Opinions about PB purchase.......

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by smitdavi, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. smitdavi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #1
    Heres the deal. I'm a webdesign student at Indiana University and would really like to have a PB for second semester. I already have Dual G4 1.25 tower, and need a PB to take on campus or on the road. I have about 2,800 at my disposal, and could possibly wait until the end of January. If apple doesn't do anything with the PB line, besides some speed bumps, what would be the best way to spend that 2,800 to have the ultimate machine? Thanks in advance.


    David
     
  2. chrismcdowell25 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #2
    PB

    I have the 15 inch powerbook. It is hard to find bags for the 17 inch and the 12 inch is a little small and lacks the performance. I went witht the 15 with the faster hard drive 5400RPM and the 128 MB of RAM for the graphics card. I belive with the student discount it ended up at about 2,100 I would get some more ram 1GB would be nice I have 512. If you want you could get the bluetooth mouse esspecially for playing some first person shooters. I recomend call of duty. The new expansion United offensive is out and is a huge improvment. You could also if you want to spend grab an airport extreme or express to do wireless and I got the axio backpack http://www.axio-usa.com/html/p2.html I went with the swift. It is cool and I am planning on getting a motorcycle so it will be more practical after that. I think the only thing they are going to add on the new PB line is going to be a bit faster processors and a faster graphics card with more video RAM. and although that would be really nice my 9700 mobile with 128 is still very good.
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #3
    I'll chime in and say that the PB 12" is a perfect general solution. The only limitation i see is that the RAM max's out at 1.25gb. I carry mine in a leather legalpad case. I would say that the BTO option of the 80gb HDD with 5400rpm is worth it after seeing the performance difference between my PB and eMac.
     
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #4
    since you already own a desktop, i second chipnovamac's suggestion and recommend a 12" PB.
     
  5. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #5
    This is your portable solution. All times that you are home you will be using your desktop. That means that most gaming or other processor intense stuff you will be doing on your desktop. Maybe you'll use the laptop while watching tv or cooking... etc it'll only be to play music, type, surf the web. Make the damn thing as portable as possible since its purpose is portability. As slim as the 15" powerbook is, it's still really bulky compared to the 12". I mean, hell, I might recommend just getting a 12" ibook if already have such a nice desktop. You can spend the extra $ on a nice display for your desktop. The ibook is more durable, nearly as light. You just miss out on a few things taht are only relevant to specific people - audio in, extra ram... the processor speed dif. is negligible. The bigger books are really specifically designed for people who 1) work exclusively off their laptop, or 2) handle serious business like web design or graphics design while htey are on the road. Otherwise the extra screen real estate and processing power is pretty much irrelevant. A nice screen for your desktop will improve your computing experience much more.
     
  6. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #6
    That's what I'm doing is webdesign and graphics. I travel on the weekends, and I'm usually on campus all day long wishin I had a laptop with me to do assignments with. My girlfiriend goes to school out of town and I'm usually gone a few weekends out of the month. I usually have to be back by sunday morning to get my assignments done because I don't have any other way to complete them besides on my desktop at my appartment. Also I find myself at friends house working on webpages or assignments wishing both of us could do work, and not have to work on the same machine. The reason for the powerbook is that I can't be at my desktop as much as I like and would like to be able to complete assignments and projects, this pb isn't just going to be used for surfing, email, etc...It will be a portable work machine.
     
  7. Norouzi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    I'd recomend going with the 15" if you can afford it. As a web designer you'll definatily appreciate the widescreen display of the 15. The 12 is a nice machine but when working in applications that take up alot of screen real estate you'll love that extra space. Not to mention that the 15" has a better video card, always a plus in OS X.
     
  8. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #8
    so far everyone that I've talked to on campus (professors, AI's, etc...) says the 15 is better for screen space. Once you get the web design/graphics apps open there isn't enough space on the 12 to fit all your tool bars etc.
     
  9. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #9
    I have a 15" pb and i find the screen perfect... my brother has a 12"ibook and find the screen way to small esp if your going to do web design...
    I got the 15" because i plan on doing video editing so the extra screen size and power is needed...and i don't care what people sa, its super portable. Is light and thin and goes everywhere i go
     
  10. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #10
    so what should I add to the PB when ordering or subtract. Can I get RAM cheaper from somewhere else?
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    Yes.

    Do a Forum Search for RAM related recommendations.

    Some people here swear by Crucial, others detest them...

    I like Crucial, but only because we have fewer online IT retailing options available in the UK.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    Until this past week I designed every ad for my company on the PB 12". I added a 2001FP from Dell as an Xmas present to myself. The 20" is sweet, but I could do the job well on the 12".
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #13
    I recommend OWC, though OUTPOST.COM had the 1gb at a great price.
     
  14. betsbillabong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #14
    I would wait until after MWSF, and then get a 15" with the faster hard drive and upgraded video RAM. But you should definitely stick with buying the minumum RAM from Apple (256) and then buy a gig from somewhere else (I bought mine from newegg.com, but I think outpost has a better deal; I didn't know about that when I bought mine).

    You could also save money by getting a combo drive if you don't think you'll need to burn DVDs from the powerbook (since your desktop probably has one).

    I have a new 15" and it's great... very fast and sleek. I'm sure the ones that come out in January will be even better. And coming from a 12" iBook, I really really appreciate the screen both in terms of space and quality. If you're mostly doing graphics, you'll like it. It's fine for me as my only computer.
     
  15. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #15
    My desktop doesn't have a superdrive, so I think I'll get it in the pb.
     
  16. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #16
    The mininum RAM you can get is 512, is there anyway you can get less from apple?
     
  17. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #17
    The SuperDrives in the Apple portable line is 4x it takes ~27 minutes to burn a ful 4.4GB formated DVD if you are willing to sit for ~27 mins on a full DVD that is a long time to burn an Optical.

    8x portable DVD burners are better about ~14 minutes to burn a full formated 4.4GB DVD disc.:)


    Wait till after MWSF 2005 the best advice at this point its only about 2-3 weeks away. :)
     
  18. betsbillabong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #18
    My PB came with 256... due to a time crunch and my first BTO powerbook arriving DOA, I had to buy one in person at a store, thus a stock model. The Apple Stores have only stock models of the PBs, plus one super-high-end one that I think is a complete ripoff as you're paying for their RAM primarily (someone correct me if I am wrong).

    With educational discount, mine cost $2300. I think with the faster hard drive and VRAM you're looking at another $200, plus another $200 or so for third-party RAM.

    And yeah, it's true about the superdrive. It's faster to burn with an external if you don't need to burn on the run. Though it's faster to be able to burn on the spot without having to go home to do it (!) So it depends on your situation. I like having the superdrive in there myself. I had a 4X CD burner until last month so it still seems fast to me ;-)
     
  19. rstroud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    #19
    Hey! Greetings from southern Indiana. My hometown is Bedford, just a mere 20 mins south of IU. Although I do go to the University of Evansville, I have a lot of respect for IU students. Good luck on the decision!
     
  20. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #20
    I dunno about the superdrive - In 21 months, I've used the one in my PB exactly three times, to make backups. If I had an external HD, I probably would never have used it at all. I'd put an 8x superdrive in the desktop if I were you.
     
  21. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #21
    That's weird I'm from Mitchell, and all my dads family lives in Evansville.
     
  22. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #22
    I agree with tristan. You can get an 8x superdrive (Pioneer 107 or one of the other drives that has its drivers in OS X) for around $80. If you want you could even get a 16x superdrive such as a Pioneer 108. The 108 will require Patchburn to function as a superdrive, and both the 107 (I think) and 108 (for certain) will burn dual-layer DVDs with Toast 6.0.7.

    If you want to save a little cash, drop the superdrive from the PowerBook and add one to your Power Mac.
     
  23. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #23
    What specifics are we looking at here, price wise and product wise?
     
  24. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #24
    Here are two configurations to consider. Both of them are 1.5GHz and 15", starting at $2299 with the educational discount.

    The first one is stock. Replace the Superdrive with a combo drive and it costs $2119.

    The second one has the 128MB VRAM and 5400RPM HDD options, and also replaces the Superdrive with a combo drive, for a final price of $2254.

    Newegg.com has the Pioneer 108 for $72.99 (at the time of this posting).
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?submit=Go&DEPA=0&description=N82E16827129157

    To fit this drive in your MDD you need to remove the front of the tray. That's not difficult to do.

    edit:

    add two of these:
    http://ramseeker.com/scripts/counte...ory.com/ramseeker/?itemID=502372&itemTYPE=cat
    ($219 each at the time of this posting) and you'll have the maximum 2GB RAM in the PowerBook. I've ordered all my RAM from that place and they're great. The best part is you'll still be pretty much within your budget, depending on how your PowerBook is configured.
     

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  25. smitdavi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    #25
    ...and the good thing is I can get the edu discount throught IU!
     

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