Powerbook 15" - buying advise

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Joch, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2005
    Hi everyone!

    I am thinking of buying a 15" PB during this week. I will mostly be using office programs and movie watching on the PB. Because this is going to be my first mac I have some questions:

    1) I just wonder if there is a big difference between 128 vs 64 MB in Vram when you run on dual monitors? (does Tiger/Exposé run smoothly?)

    2) I also wonder if its worth to buy the high-end or if I should pick the low-end 15" but with SP?

    3) How much harddisk space do you have left after the Tiger has been installed?

    4) Do you know any good backpack for a 15" PB. It should have plenty of room for books while I am in collage.

    5) How long do you think the delivery will take if my order will include:
    iPod 20Gb - engraved
    Powerbook 15" - BTO

    Looking forward to switch to mac, finally! :D
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    3) You'll be left with (assuming you get the stock HD) about 65 GB after Tiger is installed.

    5) The delivery will come piece by piece with the PowerBook coming last, and the Mighty Mouse coming first. You should expect to see the mouse 2-3 days after you order, with standard shipping, while the computer may be a week or more. The iPod will come somewhere in between.

    I think the 15" is the best value in the PowerBook line right now. I personally would get the 1.67 GHz model with 100 GB hd and 128 MB of VRAM, but that's probably just my desire to have something top-of-the-line.

    Wait as long as you possibly can for updates, because you'll certainly regret jumping the gun if they come shortly after your purchase. I waited two months for my iBook and don't regret that in the least.
  3. macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004

    welcome to mac... you're gonna love it!

    i second the thought of getting the higher spec 15"er :)
  4. rjc
    macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2005
    Welcome to the macintosh platform. I like it, and I hope you will, too.

    The low-end 15" with SuperDrive is what I'd get, but if you're running dual monitors the 128 MB VRAM will come in handy.

    As for backpacks, I hear that Waterfield Designs makes good bags. For serious protection Tom Bihn has a sleevecase that seems incredibly sturdy. Those are at the high end, though... There are many bags that will give you enough room; obviously, a sleevecase is essential for protecting your $2K laptop within the bag, and those two companies I mentioned have bags with extra padding besides. There's a somewhat overwhelming list at this Macnn forums thread, if you want to check out some options.

    I am one of those stupid people waiting for the next update before buying a PowerBook. The current PowerBook update has apparently been postponed, but whether for days or weeks or months--that's the question. Like everything else, it's a trade-off--if you need the computer now, you may as well get it. I have the luxury of not needing an immediate replacement for my laptop... which is not to say I'm not counting the days until I can get rid of this HP and switch back to mac.

    Good luck!
  5. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Okay, well if you are spanning screens then I recommend as much VRAM as you can handle. Go for the 128MB card. :)

    I suppose it's a case of may-as-well when it comes to getting the high end specs.
  6. macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2005
    I'm going to get rid to this HP and switch to the mac too...and i'm waiting for the update too....we are not stupid at all: the current pb are overpriced given that they are 8 months old....
  7. macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    They are overpriced, however an update might only bring a speedbump... nothing more. We shall never know though. If they simply bump it to 1.7 GHz... would that really be worth waiting for maybe a few weeks or months.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    >4) Do you know any good backpack for a 15" PB. It should have plenty of >room for books while I am in collage.

    You should definitely check out BOOQ bags - http://www.booqbags.com/index.html

    I wish I had a backpack/computer bag this nice while I was in college.

    I have a BP3 system (you can customize the color of the bag) which includes the backpack, the Viper sleeve (perfectly sized for the PB15 - I get "ooh, ahhh" reactions whenever I take it out of the bag) cases for cellphone and pda (I use them for storing assorted cables - keep all my iPod related cables together, etc) and for a limited time, an iPod case (which my bundle didn't include).

    It's a bit pricey at $179.99 (and expensive shipping), but it really is one of the best constructed bags I've ever seen - sturdy, well thought out, stylish in a non-computer geek way (it's not like an oldschool targus/kensington/etc bag). The shoulder straps are also really reinforced and padded, so if you're loaded down with several textbooks, your back will thank you. It's not the biggest bag out there, but should hold what you need to carry...

    [I am not affiliated with BOOQ in any way other than being a happy customer]
  9. macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    office programs + movie watching + dual monitors < 64 Megs VRam.

    I dual everyday, all day, with more or less the above usage (+coding). you don't need 128megs of vram but yeah, if you have the extra bucks spend it. i'd personally go with more RAM tho.

    i like the timbuktu bags with built in sleeve - my bag is for the 17'' because i need the space for books!

  10. macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2005
    I've heard the 128 MB VRAM drains the battery faster. Has anyone noticed this??
  11. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    I've never used a 128MB and a 64MB PowerBook side by side, doing similar tasks before. I doubt I'm in the minority.

    I wouldn't have though a GPU with slightly more VRAM would be all that taxing on the battery though. :)
  12. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The more VRAM, the better.

    High end...get the VRAM.

    Depends on what size drive you have. OS X and all the software (iLife, and other stuff) that comes with a PowerBook takes up about 10 gigs these days

    Tom Bihn makes some excellent laptop bags. Their Brain Bag holds an incredible amount of stuff and holds up well - I've had mine 4 years.

    That depends if you tell Apple to ship everything at once or not. And of course if you pay for faster delivery service or not.
  13. macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    More VRAM = a little more frames in UT2004. I belive the difference is 2-5 frames but don't quote me on that, look at barefeats. Doesn't hurt to get the 128 for this reason only, what if you want to hook up a 30" monitor? Atlease you know you will be able to with a 128MB on your powerbook.
  14. macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2005

    yes he will , you'll nevere look back ever
  15. macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Boston, MA
    At what price?

    I had 2 dell inspirons (9300s); one with 64MB and other with 128MB X300. The 128MB discharges a little faster but i think it is more because of the WXGA+ vs WUXGA+ rather than 128MB. It is worth about 50$ or if you want to use really large monitors (WUXGA - 1920x1200 ~23" Apple Display or higher). The best way to save battery (and probably screw your eyes :rolleyes: ) is to reduce the brightness of the screen. Even couple of points lower also go a long way.

    I just checked the price difference with 128MB (250$?? @2400) even factoring the superdrive! It is just not worth it. if you are not keen on "new" mac & Super drive. Check out the refurb 15" for 1450$ that should save enough cash to get you 20" display + mini even or applecare!. just get a external DVD burner later (~100$).

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