB. Not that the 256 was particualrly slow mind. It depends how many programs you use at one time.
     
  15. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    My wife has the 1.33 and loves it. One question though, what external burner can I buy so she can use iDVD? Any help would be appreciated. (I am not trying to hi jack your thread, but I could use the answer and I am sure it will help you make your decision too.) :)
     
  16. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Officially you can't. You can archive the project and then import it via Firewire or Ethernet to a SuperDrive-enabled Mac to burn though.

    Or you could use this unofficial hack for iDVD 4.. Link. I bet it's only a matter of time before Apple takes that out though. (I can't confirm it works myself but others can).
     
  17. micvog macrumors 6502

    micvog

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #17
    I would vote to get the SuperDrive (and I did, see my sig below). It is "only" $200 and chances are at sometime in the life of your PB you would want to burn a DVD on the road, even if only for data backup. For me, the last thing I want to do is buy a laptop and then have to plug in a keyboard, mouse, external DVD burner, monitor, etc. everytime I want to use it at home. Plus, when you go to sell your PB, the SuperDrive will probably add at least $100-$150 in value.
     
  18. clownfish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    Location:
    Worldwide
    #18
    12" PowerBook at a great price!

    I just bought the 12" PB. I stayed with the combo-drive and used the money for the RAM upgrade to 768k. I did add in the bluetooth. It's cheap, and if you add it later it will be a dongle out the side that can easily break off. Bluetooth is great to add the wireless mouse.

    I used the education store to get it for 1,669.00. What a great deal!

    This little beauty is fast! You will not be disappointed.

    CF

    :)
     
  19. micvog macrumors 6502

    micvog

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #19
    I also used the education store - $1599 for the PB w/ a SD, and $119 to Crucial for a 512MB stick (use BBUSERGROUP to get a 5% discount). For $49 more, and the "hassle" of installing the memory myself, you can get a SD.
     
  20. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #20
    In order to avoid any confusion: Bluetooth is not optional, it comes installed on all PowerBooks (as does now Airport Extreme)!

    To the original poster: I love my Rev B (1GHz) 12" and I'm you won't be disappointed with this sweet little baby. I agree with all the posters who pointed out that unless you intend to burn DVDs when on the go, drop the Superdrive. You won't be able to use iDVD (at least without any hack) but you can buy an external DVD burner that is faster than the Superdrive with the money you save.
     
  21. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    But Bluetooth is standard on all PowerBooks. It's the iBook where you have to upgrade at time of purchase.
     
  22. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #22
    Thanks! (Will this work with any firewire dvd-r burner or do I need a specific one) I have not checked the link out, so excuse me if it says which ones work. I am headed over there now.)
     

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