Ok, why would an Intel PB outclass existing PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nph, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005

    I am thinking about ordering a PB tonite before Amazon rebate expires.

    I believe that current PB is great and speed is ok even though of course it can always be faster. For what I need it for it should be ok.
    Buying HW I would at least want it to last me 3 years. Leopard I am sure will support PPC since the base until middle of next year is PPC based and would be the target for Leopard sales.

    Biggest concern I have is heat.

    What would make an Intel PB outclass the current PB (15), some speed, heat or what???

    My concern is that the small updates on the current PB 1.67 HD has shown some issues and if we are now talking new processor, enclosure and basically architecture the possibility for issues seem endless taking into account that Apple is probably stressed to get Intel updates out the door asap.

    Please help make my decision today.

  2. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm not expert on Mac versus Intel technology, but my opinion is that the first Rev A of the Intel PBs might not be all that bad. Sure, there will be some issues, but there always are. Keep in mind that Intel processor based technology for mobile computing has been around for years now, and the Centrino mobile platform in laptops has been chugging around for over a year. It performs well, gives off relatively little heat: my tablet gets almost 5 hours on reasonable power settings.

    If what the advocates say about the transition is true, then switching to Intel should not be a big deal hardware wise. The PC industry has been making them for years in every bloody configuration you can think of; I would think it would be more of an OS/software issue than anything.

    ... of course, if you love the current PB and the Mac OS and you NEED IT NOW, then what's holding you back? My personal epiphany is that if I have to debate it endlessly, then I don't really need it.
  3. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    The current crop of PBs are great. I'm using a PowerBook 12" 1GHz that is now two years old and it only gets faster with software updates. Yours will be nearly twice as fast as mine.

    There are rumours about the Intel PowerBook being of a completely different design - I'm sure that Apple will make song and dance about the switch, not just quietly shove them in. The current PowerBook design (AlBook) is now nearly 3 years old (2 years for the 15") and so it would make sense for Apple to change the form factor a bit next year. That said, you've still got a long time to wait so you could just as easily get that PPC version now.

    I'm sure there won't be that much difference in power and the whole Intel thing will be more hype than anything else. One thing you've got nothing to worry about though is buying a PowerPC. Apple will support it WAY into the future; every Mac at present - and I'm talking G4s and G5s - will continue to be supported for a good while yet. I have no plans to upgrade!
  4. oskar macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    I own a 15" PowerBook since February and I can say it that I am completely pleased with it's performance. Just don't expect it to run like a Dual G5. It's speed is comparable to my older PowerMac Dual 1Ghz G4.
    I bought my PowerBook thinking it would be the last revision before a major update. (We were still expecting G5's at the time :D) And if I hadn't bought back then I would definitely buy the current one. It's $300 cheaper than mine, has better battery life, and a better screen. Not to mention the double layer burner. If I were to spend the same money ($2300) I would upgrade to the 100GB 7200RPM hard drive and more RAM. A video editor would really appreciate those extra RPM.
    As ozone said, if you're thinking or debating with yourself whether to buy it or not or whether to wait another 8 months for an Intel PB, you probably don't need it.
  5. mraila macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2005
  6. JDOG_ macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    If you want it and need it now then get it. Alternately you can get a sub-$1,000 12" iBook in the time being, enjoy that and then save up an extra grand in the next 6-months to a year, sell your iBook and get the machine you want...no harm done. :rolleyes:
  7. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    my two cents...

    >>this is great advice imo. If you need it now, ..buy it...and I especially love the .. "if I have to debate it endlessly, then I don't really need it."...line. Wisdom.

    As to tech, the upcoming MacTel PBs will *KILL* the current lineup. If you only need a laptop for email and Word documents. Waiting won't make much difference at all. ..BUT ..if you do any multimedia work, FCP, Photoshop, AE, webdesign, etc...it will be a HUGE difference. I too don't think there will a ton of bugs...but it IS a risk. Buying revA is never the best scenario, yet *I* would rather wait and buy the revA MacTel PB or even iBook... than buy a current PB...way too out of date. Merom PBs in 2007 have the potential to really be amazing. We will have to wait and see...Good luck

    PS: i own a 17" PB..revD...
  8. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Ha ha ha... thanks! My wife would laugh her head off thinking that I was actually wise.

    Seriously nph... I've gone through more gadgets and gizmos in the last four years than I'd think was possible. I drove my wife absolutely nuts debating on whether I should get a PB or not (despite the fact that all my work revolves around Windows programs) - and I could debate for months at a time.

    Bottom line: if I'm debating the pros and cons, then I don't need it, otherwise my need for it would have dictated that I just get it.
  9. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i am guessing the new intel PB's will be dual core machines. effectively twice the power as the current powerbooks. they will also likely be 64-bit machines. they will probably also carry little advantages, like faster bus, faster RAM, more RAM and such. so they basic advantage will be they will last longer into the future. . . but that kinda should be true for any computer bought 6 months from now! i just bought a 1.33 GHz refurbished PB and plan on keeping it for a long time (4 years or more)
  10. nph thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    I don't really need a new PB as I have an old version but it cant run the programs I want. Also have an old iMac that barely runs some of them.
    I actually compete with my wife on the usage of the laptop which is what I find myself using since I can walk around to where it is quiet in the house etc.

    A G3 laptop doesn't cut it anymore with Garageband, iChat and games.

    Even the first generation iMac G4 stumbles on most of the stuff. I also want to run Apperture when it gets released since photography is an interest of mine.

    I was planning to let my wife use the G3 laptop and maybe sell the imac instead.

    The other reason is that all SW I have right now is for PPC and reading about Rosetta on Apple homepage tells me that anything that requires a G4 will not run. So what about games then? Any idea? I dont really feel like buying "upgrades" to get an Intel version for the programs I use.

    What do you think?
  11. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    True but dual core microsoft office, aint that much more powerful than single core performance.... Having a fast computer doesn't make typing quicker :)

    Same with Photoshop, I had a 12" powerbook 1.5 and generally it was as fast as my Dual 1.8 G5 with 2.5 Gig Ram, except when it came to rendering large effects.

    Same with all programs, generally you wont see huge differences in speed unless doing somthing that requires huge rendering.

    Damn! I wish I had the ability in me to hold onto a computer for 4 years, 2 Years and I think I've got great longevity, My 12" Powerbook only 5 months before I sold on ebay and ordered the new 15"....

    On MacIntels, the inital speed boost will be lost due to software still having to use rosetta. It's gonna take at least 12 months before we see the real benefits of Intel and thousands of dollars upgrading all our software to optimised versions :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  12. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is a tough one. I think there are good arguments on both sides for your particular case...

    I have a Rev. A 15" PowerBook and it has been great. Rev. A's usually have more issues, but any serious issues are typically given additional coverage beyond standard warranty.

    A lot depends on whether you really can wait, as well as if it will really bother you if you buy now and Intel PB comes in January (some don't care, others would be incensed.) If it's really no big deal for you to carry on for a bit, I might wait until MacWorld. That being said, there are absolutely no guarantees that a new PowerBook is coming out then, it could be a few months later. If it doesn't come out in January, then what would you do? Bite the bullet and buy a PPC PowerBook, or wait until the next likely announcement date?
  13. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    This is my thoughts. 2 months?? mmmmm sounds too quick and Apple own roadmap pointed more towards a Summer release for Powerbooks.

    If you buy now you can always re-sell in Jan or Summer on Ebay and get great money back. I lost only 100 Euro on Powerbook 12" 1.5 I had bought in July and sold a week ago...

    Ordered a 15" instead... The screen issue is more of a concern NOW rather than the worry about Intel...
  14. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I have a current model 12" Powerbook (1.5Ghz, 1.25GB ram). With it I plug it into an external monitor when using Adobe CS2, Macromedia Studio 8 or Corel Painter IX. For me it performs effortlessly.

    I bought my Powerbook just weeks before the Intel announcement, am I disappointed? No I'm not. My Powerbook travels everywhere with me and is used extensively for all manner of things and to date it still out performs a lot of popular pc laptops.

    I won't suggest what you should do, but offer my experience for your consideration.
  15. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC

    -Less heat
    -Better battery life
  16. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C

    Soon to be one in the same

    PerHap PPC vs Intel tech would be better:p
  17. macorama macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    The centrino is a great mobile CPU, presuming the next generation is even better, then that's going to make for a great powerbook. Even currently the centrinos are ahead of the G4, for example, with 2MB L2 cache vs 512k which is a big difference just for starters...
  18. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005

    Introducing the ALL new MEROM Powerbook...the first workstation Apple Laptop.:D
  19. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    Well, the Intel PB will definitely be either cooler (temperature-wise) or faster. Odds are that it will be both, with the emphasis on speed. It should be *much* faster. G4 is a pretty old chip at this point, and never designed for laptops in the first place. Whatever Apple uses will hopefully be some unreleased Intel chip that is designed for laptops (ie maximizes performance per watt -- not just performance). The new intel chips should be great tech, their whole philosophy has shifted in the last couple of years. You'll notice that some of their most powerful chips now run at significantly lower clock speeds than chips from just a year or two ago. The megahertz myth is nearing its end, hopefully the public will be able to adjust.

    Of course, a 1st gen anything is bleeding edge, even from Apple. If you buy in, expect to have some issues. It won't stop me though; if I have the money saved up when they come out I will mostly likely get one.
  20. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    "What's the difference between theory and practice? In theory there is none..." --unknown source

    I'm hopeful that theory will match reality this time though.
  21. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    well, i planned on keeping my 12" PB for 4 years, but i got a rev A and it didnt have USB 2 and now i want USB 2 for the iPod video :-/ so what will i need next? Bluetooth 2.0? probably will work with the next next iPod in 2 years. and then ill have to get another computer to catch up.
  22. FieldsOfDreams macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2005
    All have great points, it really comes down to if you are able to wait or not.
    I just bought a 15"powerbook and have no regrets, only looking forward to see what is to come.
  23. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    The Centrino is not a processor. It's the Pentium M combined with Intel's mobile chipset and WiFi chip. It's a platform. The current Pentium M core is called Dothan.

    The next version will be Yonah, which is likely the one that'll arrive in the first x86 PowerBooks (especially if they're released in January, as per the current rumor). It is dual-core, and will have SSE support (which the Pentium M currently lacks) but it's not 64-bit. That will be Merom (dual-core and 64-bit EMT capable), which will start shipping in volume in late 2006/early 2007, around the same time that Leopard should come out.
  24. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    I will buy the current one now.. and buy again when Apple switches over to the Meron chips. In general I will try to avoid Yonah, it really seems like a rush job now (last word was that its release schedule is being pushed back yet again, I bet Intel is gonna cut corners eventually to get it out, just look at the Pentium D)
  25. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    I guess it's all "relative" ...lol

    The differences as you listed them:
    dual core, thus twice the power
    64 bit..actually not until Merom...probably Jan 07
    Yonah is 32bit..coming Spring 06.
    bus speed will more than triple..and that's a "little advantage"?? I guess it depends on what you do with your computer. That's huge for me.
    Faster Ram indeed...a lot faster.
    I'm guessing we'll see much improved graphics options....with optimized drivers for the first time ever too.
    Buckle up...these MacTels...especially with conroe/merom in 07... are going to rock.


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