Ok heres the Plan, for my PBG4 15, help me out

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

  1. rschapel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    #1
    All right, I have been on the fence waiting for the new G4(5) PB to come out for a while now. Here is my theory, I can right now get a G4 PB 1.25 15" for $1999 With SD, 512, 80gb, AE (refurb). A Full cost new unit will run me $2300 (with the same options, edu discount). If I wait for the speed bump there could be a price increase as the move to a faster Processor, video and Hard drive could bring (say a hundred or so). Worse yet, if they come out with a G5 PB it could go up a couple of hundred dollar increase. I want to use this laptop to do some imovie stuff, and IDVD things (Also want to play world of war craft on it). As you can see money is a little tight, and the cheaper unit would keep my wife happy. But will this unit keep me happy? This machine needs to last me two years, at wich point I'll sell it and pick up a new machine. This seems like a good deal, BUT I don't have to buy today, if there are new machines introduced do you see the old "new" units going for less than $2000? I just don't. At least not by much (a considering a new unit is going for $2600+ dollars) What do you all think? I'll pick up apple care by the end of the 1 year.


    --Randy
     
  2. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #2
    Randy--

    I'd go for it now if you need it. The $1999 refurbs are awfully tempting--I almost went for one but got a brand new one instead because I wanted the faster HD and the single stick of RAM. (And the sheer pleasure of owning a brand new one....)

    I think it is safe to say it will last at least 3 years--I used a G3/Pismo before this and it was only recently that the limitations of the G3 became obvious.

    Best,

    Bob
     
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #3
    refurb may get down to the sub-$2000 range, but i don't think it will go down much more for the one you are looking at.

    new ones won't be much more expensive, but i doubt it will be cheaper.

    if you pick up a PB now, it should last 2 years comfortably. that is regardless of whether you pick up one right now, wait for an upgrade or wait (a long time, probably) for a G5.
     
  4. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    It sounds like I'm probably in the minority. But my guess is:

    If the G5 is released, it is released at the same price as the current line (implying the G4 prices immediately drop).

    If an updated G4 is released, it will come with a price drop. IMO a better HD is progress, not something they will charge for.

    Either way the G4 prices drop. I stated this before, but computer prices in general don't go up, so you shouldn't really have to worry about missing a great price.

    But of course if you need it now, get it.
     
  5. rschapel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    #5
    Thanks for saving me

    Thanks for all the advice, what you said makes sense. As I come down off the $2000 buy right now high, $300 dollars more would be well worth a small speed bump, a better video card and a speedup in the harddrive/SD and to boot it would be a brand new machine. I was SO close to just snatching this thing up. I don't "need" it this second, waiting another month would be fine (though painful). Even another 2 months and I could make it (though this would be torture), and if its more than that, apple better be shoe horning a G5 in there for a 9-10 month wait and then it would certainly be worth the wait then.

    I just want to stop using my PC and make the switch.. come on apple don't you want my money? I know there are many people who feel that if they had a G5 they would bring it out, I am one of these, but what is the problem with bringing out the updated G4's ? (if thats what they are going to do..) You figure if this is the case apple would be bring out the G4's soon to bridge the gap to the PB G5's in January of 2005. I would be so annoyed if they waited to the end of june even to bring out "updated" PB G4. Maybe its just the rumored Video card hold up... :confused:

    Thanks again everyone for NOT making me a switch TODAY (coming soon though!). :)


    --Randy
     
  6. Palad1 macrumors 6502a

    Palad1

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Student discount / ADC

    Randy,

    If you want to wait it out, and at the same time get a rebate, remember you can get :
    - 10% Educational discount
    - 20% Student ADC Hardware discount

    So, my advice: if you are not a student, befriend one :)
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    You know, whenever you buy one, a better one comes out the next day. It's some sort of weird relativity effect wherein every new laptop owner sees a better deal the next day, no matter when they buy.

    Given that, the current PBs are great. My 1999 Lombard G3 laptop runs 10.3.3, for god's sake, and, yeah, it's not useful for anything except web browsing and email, but it's almost 5 years old. Anything you buy now will last you two years easily. If you can wait, wait. But don't kick yourself if you buy now. It's like saying you can't get the Porshe 911 because they might bump the horsepower by 20 ponies next year, or maybe they'll put in heated seats. It's a great car now. The PB's are great now. A G5 PB will be faster, but almost guaranteed to be hotter and to have a lower batter life. Also, you can always swap the HD if it's too slow for you (and yeah, they're really slow).

    If it were me (and I wish the wife were on board about a new laptop, but she let me get the G5 last year, so I can't complain too much), I'd wait a month, then order. Pretty soon, the refurbs will start to dry up (right now, everyone expects a new release, so they're dumping their laptops, so there are a lot a refurbs - those will get purchased). Prices are good now. And this isn't a PC - the Mac will last years as a useful tool. Seriously, that 1999 G3 still works for me for most of what I do online. Not a great development tool, not a great gaming tool (but does Civ III OK), but still good.
     
  8. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #8
    As far as technology, yes what you say is true, it's just nicer to be on the end of newer than older and it seems to me that the current PB's are the tail end of the technology. Personally I have nothing against getting older equipment (in fact I generally prefer to get older stuff), I just don't want to pay cutting edge pricing for it. If the new G5's were announced today, I'd probably be looking at exactly how cheaply I could get the old G4 for.

    The refurbs aren't going to dry up. There's only going to be more of them around. I expect most people will wait till they have a new model in hand before dumping the old one (and I doubt the majority of "dumped" machines go back to Apple).
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    Probably true about the refurbs. Except many might have to sell the old one in order to afford the new one. Same difference, though. You're right about supply being there for some time.

    However, I'd guess that the current PBs are going to be more reliable than the first G5s. If you want it to last, I'd say get one now, or get a bumped G4 if they come out soon, but don't get the G5 for a year/the next rev release. Especially a laptop.
     
  10. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    I agree with this which is why I made the comment that I'd rather buy a cheaper G4 than the newer G5.
     
  11. rschapel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    #11
    I might see a slightly better price, but the way apple releases products, the soonest I would see a newer PB (G5) would be that end of summer event. To be honest I find that unlikely if apple does introduce a newer G4 PB, we wont be seeing a new G5 till Jan 05.

    Completely true about the G5, but I feel they will come out with an updated G4 before that. I really don't think the next revision will be the G5, but a better G4, which is ok with me (sure I want a G5, but do I "NEED" a G5 for what I want to do, not to mention the "first" revision issues). The G4 on the other hand could come with a slight speed bump in the processor, a faster Hard Drive. The question comes, are those updates worth the wait and cost difference for what I am going to do.

    Aggh! what to do so many choices!

    --Randy
     
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #12
    Step 1. Figure out what you need.
    Step 2. Buy a system that meets your needs.
    Step 3. Enjoy it and don't look at MacRumors or Apple.com for a few months!

    :)
     
  13. SwitchHitter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #13
    In the Same Situation

    I'm in a similar situation.


    I have a 17" iMac (purchased last Feb when they bumped it up) and I also have a brand new Dell Latittude D400 for work - great machine.

    That being said, I am going to do a digital photography class in early June and one of the specs is to have a G4 Powerbook. It's a pisser that I can't use the iMac.

    Anyway, I seriously want to get into the digital photo workflow - and so investing in a 17" Powerbook, which I will primarily use for photography is worth it. BUT, I don't need the computer until the end of May (as I can play with Photoshop CS on my iMac right now).. so I'm wondering if I should buy a Refurb or hold-out until Apple announces a bump in the PB line (and then, either buy new or get a better price on the Refurb or existing new stock).

    So, in conclusion, I don't need the laptop for my work or hobbies, but do want it for my one week course and would probably use it after quite a bit... Just waiting and wondering and waiting and wondering on when Apple will announce and have available the new PBs.

    Also, I got the fully loaded iMac 17" and haven't used the DVD feature yet... but plan to someday.....

    I'm growing impatient - as I've been scanning all the boards for the last month - almost everyday, waiting for a word or vibe that the PBs will come out. My fear is that I'll have to "settle" for an existing PB G4 17" in May.. and then "two weeks later" Apple will introduce a better, faster, cheaper 17" ... such is life, eh?
     
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
    I also have a 17" (slower than yours) and haven't used the DVD much, except as a backup. I highly recommend backing up your home folder(s) at least, and the DVD makes it trivially simple.

    As far as the 17" PB: my brother has one that's a company system (lucky bastard). He loves it. I don't think you'll be upset if a better one comes out later. It's very, very nice. I've heard that the hard disk upgrade (hacking it yourself) is a very good improvement, but, other than that, it's a very solid system.
     
  15. rjrufo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    Exactly :)

    I bought a Ti PowerBook when they first came out, and have loved it ever since (my first Mac). I recently upgraded the 10 gig HD to a 60 gig, 7200 rpm, which tremendously increased it's speed.

    I also purchased two 17" 800 MHz iMacs in December, '02, and then they were upgraded to 1 GHz a month later. I'm happy with my purchase, but I was kicking myself for not waiting another month.

    After all is said and done, I'm planning on keeping these three computers for a few more years. My perception is that Apple makes quality products, and they make them to last. Unlike the PC manufacturers.

    So, follow the above advice, and you'll be happy with your purchase for several years to come.
     
  16. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #16
    hold out for as long as you can. you might be worried that a deal as good as the refurb you are presently looking at will never come back, but that isn't the case. i am sure there will be an equal if not better deal in the near future, especially if there is an update. the question is: can you hold out that long? i really need a new laptop too, but i know an update will soon be upon us and it is worth it for me to way.
     
  17. SwitchHitter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #17
    I figure I can hold out for one more month - though patience has never been a virtue of mine. I doubt that a new PB will come out in that short period, but I won't give up hope. So, I'll plan on ordering a PB during the first part of May (I just need to have it by the time June 1 rolls around).

    Question: I currently use on my iMac a mouse with two buttons and scroll - and on my Dell, I use the little nob inbetween the keys, plus the double click thing.

    On the PB, the click thing is only a one click thing - but I prefer a two click thing - what do people recommend?

    Thanks.
     
  18. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #18
    I've been on the same fence, and it's getting dern uncomfortable!

    Question about refurb prices: Are they fixed across resellers like new Apple products, or can resellers set any price they want on them. I ask because I wanted to buy local, but they're selling the same note book Randy's looking at for $2099. To my way of thinking that's the "old" refurb price, because the Apple store recently dropped it by $100.

    Any ideas?

    ----
    I love deadlines - I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
    Douglas Adams
     
  19. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #19
    There's been a bunch of threads 2 button mice, for a recent one see:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=62023
     
  20. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #20
    from the looks of it the new pb G4 won't be that much faster so if you can get a good deal now then go for it. new 15" are supposed to be 1.33 so its hardly worth the holdout for an 80mhz increase. when you're over 1ghz you won't notice an extra 80mhz.
     
  21. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #21
    Bring in the Apple store quote and see if they'll match it. They probably will.
     
  22. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #22
    Thanks for the idea, but unfortunately they said no. :(

    From the salesperson, "Our prices have nothing to do with Apple's prices. We just take our purchase price and mark them up by a set %"
     
  23. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #23
    I am not the most Apple savvy guy you're going to meet. I am however one of the most obsessive meticulous researchers of produsts I am considering buying you will ever meet. It drives my wife CRAZY. But, I have yet to fail to get the best value on my tech purchases (except this Toshiba laptop I biught a few years back... great machine, great price on it too. In retrospect, I would have been better served with a 'no-name' laptop for the same price but with better specs... but, since that's not really a problem with with Apple, I think we should discount it ;-) )

    Anyways, I am in the PowerBook market, so I have been watching them (and the iBooks) closely for about 6 weeks now in preperation of my purchase in June (see, I told you I am obsessive about this stuff!)

    Here's what I have come up with:

    1) been quite awhile since any changes to PB line. 6+ months

    2) Alot of people feel that the lack of a G5 in the PB (a 'professional' level line of systems) is what is keeping them (the G5) out of the iMac models. While I don't think that the PB will get a G5 soon, I do think that a bump there is needed before a bump in the iMac line.

    3) The gap between the iBook and PB needs to be widened some, and Apple knows it. iBook sales shouldn't be stealing potential PB sales.

    4) The new 90nm G5 cores are shipping (finally) but in seemingly limited quantities (no dual XServes, for example). I think that Apple will wait to update PowerMacs until they can incorporate the new G5 core (setting them up for just 2 more revisions to get that fabled dual 3gh machine out the door... a switch to the new core, with a good 2.5-2.6 dual machine, and then the big move to the 3ghz machine). That said, they need to do SOMETHING to move some units this summer. Revamping the laptops followed in a few months by a new 'consumer' level system (new e/iMacs) will do just that.

    5) The Mac laptops aren't very competitive price/performance wise with current PC offerings. I think most -* EDIT: maybe not MOST, but alot of *- switchers start with laptops (you can keep your WIntel box at home, and try out this spiffy little iBook as a 'second' machine on the road). But if consumers feel that the laptops aren't up to snuff with the PC alternatives, where's the incentive to 'try it out'?

    Ok, so all that in mind, here is my buying thoughts:

    1) I think we are in the same boat, limited budget, want to do some semi power user tasks, and want to be able to play World of Warcraft on it. (seriously, sad as it may be, that was one of my main switching points: WoW available for Mac at launch!)

    2) Ok, so I'm looking at 2 models (from what is currently available). the 14" 933mhz iBook, and the 1ghz 15" PB. The iBook is cheap. Brand new, with edu or gov't discount (I can get either) with 640MB ram, its like $1300. A steal, really. The 15" PB, refurb, adding extra ram myself, is going to be around $1700.

    2a) The iBook will just barely do what I want it to, leaving me little room to grow in, so the PB is looking better all the time, albeit significantly more expensive.

    3) Based on what I posted above, I BELIEVE new PB's are right around the corner. They will be better machines, in around the same price structure as we have now... I think that by mid April, my choices will change to an 'old' 15" 1ghz PB for around $1500 used/refurb, and a similar in specs (166mhz fsb 64mb vram, etc) new 12" PB for about the same price.

    4) So, in short, I think that waiting till about the first tuesday in June is going to really give new PB buyers some great choices and great deals.

    Hope that wasn't so long that it wasn't helpful!

    Rob
     
  24. SwitchHitter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #24
    Rob,

    I'm almost in the same boat, but I have an awesome iMac (which is all I need... hell.. all I do now is use it for email and to store photos... a waste - but that's why I'm taking an intense course in chicago the first week of June).

    And for that course, I need a PB. Like rob, I do extensive research to a fault. My plan is to wait potentially up until May 17th and order that week. If a great deal comes out before, i.e. new PBs - that's what I'll go for.. otherwise, I can wait until then.

    BUT it would be fun to have a new toy to play with..... ;)
     
  25. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #25
    Thanks

    I just wanted to thank jsw and others who have advocated for taking the lower stress route of just buying the computer that fits.

    I've been agonizing over my own 15"PB purchase for quite some time, and now that the refurbs are available at my local reseller (and they upgraded one of the cards of RAM to 512!) I gonna pick mine up on April 2! :D

    It simply came down to deciding if I wanted to continue this crazy guessing game or finally get to start using a mac again (it's been 6 long years of PCs). When I thought about it that way, it all became pretty clear :rolleyes:

    Thanks to the posters, and good luck to all with their own quests for the perfect laptop!
     

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