PB12 upgrade—but to what?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by NateP, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. NateP macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    #1
    Thanks in advance to all.

    I have a final rev PB 12 (1.5GHz PPC G4, maxed out RAM, etc.). I love this machine--if only they would make the same form factor again.

    So I'm thinking pretty seriously about upgrading to a new notebook. And my choices are a clearance BlackBook in the final revision, or a new MB13. The price difference seems to be around $330 (since I need to buy a new display adapter).

    I don't do lots of video/photo editing, mostly iPhoto and some basic Photoshop, but I do quite a bit of statistical work (R, Stata, that sort of thing). I watch the occasional downloaded movie or DVD, but much of what I do is pretty typical academic user stuff (I'm a near-end Ph.D. student).

    So what do all of you out there think on the matter? Any thoughts on how I might go about thinking about this?
     
  2. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    #2
    I'd go with the aluminum MacBook if I were you. I'll be upgrading from my 12" as soon as they either a) throw a FW400 port on it, or b) I give up and buy a MBP. I'd say that the new MacBooks are the most like the 12" PowerBook, probably only because they're aluminum, but it's better than investing in "old technology" (i.e., BlackBook). Besides, you get the backlit keyboard (with the 2.4 GHz Al MacBook), faster graphics, less weight, and the cool new computer itself.
     
  3. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

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    Nov 27, 2007
    #3
    Many find blackbook's LCD screen to be better, especially when viewing dark pictures and movies. This is very important to many, to the point that they had to return their newly purchased aluminum macbooks. I think you should see it in person before deciding.

    On the other hand, the glassbook has faster system bus, faster RAM, better GPU, lighter weight, not prone to finger prints, runs cooler, backlit keyboard (2.4GHz model).
     
  4. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    I had the exact same 12" Powerbook. I upgraded to the new Macbook. I do miss the size of the PB, but the Macbook blows it away in every other aspect. Ok, truth be told, battery life is about the same. But in terms of speed, storage, RAM, sleekness, solidity, and plain old Mac lust, the Macbook wins hands down.
     
  5. NateP thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    #5
    I'll go compare displays in the campus computer shop, I guess. Any other suggestions that people have?

    I guess one background question I have is whether the differences are really worth $330. I think I'd prefer the Al MB, but I wonder about the 300 extra.

    Thanks. If anybody else has comments, please keep dropping them.
     
  6. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 14, 2008
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    Massachusetts
    #6
    I just voted the BlackBook mainly for the FireWire port. You might end up discovering you really need to use a DV camcorder or external device (external DVD drive, etc).

    It might even be cheaper too.
     
  7. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    If i wanted the AluMB then i'd wait another while to make sure all the kinks are worked out.

    As to whether you should buy a blackbook or AluMB then that's a totally different choice...

    I wanted a new MBP to replace my first gen MB but i hates glossy!
     
  8. lasuther macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #8
    If cost is an issue, get the 2.0GHz model. You'll save $300. But either way, go with the Al MacBook.
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #9
    On the coolness factor side, I really like the black MB.

    This evening I went to the store to compare the black MB and the new aluminum MB.

    I was surprised. I liked the aluminum MB better. One of the main reasons is the sturdiness and solid construction of the aluminum MB.

    In the student environment, durability and ease of carrying are important. The PB12 is a solid little laptop, more so than the MBP15/17 models. The new aluminum MB is very durable. Plus with the tapered edges it is easy to carry and makes it appear smaller than it is.

    It looks like Apple is going to use FW as a differentiation between consumer (MB) and pro model (MBP) laptops. So if you need FW, then that compounds the decision. I would probably go with an aluminum MBP15 over the black MB. Note, before this evening, I would have gone the other way. Apple has definitely done well with the new one piece aluminum concept used in the MB/MBP.
     
  10. PresentACat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #10
    The Alu Macbook is well built (Battery Cover aside) and looks great. Keyboard is excellent.

    Screen is incapable of producing black across the whole screen from any angle. Bit of a kick in the head that.
     
  11. NateP thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 20, 2005
    #11
    Sigh. Campus store doesn't have the new MBs on display yet. Apple hasn't sent them display units.

    I don't really know whether I need FireWire. I know why it's technically superior to USB2, but the only things that I use it for are NOW for my v. old iPod (4G, adn I know I can USB that) and a portable drive that has both FW and USB2 (speaking of which, my PB12 can't power the drive via USB w/o using both ports; can the newer MBs do so using only one port?).

    Sorry to be indecisive here. Eventually an employer will buy a computer for me, and I won't have to think so much about this. But I anticipate using this for at least three or more years. (And it's not like the PB is really going to go anywhere...), and since it's my own money....

    I'm pretty careful with my laptops (certainly more than my undergrads are), but I do travel a decent amount, doing presentations and such, and I know both the old and the new MB are pretty good travelers.

    So how much will I miss FW? And am I going to find anything cheaper than the EdPrice or the Amazon rebate (which is cheaper, actually, once one figures sales tax in)?

    Thanks again.
     
  12. molala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #12
    I had a similar decision to make (upgraded from a 1.33GHz 12" PB) last week. I chose the black Macbook (refurb) because of firewire and because I didn't like the new MB's glass screen at the Apple Store, or the two-tone look (I only liked it when it was closed, not open).

    The price difference for me (between the 2.4GHz models) was £250, with accessories (additional RAM, display cables) it would probably be £350. I'd rather use that money to upgrade sooner, 2 years instead of 3. I think that's a more future-proof plan than getting the current MB over the blackbook.
     
  13. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #13
    I too went from a PB12 to a BlackBook, I like that I have the 2.4 final revision as it doesn't seem to have anything wrong with it, yet the new MBs seem to have some screen issues already and maybe more over the coming months.

    You can always upgrade again later to the new MB but you can not buy a BlackBook once they are all gone.

    I love my PB12 and still use it, as a 'netbook' running Tiger (with dashboard disabled to improve speed), I do think the new MBs are better looking than my BlackBook, and close to the PB12, but I would not buy a first revision.
     
  14. molala macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 25, 2008
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    Cambridge, UK
    #14
    If you are getting the blackbook, consider going refurb, $200 cheaper still. I'm very happy with mine.
     
  15. NateP thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    #15
    So I went and compared the white book currently on sale to the new Al MB (since the white MB has, as far as I know, the same display as the BlackBook). And I talked with the guys in the store for quite a while. Here's what they have to say, and here's what almost has me convinced to go for the Al MB.

    First, they say that although we've lost FW, you can do Target Disk Mode over the Gigabit Ethernet port. This was surprising to me, so I asked again to confirm, and they reitereated that you could plug into the ethernet port, hold down T on the keyboard, and it would work that way. One guy said they do this in the back of the store with the new MBs. Now, I haven't found any such thing via a Google search, but that's what they are telling me.

    Second, they pointed out a couple of advantages of the new processor arrangement that I had not thought about. Snow Leopard is being built to take advantage of the NVIDIA chipset, so that when it's not fully dedicated to graphics, etc., it can be used by the system for processing functions like the main chip with its two cores is. So you will gain a bit of processor performance under Snow Leopard, as the NVidia chipset will augment the function of the Intel chips.

    I can't really tell the difference between the displays. I'm not super-up on displays, but they seemed similar. The MB is less nice than the MBP, but that was also the case before the new revise, and in the old PB/iBook days.

    The unibody is nice. No flex. Even if the polycarbonate of the older MBs was tough, this new laptop seems even firmer....

    They also pointed out the faster memory and frontside bus. I doubt I'll notice performance gains from these, but in theory they make a difference.

    I think that's it. Any other questions that people might have?

    I'm gonna sit on this for a couple of days, but I think it's likely I'll return the unopened BlackBook and order a MB.
     
  16. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #16
    I love my 12" PB, but using it last night after using a legacy 15" MBP that I just got, I could truly tell that performance wise, it was time to upgrade.

    I personally don't like any of the MBs, the old or the new in relation to the 12" PB. The glossy display was the killer for me and I need FW, so it was a better deal to get the bigger 15" machine that is basically as fast or faster than both of them for the same price.

    I assume you are looking for the same form factor, so you can fit it in a bag.

    I personally think buying a first gen Mac is not a good idea these days, especially if they do major re-design work. A revB gives them the chance to fix any issues and for you to hear enough about the product from other users.

    I think you should save the $300 and keep the Black MacBook because performance wise it will not be that much difference (unless you heavily use the GPU for gaming obviously) that can justify the price.

    When Snow Leapard comes out, ebay your laptop and buy a revB MB. :)
     
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #17
    I've never heard of this.

    Anybody try it?
     
  18. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #18
    Cause it is not true. The AS folks confused Migration Assistant with Target Disk Mode.

    The latest update to MA uses ethernet, etc. to migrate from an old Mac to the new ones that don't have FW.

    But we all know that Target Disk Mode is used for more than just migrating to a new system.

    Off home I go. Good night.
     
  19. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #19
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Migration Assistant is definitely not Target Disk Mode. That much is certain.
     
  20. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #20
    you're gonna have it for al ong time, and you know you want the Al MacBook....so just get it !
     
  21. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #21
    +1 to this post

    1.) As stated, you can't use firewire on the new machines
    2.) You most likely wouldn't notice much of a performance difference, most likely when Snow Leopard comes out as well
    3.) Is $300 really worth it for a slightly cooler design (slightly, the BlackBooks look wonderful) and a speed boost you will most likely not notice? If the answer is yes, go for the Aluminum MacBook.
     
  22. molala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #22
    Sounds like you really like the Al book. In that case, go for it. For me, I really wanted the blackbook - but had it been the other way, I would have spent the extra cash.

    How long have you kept your PBG4? If it's 3 years and you keep this one for 3 years, $330 over that amount of time is nothing.
     
  23. NateP thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    #23
    You're right. I know I want it, but I also want to make sure that it's not full of aggravation, with screen issues, etc. like I've heard about in the forums. I'll probably take one more look and then decide. If I don't like, I can always return it somehow.
     
  24. jade macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    #24
    I'd say go with the AlMB. I think if you plan on keep ing your notebook, it makes sense to go with newer, Snow Leopard ready hardware. My MB is great! I think that hitting the forums will give you a very skewed perspective. It is a great notebook, and very similar in size to the 12"PB you are killing. :)
     

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