Powerbook Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ryanh, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    Alright, here is the deal.
    I would like anyone's opinion on whether or not I should go ahead and buy a 15" Powerbook (Combo drive) on Monday.
    The problem I am having is whether or not I am getting the bang for my buck. In another thread, everyone is saying that the PB has become a sub-par notebook and in some regards, I wholly agree. But is holding out going to produce a better step forward? (ie- faster subsystem, dual G4's, G5, faster RAM, faster HD, better vid. card, etc.)
    Now, I am in no rush to get a computer especially with this semester winding down, but I would still like to have one. Are we going to see them at WWDC? MWParis?
    The talk of funk'd up track pads and then incredibly subpar tech has made me question one last time.
    So what would you guys do in my situation? Keep in mind that I am a starving student and would cry if I only held out a bit longer to get a better computer for the same or less money and also that I am not in a huge rush to be getting it.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you need it now, get it now.

    If you can afford to wait for a bit, then do so... but there's always something newer around the corner. Always...

    You could be waiting another 6-9 months for some of the things you want if they ever appear at all.

    If you told us what kind of things you'd like to do with your Mac then people would be in a better position to advise you.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    You've pretty much answered your own question:
    1. You're in no rush for one.
    2. You feel the current lineup is subpar.

    So, if I were you, no, I wouldn't buy one. Although I suppose with the attitude that it won't be so great anyway, you won't be disappointed.

    However, I am not you, and I find the current lineup very attractive and really, really want to buy one, but can't justify it since my current setup is still working pretty well for me, and I have two preschool kids who need food and clothing, and I have a $2800 property tax to pay before the end of April.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    Well, it's not that I think they are awful, but as of late I have heard a lot of conflicting opinions of them. Some people think they are ****, some people think they still perform great.

    My family has an iMac G5 (base 17") and I have a 933mhz 12" PB (I think it is first gen; I got it a long time ago when I first started to get back into macs after a bit of a hiatus). My PB is basically on it's last legs and I figure it's time to upgrade. The iMac is great but is badly in need of more ram, as most Mac's with only 256 are.

    I plan on using it for basic stuff like word processing, internet, and email as well as a bit more intense stuff like iMovie, Logic Express, photoshop (with some hefty renders), and page layout (ads, brochures, etc.)
  5. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Why do you say your 12 inch pb is on its last legs? Whats wrong with it?
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    Well since the last month or so, it started to boot up really slowly so I took it to a friend of my dad's who is a certified Apple tech and he said that the hardrive was about to crap out but it could be replaced. So then I thought I would just replace the HD and put more RAM in. When he went to do it, he realized that the open RAM slot was shot and that the logic board would need replacing. So I basically said **** it. I had planned on upgrading after MWSF '05, but nothing materialized until February. And now that supply lines have stabalized in my neck of the woods, I'm getting conflicting reports on whether or not to go ahead and get a new PB.
  7. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    If i were you i would just buy it. Its not like this is the first time your making the switch. You already have a pb and you like it so you'll like the new ones even more. Go for it! By the way, does your pb get hot after typing on it for a while?
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    Depends. If I'm only in, say, MS Word, it stays at the average running temp. no matter how long I'm on it. But as soon as I start multi-tasking, it gets noticably hotter quite quickly.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Describe multi-tasking?
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    Like working in Word with iTunes and Fire chat running too. Very regular things to have open while typing. Still doesn't get as hot as when I'm doing Photoshop renders among other things, but it is noticable.

    I guess I could ask you to define 'hot.'
  11. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Hot as in, would it be uncomfortable to put on your lap or put on a table and rest your palms on it while typing?
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    Hmm... nope. Not that I can recall. It has never been hot to the point of being uncomfortable.
  13. macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I fi were you, i would wait. Theres been a lot of bugs with the trackpads. Plus you might end up getting a new revision/G5 powerbook if you wait longer. If you need it now get it, but i would force myself to wait if i were you.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    There isnt going to be a g5 powerbook. The next powerbook will most likely use Cell technology.
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    The Cell is the chip that IBM and Sony co-engineered, correct?
  16. macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2005
    Down Under
    yep the one that is also apparently going to power the ps3
  17. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Well, ok. I'm still in the windows world and I've done a lot of research on new laptops in case I need one (or can justify getting one), and I can't find anything from e.g. Dell or HP that matches the PowerBook hardware (their nearest is slightly cheaper but still doesn't match - and they are Dells and HPs). The only Wintel laptop I would consider buying is an IBM Thinkpad and they cost more than $1000 more than a PB.

    The only things that beat the PB are CPU speed (debatable as to how much advantage this gives the PC, because of the extra background services needed to keep it safe) and screen resolution (again the advantage is debatable, since not all of us are comfortable viewing small hi-res screens)

    So, since you indicate later that your current PB is on its last legs, if I were you I would consider buying one a month before school restarts, to give time to find any possible hardware problems.
  18. macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Sounds to me like you need to buy a 3rd party 1 GB RAM stick
    for your G5 iMac for now and possibly back-up and run a clean install on your older PB.

    That may hold you for a while.

    I feel your pain on trying to get a new computer while dealing with
    other rainy day expenses.

    The only thing I've heard on PB quality control is that it's best
    to have them boot up your new PB and check it before it leaves
    the store.

    Obviously, if you can find a way to take advantage of the education
    discounts, that would save you $200 on a 12" Superdrive PB
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2005
    I don't really want to put any money into the iMac because I would not be using it all that often and I'm not altruistic enough to do it for my family.

    I was maybe thinking a 12" SD but they are pretty hard to come by in Canada. Just a side question if anyone knows, what is the performance difference between the nVidia 5200 mobile and the ATI 9700 mobile?
  20. macrumors 65816


    Jan 20, 2005
    Rockford MI
    I would wait untill MW Paris becuase that seems to be the time frame for the next updates and you will probobly get the most bang for your buck. Then they will probobly have the track pad issues done with.
  21. macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    Me too

    i also plan on buying one of the 15inch powerbooks of course theres always somthing better around the corner but does anyone expect it to be a pronounced change?
  22. macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    A country mile, kind sir!

    That said, I'm planning on keeping my rev. c 12" until it disintegrates on my lap. It's just that good (sheesh, I've changed my tune over the past year!)

    To the original poster, if you need it now, get it now. It's a great deal, the last revision made them cheaper and more powerful. If you're waiting for the next big thing, you'll be waiting forever - there's always somehting in the pipeline.
  23. macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2005
    Germany / Austria - Mozart, no Kangaroos!
    I doubt that. Cell isn´t suitable for Mac Platform out of the box (no altivec and other issues). In case Apple really inteds to introduce Cell on a Mac, that´ll need a lot of time to come
  24. macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2004
    I have asked this question many times. If I'm being truly honest the only reason I'm not buying a PB right now is that I'm worried that Apple will introduce a new form factor to the Powerbook line.

    The current form is a rev. D product, over 2 years old. If I spent $2000 on a PB and then they introduced some new cool design for the PB range in June I'd be completely crushed.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Is it just me? I love the design of the current powerbook line and could live with it whatever cool new design may or may not come.

    Just ordered a 15" Superdrive today :D :D

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