PPC PowerBook or Intel PowerBook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mammajamma, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #1
    I have quite a conundrum. I use a lot of professional audio applications such as Logic, Digital Performer, Cycling 74 Max/MSP, SuperCollider, etc. I am currently in the market for a portable Mac that will run these applications. However, with this Intel transition looming, I am wondering if I should buy a PPC Mac or a Intel based Mac. I don't think Rosetta will run many of these audio/video applications efficiently (if at all), and was designed primarily for applications such as PPC Microsoft Office etc. I also don't know when or if native versions of these applications will be ported to the Intel processor anytime soon. Do you think I should get an PPC PowerBook G4 now and use this until the software is ported natively, or should I jump into the water and get a Intel PowerBook as they are announced in Macworld in January? Let me know as I will purchase a Mac today if I can.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    No one knows... there's plenty of rumor and conjecture, but no one knows. I think it HIGHLY unlikely that PBs with x86s will be coming in or around January.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #3
    I think there's quite a bit of evidence pointing to a Intel PowerBook or Intel iBook announcement at Macworld... We can't be 100% sure of course, but all odds say "yes!". Does this mean you think I should stick with a PPC PowerBook or wait a get a Intel PowerBook?
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Where? Links?

    Well, ask yourself this then, assuming they DID announce one, would you want to have the 1st Gen of it and all the (possible) inherent problems?
     
  5. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #5
    Intel iBook in January...a possibility. Powerbook? Nope , probably not.

    I don;t think that the first gen intel laptops will have all the issues some are implying, but I think you'd probably be happy with either choice.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #6
    They've recently redesigned the logic boards on the Rev-E PPC Powerbooks, so I stand by my original prediction that Apple will try to put in a 7448 G4 in first.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #7
    I personally don't mind have a 1st Gen. Besides, I would most like get AppleCare with it. If anything went wrong, Apple would fix it or replace it.

    By the time the 2nd or 3rd Gen came out, I could then sell it and upgrade.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Certainly, but I'd rather it spent more time with me, than with them :)
     
  9. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #9
    Of course nobody would prefer a first-rev product from any company. But if you need a laptop now, waiting for rev B is a moot point.

    I'd wait until people have the new PowerBooks in their hands--people will do testing and answer your questions. It's all speculation right now. Or at LEAST wait until the official info is announced. Maybe January 10, if you're lucky.

    I do think it's very likely that all G4 Macs (iBook, PowerBook, and Mac Mini) will move to Intel chips early next year--within the first 3 months.

    I think it's UNlikely that ALL three will be shown at MacWorld. But the others should follow before long. I don't have a guess about which model will be shown first--there's "evidence" (educated guessing/rumors) pointing in all directions. But I doubt the PowerBook announcement will lag TOO many weeks behind the iBook, even if they can't ship right away.

    I also think it's unlikely that anything shown at Macworld will SHIP that day. I'd expect a few weeks of waiting--and then more waiting if there's a backlog.

    Sounds like you'll need to see speed tests of the old PPC machines vs. the new/Rosetta. And you might want to email the companies and ask them about their timetable for Intel-native Mac versions. Who knows, they may have some idea.

    Also, if you wait, even if you go with PPC, you're likely to get it cheaper than today. The PowerBook G4s may go on closeout pricing, OR (my own guess), Apple will keep selling one or two G4 models alongside the new ones--for people like you who may need PPC still. But possibly for less money than they cost today. (Or the reverse: keep selling a FULL line of G4s, but introduce one early-adopter Intel model too.)

    One BIG thing we don't know yet, is whether AltiVec apps will run AT ALL. Originally Apple said no. Now rumors say yes (but of course more slowly). Have those Rosetta/AltiVec rumors been confirmed?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #10
    I think you guys still misunderstand me. Do you use any of these professional audio applications? During the OS 9 to OS X transition, most of these applications were not immediately available (in fact it took maybe 2 years to get most of these applications ported for OS X from OS 9) and didn't run in classic. Therefore I don't think Max/MSP, SuperCollider, Logic would run well under Rosetta. I suppose it will most likely be almost another year before many of these applications are ported to Intel. Can someone refute me, otherwise I will be planning on getting an PPC PowerBook G4 soon.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #11
    Also, I would like to order a custom PowerBook off the online site as I don't like a preconfigured version. I want a larger, faster hard drive, which isn't available otherwise. Furthermore, I am going ot Egypt soon, and would like a laptop on my trip!
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #12
    I just bought a12" new iBook, and part of my reasoning had to do with software. I keep pointing out to people, that when the Mactels finally come out, guess what... 100% of the install base is still PPC!!! What does that mean? It means, that the vast majority of software is optimized, and will remain optimized for years for PPC and not x86. Yes, you'll be able to run stuff under rosetta... taking a hit... not a problem with a lot of applications, but in any type of editing including sound and motion it is just not tenable... same with games. Yes, many developers will port to x86, but it will take awhile to optimize for the new platform. This is especially true for big, big, big programs that pros use... the transition is always measured in years, not months... and then you'd still better wait for 2.0 on the new platform. Already the head of Adobe said as much that they will not be ready with porting Photoshop in 06! And really what incentive do they have? The install base of mac x86 will be tiny for years to come compared to PPC... sure, they'll do it, but they'll take their time.

    If it were me, and I had your problem, I'd buy the current machine and use it. Waiting for months... yes, months... for mactels that don't run the programs I need at the speed I need... no thank you.

    Btw., you want to BTO this big HDD... why? If you are doing significant editing, you'll need a fast FW800 external HDD anyway... sooo... what exactly is the point? I bought a stock machine (BTO was not an option on the deal I got), knowing full well, that an extra 50GB internally ain't gonna save me anyway, so if I have to get an external HDD, why worry over a few gig more on the internal... but you know your needs best. Good luck!

    OldCorpse
    quietly rotting
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    #13
    If you check the forums over at osx86project.org, you'll see a lot of people have been having a grand old time running Photoshop on the developer platform or "hacked" installations similar to it. The latest game seems to be testing a radial blur on PSCS2 in Mac OS 10.4.3 on various Pentium 4 systems in the 2.5 to 3GHz range, which seem to be absolutely smoking G4 Powerbooks and holding their own with single processor G5 systems. As the Pentium M (i.e. Dothan and Yonah) is a modified Pentium 3 core it runs faster per clock count than the Pentium 4 due to having a shorter pipeline, so this could get very interesting.

    It doesn't look as though Rosetta is doing much for Altivec as yet, but based on what these people are achieving in Photoshop, it doesn't look as though it needs to do much.

    UPDATE -- if you check out the forums I suggested, you'll see that people using build 8f1111 are doing much better than the earlier build 1099. Unfortunately I couldn't find anyone using 1111 on a Pentium M, which would be the best prediction of how things are going to work. But it looks very good. Those on the thread who could come up with an estimate of the speed penalty on Rosetta compared to native suggested 40 percent as an average; so Rosetta is, in other words, running Photoshop at 60 percent of native speed, which is outstanding in my view.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #14
    I think I am deciding on getting a PPC PowerBook, because I know that Rosetta won't run the applications I need. I fully believe all the applications will be ported within 2 years time to the Intel Macintosh platform, but I don't want to wait for this to happen. It might be 6 months, or it might be over a year. Sure it'd be great to run everything dual core at the speeds we've all been waiting for, but not if you can't run the applications you need. I think the Intel platform for most users will be appealing due to the superior industrial design and speed, but most of these users aren't running esoteric audio applications on their Macs! I went through a similar quandary during the OS 9 to OS X transition. At first the OS X macs seemed tempting, but OS 9 applications at the time had not been ported, and most audio/video applications did not work very well (if at all) on Classic. I waited out until all these programs were native before buying a OS X machine. Also, I think it makes sense to get the last revision of the PPC PowerBook so as to ride out the transition. By the time my PowerBook G4 rides is obsolete, all the software will have been ported and the bugs worked out of the machines. Does anyone see my logic in this?
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #15
    I think you are 100% right... that's exactly my reasoning... I waited until december to buy my iBook, because I figured it'll be the last PPC, late in the run, they'll fix up whatever small bugs remain (or at least have a shot at it :) ), and that'll last me at least long enough until the intel platform is ready and well beyond a 1.0... Actually, with Apple Care (which I'll buy in a few months), I'm good till almost 2009 (and since I bought it with my amex card, I get an extra year beyond that, so it'll really be almost 2010). That's a LONG time to have your machine protected under warranty... and as long as it fulfills my needs, why do I need the latest? Of course, goes without saying, that if something fabulous happens with the mactels, I can easily buy one at any time... though my natural inclination is not to be an early adopter with a machine that is mission critical (as far as my needs go)... which means, that I could potentially go for a mactel in 2007 or even later if they need more time to become optimal wrt. to both hardware and software. Meanwhile, I have peace of mind under warranty for 4 years!

    OldCorpse
    quietly rotting
     
  16. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #16
    The G4 is a fine choice--but we don't KNOW anything until the machines are unveiled. Possibly on January 10. You may not be able to wait for people to test the machines, but maybe you can wait until then to see if new official info emerges. And then contact the software makers to ask if the new machines will run the apps you need. Or maybe you'll learn in January that nothing will be shipping before your trip--and then your choice is made.

    I suspect you'll want to go with a G4--but we just don't yet know enough about what Rosetta will do.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #17
    I guess I just don't trust Rosetta running my applications efficiently. Back during the transition from OS 9 to OS X, everyone said that classic would run all my OS 9 applications. Unfortunately, this wasn't true, and almost none of my applications would run well in classic...in fact most of my audio/video applications wouldn't run at all! I imagine that Rosetta is the same. It is just a stopgap measure that will allow the majority of users to run simple PPC applications on an Intel machine. I know I won't have any regrets getting a PowerBook G4 as it will 100% run all the software I need. Why wait 6-12 months for a Intel version to arrive when I can be writing tracks now? Time is more important than money!
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    #18
    I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I am getting a laptop for protools and logic, and I'm worried about the new ones not running as well as the current powerbooks. If money isn't an option, I say go for it now. For me, I'm waiting till January because I'm guessing there will be a price drop in the current powerbooks, which will give me more money to upgrade the hardrive and memory.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    #19
    DO you guys remember Mac OS 10.0.0? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    But that was a beta.. and put out as such.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #21
    I'd say for applications like Logic and Pro Tools, there might be even a chance that they are already native to intel. For other more esoteric plug-ins and programs like Max/MSP and SuperCollider, there a low chance of those being ported to intel until months or a year later.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #22
    I'm in the exact same boat, ie, running some audio apps (Digital Performer)
    that I know won't run under Rosetta. MOTU took FOREVER to go from OS9 to OSX
    too, so I'm expecting them to lag again this go around. Back then, it was a dual boot setup, which was a pain. I remember almost jumping to Cubase because they were one of the first to go OSX, but I held out for MOTU to come out with DP4.

    I think x86 Logic will be available pretty early though. I would love to go logic,
    but $1000 base, $300 upgrades, and a stupid dongle keep me from trying it. I would love to see those prices get cut in half and go x86 early, than I'd be pretty tempted to be an early mactel adopter.

    One thing I considered, and this is a pretty evil thought, but if the mactel's will allow dual boot with windows, I'd consider getting a mactel early and running dual boot and using the windows versions of something like Cubase or Traction for my audio stuff to get me by until more x86-OSX audio apps come out. This goes back to the pain in the ass dual boot setup, and probably not what I'd want, but something to consider.

    I really need a machine NOW, but I'm holding out as long as I can to at least make
    it to MWSF. These last few of weeks have been painful though.
    I just find it almost impossible to buy a g4 now though at apple's ridiculous prices, it's SO dated. If they come out with a 7448 powerbook though, I'd buy that in a heartbeat to ride the transistion. Or at the very least, significant g4 price drops.

    Ugh, I can hold out to MWSF!!! Hoping for 7448 powerbooks...
     
  23. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Darkplace Hospital
    #23
    its impossible to say right now. the Powerbooks are a thing of beauty, but who knows what the future ones may look like, or more importantly, how powerful they will be?

    nobody here knows right now :) just sit back and enjoy the ride.
     
  24. macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #24
    The same way Apple would gleefully fix the screens on the latest 15" PBs right? Oh wait...
     
  25. macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #25
    I certainly hope they'd release a grey version of the PB :)
     

Share This Page