12" Powerbook - loaded or base w/optional HD/DVD drives

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Spyharpy, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. Spyharpy macrumors member


    Apr 12, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm looking to buy a new 12" Powerbook soon (along with a 23" CD) and having a tough time trying to decide what may be my best option.

    Option 1:
    Custom with 80GB 5400rpm and Superdrive. Add either a 512MB or 1GB memory stick.

    Option 2:
    Base model with combo drive. Remove the 60GB 4200rpm drive (use as external) for the Hitachi Travelstar 60GB 7200rpm drive. Get the new external LaCie Dual Layer DVD burner ($200). Add either a 512MB or 1GB memory stick.

    I don't see doing that much DVD burning now but I may later and would prefer to have the latest DVD burner technology. Heard the 4200rpm drive is adequate but the 5400rpm would load programs considerably faster. How much faster compared to the Hitachi 7200rpm I wouldn't know. Heard it's better to have the Superdrive since there may be issue of Apple's DVD burning software recognizing third party DVD burners. LaCie states their drives are OS X compatible. The other concern is warranty. I presume an Apple authorized dealer can swap out the OEM drive with the Hitachi leaving the rest of the Powerbook under warranty excluding the hard drive.

    Option 1 is one tight little package but wondering if going with Option 2 will really be worth the trouble. I'll be primarily surfing the web, emailing, running Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Office Mac 2004. I'm thinking Option 1 will probably be sufficient. I plan to keep this Powerbook for at least four years as I do with practically every Mac I've owned.
  2. jcook793 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    I'd do Option 3:
    Custom with 80GB 5400rpm drive and an external DVD burner. Apple's prices for hard drive upgrades are not bad. And if you don't need to burn DVDs on the go, then stick wtih the external (much faster) drives.
  3. starcrossed macrumors regular

    May 3, 2003
    San Antonio,TX
    I think anyone who spends the big cash for Powerbook wants the power and longetivity of the device, so if that is you go with Option 1. I'm not completly sure if the 7200rpm drive will use a substantial more battery power than the 4200 or 5400 drives, but there must be a reason why few laptops carry drives that spin that fast, maybe even the heat. Compared to a base model, you will get a minor speed boost with the 5400 drive, and even more going to 1GB ram. I had my 1.5ghz PB build-to-order with the 5400 drive and the 128mb VRam because it was only a $100 more, and I figured what the hell, its only a $100 more, I might as well. Plus I use all the power apps you use and Final Cut Pro and more, so I figure it would benefit me now and in the long run. Plus it helps in the resell price if you might want to get a PB G5 down the line. My advice, Option 1 might more benificial and less hassle for yourself, especially in try to find a technician who is brave and confident enough to swap hard drives. Plus 5400rpm drive to me, can feel similar tto 7200 drive, but if you truly what the hard drive power later on, you could buy a nice external FireWire 800 drive and really be rolling. Also you might just go with the Superdrives, since even though you might not be making your own DVD movies now, you might want to one day turn your own home movies to DVD, or even want to burn a large amount of data, its really nice to know its there.

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