15" PB vs. 15" MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by M1A0C8, May 10, 2006.

  1. M1A0C8 macrumors newbie

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    May 5, 2006
    #1
    I'm buying a 15" laptop for wife who is starting a masters program. She will be using the computer for the most basic functions, email, web, paper writing, notes, itunes etc. I was planning on getting a 15" MBP but after reading about all the problems people have had I've decided on getting a refurbished 15" PB with a seperate iSight. I had a iMac G5 that had noise and screen problems that I ended up trading in for a G4 mini and 20" cinema display. My only hesitation is reading how much faster and smoother the MBP boots and generally runs OSX. She certainly doesn't need the extra power but having a speedy and smooth running OS is certainly nice. I don't want her to deal with any problems that don't seem to have a fix (whine, heat, etc.) or deal with returning multiple computers to try on find one that's right. An ibook or macbook is out, she likes aluminum...

    So stick with the PB or take a risk with MBP?

    thanks.
     
  2. JoeKarame macrumors regular

    JoeKarame

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    May 2, 2005
    #2
    I'm going through this dilenma at the moment. Which has to be resolved tomorrow!

    In my case (and after much to-ing and fro-ing!) I think I'm going to cross my fingers and go for a MBP - simply because I don't intend to upgrade after this machine for a fair old while, and whilst a number of the software packages I use aren't Universal yet (obviously all the Adobe stuff...sigh), I just think I can happily get by with bog standard speed for now, and be enormously impressed when things evolve.

    Alternatively, after thinking about it more and more, the idea of running windows on the machine as well is relatively significant. Whilst I'd far prefer not to, the fact is that there's a lot of stuff I do at work which needs to run in a Windows environment. Having the ability to have my cake and eat it too is great.

    But the downside is the price hike - certainly I think it's just about viable, but you certainly can get fantastic bargins on the last gen PBs now, and if your other half simply wants a machine for the stuff you suggest, then it may well be worth-while to save some money, get a PB, and at a later date sell this off and buy a MBP then. At least by that time you'll be getting a machine which has been throughly tested and hopefully have none of the 'issues' we've been seeing in the forums.

    And now I'm undecided again! Argh! Nice position to be in though :)
     
  3. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #3
    The MBP is NOT a risk. It's an AMAZING machine. Just go with it. It's the fastest notebook around. I've had the latest PB and the MBP and the PB doesn't even compete...The MBP is faster, nicer, more features, and all around a more future-proof machine. I would actually see what the MacBooks look like as well...
     
  4. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    #4
    My MBP is great- yes it gets hot (tops out at about 45C) and yes it whines, but it is only noticeable when in an extremely quiet enviroment (I.E, it won't disturb people in a classroom, but it might be troublesome if you are not listening to music and are...say, in bed at night.)

    However, you are paying a premium for the power, and if all she is going to be doing is email, word processing, and itunes, I would say go cheaper, unless you have the extra money to spend. The screen would be far brighter and the OS would be snappier, but I doubt she would ever get a chance to use the real power of the MBP. You would probably get better battery life in the PB, and Word would be more stable (Word is really slow on my MBP, and it sometimes crashes when I try to print...or save...), but the PB would be obsolete.
     
  5. macanudo macrumors regular

    macanudo

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    #5
    I would wait to see what the new macbook (ibook replacement) has to offer. You said that your wife needs it for basic computing needs (i.e. non- gaming, non-development, etc), so why spend the extra cash for things she may not notice (like an integrated video card, etc). On the flip side, I have a 15 MBP and love the fact that it's one machine that does everything - OSX, term, ssh, and of course, winblows.

    This way, you can save a little cash, still run winblows when you have to and maybe use the extra cash for some fun stuff like an iPod or another external monitor.

    Now, if she wants a 15" screen and likes the aluminum - I would still recommend the MBP, just not now. Mine is a heat scorcher. I would wait until late summer when rev B may come out and they work out all the kinks. I didn't wait because I wanted a machine that does it all and the MBP is the machine that does it right now.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #6
    I just got an awesome 15" 1.67 G4 refurb - for what you have described it will be used for, it will perform admirably.
     
  7. M1A0C8 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 5, 2006
    #7
    I should have mentioned that her program starts mid-June and she wants to have some time to get familiar with it so the purchase needs to happen soon. She does work in a quiet environment. Also if a MBP is purchased with educational discount or refurbised the price difference is not that great when you add and iSight to the refurb PB.
     
  8. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #8
    I couldn't have said it better myself. A good test is to let her emulate her planned use. Run all the programs on a PowerBook, and see if the processor is idling in Activity Monitor. It probably won't peak (100% processor usage), so a MBP would be unnecessary.
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #9
    Wait until next week.

    I'd wait and see what the long-rumored MacBook comes out as. Who knows, maybe she'll like it enough to get one of them. (If it's not out next Tuesday, then just make the decision you're working on now.)

    As for comparing a PB with an MBP?

    Well, I do have to say that I'm very happy with my rev.a MBP. Yes, it has the screen whine, but I only notice it in the quietest of environments. (At night when all other sound producers are off. If the furnace comes on, the whine becomes unnoticable.) Plus, supposedly the whine has been fixed in the current revisions. As for heat, I can use it on my lap while encoding video without complaint, but I didn't have any problem with the original 12" PowerBook, either.

    If you can get a really good deal on the PowerBook, then go for it, but if they're going to end up the same basic price, go with the MacBook Pro. The built-in iSight is SIGNIFICANTLY better than an external. (Partly due to picture quality, mostly due to the cumbersome-ness [is that a word?] of using an external one.) Of course, if the iSignt would only be a 'toy', then don't even take it into consideration, and if you go for a PB, don't get it. Only consider it if you are REALLY going to use it. (And the 'better-ness' of the MBPs is partly negated by the fact that it only points at the user, and you have to 'aim' the whole screen, unlike an external that you can aim separately, to point it out the window, or have the screen at an angle that isn't dependent on the iSight's aim.)

    The big thing is that even for Rosetta apps, I find the MBP plenty fast (as fast in Rosetta as my 1.25 GHz eMac native; and 4-5 times faster in processor intensive apps when using native Intel.) Especially if she's used to the Mac mini, the MBP will feel faster in every way. I know it's the perception of speed rather than the actual measured speed that matters to most users.
     
  10. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    It's a strange time to buy - the Mac landscape is changing pretty fast, and there's a big risk that a G4 bought now will be seriously outclassed by newer stuff in less than a year. Sure, technology is always like that to some extent, but the risk is much larger now with the recent and expected product introductions. If you can wait at all, I would, for as long as possible. Minimum, a few weeks to see what the new MB looks like.

    The problem is that if you have to buy now, you're either getting an MBP a little too early (Office isn't native yet) or a G4 too late (its well past its prime). Given those choices, you probably would rather be too early than too late, so the way to go is the MBP. At least you didn't have to make this choice three months ago when the MBP was really too new to evaluate - now it seems like the manufacturing defects are pretty well shaken out.
     
  11. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    #11
    I say wait. You never know what may be around the corner.
     
  12. JoeKarame macrumors regular

    JoeKarame

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    May 2, 2005
    #12
    Of course, if you did this all the time, then you'd never buy anything.

    Every single time I've bought an Apple machine (and my next one will be the fifth), I've always had the misfortune to have a newer faster model arrive the next day!

    God damn iPods too...I've gone through 4 of the things in a bizarre effort to have the latest and greatest!

    The good thing is that after my next purchase, I'll be penniless, living in a cardboard box, and thus will end my techno-lust...

    Yeah, as if...
     
  13. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    #13

    But it will be the most technologically advanced box in the world, with 5 macs and 4 ipods. You could go on MTV's Cribs:Box Edition.
     
  14. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #14
    But the Macbook is coming out very soon. It is a whole lineup transition, this is the part where you wait. Once new models come out (because of different PC architecture) then you just buy what you need because the improvements will only be evolutionary and marginal compared with a transition.
     
  15. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #15
    you better hope that cardboard box is near a wifi hotspot! :p
     
  16. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

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    #16
    alright, i didnt read a word you said but i read the thread name and thats all i needed. buy the MBP, you have no reason to buy a powerbook. no one has any logical reason to buy a PB anymore. if anything, the MBP is too powerful for your needs. but that just applies to your current computing needs, the MBP will last.
     
  17. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #17
    As others have said, go for the MacBook Pro. :)


    There is no other laptop out there that can match it! :)
     
  18. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #18
    i am another one who votes for waiting for the ibook/macbook
     
  19. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

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  20. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #20
    the mbp is definitely a better machine than the powerbook, but does it fit the original poster's needs?

    i think mbp is overkill for the OP

    he he, but here i am...email, word processing, internet, and light graphics...and i have a power mac with 3 scsi drives...but actually it's a loan so that's why i have it

    i really have no need, as a basic internet/email/word processing user to have any power mac or macbook pro...how will the speed feel different in a word program document or surfing the internet?

    i also have an intel 20 inch intel imac and the only thing that is different about this than older macs i have is that it boots up and shuts down considerably faster...on other things, that i do, i don't detect a difference
     
  21. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

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    #21
    but the OP should think of the future should his gf decide to do MORE with the laptop . . . and a mbp will last her a LOT longer than a pbook, even if it seems like overkill now
     
  22. M1A0C8 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    OP here:

    This is what I want to know really. Is the MBP going to feel faster, smoother, better just using it, opening closing windows, using finder, transfering between programs. We aren't high tech people really. I have a mac mini that is at work. Our home computer is 6 year old dell laptop with 128 MB of ram, a 4 gig hard drive running windows 98 and it is so loud. It sucks but it gets the job done (it's gone once the new computer arrives). We like OSX, we like QUIET computers, we like good industrial design. My wifes computing needs make increase greatly in the future but I doubt it, she's just not that into it. I know what it's like to go through problems with a machine like people are experiencing with the MBP (heat, whine). I did it with IMac G5, very frustrating.

    If she is not going to notice a difference or much of one between the two machines doing the tasks i previously mentioned then the PB it probably will be. Thanks for everyones input.
     
  23. JoeKarame macrumors regular

    JoeKarame

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    #23
    S'okay, I'll be sleeping outside a Starbucks...my T-Mobile hotspot voucher's good for at least 30 days. And after that I'll just leech off people ;)
     
  24. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #24
    As she is only goinng to use simple functions, i say the PB
     
  25. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a

    MUCKYFINGERS

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    #25
    yeah but the thing is PPC based machines will be phased out soon and PPC based software will also be phased out in the next few years. that laptop of yours, if it's a mbp, will last you much longer for the long run than the PPC based pbook.
     

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