Potential Switcher : Powerbook 1.67 performance query

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ecosse011172, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. ecosse011172 macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2005
    Hi everone,

    I am going to replace my laptop (3 year old Inspiron 8200 1.6GHz, geForce 440 go, 768MB which I'm giving to my brother). My desktop machine is a 2.8P4HT, 1GB PC3200, ATI 9800 Pro,

    I've started looking at Macs, in particular the 15" with SuperDrive and 128MB VRAM. I had a little play on Saturday and it is very nice. I understand the limitations of the G4 chip, FSB etc. and the differences betweek OSes. I'm used to using XP and Fedora Core Linux.

    How would you compare real-life performance of the PB with Windows Based Laptops and my desktop machine?

    2 of my concerns are :
    1) The HD speed, my old machine was limited by the HD and there are PCs with 7200RPM Drives now.
    2)When I had a little test on Saturday, Quick time seemed to hang several times. Is this a known issue?

    Any other tips on why it's worth switching?
    BTW XP can be crap but nowhere near as bad as made out to be on many Mac forums. If you take care and know what you are doing it is reasonably stable.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. ecosse011172 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2005
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Hi Denis,

    First of all, yes, the 7200 RPM drives you can get in PCs now will be faster than the 5400RPM ones in the PBs. However, the 5400 drives actually aren't that bad, and, of course, you can buy a 3rd party 7200 if you need to (but, really, the 5400 RPM drives work well).

    Second, I've never seen QT hang - when you say "little test", was it in a store? Often, they run off network drives, so you might have been seeing net lag.

    From a hardware point of view, PCs are faster and have better screen resolutions, period.

    I'm hoping to get a new PB soon to replace my ancient (1999 400MHz G3, which, BTW, runs OS X 10.3 quite nicely). Why? Because I love OS X. I program on Windows, use 2K and XP, don't hate them, love the hardware on my Dell lappy that sports a 1920x1200 screen, etc. I use Linux as well (lots of Java work). However, I haven't found anything as comfortable as OS X (and, like I said, I use Windows and Linux regularly and am very familiar with them). I think, once you spend a week getting used to the differences, you will prefer OS X as well. There are articles everywhere about why people like it (here's the latest one I've seen posted).

    Basically, PBs are the fastest portable way to run OS X, I prefer OS X to any other OS I've used (and I've used many), so I'll get a PB. I'm also a Tiger (OS X 10.4) beta user, and I see what's going public in four months, and I can't imagine not being able to use it all.

    Fundamentally, people buy PBs and iBooks so they can use OS X, not because of any technological superiority. I know of no one who has ever switched back after switching to OS X (prior Mac OS's were a different story). To me, that says it's a superior OS. Well, that and my 20 years of OS experience. Get the PB. It will be plenty fast enough, and stunningly flexible. Just give it a week, and get an OS X tips book so you'll learn some of the fundamentals. You'll never look back.
  4. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    The only reason to buy a PowerBook is for OSX and the form factor.

    You've seen one and played with the other. If you WANT to get a stylish OSX machine, then do. If XP is your thing, there are plenty of capable laptops out there.

    I guess I'm not sure what your quandary is...
  5. dxm113 macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2005
    I have recently purchased one of the new PB's (1.67 GHZ / 80 GB HD / 128 vram). I have yet to experience any QT lag. The only lag or latency I have experienced with the PB is while rendering movies in iMovie and iDVD. I have been able to multi-task suprisingly well, as long as iMovie or iDVD isn't in the middle of rendering something.

    I'm quite happy with this machine, I have no complaints about the HD. I haven't seen a noticable difference between the 5400 rpm PB HD and the 7200 rpm dell desktop that I also use (win 2K). For some things the dell is quicker, other thins the PB is quicker. (talking about comparing apples to oranges :rolleyes: )

    I think you'll be pleasantly suprised with the 1.67 PB. Also, the new track pad is awesome, I love that thing!
  6. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    I don't think this question can be answered in any meaningful detail unless you tell us what you will be doing with the computer, what types of activities, applications, etc. There are of course so many variables, and some things are not simply reflected by the numbers.

    For general system operation, in my own personal, non-scientific, subjective observations I have noticed no speed benefit from the P-M laptops with their juiced FSBs. Even for some of the more intensive tasks, I have not noticed a difference, or my wimpy G4 felt faster. I do not deny that a 1.7GHz Centrino system is not somehow faster than a PB, I'm just saying that how you notice that speed difference depends on different factors.

    So while I am not arguing against the reality of certain hardware differences, it's hard to say what sort of "performance" difference you will experience.
  7. Southbridge macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2005
    Astoria, NY

    um... you really cant compare a desktop's performance against a notebook...

    its a tradeoff... the tradeoff is portability, and then you have to ask yourself how important is it that I be able to walk around with this computer... If its not important at all, then a desktop will be cheaper and out perform the notebook in all respects...
  8. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    You will notice very notable performance differences between the powerbook and your laptop. The powerbook will beat it in probably every task. The desktop will be faster in most tasks, not necessarily in photoshop (it depends how much crap you have on it, i know i have a lot on my computer and that slows things down).
  9. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    I've used Windows very sparingly, but I've found the "desktop" to be much more responsive than OSX's (menu drawing, window drawing). Same with scrolling in browsers.

    Even if it's an older machine. It's in this lone respect that Windows impresses me because with the way that I use my computer, I find myself in envy of such quick response.
  10. mrzeve macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2005
    As a switcher, I wouldnt recommend you buy an Apple notebook (iBook or PowerBook) unless you have an external monitor.
  11. blue_monkey macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2004
    why? :confused:
    if you get the 15" or even the 17" i see no use for an external monitor..
    well but it all depends on the person..
  12. ecosse011172 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2005
    Thanks for the replies everyone.
    I just read some tests at barefeats.com that revealed very little performance benefit over 7200rpm drives vs 5400. When I wrote "a little test", I meant that I played around with a display model. I used QT to open a Shrek trailer to show my gf. I opened by clicking on open.. and also clicking on the actual file on the desktop and it hung several times, I had to kill QT by hand. Apart frlom that it seemed very nice to use, although programs seemed slower to load compared to XP. The only other annoying thing is the lag when resizing windows.

    I don't expect a laptop to perform like my desktop (although newer PC laptops using the Dothan 2.0GHz processors are said to be as almost fast as top of the range desktops ). I just want to have an idea of the performance level I will encounter. I don't want another desktop at the moment, if I am impressed with the PB I may look at Apple when I upgrade at a later date. I am a Software Engineer but probably won't work with the PB, I am most likely to do typical tasks, net, organise photos, create DVDs, Office apps, some games etc.

    mrzeve - What don't you like about the display?
  13. kumbaya macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2005
  14. VicMacs macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2003
    Dominican Republic
    huge move

    just fall back on the mac, you will not be falling on the floor hehe

    i see that your needs for a computer are the things the mac thrives in, youll be burning your first dvd on the first day you get it, guaranteed.

    do it, trust your instinct
  15. V.A.Toss macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    heres the problem

    You see heres the problem with posting a question on a forum. Alot of people have their experiences to share with you, but not all of them will relate to you.

    My advice is this:

    If you have to do really intensive work on your laptop, if for instance you take some 3d work home with you on your laptop. Then the powerbook will appear alot slower than an equivalent PC laptop. That 167 FSB will get saturated in no time.

    If you use it for day to day tasks, which are more along the lines of a hobby and wont work the powerbook hard, then get the powerbook. You really wont notice the speed difference. OSX will seem superior.

    Dont expect a laptop to compete with a desktop, none do.

    My last comment is this. XP is fine as an OS if all you do is use it for everyday tasks. If you dont use it intensively, if you dont connect several peripherals, if you dont get through a huge workload every day for a month, then it is ok. Yeah OSX will still be better for you, but XP would be adequate.

    Where OSX will seem alot more stable, more problem-free, is where you use it alot. Where you really work the OS hard. If you do alot of HD intensive tasks with large files, and if you work the RAM hard, after a month XP ends up in a mess. Dont ask me why, cos im no CS expert, but it just confuses itself.
    In this scenario, where you have to work hard with an OS, OSX is simply better to work with.

    My advice to you. You dont seem to work with the laptop, so the powerbook should be good.

Share This Page