Powerbook advice sought--buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Naimfan, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #1
    All--

    I currently use a Pismo G3/400, which I have had for about 2.5 years. it has the standard 10Gb HD and 1Gb of RAM, which I think is the only reason it is still faintly competitive. I'm currently running OSX 10.2.8 and use it for law school stuff--word processing, powerpoint, photography, web access, research, and the like.

    I recently tried to upgrade to Panther and got a disk error; neither Disk Utility nor Norton Systemworks will run and thus cannot repair the problem. Consequently, I seem to be faced with either buying a new HD, backing everything up, and then doing an erase and install on a clean HD. Being a student, however, I can buy a new PB/Applecare package at the educational rate. And before I graduate I plan on buying the latest/greatest 15" PB anyway. Not that I need it--I just want to own, for once, the very latest PB.

    My question, then, is if it makes any sense to buy a new 15" 1.25 Ghz PB now or if G5 PBs are likely to come out in the next few months. Alternatively, should I just march into an Apple store and let them fix whatever is ailing the Pismo so that Panther will work? According to everything I've read, Panther should work on a Pismo....

    Your thoughts appreciated...

    Bob
     
  2. macreator macrumors regular

    macreator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    New York City
    #2
    Re: Powerbook advice sought--buy now or wait?

    My thoughts are that while a PowerBook G5 won't be coming in the next few months it will be here by the end of the year. If I were you I wouldn't buy a new PowerBook right now if you can wait for the G5. If you want to spend the money on replacing your HD and upgrading to Panther then that's fine but it sounds like you can survive just fine on using Jaguar if it works until you get a new computer. Hope I was of some help. By the way, do you have an AppleCare Protection Plan? If you do and you won't be spending a dime to replace you HD then I would go right ahead and send it to Apple.
     
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #3
    Re: Re: Powerbook advice sought--buy now or wait?

    i would think pismo's applecare would have expired by now...

    i wouldn't count on a G5 PB, but getting a PB while you get a discount is a good idea. i'd wait one more update cycle - get one whenever the current PB is updated...

    on pismo, i am not so sure if you should bother with panther. jaguar should do everything panther can, no? or are you counting on running the latest panther-only software?
     
  4. JasonL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #4
    I'm stuck in the very same dilemma. I've just started grad school and feel that I'll need a notebook soon. This semester I'm only part-time and won't need to spend all that much time on campus, in the library, etc. However, by August I'll be full-time and spending lots of time on campus and sure could use a notebook to help me with research projects, taking notes, etc.

    To compound things my PC just finished dying a slow and painful death. Now, I have to use my kids' PC, which is okay for now, I guess.

    What I really want is a very powerful notebook that can replace a number of the functions I used my desktop for (digital video and photo editing, your basic websurfing, and occasional gaming) so that I don't need to buy a notebook and a desktop right now.

    So, hopefully this semester will go okay and I can get a nice PB by August *crosses fingers*
     
  5. hobbes3113 macrumors regular

    hobbes3113

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Re: Re: Re: Powerbook advice sought--buy now or wait?

    Before I upgraded to a 17"pb I was using a Pismo/500 and had no problems installing and using Panther. In fact this "old" computer could run circles around my friend's g4 pb (early model, can't remember the processor speed). You still might be able to get some good use out of the Pismo, if you are willing to tinker with it a bit. Is there any way you could use a friend's hard drive and do a clean install. It might be worth it to get you through the next few months. Other than that, I agree with jxyama and think that you should wait for at least one more cycle.
     
  6. jsd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    Orange, CA
    #6
    There were a lot of bugs with this line of PowerBooks that seem to have been ironed out at long last. If you're doing nothing but word processing, I think the current 1.25 G4 is perfectly sufficient. It works great for video editing. It might be awhile yet before the next revision or it might happen right away, going to 1.33 GHz/1.42 GHz. Which I don't think will make a spectacular difference. RAM is more important.
     
  7. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #7
    New PB bump G4 or up to G5?

    With your digital video and photo editing interest, there is no substitute for a 17" PowerBook with maxed out RAM, especially if pulling double duty as a desktop.
    Otherwise, a maxed out 15" PB would serve you well.

    Keep this in mind, digital image editing with products like
    • FinalCut Pro4 (about 1/2 price with ED discount) including Soundtrack, RT Extreme, LiveType & LiveFonts, Compressor, and Cinema Tools; or iMovie
    • DVD Studio Pro 2 (or, iDVD)
    • Photoshop 7 or CS;
    hog a CPU and love a Dual Processor, while MS Office, iTunes and iPhoto not so much. That's why Apple is still selling G4 Dual 1.25GHz towers as well as the G5 dual 2GHz.

    Currently, all Apple laptops only have single G4 processors, and frankly that's probably why there is such anticipation for a mobile G5 chip at ANY speed -- if you can only have one chip, it needs to kick butt.

    Happily, the new IBM 970 G5 2GHz chip Apple is using in their G5 Xserve is very attractive for laptop use - small & energy efficient with a low heat factor. Apple is probably selling all the new Dual G5 Xserves it can manufacturer, which may (MAY) be part of the reason for the delay in releasing that chip in PowerBooks.

    Unless Apple has run into a serious problem that is otherwise unanticipated, I find it very hard to believe that release of G5 PowerBooks are not imminently due when supply of 970 G5 chips catch up with demand.

    August 2004 starts Apple's next big 6 month Sales season which carries through January 2005; to miss that fiscal period without a new G5 PowerBook is almost unthinkable. But, Apple won't release a G5 PB until they get all the bugs worked out...that they can find or anticipate anyway. Only if Apple can't do it, I think the G5 PowerBook is a higher priority than a speed bump for G5 towers, and we all have heard the Steve Jobs promise on that one.

    Unless you plan to burn DVD media with iDVD (requiring an Internal SuperDrive) instead of using DVD Studio Pro or Roxio Toast 6, you can use an external firewire 8x Pioneer DVR-107 SuperDrive in a LaCie d2 DVD/CD±R/RW case, or in Pioneer's own box for only about $249 including a FREE full version of $99 Toast 6 - if it says so on the outside of the box (LaCie is running several "deals")

    8x when compared to slow 2x speed on an internal PB SuperDrive is ugly. Most people only burn while in their home/studio anyway, so why not have some real burn power? You will be amazed at how fast, quiet and smooth the new DVR-107 8x Pioneer SuperDrive is. (Fry's just dropped the $229 list price by $30 this weekend to $199, PLUS a $30 mail-in rebate, so I just swapped out the old 2x SuperDrive [DVR-104PB] in my early 2002 G4 dual 1GHz for this speed demon 8x SuperDrive and am absolutely delighted! Can't wait for Verbatim and others to start delivery of 8x media in March; probable cost for a 5-pack is $20 @ $4 each. Apple 2x blanks are now $2; and 4x are $3 each when sold in 5-packs ).

    I love the 15" PowerBook for everything except video editing, which really cries for a supplemental 20" or 23" Cinema Display for serious editing. Combined with the 15" PowerBooks LCD, you get 2 screens, which is optimal anyway. But without the outside monitor, the 17" is the only way to edit.

    Mobile students require an easily portable printer, and I never get tired of promoting the Canon i70 color ink jet mobile printer with optional battery and dock kit - it's light, portable and has awesome color photo output.

    So, if you can bide your time and hold off through August or the end of the year, do so. Otherwise, current PB G4 15" and 17" laptops are great.
     
  8. jsd macrumors member

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    Orange, CA
  9. jevel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #9
    Re: Powerbook advice sought--buy now or wait?

    Had a problem similar to this on my 1.25GHz PB, and doing a backup and then a wipe and install fixed my problem.

    My advice on the buy now or later? If you have the money; go for it! If not; wait. I asked the same question in early december, and many members here told me to wait for MWSF, as they were sure the G5 PBs would be announced. If I had taken their advice I'd still be stuck on my old IBM!

    Easy as that. :)

    -KJ
     
  10. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #10
    SuperDrives in PB write DVD at 2x

    SuperDrive DVD write at 2x speed does pale in comparison to 4x or 8x obtained in half-height laser drives, but at least it is portable - and Apple incorporated the technology into Mac computers first along with reasonably priced blank DVD media. Right? :cool: The true beginning of the digital hub connected by firewire.

    I wonder if 16x really is the physical limit to DVD rotational "write speed". If so, what will the next technology be like that provides us with massive disc storage and even faster transfer of non-linear, random access to data. Or is the laser disk really dead or simply going through a metamorphosis? :eek:
     
  11. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #11
    not to be a total dickhead... but arent there like a MILLION other threads EXACTLY like this already...?
     
  12. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #12
    Now or never?

    Yes, no, & maybe. :D Depends!
     
  13. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
  14. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #14
    Multithreading.

    How "Apple" of US, in an OS X sort of way. If so, it helps to be ADD so I can do more that one thing at a time and not lose focus... :)

     
  15. a17inchFuture macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Location:
    Miami
    #15
    GIVE US G5 POWERBOOK'S SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, felt like venting.

    oh, how my future seems further everyday . . . .
     
  16. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #16
    buy when you need to. one thing is for sure: waiting is forever. when we finally have the G5PB:s here, there's a next big thing coming and waiters will face the need to wait for that one instead. and the next one. and the next one. and waiters are never buying anything, or at least be satisfied with the purchase.

    i know, it's a sad thing to buy something that gets outdated soon, but that's the way of life. everything gets obsolete at some point. psychologically. but the G4PB bought today will be as powerful a laptop that is it today. so, repeating myself, buy when you have the need.

    G5PB:s are not coming before summer, and there will still be significant delay between announcement and delivery. so expect having G5PB at christmas at the earliest... and expect having to wait for the rev-b release; this seems to be such a release i wouldn't risk buying a rev-a unit.
     
  17. JasonL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #17
    MacRAND,

    Thanks for all of your great input. I'm definitely taking notes. Maybe I'll go with a 15" PB with a separate, larger, display for home use. I think a 17 incher might be a bit much for bringing to school everyday. If I'm going to invest this much money I might as well try to wait for the G5 PB. Like I said, though, August is really as long as I can wait *crosses fingers*
     
  18. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #18
    JasonL, sounds like a solid PLAN to focus on NEED and an August cut off date, or jump in sooner if a "deal" seems right.
    1. Plenty of time to budget and save enough money to buy the system you really want.
    2. Current flock of G4 PowerBooks may go down in price making them more attractive come August.
    3. New release of G4 PB with bump in CPU speed & maybe
    availability of a fast 7200 rpm HardDrive upgrade thru the online Apple Store or a
    faster than 2x DVD burner at today's price structure.
    4. G5 PowerBook release (but heaven & S.J.* only knows date of delivery -- expect mass hysteria over demand for initially small supply)
    5. Which in turn will drive G4 PB prices down further, making them even more attractive dollar wise.
    6. Who knows (S.J.?), new Apple Cinema Displays may be released by August for purchase at the same time as PB for coverage by AppleCare @ same price as just the PB?
    (30" Cinema Display for $2499; or Apple DLP projector $2999)
    *(S.J. = Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, or Steve Jobs; take your pick as to which you place your faith. Had I said "God only knows", then many may have assumed Steve Jobs to be included automatically; as opposed to Billy @ Gates of Hades ) ;)

    17" PB is truly a portable thing of beauty but admittedly not the most mobile for student purposes - backpack transport, hand carrying, classroom seating/desk, and forget plane pull-down-tray usage unless seated in 1st class. However, if a Dude is single, a 17" has to be a chick magnet at the university or law library, making a guy more accessible than cruising in a Porsche (not the HD by LaCie). While you're reading something from the stacks,imagine Bose HeadPhones plugged into your PB running iTunes with the Visualizer glowing colorfully across your book in psychedelic 16:9 aspect. God is great, and Mac rocks. :D

    I understand the compact 12" size attraction, but being a 14" iBook man, I feel the 15" PB is almost perfect, and would not be comfortable with the 17" size either. :cool:
    All a loaded 15" PB from Apple lacks is a 7200rpm 60GB Hitachi/IBM HD

    NEWS FLASH: Cingular appears to have just nailed down acquisition of AT&T Wireless (up for sale) which for me could mean improved service & signal since just about anything would be an improvement over current delivery. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Achtung_U2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, U.S.A!
    #20
    Well said my friend! I just gave the same advise on another thread a couple days back in not so many words...

    Yes... waiting is forever. If you followed that line of thinking... you would never own anything, literally. As, there is ALWAYS going to be something better and/or cheaper down the road.

    Buy when you need and/or want.... and be happy with what you have. (or, at least TRY to for a little while :)
     
  20. rschapel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    #21
    but...

    One would have to say there is also a good time to buy and a not so good time to buy. A careful consumer will look at the market and try to determine WHEN is the proper time. For instance I have decided I am going to buy a powerbook (Either a 12 or 15). The current model is 150 odd days old. On average the Powerbook is updated every 163 days. IMHO now is NOT the time to buy. Now there is always the case where "you need a computer now" of course if this is the case, well what are you going to do (buy the mac and consol yourself with, you didn't have a choice)? For me I am a switcher. I want the best experience I can get from my first mac. In addtion I currently have a Windows PC, which may not be the best enviroment, but will get me through the next couple of months. You should try not to buy on the tail end of a product life cycle, at first day prices. Sorry this just doesn't make sense (unless of course you have no choice).

    Be smart, and don't let the urge to have it now over whelm you sensibilities, and your right to be a conciseness buyer. Apple can not afford to leave the powerbook untouched for year, updates will come, it most likely wont be a G5, and that doesn't matter to me. There will be some improvements/price drops to make it worth the wait.

    To me, it actually get EASIER to wait for the updates with each passing day, becuase each day the current line gets OLDER.

    My guess for the next set of updates will be a slight increase in clock speed for the 15 and 17 (1.33 1.4somthing), 12's going to 1.25 though (which will make the 12 VERY tempting to me) A video card update for all three power books (ATI PLEASE) (also a small chance of a hardrive/dvd bruner update). I am guessing this update will come in the april/march time frame. In July we'll see a $100-150 Dollar price drop as they try to clear stock, with the G5 laptop making a apperance at some early fall event. It wont be shipping till nov-dec time frame though.

    This is all just my 2 cents of course...


    --Randy
     
  21. jp21 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #22
    Re: but...

    I agree, I'm waiting for the next PB update too, and I'm not expecting G5's. Mainly I'm hoping for a price drop.

    Sure, there will always be something around the corner, but to minimize buyer's remorse, the best time to buy is right after an update. Many people are understandably impatient, but few really need an emergency upgrade!
     
  22. Bilba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    #23
    Still waiting for an updated G4 15" PB.
    Hopefully, the wait will end soon enough. (I pray to God it will be by the first week of March).

    I am placing the order the minute updates are announced.
     
  23. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #24
    Re: Re: but...

    Well I hate to admit it but I think I'll be buying an updated G4 PB instead of what I really want... Price drop would be appreciated.
     
  24. gemio17 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #25
    I must say that while I agree with all of you about waiting-I bit the bullet and put in the order for my 15"er friday. I have been waiting for 3 months now, and feel that if I keep waiting I am going to go nuts. Life is too short to wait for the next bump, or big thing-I'm not going to be able to afford the G5 pb even when it does come out (even w/my gov't discount). If you want it get it, esp. with the discount - The 15" is a great machine, and even if they bump the hd up to 7200, processor to 1.33 and sd to 4x, it's not that big of a leap, not big enough to justify waiting months and months and months and... I got the 5400 hd and no superdrive-external sd's are cheaper and faster if I really need it eventually. Just my 2 cents. I just got sick of going to visit my pb at the applestore and said f%!@ it, you're mine biatch ....
     

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