I am currently a content windows user but am looking to upgrade my laptop and am looking seriously at Apple, specifically the powerbook. Apple is known for making quality hardware and software products, but as an engineering student I need not only a nice stable machine but a performance powerhouse. I frequently use my current laptop for numerically intensive, memory intensive math modeling using, above all else, MATLAB. I have read reviews comparing fast G4 processors with fast P4 processors running games and photoshop, however never running math intensive applications such as MATLAB, maple, mathmatica, etc. Does anyone have any experience using MATLAB on a fast G4 powerbook (1Ghz) in comparison with say a fast P4 (2.0 GHz) or Athlon (XP 2000+) laptop? If I were to switch I would probably go for the powerbook 15" with 1Ghz G4 since it is (please correct me if I'm wrong) faster than the 12" and the 17" is much too large to be easily portable. It comes with a large hard drive, excellent graphics adapter, available superdrive, firewire, and the list goes on, however some of the hardware seems outdated, such as a lack of usb 2.0 support, and most troubling for a performance seeker is the continued use of outdated PC133 memory. How badly does this slow memory affect the perfomance? In general I am looking for some solid benchmark comparisons between apples and pentiums in numeric/memory intensive operations and any other good arguments besides stability (I can make a windows machine stable enough) and beauty to make me switch. To be sure I would like to switch but, again as a engineer, I have to justify the cost of not only the machine itself but also all of the new software I need to get (ms office, matlab, acrobat, etc...). Please help me out!