Macs: they suck now but tomorrow awesome! ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Beck446, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Beck446 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    I am starting this thread b/c I'd like to express an idea that at the same time frustrates the hell out of me and has me very, very optimistic about the future. The idea is this:

    The current Mac hardware (w/ the exception of Mac Mini, perhaps) stinks. Nevertheless, the future of the Mac looks great!

    The Powermac: this stinks b/c it hasn't been updated in over 9 months. Steve promised us 3 GHz and hasn't delivered. The video card is atrocious. I could go on. Yet I fully expect dual core G5's at WWDC! Probably clocking at 3 GHz :D

    The iBook: this stinks, and will stink more and more, simply b/c Apple can't upgrade it until WWDC. It can't be upgraded because it will be too close to the Powerbooks. Now, some will dispute this. They are wrong. You see, the iBook, ever since it moved to G4, as been updated roughly as often as the PB. As the updates have continued, each iBook update being equal in magnitude to the previous or second to last PB update, the gap, on a % basis, between iBook and PB has gotten very small. If the 14" is updated to 1.5 (technically, iBooks could go up to 1.42, but won't b/c the update wouldn't be enough for Apple to justify the logistic costs of an upgrade in terms of increased sales) it would be closer to the PB in power than it has EVER been in the history of Mac! It's not gonna happen. Instead, the iBook will be updated around WWDC also. The question is: w/ what chip and are they going to change the form factor? Now, at first I think they will keep the G4, but the G4 is maxing out at around where it is in the PB's right now. Will Apple keep going w/ the G4 knowing that they would only have a year worth of upgrades in it? Most likely scenerio: iBook takes the current PB G4 chips around WWDC and then gets a complete overhaul to incorporate the dual core Freescale chip when the PB goes up to RevB. This complete overhaul will include a new form factor - and it's gonna be awesome!

    Powerbook: Very overpriced and a terrible buy right now. But these things are going to positively scream when they get the Freescale dual core chip at WWDC. The video card should be updated then too. I can't wait!

    Any comments on my predictions?

    In the interests of full disclosure, I'm writing this message w/ the single purpose of restraining myself from buying a Mac online right now! ;)
  2. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    What's with all these predictions about the consumer models being updated at WWDC, has that ever happened before?

    BTW nice rant, I hope it helps you not buy hardware - myself I bought my GF an iMac G5 this week, and grabbed a PowerBook G4 1.67 a couple of weeks back, both machines kick ass IMO!
  3. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah I thought only the pro lines were updated, if anything, at WWDC.

    While it's true that the iBook hasn't been updated in a while, its current speeds seem pretty sufficient, even compared to PCs at the moment. I don't think they will see an update until after the next Powerbook revision, as you suggest. For the simple reason that the Mac Mini and iBook still use a Radeon 9200... suggesting that they won't be revised until Tiger is out.

    A lot of people, including myself, would disagree that the Powerbooks are a bad buy... these are the cheapest and most powerful 'Books ever, considering the high-end is several hundred dollars below the $3000 mark with speeds comparable to the iMac G5. Pismo used to go for $3500 STOCK! :eek:
  4. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    :confused: Why do you think the current line of PowerBooks are such a terrible buy right now? And where did you get the idea that Apple are going to upgrade them to the Freescale dual core chip at the WWDC??

    What Mac do you own right now?
  5. Beck446 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003

    Thanks everyone for replying to my ridiculous rant!

    First, regarding the PB, it is a great buy when you look at the past. I'm just saying that it isn't so great when looking at the future. The G4 is not going to get another update. Now, it's only a matter of when...when will the next chip get in there. It should happen around, not necessarily at, WWDC. The PB will be updated w/ a new chip w/in 4 months for sure, IMO. The question is: do you want to buy the last revision of the PB G4? I wouldn't. But there are good arguments that this is the best time to buy (ie: last rev has all the kinks out) - I just don't buy those arguments and the resale market doesn't either..

    Second, I guess the only real interesting analysis I have is on the iBook. Conventional wisdom has the iBook being updated any day now, and I just don't see that happening. But I do see a form factor redesign and big speed improvement once the PB ceases to be a bottleneck. The next year should be great for the iBook and PB, but the next two months probably won't see any improvement at all

    Third, I'm using an old G4 tower right now. But, hopefully, not for long :cool:
  6. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    yeah the ibook will go to where the powerbooks are and the powerbooks will get a dual core chip, but the question is "when" ?

    you say wwdc but i predict that there will the a major change in the ibook line and the powerbook line most likely in macworld sf 2006

    sure, it would be nice to see that cool stuff happen this year, but if you buy a powerbook now, i don't think you will be disappointed...the powerbook is a great machine and can handle the needs of most power mobile users

    but i hope you are right
  7. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    Well that goes without sayng for all technology doesn't it??? If you keep anticipating the future you'll own anything.
  8. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    I also believe the PowerBook will get the dual core G4.
    I think it will happen either at WWDC or by September. Although I think the later date is more likely.
    By adding the dual core G4 they will put the POWER back in the PowerBook and it will allow them to upgrade the iBook to the 1.54 and the 1.67 single cores.
  9. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I disagree with you that the current PowerBooks "suck", but yes, they are overpriced and definitely getting long in the tooth. I'd love to see them go to a dual-CPU or dual-core G4 in the PB line. But I think there are some problems with that, such as RapidIO vs. HyperTransport bus, and the fact that it would probably trounce any G5 they could put into a laptop (marketing problem), plus the usual issues with heat dissipation and battery life (although probably lesser problem than they have with stuffing a G5 in there).

    If Apple put out a dual-G4 PowerBook in the 1.5 GHz+ per-processor range (with ability to turn one off when on battery power), 400 MHz+ bus speed, at least a 128 MB Radeon 9800 Mobility or better, two FireWire ports on separate controllers, and 3+ USB 2.0 ports, for less than $2,800, and I'd buy one today. Unfortunately I think that's wishful thinking. I wish Apple could just swallow their pride and make a serious commitment (ie. motherboard redesign) to dual-core Freescale G4s until the G5/G6 is truly ready for laptop use, but I don't see it happening. :mad:
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    You have to remember the ibooks aren't made to run Final Cut HD, its for poeple who don't need alot of power because all their doing is internet, mail, AOL/ichat and typing. The only reason why i bought a PB was because i need to be able to take a computer to class and 2 because i might major in Comm. for TV/video etc. and the powerbook can better handle FC etc.
    The ibook is a great computer for people who do basic things along with the Imac. I think *most* people who have an imac are never going to use the potential power of what that computer can do.
    The reason,i think why apple has hasn't released a G5 PB is because of to reasons 1 the heat and two power. There is no point in having a G5 PB if the battery will only an hr. and it will burn your leg....
    If you don't feel like buying a Mac then having fun suffering with windoze ;)
  11. Superdrive macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    RE: Consumer lines at WWDC

    Wasn't it at WWDC many years back where we were introduced to Bondi Blue? That was the consumer machine. But if it didn't come to life at WWDC, my point is worthless.

  12. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I still hope they make a revision of iMacs somewhere near WWDC. By that time I will need a new Mac :) (Tiger)
  13. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    that dual 2.5 with 6800 and a 30inch monitor sure does suck
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Didn't the powerbook processor speed just get updated a couple weeks or a month ago??
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Hardware wise Apple just isnt able to match up well with the PC world, all the problems on the cpu front is hurting then combine it with the atrocious video apple is using and its clear the performance isnt there. They will be better tomorrow but by the time Apple is using last years tech the pc world will be using this years tech. This is Apple's problem. selling older hardware wrapped in shiny new clothes.
  16. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    The term "suck" doesn't really leap to mind. How about "overpriced?" ;)
  17. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Absolutely amazing! When it comes to the general laptop users, students and business people, there is no need for G5 dual processor laptops. Two things we really want are portability and long, long battery life. I could care less if I can run Final Cut Pro during class or in a business meeting. My law school professors would be pretty unhappy with me. The obvious exception is the student or professional in the arts and communications field. Many of the laptops people use in the PC world are moving over to the Centrino/Sonoma processors because of these factors. The iBook/PowerBook family addressed these needs well ahead of thier PC counterparts and continue to do so with their current line of options.

    A 12" iBook/PowerBook is a well integrated portable computing solution. Speed is comparable to the PC world. The PCs in these areas are just now getting into the upper 2Ghz range and they still have trouble keeping pace with the 5 hour battery life and performance of the 12" iBook. Not to mention the style and OS factor. There is no real comparison there.

    For instance, I bought a slim laptop about a year ago. The cost was $1,800 and it came with 512 MB ram, 1.5 Ghz Centrino processor, and some video card that I never really concerned myself with. It weighed in at 4 pounds but the battery life, thanks to a three cell battery, was less than two hours on a full charge. I paid $100 for a larger capacity battery and eaked out 4 hours on a full charge once. Considering my classes in law school went on for more than 4 hours a day, this was truly unacceptable.

    My iBook cost less than $900 and came with all of these features and more. Quite honestly if I were to do a side by side comparison the iBook would win hands down. Its battery life is super long, the display is crisp, it is more compact, it runs my programs faster, uses OS X rather than Windows, and did I mention it looks better? I did upgrade the hard drive and added a superdrive, but I didn't really need either. I am certainly not one of a hundred in class with a silver/black laptop. I'm one of a hundred with a glowing apple on the front. The only downside is the professor tends to look my way more often:)

    Sorry for the long post but I just can't figure out what some people are posting about when they say the laptops are not keeping pace and need another update. A bump maybe, but not a G5 in an iBook. I really don't see the point other than to say "I have a G5 iBook." Those PC laptops people are referring to weigh in at near 8 to 10 pounds and the battery life is pretty dismal at best. They are meant to be "desktop replacements" not small form portable computing solutions. If you're going to do this, please try to compare apples to apples, no pun intended, and make it fair. For Apple's intended user, the Mac laptops hit the mark dead on!
  18. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    My reference for the most part is aimed at desktops not the lap world, so please allow for that. Hardware to hardware apple doesnt match up well but it cant when using FX5200 everywhere.
  19. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    it perfectly makes sense to ship the powermacs with the cheapest gpu available. people upgrade anyway to whatever gpu they need. the 9600XT is a decent GPU for $50. so what's the deal.

    the 9700 in the PB is also a good GPU. no need to upgrade there.

    the ibooks are meant to be affordable. no need for a expensive battery draining gpu there.

    it's only the imac g5 where i see the problem of a weak GPU.

    so it's certainly not a FX5200 problem EVERYWHERE. it's only the imac.

  20. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    That says it all, really. :rolleyes:

  21. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I suppose that is true considering my desktop is not a Mac. I custom built it a few months ago because I wanted to make it quieter and bring it up to speed. By the time I replaced part after part in my old machine nothing orginial remained, except the operating system:( Some of the high end PowerMacs look really nice in terms of looks and performance. The all-in-one iMac is also nice considering it is an all-in-one. There aren't many competitors out there doing that sort of thing. Those who are, aren't doing a very good job (i.e., Gateway).

    I'll admit I am completely ignorant on the subject but can't the PowerMacs be upgraded like PC? In other words, can't you swap out a video card? I don't think Mac has PCI-Express yet (I really don't know) but they can still accept some pretty nice cards. I think part of what you are paying for with a Mac is form in the form/function analysis. You are partly paying for a brand name and the ability to use Mac OS and software ... although I think you are paying a lot for this:) Can you imagine if Microsoft said it was going to do the same thing ... build and sell the systems Windows is sold in? Can you imagine the type of product that would come about as a result of that? Microsoft says it is staying in the software business by choice. It wants to offer software solutions that are avaiable across multiple platforms. The truth is they couldn't do it even if they wanted to. Not only would the machine be inferior but they wouldn't be allowed to because of their monopoly on the market. Think about how much heat they got into for integrating a web browser in their operating system.

    All in all, I think Apple has found the proper balance between form and function. Once Tiger is released they can focus again on their hardware and you know they will. If they don't they will surely fail. Even some of their older systems are technological marvels. The last iMac with the swivel head monitor was absolutely gorgeous. I think they upgraded that one too fast. I'd own one now just for the form:) Then again, I'm not an animation studio so what do I know? I say Apple is great now and if it continues to be as innovative as it has in the past, it will be great tomorrow.
  22. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I would have to agree that the powerbook is overpriced for the hardware. I honestly think the 17"should be what the most expensive 12" is right now in price. On the other hand you do get a crapload of software with the OS, so in a way it does balance its self out.
  23. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    That short battery life just does not make sences. Since I have an older laptop running wth a Desktop p4 2ghz chip and it getting over 3 hours out of a full charge and that is with out dimming the monitor. I can push it closer to 4 is I run montior dimmed and I dont uses the opitical drive
  24. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I'll bet it was a Dell - if you read CNET reviews, consumer Dell laptops rarely top 2 1/2 hours with the standard battery (their "flagship" 700m only has a standard 32Whr battery!)

    I get 3 1/2 hours battery time at high performance setting on my Thinkpad, and I have a high capacity battery. I can double that at low power settings but I need the power and can barely see the screen (low power on the Pentium-M = 1/4 clock speed, i.e. 400MHz vs 1.6GHz, plus LCD at its dimmest)

    I'm a PC user, and I still don't get all the Mac bashing that goes on even here. If I configure a similar Dell (try a 700m with similar specs to the PB 12") it isn't any cheaper and there's a lot missing (e.g. it has integrated graphics). If you configure a higher quality laptop, e.g. the IBM Thinkpad T42p, it will cost over $1000 more than the 15" PB. Yes the CPU is "faster" but it's just not worth that much (I've said before, my Thinkpad has cost my employer over $3800, including a $565 1GB RAM upgrade from IBM - if that's not price gouging, what is?)

    Yes, Apple are falling behind in some components, but the worst that can be said about the Macs is that they are no longer top-of-the-line, but are extremely competitive midrange computers.
  25. Beck446 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    By "suck" I mean overpriced for what you get. It's not a good deal on any of Apple's Pro machines right now. However, the deals will scream in the near future.

    One thing to understand about the iBook - the thing is basically artificially thick and heavy. The bottleneck on making a new design is the PB. Now, when the PB goes to dual core freescale chip, the ibook will be able to have a redesign and take a huge speed bump straight to the 1.5-1.67 level and still be differentiable from the PB. Much better value for the money.

    What all of you apologists fail to note is that to many of us value for your money, resale value, and future-proofing are critical. Even *if* you aren't going to use FCPro on your iBook (and I do use Pro software).

    After all, the two things that affect Apple resale value the most:
    1. The introduction of a new chip
    2. A form redesign

    Simple as that. If you buy any of these machines, expect a large drop in resale value in the next year - larger than normal, at least.

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