Dual 867 tower vs the new powerbooks

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

  1. neb_greely macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2003
    Hi, I'm a web developer (php/mysql) who also does a fair amount of flash & photoshop work as part of my job. As a hobby I play around with video and music a bit too.

    Right now I have a
    Dual 867
    1.25GB ram
    Bus speed 133
    L2 Cache (per cpu) 256K
    L3 Cache (per cpu) 1MB
    The graphics card is a 64MB Radeon (something, maybe 9600?)

    It's a nice workhorse machine, however I'm both lusting after, and feel as though I have 'justified' purchasing one of the new powerbooks. The mobility is appealing, I like the idea of working from the couch or a cafe now and then. Though for the most part I will be hooking the pb up to a 19" CRT monitor (for now) to use split screens.

    I was wondering if people could weigh in on speed differences.
    If I bought the 15" 1.5GHz Powerbook (w/ a 167MHz bus) would it be a faster machine?

    I realize I'm not going to be stepping up to a radically faster machine, but my hope is that I wouldn't be stepping down.

  2. Vlade macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2003
    Meadville, PA
    In 95% of the cases yes it will be, but if all you want to upgrade is for speed than thats a bad choice, it will only be anywhere from 35%-85% faster in most cases, when a DP 2.0GHZ machine would be about 250% faster :)
  3. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    I am in no way a tech wizard, but I had the same question as you...my dual 500 g4 is starting to show its age (flash, illustrator, pro tools, Photoshop), and I decided it's time to get a new one since it won't handle big scans any more (4800 dpi off a 4x5 negative). i also wanted to get a powerbook as a primary machine, and was lusting after the 1.5 ghz, but decided that it is not capable as a desktop replacement for serious users. It will not be much faster than your dual 867, which in no way justifies spending 3000 dollars (once you get extra ram, bag etc.). I arrived at this observation by torture testing the processor at the local Guitar Center on the new powerbook using the dave-c test- It performed about 15 percent better than my g4 on Pro Tools, and 1.5 times better in Photoshop- not much if you ask me- my g4 tower is almost 4 years old. My advice would be to get a g5 tower, and then a 12" powerbook for portability. The g5 will simply smoke your dual 867. You'll be spending not too much extra if you get both, but you will be getting a much longer lasting purchase (I'm assuming you'll keep your monitor). You can also transfer files through airport from one to the other wirelessly so you can work on the CRT with the g5- no need for an ethernet or firewire connect (how nice that is!).

    p.s. I imagine that the new low end g5 (WWDC-introduced hopefully) will be a dual, and will cost a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 15" superdrive Powerbook. If you can wait, which you can (I'm waiting with a dual 500- slower than yours), you should.

    I'm using edu prices here, but it will be the same price differences:

    Option 1) 15" powerbook w/ 128 vram and 5400 rpm HD: 2389

    Option 2) 1.8 ghz g5 (close-out, but new low end will likely be similar price)- $1799 (retail $ not edu) 12" PB (combo- but you'll have super on the g5) $1399

    TOTAL OPTION 2- $3198 For 809 dollars more, you get both. You can probably get 650 on ebay for the g4 tower, so there you go......I'm sure you can mow some lawns for that extra 159 :D
  4. neb_greely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2003
    Thanks. This was good advice. And plus, hey, two computers are funner than one. I think I'll spring for a 12" now and play the waiting game on the g5.
  5. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    not a good idea for serious file transfer.

    always put in the cable when transferring files [either many or big]. wireless connections have lower-than-spec real-world throughput, and dropouts are common. for web surfing and printing, wireless is ideal, but for file transfers... sigh, have you ever even tried? [transfer a cd image and you'll curse when the dropout comes after 75% is transferred, and even if you can make it through, it takes ages.]

    it's just better to plug in the ethernet cable, which shouldn't be too much of a trouble. via ethernet, files just fly.

    but if you only need to transfer little files and not wanting to lift your arse from the sofa, then airport is nice. been there, done that, it works nicely as long as it does. i wouldn't transfer anything that takes more than five minutes via wireless.
  6. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    Yep. That's what I meant. :D. By the way, I just put in the order for my 12" PB today- my plan sounded too good for me to pass up!
  7. mpopkin macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2003
    Chapel Hill, NC
    To speak from a tech standpoint
    The 15 INCH Powerbook G4 1.5 Ghz is significantly faster in Final Cut, Adobe photoshop and General application than a dual processor 867 Mhz G4 Quicksilver, My roomate has one and i have definite performance advantages on my New PB( i have had it for almost a week now) it is a great laptop and i definetely recommend it, not over a DP g5 though( i have a DP 2.0ghz G5.


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