15" or 17" PowerBook G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by alex.marton, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. alex.marton macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #1
    Hi All,

    I know I post a lot about PPC computers but I'm just curious. :)

    I am debating on purchasing a second laptop, the one I have now is an 2012 i5 MacBook Pro.
    I have been looking at 15" and 17" PB's, and there isn't a lot of difference in the price. Now, I have read on some websites, that the 17" models tend to have graphics issues, etc. Is that true? If I bought a PowerBook, then I would only buy the E revision ones (the ones with 1.67GHz). I would buy a 17" model, because I have never had a 17" laptop before. If I buy one, what should I look out for? Should I try and buy one with 2GBs of RAM?

    Thanks, Alex.
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #2
    @alex.marton I would look for a 17" with a high clock speed or even a DLSD (Dual Layer SuperDrive). The PowerBook G4s had a few issues throughout their lifespans, but it was mainly with RAM slots and if they lasted this long they likely will go a lot longer. Since RAM is cheap (in the scheme of computer upgrades), I would put more of a primary focus on condition and CPU. You can upgrade the RAM and hard drive later so put more consideration on other factors.
     
  3. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #3
    Okay thanks! :) Most of the ones I find with 1.67GHz are dented everywhere, they are scratched doesn't have a better or etc. Thanks for your help! :D
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #4
    I have both an A1138 and A1139. These are the last generation, high resolution, double layer super drive models. The 15" is 1440x960 which was similar to the "standard" resolution(1440x900) of the 15" "classic" MBP up until its EOL(the 15" MBP I use every day has the optional 1680x1050 matte screen).

    The A1139 17" has a 1680x1050 screen, which does give you a fair bit more working area at the cost of size and weight.

    Erik(eyeyougren) disagree quite strongly on this point, but I find my A1139 difficult to use as a laptop. I mean that in the truest sense of the word-i.e. I have trouble holding it steady on my lap as I'm doing right now with my 15" MBP. As a "portable"-i.e. to take to work or a coffee shop, it's fine and not too bad to carry.

    Overall, though, when I use a Powerbook I tend to prefer the A1138 over the A1139. I see no perceptible "real world" performance difference between the two, although the A1139 does Geekbench a tiny bit lower(not enough to really matter).
     
  5. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    So you think that the A1138 is better than the A1139! :) I will look out for some on eBay and other sites! Thanks :D
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    LOL! Now you have entered my wheelhouse! :D

    I own the A1013, which is the first model 17" PowerBook. They are fantastic. I have never had any graphic issues with them. I have had many other problems, but that was a direct result of the age of the Mac.

    The first one I got in December 2009. It lasted (with a failed external cache) until early 2014 - despite the fact the seller said it was on it's "last legs" in 2009. I boosted the ram, replaced all the case screws (which the original owner had lost) replaced the screen and a few DC-In boards. But never any issue because of the GPU. Last year the logicboard failed, so I replaced it. It also had an external cache failure so it lasted only about six months. At that point I bought a for parts or repair replacement intending to swap screens (with my still good screen). Turns out that Mac was beat to hell and the ribbon cable connector came off the logicboard. So, hit and miss as to starting the Mac and I couldn't close it.

    This year I got a pristine condition A1013 without an external cache failure and it's been performing flawlessly.

    I also had a 17" HD DLSD which met an untimely death, but not because of graphic issues.

    That was was replaced with a 17" MBP.

    The 17" PowerBooks are a joy and any model you find will do fine.
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #7
    I prefer the A1138, but again it's your computer and your decision.

    My solution was to buy both :)
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    Yes. We do seem to disagree on that. Alex, I've often carried two 17" PowerBooks to Starbucks and work in my bags, plugging in and using both. I love the large screen. But then I am a sucker for large displays. :D
     
  9. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #9
    I just purchased a 15" PowerBook G4, model number A1046 (September 2003 revision). It was the first aluminum 15" PowerBook and had 1.25GHz G4, 1GB RAM, a really crappy 32GB SSD and a Combo drive. Since then I've upped the RAM to 1.5, added a Seagate 80GB HDD and replaced the Combo drive with a Dual Layer SuperDrive from the last generation models.

    Suffice to say I love it. With a fresh install of Leopard the machine really flies... even with the 5400rpm HD. I'm using it right now to type this message and to be honest it browses the internet much better than many newer Windows machines do. I bought this particular model based on price and condition. I paid $95 for the laptop and $45 for the parts so for less than $150 I have a really clean PowerBook that runs and works flawlessly. Buy the nicest one you can for the price.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    My A1013. :D

    1.0Ghz, 2GB ram, 120GB HD, 1MB L3 cache.

    2015-07-22 08.52.18.jpg
     
  11. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #11
    Thanks! :D I will get a 17" Revision E as soon as I get enough money for one... I don't have enough for one right now... Thanks for your answer! :)
     
  12. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #12
    Cool! They look sooo nice! :) I used to love TiBooks, but looking at them now, I probably wouldn't buy one lol. They look very odd to me! :D
     
  13. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    Cool! I have looked at the Late 2006 / Early 2007 MBPs but meh, I already own an Intel Macbook Pro, so I don't really want another one! :) And the price difference is a lot. For example, take a 17" PB, it's around £130, and an Intel MBP is around £200-£250 :(
     
  14. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #14
    Take a look around. You might be surprised what you find.

    Lots of vendors list Macs on eBay "for parts or repair" because the display is showing a blinking question mark or something similar. A very easy fix but since these people sell PCs they have no idea. I have scored more Macs because of this singular issue than anything else.

    The Mac in my picture I got from a liquidator who agreed to $69.99 for it. The Mac was in PERFECT condition! I've never had a cleaner or better Mac than this one.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/121508583107?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
     
  15. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #15
    Cool thanks! The other day I found a Macbook 2006 (Black) with a question mark for about £60, and an hour later, someone bought it literally just before me but never mind! :) The reason why I don't really want another Intel Macbook is that I will be selling my 2012 MBP, and then buying a brand new iMac, and then from the remaining money, I'll buy a PowerBook, which I'd use for small photo & video editing and a bit of video browsing, and that would be the Mac that I would take on holiday etc. :D
     
  16. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #16
    Yeah, the Blackbooks are rare and popular. £60 is an incredible price for one and the person who saw that jumped on the chance for it. Sorry it wasn't you.

    The 17's are great for video editing/browsing. Large screen, but still transportable.

    All my glowing reviews aside, though, here are some of the drawbacks. They are heavy. It will take some time to get used to one on your lap. And, like all G4s they get hot. And unlike the 12" PBs, rolling around on the couch with them is not an option.

    But for me the positives outweigh everything. Oh! The LCD on these Macs is color rich too. They are just a joy to use.
     
  17. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    Okay thank you! To me the 12" one looks so odd as the keyboard is literally on the edge lol :)
     
  18. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #18
    Well, all I will say about the 12" is that they are a nightmare to fix. I got my wife a 12" a few years back for $50 and $25 for a new screen (previous owner broke the screen when the Mac went down a flight of stairs).

    I broke two keys and ripped a wire out of the socket for the sleep light. A hacksaw was involved at one point and I ran it without the CPU heat sink for a bit. When all was said and done I fixed everything and got it back stock (with everything where it's supposed to be) but I don't like to think about how many times I had to open that Mac to get there. :D
     
  19. aberrero macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I knew these things were a bit behind the times but I didn't realize that they were black and white.
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #20
    If you mean the menubar and the dock, that's a theme. Black Mac OS X, a Magnifique theme and Black Gloss 2.1 (icons and dock) for Candybar.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1932210/Black_Theme.zip

    If you were slyly joking, then I am ROTFL! :D :D
     
  21. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #21

    HA I'm still wondering how he managed to drop it down the stairs lool
     
  22. alex.marton thread starter macrumors 6502

    alex.marton

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    #22
    Haha I see what you did there!! :p
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #23
    No idea, but when I told him what I did (swapped the screen out) I got zero response back so I know the seller wasn't pleased to realize he'd let a good, repairable Mac go for $50. :D

    People just don't realize what they have and what is an easy fix or what is not when it comes to Macs. SMH!
     
  24. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #24
    Yeah I was going to mention the issue with heat and the G4. These machines aren't nearly as cool as the newer MacBook's and the battery life isn't that great either. My battery holds a 70% charge and I'm lucky to get 1.5 hours on that with brightness down and only Wi-Fi enabled.

    The screen on these laptop is just about perfect; my only issue is the lack of brightness but then again I'm comparing that to a Retina MacBook Pro which clearly isn't fair lol. I almost bought a A1013 PowerBoook but the guy wanted a little bit too much money for it. To be honest I'm glad I have the 15" since I already have a 17" iMac.
     
  25. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #25
    I had a 15.1" TiBook 400 from late 2001 to Nov. 2009. Always wanted the 17" when it came out and always was annoyed by the small size of the TiBook. But that's just a personal thing.
     

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