Compared to a 15" powerbook...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nyprospect, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. nyprospect macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
  2. cmv macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2004
    No. And I can say so very honestly, because I'm just about to buy the 15'' powerbook.

    Why? The main "feature" that I will have to live with for the lifetime of the computer is the OS. And I don't want to live with XP & such. It *is* worth a few hundred bucks.
  3. furrina macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2004
    In tha 212
    You know, I hate to say this, but if I didn't edit video, dj with my iPod, and get kinda creeped out by windows (which i use at work), I might actually consider it. I think even in the aesthetics dept., I hate to say it but the aluminum powerbooks look kinda PC-ish. Al. dipslays will look even more PC-ish. Yes, I know it may be because PCs have tried to copy macs in design.

    So, if I could use FCP on a PC, i might even consider it, mainly because I know how much I paid for my PB (and xtra for the RAM, better gfx card, etc. which are included on this), and I sure coulda used the extra $1000.

    I might add that I save a great deal on software, which I've heard is more difficult for Windws. Enough said about that. :cool:
  4. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    No way.

    There is a huge difference between this and the PB: form. The PB is 1" thin and 5lbs. This is 6.6lbs (didn't see thickness). Also, this thing is extreemely ugly.

    Then there's the OS. Fact is, the PB will last you longer than the PC. I have had very bad experiences with PC laptops. I bought a Compaq and its battery connection died within 6 months and it has been rendered immoble ever since. My friend's Dell laptop died (and I mean died) within a year. PC laptops are terrible.

    Nyprospect, I know you've been considering a PB for a while and my advice is to go for it - you won't regret it :).

    Best wishes,
  5. furrina macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2004
    In tha 212
    I have a dear friend named David who is very wise. During a similar conversation once, he muttered, "PCs are for murderers."

    I think there's somthing to that. :p
  6. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2001

    Then again some of us have no problems with them. I have lost count of all the PC laptops I've handled over the years for work and at home... Dells, Compaqs, HPs, Toshibas, off brands I forget... a couple dozen at least. They are all getting along fine, as far as I know, well except for one older Toshiba with a bad CD-ROM drive. The oldest one I've interacted with recently was a P3-600 Compaq, nothing wrong with it. It was one of three that a friend recently got at surplus and put Linux on, for where he's working. They probably have a couple more years left in em. ;)
  7. nyprospect thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
    Nyprospect, I know you've been considering a PB for a while and my advice is to go for it - you won't regret it :).

    Best wishes,

    Hi JOD8FY.Yep you got me lol.I have been wanting one for a while.Im just taking baby steps into the macworld :) thanks for the replies
  8. Ozi macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Of course, everyone here will be biased in favour of Apples! :D

    However, the Apple 15" has a bigger screen (1280x854, not 1280x800) and I suspect it is a better screen too. The battery life of the Acer is better, but in other respects it is worse off. For example, 60GB not 80GB harddisk, 64MB not 128MB VRAM, running crappy XP not beautiful OS X. :p

    I have a 15" pBook and it is truly wonderful. I love it! Also, by buying a pBook you will join the close-knit and helpful Apple community. I dont think that the "PC" community has anything that comes close. :)

  9. KiDrOck80 macrumors member


    Aug 21, 2003
    Syracuse, NY
    I have PC laptop...a SONY VAIO..this was the first laptop they ever made..i've had it for a long time i have never had a problem with it. I had a Compaq laptop, but i had to wipe out the HD atleast once a week....but like most other people on this Forum, im counting down the day until i can get my Powerbook.

    MY advice for you would to keep looking around, Technology is changing so rapidly that one day your computer system could be top of the line, and the next it could be on Sale at bestbuy,Etc....If the computer meets your needs, and its in your price range, and also if its me those are the 3 most important things i look at before i even consider the computer.
  10. netytan macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2004
    Obviously a biest place to ask this question which gives the impression you that you are looking for a little convincing :). And this is definatly the place for that!

    The 15" PowerBook, in my honest oppion is the best portable around today. No matter how much money your willing to spend for a PC Laptop. It is just beautiful and with a bunch of extra features your not gonna see in the PC world for a while i.e. backlit keyboard and auto ajusting screen brightness to name just two.

    And because its Apple you know its high quality - i had a friend who worked for this company building PCs, no not laptops, but after seeing just how these things are put together he baught his first Mac. My reasoning behind getting a Mac: began with just how amazing OSX and the just how ****ed the eventual release of MS Longhorn which really made it time to switch!

    Enjoy the new Mac,

  11. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I completely agree, I have the Rev A 15" Powerbook 1.25GHz, Through work I have had many PC laptops over the years, Gateway's, Sony Viao's, and Dells. The 15" powerbook is better than all of them, in terms of usability. I use mine at work, can connect to a Windows network and open all my Excel and word files, have the SAP client installed, and pull emails from exchange server. Then at home I use all of the i Apps to store my photos, store my Music, video editing in iMovie and Final Cut Express. I can use .Mac to load all my family photo's to web site using Apple's easy to use homepage tools. However apart from the looks and the quality of the Powerbook, which I think beats any PC Notebook on the market, you get OS X, which in my opinion is better than XP. OS X means little chance of being infected by virus.

    Two people at work have switched to Mac after seeing how versatile the powerbook is.
  12. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    I'm definitely going to say get the PB - for all the above reasons.

    But if you do decide to go for a PC laptop - go for a reputable brand. A high-end VAIO, Samsung or IBM Thinkpad; Acer are renowned (here at least) for atrocious build quality and failure rates.
  13. craigdawg macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    This is interesting because I'm in the market for a notebook and for the first time in my life I'm thinking about buying a PC notebook (a ThinkPad) instead of a PB. Not that I wouldn't absolutely love a PB but I need to do specific Windows stuff and I think VPC wouldn't cut it. (We'll have to see if the IT guys can figure out if the Cisco VPN client for OS X will work, in which case it changes my decision-making process). And I HATE Micro$oft.

    I'm actually quite conflicted by this. Am I going nuts?

    One reason I want to buy a PC and live with all of it's shortcomings is to play Doom III and Half Life 2 and it would make even less sense to buy a PB AND a desktop PC just to play games (and get viruses :)).

    Is the PB designed better? Yes. Is the OS better (than XP)? Yes. Can I open the Word documents that I created at work on it? Yes. Will it work flawlessly with my iPod, digital camera, and bluetooth-enabled cell phone? Of course. Can I play Half Life 2 on it? Dangit.

    I have to say honestly that the iMac I bought in 2002 has given me the least amount of mileage of any computer I've ever owned. I got seven useful years out of my Apple IIe! About three each from a Mac Classic, Power Mac 6100/66, 200Mhz Pentium II MMX, and a 700Mhz P3 machine. It's purely subjective but the iMac (15"/700/512MB) seems to struggle to keep up with what I'm doing. Lots of spinning balls and waiting.

    Anyway for some people, the decision is harder that it would appear.
  14. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I am sure most of the mac users on these boards would say they would never go back to windows unless the had to. That includes myself. I would never go back to windows, once you use and own a mac you'll know why.
  15. jbusse macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2004
    Another point

    When you buy a PC laptop, they fill the HD so full of bull**** spamware and marketing trialware that the OS is almost ruined when you get it.

    I just got my Powerbook and there is none of that - I didnt have to try and "clean up" the machine when I booted it up.

    The PC vendors don't respect the buyers, I feel like Apple holding back on spamming me with BS in the OS shows that they respect me more...

    I could have bought a 17inch screen toshiba laptop for half the price of my 15 inch powerbook, Im so glad I didnt - the screen is better and the quality is sooo much better...

    Get a powerbook, you will not regret it

    Recovering PC user
  16. Seanb23 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    I couldn't wait to get a 17" pbook when they first came out.

    $3300, plus another few hundred for Applecare, last summer.

    Don't get me wrong here...I get a lot of mileage out of my powerbook, and I would never try to argue that OS X is NOT the best operating system out there, for now, but 1 GHZ is still...very, very anemic, relatively, today. It's fine for internet browsing, iTunes, watching a DVD, etc., etc., but throw a modern, complex set of applications at it, such as any high end musical software, and watch the CPU just get overwhelmed immediately. Not to mention the small L2 cache, the s l o w bus's really embarrassing for Apple at this point to see just how far they are behind in the hardware dept. Again, they are #1 in the OS market, no sane or educated person would debate that, but...

    When I asked my local dealer about trading up for a more robust 1.5 GHZ model about a year after I bought it, he informed me that my $3300 machine would be worth between $1500-$1700 as a trade in, in perfect condition, that is, which after a year, mine is not, due to a little dent in the aluminum. So mine is worth zilch as a trade in, and Apple does not repair little dents. So much for Macs holding their value...

    Bottom line here...I want to stick with the OS X platform myself, but I'm not throwing a single dollar Apple's way until they can get a modern processor into the powerbook line...say, by this time next year. I would settle for something in the 2GHZ range...which isn't a tall order, considering that similarly priced high end peecees are well over 3 GHZ now. If Linux ever catches up with the software I use, it wouldn't even be a question for me, given Apple's lackluster hardware development lately.

    And, yes, I'm well aware of the popular notion that Macs tend to run faster when comparing CPUs. This may have been true 2 generations of CPUs back, but I have sat here and benchmarked my 1 GHZ powerbook against an older AMD 2 GHZ desktop running (yuck) XP, and it totally blows the powerbook out of the water ! Sad, isn't it ? But what is equally sad is that the AMD runs as well as is does because it has rarely, if ever, come in contact with the internet, and happily sits at home processing it's audio stuff without ever crashing mainly because of this !

    So, hold on to your money and wait for the people down in Cupertino to move the powerbook hardware into the year 2004. Really, if we were to all threaten to hold our money back and let them know that empty promises from IBM are simply not cutting it, they might, and I stress MIGHT, force the hardware suppliers to speed up development due to economic pressure from their valuable high-end laptop customers.

    I can always dream, right ?
  17. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    my Powerbook 1.25 ran circles around my friends dell powerbook @ 2.6ghz. It wasn't an M chip, it was a P3, but similar vid cards and exact same RAM.

    And when I mean circles I mean it finished filters in half the time. Sometimes I'd be done in half a second, he'd be waiting 4 seconds.
    I asked him what he thought my PB was running at, considering this. He guessed (knowing G3/G4 chips are faster at lower clocks) that I was running a 2ghz chip against his 2.6.

    I dare say my highly Microsoft defend-ish friend was given something to think about that day.

  18. Seanb23 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    When you say "filters" are you implying Photoshop ?

    One of the audio programs I am talking about is called Reaktor has a built in CPU monitor function, which is nice. My 1 Ghz PB used about 16% of the CPU compared to the old AMD 2 Ghz's 9% when running the same very simple synth emulator, and both machines have 512k RAM.

    With one large, complex ensemble open, 50-60 % of my CPU is used up, compared to 25% of the AMD's. Two large ensembles, or one ran through some effects run the PB's CPU up to over 90 %, and three are impossible on my machine without drastically lowering the fidelity, and don't even think about using this program "full on" at the same time as a decent audio editor like Live, or even a freebie like Audacity. The AMD runs all of these (well, not Audacity ;) )and much, much more without even a hiccup. Seen it with my own eyes. I don't even want to think about how badly an M-chip in a laptop would trounce my machine with this stuff, and this is coming from someone very, very firmly in the Apple camp for a number of reasons both ethical and practical.

    Which is why I stand by my point : Apple desperately needs to get some high speed, modern hardware in it's laptops for the musician crowd. I can't go lugging a dual G5 tower around with me everywhere, you know ? And I certainly don't want to deal with XP, or, God forbid, Longhorn, in case you are getting that impression...but the current PB line is still waaay too slow for me.
  19. rinseout macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    This is the biggest factor holding me back from upgrading right now. Right now they're relying on the design aspect of the PB line to carry sales and obviously it's working. I don't even care about whether the G5 makes it into the line; I would be happy with a more modern low-power 32 bit processor with reasonable cache and bus.
  20. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004

    Nyprospect, I would definetly get a Powerbook. I haven't found a pc notebook that compares. I have had my 17 inch Powerbook for 2 weeks now (it's my first mac too) and currently I shudder at the thought of having a pc notebook. Performance wise, asthetics, and OS X (and I KNOW my way around Windows) are just so much better than what I am used to.
    I am starting college in the fall, and I don't want to be bothered with Windows acting up, or having to reformat every 2 or 3 months. My Powerbook has not crashed since the day I got it.
    Since I do a lot of work in Photoshop, I really enjoy the widescreen ratio. It allows me to have a full page spread open and still have room for all the palletes etc. And the first time you will watch a movie on it, you will be thrilled.
    The aluminum casing also is really beautiful and feels like a very well made product. I was in Best Buy today, and after examining some of the pc notebooks, I was really glad to have made the plunge. They just do not compare! The plastic felt very cheap on most of them and they were really thick. You will really appreciate the Powerbooks form factor.
    Another nice thing to have is the bluetooth. My Sony T610 synchronizes wonderfully with iSync, so I am always upto date with my contacts and calendar events.
    I have read a few reports of people denting their Powerbooks, but this has always been the owners fault from the few incidents that I have read about. Question is, would you rather have dented aluminum or cracked plastic?

    Get a Powerbook, you will not regret it.


    Remember that your comparing a lap top to a desktop. desktops, will usually always be better performing. Notebooks aren't supposed to match desktops in performance (but it would be nice :)). I dont know how you would fare doing your audio ensembles on a pc notebook, but I doubt it would come close to your desktop.

    On a side note, my 1.5 ghz powerbook is faster than my 2ghz Pentium 4 running photoshop filters and both computers have the same amount of ram, even though as I later found out, I had allocated Photoshop more RAM on my desktop than on my Powerbook. And this is not on some whimpy small file. Rather it was done on a 432 mb psd file (yearbook cover full tabloid spread)

    I also find switching to Highest Performance from Automatic dramatically increases my Powerbooks performance, although I am sure it just as well drains the battery.

  21. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    By Filters yes, I do mean PhotoShop, I thought I mentioned that, my bad. Also, while I don't believe you are doing this, the way you present "facts" can be interpreted in other ways. For instance, Say I had actually had my CPU monitor running while doing those Filter tests with my friend, and suppose he did too. Now what if my CPU was pegging out at 100%, and his was only doing 90% ? Without the time trials you'd have to guess that the Filters are pushing my CPU to the limit, while his CPU has cycles to spare, when in "the real world" my computer is getting the task done faster.

    Did you clean up both test computers pretty well before running tests? We both made sure everything was turned off and reset, he restarted his computer, I relogged in to reset the RAM as fully as possible. It could be through active use of your computer it has bogged down, while the other computer has stayed pretty clean and off the internet, as you mentioned.

    As for single proc G4's becoming useless under music manipulation. my computer is fully functional without a slow down in normal operation while encoding Video. I'm sure if I ran PS it would handle things slower, but not unbearably. Perhaps your AMD 2ghz has a bit more RAM? Faster HD? All very important things when it comes to how things function while in CPU intensive tasks requiring file movement.

    Personally I have no experience with the Audio program you speak of, but it could also be that the programers just did a better job with the Windows version of the program. Most Speed trials are done using PS in, for reasons I would guess to be, pretty well equal optimization for both platforms. Just a theory though, not trying to trounce on your Audio program ;)

    Also, is your 1ghz PB a Ti or an Alum? Perhaps the Cache, RAM, and FSB size/speeds are different? I don't know off hand (and not so enthralled in this debate as to go look it up ;)).

    And one parting shot ;)
    You say that Apples current offerings are low end compared to the market, and yet your experience comes from a year old, or perhaps 2 year old (when was the 1ghz 17in brought to market?) computer to what is surely a 2 year old AMD. The current Apple offers have a faster FSB, faster RAM, Better Graphics card, are have a CPU increase of 50% over your laptop (depressing, isn't it?).

    All that said, I'd be quite happy if Apple improved the Powerbooks, and I believe there is room for improvement. Now if only IBM or Motorola could offer Apple a chip to do it with...

  22. Rob587 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Ive been a PC user for my entire life and Im done!!!! Ive had enough of the crashing and the ctrl alt deletes! Im switching to mac becuase even thought they may not be quite as fast as the PC's, they technically are, if you concider how many times programs just freeze up and you have to reboot ur fricken computer. Can u tell Ive had enough? lol "GO FOR THE MAC BABY"
  23. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    i did exacty the same and couldn't be happier. enjoy!

    g5 or powerbook?
  24. cslewis macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2004
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W

    Those Windows people who say Macs are slower are WRONG. A mhz to mhz comparison is not accurate. They are not on the same scale. The architecture is completely different- the PowerPC is a RISC chip, the Intel/AMDs are CISC- the comparisons don't match up. A 700 mhz PowerPC chip is roughly equivalent to a 1.6 or 1.7 ghz chip.

    700 mhz = 700 million bytes
    1.7 ghz= 1 Billion 700 million bytes
    From mac to PC add 1 ghz
    Emac .......................................... 2.5 ghz
    Powermac G4............................2.5/2.6 ghz
    Powermac G5............................ dual 3.5 ghz
    powerbook...................................2.5 ghz

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