When will the 15 catch up to the 12/17?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by movmkr, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2002
    Well this update had almost everything I've been waiting for in a powerbook:

    Firewire 800, new Airport w/better antenna, Bluetooth, DDR, faster superdrive, new casing with no paint and illuminated keyboard

    Unfortunately, the 17" powerbook is a little excessive...and the 12" isn't widescreen (or fully featured).

    Any random thoughts as to when they might update the 15" to match the other two? I hope they don't wait a whole product cycle to do it. I was looking at January to buy a Powerbook, but I guess it's so obvious that the 15 will be updated I'll wait.

    - Matt
  2. Lz0
    macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2002
    I bet the 15 inch Powerbook takes over the spot currently held by the iBook, and the iBook line is discontinued. After all who wants a G3 these days?
  3. macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA

    And that would mean a 15" Powerbook would be 999?:rolleyes:
  4. macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2002
    I don't see how it can be suggested that the 15" will replace the ibook - the new 12" specs are near identical to the ibook sans G3, and the size is the same. It's pretty much the G4 ibook everyone has been hankering for without the name.

    The 15" is still a far superior computer - for starters there's no DVI ports, or no L3 cache on the 12".
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2002
    Um...I highly doubt they would discontinue the 15" and drop the price to bargain levels.

    They never did that to the 12" iBook or the 15" iMac.

    - Matt
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2002
    How exactly is the 12 inch not fully featured? The only difference is the size of the display. Given that is an issue.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2002
    Haven't had a real close look at the specs - but the most obvious would seem to be:

    No DVI

    No L3 cache

    640 meg. ram max

    The more I think about it, the more this thing looks like a G4 ibook.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2002
    Yeah, Ben Sheehan pretty much answered that one. - Matt
  9. macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    I'm just going to refer to it as a G4 iBook from now on, which isn't a bad thing at all.

    Another thing it has up on the iBook, is that the drive is slot-loading, none of this tray crap that is so easy to break with the whole laser assembly on it...
  10. macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    plus the 12inch powerbook has a less capable video card, only does vga, no backlight keyboard, no firewire800, no ddr, yada yada, still a very nice machine though.

  11. macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2001
    Sin City

    what in the hell is a pristmatic li-ion battery? it comes with the powerbook g4 17 inch and i wonder what the new patent has to do with anything
  12. macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

  13. macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    Given that Apple released the current 15 inch TiBooks in October, I'd say we'll see the new 15 inch TiBooks sometime in March or April. This is not an unreasonable assumption, given Apple's typical 6-month product cycles.

    movmkr: I agree with you completely. The 17 inch model is a bit excessive to me and the 12 inch TiBook is really nothing more than a souped-up G4 iBook. I got my 550 Mhz TiBook almost a year ago (Rev. B), and I am personally going to hold off getting a new PowerBook until Apple releases a new one with the Power-4 processors.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    Toekeeyoe, Japan
    Graphics Comparisons

    Does anyone have an idea of how the Radeon 9000 (15") compares to the GeForce Go MX4 440 (17")? I was under the impression that the ATI Radeon 9000 was the best mobile graphics chip out there.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2002
    When Steve Jobs first announced the 12" PowerBook it sounded like it had all the features of the 17" cause he said something like it's full featured, giving me the impresion and hype that it's power i can afford. But, no, after looking on the site it didn't even match up to the old 15", like a few already said it's like a iBook with a G4.
  17. macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2002
    Brooklyn, NY
    I just got a 800 TiBook a week ago and quickly felt deep pangs of geek envy when I saw the 12 inch iBook during the keynote (not to take anything away from the 17 incher but I have a powermac at home and although breathtaking, seems a little large for those wanting a portable solution)...

    Back to the 12"...

    The durable case...the audio in ports... I guess essentially those are the only two things that seem better that I would get good use out of (since I do not have any Bluetooth devices, Firewire 800 devices) in addition to the fact that its the new, fresh gear...

    Back to my TiBook...

    I really appreciate the extra screen real estate, the video card and everything else others have mentioned.

    I've now begun to convince myself that the 15 inch TiBook presents a good sweet spot between the ginormous 17" and the G4 ibook.

    Is this crazy talk?
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    Re: Graphics Comparisons

    Yes... I also am curious about this issue. Someone have the answer?
  19. macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2003
    To the best of my knowledge - slightly better.
    I'm taking the plunge and getting a 17". I want the extra power the 17" offers, but i want it in a 15" form factor. Sadly though i cannot afford to wait.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2003
    The ATI radeon 9000 and the ge force 4 440 are comprable to each other if the perfomance of both processors are eqil to there desktop then the radeon 9000 has a slight performance advantage both processors are the first mibile video systums to have hardware T&L(transform and lighting) this is a technology that both the radeon 7500 and the geforce 2 mobile did not have

    The 12'' power book has DDR ram and a fully functional 3d accelerator witch makes it for supierior to any pc notebook of the same size i cant wait to get one
  21. macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    Toekeeyoe, Japan
    Graphic Specs

    From the nVidia website:

    GeForce4 4200 Go
    Fill Rate: 1.6 billion texels/sec.
    GPU Core Clock: 200 MHz
    Memory Clock: 200 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth: 6.4GB/sec.

    GeForce4 460 Go
    Fill Rate: 1 billion texels/sec.
    GPU Core Clock: 250 MHz
    Memory Clock: 250 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth: 8GB/sec.

    GeForce4 440 Go
    Fill Rate: 880 million texels/sec.
    GPU Core Clock: 220 MHz
    Memory Clock: 220 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth: 6.4GB/sec.

    GeForce4 420 Go
    Fill Rate: 760 million texels/sec.
    GPU Core Clock: 190 MHz
    Memory Clock: 200 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth: 3.2GB/sec.

    So Apple is using the 2 lowest versions (maybe power use is better?)

    It looks like the BEST is the 4200 from nVidia,
    "...highest performance mobile GPU available—the GeForce4 4200 Go. The first mobile GPU to support programmable vertex and pixel shaders, GeForce4 4200 Go delivers ferocious graphics power on the go. And GeForce 4200 Go supports AGP 8X, for double the bandwidth of AGP 4X."

    Looks like they have room to grow in the graphics department soon?
  22. macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2001

    The Radeon 9000 Mobility is the best available graphics chip, although as you saw in your later post nVidia has announced a chip that offers higher performance (but at a significant cost in heat/power). However, there is a wrinkle here: the clock speeds of the ATI Mobility chips (and possibly of the nVidia chips) are configuable by the computer maker. Unless Apple tells us what their clock speeds are, we can't say which is theoretically faster. A second tricky issue is that we don't know how the quality of drivers for nVidia and ATI on OSX compare to their qualities on PC platforms, where there are certainly benchmarks comparing all sorts of laptop chips (Anandtech and Tomshardware have done such reviews).


    No, the GF4MX/GF4Go has no graphics abilities that the GF2MX/GF2Go do not, they are essentially the same chip with different memory systems and different clock speeds, despite the names. ATI's Radeon 7500 Mobility is graphics-feature-wise on-par with the GF2Go/GF4Go/GF2MX/GF4MX. ATI's Radeon Mobility is inferior to this, and ATI's Radeon 9000 Mobility is superior. In Windows-speak, the 9000 is the only graphics chip for laptops that offers full DirectX 8 support in hardware (nVidia's unavailable 4200 has these features as well).

    Anandtech.com can detail all of this that I have said, if anyone wants to read more.
  23. macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2002
    buyer hesitation

    look at them before you order either of the new powerbooks. i thought they sounded really cool and i was really interested in purchasing one. i currently have a 500mhz TiBook and i have been looking to upgrade for some time. i wanted to wait for some innovation and not just speed bumps. this seemed like it was it so i was readying my credit card. but first i went down to macworld today and did some hands on.

    neither of the new ones look nice or even feel nice. the 12 inch looks exactly like a spray painted ibook, no joke the battery is identical and so are all the curves and such. the 17 inch looks really odd too. the speakers look like some sort of sewer grates or something, they are huge. the keyboard plane is massive, like some sort of metalic desert on an alien planet. the material is very plastic feeling, not at all like the current titanium casing. the keyboards look like plastic buttons that are painted a silver color.

    it sounds wierd i know, and it should be the hardware that speaks over the casing but even still the 17inch is huge. if you ever crash land in an ocean you could use it to sail home. the hardware is great, except for the split usb ports. the kinda bothers me. when i plug usb into my computer i usually use both ports, now you have to have wires coming out of both sides of the computer, things could get messy. but other then that i like what is offered.

    the 12inch is abit lackluster. no Firewire800, no backlite keyboard, and not L3 cache.

    right now i think the 15inch is the best size/form factor because it is the most practical. once it gets firewire800 and that backlite then i am ordering a new powerbook. i can wait and i think the it is really worth it.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    The Radeon 9000 mobity is a lot faster than the Geforce 4 420 go. In some tests on the PC the 9000 is over twice the speed of a 420. The 9000 can also run Doom 3 with all the settings set to max, the 420 can't. I was going to get one of these until I realised they used a slow graphics chip. The 420 is only a bit faster than the Radeon Mobility 7500, and the 7500 can even beat the 420 in some tests on the PC. Go to www.tomshardware.com for details.

    Apple would have to really overclock the 420 to make it anyway near the speed of a 9000.

    By the way I am using the new Safari browser which is just SOOOOOOOOOO good.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2002
    Malmö, Sweden
    Re: buyer hesitation

    Maybe it is that you are so used to the feel of your own TiBook that it makes the AlBook feel very weird.

    On a different note, I think the 15" is going to be updated rather soon. I know both of the 15" and the iBook were updated in November, but I feel Apple had to produce some new stuff for the holiday season to get their sales going. Thinking about it, those updates were more like speedbumps (Ok we got a superdrive in the TiBook, but that's about it) and produced nothing revolutionary in terms of technology. Now we have got some real UPDATES to the laptop line and as soon as the production lines are rolling full speed on the 12" and 17" AlBook, we will see an update on the 15". Then I guess the iBook will retreat to a single model configuration (Combo Drive) to finish its life cycle as the equivalent to today's iMac CRT on the desktop line : so cheap, especially when production lines are proven and tested, and yet so efficient (especially for schools).

    For all those reasons, I'd say the 15" will be updated before the end of february as opposed to the end of its normal 5-6 months cycle, which would make it happen in april/may.

    Just a thought...


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