G3, G4, G5...ibook, powerbook, powermac, imac....there is just too much choice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by arimp, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. arimp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #1
    Hi,

    There is too much choice....buying a mac is like looking for car!

    I'm looking to buy a mac. I wouldn't class myself as a switcher. I work with WinIntel servers all day and have a farm of machines at home for testing and use one as a home machine (WinXP). Plus a Dell D600 as a work laptop.

    I'm looking to buy as mac to use for the rest of my life...my ilife!

    I was orginally looking at the iMac as a main machine, it looks cool and I liked the idea of been able to pick it up and take it round the house. However I don't like the idea of not being able to upgrade at least re-use the screen.

    I'm pretty much decided I'm going to buy a powermac g5 plus screen as a base machine later in the year (where I store everything, replacement for my WinXP machine), this is due to disk space requirements for movie, music, photos and power requirement for iDVD and iMovie etc..

    However I'm looking for mac laptop to use till then and as a portable, probably a 12"

    I'm not looking to do much only surf and do some general bit and pieces....the Powermac will be the work horse, once I get it

    Questions:

    1) Will a powerbook G5 be out anytime soon? before end of April?
    2) What would be better a G4 ibook or refurb G4 powerbook?
    3) Also I've seen a new 800mhz G3 ibook for half the price of a G4 machine, in your opinion is this worth a look?

    TIA
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    No one outside of Apple knows when the G5 PowerBooks will be announced, much less available, so your guess is as good as anyone's. The only thing I can say with anything near certainly is that it is very likely a G5 PB will be announced within 12 months. Beyond that, no one knows. Next week? In June? Before Xmas? Nobody outside Apple knows.

    Depending on prices, and given that you're going to get a PowerMac later, I'd go with the G4 iBook unless it's a lot more expensive than the refurb PB. Why? Well, it's got most of what the PB has, and it's cheaper. There's a hack available - which works - that lets you use the video out to drive a second monitor in non-mirror mode (see this link for the hack). To me, the "real" monitor out was the best thing about the PB compared to the iBook, and now it's no longer an advantage. Plus, the case is fixable if scratched, unlike the PB one. It's not quite up to the specs of the PB, but I can't find a single compelling reason to get the PB. Especially since you're getting a PowerMac and don't need the SuperDrive (get one on the tower - you don't need it on the laptop).

    However, I would go for the G4 over the G3. Yeah, the G4 isn't as nice as the G5, but it's a lot nicer than the G3, provides better use of the graphics card, etc.

    So, basically, unless the refurb PB is about the same price, I'd go with the new iBook. It'll make a very nice sidekick to the G5 tower, and it's a sweet little device. Don't get me wrong - the 12" PB is beautiful - but the iBook is a much better deal new, and likely is cheaper even compared to a refurb.

    *edit* but I would wait a couple of weeks - if you can - to see if these mid-April rumors are true. Probably not, but worth waiting a few days for...
     
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #3
    i don't think it's too many choices... a lot better than dell where customers are pretty much left to decide what CPU, HD, optical drive, video card, etc. to get...

    Answers:
    1) highly doubtful, definitely not by the end of April if i had to bet on it. maybe june at WWDC, but i doubt that too.

    2) those are not really comparable. do you want portability? if yes, then iBook. do you want SuperDrive? if yes, then PM.

    3) for your use, G3 iBook will be just fine...
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    I could be wrong, but I think he meant refurb G4 powerbook
     
  5. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #5
    well you have to decide if you want a laptop or a desktop... not just price, they are two fundamentaly different machines...

    if you want a laptop, get the new g4 iBook, they're wonderful...
     
  6. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502

    thirteen1031

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #6
    Don't wait for a G5 PB

    Right.
    #1) Even if the G5 appeared on the shelves tomorrow, you probably wouldn't want one. This is not going to be bump-up in speed or an upgrade--it's going to be a whole new machine, probably with a whole new (maybe experimental) cooling system (that's the tough part, keeping it cool).

    This means that it's going to take about a year to work out the bugs--that's a year AFTER it appears on the shelves, gets bought up and tested by all those folk who buy brand new electronics and, in doing so, discover bugs and problems that weren't known before. The Rev A of the 12" pb had just such problems when it hit the market. Heat issues were so bad people complained of 3rd degree burns, smoking and the machine catching fire. All problems now long gone, but that's what happens with the first machines off the assembly line.

    Also, we've no idea what size it will be (12"? 15"? 17?") or how much it will cost. In short, even if it came out tomorrow (and you can rest assured that it's arrival will be announced at least a month in advance, so it won't be out this month or next), you'd probably want to wait on it.

    #2) You mention that you want a laptop for life...but you don't mention what kind of life you live. The value of an iBook is it's more rugged than a powerbook--which do dent.
    *iBooks are bombproof--so if you're going to toss that laptop about, drop it, throw it--you want iBook.
    *iBooks have a longer battery life
    On the other hand,
    *Powerbooks have the nicest keyboard on the planet. If you plan to write a thousand page novel, you want a powerbook.
    *The 12" powerbook is the most portable of all the Apple laptops. And it is more powerful.

    What is your lifestyle like? What kind of laptop do you require?

    #3) A laptop for life should be the best you can get. The G3 is fine, don't get me wrong, but don't skim on something you're going to be using for the next few years. Get a G4, which ever one you get.

    Finally, the ONLY way you can really make a decision is to go into an Apple store and play on these laptops. We can tell you the positives and negatives and compare-contrast till the cows come home--in the end, hands on is the ONLY thing that will let you know what's right for you. Play on them. The one you fall in love with is the one for you.
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    YEah, but you'll fall in love with both of them. As with real relationships, pick the love that's cheapest if they're both good enough. ;)
     
  8. arimp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #8
    Sorry yes, I meant a refurb Powerbook.

    I live in the UK, sadly no Apple Stores, John Lewis is as good as it gets...off there tonight....to look around

    Refurb PowerBook G4 12"/867MHz/256DDR/40GB/Combo/BT is sub £1000
    A new G4 12" ibook with a 60GB disk and Bluetooth from the apple UK website is about the same.
    G3 800Mhz ibook is £500, if I can still get one from PC world.

    I don't need a Superdrive, since one will be in the Powermac and I've one in my XP machine, which I intend to convert in the external USB2 and Firewire DVD-+R/W

    In terms of lifestyle, my laptop won't be left on a desk, it will be used on the move, so the ruggedness of the ibook is a plus
     
  9. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #9
    #1) No one knows but Apple; but I'm guessing not that soon.
    #2) A refurb PowerMac will have some older technologies in it-for example, would you have to upgrade the video card to bring it up to par with what's already in the iBook?
    #3) With the entire consumer line moved to the G4, and the pro lines moving to the G5, Apple's pretty well done with the G3. It's like buying a Pentium 3 because the price is cheaper and the clock speed higher, instead of getting a Pentium 4: it's going to work, but you may be looking at outdated technology sooner than you'd like.
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    Please strongly consider the G4. The G3's lifetime is limited compared to that of the G4, so the greater cost now still translates to a better investment.

    My opinion only. However, I own a G3, a G4, and a G5, and the G3 definitely lags. Not just in speed, which is obvious, but in capabilities, like using Quartz Extreme.
     
  11. arimp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #11
    is there likely to be a speed up lift in the G4 ibooks anytime soon?
     
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    I disagree with that sentiment. I have a Rev A iBook, iMac, and TiBook, all working perfectly. It was the 15 inch AlBook that had so many problems (white spots on screen), and it was midstream iBooks. The problems people are experiencing with the G5s are relatively minor. Early adopters may have to work through some hiccoughs, but buying a product later in its cycle doesn't guarantee you won't have problems. Sometimes minor cost-cutting revisions are more dangerous than wholesale Rev A revisions, which tend to get more testing before release. It's just as easy to get burned by being an early adopter as it is later on, but early adopters get the benefit of the "cool" factor for longer.
     
  13. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #13
    but he's buying one just to hold him over until he gets G5 PM. so i think G3 is fine. i'd save and use that money to get a better G5 PM later.

    from the orig. post:

     
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
    True. I guess the faster G3's are better. But the 400MHz G3 in my old PB sucks - just sucks - at anything beyond simple surfing and email. I know that's all that he wants for now, but if Safari gets more sophisticated, or he wants to use iChat wirelessly, he'll be in trouble.
     
  15. crowdaddy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Location:
    East Ontario
    #15
    Is there a site that sells old Apple stuff? Like old laptops?
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
  18. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #18
    I have to agree 5000% percent here. :D I want an external one I can use on my beige!
     

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