Advice about Tibooks

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by blackfox, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #1
    I apologize that some of this is a rehashing of topics asked repeatedly over the years here at MR, but I frankly did not feel like searching through a large number of threads for the information I would like, as I do not remember a specific thread completely pertinent to my question(s). In any case, sorry.

    Now, last week my much-loved and venerable Pismo lost it's screen, and the cost of replacement has pushed me to purchase a new laptop instead.

    I only wish to spend around $1000-1300 max on this purchase, as I will be upgrading my PM later this year.

    I have looked at the new iBooks, and find them to be quite compelling machines, but I would really like the extra screen real-estate of a PB.

    Looking around, I have found used TiBook 15" @ 800mhz and 1ghz w/in my price range. They both come standard with airport (the original) and have either a 32MB ATI 7500 gpu (800) or a 64MB 9000 (1ghz), which seem reasonably powered, considering I am not a gamer.

    With the things I will most likely be doing with my laptop, the lower cpu speed is not as important as more screen real estate.

    So my question is this: If any owners of tiBooks of the model(s) I mentioned could chime in on their experiences with their machines and problems/complaints they have with them, I would be grateful.

    I do not really want this thread to be a "you should get an ibook instead...or an AlBook etc" so much as helping me get a realistic appraisal of what I should expect with a used TiBook of this vintage, in risks and of performance.

    Thanks.
     
  2. mcadam macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    københavn
    #2
    Two of my friends have them (not sure exactly what's inside their machines though), they're both studying architecture. So doing lots of 3d-drawing in vectorworks and formZ and one of them lots of video editing in final cut. And it seem to work perfectly well.

    The one big problem for them is the only 20 gig of harddrive space. But I doubt you're used to more in the pismo so might not be a worry for you.

    A
     
  3. Ringu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    #3
    I'm still using my Tibook, and it's an even older vintage than the ones you're looking at. I email, use word, freehand, photoshop...works fine.

    I've really used this PB a lot. It's often switched on for days (if not weeks) on end, and gets used day and night.

    The only problem I've ever had is one loose letter on the keyboard (and that came loose after about 2 years of heavy use).

    I am going to replace it soon, but it's been a very fine tool.
     
  4. sakasune macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    #4
    part opinion, part shameless plug

    I have a TiBook 667Mhz. Love it! The only problems I've enountered is paint peeling. I've used some touchup paint meant for TiBooks...its not a perfect match, but decent enough. I swapped out the 30GB drive and put in a 60GB drive, along with my firewire drive I haven't ran out of space since :)
    But it is time for me to move on, I'm actually selling my TiBook on eBay. I moving up to a G5 if/when it sells. My TiBook is in your price range and I include some excellent software with it.
    I'm sure you've had enough of my shameless plug, so I'll move on.
     
  5. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #5
    I still run a 1GHz TiBook with 1GB RAM and I still find it more than dandy for most design tasks so I don't see why you'd not want to buy one if you could get one for a good price.

    They're still reasonably/relatively swift, obviously not as fast as the latest and greatest but the performance differential in day to day use to my lady's 1.5GHz PowerBook really is not hugely noticeable for most stuff.

    As for complaints, well mine have been well documented on this site since my first Rev A TiBook :p, I've had to have a replacement SuperDrive in my current one, and I had something else replaced, can't remember if it was the motherboard/logic board or something to do with the graphics/GPU, but I had problems with fuzzy screen interference not all that long after I bought it so that was repaired back in 2003. But all in all it's been fine since then.

    I have noticed during the last week that the fan underneath the right speaker (they have 2 fans, both usually pretty quiet) is beginning to get a little noisy with a slight buzzing after prolonged use, not as loud as a G5 for example, but I'll get that sorted later on in the year at some point under AppleCare.

    But yeah, mine gets heavy use... both as a home machine and as a work machine (interaction and motion graphics) and it handles that fine, any intensive rendering I offload to my Xserves, but then again I wouldn't want to use the latest PowerBook for rendering either because they simply don't have the brute force post work requires but for Photoshop, Director, basic After Effects type stuff it's fine.

    Personally I've not had any issues with the paint finish of any of the TiBooks I've owned, and I've found them to be generally sturdy. I do take a little extra care with it like I would with anything else that is painted, but it's just over 2 years old now and is as box fresh as it could be. Still looks brand new.

    I don't intend on selling this one, I'll upgrade as soon as the PowerBook G5 is released and my TiBook will become my back-up machine.

    Things to look out for.

    SuperDrives can be a little ropey. So double check it. If you can try all the formats CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW then DO. Mine can occasionally be a little ropey with CD-RW's, but I've never had any issues burning CD-R's or DVD-R's for example.

    Also you have to push discs in quite a way before they're sucked in. This is usual.

    Check the paint finish, as I said above mines completely perfect. Not 1 scratch, no peeling, no flaking. So avoid any example which looks totally shagged, and ignore anyone that says "they all look like that after 6 months", because they don't.

    Fans, they have 2 of them, one at the rear underneath the 'Num Lock' key, and the other is under the speaker on the right hand side. Under light load, in a cool room they'll occasionally come on to cool the machine, then turn themselves off. Both should be not quite silent, but not noticeably loud either. Replacements are cheap though ($19).

    Check the latch in the monitor lid. It should ALWAYS close cleanly with no problems at all. If it doesn't always latch cleanly, then close the lid slowly and look (with the aid of a light) a latch should emerge from it's hiding place just before it closes onto the base, there's a magnet in the base which pulls the latch out of it's hiding place just before you fully shut it. If it doesn't appear there's something wrong and will no doubt give you issues in the future.

    Lastly... TiBooks do get warm, the case is designed as a heatsink. But they shouldn't get uncomfortably hot, even underneath. If you think one gets too hot, avoid it... something is sus.

    That's all that springs to mind off the top of my head... so I hope that's of some help.

    G
     
  6. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #6
    Thanks for the info guys (especially iGav). If I wasn't clear, I am not concerned about top-performance, as I have a PM 733 and a (broken) pismo 500 (G4), so even a TiBook 800 will be an improvement.

    I will be changing out my pismo 7200 60G HD from my pismo into the Tibook when bought and reinstalling the stock 10G in the pismo for a back-up machine, so stock HD size issues do not matter.

    I assume both the 7500 and 9000 gpus are decent performers with regard to the UI and various non-gaming graphics tasks. I realize neither are Tiger-compliant (iirc), but neither are the current ibook gpus (iirc), so meh...

    I was aware of the paint-peeling issue, which while annoying is not a concern to me.

    I just wanted an idea of potential expenditures I might be facing with a used machine, as I am sure a replacement battery might be needed, for example, with average battery-life being around three years. Also interested in hinges and slot-drive mechanisms as potential problems, as well as body-flex/bending. Airport reception is also a consideration.

    Sakusune, thanks for the offer, but your tibook is too old for me, and a little too high in price. The fact that you are a newbie and some of the facts appear to be wrong/ommited from your ebay auction also give me pause (eg: I believe the USB ports on a PB of that vintage are 1.1 NOT 2.0 and to my knowledge you did not specify whether it was a 1st or 2nd-gen (DVI) 667, which also have different GPU's[no mention of]. I would remedy these things, if I were you.)

    Thanks again.
     
  7. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #7
    Mines got the 64 MB Radeon 9000 and it's just dandy... but then I'm not a gamer. :p Exposé runs smooth enough though... and it powers 2 screens with no problems at all (15.2" and 20" LCD's) can't speak for the 7500 but no complaints about the 9000.


    Well I've not had to worry about a replacement battery yet, I'm still getting good battery life in the 2 hour region if I'm being failry vigorous and near 4 if I'm just doing the bare minimals. But that said mine is usually plugged in all of the time, whether I'm using it in a bar, client side or on a train (well the newer ones that is) so my battery has probably been preserved a little better than some.

    I seem to recall that someone posted a Terminal command that returns the battery capacity, and gives you an idea of when it's time to replace the battery. Might be worth checking around for that one. You can buy higher capacity batteries now though, which would give you much greater battery life than the original (new) Apple one. I have no idea how much they cost though.

    Never had an issue with any of my TiBooks hinges, and has certainly never been a cause for concern.

    With regards to body flex issues, I did experience issues with my Rev A TiBook, that had a habit of releasing it's battery whenever you picked it up. But I believe that was rectified by the time the Rev B's were released. I've encountered no such problems on my 1GHz though.

    I outlined the Slot loader as a possible cause for concern, but I know people that have never had a single issue with their TiBooks (at all) so they're not all iffy. As I outlined in my other post though, if you can, do a thorough check including burning multiple discs to double check, and don't be affraid to keep inserting and ejecting :eek: :p :p to make sure that it functions correctly.

    The Airport reception was much improved in the last revisions, but they're not as good as the new PowerBooks. Still... works fine for me, so fine that before Soho Sq was locked down, I was always picking up networks with little or no issues. :)

    Hope that helps.

    G
     
  8. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #8
    I'm an IT consultant, and I've made my 1 GHz, 1 GB TiBook for 2.5 years. I've traveled extensively with it and used it as my only machine for most of this time. I even use Virtual PC on it, with satisfactory results. I've never had any problems with it. I put a 7200 RPM drive in it last year. Anyway, it's a perfectly usable machine and very reliable. Did I mention I also run Folding@Home on it 24x7?
     
  9. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #9
    I've been using by 1GHz Ti PowerBook for 2 1/2 years now with almost no problems. I did replace the optical drive, but that was pretty simple. No issues with screen or hinges or anything, and it continues to perform pretty much as I need it to.
     
  10. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #10
    This is a negative with the TiPB, the optical drive. I've replaced mine once, and the new one is iffy at best. This accounts for my hate of slot loading drives (my mini's drive is clearly better, though still loud).

    I've had my PB since 2001 and have had to replace the motherboard. I am very happy with the PB but must say that this was my first experience with Apple's current quality control. At the risk of getting flamed, I don't believe Apple manufacturing is anywhere near the level it once was. I guess we are in the era of disposable goods, oh well.
     
  11. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #11
    I'd say it's more like the era of outsourced manufacturing, with a bidding process that may yield the lowest cost, but not necessarily the highest quality.
     
  12. sakasune macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    #12
    Out of your price range? The starting bid was under $1000 and you were looking for maximum $1000-$1300. I thought it would be in your range.
    You're right about the USB, I was on my 12" when I was writing the description and I must have been thinking about the 12" (that obviously has USB 2.0). I should have mentioned the DVI, but I wasn't aware there was another 667 machine with VGA. I thought the switchover to DVI occurred before the 667s.
    As for being a newbie, I don't post on these forums (or slashdot, or anywhere else) too often. While I'm at work I read the articles and I sometimes check out the other threads. I only replied to give you my input about TiBooks and to mention mine was for sale. Thinking I'm shady or dumb because I have a low post count is silly itself :p
     
  13. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816

    ColoJohnBoy

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #13
    I've had both an 800 MHz and 1 GHz TiBook. They were both excellent machines; I preferred the 1 GHz, though, simply for the extra video memory. It was helpful for playing the occasional game, and will doubtless come in handy in the future in your case. I used them both extensively, tossing them in bookbags and such. While the 800 MHz model got a couple scratches, the 1 GHz didn't get a single one. The differences may be minor, but the 1 GHz is well worth the little bit of extra money.
     
  14. capone2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    chelsea-nyc
    #14
    Selling my Tibook

    • 15.2-inch TFT display (1280 x 854)
    • 867MHz PowerPC G4 processor with 1MB L3 cache
    • 512MB of PC133 SDRAM
    • 40GB 5400rpm 8MB cache Travelstar 5K80 hard drive
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 AGP 4X with 32MB of video memory
    • Slot-load combo-drive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • AirPort wireless 802.11b card
    • Integrated 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet
    • 56K v.92 modem
    • PC Card slot
    • New lithium ion battery (recently replaced)
    • FireWire (IEEE 1394) port, two USB 1.1 ports, DVI, S-Video, audio in/out jacks
    • DVI to VGA adapter
    • OS X Panther (10.3)
    Showroom condition and loaded with extras hardware and software
    950
     
  15. capone2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    chelsea-nyc
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #16
    Can I ask you good sir. did this upgrade make a noticeable difference to performance?

    As I intend to keep my current 1GHz TiBook as a back up machine, once my AppleCare has expired I'll be installing a larger HD, but if there's a noticeable increase in performance with a faster drive then I'd go that route as well, battery life won't be an issue as it won't be used as a portable.

    G
     
  17. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #17
    A couple of notes:

    1) You should post anything you're selling in the Marketplace.

    2) You can only include additional software if you also include all original disks, packaging, licenses, etc. Ignore if you're just including the standard built-in software suite included with the TiBook.
     
  18. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #18
    Yes, it definitely helps boot and program load times. Like most incremental performance improvements, you get used to it in a day or two and don't really notice it after that. It did *not* affect the battery life. As for heat output, I can't tell, since I run Folding@Home 24x7, so the fan is always on anyway.

    BTW, I put the old drive in a small firewire enclosure and carry it with me as my backup drive.
     
  19. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #19
    Superb... thanks for that. ;)

    Do you know if 7200 RPM drives are the fastest ones you can buy for PowerBooks? or do they come even faster! :D
     
  20. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #20
    I have the stock 1GHz PowerBook with the superdrive. It is fantastic, the paint has stood up very well, no peeling, chipping, or huge scratches, other then were something has rubbed against it. It's quick and snappy for all the tasks I throw at it. Photoshop, Illustrator, and iApps. Divx movies run smoothly fullscreen and the the radeon 9000 is quick enough to keep things going with expose and dock effects, I can play most games, like UT2K4, as well as I need with settings on medium usually. I've owned lots of mac's, and this one has been my favourite and most reliable- but that's also mac os x's help too.

    I'd also like to say I find the tibook's much nicer looking then the current PB's, I just wish we had the illuminated keyboard..
     

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