Powerbook 17" or not?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Likvid, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. Likvid macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2003
    I've never had an Apple before and i think the new Powerbook 17" seems very nice with all features i need.

    However i am a bit skeptical about the performance of the G4 1GHz.

    I have used both Linux and Unix in my work as long as i can't remember as it's my proffession as a sys admin.

    I am thinking of buying a new IBM Thinkpad T40p as i think it's the best notebook in the world as i have had several ones before.

    The IBM is simple to upgrade and repair yourself because you can order service parts easily and top notch customer service.

    With Apple i've noticed you have to ship your machine to a service center and they will fix things, i don't like that as i want my own control of things.

    So convince me to buy a PB 17" or i buy another IBM.

    Maybe the Apple way is not my thing at all as i want freedom and freedom i get because i can run all Linux distros and do whatever i want, even repair it myself.

    I often get the feeling that Apple thinks Apple users are "dumb" and "non-technical people".

    Is that true?

    Can someone bring me real performance numbers between a Centrino 1,6GHz and the G4 1GHz?

    I don't want to buy the Powerbook 17" and then find out that it is slower than my old Pentium 3 800MHz.
  2. gopher macrumors 65816

    Mar 31, 2002
    Maryland, USA
    Some people may experience speed issues, but only because they don't leave their machine on overnight, or periodically repair permissions and update prebinding after a big software install. http://www.macmaps.com/Macosxspeed.html covers the gamut of possible speed issues with Mac OS X. Using Explorer for instance as a web browser itself may make the Mac look slower, but only because Explorer was not optimized for X. Many other X compatible web browsers are much quicker including Apple's own Safari <http://www.apple.com/safari>.

    Many other people will never notice a speed difference. The G4 on the Powerbook 17" has the extra cache on the processor, and has the longest battery life of any notebook in its class. The G4 is an actual G4, and not a notebook compromised processor. For more on Mac speeds check http://forgetcomputers.com/~jdroz/09.html where you learn many performance indicators are overrated and you really can't benchmark performance indicators against each other. The user experience of Mac OS X, its development environment (which is free with all Macs sold today), the ability to enter the Terminal and have full access to Unix shells, the open source projects at http://www.sourceforge.net/ http://www.macdevcenter.com/ and http://www.macslash.org/ all are attracting Linux users from everywhere. It really is the best of both worlds. So don't worry about speed, you'll have plenty to spare. Look at http://www.macmaps.com/macosxnative.html and see if there is a kind of program you can't work into a Mac. I think you'll find there are none.
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    Re: Powerbook 17" or not?

    I think you've pretty much answered your own post. If you need convincing, I don't think the Apple is for you. I think you should go with what you like (Thinkpad), especially if you think it's the greatest laptop.

    I'd like to think that Apple makes things easier and more intuitive so that even "dumb" and "non-technical people" can use them.

    17" will not be slower than P3 800. That much I can say, but I don't know how it would compare against Centrino 1.6 or the Thinkpad. 17" has many good things about it but if you feel you need convincing, it's probably not for you. If you have any way of checking one out in person, I suggest doing so.
  4. Likvid thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2003
    Thanks for the links, makes it alot easier to make the final choice.

    Can i install the new Hitachi Travelstar 7200rpm harddisk in the Powerbook or do you need Apple certified hardware?
  5. Likvid thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2003

    You are right that i need proof in some way or another that the Powerbook is for me.

    As i run mostly *BSD on my Intel-machines i don't understand what MacOSX can do for me that *BSD can't?

    I never liked Microsoft OSs and will never do but i love the performance of x86 hardware and i like the design of Apple products.

    As i said before i would gladly switch to Apple if the performance and freedom was the same, however i will look into the links posted.....
  6. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    the thing is Apple doesn't want people to come to them with hardware problems that the user caused by doing something that voided the warranty (basically everything but upgrading the ram and installing an airport card). it's a big headache and the user who caused the problem won't admit to doing whatever they did and it's just a complete waste of time for both parties involved. By shipping your computer to Apple, they'll be able to fix almost everything and you don't have to worry about breaking it. i mean some people like to repair their own computers...and sometimes they end up with $3000 doorstops...
    Apple knows that many of their customers are not stupid and of course they know that some are.
    If you really don't want Apple to fix it for you then fix it yourself, just don't get AppleCare for the PowerBook when you get it.
    Although I love repairing my PC I wouldn't dare repair my Macs. It's the quality of the tech support that i get from Dell and Alienware and Sony that pisses me off and makes me just want to pop the cover off and fiddle with stuff, and since I build my own PC's i can't get tech support for it can i...on the other hand Apple provides excellent tech support and I am very happy with the quality of the recent repair on my alubook :)
  7. gopher macrumors 65816

    Mar 31, 2002
    Maryland, USA
    Yes you can install any drive that meets the 3 dimensional and IDE specs of the Apple drive that is already in there. One company specializes in doing it:


    While you are under warranty though it is better if an authorized service technician does it, that way, you will stay within warranty should something go wrong.
  8. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    I went through the same decision not too long ago when I was deciding to switch.

    After agonizing over the decision, I got the 17"PB. Like yourself, I am a highly technical person, and often thought Macs were for designers or parents, etc.

    After using it for some time, let me reassure you that it is an unbelievable machine. For a portable, the 1 Ghz is plenty fast. I never, ever, wait for the machine to do its tasks. I have finally accepted the Mhz myth is just that, and that a PowerPC does do more per cycle so I don't need the Mhz to compensate for a poor chip design. Plus, I have experienced first hand the performance boosts you get because Apple "owns" the entire platform. Yes, there is less selection, but everything is optimized by Apple.

    No headaches at the OS level. Apps run as they should. I drop into Unix when I feel like it. Back to the GUI when I am done.

    Frankly, I am known amongst my friends as the most picky technologist they know. I am ruthless in my assessments because I hate technology getting in the way of getting things done, and I hate sloppiness or laziness or cheapness on a manufacturers part.

    With that said, the PB17 is the best machine I have ever, ever owned. I am simply blown away with what Apple has done. The only fault I have found is I wish the latch was tighter.

    I get compliments everwhere I take the machine. It's a great ice breaker at sales calls. I have become addicted to the screen size. And I travel alot and don't mind the size.

    I hope this helps, and sorry I rambled a little bit. It's my entusiasm for the machine. Good luck with your decision.
  9. Billicus macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2002
    Charles City, Iowa
    I think that you would really enjoy a 17" PowerBook. I set up KDE 3.1 to run side by side with Os X by using X11. So you see that you can set up and run linux/unix and OS X is built on unix, so I just use the apt-get command to download and install new games/apps/utilities for KDE. It's really great. :D

    Attached Files:

  10. Rezet macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2003
    Connecticut, United States of America

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