Looking into a PB

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Papa Shank, May 7, 2005.

  1. Papa Shank macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    hi, I'm new and over the last week or two I've been eyeing up the 12" and 15" powerbooks.

    Right now I can't afford one (I'm thinking I'll go second hand) but I figure if I can sell my guitar and my current laptop (pentium 4 2.8Ghz, 512Mb ram, mobility radeon 9000, 55GB HD, running XP Home) I could then get a powerbook.

    Things I'm not so sure about are the processing speed, and basically if it's going to be a downgrade from what I've already got. So can you guys help me out with making a decision? I'd normally ask my brother but as soon as I mention apple he tends to say "I haven't got a clue"

    PC kids :rolleyes:
    (ironic that I too don't have much of a clue :()
  2. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Macs are clocked differently from pc's. You'd wind up getting a 1.5 or a 1.67 ghz machine (those are the current speeds on the powerbooks). If you game a lot you will be a little dissapointed b/c macs do not run games as well as pc's. But macs are excellent for just about anything else, especially any type of multimedia. I think my PowerBook (oone in my sig) is actually just as fast as my dads 3.0 ghz Dell Dimesion Desktop. I actually see no difference in speed. In fact, sometimes my machine seems a little bit quicker than his for browsing system files, opening and using programs. It all depends on what programs your using and what your doing. There is one thing that macs can do that i have never been able to do to the same degree on windows, and that is multi task. Everytime I try mulit tasking bigger programs on windows, forget it, all i usually end up with is either the blue screen of death or everything eventually freezes on me. I have never had my computer freeze or anythihng when multi tasking good sized programs. Plus I only have 512 ram, which will be getting updated soon. Well hope this helps.
  3. Papa Shank thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    thanks, I can't say I play games at all so that's not something I'd be bothered about and I can't agree more about multi tasking, windows practically dies on me when I've got more than one or two programmes on the go.

    I've been reading around and heard that there will probably be upgrades to the powerbooks so I think I'll hold off buying anything, see what's new and then buy a new one.
  4. buryyourbrideau macrumors 65816


    Mar 1, 2005
    believe me. when you switch, you leave the world of ctrl alt del. HAHA and let me tell you it feels great :D
  5. Kelmon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I bought a PowerBook about 2-years ago (a 1GHz Titanium 15" version) and thought it would be a considerable downgrade from my desktop PC (1.8GHz P4 with DDR RAM and a GeForce4 4400) but I've been pleasantly surprised. OK, it's a bit slower but it isn't that bad. On the other hand, the PowerBook is an awesome laptop compared to the other brands that work has handed over in the past (last one was a P3 Dell). The ability to wake from sleep/go to sleep in about 1-2 seconds is a feature that I'd never had before and makes a massive difference. Further, the light weight, excellent wireless support and other mobility features make them ideal laptops.

    Not sure I'd recommend a new one at the moment since I'm still holding out hope for a G5 based version some time between now and next summer. However, given that the last speed bump was only a couple of months ago, if you need a laptop now then I don't see any problem with buying a second-hand version. Legend has it that Apple sells refurbished systems fromt the online Apple Store on a Wednesday, so might be worth a look to see what they've got.
  6. vatel macrumors member

    May 6, 2005
    I just bought a powerbook 15" :) and I would definitely recommend the purchase. Here's some of my subjective evaluations.

    I don't notice any difference between the PB and my Dell in 'normal' operation. Surfing the web, editing files, checking email, Microsoft Office all run well. I think you'll notice the difference if you use programs that really require significant processor work. When running processor intensive scripts in Matlab and Mathematica, I find the PB runs like a (hypothetical) 1.5 GHz Centrino (and quite a bit slower than my P4 Dell). I don't do video, but I'd suspect you would find a similar situation in that realm.

    One thing the PB is MUCH better at is multi-tasking. I can have 8-10 active apps and the machine is just as responsive as having one open, whereas on my Dell, the machine justs slowly grinds down as I add more open applications.

    This is by far the best laptop I've ever worked on. In particular, this is the first laptop with an excellent keyboard. I usually have to plug in a keyboard to feel comfortable, but not on the PB. The scrolling trackpad is another great thing. I actually usually take my hand off the mouse in order to use the scrollpad for scrolling.

    The screen is excellent, although I will say, that the newest Toshiba Satellites have an even better screen.

    Overall this thing looks and feels like a million bucks!

    Plug and play, with absolutely no hassle on LAN networks and Wireless networks.

    This is pretty much why I made the switch. Tiger is an excellent place to work. Installing and uninstalling programs is a snap. Unlike most other Mac users, I really like the Finder as compared to Windows Explorer. The biggest thing is the complete configurability of the system. You can build shortcuts to do just about anything, and there are already alot of smart shortcuts built in. The drag and drop ability with just about object on the desktop is a big plus as well

    I don't know if you will be going here, but if you need to spend significant time working in a Unix environment, X11 is much better and cheaper than PC solutions like Reflection X and Cygwin.

    Most major productivity applications (Adobe PS, Office, Firefox, etc.) are available. Specialty programs like Pro-Engineer or Solidworks may not be. If you have specific application needs, I'd strongly advise you to look before you leap.


    If you can find the software you need, then you'll probably be really happy with a Powerbook.
  7. Papa Shank thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    thanks for your opinions guys!

    I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do still, I really, REALLY would like to buy a lesser pb just to get the use of one but I don't think there's much point when I will probably try to get a higher range powerbook 15" with the new processor setup (whenever that happens, sooner hopefully rather than later)

    hmm, so if I check out the store on a wednesday it'll have a "refurbished systems" section or something?? :confused:
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think they put new things on, on Wednesdays, typically. But they stay on until they sell out. The Refurb page is always there; if you go to the store, you should find it on the lower left or lower right with a red tag icon that says something along the lines of "looking for a deal?"
  9. Papa Shank thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2005
    thanks, I found it and I'll check it out ever day or two.

    I've just been thinking, if I were to buy a second hand PB what are the chances I could sell it for around the same price I bought it for? I'd only have it for around a few months until something new comes out for the PB
  10. Aeronautical macrumors member

    May 8, 2005

    Hi, when I heard about the online refurb store I got pretty excited at the chance of getting a a bargain but in th UK the store has just had a coUPle of powermacs every wednesday morning. If you are lucky enuff to see a pb on their then it would be better to have already registered your credit card details with applestore so you can pay quickly. In time it takes to set up an online payment chances are the item might have already been sold to another customer!
  11. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah, the OS X multitasking is one of the reasons games don't run as well; whereas Windows will glady give all of its system resources for a game, OS X is far more reluctant and likes to share. It gets better with every update though, I'm a very optimistic Mac gamer.

    Whichever you choose, you'll be very happy. :)

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