Which should I buy Powerbook or Macbook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by da2005pizimp, May 29, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    #1
    I am interested in buying an Apple laptop, since I have no room for a desktop. I am thinking about a Powerbook G4 to start on since my funds are limited and this would be my fist real mac. From what I can tell I can get either a beat up macbook for about $400 or a pretty good condition G4 for about $250ish. I was wondering on what the thoughts of those who have had both were? I only really use my laptops and desktop for web surfing, itunes, and word processing/excel spreadsheets. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. iLucas, May 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    #2
    Even the first gen MacBooks will be much more up to date than a powerbook g4 as only G4's with 867 mhz or more can go to leopard without leopard assist. All macbooks can go up to snow leopard, but if you decide to go with macbook instead of a powerbook g4 try to get a core 2 duo. If you want the newest word then the macbook is your best bet. I have both a macbook and a powerbook g4 and i love them both but if i had to pick one it'd be the macbook. Search eBay for one that isn't so beat up.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #4
    OMG PLEASE don't waste your money on a Powerbook. They were great in the past- but they are VERY old and you will not be happy with it. You don't have to get a beat up Macbook either. $400-500 should get you a decent shape Macbook that's only a couple years old. If not, it's overpriced. Best thing is to save up your money a little longer and get a Macbook (or a 13" MBP on eBay) that you'll enjoy for a long time.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #5
    Eh, $400 will get you a late 06 or 07 model. Any decent condition unibody is worth more than $500.

    To OP, I'd save up some more. The G4 is out, period. It's just not relevant anymore. If you don't need the computer right now, it's best to buy something that's at least in decent shape.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #6
    Yup the PowerBook is out, but I am still using them, lol. It still get the job done. But I would not recommend it for the OP.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    #7
    Any Intel Mac will be way faster than even a top of the line PowerBook G4. A 1.4 GHz MacBook Air scores over double a 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4: http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/.

    Not to say the G4 isn’t usable, but it’s going to be an exercise in patience. Flash especially runs pretty poorly on it; YouTube’s video player can get pretty choppy.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    The older technology is cool and nice, but if this is going to be your main computer and your budget allows you get an Intel-based MacBook, by all means pass on the PowerBook.

    $400 will get you in the ballpark for an older MacBook, you just have to be patient. If you can bump that up to $500 you'll obviously get a little nicer shape/specs.

    Keep your eyes on eBay and Craigslist. An idea of what you can get for about $500, here's two shops that sell them regularly at that price... (I've never bought from either place so I can't recommend either with any experience)...

    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Apple_Notebooks_s/5.htm?searching=Y&sort=1&cat=5&show=30&page=1

    http://www.wegenermedia.com/cmb.htm

    Low End Mac also has a list of deals on MacBooks (and PowerBooks) that is updated once a month or so...

    http://lowendmac.com/deals.shtml

    Last thing, you really want 1GB of ram or more if you're going to run Leopard 10.5 or Snow Leopard 10.6 on it. Don't buy anything with less. With 1GB at least you can use it without headaches when it arrives, but you can also max out the ram when you get more money.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #9
    Hello,

    I can't speak for those on here but I currently use a PowerBook G4 1.67 Hi-res model and just put in a SATA SSD drive and its really nice and quick for my needs which are plain basics.. I am a job coach and I make use of the PB for my everyday stuff, such as email, surfing the web on a T1 connection, MS Word, Excel, etc.. I also have the correct codecs to run youtube and also mactubes for my youtube video pleasure. It will even stream stagevu and hulu..

    Again, what are your needs? If they are just for basics, then the PB G4 Hi-res 15 or 17 inch would be good for that purpose.. If you do video editing, have a need to run windows, etc.. then the Macbook or Macbook Pro would be more useful..

    You see? I have really no need for Windows, hence why I am more than comfortable with the 1.67 PB G4, and with an SSD.. I am more than comfortable with it. All my Intel needs are on my Gateway Laptop and or Mac Pro.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    mabaker

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #10
    Funny thing is you can see how RIDICULOUSLY close the Integer performance of a G4 processor is to the one of Core 2 Duo, especially considering it’s a damn old chip!

    It’s amazing to think what would have been if Apple bet on PPC after all… which then again seems to be the case with the ARM architecture. yet iOS is by far not what I would love to have on my home Mac!
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cudi Zone
    #11
    It's worth spending more money now, and be future proof, rather than saving money to get an older model that might not run the software you might need somewhere down the road. I still love my iBook G4 and eMac though!
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #12
    Sorry for the off topic, but i really love the PPC performance more than the intel one. It is kind of more "apple" to me, more unique. Intel Macs for me are just PC's in apples clothing.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    #13
    Yeah, get the C2D macbook. Unless you just enjoy using older technology the newer computer is so much more capable for things that most people like (Facebook, YouTube, flash, games) that they would be really disappointed using a G4-based mac. Definitely do not want that to be your first apple experience.

    That said, the computer I use more now is a Powerbook G4 12, after I got through with some prodigious upgrades. It still browses most of the web fine and I do all sorts of word processing (Word and LaTeX), statistical analyses, and even some graphics editing. Honestly, it's perfectly fine unless you need heavy motion graphics or flash or games.
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #14
    Go with a MacBook. I actually just picked up a early 2008 MacBook Pro 2.54GHz on eBay for $550. I just needed some of the newer programs that I couldn't run on my PowerMac G5.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #15
    Just watch eBay carefully, you'll find a good Macbook for a good price if you're patient. Craigslist is also nice but people do seem to have a tendency to overvalue (so you can drop the price down if you email).

    You might save a bit in initial cost with a Powerbook but the likelyhood of the battery needing replacement is higher on the PowerBook, adding more cost to it.

    Geekbench gives the top of the line PowerBook G4 a 879 rating. The oldest Macbook (Core Duo, 1.83ghz) rated 2298 (higher is better). A 2.0ghz Core 2 Duo (late 06) hits about 2601, and for comparison's purpose the Macbook they're selling today 3375.

    The low number for the PB should be enough, you can find a decent condition CD MB for about $350-$400.. the late 06 C2D (better bet) typically around $375-$450/500 (depends on condition, battery, etc). Save up and you'll be a lot better off. The newer PBs still go for like $250-$300 anyway it seems, so it's not really that big of a premium.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cudi Zone
    #16
    Keep in mind that if u want to runmac os x lion, u need a c2d Mac
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    #17
    Like everyone else, if I had 400 dollars to spend on a mac laptop I would go with a Macbook, but I didn't. I thought I would offer a devils advocate point of view in favour of the powerbook. I picked up a 15" Powerbook g4 1.25mhz 1gb of ram for $165 from Craigslist about 3 weeks ago. My portable choices under 200 dollars was either a used netbook that may run a hacked OSX on a tiny screen or an older toshiba/dell/hp etc laptop that could run linux. Either way it involved making a compromise. This Powerbook (with the addition of a bluetooth mouse, leopard and ten four fox) is pretty much everything I need. It gets me around the web with little problem and I can use it for video/photos (Photoshop), Word etc.. The only time I feel the pain of using an older mac is when I need to encode a video from one format to another or at times when streaming videos online (the g4 is not always up to the task dropping frames). It's still better (minus the video streaming) than my girlfriends windows 7 laptop. I would recommend it to anyone on a budget.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cair Paravel
    #18
    Just to pile on: get the Macbook.

    I have a 1.33 G4 PowerBook and it cries just running Safari. Might run better with Panther rather than Tiger, though.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    #19
    Thanks for all the replies, I guess I was just hoping that I could get a powerbook to work until around the holidays, hopefully by then I could get a newer macbook.
    My problem with buying a used macbook is that I don't want to shell out the 500 or 600 for one and have it crap out on me, especially if I spend my entire budget on one.
    I guess I will just wait until I can get a new/refurbished macbook
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #20
    A PowerBook would be quite a lot more likely to crap out on you than a MacBook just as the PowerBook could be anything from 6 months to 3 years older (The Aluminium ones came out in 2003) - heck even my last Gen PowerBook G4 has had issues with its fan. My First gen and 2008 MacBooks haven't had any problems yet. And with the older MacBooks there isn't that much that can go wrong that isn't fixable by some means.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    #21
    Since the real Mac Heads aren't here to tech people properly here, I'll step in. For one the Powerbook is better built and more durable no matter how you put. Not mention you don't have to deal with the common intel cpu heat and whine, or the white Macbook''s color fading or turning yellow, which is also all to fickey common. Then lets get to the specs, the Macbook is marred with Intel cpu and the equally garbage intel gma950 gpu. On the other hand the Powerbook has the more reliable G4 cpu and a better ATI gpu most recently the 9700 and before that the 9600, which you will notice specially when playing back video be it on youtube or native.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #22
    Well I hate to disagree with you but my hi-res 17 inch powerbook is working just fine and its built very nicely.. Why do you like to accentuate the NEGATIVE in everything? This is one reason why I abhor and despise fanboys who like to shoot down everything that is only a few years old. Granted, the PB G4 is not fast compared to the macbook or macbook pro, but its better than nothing but for my purposes for helping out a friend find jobs, it does the job nicely.

    I am neither negative nor positive about any kind of mac, Intel included.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #23
    I couldn't agree with you more.. I am just loving my PB G4 as it does the job right for whatever I throw at it. Sure, it won't do 1080p video but so what?

    Well lets hope Apple will dump Intel for ARM.. I am all for this personally since I believe, once matured, ARM could knock the socks off Intel. Its like PowerPC II: The PowerPC strikes back!
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #24
    I wouldn't say the Intel CPUs would mar a machine... though the G4s may be more reliable, I haven't had enough time with an Intel Mac to verify... and from my experience, both are equally reliable machines. (Of course, I'm going by my desktop PC.) However, you're very much right about the GMA950 - as far as I know, the last-generation (and even the 9200) iBook G4s have an edge graphically.

    If you'll be doing more CPU-oriented things, you will easily want to go for the MacBook. However, if you need a bit more GPU oomph, go for a PowerBook.

    (If, however, you see a 9400M MacBook... I'd go for that. I've heard they're decent machines, though, again, I haven't had any experience with an Intel Mac to be able to judge. I'll let others fill that void.)
     
  25. macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #25
    A. I have never heard a CPU whine, and the G4s were hotter.

    B. Specs. Any Intel machine will smoke any G4 machine at any task. Also, it's extraordinarily rare for any CPU to fail, so the G4 isn't any more reliable. The complaint about the GMA950 is legit, but the ATI 9700 isn't really relevant anymore either. As far as youtube goes, only the most powerful G4s can handle it anymore, and not HD content. The older machines can't offload onto the GPU for youtube anyway, so that's also a moot point.

    You simply can't expect a 6-7 year old computer to be able to compete anymore, and as a point, let's look at geekbench. The most powerful PowerBook ever made scores a whopping 848. The least powerful Intel Mac ever made (1.5GHz core solo mini) scores a 1386 (also beating out the most powerful G4, the dual 1.42 MDD). The least powerful MacBook ever made scores a 2283, nearly three times as high as the PBG4. I think that shows a pretty clear winner.
     

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