Powerbook Woes: It is because I'm indecisive and annoying that I post this

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ryvius, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Ryvius macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    #1
    Quick overivew:

    Currently use my 12" Powerbook for everything since over the summer I had limited space and couldn't use my PC desktop in my apartment. I got used to it. A little to used to it.

    My friend wants to buy my 12" Powerbook (1.5 years old) for $1,100. I have enough saved to get a brand new Powerbook with a Superdrive (old one just had combo). However, if I sold my PC I could get a 15" fully loaded with 128 megs of Video Ram and a Superdrive.

    My complications are such:
    - I love the portability of the 12" — I'm on my bed with this on my lap as I type this. I take it everywhere I go. Everywhere. Could I get the same portability with the 15"?
    - I do a lot of image editing so the extra screen size would be nice for Photoshop. I do a little gaming, primarily Homeworld 2 and some random FPS. Would the 128meg Radeon 9700 really make these apps scream as much as I think it would?

    I can get buy great with the 12" and my desktop PC. I could also probably get along great with just one 15" Powerbook.

    What would you guys do if you were in my situation? :)

    -- Ryvius
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    The desktop plus laptop combo is great IMO because it gives you one machine for portability and one dedicated for more intense stuff. Plus, you have a backup machine if anything ever goes wrong. With that in mind, have you looked at getting an iMac G5 (far more powerful than the PowerBook) and an iBook G4? Sorry for not really helping/answering your question directly, but I'd say it's worth a look. :)

    Nevertheless, you'll notice quite a speed jump going from the old 12 inch PowerBook to the new 15 inch one.
     
  3. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    I'd go with the 12 inch, as you won't get the portability you've grown used to with the 15 inch. If you later find that you would like a bigger display, you could always use some of the money you saved to buy a monitor, but if you buy the 15 inch you won't ever get it to shrink, even if you ask it nicely.

    I had a widescreen latop (hp), and besides from the windows operating system there was nothing wrong with it, but I couldn't stand the fact that I couldn't take it anywhere with me. A 12" powerbook was a much better solution for me.
     
  4. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #4
    Get the 15"!!!!!

    Portability is not a problem, I'm on my bed atm typing this. I use my PB all over the house without any problems whatsoever. I have also found it fine to take to school, not too heavy at all.

    The screen is just the perfect size for me, the 12" is just a bit too small for my liking. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, watch DVDs, along with all the other normal stuff also without any real estate issues.

    As for gaming, I play WoW on my machine now and again and it does a great job at it (and i only have the 64MB card btw)

    In the end, as long as it's a Mac, you'll love it!
    ;)
     
  5. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #5

    I would see if you can swing his suggestion...but then again in am kinda partial to that setup. :)

    I love having two computers. The G5 is great for the heavy photoshop stuff and movies and all that. And my stock 12in iBook can even do most of it, al be it slower. I do play games on the iBook also. Mostly Return of the King and it runs pretty well with the settings turned down a little. Movies are not a problem either, you can see the screen ust fine. iMac and iBook are the best setup you can have right now, in my opinion.

    Just my $.02
     
  6. Euan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Yep, you could look at a combo of 15" PB (Maybe with additional screen) and a iMac G5 and iBook. That may give you what you want on all accounts. It's something I've considered but I think that I am more likely to go for a laptop (space issues) but I may get an additional 20" screen.
     
  7. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #7
    The 15" PB is not as big as people think. I bring my TiBook and a Wacom Bluetooth Tablet to school everyday and my backpack is lighter then most people.
     
  8. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #8
    Get the 15" pb.

    I've owned a 12" for 2 years and have upgraded to a 15" in spring. I hardly notice any difference in portability, taking it to an agency and back home almost every day. Both fit into my bag nicely and I do not notice any weight difference. Even watching movies while travelling by train is no problem with the 15". As small as the differences in portability are as huge is the joy over the extra screen space. Going from 12" to 15" widescreen is an enormous change. I'm working as a graphic designer and since I got the 15" I hardly use my additional 17" monitor at home. It was neccessary when doing photoshop/illustrator/indesign work with the 12". So if you can afford it the 15" it's the better choice. I've played homeworld 2 with it and it runs the game amazing.

    So, just my oppinion, hope that helped.
     
  9. MacPassion macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    OZ
    #9
    Do you use an external monitor at work with your PB 15''? I have the same problem: i need to carry the laptop at work everyday (I dont want to use the Dell w CRT monitor that they supplied me with!!!) but I really want a good display. Considering money issues, would you go for a 12'' plus external monitor (cinema display 20'' maybe...) or for a 15'' without external monitor? And, is a 15'' good enough to work on all day without an external monitor?
     
  10. Bob_Barker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #10
    Get the 15"!

    I had the 12" PowerBook for a long time and I upgraded to the 15" last spring. It took about a month and a half to adjust to the size, but in the end I was much happier. Especially if you are using Photoshop, there is no substitute for screen space. You will be happier in the long run, though you may have a tough time adjusting.
     
  11. antrabbit macrumors member

    antrabbit

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    The 12" is the most portable, I've dragged mine around the world with me and it fits into bags no other computer could. I've got an old monitor at home for the extra screen space.

    But the 15" is almost as portable and if you're only planning on taking it on short journeys, or journeys by car, the 15" would probably suit you better for the stuff you want to do on it. You only really need one computer with a powerbook, as long as you have an external harddrive to back everything up on, just in case it gets nicked or broken.
     
  12. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #12
    The 15 inch PB (on which I type this post) is super-portable. And though it's not the 20 inch iMac I used to have at work, the screen size is pretty great. Hook up an external HD and it could easily be your only machine ...
     
  13. Euan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Some interesting views. I think a lot comes down to personal preference but you're probably best going to a store and seeing them side by side, having a go on them and that will give you an idea of which model you want.

    I'm going to do the same myself.
     
  14. Ryvius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    #14
    Thanks for all the comments, folks.

    I went to the Apple store and compared the 12" and 15". I like the design of the compact 12" more than the 15". It just feels sleaker, there's something about the audio speaker pannels on the 15" that diminish it.

    However, the weight difference is less than a pound. Mobility wise it's very capable.

    Performance seems to be the next deciding factor -- I need to go through the forums and crunch the numbers. I suspect if C&C Generals and Homeworld 2 run like silk on a decked out 15" I'll be sold, since they are the most demanding "applications" that I know of. :)

    -- Ryvius
     
  15. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #15
    As I mentioned I've got an old 17" Crt at home. At work I only use the 15" monitor of the pb. Sometimes I wish I had an additional monitor but in general I must say graphic design work on the 15" pb without an extra monitor is fine. Of course it depends on what you are used to. One of the other designers there is going on holiday for the next 2 weeks and I can use her 20" Cinema Display during that time with my pb. I'm wondering if I'll still consider 15" enough after those 2 weeks...
    :D

    Edit: My eyes don't hurt after 8 hours of work on the 15", so I think it can't be too bad.
     
  16. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #16
    Actually... I think if it is not urgent you should just hold on to your cash.

    I'm seriously contemplating a switch soon too. Actually I have been considering a switch last time when the PBs got updated.. except that update was so uninspiring, and I swore... "Next time PBs get updated I'll switch!"

    Then come MWSF.. and I kinda ate my words :D

    Definitely created doubts, but as it is, the current line right now... it is totally not worth the upgrade from what you've got currently. Just hold on to your cash for either a update soon.. or maybe even a MacIntel PB.

    I'm seriously lusting for the virtualisation feature on that new CPU.. to run multiple OS simultaneously does open completely new possibilities as far as computing goes.
     
  17. MacPassion macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    OZ
    #17
    Thanks a lot for your contribution! You definitely convinced me to go for a 15"...I dont want to use the CRT-Dell that I have in the office....my eyes really hurt! The 15'' is still very portable and the specification are better than the 12''..Let's see if with the update it will get even better!!!
     
  18. Euan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Yep, at least wait until after Expo if you can.
     
  19. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #19
    Agreed. I've played with the new 15" and 17" PBs running at 1.5 & 1.67GHz. They do not FEEL faster than my 12" (1GHz). I'm sure they are for programs like Photoshop and GarageBand - MAYBE - but those programs tend to like RAM even more. I, too, am waiting until I can FEEL a difference.

    Besides, I have a powermac dual 2.3. That sucker is FAST.
     
  20. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #20
    Yeah, the feel is important man..

    I doubt anything radical would happen these months though, since OSX-x86 is still under development.. there goes to wishing that Apple would at least switch to Pentium M now first.
     
  21. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #21
    You are welcome
    :)

    Just a suggestion: I never use the 17" crt at home as my main/working monitor. But it is quite handy when I get changes from clients via email or have to import text from a word file to indesign. I've got mail/word open on the crt and indesign on the 15" pb monitor. Saves the time of always switching the programmes. You could try that with the dell in your office too.
     
  22. Ryvius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    #22
    I'm bummed greatly that there isn't going to be an update to the PB line until Christmas at the earliest.

    But my 12" Powerbook is sold. So buy now I must...

    One more question, my current 12" Powerbook is a 1.33ghz G4 with 700-some megs of ram. How much of a performance increase am I going to see with a 15" Powerbook with a 1.67ghz G4, 1.5gig ram and 128meg Video card?

    Slightly noticable? Really noticable? Or will it blow my socks off?
     
  23. paperinacup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #23
    I wouldnt say it'll blow your socks off but I would say it will be really noticeable. You would be surprised how a better graphics card and more RAM will improve a system!
     
  24. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #24
    I agree that the performance will be better, but I don't think it will blow your socks off either. :cool:
     
  25. MacPassion macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    OZ
    #25
    Thanks again!
    ....no update at the Expo, eh?!! and I've found someone interested in buying my HP laptop for a good price...Now I definitely dont know what to do! If i wait, I will miss the opportunity to sell my laptop....If I buy now, I know I'll not be 100% happy with the current PBs or Ibooks....
    I'm curious about indesign...do you think it would be good to write a dissertation? I was thinking to do what you mentioned: writing every chapter in word (bc it is just handy....you know, for other ppl to mark on it) and then merge everything on indesign: so I'm sure that Word will not mess my document around....large files in Word do not last long!
     

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