Powerbook vs. Dell Inspiron

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by matthewamzn, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2004
    I'm looking at getting a new notebook. I don't do much graphical design but I do use Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I would also like to get a notebook that could play games well (Unreal Tournament, World of War Craft etc.). My question is, is it worth it to get the faster Dell Inspiron 9200 or go for the sleeker design of the Powerbook 15inch 1.33GHZ?

    Powerbook Specs:
    15.2-inch TFT Display
    1280x854 resolution
    1.33GHz PowerPC G4
    512K L2 cache
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM
    60GB Ultra ATA/100
    ATI Mobility Radeon
    9700 (64MB DDR)
    Full size keyboard
    Gigabit Ethernet
    FireWire 400 & 800
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    DVI & S-Video out

    Dell Inspiron 9200 Dell Inspiron 9200 Specs:
    Intel® Pentium® M 725 Processor (1.60GHz/400MHz FSB)
    512MB DDR SDRAM at 333MHz 2 Dimm
    60GB2 7200rpm Hard Drive
    128MB ATI's™ Mobility Radeon™ 9700
    Intel® PRO/Wireless 2100 Internal Wireless (802.11b, 11Mbps)
    Mid Range Price $2049
  2. macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The Dell will be a bit faster, but it weigth 7.72lbs!!!!!!
    (the powerbook weights 5.7lbs)

    The 9200 will crush the Powerbook when it comes to gaming,
    but the powerbook will run UT2004 and WoW ok.

    Why not look at the dell inspirion 8600? Its much lighter than the 9200 and you can get it with Ati Radeon Mobility 9600 Turbo (about the same performance as the Radeon Mob 9700) for the same price.

    I would pick the Powerbook before the 9200 any day! I can't imagne carrying around a 7.7lbs laptop....
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2004
    Hmmm. I suspect you are only going to get one answer around here! ;)
  4. macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    powerbooks are just about to be updated so i would put it off till they are updated.

    i would still get the powerbook just for the fact that i could just do what i wanted without being bugged all the time with antivirus crap and spyware, the powerbook that is out now will play all the games you mentioned not that well (aka 20-30fps for WoW).

    the powerbooks sleekness is a giant plus, for me it would be a no brainer, but if you really need speed the pentium M is faster.
  5. macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2004
    In my opinion, Laptops are not the best gaming machines.... If you really want a portable for gaming then fork out some cash and get a GamePC notebook or Voodoo machine... DO NOT GET ALIENWARE (horrible experience)

    If you get one of these machines be aware that they really don't count as a portable due to the fact that they weigh about 15 pounds, so you really need a wheelbarrow for your portable.

    Secondly, Your battery life will be about 15-20 minutes, and then it will drop to 10, so you have to plug the thing in anywhere you go.

    and Lastly... People bitch about the powerbook getting hot... Try my old Gamepc notebook.... Plus the engineering geniuses who designed my notebook put the fan blower on the right so you get nice hot air blowing all over your mouse hand... (Good for cold cliamates I guess)

    While my old wheelbarrow laptop was screaming fast... 3.0 GHz P4, 1G Ram and 800 MHz FSB. I can honnestly say that I am WAY happier with my one week old 15' powerbook

    and BTW, if you need it get it DON'T WAIT... I waited until Macworld to buy mine, and wish I had bought sooner but didn't because, people have been posting on this forum to wait...UPDATES AROUND THE CORNER!... HA HA HA if I had a dollar for everytime I read that I would be a rich man.

    Anyways... if you really want a nice machine and you want to learn something new, get the powerbook... and get an Xbox or something for you other games... otherwise, get the Dell.... and continue to update, and patch and don't forget the AV.....

    BTW I just bought a 1 G single stick of RAM for my powerbook for $225.00... If anyone would like to know where to get such a deal just ask me.

  6. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    The crappy Dell comes with 802.11b wireless!?!?!?! Hahahahaha, that's funny. The PB comes with 802.11g, which is infinitely faster than 802.11b. PowerBook definitely the better deal. It's faster, more durable, much better OS, better wireless, lighter, just all-around better, and it's cheaper. Go for the PB.

  7. macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    If you are really looking at gaming, you should go with Dell. UTK runs specially crappy on Macs.
    Personally I would take the pb any day.

    But boy that Dell is really expensive. I thought that all Dells are really cheap....
  8. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    Dells are really cheap.....in quality.

  9. macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    as much as i'm a apple zealot, 802.11G is only 5x faster and it dose not do jack for your internet speed which is what most people use wireless for anyway. face it the 1.7GHz pentium M destroys a 1.33GHz G4 heck a 1.33GHz pentium m beats a g4 most of the time, it's better in every other category but those two claims are fallacies.
  10. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    But with a PC you have to run internet security and spyware/adware blockers which will slow everything down. Also, after a month or two, Windows always slows down a lot. With Mac OS X, all you have to do is some regular system maintainence, and it's still just as fast as it was originally.

  11. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    I am of the opinion that it is almost never worth it to get a gaming laptop. For the $ you pay to get a solid gaming laptop, you could buy a desktop that would be better for games and you could buy an infinitely more portable laptop. You could buy a $1000 desktop PC which would perform much better than any laptop for games, would have a bigger, brighter screen and would be much more upgradeable. Then for another $1000 you could pick up a 12" ibook that has a 3.5 hour battery life, weighs 1/4 as much... in short it is actually portable.

    Now if you don't want to deal with having two computers or you game too much to compromise gaming performance for practicality and usability, then don't look at Dells or Apples. If you are still torn then i would wait and see if the powerbooks get upgrades in the next week or two.
  12. macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Hey, if you're interested I'm selling the above Powerbook with upgrades. I built it especially for gaming so it has 1GB RAM, 128MB VRAM, faster hard drive... I have played both WoW and UTK and both run quite well. Message me or e-mail me if you want to discuss price... I will sell it for much cheaper than Apple will. I am also throwing in accessories. The listing is right here.

    Um... you must be really misinformed because this simply isn't true. Especially in regards to the current mobile GPU technologies. The 9700M in my laptop is the same GPU they put in a Dell!

    In fact, the PowerBook is on-par with a PC rig I have currently been using: 3.2 GHz w/HT, 1GB RAM, 128 nVidia 5600FX Go... except it's a piece of !@#$ that weighs 9 lbs. and gets so hot it's uncomfortable to use. World of Warcraft does not even render correctly on this machine, a problem I have been trying to fix. You won't get desktop performance, but at least the Powerbook renders the game correctly!
  13. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy part of the Pacific NW
    I had an Inspiron (purchased four years ago). If you do some checking, you'll find that they tend to have a LOT of problems, and end up having a shorter useable life because over time the low-quality components will fail.

    I had numerous problems with the laptop, culminating with getting a new keyboard on it about a year ago as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement. But shortly thereafter my daughter spilled milk on it (good riddance to bad rubbish; there was a lot wrong with it anyway). She now has a 12" iBook, and isn't allowed to drink anything around it. ;)

    If you're going to get a PC laptop, and you're going to get a Dell, spend the extra $$$ and buy one of the Latitudes.

    Personally, if I were that much into gaming I'd buy an Alienware desktop machine for the games and an Apple Powerbook for everything else. :D
  14. macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2005
    Echo'ed..... I'd wait to see what comes out. That is unless you are needing practice for a tourney or something.

    And yes, you pretty much are going to get one answer around here.

    If you were going to get the current PB, might as well jump to the 1.5 15". Spend a little extra coin, get a better machine.

    It's all moot anyway, Apple is launching the new PB very soon.
  15. macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2005
    By the way, tuesday is the normal day for launching new products in Apple-dom. Helps so you don't have to ping the hell out of the apple store waiting for updates.
  16. macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    First of all, if you're going to be making a decision between an Apple laptop and any Wintel, do yourself a favor and don't even consider anything from Dell. I'm not very fond of their desktops, either, but every one of their laptops that I've seen has been absolute junk--they're huge, heavy, ugly, and of remarkably low quality. There are some decent non-Apple laptops, but Dell doesn't make them.

    That said I'm with most others here; the Pentium M-based laptops will be a bit faster than Apple's PBG4s in absolute terms, but it's probably not worth it--Apple makes *very* nice laptops, and I know a lot of people who are very happy with them.

    Buying a laptop for gaming is a loosing proposition--either an Apple or a Wintel laptop will probably be functional for MMORPGs or lightweight shooters, but they're just not going to hold up very well to any serious gaming
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    i can honestly say that my parents own the dell and i own the powerbook.
    so i can compare and my powerbook will do some things their dell won't and their dell will do somethings my powerbook won't... like solitare

    but seriously, if you're going to play games, by a sager. if you want productivity w/ no popups and spyware, go for the poewrbook, i think it is worth the money, but domeone above does have a point, i'd wait as long as you could because there is an update coming soon... ultimately

    hope i could help
  19. macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    if you are going to get a pc laptop get an IBM thinkpad they truly are great pc laptops, my friend has one from about 1996 and it still runs windows 95 great and he uses to this very day.

    powerbooks are still better in all areas bar cpu speed.
  20. macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    i had a dell inspiron 8200 and whilst it was just ok the quality of the compnents left a lot to be desired. just after the 2 yr mark the screen/cdrom/keyboard all failed. i (well my employer, hence the dell in the first place!) luckily had cover and had all the bits replaced.

    i now have a 12" powerbook (rev c) and love it to bits. the thing is so solid compared to a dell.

    the only thing i don't like is the creaking hinges (a known prob) and the way the touchpad reacts if you have clammy hands.
  21. macrumors newbie


    Mar 12, 2004

    Unless you need this computer immediately, I would wait a few months. Apple supposedly is planning to release either a G5 Powerbook, or a Dual-core G4 late spring sometime. When/if they do, either of these machines would kick dell-ass anyday. Personally I would never be caught dead buying a dell.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    I'm sorry, this is just wrong. You can do more things with PCs...install more software and games, etc. Trend-micro PC-cillin and Adaware do not slow my computer down at all, noticeably, even when scanning in real time. You are right in that a PC will get slower after two months, but that is only if you (1) do something incredibly stupid to mess it up or (2) do not have any spyware or virus protection at all.
    If you are concerned about reliability, get an Apple (even though my experiences with Dell have been great). If you want power, get the Dell. If you choose the latter, I suggest that you order a b/g card in addition to the specs you listed in your initial post.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004
    dual core's won't be sampled until 3rd quarter... good luck getting that.. and unless ibm has sneakily been redesigning the G5 DRAMATICALLY then no dice for that either.. speed bump is all you'll see
  24. macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    End of Life

    What does EOL mean? I thought it means that Apple wont make parts for the current set of PowerBooks. Which means a design change of some sort. Weither that be just speed bumps, or the not so likely G5 chips, something is up. Or for every speed bump there comes an EOL notice?
  25. macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2003
    Simple decision really...

    ... ultimately it comes down to whether you want a portable that works reliably or not. My 3 year old Ti PB has travelled everywhere with me, taken incredible punishment and has NEVER had a single problem. Nor has the OS ever crashed since Panther was installed (and only once under Jaguar). In the same period, my colleague has had an IBM and two Dell monsters, all of which have given him life-threatening moments of stress :) weeks of no laptop while they were repaired, and months or grief trying to combat viruses, spyware and all sorts of other crap.

    Me, I'm not wedded to Apple in any way. But right now, and for some time, their laptops have simply wiped the floor with everything else my company has tried (around 200 units per year). I like to use my laptop not fight with it. But hey, some people just like the challenge, right?

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