Powerbook 15" 1GHz on order... is 1.25GHz that much better?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by YakkerGuy, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. YakkerGuy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #1
    I have a 15" Aluminum 1GHz Powerbook on order with options. I know it can be upgraded later on with RAM and the like.

    My quesiton is, in the long term, is the extra 250MHz in the higher end 15" worth the price jump?

    Obviously, none of the new Powerbooks are going to be blazingly fast. I'm mostly interested in a long term utilitarian machine for Office and Photoshop and general use.

    I might also add that I've been holding out on buying a laptop until now, so I either keep my 1GHz on order or I change it to the 1.25.

    Thanks!

    -Yakker
     
  2. entropy1980 macrumors regular

    entropy1980

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    May 14, 2003
    Location:
    Canyon Country, CA
    #2
    I went with the 1.25 mainly for a couple of reasons:

    1. Superdrive (can't add it later)
    2. Backlit Keyboard
    3. 80 gig HD
    4. 250 Mhz more (mhz still makes a difference if I can get an extra 250 then I'll take it)

    Just my $.02
     
  3. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 18, 2002
    #3
    Even though the 1.25 has a 25% increase in processor speed, benchmarks are showing only a 11% increase in performance. Macworld is one of these people.

    I'd say if you dont' need the extra features of the 1.25(superdrive, keyboard, etc) then just go with the 1ghz.

    I have a 1ghz for that reason.
     
  4. entropy1980 macrumors regular

    entropy1980

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    #4
    But 11% is 11%
     
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #5
    the standard answer is this: depends.

    you have to judge that yourself. $$$ vs. performance, but performance includes a lot more than just the CPU cycle.

    i personally would want a superdrive and the backlit keyboard. and at that point, with AP Extreme card and RAM factored in, i'd get the 1.25 GHz because it's not much more expensive and you get a bigger HD. the speedier CPU is just a bonus.

    given the widespread use of WiFi these days, getting the AP Extreme card is pretty much a given. so the general idea is that (assuming you can afford both) you should get 1 GHz if you want a combo drive and get the 1.25 GHz if you want a superdrive.
     
  6. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 18, 2002
    #6
    Agreed, but for me personally the performance between the two was similar enough for me to justify the 1ghz.

    I looked at it this way.... right now i dont need the 80gig drive(between my external FW drive and my ipod housing my music collection, i'll never use it). And I know i'll want to upgrade the drive to a faster and more spacious one in a year or so like i did with my tibook.

    Also with some of the money i saved i was able to put towards increased ram (you can get a 512 stick for $100).

    I don't need the superdrive, rather have the speedier combo drive.

    Backlit keyboard doesn't thrill me. Just something else to decrease battery life.
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #7
    You have no idea how useful it is until you use it.
     
  8. leet1 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 3, 2003
    #8
    Is the screen not bright enough to light up the keyboard for you? lol
     
  9. entropy1980 macrumors regular

    entropy1980

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    #9
    Don't knock until you tried it! It really is a nice feature!
     
  10. entropy1980 macrumors regular

    entropy1980

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    #10

    Can't argue with that just figured if I am going to have this thing for awhile may as well get all the performance I can get



    I see what your saying but you could always move your "slow" 80 gig drive to enclosure at that point but moving to a faster drive may also kill your battery life (more RPMs = more battery drain)


    My 1.25 came with 512 granted it's 2 sticks but I can pick up the same 512 stick for $100 and get 768MB :)


    to each his own but it's tougher to upgrade later to burn DVD's rather do it now.
    The screen actually dims when the keyboard lights up and the fact it uses fiber optics makes the LED source lights not consume much power to light the keyboard.
     
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #11
    this is a very common misconception, nothing funny about the usefulness of a backlit keyboard.

    several factors to consider:

    1) to use LCD (or CRT, for that matter) light to see the keyboard, keyboard must reflect the light coming from the display to your eyes. since most keyboards are not coated in reflective paint, this reflected light will be dimmer than the light coming directly from the screen. most of the time too dim to be useful because you must be able to see the dim reflected light through the direct light of the screen.

    one simple solution would be to paint the key stamps and/or key edges on keyboard with reflective paint.

    or illuminate the keyboard with a light source that's more focused and powerful than the display, i.e. IBM thinkpad solution.

    2) LCDs have a narrow viewing angle and unless you tilt the LCD down to face the keyboard more directly (then obviously, you can't see the screen yourself), it won't really light up the keyboard anyway.

    by embedding the light source under the keyboard, you see the direct light source. a very good solution to the problem.

    i'm sure if you are a good touch typist, you won't have any problems even in complete darkness, but backlit keyboard is a very elegant and thoughtful solution for many of us. i wouldn't knock the engineering or the ingeniousness of the idea at all. i think it's worth every penny if you work a lot in the dark airplane or must give presentations in a darkened room.
     
  12. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 18, 2002
    #12
    Fair enough, but like anything something only has worth to those who desire it, backlit keyboard has no worth to me right now. :)

    I'm the complete opposite side of the fence. Its a totally different view over here. ;)

    I'd rather save the extra bucks now and attempt to upgrade in a shorter timeframe.

    For me the 1ghz was enough of an upgrade from my Rev A tibook without the extra's of the top model.

    And doing graphic design on my 500mhz tibook was growing a bit tedious...
     
  13. entropy1980 macrumors regular

    entropy1980

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    #13
    Amen! bottom line is your getting a much faster machine for a pretty fair price... and that I think we all can agree on!;)
     
  14. Prabz macrumors member

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    Sep 25, 2003
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    Meri PHILLY meri jaan!
    #14
    um.. from what I hear, you are 100% Right...






    ..and 100% Wrong:p {I'd leave the math to ya!}


    Here's why: Those who have a PB with the backlit feature actually find it to be totally useful in dark lecture halls etc. For many though, using their typing skillz intuitively, even when blind-folded, comes *easy as a pie!*. However, when it comes to locating less often used numeric symbols, like *,^,% etc., a backlit-keyboard can make their experience..well.. *easy as an apple pie* {...uh-huh:D uh-huh! Pun very much intended!}

    On the other hand, even folks who do have the backlit feature on their PBs swear that it is actually much easier to read the lettering on the keys when it is turned off:eek: . Yep, it seems to some, that the keyboard light tends to compete with the screen brightness, thereby working against itself. Some even claim that, when using their Powerbooks with this feature off, the hollow shadows created within the lettering makes them appear black against the silver keys, thus aiding in their readability!

    Well, there you go! Now you be the judge!
    Cheers
    Prabz
     
  15. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #15
    The effectiveness of the backlighting depends quite a bit on the ambient lighting. I'm in a dark dorm room right now. Lights are off, really cloudy outside, the hallway is dark as hell. The backlight is cranked all the way up, and I can can see the keys so much better than if it were off.
     
  16. YakkerGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 25, 2003
    #16
    I've optioned my 1GHz with the backlit keyboard. That was an added plus I know I'll enjoy :)

    It sounds as if I won't gain by leaps and bounds by jumping $300 or so more for the 1.25 GHz. I think what matters to me more is the new technology that's built into both models (FW800, USB2.0, Bluetooth, 2GB RAM limit, PCMCIA slot, Lighted keyboard, etc.)

    I'll stick with my 1GHz.

    Thanks guys!

    -Yakker
     

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