Resolved Buying advice : 17-inch Powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ZanatyH, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. ZanatyH macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #1
    hey guys..
    i've always been a windows(currently linux) user but i really want to switch to the mac
    problem is if i want a macbook pro 15(best screen size for me) i'll have to spend some serious cash and i've never used an apple laptop as my primary computer before.
    i wonder if i can use an old powerbook as a portal to the mac world, my needs are pretty basic now .. only a browser that can handle facebook and youtube videos on 360p quality.. i'm not saying i want a mbp15 just for facebook right now as my needs will develop as i progress in work.. can a powerbook do that job ?
     
  2. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #2
    ZanatyH,

    Welcome to the PowerPC section on forums. To agree with you, sadly yes a nice 15inch Macbook pro will set you back quite a bit. On the terms of a PowerPC mac, i can say i love them, but i wouldnt quite suggest one for a new user. Hopefully the guys here dont bash on me too much for saying that. I love PowerPC, but i PowerPC owners at times put up with quite a bit of work to get a 10year old machine up to par with todays standards. If you wish to save yourself some dough, and get something that costs a bit less, i would suggest an older intel machine. The reason i state that is because depending on the machine, you can at least run 10.7.5 Lion and still have an up to date web browser. Sadly PowerPC hasnt had any flash updates since i believe 2009, so youtube i find struggles a lot and facebook is pretty hard on the machines too. The fastest PowerPC i have is a 2005 Emac that runs at 1.42Ghz has a gig of ram and 80GB drive. I get on facebook, but scrolling is really bad. And youtube is possible but pretty much at 144p.
    If you got an early Macbook Pro like an 07 or 08 model, depending on the machine you could even possibly run the latest operating system on it. Currently, im using a 13 inch macbook 3,1 from 2007. Sadly due to the video card i cannot run the latest, im running 10.7 (lion) until i get some free time to put Mountain lion hack onto it. But even with an Os a few years old, im able to get the latest version of itunes, firefox and flash player on it. It runs like a charm. I did just retire this machine as i got a free upgrade to a slightly better Macbook pro from 09 but this is a great little backup.

    That is personally my 5 cents. But i would look on your local craigs list or kijiji and see what you can come up with. I was able to find the 15inch 2008 models for around $250-500 depending on upgrades and state and condition.
     
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #3
    I agree. You have to really like these computers and put up with a lot to buy one now. I do, of course, as do most of us in this forum, but it's worth a fair warning.

    When I use Facebook on my PowerBook, I go to m.facebook.com directly rather than the desktop site. It even works in Lynx.
     
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #4
    As you're a Linux user, I'm guessing you're used to tinkering around in the OS a bit, so OSX shouldn't be a problem. I have 2 Powerbooks and an iBook clocked at 1.25, 1.33 and 1.33Ghz respectively, none have maximum RAM and they can all handle Facebook and Youtube with the appropriate workarounds.
    If you buy an even faster machine all the better - for the little cost it's worth it as a try out. I say get a machine, then scan this forum for all the ways to get it up to speed - there's nothing difficult to set up, just a lot of tricks and alternative methods to tease the most out of an older setup.
     
  5. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5
    The workarounds are not worth the saving IMO for a new user, unless you are inclined to tinker.

    Find a bit more cash and buy a c.2008 MBP.
     
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    You could always run OSX in a Virtual Machine on your Linux setup - just to get experience of the OS?
     
  7. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    Another thing to consider, is the type of work you intend to do. Working on a PPC it largely has to be system independent eg I use mine for graphic design and writing music - the end product doesn't betray what system/OS was used to make it at all.
    Conversely if I were programming, I'd be limited to languages and tools that were contained within the PPC platform ie severely dated now - trying to produce contemporary apps would be next to impossible (though I'm saying that from a non-programmer perspective!).
    Another example would be editing HD video from contemporary cameras - although technically possible, the time scale involved in converting formats on a Powerbook would be torture - for you and the machine.
     
  8. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #8
    thank you very much guys for your replies, i live in egypt so used macs are pretty hard to come by over here especially ppc ones,
    from what i read here i can gather that you don't think the powerbook can handle facebook or youtube without tweaking and sacrifices so i looked up some used intel machines close or similar in price to the powerbooks being sold here and this is what i found :
    a mac mini for 277 dollars and the buyer didn't specify from which year but by the looks of it it seems to be pre 2010
    Mac mini core 2 duo 2.4/2GB/320GB for 277 dollars 2010 model
    and the powerbook was going for 158 dollars
    i need this to familiarize myself with osx .. should i just save up and buy the retina 15 straight away or pursue any of these machines to get to know osx first ?
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    As much as I love my Powerbooks(all of them) I think for a new user looking for the OS X experience you'd be better served by an older Intel MBP.

    I'm a big fan of the early '08 models. They are still supported up to the current version of OS X(El Capitan) and are easily expandable. I've had two of them. The one I still have is pretty rough looking, but runs great and I think I paid $70 for it(plus put in a new hard drive and an aftermarket battery). The other was very nice and cost me $130-I put an SSD in it and it was lightning fast even with 3gb of RAM and running Mavericks(10.9). I traded it to another member here for about $200 equivalent in trade.

    The caveat with these is that they are known to have heat-related GPU problems. I repasted both of mine and use fan control software set very aggresively to keep the GPU temperature down. By the time my GPU hits 60ºC, both fans are cranking at 6000rpms(and it never goes over about 65ºC).
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    As bunnspecial has suggested, the middle ground of an older MBP might work for you. Apple made the 17" model up until 2011 I believe and the majority of them will run the newer versions of OS X.

    An introduction to OS X should not include extensive training in applying all the workarounds we use to keep our old PowerPC Macs functional in the modern age.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11
    We are not pushing you towards buying a brand new machine but stating that purchasing a machine on an unsupported architecture will likely require much tinkering to do what you want it to do and then may even frustrate you. Plus, Leopard and Tiger are very different from modern versions of OS X, so you would not be getting the experience like you would on a modern machine. Granted, the fundamentals are all the same but El Capitan is quite a bit different in behavior from Leopard.

    It even flies with El Capitan! I actually like that machine much more than my 2012 13" cMBP.
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #12
    I'll cite an experience of mine that although it's not OS X, it was iOS and it did introduce me to it. I believe the example relates to what is being said to you, although it's somewhat different.

    For Christmas 2011 my sister gave me her old iPhone 3GS. Back then I had a different phone as my main phone. Due to my carrier then I could not use the 3GS as my primary phone but I did intend to use it as a secondary phone and as a way to introduce me to iOS.

    At the time, iOS 5 was the current version. I jailbroke that phone and learned several times. I learned iMessage and the App store and everything I needed to know. When I got my iPhone 5 in September 2012 I knew everything I needed to know. It came with iOS 6, but guess what, the iPhone 3GS was capable of iOS 6 so my transition from my old phone to my new iPhone 5 was seamless.

    So, here's where it relates. A 2006-2011 17" MBP, like my old 3GS is a decent Mac to introduce you to OS X. It's capable of running the latest, but it's not going to break the bank and it can also let you play around with previous versions of OS X that, while not current can give you a good feel as to the way things function now.

    At the same time those MBP models are still capable of doing modern work effectively.

    If you are intending to get into modern OS X this is a better option than a PowerBook. In the same way that having an original iPhone would not have done me much good in introducing me to modern iOS, a PowerBook is not going to help you in that sense over the long run.
     
  13. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #13
    totally got your point and i'm convinced, i'll try to get a mbp from around 2008 and learn my way through it before considering a new machine
    thank you guys very much for your help, i knew i could count on you :)
     
  14. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #14
    guys i found a laptop on an egyptian site similar to ebay >> Macbook Mid2010,Very Good Condition,2GB, 2.4GHz, Battery 5250 mAh
    will that be good enough ?
    [​IMG]
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #15
    Absolutely. Just be aware that your thread is asking about a 17" Mac. The picture you show is a MacBook and no MacBook ever made ever had a 17" screen.

    But if that is not important then you're good.
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #16
    The 13" Unibody Macbook was and remains a great computer. My brother in law has one, and it serves him quite well.

    I have the immediately preceding model-the mid-2009 non-Unibody Macbook. Mine has an SSD and 4gb of RAM, and is very usable with El Capitan(it's actually my El Capitan "test machine").

    The nice thing about the Unibody models is that they use DDR-3 RAM. They are dirt cheap to upgrade to 4gb, and not that much more expensive to go to 8gb. I think the one you're looking at can go as high as 16gb, although admittedly you get to a point of diminishing returns(I have 16gb in both my Mac Pro and my main MBP, and never even come close to the RAM being a bottleneck).
     
  17. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #17
    at first i was interested in the powerbook but as you guys made me realize it won't be good for me so now i'm taking your opinion on this :)
     
  18. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #18
    i don't know the minimum requirements of ram for el capitan but 2 gigs are just fine for me now, my worry is that in egypt we can't buy any osx disks, will that prevent me from installing el capitan ?
     
  19. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #19
    I believe 10.6(Snow Leopard) was the last available on physical media. 10.7(Lion) and later were intended to be downloaded from the App Store.

    El Capitan is a free download from the App Store. The caveat to this is that-I think-if the computer is still running Snow Leopard you can't technically upgrade to El Capitan without first upgrading to Mountain Lion(10.8). ML is a $20 download from the App Store, and will require you to purchase outside the App store and plug in a redemption code to be able to download it. I've never tested this(I have home made USB sticks for everything past 10.6) but is what I was told over the phone on two separate occasions when I bought SL disks(physical media) from Apple.

    If the computer is running Lion or later, you can go directly to 10.11.

    I would not want to run anything past 10.7 on 2gb of RAM, although it's probably doable. I sometimes find 2gb limiting even in 10.5(Lion) although admittedly have several computers running Lion on less than that. I'd suggest 4gb as a bare minimum for anything past 10.7.
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #20
    That's fine. My point in sharing was not to dissuade you from a 17", if that is the size you wish. It was to suggest that a later model Intel Mac would probably be more appropriate. As I said earlier, Apple still made the 17" MBPs until 2011.

    P.S. I've had multiple 17" PowerBooks. My main laptop is a 17" PowerBook G4 and I also own a 2006 17" MacBook Pro. So, definitely not trying to dissuade you from that size/form factor.
     
  21. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #21
    Even 4GB RAM in El Cap is bad, I upgraded my MBP last week to 8GB and am getting 16GB in the next month
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #22
    One thing worth noting with 17" PBs/MBPs:

    If your main concern is screen working area(and not physical size) the resolution of the 17" form factor laptops from late 2005 to early 2008 was 1680x1050. Later model 15" Macbook Pros(Unibody models) are available with this resolution, although it was an optional upgrade. I have the HR-Matte display on my main MBP(mid-2012 15") and love it, although you have to sort of hunt these out and matte display junkies will snap them up quickly.

    In late '08, the 17" was upgraded to 1900x1200, which it retained until the end of production.

    The "standard" 15" MBP(as well as late '05 Powerbook) was 1440x900. All 13" Macbooks and Macbook Pros(excluding the Retina) are 1280x800.

    I will just add in that if you're use to working with a larger screen(in terms of pixels, not necessarily size) going down in size can feel quite cramped. My main, everyday desktops have 1980x1200 displays(at least one, while my Mac Pro has two), and my main laptop is 1680x1050. When going to a smaller size(such as when I went on vacation a few weeks ago and took a 13" Pro) you can feel very cramped, although admittedly after a few days I was use to it again and didn't have a problem.
     
  23. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #23
    my previous laptop had a standard resolution of 1366x768 and i gave that to my sister, my machine now is an old hp tower with a resolution of 1280x1024 so i'm fine with any resolution as i use only one application at a time, i need the bigger screen as i'm used to them through all my life and i don't want to change that especially with trying to switch to a completely different os, but i'm fine with a 13inch now for the short run but not something i'd love to get used to.



    i found that laptop and for a slightly higher price than the one i mentioned before, which one should i go for guys ?
    [​IMG]
     
  24. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #24
    even if you did it's nothing bad at all, i asked you here because you know this stuff far better than me and i thank you really for your opinions :)
     
  25. ZanatyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #25
    the one i just posted have 4 and i'm planning if i get it to upgrade to 8.
     

Share This Page