G4 Powerbook vs. Area 51m 5500??

Southbridge

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Original poster
Feb 12, 2005
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Astoria, NY

Jigglelicious

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Apr 25, 2004
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NYC
It depends on what you want to do with the computer. If gaming is important to you, then i'd get the Alienware. If you're looking for a more generalized computing experience and don't want to have to deal with viruses and spyware and such, then the Powerbook is a great choice. The Powerbook is quite a bit lighter, too!
 

lfielder06

Guest
Dec 5, 2004
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I would agree if you want to do mobile gaming then the area 51m is a great computer. The area 51m is probably light enough to take to like a lan party or something but not light enough to take with you everyday. You are asking on a mac forum so obviously i would say go with the powerbook just because of the looks, weight, and os. I really think it is just a matter of how much gaming you want to do. Not near as many games for mac as there are for windows but the 15" powerbook can handle most games (i think). Which ever one you get i'm sure you wont be dissapointed.

Edit: Just checked out the comparison tab for the area 51m and the list "ruberized grips" for comparison. :) lol
 

csubear

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2003
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err... looking at both computers the specs kinda look the same, both have a 9700m.... My guess it that the powerbook could be a good choice if you want a gaming laptop that you also don't have to worry about spyware and viruses. And yes most of the good games are out for mac. my 2 cent.
 

Solafaa

macrumors 6502a
I used to have a similar Alien laptop, it was not very good to be honest. The screen could have been better, and it was to thick to be used daily. My friend has the 15" PB and he plays World of Warcaft on it daily. I would go with the powerbook.
 

Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
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csubear said:
err... looking at both computers the specs kinda look the same, both have a 9700m.... My guess it that the powerbook could be a good choice if you want a gaming laptop that you also don't have to worry about spyware and viruses. And yes most of the good games are out for mac. my 2 cent.

umm Mac computer suck for gaming end of story. Lack of games comes into play here.

Another good question is what do you plan on doing with a computer. If you are planning on being an engineer, Archetech, Computer programer the PC general going to be better for school because the lack of software comes into play again and the stuff the school will use will not be advible for a mac.
 

vasaz

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2004
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MN
Timelessblur said:
If you are planning on being an engineer, Archetech, Computer programer the PC general going to be better for school because the lack of software comes into play again and the stuff the school will use will not be advible for a mac.
I would argue very strongly against including computer programming in that list. I'm currently in a Masters Computer Engineering program, and for things such as programming OS X is extremely nice. Especially with X11, if you ever need to work off a school computer running any Unix/Linux it's much nicer than using anything Windows provides. Keep in mind most University programming involves a form of Unix, which Windows does not play as nice with (you could install Linux though). Of course general Engineering is a slightly different story... but Macs can still be used without too much hassle.
 

ChronoIMG

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Sep 11, 2003
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San Francisco, CA
I've been asking myself this same question for the last few days. Right now that Alienware is on sale, so price wise, it's a good deal. One thing I didn't like about the Alienware is that they charge you for restore CDs and junk like that. Plus configured with the same RAM and HD space as the Powerbook, the PB would be cheaper by a few bucks.

However, the major drawback is the lack of Mac OS X on the Alienware. For gaming though it will crush any Powerbook hands down.

Yet, the Powerbook is a nicer machine overall. Thinner, ligther, and built very well. The OS is solid and Tiger is only going to make it better. The hardware isn't horrible, the ATI 9700 will run games rather well. I just think games like Doom 3 will have problems where as the Alienware would run it without a hitch.

Quite the dilemma.
 

ChronoIMG

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2003
196
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San Francisco, CA
DanTekGeek said:
the big question is:
Do you really want to have to put up with all of windows' sh*t?
Hehe. I own several Macs and one PC. As long as I don't use Internet Destroyer and Office apps on the PC, it'll be fine :)
 

DanTekGeek

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2004
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Denver, CO
I know how horrible a PC can be. I only recently switched. Allthough if you are a poweruser, windows is useable, it is nothing compared to OS X. I think that is really want to ask yourself. Which is more important? A quality OS? Or gaming.
 

Loki.Mephisto

macrumors 6502a
I agree: If you´ re on gaming a lot, take the Alienware.

For anything else, take the PowerBook.

Don´t forget to take into consideration one fact: The Alienware comes with a P IV. This is a desktop - cpu producing a lot of heat. So, it´s not too wrong to consider the alienware will be usable as a radiant heater and be consistently loud.

Greez Max
 

rasp

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2005
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Easthampton, MA
Neat how the alienware has both pc2700 and pc3200 ram installed along with 3 different video cards listed in the side by side chart.

It does look like a slick gaming notebook though.
 

Southbridge

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Original poster
Feb 12, 2005
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Astoria, NY
:) Thanks for the responses!

Here's where I am right now:

-Price wise both machines are the same, so I can factor that out
-Also in terms of design both are pretty much equally cool...

Powerbook
-Generally OS X is better than XP Pro. I mean I dont mind XP and I know how to avoid viruses, but Mac OS is just a generally better design, so thats definatly a point in favor of the powerbook.
-Definately lighter at 5lbs vs. the 7.5lbs of the 51m 5500. Also I'm thinking that the Powerbook is going to be cooler since the 5500 runs a P IV HT. If I'm going to be carrying around the laptop the Powerbook is generally better.

51m 5500
-Definately more powerful than the Powerbook. But I'm not like a hardcore gamer. I dont do first person stuff, more like WCIII Frozen Throne or Total War. I will be doing Photo editing with Photoshop though.

Another thing... Would the powerbook go obsolete faster than the 5500? I mean not only in terms of the processor, but am I going to have to run a emulator to run OSX programs in two years?

I used to be all about Apple computers, up until I got an LCIII, and man that thing went obsolete real fast. I got so fed up with it that I went out and got a PIII PC in 1999 and I must say it has aged pretty well. I mean virtually every component has been upgraded but I compare that with the G4 Power Mac my brother got at the same time and right now its ridiculous how slow his mac is.

So my question is would the 5500 generally last longer than the Powerbook?
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2004
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Rochester, NY
Southbridge said:
:) Thanks for the responses!

Here's where I am right now:

-Price wise both machines are the same, so I can factor that out
-Also in terms of design both are pretty much equally cool...

Powerbook
-Generally OS X is better than XP Pro. I mean I dont mind XP and I know how to avoid viruses, but Mac OS is just a generally better design, so thats definatly a point in favor of the powerbook.
-Definately lighter at 5lbs vs. the 7.5lbs of the 51m 5500. Also I'm thinking that the Powerbook is going to be cooler since the 5500 runs a P IV HT. If I'm going to be carrying around the laptop the Powerbook is generally better.

51m 5500
-Definately more powerful than the Powerbook. But I'm not like a hardcore gamer. I dont do first person stuff, more like WCIII Frozen Throne or Total War. I will be doing Photo editing with Photoshop though.

Another thing... Would the powerbook go obsolete faster than the 5500? I mean not only in terms of the processor, but am I going to have to run a emulator to run OSX programs in two years?

I used to be all about Apple computers, up until I got an LCIII, and man that thing went obsolete real fast. I got so fed up with it that I went out and got a PIII PC in 1999 and I must say it has aged pretty well. I mean virtually every component has been upgraded but I compare that with the G4 Power Mac my brother got at the same time and right now its ridiculous how slow his mac is.

So my question is would the 5500 generally last longer than the Powerbook?
No, the 5500 probably would not last longer. PC's become out-dated and lose their value nearly twice as fast as Macintosh computers do.

For what you stated above, I would seriously consider the powerbook. I play WC3 TFT on my iBook and it runs flawlessly, so I can only imagine how much smoother it will be on a powerbook with twice the VRAM! And for photoshop, I would hate to use it on a PC. Macs generally have better color representation, and the amazing GUI will help put you in an artsy mood. :D ;)
 

jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
I would say not to get it, one of the kids has one of those alienwares in one of my classes. And it is big and clunky looking, plus he always has to keep the screen as dimm as possible because of sucky battery life.
 

Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2004
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Rochester, NY
jadam said:
I would say not to get it, one of the kids has one of those alienwares in one of my classes. And it is big and clunky looking, plus he always has to keep the screen as dimm as possible because of sucky battery life.
Ah, that's what I was forgetting, battery life. Powerbooks on average will get about 3.5-4 hours, possibly 4.5-5 if you turn the backlight down and turn off any wireless stuff. On a PC laptop, especially one built for gaming, you'll get 2.5-3 max.
 

Southbridge

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Original poster
Feb 12, 2005
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Astoria, NY
jadam said:
I would say not to get it, one of the kids has one of those alienwares in one of my classes. And it is big and clunky looking, plus he always has to keep the screen as dimm as possible because of sucky battery life.
oh yeah... I forgot that... I'd definately have to buy another battery for the 51m 5500... But my brother has a G4 powerbook 667Mhz and he says the battery lasts under 2hrs with more intensive CPU use, which is comparable to the 51m...

Another question... How is the Wireless capablilty on the powerbook in terms of picking up signal and stuff?
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
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Melenkurion Skyweir
A PowerBook will serve you well. I just have to ask, where did you get the idea that Macs go obsolete faster than PCs do? There's many users on the boards that still use computers that was released five years ago. With the newest OS and software, no less. "Use an emulator"? Whatever you're smoking, throw it away; it's not good for you. And to top it off, they retain their value MUCH longer than PC's, and when you're ready to upgrade to a new machine, sell your current one and it'll save you alot of money on the new one. Just check eBay to see what I mean. 5 year old Macs selling for the cost of today's PCs.

One thing though, if you're a big fan of Total War, get ready to give it up if you go Mac; there's no Total War on OS X.
 

jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
Southbridge said:
oh yeah... I forgot that... I'd definately have to buy another battery for the 51m 5500... But my brother has a G4 powerbook 667Mhz and he says the battery lasts under 2hrs with more intensive CPU use, which is comparable to the 51m...
thats because he has an older powerbook and the battery has started to run down on it.
 

Southbridge

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Original poster
Feb 12, 2005
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Astoria, NY
Raven VII said:
A PowerBook will serve you well. I just have to ask, where did you get the idea that Macs go obsolete faster than PCs do? There's many users on the boards that still use computers that was released five years ago. With the newest OS and software, no less. "Use an emulator"? Whatever you're smoking, throw it away; it's not good for you. And to top it off, they retain their value MUCH longer than PC's, and when you're ready to upgrade to a new machine, sell your current one and it'll save you alot of money on the new one. Just check eBay to see what I mean. 5 year old Macs selling for the cost of today's PCs.

One thing though, if you're a big fan of Total War, get ready to give it up if you go Mac; there's no Total War on OS X.
well some older software of the Mac doesnt run on OSX, and you have to emulate older OS's in order to run it. I may be wrong but isnt that a function in Os X to run earlier OS's?

In terms of obsolence I dont mean the value of the computer, but I mean the total usefulness of the computer as newer software comes out. I've found that because I am able to upgrade each component of my PC I can generally stay up to date. I'm generally connected to my computers so I dont sell them, I just fix them :)

But when I had my Mac LCIII, I had no choice but to throw it out, because newer software would just run ridiculously slow. I found thats true with my brother's older G4 powermac too. Since you cant really upgrade (and I guess you really wouldnt be able to upgrade the 51m 5500 other than memory) I'd opt for a really high end processor which would be a little bit too fast for what I'm doing now, but in like 3-4 years would still be able to handle newer software.

I dunno... am I thinking it all wrong?
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,245
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Southbridge said:
So my question is would the 5500 generally last longer than the Powerbook?
I think the 5500 has upgradeable graphics, which is a definite plus. But from what you describe, the Powerbook would be pretty awesome for you it sounds like. I'm a mac gamer too but I'm waiting for the next revision I think...

OSX does emulate the really old Mac OS 9 programs, but really, it's almost completely phased out now. OSX might be obsolete by 2050 or something. :D
 

mcgarry

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Oct 19, 2004
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in terms of laptops, I think there's usually incredibly little difference when it comes to upgradeability across platforms, although I guess the graphics card in this case is a real difference. as for desktops, of course all the standard stuff can be done-- RAM, HD-- and sometimes 3rd-parties do make CPU upgrade cards. But yeah I guess you can't go out and buy a G5 mobo to put in the G4's case, if that's what you mean.

An LCIII is now an ancient computer -- released 12 years ago. I'm really not sure Wintel boxes of that same age were substantially different in terms of upgradeability. More importantly, at the time, the LCIII was not really meant to be expandable. It was a low-cost option for non-power-users, think today's iMac or something. People at the time who needed more in terms of expandability and future-proofing bought one of the Mac II or Centris series.