Buy a Dual G5 and upgrade Pismo, or 15" PowerBook...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by atari1356, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    I'm trying to decide on Mac to purchase to upgrade from my 500MHz Pismo PowerBook (w/ 256MB RAM). I use the Pismo for publishing articles online daily, some Photoshop, programming, iTunes, and other basic stuff. With a new machine, I'd be doing the same, plus I want to do some iMovie/iDVD (once I get a MiniDV camcorder). I don't really need to play games on it, I have an Xbox for that.

    I need the portability sometimes, so I've been looking at the 15" PowerBooks... but they seem so slow compared to the desktop G5's. Plus, I'm not exactly rich so spending the $2500 - $3000 for a new computer is a big deal for me, and I want my investment to last me a long time. Here are a few options I've been thinking of:

    OPTION 1

    Upgrade Pismo:

    900MHz Powerlogix processor upgrade: $349
    512Mb RAM chip from Crucial (bringing me to a total of 640MB): $147.99
    New battery (my current one only lasts 30-40 minutes): $160

    Purchase Dual G5:

    Dual 1.8GHz G5 (stock model, education price): $2299.00
    Airport Extreme Card: $99
    2x 512MB RAM chips from Crucial (for total of 1536MB): $210


    Total Cost: $3265 (plus some tax)

    OPTION 2

    Keep the Pismo as is, and give it to my wife to use full time.

    Purchase PowerBook 15" SuperDrive:

    PowerBook 15" SuperDrive (BTO with 1x 512MB, 5400RPM hard drive, education price): $2501.00
    512MB RAM chip from Crucial (for total of 1024MB): $129.99


    Total Cost: $2631 (plus some tax)

    OPTION 3

    Upgrade the Pismo and don't buy anything else until G5 PowerBook.


    Total Cost: $660 (plus some tax)

    I think I'm starting to lean towards option 1, although $660 seems like a lot of money to upgrade an old PowerBook... then again, it would be almost twice as fast as it is now, and I'd be getting a Dual G5.

    Option 2 is nice because I could just have everything on one machine, using the PowerBook as both desktop/laptop computer. It would be faster than the upgraded Pismo, but slower than the Dual G5. It's also cheaper than option 1.

    What do I do? :confused:

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    Here is a recent thread that covers your question:
    As advice directly to you, I would consider the G5, but perhaps not right away...your pismo is still a capable machine, so w/the addition of RAM and perhaps a 7200rpm HD(I would wait on a CPU upgrade), you could get along nicely until the next PM revisions (whenever that might be). If you purchased a PM now, you would still have a fabulous piece of hardware, and a capable back-up in the Pismo. Pismos still hold alot of resale value in the marketplace, if yours is in good condition, you might get enough to buy most of a camcorder, or an iBook as a new portable machine...think still have a capable, funtional machine on your hands which handles the tasks you have listed...good luck

  3. dudewheresmymac macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2004
    If you are doing hardcore photoshop then maybe the G5 is right for you however, if the photoshop work that you are doing is fairly light i dont see why you would need the power of the G5, the other stuff that you plan on doing (programming, iTunes and iMovie) will be just fine on the powerbook
  4. PlanB macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2004
    ok well you shouldnt buy a G5 yet anyway
    because at some point in the next 100 years or so they will be updated probably june (just my thought) so you should hang on for that

    or you could wait for the powerbook g5 which might have upto 2ghz(again just my thoughts) but even if top line is 1.6 g5 then that would be plenty for what you want it to do... so i would wait and get the powerbook and use it as a main machine and a portable. although powermacs are awesome, i got a dual 1.8ghz with 2gb of ram...

    i would go with option 5 and sell the pismo and get a dual 1.8 from refurb store and stick with 512 of ram and get a 12inch powerbook upgrade the ram and you would have a setup to die for

    my heart says buy buy buy and my brain says wait for updates..... patiently
  5. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    you could always consider selling the pismo and buying a refurb ibook (which would not be much more expensive than upgrading the pismo - and you could use the profits from the sale to make your cost even less). i'm not sure, but you might be able to take the ram out of the pismo to upgrade the ibook. then you could also buy the powermac.

    or you could just buy the ibook, keep the pismo, and buy the powermac. total cost to you would not be much more than your first option, you would have your lapop and your desktop, and your wife could still have the pismo (or the ibook).

    either way, i would consider waiting a little while before buying anything. just some thoughts, thoguh.
  6. discoforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2004
    Vermont, USA
    My $.02:

    Having just purchased a refurb 15" Powerbook (G4 1.25GHz) w/SD, I can't recommend this machine enough. Same specs as the one you listed with your educational discount (though it's got the slower 4200 Harddrive) and the Apple Store has it for $1999.

    I got mine from Smalldog and it came in the original packaging with nary a smudge or dead pixel.

    Of course this is the option if you don't need the G5 power boost, but you do want a faster computer than the Pismo.

    And there will always be updates... :rolleyes:

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  7. furrina macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2004
    In tha 212
    in the same positioon

    i too am having this same dilemma! I have a 400 mhz pismo and really need a new machine. i do the basics and some video editing which i hope to do more of. I use the portability of a laptop but it's not like i'm working from the road 24/7.

    my choices are between getting a 15" pb with a gig of RAM and 5400 harddrive (about $2800 w/edu discount),
    and getting a g5 dual 1.8 + 17" LCD monitor (about $3200 with edu discount) and upgrading my trusty pismo (or maybe it's a lombard, not sure, it's from 2000 and has a bronze keyboard).

    One word of advice on the pismo upgrade: I've heard that the best two upgrades you can do are as much memory as possible of course, but also put in a 7200 rpm 60 gig harddrive (about 200 bucks), there is one available that I have just bought (i would also put this in a g4 pb once the warranty expired). I hear that the processor upgrade isn't even as fast and can cause problems, and a 4200 rpm HD is pretty slow.

    Anyway, I am leaning towards option 2, getting the G5 and keeping my old g3, telling myself I'll pick up a g4 laptop in a year or so when the price is way down. It really is the state of the art and even if they come out with something "new" in a week as they always do, it'll be quite speedy for quite a while.

    Yet now I'm starting to see a lot of people do video editing on their g4 laptops and starting to get seduced by their tiny shininess! So now I'm almost back to square one! :(

    I really do think if you are going to be editing video the smart thing to do is get a 1.8 gig dual g5 and hang on to the old laptop for a while though.

    Anyone else?

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