1ghz Aluminum Powerbook 5 week review

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by carbonmotion, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    5 weeks ago, I bought a 1ghz PPC g4 Powerbook 15" with a 512mb of DDR Ram and a 60gig standard harddrive... here is my review.

    I want to start off my giving you some idea of the previous computer that I have used so you would know that I'm not computer illiterate. They are listed in chronological order... Apple IIc, Pentium 133 Compaq Persario, Celeron 433 Emachines (dead), Celeron 533 (self built), Athlon 1800+ (self built -sold to friend), Athlon 1900+ (self built -gave to dad for bday), 500 mhz Titanium Powerbook (sold to friend),Dual Athlon MP 2ghz (self built -my gaming rig that i dont use anymore since i dont game), Athlon XP 2600+ (self-built gave to friend for college), 800mhz g3 ibook (sold on ebay), and finally my latest computer 1ghz Alumium powerbook.

    The following will be a loosely formed review by me in hopes of convincing or not convincing some of you out there thinking about scoring a powerbook. it will be compared to three benchmarks

    ...when i say ibook, i mean ibook G3 800mhz,14.1 inch LCD, 600+ SDRAM, Airport, 30g HD.

    ...when i say PC, i mean Dual Athlon MP 2000+, 100gig HD1, 30gig HD2, 7gig HD3, Radeon 9800XT 128MB Video Card 1, Radeon 7000 PCI Video Card 2, 1 gig of corsair DDR RAM, Sound Blaster Audigy, Windows XP Professional SP 1...and (on HD3) Mandrake Linux 9....

    I'm a sociology major at the university of michigan and through my UROP (intership sorta thingy) and classes, I have the duty to make websites, edit interviews, and write huge ass papers that noone can understand, and prepare big powerpoint presentations for profs.... oh did I mention I have to edit hours of boring ass field study interviews? On the side, I do some wedding and some start-up company websties for a small fee.

    ...so without further adiu....
    Section I ...PROS AND CONS

    To start off I want to say that before ordering the powerbook, I had some fear that buying a Rev A machine would lead to an endless life of misery as depicted my some MR threaders. However when I finally got the pbook arrived, nothing was bad that i found.

    the LCD is better then that i'm used to ...I have a ($560) samsung 19" that is actuall worse then my powerbook LCD by a few miles.

    AE range is better on the powerbook then my old g3 ibook... i don't know why, but I used to not get any signel at this one part of the university, and now I do.

    The harddrive ticks a bit which I though was a defect, but after looking at a few display models, I realized all powerbook harddrives ticks can be heard if you are in a really quite enviroment.

    Final Cut Pro runs well enough on 512 Ram, although more couldn't hurt.

    I also use Flash, Dreaweaver, and Fireworks, which all shine under the new g4 powerplant. Adobe PS CS and GoLive CS also work noticebly faster. While adobe stuff seem to be on par with my pc (Dual 2ghz Athlon MP), the Macromedia stuff seem definately slower then my pc... btw, I don't bench this stuff, this is just my preception via usage. Both Adobe and Macromedia probably run slower on the pBook, but Adobe doesnt feel slower, macromedia does ...although no so much flash, but rather Dreamweaver....which i never use...oh yeah sorry, I'm talking about version MX2004

    OS X peformance is still sticky at times and windows is by far more snappish, however windows does crap out alot more often and for no apparent reason. OSX on the g4 is really consistant, my powerbook is on for weeks at a time and the os seem to eat that up with no problem.

    Safari and Mail are what I use to communicate with my masters ...err i mean proffessors. I like mail more then Outlook XP because its faster and more secure although mail does lack some features which i never use...but you might so keep that in mind. Safari feels about the same as Mozilla firefox speed wise, but it a hell lot more stable.

    Office XP vs Office X.1... um. They are mostly the same, although i'm biased toward X.1 because it has a dictionary and someother stuff. If you don't want to spend the money, you could try openoffice.org ...but (don't flame me for this), openoffice is crap. nowhere near as good as x.1 or xp.

    Battery life--Ok this is the big kicker... I get 3:20minutes on automatic. I get around 4 hours on really really conservative settings ....like the lcd all the way down and stuff. This is a big change from the battery frugal ibook, but for me i've barely noticed it.

    Misc hardware stuff...everything else has worked the way its suppose to...the aluminum cover doesnt scratch easily can be cleaned with toilet paper and water.

    Games...in my urop, its mandatory that i play truecombat with my fellow sociologists-tobe as a "study" of human behavior under stress.... :-D ...anyways, Quake 3 engine works ok, but the Mobility 9600 is not anywhere near as good at my PC (Dual Athlong MP)'s Radeon 9800 XT with full anti-Aliasing at 1600x1200 and all the details maxed out...but that is to be expected. Splinter Cell works fine, again doesnt look at good or run as fast as my PC.

    ...my friend go laid with my powerbook... but thats posted on another thread.

    so here it is, in summery... I used to have two computers that I used my PC and my ibook... they work in harmony. the PC cranks out hardcore movie and webstuff, while the ibook takes notes. Now, I've moved the PC back home to collect dust. the Powerbook is truely a worthy desktop replacement... for people that do stuff i do at least...maybe not for you.
  2. Snowblind macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2004
    Woodbridge VA
    Thanks for the Review!

    Thanks for not showing us those boring benchmarks, but explaining things from a real user's point of view. I am an IT guy who is really tired of MS but looking to taking the plunge and switching. My main interest is the G5's but with an interest in those beautiful Powerbooks. Being an AMD speed junkie myself, I didn't think a 1 ghz laptop, er Powerbook would be worth anything. Thanks to your review, I might just get a 1.25 Powerbook to take with me while vacationing in Lake Cadillac! :cool:

    Thanks alot!
  3. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I read that thread about getting the girl with the PB, and now that I know your a student at UofM, it makes so much more sense.

    Seriously, I live in East Lansing (MI, where Mich State U is, for you non-Michiganders out there) and went to Eastern Michigan (in the town next to UofM, again, for you non-Michiganders) for awhile as well, and in my general experience, UofM girls are EASY. Almost to easy...

    So ya, that makes so much mroe sense now.

    Glad you like your PB, tho. I am a 'switcher' too, and looking at getting a 1ghz 15" PB, but kinda holding out for a bit to see if anything new comes out...


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