Powerbook G4 Vs. Intel MacBook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Stokes, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Stokes macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2007
    Or E Gun
    Hey Folks,
    I've bought a MacBook recently, and while my computing needs are very limited, I do enjoy the machine. I hope to learn more about it and utilize it's features better.

    After I got my MacBook, I found a deal on a 1.67Ghz PowerBook G4.
    I guess, in it's day, it was fantastic. Guys still tell me it's a great machine, but I just don't see it.

    With my MacBook, I have Leopard. I don't think that the G4 will support it. Moreover, it doesn't have built in iSight. I guess, I'm really thinking that the MB is a better machine.

    The good news is that the G4 still has enough value that if I sold it off, it'd make getting another MB for the wife easier. Do you guys think I'm barking up the wrong tree?
  2. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    The G4 1.67 will run leopard perfectly, and is in general a great machine. However, there are a few problems with it and a few things that it doesn't have.

    First and foremost and most obviously, it has a chip that doesn't use the modern OS X architecture. Right now there are already a few pieces of software that require an intel chip, and that number is going to grow very large over the next year or two. Secondly, it's missing a bunch of hardware niceties that the current MBP has, such as iSight, a super-sized track pad, keyboard buttons labeled with expose icons, and other stuff like that. Thirdly, being a laptop means that the original battery will have reduced capacity, the screen will have dimmed with time, etc.

    It's still a great machine if you can get it for a truly cheap price. But unless you get a killer deal on it, your money would probably be better spent on an intel machine.
  3. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    Well, first off, my PowerBook G4 runs Leopard very well. So yes, it will support it.

    Secondly, many things can change the way you view which is a better computer. I know personally that having a full-size DVI port right on my computer, as well as S-Video and FW800 is a nice plus for my PowerBook. PCMCIA Expansion is also a nice thing to keep in mind when looking at PowerBooks.

    Macbooks do have Intel processors and better WiFi reception, but that's really where I draw the line. I'm not what you would call a power user, so a PowerBook is perfectly suited for what I do. A Macbook would be as well, except it carries a heftier price tag. If you find yourself converting movie files often or maybe running large Windows applications, then a MacBook would be right for you. However, I only run windows apps every once in a while on my Powerbook in Virtual PC, and my 1.33GHz G4 is more than enough for anything I have to do (save for photo stuff in Lightroom, which it struggles a bit with).

    Keep in mind this is written with my needs in mind, you may in fact have different needs, but for me; the bigger screen, ample ports, sleek look, and cheaper price all make my PowerBook the perfect machine for me.
  4. plasticparadox macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2003
    I'm running a 1.67GHz PowerBook G4 at the moment. It runs Leopard. It runs all my software without any problems. For the average user, it is still more than enough power.

    I also have an iSight (external) that I never use (was a gift). I would be OK not even having one actually.

    Honestly, unless you have some pressing need to know that you own the latest and greatest, you wouldn't go wrong keeping the PowerBook over a MacBook. Actually, in a lot of respects the G4 PB is a better machine. Dual-layer DVD burning, dedicated graphics chip, and a matte screen are 3 examples.
  5. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007
    you can also use xbox livevision camera as an isight replacement for an old powerbook. Works perfectly.

    But go with the macbook.
  6. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    While powerbooks look like the current mbps and are better in design.. the mb will murder that powerbook g4.
  7. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    The late-model Powerbook G4's run Leopard reasonably well and have dual-link DVI ports which let them drive 30" (2560 x 1600) displays. If your main use-case is using your computer as an interface into other computers over the net (i.e. through a web browser or terminal windows), the PBG4 + a 30" LCD is clearly preferable to a Macbook that might be faster in the CPU department but can push fewer pixels.
  8. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    Why do you think it's better in design? It's exactly the same except the MBP doesn't have that plastic border on the screen and is thinner...
  9. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    The Powerbook has a better design that the Macbook, as i prefer Aluminium.

    I'd buy it, see if it suited your needs, and if not sell on for some extra money.
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Pretty much at this point buying a powerbook is not a good idea. If you already own a powerbook and its still ticking then good for you but at this point I would much rather have a macbook as to any powerbook.
  11. Stokes thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2007
    Or E Gun
    I think I'm gonna sell the Powerbook. I'm sure that the reasons why it doesn't suit me as well are probably far off from what other guys would need a PB for, but it still just doesn't suit me.

    The biggest reason is that this machine would be for my wife. Having a cam is important to her, and having one built in would be nice.

    Also, if we use the same power connections, it'll make life easier.... magsafe is very, very nice!

    We're not heavy computer users... I take some stills from time to to time and use them on the web, but other than that... it's just surfing and email. Maybe I need to learn how to use this machine's features to really get the most out of it, and maybe I have more machine than I really need, but it's nice none the less.

    Thanks for your insights!

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