mac newbie, refurb dual 2.0ghz/12" powerbook questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cantpickaname, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. cantpickaname macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2005
    Hi, I am currently a pc user but have been totally sold on macs for a long time, now i finally have the funds to make the switch (hurrah!). anyway i've been lurking here for a while, considering my options, and you all seem like a helpful bunch of people so maybe you can help :) . ive been looking on the refurb store and i think ive finally made my mind up, thanks to what appear to be some really great deals at the moment. I just had a few questions though. i need a computer that will last me for the next 5 years at least really, as its very rare that i have the money to make such a big purchase. my current dell is now in its 6th year and is on its last legs and i need to make the switch soon before the money dissapears...... im currently a student and have loans etc but once i get out into the big wide world im not going to have any money for a long while so yeah, anyway, will the dual 2ghz powermac last me all that time, or should i really be looking at the 2.3? i will be using it in the short term just as a machine for day to day activities but in the long term for logic pro and other music related activities (when i can afford the software). if i get the dual 2ghz i can probably stretch to getting the 12" combo powerbook as well which would be lovely! but a more powerful powermac will stretch my budget too far and that will be all i can manage. The powerbook would be great for taking with me to college and also maybe to gigs for sound processing type stuff (im a sax player, hope to get some electronic type stuff going on at some point, again if i get the software sorted) and to rehearsals for recording etc. i would go for the ibook but i understand it doesnt have an audio in and so would be useless for this stuff. anyway the powerbook would be great, but not if its going to leave me with a struggling desktop in a few years time.

    anyway the other question is, i will have to upgrade the hard drive in the powermac as i have a huge music library on my computer that will easily fill the 160gig drive it comes with, so i'm looking at a second hard drive of 250gigs or thereabouts as a music storage drive. can i buy any sata hard drive and put it in? how many pins? (some drives ive seen listed say 7pins, some dont, im a little confused :confused: ) anyway anyone who has read this far, thanks!! and sorry, you must be losing the will to live by now but anyway if you can help me that would be much appreciated! :eek:
    i know my way around pcs fairly well but macs are a whole new world for me and i want to get it right first time cause theres no going back. :eek:
    anyway thanks!!! :D
  2. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Apple's SATA drives are of the 150MB/s variety. I'm not entirely sure how many pins that means, and wasn't able to find out on Apple's site, but they simply use standard SATA hard drives, so any SATA 150 drive should do. Getting a drive with an 8MB buffer will help keep transfer speeds up, so avoid the 2MB buffer models. And of course, 7200RPM is a minimum.

    As far as 2.0 or 2.3... One big advantage that a 2.3 Ghz model has to it is that it uses PCI-X slots rather than standard PCI slots. So, if you ever want to go for some Audio cards of some sort, you will be better off with a 2.3 Ghz model. But, being able to be mobile is very advantageous. I do a bunch of recording myself, and I find myself doing a LOT of the base recording using my Powerbook, a MOTU 828 FW interface, and a FW hard drive, and then plugging the HD into my PowerMac to do mixing and effects (I may have to bring the projects over to the internal drive occasionally if they get large, as FW400 doesn't keep up).

    Just some thoughts...

    Jeff Longo
    Composer, Producer, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, developer
    DP 4.12 and MOTU 828
  3. freiheit macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2004
    Actually I just saw last night a refurb dual 2GHz PowerMac on Apple's site that claimed PCI-X so that's a great deal. I think it was $1600 or $1700. And you could still add AppleCare to that, I'm pretty sure, if you wanted just to give you that extra couple years insurance.

    I would have been very happy to have bought that one if I hadn't already spent $1800 on a used dual G4 a year ago.

    Will it last you 5 years? Depends on what you do with it. Plus PowerPC Macs will continue to be sold and supported by 3rd party vendors for some years to come, so there's a chance you could eventually upgrade the CPUs to 2.3 or 2.5 later on... maybe. Having a dual 1.25GHz G4 I can safely say dual processors really kick @$$. The system never slows down or becomes unresponsive.
  4. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Refurbished models are just that... Refurbished. I have had mixed luck with them, and would say only get them if you have time to deal with returning it if it doesn't work out. Most of the time, its a great deal, but you can get hastled by the return process (which has happened to me).

    That being said, the older 2.0Ghz models did have PCI-X, so those models are actually kinda nice. They had slower drives in them though (I think they only had a 2MB buffer), so their performance wasn't up to what the current models are. However, they are much more expandable, as the PCI-X and 8GB of total RAM would suggest.

    last thing. G5's cannot have their processor upgraded. Because Apple has optimized the system with a tightly-integrated system controller, 3rd party vendors have not been able to upgrade the G5's like they have with the G4 models. You will have to stick with RAM, PCI-X, and storage upgrades rather than CPU upgrades.
  5. cantpickaname thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2005
    well, i just did it... i went for the 2.3ghz and the powerbook in the end. it was another £250 or thereabouts but from what you've all been saying, it seams like it will be worth it in the future, and also i wont have to upgrade the hard drive right away cause its got the 250gig disk in there so really its only another £150 once you subtract what i would have spent on that. ram upgrade will be next but from what ive been reading i should probably wait till it arrives before purchasing anything, just incase it comes with more than advertised like some people on here are reporting!! (im sure thats highly unlikely but you never know). anyway im sure i made the right choice, and anyway ive got 8 days to mull it over before it ships, but .... cant wait for my new toys!!! :D :D :D :D

    thanks for the advice. :)
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I have the older Rev B 2.0 G5 and I just ordered a Seagate cuda 250 GB SATA
    from Newegg on special for $109.50 USD.

    You're gonna love that new 2.3.

    As soon as funds permit, you'll want to upgrade your RAM to at least 1 GB
    and preferably 2 GB for your new machine, but settle in and enjoy is 'as shipped" for a while before you add anything.

  7. KittenKrusher macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    Yeah, your definately gonna have fun with your machines. I think if you keep up with it, you can have those last 5 year or more. I always here about people on here still using iBooks that are that old, let alone a Dual PowerMac.

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