Need Your Advice: Powerbook or MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by edmonton, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #1
    I will become a new switcher soon, from IBM ThinkPad.

    My interests lie on either the latest Powerbook or the 1.86GHz Duo Core MacBook Pro. Due to the limitation of the budget, I cannot go too far.

    The sweetest price I can get for these babes are:

    CAD$1624 for a refurbished 15" Powerbook G4 (1.67GHz/512MB/80GB/SuperDrive/ATI 128M VRAM) directly from Apple using a coupon I got;

    or,

    CAD$2099 for a brand new 15" MacBook Pro (1.83GHz/512MB/80GB/SuperDrive/ATI 128M VRAM) from Apple using my student's discount.

    Moneywise, I certainly lean towards the Powerbook since I can use the money I saved to max the RAM and I am sure it will run perfectly for me.

    However, I do love the option the Intel Mac offers to install Windows XP natively, and I will love to have a free iSight as I do video conferencing a lot. I just don't know if all the additional features and performance boost worth the extra CAD$500.

    What's more, I do have a bigger concern towards the new MacBook Pro: the NOISE issue. I read a lot of complains from HERE, and I am quite worried about it.

    The one thing I am not comfortable with my former ThinkPad is that the fan is always spinning at low frequency to keep the Centrino CPU at around 40 degrees, even when I was doing nothing. i.e. I am easily distracted by the noise my laptop made. This is one of the main reasons why I want to make the switch. I test drived my wife's iBook and I love it. Though it might not be as powerful as my ThinkPad, it's always quiet. The fan seldom works though the CPU temp is always above 45 degrees. The thing is, I don't mind it generate heat (I am using external keyboard/mouse), I need it to be quiet.

    My request to you guys is, give me some advice on which one to get, the classical Powerbook, or the shining MacBook Pro? For those of you who already got a MacBook Pro, can you justify the noise issue? Is MacBook Pro really noisier than Powerbook G4?

    Thank you for your attention. Your input will be highly appreciated!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    bokdol

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    VA
    #2
    i dont know much about the MBP but my 12 inch powerbook picks up a lot of fan noise when i try to run world of warcraft. but if i had a choice i would go for a mbp instead of a powerbook. i dont mind high noise. alotof computer i have have load noise. plus your more future proof with the mbp.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #3
    The MBP noise issue is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Mine has it and it not any worse than the high pitched whine emitted from CRT television (which people never complain about)
    Get the MBP.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #4
    I just bought a 12" PB (used). I'm waiting until some of the bugs are worked out with the MBP. My original intent was to keep the PB only until CS3 comes out (most of my needs deal with adobe software), but so far I've been really happy with my PB. May just decide to hang on to it for a while.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    MattyMac

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    #5
    wait and see the specs of the new macbook (ibook) that may should be coming out soon..maybe the specs would be good enough for your needs. Maybe a couple weeks from mow...hopeully!
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Vienna, VA - USA
    #6
    Those refurbs are overpriced IMO...

    I have the MBP and I'm very happy. It's very fast and when all apps become Universal it will only get better.

    If you get the 1.83 you WILL NEED at least 512MB more RAM.

    I would get the MBP with no hesitation
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    brikeh

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #7
    Im very happy with my new 12 inch pb. Maxed out the ram and its plenty fast for my needs.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    jacobj

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Jersey
    #8
    As far as the noise is concerned don't worry about it.. honestly I am using an MBP right now and with even the lowest of ambient noise around you cannot hear a thing from the machine..
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    KC, MO
    #9
    Same here, no noise what so ever! Don't let a few scare you off. I am using my MBP right now and I do about 10 hours a day and noise is not a factor. You will be better off in the long run with a MBP!
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    Can't speak to the noise issue, but I bought a 17" PB (1.67 GHz) on deep discount and it's NICE:D . I don't hear any noise, and it's a lot faster than my current TC4200 Centrino tablet.

    Really, for ordinary purposes, this thing is more than fast enough. I'm not keen on iSight because a lot of places I go forbid cameras (keep that in mind if you do consulting or research).

    So, I don't think you can go wrong with a PB or MBP. However, if you get a PB, I'd make sure you were getting an adequate "discount" on it.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #11
    Thank you guys for all the replies.

    I think I will wait till Apple's April event is out and see if they offer something new, maybe a revision of the MacBook Pro or a further discount on the discontinued models.

    As for my need, I think Powerbook will serve me well in the foreseeable future. After all, DDR2+Bluetooth2+128MB VRAM+DVD DL+Firewire 800 is really a configuration of tomorrow's PC laptop. My biggest concern regarding the Powerbook is that I don't know if Apple and all the software giants will still support PowerPC line when the transition to Intel Mac is over. i.e. will all the new Mac programs be able to run natively on a PowerPC Mac? Or will some software vendor ignore the "Universal binary" and design something specifically for Intel Mac? If that is the case, I think I will rethink my choice. But up till now, I lean more towards the Powerbook.(I love the name!)
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    princealfie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #12
    Personally MacBook Pro unless you need 17' screen then PB.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    KC, MO
    #13
    That's just it, your selection of software will soon be all but non existant! There is a thread in here somewhere I believe that dicusses this very issue.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #14
    So it's like buying a Mac that can only run OS 9 when OS X comes out?

    It would be very helpful if someone can refer me to that thread discussing the software issue.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    KC, MO
    #15
    Here it is. Apple is moving forward and not looking back!

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=188451
     
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #16
    Is there any reliable source to confirm that in the foreseeable future, Apple will drop the use of Universal Binary and start their next generation of Intel-ONLY binary?
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #17
    You are spreading mis-information. The point is that really soon they will stop making NON-universal binaries that are for PowerPC only. The key is that UB runs on BOTH PowerPC or Intel. Just because the software is released as UB doesn't mean it won't run on PowerPC. Apple has stated that it will continue to support PowerPC for years to come...hence the reason to port software as UB. Who knows when software will be released as Intel only. It wouldn't make sense to port as Intel only because once the software is ported to X-code, it's only a simple step to create UB. By the time we see Intel ONLY software, all current market PPC machines will be really old and ready for retirement unless you tend to hang on to equipment more than 5 or 6 years.

    Edit: I just wanted to add that it would be absolutely crazy to not make software available for PowerPC because there are literally millions of machines out there that aren't going away for many years. If they stop doing updates for PPC, they will shut out millions of the installed user base. No, they will continue to port UB until it's no longer feasible.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #18
    There is no hard evidence because Apple wouldn't announce something negative like that until the time comes. However, it's not rocket science to figure it out. Think about how many PowerMacs are out there! Millions? If they stop porting software to PPC (Intel only, not just UB) they will be losing potential software income from millions and millions of users. Not to mention their good-will. No, they will continue to support PPC for years to come, or at least until it's no longer financially feasible. Best guess would be when Intel Macs are over 70% of installed user base. Then they will stop so that they can push the remaining 30% to buy new machines. How long do you think it will take for 70% of current Mac users to buy an Intel machine? My best guess is around 4 years from when Apple stops selling PPC at the end of 2006. The only way it would be sooner is if Apple makes really CHEAP and FASTER machines to justify users to make the switch. Not going to happen! I suppose there are 100's of thousands of users who will hang on to PPC for years and years because they don't need the extra power. Think about how many G3 users are still out there. The lab at our school just bought 35 dual core G5's last semester. Their budget only allows them to buy new machines every 5 years. There are literally thousands of situations that are like that.

    As for Intel only software? That will probably happen around 2010-2012 for OS updates. I really believe that current shipping machines will be good through Leopard (2007?), probably one more major OS release beyond that. Smaller software vendors may jump ship a year or two early, depends on how hard it is for them to select the "render PPC" checkbox when they port the software. Remember, you read it here first!
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    KC, MO
    #19
    Did the article not say they are going to pull non universal software from the shelves to make room for universal software? If not that's what I got from it.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #20
    UB will be around for around 2+ more years, i dont see it to be pulled off until there are significantly more intel mac than ppc mac
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    KC, MO
    #21
    This is pure speculation on your part.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Vienna, VA - USA
    #22
    As long as there is a market/demand for PPC software companies will produce them. Why not if its profitable? This is a business and business goal is to sell and make money.
    Like someone said before, with virtually millions of PPC's out there you can rest assured that you will have abundant software for many years to come.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #23
    This whole website is speculation on everyone's part. Give me a break! Least I try to give sound reasoning instead of just throwing out blanket perdictions. Anyone who thinks PPC is dead within the next few years hasn't learned from history...or knows nothing of economics.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #24
    Yeah...what I said, only shorter. I'd give it longer than 2 years..probably around 4, maybe more.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #25
    Yeah, and so what? UB runs on both PPC and Intel so it doesn't matter if they pull the non-Intel software. Actually, it make perfect sense and has nothing to do with PPC. Soon all Mac software will be UB...then in the distant future, it will be Intel only.

    PPC is not dead...it's still being sold by Apple.
     

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