New Switch to Mac( decisions!!!!HELP)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by pagartimun, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. pagartimun macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2005
    Hello All! This is a great forum!

    I am a window user of about 10 years now and I'm 23 :) Have been wrecking my head on decision to switch to Mac. I have been staring at the PB almost everyday in office (shh!) (during free time ofcourse ;) ), and made a stop at the apple store everytime I had the chance to have a look at the PB. The decision to switch was made easy when last week my Sony Laptop churn out the death blue screen with error messages that I dont know what it means at all. I think it knows that I've been unfaithful!

    But now which PB should I get? I am thinking of getting the 15.2-inch , 1.67GHz PowerPC G4 model. But not sure if I'd need an upgrade on some of the items...I know I want to do an upgrade on the HardDrive to 100GB from 80GB.

    1)But will I need to upgrade the memory to 1GB DDR 333 SDRAM from the listed 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM?

    2) will I need to upgrade the video memory from 1.67GHz PowerPC G4 w/ 64MB VRAM to 128 MB VRAM?

    I am not a professional but I'll enjoy and good laptop for my needs. A little background, I'd use the laptop mainly to edit photograph and perhaps edit home-video...would I really need those upgrades? Of course it would save me $$....This is gonna be a a BIG purchase for me.... :D or should I wait for the new upgrade in PB?....

    Thanks and please advice!
  2. northernleitz macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Rural Alaska
    Well, I bought a 15-inch titanium powerbook almost three years ago, and I ordered it with all the options I could stand to afford. I got the superdrive (first PB it was offered on), 1.0 GHZ processor, and a gigabyte of RAM. It's never given me any problems I couldn't fix myself. My recommendation for the current PowerBooks is to at least get a 15". They aren't so big as to be cumbersome, you can configure them to equal the 17", and they come with a PC card slot. I thought I'd never use the PC card slot on my PB, but then firewire 800, airport extreme, and USB 2.0 came out. That little slot has added two or three years to my Power Book's life of usefulness.

    It's just too bad they aren't made from titanium anymore....
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    We may be seeing an update for the PowerBook at the Paris Expo, the week of the 20th.

    I would not finalize my decision until then unless you're planning to take advantage of the iPod and Printer rebate.

    If you can afford the 15" PowerBook, the 1.67 GHz model with the 128 MB VRAM option is your best choice. The Hard Drive option is a personal choice.
    You CAN NOT upgrade the VRAM later so the better GPU really is worth the expense.
    Apple RAM is highly overpriced.
    Worry about upgrading your RAM later 3rd party from Crucial or OWC.
    While 1 GB is ideal, you'll be fine for most uses with the stock 512MB RAM

    If you qualify for the education discount by all means take advantage of the savings.

    You pay a premium for portablilty in any platform.

    Some of our members are now putting together a combo with a 12" iBook
    AND an iMac G5 2.0 17" for not much more than the PowerBook configuration above.

    The 15 " PowerBook is a sweet machine, but the iMac G5 has the much faster 2.0GHz 64 bit processor, standard 160 MB 7200 RPM HD, standard 128 MB VRAM and a gorgeous 17" WS display. all for $1499 (education)
    Adding a 12" iBook for another $949 and you've put together a very versitile set-up.

    I would wait for the Paris Expo announcements, then make your move.
  4. Euan macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2005
    Totally agree.
  5. texlaw04 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2005
    You'll love your Mac, but...

    Macs are more expensive, pound for pound, and Steve Jobs likes to come out with significant product updates on a regular basis. So, I would typically recommend buying (on Macs) the middle-fastest processor with the best video setup. Don't pay more for Mac extras straight out of the Wintel parts bin. Is that last 20gb of HHD space really gonna make a difference? If so, and assuming you want to do photo editing, I would at least think about doing your own HDD upgrade when you actually need it. To a 7200 RPM Hitachi Travelstar, which Hitachi now is selling in a 100gb configuration. Most of the 100gb mobile drives are 4200 RPM - I wouldn't recommend anything less than 5400 if you're going to work with larger files, so you'd better do your homework.

    Re memory, Tiger runs fine with 512mb, but I've never in my life found that I had too much RAM. I've been running at least 512mb for 3 years - an ice age in computer terms - which is important in mobile machines due to the fact that they typically have slower hard drives. (My Mini, for example, has an 80gb HDD @ 4200 RPM and 512mb RAM - I'm probably going to upgrade RAM soon to make Tiger run more smoothly. ) As such, virtual memory will slow down your computer greatly. Tiger really will be happier when you're editing photos with 1024mb.

    One thing you may find with Macs is that, while PC land mainly seems to upgrade processors on a given platform, Steve and company upgrade the platform. Just realize that you're still buying a boat anchor, even if Mac fanatics artificially keep up the price of used Macs.
  6. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    14GB is already taken up by all the apps and OS X out of the box. Hard drive upgrade is extremely hard.

    Get a 100GB HDD.
  7. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I would wait until after the Paris Expo next week. The 15" PowerBook would be option. The 1 GB of RAM is very important. You could check the Crucial site above for the correct size RAM. Also should get AppleCare.
  8. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I have the 1.5 Ghz PB, 15 inch, 80 GB, 2 GB memory, 128 Mb video. I regret that I didn't have the Superdrive when I had it built. I love this laptop. I have tried PC laptops with better specs but the PB feels more like a desktop.

    I bought the memory separately for $500 bucks and tossed the two (256 Mb) chips that shipped with my PB.

    The only major weakness that I found with my PB after 1 year is the latch opens up the door as I carry my laptop around and the screen display isn't as nice as the latest PC displays both in brightness and resolution. Battery life is around 2+ hours of normal use. I don't feel that it is slow or that it is only a G4.
  9. texlaw04 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2005
    Yeah, apps and OSX do take up a lot of space, but the question remains: How much do I really need? And, with larger drives tending to develop more problems, it doesn't necessarily make sense to go with the mantra "bigger is better".

    I didn't realize that the new powerbook design made changing the HDD very difficult. By contrast, my Toshiba Portege requires about 90 seconds to change the HDD! I guess some things are still better on Wintels... :D
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I don't think it's that hard of a decision, really. Since the Expo in Paris is next week you might as well wait just in case, although there probably won't be any updates.

    The 15" should comfortably do anything you want whichever configuration you go for, but based on your video editing comment, going for at least 1GB RAM is almost certainly a good idea, and since you can't upgrade it later the better graphics may be a wise choice as well if you can afford it.

    I didn't see you mention an optical drive, but the Superdrive, if you weren't planning on it already, is a good idea for video too, so you can burn DVDs.

    As said, though, don't buy the RAM upgrade from Apple--you can get it much cheaper from somewhere like Crucial, and it's very easy to install (or get a tech-capable friend or Apple store to install it for you). Drop in another 512MB, 1GB if you can afford it, and you're in good shape.

    The 100GB HD may be nice, but if you're going to be doing video editing an external hard drive is highly recommended--the cheap space and higher speed will be useful, and you can get a perfectly decent 250GB FireWire drive for under $200.
  11. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    Someone at an Apple Store informed me that they do not install RAM purchased from other sources. Has anyone gone to Apple with Crucial RAM and had it put in, even for a reasonable fee?
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Installing RAM is a simple do it your self job in most cases.

    The members here have the experience to walk you through the procedure

    on any Mac product you own.

    The only computer Apple sells that takes a bit of trickery is the Mac Mini,
    but it's also quite doable.
  13. pagartimun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2005
    Thanks all for the input...

    For self RAM upgrade as per suggestions (Crucial), will that void the whole Apple Warranty ? And also, I am living outside of USA, but thinking of getting the PB on my next trip to USA...Will warranty work elsewhere for purchases made in USA?

  14. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I don't know about your outside the US warranty question, but as for the RAM issue, it will not void your warranty to upgrade the RAM with Crucial RAM.
  15. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Crucial or OWC ( handles the warranty on the RAM itself and no using 3rd party RAM that meets specifications won't void your warranty unless you do something like physically damaging the logic board putting it in.

    Here is Apple's Do It Yourself Instruction pdf.

    I'm not sure how Apple handles international warranty transfers but one of our better travelled members shoud be able to give you an answer.
  16. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    Newegg just had a one day sale on Crucial RAM; I was able to get a 1 gig module for my upcoming iBook for $116. They tend to repeat their sales frequently, so I'd check fairly often.
  17. pagartimun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2005
    :D One more question:
    Crucial or Kington RAM, which is better? Or makes no difference?

  18. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I haven't heard of Kington RAM before. Crucial is very reliable. They have a lifetime warranty. Using the link above that have an easy walk though so you you will get the proper RAM for your Mac.
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Kingston RAM be fine RAM indeed. Me PowerMac be filled with RAM from Kingston, OWC, Crucial, an' Apple. Yar, they all be workin' fine an' smartly.
  20. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    more ram = happier you
    however, 512 will work fine, and you'll have to ask yourself if a little bit more performance is going to be worth over $120. bigger is better, but not neccessarily $120 better. but i don't know if that's the case if you're doing video editing.

    and for hard drive, bigger is always better, because the OS and apps take so much space.

    a little note about the 15'' is that its battery life is the poorest in the line, using the 12'' PB's battery. i use the 12'' which has the best battery life of the lineup, and it's just barely enough for my purposes. but if long battery life isn't a big issue, then no biggie.
  21. rockandrule macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    I've got the Apple Care Protection Plan and read the literature for it. It does work out of the US, so have fun travelling with your new bundle of joy.
  22. paperinacup macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2005
    Wouldnt the 17" be worse?
  23. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    17'' uses larger capacity battery to compensate, but 15'' doesn't.

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