Powerbook HD question.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by smurfsgonewild, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. smurfsgonewild macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Monroe, LA
    Is the 80gb 5400rpm harddrive really worth the $113 they're charging. I decided to go with a 15" Powerbook. It was between the 12" and the 15" and I decided to go with the 15". I wouldn't mind the 12" but I have a limited amount of dorm space next year and I don't want to have to worry about using an external display that will take up more space so I'd be happier with the 15". Anywho, back to the main question. Would I really notice that much of a performance difference between the stock 60gb and the faster 80gb? The size difference isn't really a problem for me but I was just wondering about the performance differences. Also, is the backlit keyboard worth it? I think it'd be a nifty little feature but I just wanted to hear some other people's opinions on it. Thanks in adavance.
  2. PeterD42 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2004
    Perth, Australia
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Yes, and yes. The 5400rpm drive will speed up loading of games, copying of files and reduce overall CPU overhead while doing disk-intensive tasks. Whether or not you NEED it is another question. If all you're going to do is M$ Word, Safari, iTunes and Mail, then no, its not worth it. If you are a casual gamer, its still probably not worth it. But if you are very impatient, do video or audio work, or a hardcore gamer, then it is worth it. If you are a hardcore gamer, then also get the 128MB VRAM upgrade.

    The backlit keyboard is more certainly worth it. It cannot be added or replaced later (so far, anyway). It will come in handy at least a few times.
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    I never saw the backlit keyboard, any pics? can you turn it off?
  5. Polardude macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2004
    I have the stock 15" w/superdrive and I have to say, personally, the 4200 won't disapoint at all. Plus, you could "upgrade" the hd later on; although, it will void your warranity (sp?).

    The backlit key is AWESOME... Don't worry about seeing whether you need it or not. It will make you drool, lol. (The brightness of the keyboard can be controlled in many levels, all the way to off. Not only the keyboard lights up, the screen will dim to accomidate (sp?) your eyes at night... It's nice!!!)

    A word of advice: try to go stock so that if there is any problems that involves repair, they usually will replace it on the spot at your local apple store or reseller. That way you don't have to spend a couple of days or even, weeks without it. Very important to consider for college.

    I love this machine... Good luck with your choice!
  6. zakee00 macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2004
    Anchorage, Alaska
    i think the 5400 rpm is a good upgrade, it will diffenately increase proformance. i wish i had upgraded. is it worth it? NO, not at all...apple needs to get with the program, $113??!?!?!?...they also REALLLYYY need to lower the RAM prices at the apple store, thats horrible. but anyway, you wont need the upgraded hd unless you are doing anything "pro" or gaming. thats pretty much it, and diffenately get the baklit keyboard, the cool factor is worth it ;-) get the 128MB vid ram if you plan to do any (new) gaming. but yeah, its a great machine...i own the older 1.25GHz.
    good luck
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I am debating on which PB to get:

    15 inch 128 MB 1.5Ghz (Extra)
    512 DDR 333 (2x256) (std)
    80 GB 5400rpm (Extra)
    Combo Drive (downgrade)
    Backlit Keyboard (std)
    $2,254 (Educational Discount)

    15 inch 64 MB 1.33Ghz (std)
    256 DDR 333 (1x256) (std)
    80 GB 5400rpm (Extra)
    Combo Drive (std)
    Backlit Keyboard (Extra)
    $1,974 (Educational Discount)

    I really don't want the extra memory on the top one but Apple won't let me configure it for less memory so that I can buy my own. I'll be replacing at least one of the 256's with a 512 on the more expensive model at a minimum with third-party memory. I didn't want the DVD burner since I have that on my G5. The price is close enough to make me wonder if the upgraded components are worth it that I can't upgrade later. I would use it for gaming, iMovie, iChat video, and Virtual PC.

    $280 seems like a lot for 64 MB of extra video memory and a small increase in Mhz. I want more than 512 eventually so the extra 256 isn't an attractive option for me. 2 grand is my budget. It's just that I can't upgrade later without having to buy a new powerbook.

    Another option would be to wait until 128 MB is standard in a future Powerbook that is less than 2 grand.
  8. netytan macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2004
    worth noting that if you dont need the superdrive but would like the backlit keyboard and etc as standard you can add your upgrades and swap the superdrive for a combo - dropping a further $200 from the price!

    • 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 with 128MB Graphics Memory
    • 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 2x256 SO-DIMMs
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 5400 rpm
    • Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    • Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • AirPort Extreme Card & BlueTooth Built-in
    • 15.2-inch TFT Display

    Thats $2449 without the educational discount :cool:!

  9. Sabbath macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    You can configure the ram in your powerbook to be 512 on one dimm so leaving you a free slot and not having to throw out 256, however I don't know if the price increase for this is worth the difference oin price.

    Personally if I would go for the 1.5GHz 128 VRAM PB, you say you are going to be gaming which I think would make you want these upgrades anyway but then you have a G5 so will this just be for on the go gaming? and maybe you don't need the power. It is not that much more but what you get is longer useful life of your PB and I would guess a fair bit greater resale value.

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