Help me compare my old G4 PB to a new MB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sbornia, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. sbornia macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Hi all,

    I recently posted about having (possibly) killed my old G4 PowerBook by dropping it. Depending on how expensive the repairs are, I may suck it up and replace it completely with a new Macbook. I can't justify the cost of a new MBP, so if I do this, it will be a MB.

    To that end, I could use some insights on how my old PB will compare performance-wise with the current MB models. Here's what I've been using:

    - G4 PB 1.25ghz
    - 1.5 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD
    - 15.2" screen, 1280x854 native resolution
    - ATI Radeon 9600 GPU with 64mb RAM

    I use this machine for email, Web, MS Office, and some PS/DW when not in my office. I'm not a power user of graphics programs, and never do video editing, but do keep many apps and Web browsers open at once. The PB has worked well for 5 years, but definitely gets bogged down at times. Lots of spinning rainbow pinwheels in the last year.

    What kind of differences in speed would you expect I would see if using, for example, a new MB 2CD 2.0 with 4GB RAM? How would the old PB's 64GB of video RAM (dedicated??) compare with the new MB's 144GB of shared video RAM for the kind of applications I use?

    Thanks for your ideas!

  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Believe it or not, the new MB will kill your old PB's performance. You may not notice too much of a difference when using Safari, Mail, etc but you definitely will with iPhoto, iMovie etc. The screen is smaller but you'll get the same resolution so no loss there. The only thing you probably won't love is the MB keyboard. I find it hard to use my wife's MB as I use my PB most of the time. You'll love it as it's a worthy upgrade.
  3. Finlandboy macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    it will be a definite increase in performance in almost every way,

    i went with my friend to get his macbook, when we got it we set it up right next to my powerbook, there was an amazing difference in speed and overall performance (with no upgrades)

    so in my opinion you will see a very noticeable difference between the two.
  4. sbornia thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    I hear you there. I LOVE my PB's keyboard, and have never used anything else that has as nice a touch. I played with the MB's keyboard today, and figure that while it won't be a real pleasure to use, I can at least adapt to it.
  5. Manzana macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Orange County, CA
    My wife has the same PB as you, with the same exact specs except for the G4 which is 1.33. (1.5gb ram, 64mb 9600 ati, 80 gig hd, and superdrive).

    I finally saved up enough to get a new notebook and the choice came down to mb vs mbp and I went with the mbp because of the larger screen, keyboard(backlighting really helps me), video card, fw800 and express card slot.

    They both have leopard now and I can tell you that the mbp is obviously faster. But, for email and safari, I honestly can tell you there is not that much difference. For MS Office, the PB is faster.

    My point is that your PB is still great at what it does, and if the repair is not too much, you should keep it.
  6. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I agree. For the majority of stuff people do on these computers - surfing the net, checking mail, writing documents, watching videos - you don't need the extra power of the newer Macs. Apple would like you to think you do, but you really don't. If it isn't expensive to fix it, I'd fix it and keep on using it.
  7. sbornia thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Funny, I thought I noticed that when playing around with a MB in the store today -- it took a while for MS Word to open.

    If the repair is under $500, I'll probably keep it and get at least another year out of it.
  8. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    You would spend up to $499 to repair a multi-generation outdated laptop? NO WAY would I drop that much money on something that old - you do not know what may fail a month after repairs that may not have any warranty coverage.

    Bury it - hold the funeral service and start enjoying a new (or used) macbook.
  9. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I also agree with this. If you were buying a used iBook or Powerbook for that price, I could understand it, but if you're just *repairing* an already used computer, that's an exorbitant amount of cash. I'd put it toward a new (or newly used) machine instead of playing patchwork on a sinking ship. When I said "if it isn't expensive to fix it", I was thinking 1,200 dollars tops. Not $500.
  10. sbornia thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Ha! I had a feeling my number would generate some strong opinions, which I appreciate, so thank you. I could probably replace the hard drive myself for about $80, but the frame/shell/lid is bent such that it won't close properly. I have a feeling that Apple will charge at least a few hundred to deal with that and who knows what else is tweaked inside, if anything. The screen is fine as far as I can tell.

    Apple Corps' point about warranty is well taken. I was just thinking about it in simple terms of cash flow and the utility I'll get from this machine. $1500 for a new MB vs. $XXX to repair the old PB.

    Hey, while we're at it, are any of you familiar with the Disk Utility program? I tried to use it, but got stuck.
  11. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Seconded. My parents both recently got new MacBooks, and they're much faster than my older PowerBook. Even running in Rosetta, Photoshop ran faster on the MacBook than it does on my PowerBook. I really hate the keyboard though, it seems cheaper than the PowerBook keyboard and doesn't respond as well. Another thing that I don't like much is that the MacBook seems a bit too sharp around the edges, sometimes I feel like it's going to cut me! These aren't really huge issues though. The MacBook is a great computer, glossy screen and all.

    I'm more of a pro user, so I'm holding off until right before my college graduation to upgrade to the MBP. I wouldn't give the MacBook a perfectly glowing recommendation for someone coming from the (better designed, nicer to use) PowerBook, although I do think it's an excellent computer. It definitely won't be a step down, but getting a MacBook Pro (new, refurbished or otherwise) is probably the better way to go. Fixing the old one for five hundred bucks, well, I'd say that's not a sound investment. Just be glad your PowerBook lasted you five years, and get yourself another one that you'll be happy to spend the next half-decade with.
  12. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    The 2.0 will only support a max of 2gb of Ram, you will have to go to the 2.2 if 4gb is what you desire. I am running the Blackbook 2.2 with 4gb and loving it.
  13. stab macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2007
    tough one

    all depends on your philosopy;

    love new toys = GET MB/MBP
    love value for money & new toys = GET REFURB OR 2nd HAND MB/MBP
    Need/used to big screen = MBP
    Don't need big screen = MB
    don't need new computer & love the ol Powerbook AND don't want to make more landfill just yet = fix ol Powerbook.
    Don't need an Intel but don't want to risk repairs = get a 2nd hand Powerbook (there a lots of great ones out there that still do the job!)

    the question is the risk/cost of Powerbook repairs and whether this balances out against a new machine.

    So set what you think is right, get a quote and if its too high replace it.

    I need a big screen and had a 1st edition MBP for work for a while and unfortunately had lots of problems- so go for l8r editions if you go 2nd Hand MBP.

    I'm still using my Ti Powerbook- it STILL does everything, is held together with expoxy resin and an a coke can, is now up to a 160 gig drive- and just keeps on going!

    good luck!
  14. sbornia thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    I checked the store, and the MB 2.0 actually does take 4gb RAM (which you can get from Apple for the low low price of $850! :rolleyes:)

    Your personal set up, with an iMac and a notebook, is more or less where I was going to end up. I have a first gen Mini + older 20" Cinema Display that I was planning on upgrading after MWSF, likely to a new 24" iMac unless something headless were announced. That, combined with my old PB, would be an ideal combo for my work and life. Now, having to replace the PB, may change my situation a bit...

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