A few technical questions before I purchase...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Butla99, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. Butla99 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2003
    CA-Bay Area
    I would like to buy my first PB soon, but I have a few questions:

    1. Can someone explain the difference between 4-pin and 6-pin firewire? Any benefits or shortcomings to either?
    2. Does anyone know the contrast ratio or brightness on the PB's?
    3. Can you scroll with the touchpad?
    4. How are the speakers on the 17"?
    5. Does the LCD look great despite not being WUXGA resolution?
    6. Can I install my own hard drive easily? I would like a 7200rpm HD, but the PB only comes with a 5400rpm.
    7. Anything else I should know about Apple before I switch (speed, OS, etc.)?
    8. Will PB's ever be 64-bit? Are the G5 models 64-bit?

    Sorry for so many questions. I probably have more, but it is late and I am brain dead right now. I will probably wait to buy until after MWSF, just in case. Any opinions? Thanks.
  2. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    1) Four-pin FireWire cables do not carry power to the device, only data. The only advantage is that if the device doesn't need power (such as a camcorder which has its own power supply), the hardware for the device and cable is a little bit cheaper.
    2) Apple has not published the contrast ratio and brightness for the PB, so the only way to find out would be to find out the part number and check with the manufacturer.
    3) With a third-party utility called SideTrack, you can scroll with the trackpad.
    4) I've never used the 17", but the speakers on the 12" are pretty good for a laptop, if a bit quiet. I think the 17" has similar speakers, but louder.
    5) I'm rather favorably impressed with the LCD on the 12". I can't imagine that the LCD on a notebook twice as expensive would be worse.
    6) It should be fairly easy to install your own hard drive, but you'll void your warranty in doing so.
    7) You haven't told us everything you know, so we don't know what else you need to know. That said, you seem rather well educated, so you probably know everything you ought to. Oh, I will say that many will tell you the upgrade to the 128 MB graphics card is a good idea. I agree.
    8) PowerBooks will eventually get some variant of the G5 processor and in so doing be made 64-bit. That said, you seem to be under the impression that current PBs have the G5 in them, which is not true. Once the G5 finds its way into the PB, it will be 64-bit.
  3. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    1.Basically what Daveman said, but it doesn't matter cause your PowerBook will only come with 6 pin and FireWire 800.
    2. I could probably find out for you, give me till the end of the day if that long.
    3.Same as daveman
    4.They are loud for a laptop, lack bass.
    5.Looks great, but I wish the rez was higher.
    6.I can assure you from experience it isn't easy. Pay for an authorized tech to do it or you will cause more harm than good.
    7. You'll love it and never look back.
    8. They will be 64 bit when they get a g5 in it. That time is still a ways away, so don't make that a buying factor right now.

  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I would be cuastious about #6 (7200rpm HDD). The 7200rpm HDD's have bigger heat issues and maybe higher power requirements. Though with an eMac in the family, I can say that a 7200rpm HDD does show performance increases.
  5. destroyboredom macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2002
    Washington, DC.
    Looks like they got your questions answered. If I can offer any advice it would be to wait until after MWSF (Jan. 11th). The powerbook line will probably see minor updates.

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