Are Macs worth buying before the Intel upgrade?

LordJezo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2005
9
0
I am really worried about buying that Powerbook I have always wanted now that Apple has announced that they are going to Intel chips. I feel like if I buy something now it will be totally out of date and unusable in only a short period of time. Sure, Windows laptops do the same thing, get old and slow quickly, but I can still use a 4 or 5 year old laptop with today’s current programs. I’m not talking about Photoshop or Doom 3, but just your basic utilities and programs for every day life. Also have no problem getting an operating system on them as well.

I feel like if I buy a Mac now Apple will just give me the finger and say I am SOL when it comes to updates and programs and operating system updates once they switch over. I don’t want to have a $1200 paperweight. Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple and really do think they make the best laptops, but I just don’t want to buy something now that I wont be able to use soon.

What’s everyone think?
 

liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,156
26
Lincoln,UK
if you need a new computer now then buy one ! if you are willing to wait until next april then do so

all will work fine for the next few years at least
 
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Chef Medeski

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2005
975
0
New York, NY
You'll be fine. You're going have to wait two years for a working Intel Mac. And so by two years after that there is no way they could just drop their whole base. So, you will be fine. I mean you have to wait along time to buy one and it may be better, but anything two years later is better. Well, except the iBook....chuckle.
 
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TMA

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2003
933
0
England
I think there are a lot of people worrying about this and my opinion is that they shouldn't be.

New technology is always around the corner. So whenever you buy a computer it will go out of date or be under specced quicker than you'd like. On the subject of changing to X86 processors, support for PPC technology will likely be included for years to come. Once the transition is complete, and all main stream and big applications are running on X86 I expect to see PPC still there. This will obviously phase out, but I don't imagine that happening for several years.

There's been quite a lot of discussion on this already, try using the search to find more threads.
 
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devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
TMA said:
I think there are a lot of people worrying about this and my opinion is that they shouldn't be.

New technology is always around the corner. <snip>
Hee, I'm really not trying to be a jerk, but when I read the OP's thread title, I thought of how humans will eventually travel by personal jets


And then by teleporting (like in Star Trek), so there is no point in buying an already outdated car. ;) Like the other posters say, if you need a new computer, why not make it one that works and is more stable and dependable than other makes out there? Lest we forget, it even looks nicer, too. :D
 
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eva01

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2005
4,715
0
Gah! Plymouth
well i just bought a dual 1.8G5 and i am buying a 12" powerbook in 8 days, so i have no fear in using a PPC for years to come.
 
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TMA

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2003
933
0
England
devilot76 said:
Hee, I'm really not trying to be a jerk, but when I read the OP's thread title, I thought of how humans will eventually travel by personal jets
lol why!? :)
 
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devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
TMA said:
lol why!? :)
My point being that technology will always advance, what you have today will always become obsolete. So get what you need or in the case of the OP:

LordJezo said:
I am really worried about buying that Powerbook I have always wanted now that Apple has announced that they are going to Intel chips. I feel like if I buy something now it will be totally out of date and unusable in only a short period of time.
something that you have "always wanted."
 
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LordJezo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2005
9
0
devilot76 said:
And then by teleporting (like in Star Trek), so there is no point in buying an already outdated car. ;) :D
Well the difference with that is that skycars will be an addition to the current set of wheeled vehicles. When it comes to the Mac the whole line of everything is going to be replaced. A decade after skycars come out you’ll still be able to go out and buy a Civic and drive it around.

I think it all comes from my iPod.. I bought one thinking I’d be able to get the updates and firmware upgrades since it’s just a tiny lcd screen hooked up to a hard drive but when Apple came out with their new models they just ignored the people who had previous generations. The message boards were filled with people who wanted to know why they could not get the latest firmware. Apple never said a thing. I am worried that the same thing might happen here, Apple will just lock out users with older tech (PPC) from the latest operating systems and upgrades because they want to force everyone to update.

And that would make me sad.
 
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devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
LordJezo said:
Well the difference with that is that skycars will be an addition to the current set of wheeled vehicles. When it comes to the Mac the whole line of everything is going to be replaced. A decade after skycars come out you’ll still be able to go out and buy a Civic and drive it around.
I disagree (although it is pointless to argue about something that has not yet happened!). Think about it, very few roads allow horseback riders to ride their horses alongside of driving motorized vehicles.

LordJezo said:
I think it all comes from my iPod.. I bought one thinking I’d be able to get the updates and firmware upgrades since it’s just a tiny lcd screen hooked up to a hard drive but when Apple came out with their new models they just ignored the people who had previous generations. The message boards were filled with people who wanted to know why they could not get the latest firmware. Apple never said a thing. I am worried that the same thing might happen here, Apple will just lock out users with older tech (PPC) from the latest operating systems and upgrades because they want to force everyone to update.

And that would make me sad.
That is a viable fear, but I think realistically, a lot of people don't keep their computers for more than 4 years, and if you were to get one now, you would probably still be safe from the aforementioned situation.

Steve Jobs said that the Intel processor machines would be shipping my June 2006, that's almost a year from now. Looking at the current product cycles, the rest of the machines probably would not be switched over for another year after that (at least). So now the math is at current ownership for 2 years, and yet Jobs made a huge stink about everything being universal binary (I don't know the technical details/ jargon). But he made it quite clear that PPC made software would be supported for a few more years... That definitely allows for a newly bought PPC machine today, to be had current and running for at least 4 years.

But if you don't feel comfortable purchasing now, then don't. It is understandable that you and millions of other people are worried about this transition, but don't look down at others' opinions when you asked for them in the first place.
 
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Jimmery

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2005
86
0
Canada
Does anyone have an idea what the sequence will be for moving into Intel? I.e., powerbook -> ibook -> mac Mini -> eMac -> Powermac ->iMac
 
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wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
I don't think that you should have any fear about purchasing a Mac now. If you need one, then purchase. Apple plans to support the PPC for another 4 - 5 years, that's after the transfer to Intel is complete. Software developers will also continue to support the PPC, it would just be good business. There will be a lot of PPC's in use. Also better to wait for the Rev. B of the Intel switch.
 
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MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
769
15
CA
Why does everyone say it will be better to wait for Rev B for the Intel switch? I mean, I already bought my iBook and I love it, but hey, if someone wants to go out there and get a Rev A mactel when they come out, they should go for it. I think many posters are exaggerating when they say the Rev A mactels will be crap. It sounds more like some people are being sour about macs transitioning to intel and they want to deter as many people as they can from buying them. I love PPC still and I think the intel macs will be cool too.
 
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devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
MUCKYFINGERS said:
Why does everyone say it will be better to wait for Rev B for the Intel switch? I mean, I already bought my iBook and I love it, but hey, if someone wants to go out there and get a Rev A mactel when they come out, they should go for it. I think many posters are exaggerating when they say the Rev A mactels will be crap. It sounds more like some people are being sour about macs transitioning to intel and they want to deter as many people as they can from buying them. I love PPC still and I think the intel macs will be cool too.
It's not just w/ Apple computers... it's with a lot of electronical products. Especially w/ cars-- it's just a smart practice of waiting for kinks to be ironed out. That said, if everyone was equally cautious, there would be no one to try out the new products and report issues. Luckily, we people are quite varied in tastes and whatnot, so there will always be some who go for the plunge, and some who hang back.
 
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Jedi128

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2005
274
0
New York, NY
Don't be worried about the intel switch. It should have no affect on when you buy a computer since the transition should in reality not be noticed by the average consumer. Look, Apple has said that they will continue to support PPC for a longo time after you buy. And remember it won't be untill the end of 07 when the intel take-over is complete. So I think you have nothing to worry about. Besides I think it would be better to get the last PPC than the first intel.........
 
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Jedi128

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2005
274
0
New York, NY
Just to add......

I have been planning on buying a Powerbook for college around Aug. 06 and it looks like I might be getting one with an intel processor now. I don't care. I'll need a computer for college and I can't wait any longer than Aug. 06 to buy one. So that's when I'm going to buy one. I know it will last me the four years I'll need it for.
 
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JasonGough

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2005
183
0
Manchester, UK
yeah, i'd agree that waiting for the MacTell rev. B idea before buying.

I know apple will do a sweet job of getting things right before releasing the 1st lot of MacTells, but there is nothing like having hundreds of thousands of users wordwide sending in error reports and bugs and stuff to help apple perfect the new machines in the rev.B systems.


Also, apple are already working on the new version of OSX (the follow on to tiger, i forget the name) which will obviusly fully support PPC, so i can imagine the the PPC will still have a good few years of life in them..


Is it true however that it is still likely to be about 2 years before the MacTell powermacs are available to the masses? or will the powermacs be the 1st thing available in June 2006?
 
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Sox

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2005
187
0
I'm in the process of switching my parents. My father isn't going to want to worry about Rosettas and emulators or chip-switching-why-won't-this-program-work-now stuff. He just spent last evening putting an axe through his Dell because of some troublesome printer drivers. He wants something that "just works." If he buys a powerbook in October, is he going to be throwing it through the upstairs window next year when MS Word 06 doesn't run correctly?
 
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orijinal

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2005
384
0
Sox said:
I'm in the process of switching my parents. My father isn't going to want to worry about Rosettas and emulators or chip-switching-why-won't-this-program-work-now stuff. He just spent last evening putting an axe through his Dell because of some troublesome printer drivers. He wants something that "just works." If he buys a powerbook in October, is he going to be throwing it through the upstairs window next year when MS Word 06 doesn't run correctly?
it'll work.
 
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TMA

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2003
933
0
England
orijinal said:
it'll work.
It'll work as well as any Microsoft program ever does.

Don't forget that we'll only just start seeing macs with Intel processors this time next year. I think it's safe to say that by August '06 PPC processors will be inside the computers of 95% (or at least a huge majority) of Apple's user base.

A year after that, maybe PPC will make up 50-75% of the user base.
The year after that, 25-50?

While there is still a great deal of macs in use that have PPC chips the incentive for developers to make their programs fat binaries will be huge. What business would want to lose a potential 50% of their target audience in 2 years time instead of making a little extra effort to ensure X86 and PPC compatibility?
 
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joecool85

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,355
1
Maine
I think it's still definetely a good buy to get a PPC product right now. Hence why today I placed my order for one of the 2ghz dual proc PM's. Doin' it up refurb style, that way I can enjoy PCI-X and 8gb ram.
 
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CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
LordJezo said:
if I buy something now it will be totally out of date and unusable in only a short period of time.
Your fear is based on a groundless supposition.

The Mac you buy today will do what you bought it for, essentially forever.

If you choose to upgrade the OS and applications on an annual basis, then at some point the hardware will not support the latest revision software. This is true of 680x0 machines, 60x machines and some G3 machines today. It is also true of Pentium MMX, Pentium II and some Pentium 3 machines today. So, when you reach that point, you buy a new one or stop upgrading and continue to use the machine for what it can do.

Just like it has always been.

If you need a machine now, buy one now that meets your present and realistic future requirements. If you don't actually need a machine, AND you want bragging rights to the latest and greatest, by all means wait until something comes out that will be a trophy machine for approximately 3 - 6 months until the next latest and greatest is released.
 
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Jay42

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2005
1,348
441
I was thinking the same thing in terms of "does it make sense to drop almost $2k on a PPC laptop now." But I soon realized: it does! My situation is a little different in that I needed a PB for school relatively soon. However, even if I had an old but usable laptop, I would still buy today, or even next week, or until Paris. I just ordered my 15" refurb yesterday afternoon, and it should be here beginning of this week!

Trust me, you will most likely be happier with a rev. D (or maybe E) PPC PowerBook that may be towards the end of the line rather than a Rev. A Intel 'Book. It will last as long as most people will need it to. Then upgrade 3 or 4 years down the line when the Intel 'Books are as quality as PPC books are today.
 
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CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Jimmery said:
Does anyone have an idea what the sequence will be for moving into Intel? I.e., powerbook -> ibook -> mac Mini -> eMac -> Powermac ->iMac
No. All we have are guesses.

And nobody outside of Apple knows ANY dates or timelines.

Which is why these continual threads are pure supposition and a waste of time...
 
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