Should I buy a new PB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hwnelson, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. hwnelson macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2004
    in a box
    Okay, I know I bothered everyone about this a couple of months ago, but here I go again.
    This is my Situation:
    I have an 800 mhz iMac g4 which i bought about 4 years ago, and its not working so great. I dropped it. You may be asking yourself How. Well I was moving it, placed in on my bed, the mattress gave, and the imac fell on its face. Ever since (2 years), it's been unhappy, and still has a broken neck. My computer freezes up several times a day, but only in random spurts (like for days at a time). I just don't trust it anymore.
    I go to college next September (Clemson hopefully) and I need a laptop for school. There is some mac support there, but nothing offical (I figure i won't need much support). I'm going into engineering and here's my plan. I buy a 1.67 ghz 15" PB with 2 gigs of ram, 120 gigs of space, and throw Virtual PC on there for certain engineering-required programs (I know VPC has a rep for being crappy but its my only way to stay on a mac). I'm avoiding the intel switch because I have so many Apps like FinalCut, Photoshop CS, DVD studio pro, etc. and it would be a pain to do the switch (plus i doubt there would be intel support on campus & I am tired of being stuck on the unrealiable machine).
    I'm basically asking for support in my decision. I get real nervous spending large sums of money and I need assurance that I'm doing the right thing. But hey, if you think I'm not doing the right thing, tell me. Any suggestions or comments would be great.


  2. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    buy buy buy

    buy buy buy

    buy buy buy

    did i!
  3. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    You know, as long as you intend on spending that kind of money, and it's for next school year, as much as I don't want to say might be a better idea to wait. From what I've heard, the older PPC programs should work just fine on Rosetta once they switch to Intel processors. Also, the processing power will be noticeably superior, in addition to better battery life and whatever else the switch may bring. As long as you are buying it for college as your main computer, and you intend to use those engineering (often extra cpu power required) programs, I might wait if I were you. I'm sorry to make the decision harder for you, but that's what I would do if I were you...

    P.S. About your comment about the college not having that much Intel support, I can tell you that most colleges have much more Intel support than they do Mac support, simply b/c there are so many more machines that use it...
  4. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    get the 17". it is way more portable then people think it is, and so, so nice :D
  5. nsknike macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2005
    I agree, I got a 17 inch for college. I wasn't worried about carrying it from class to class, thats why I got it instead of the 12 inch. But now that I actually have one I take it with me to every class that I have, with no probs. The 17 inch is very portable and I love the extra screen space.
  6. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    If you need a computer now, then buy one now. I would never let new technology that has yet to materialize influence such a decision. But if you're happy using a broke @$$ iMac, then by all means you should wait.:D
  7. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    yup, the 17" really is portable. a lot of people say it isn't but i think the people who say that have never actually owned one. and if they did own a 17" and it really was not portable for them, it was only because it was too big for what they were wanting to use it for. most people will be able to carry the 17" around. and most people make it out to be some type of monster laptop but it's really not *that* big. i love mine much more than i did my 15". it owns all the 15" powerbooks, hands down.
  8. Seasought macrumors 65816


    Nov 3, 2005
    Go, buy one now. Don't even finish reading the rest of the posts, walk - run actually to you local Apple store. If you drive, speed. If you take the bus, sit in the front row and scream orders at the driver, if you see an elderly woman in your way...crush her.
  9. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Washington DC
    I"ll be the dissenting opinion. Wait for the intel powerbooks, then get one. I have a sneaking suspicion they are going to be awesome. Rosetta should run your apps fairly well, not to mention that they are all fairly big-name apps, and should be updated for Intel quickly.

    We'll provide you most of the support you need right on these boards.
  10. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    They are all saying buy the 17'', but 7-8 months from now, it will be extremely dated technology. If I was spending $2,000+ right now, I wouldn't want dated technology in 7 months. Keep in mind the PPC is already dated compared to PC laptops (Pentium M, graphics, performance, battery life, etc), and will be even more so when Apple uses the Intel cpu in less than 7 months. Sure, the 17'' or a current PB would work, but for what you want it for, I wouldn't want to shell out that kind of dough for a dated machine, personally. $2,000+ is a helluva lot of money, especially for us college students. I'd want to be sure the Powerbook would last me at least 2-3 years before it becomes dated, which the Powerbook technology has already done (2-3 years old). If you can wait, WAIT. You'll be happier a year from now when you're a freshman that you did.
  11. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    I bought a iBook about a year before I started college. I fully intended on using it for college. However, this past august I bought a new 15" PB and LOOOOVE it :rolleyes: :cool:

    If you can wait, wait. Waiting will usually leave you with a better machine in the end. But sometimes one cannot make the long wait to that point...

    If you feel you can get by with the iMac, do it. I don't know how much you use your mac now, but based on my experience, your usage will greatly increase once you enter college and you'll be glad to have a new machine when you start. It would be nice going off to college armed with a brand new PB.

    Just my ramblings
  12. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I say get the Powerbook now, it's in revision E now and has been tried and tested so you know you'll be able to depend on it. The fact that Intel will be released next year won't make any difference, support for PPC is going to go on for many years to come (there are millions of users around the world after all).
  13. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Just go for it.. but try to avoid the 15", it has a really low quality LCD screen now.
  14. DSign macrumors newbie


    Nov 3, 2005
    Utrecht - The Netherlands
    And then you are waiting for the Intelbooks, and getting the first buggy intel PB generation!;)
  15. jmort macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2005
    Southern CA
    I just thought I'd throw my opinion into the pile. I would seriously urge you to wait for the Intels. the professional portables are by far the hardware division most in need of a serious upgrade. The intel PB's are so gonna kick the crap outta the current g4's (and yes, i'm typing all of this on a current 1.67 PB). Especially the PC software you need to emulate, if you can dual boot, all the better. For the stuff you are gonna be running, I really really really really really think you are gonna be pleased beyond your expectations if you wait until the intels make their way into the powerbooks.

    Just my two cents
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The 15" PowerBook is more than enough to cover your needs
    but I would strongly consider the iMac/iBook combo over the PowerBook.
  17. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    WAIT!!!!!! This isn't a wait for the intel PB, but the intel might be a side effect. But I say wait b/c there WILL be some sort of update b/w now and when you start college next year. Whatever update that is, you will want the latest and greatest when you go off to school. You don't want to start school with an 9-10 month old computer. You want to unwrap the laptop as you are unwrapping your brand new text book! Do not worry about the intel macs, should apple put intel into the PB b/w now and then. The only thing an intel mac could do would be to BENIFIT you as an engineer. As an engineering student myself (5th year SR. .. will be done SOON i hope!!!), VPC is worthless!!! its much better to pay $200 for a cheap computer to run windows apps than it is to run VPC. That said, once intel macs come out, I have an odd feeling there will be a way to run native intel programs on the mac. might be a bit of a hack, but im sure it will run much better than VPC. That or the newest rev of VPC on intel will run MUCH MUCH better b/c windows programs are MADE for intel.

    also, if you buy a computer now, and considering your last computer lasted 4 years, then the computer you buy now will be about done by your SR year. if you wait until right before you go off to college, then the computer will turn 4 years old AFTER your sr year!! Thus you will have a useable computer throughout your college career. And, unless you come from a very affluent background, then you will likely have a difficult time coming up with the cash for a new computer part way through your sr. year.

    but yeah, thats just my thoughts. if you hadnt mentioned you were going off to college soon, i would say buy a 15" pb right now! But considering college, id hold off.
  18. jeffcorbets macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2005
    As an engineer myself, I think it is a toss-up between a new PowerBook right now and waiting for an Intel-based Mac laptop. If you do end up waiting, you could get stuck in the situation where Intel PowerBooks are announced at WWDC in June and then don't ship for at least two months... then it's August and you're wondering if your computer will show up before school.

    Either way, if an engineering application is so intensive that you'd be questioning running it under VirtualPC, then (at least with current technology) it probably will not run well on an Intel-based Windows laptop anyway. Programs like this that come to mind are mainly CAD applications, Inventor, AutoCad, Solidworks, CATIA, etc. I do not, and I do not know anyone who does, run CAD applications on their laptop. I wouldn't expect the newer technology (Merom) processors to improve the situation much as no CAD application supports multiple processors (yet). For these type of applications your engineering college or academic department should have computer labs with machines designed to run these high-performance applications.

    For me, an aerospace engineer, I would say a majority of my time is spent writing my own codes rather than using something commercially available. For this, on my Windows laptop, my brand-new PowerBook, and my two SGI workstations, I use a development environment called Slickedit. It's pricey, but runs on everything. Other applications I use on my laptop include Matlab and Tecplot, both of which have versions for Mac OS X.

    From time-to-time, I do happen to run Ansys ED 9.0 (Windows-only) on my laptop. Solutions to complicated problems can take a long-long time, but it lets me draw up or remesh designs fairly quickly. Ansys is not terribly graphics intensive, so it might run fairly well under Virtual PC.

    ~Jeff Corbets
  19. fps macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Get what you need now

    Just a side note but all the people who tell you to wait for the rev. A Intel powerbooks are the same people who, in 6 months time, when the rev. A are launched will tell you to wait for the rev. B ... :)

    I've taken the plunge yesterday and bought a new 15" powerbook with a 7200rpm/100GB HD.

    When people with Intel powerbooks will start complaining about the lack of ported apps to x86 I'll be having a laugh and it's not the crappy G3 emulation of Rosetta that will change that ;)
    Then after using my nice PPC powerbook for 2 years I'll be upgrading to a rev. B or C Intel powerbook and enjoy a much better catalog of ported apps to x86.

    ... and if the one I get has screen pbms or whatever then it goes back to Apple and I'll do that until they give me one without pbms. Simple.

    Just my 2p.
  20. motherduce macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I agree here. I just ordered my 15" Tuesday, tired of waiting. I waited too long for updates and such. I should have ordered a pbook this summer, when I really wanted/needed it. I probably lost out on some income because I played the "waiting for updates" game.

    If this new PB has screen issues, I'll take it into the Apple store for store credit, and get an iMac/12" combo.
  21. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    I'd also wait, if only to get your acceptance letter in hand and then get the educational discount through the Apple store on the hardware, software and AppleCare. I can't add in on the 15-17" debate, as I'm perfectly happy with my 12" rev. B.
  22. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    it's up to you. do you need to buy it now? if you start college a whole year from now, then i'd wait. but if you can't wait, then go ahead and buy one. i'm in my 3rd year of college, and i just bought a 15" powerbook about a week ago and i love it
  23. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Normally I agree with what others have said here: if you need it now, buy it now.

    But I'm going to give different advice in this case. Wait for the intel powerbooks. Why?
    - First, because you *don't* really need it now. I mean, yeah, your imac is sick, and I don't blame you for wanting one of these nice new beauties, but you have 10 months until you go to school.
    - Second, and the real reason I'm giving this advice, is because you need to run certain windows apps for your major. You will be able to install windows natively on an intel powerbook and boot in to either OS X or XP as necessary. That will be much, MUCH better than running engineering apps in VPC.

    VPC is slow. It's not as horrible as it used to be, but make no mistake - it's slow. Wait for a powerbook that will be able to run windows natively and save yourself 4 years of VPC headaches. Trust me.
  24. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    That's exactly what I'm saying, and that's what I did. I made the mistake of buying a laptop a year before I went to college with the intent of it being my college laptop. I still bought a new laptop right before going to college. Almost everyone in college has a brand new laptop their first year.
  25. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005
    The Powerbook is ALREADY and has been for a long time outdated technology. By next year it probably won't be able to run anything lol. If anything buy an iMac or iBook, because they are worth the money unlink the overpriced PowerBook. Also, if you have been getting through fine with your current 800 MHz Mac, then it shouldn't make too much of a difference if you get a desktop. The Mac Mini may even be good for you. If you really want a laptop but can ive without one...wait. I have a feeling they'll be here next year.


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