powerbook owners and experts- some specific questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by iapple, Jun 21, 2005.

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  1. iapple macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2001
    Hi all-

    I have been convinced, despite the intel transition, that now is a good time to buy a 12inch powerbook since I will not be needing anything faster than what they offer now, plus I need it when I start at yale this fall and they recommend a newer computer.

    Now- I currently have the original TiBook which I'm planning on handing down (?) to my mom, but the fan is quite loud and noisy and irritating! I have a little 'prop up' thing that has a fan on it, so it is at an angle, but still it comes on even when just web browsing.

    So.... a few questions.

    1. Does the current Powerbook's fan come on as often? Does it get just as hot?

    2. Is it realistic burning DVDs with a 12inch powerbook? Is it ridiculously slow or is it usable? I noticed that it is now 8x which means that its a lot faster than previous models?

    3. Is it worth buying an external monitor (LCD) for inside use, say for my dorm room? I do do some video editing and such which makes the powerbook seem a little tiny.

    4. Do you think that the current 'completed' style of the powerbook, that has been through various revisions and updates ensure that various bugs/quirks have been ironed out?

    5. Does Tiger improve the powerbook? Does it require more CPU? Is the powerbook processor adequate for running Tiger, iMovie, Final Cut Pro? (I don't use final cut THAT much, plus at my college they probably have much better professional editing suites anyway.. which is my logic)

    Any advice on these points I would REALLY appreciate. I basically want a stable machine that works smoothlly for internet, email, word processing, runs quietly (so it doesn't start buzzing in the middle of a large library..) and do some final cut/DVD burning when I need it..


    And anyone think that I should drop everything and wait for intel in 2006/7 (powerbooks would be even later no?)
  2. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    I'll answer the fan and DVD questions.

    Fan: Hardly ever comes on. When it does under video renders or something, it is pretty quiet and I'm sure not nearly as bad as your ti.

    DVDs: My desktop 8x does burn faster, but it is very reasonable to burn from your PB as well. I'm not sure about burn times from iDVD, but the disk utility burns of some isos i had did seem to take about 12-15 minutes whil my desktop can do it in <10.

    A note on the proc: seems a little slow sometimes. I do a lot of flash and photoshop for work and it's very reasonable, but a little doggy sometimes. Probably more my memory than anything. That and I am comparing it to a desktop...
  3. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    My Powerbook (see sig) gets pretty hot while it's on the charger (I think it's the PSU circuitry), but it's not that bad. The fans rarely come on, but I'm parked on an iCurve most of the time.

    I have a 4x SuperDrive and it feels dog slow. I'm using 2x media, though, which is part of the problem. ;)

    If opting for the 12" Powerbook, absolutely. I went with the 12" initially and found it too small even for basic Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Final Cut Express work. The 15" LCD is sized nicely, but the Dell 2005FPW is simply a dream to work on.

    I had a Revision B 12" Powerbook and now have a Revision B (no, not C) 15" Powerbook -- I've never had design issues with any of them. The worst I've had is a piece of buggy software.

    I do have a weird quirk where Tiger will suddenly stop accepting mouseclicks and keypresses, but I'm not sure what the situation is.

    Absolutely. I've installed it on my Powerbook and several iBooks -- and all have received speed boosts (better code, I presume) and enhanced functionality (Spotlight, Dashboard, etc). For the "average" desktop, Tiger is where it's at right now.

    Any of the Powerbooks should suit you perfectly.

    Only if you're interested in dual-booting Windows and OS X *and* have no interest in selling/trading *this* Powerbook when those models ship.
  4. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    this is kind of off-topic but when you said your school has better video editing software than Final Cut Pro - your wrong. Final Cut Pro is what HOLLYWOOD uses, why do you think it's so expensive?

    If your school doesn't have Final Cut Pro, then it's not the best IMO.
  5. yuy macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2005
    MY powerbook 12inch gets hotter and the fan is working always. some said it was due to the coreimage and I do observe that the graphic processor has a high temperature as 52 centigrade like.
  6. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    He said suite, meaning "workstation." Probably dual-G4 or dual-G4 with tons of RAM and nice displays.

    Seen a quote on an Avid system lately?
  7. smitty078 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Let me preface by saying i have a previous model (the ones just before current) 15" 1.5ghz, 1.5 GB ram, 128 meg vid card, 80 gig 5400 rpm drive

    1. My fan only very rarely comes on. It takes about 10 minutes of solid 100% cpu usage for it to kick on and even then it only stays on for a few seconds.

    2. I have no problem burning dvd's with the 4x drive I have so the 8x should definitely be fine. This is of course a subjective question.. of course the 16x desktop drive will be faster, but 8x can do the job in about 10-15 minutes as already stated. If you need faster than that and still need a powerbook, there is always the option of an external drive.

    3. If you have your heart set on the 12" the you will definitely want an external monitor. If you don't already have a monitor though, I suggest considering the 15" powerbook which has a screen that you may not need to get an external monitor, and it also has slightly better specs overall. Battery life is about equal with the 12" and it is still certainly extremely portable. This is also entirely subjective.

    4. IMO the powerbook design is about as perfect as any design could possibly get.

    5. Absolutely get tiger (although it would already be preinstalled by now). Tiger is without a doubt a better system than panther, and unlike microsoft systems, new apple OS updates almost always run faster on the same hardware. This is true for tiger, especially on a system that supports core image (which all of the current powerbooks do). You will want to upgrade the ram though. Get at least a gig. Proformance of the processor is entirely subjective, but assuming you aren't planning on doing anything that is seriously processor intensive (say 3d rendering, editing HUGE photoshop files, beyond basic final cut use) you'll be totally satisfied. And even for large/long tasks you'll probably be pleasently surprised.

    I think the powerbook is a great system for what you want to do. I have no doubt you'll be completely satisfied. My only suggestion is to consider a 15" instead of 12" + external monitor.. I always make this suggestion to anyone that brings up the external monitor thing. Either way is entirely preference, but consider that the 15" screen is significantly larger than the 12" in resolution and the overall size of the powerbook is not much larger or heavier at all.
  8. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    I disagree, although I am a bit biased (sig) :)

    A mate of mine has a 15" rev C and that is exactly what pushed me over to a 12" when I bought mine. This thing really is ultraportable. I take it everywhere; work, bed, coffee shop, out to get lunch...

    I don't always have to, but I can!

    It also has ~ 1 hour longer battery life. I can get almost 5 hours if I keep the screen brightness down!

    I know the 15" isn't that much bigger, but it is just enough larger that it starts to feel like a normal laptop instead of a sweet, powerful, nice-looking, superultraportable machine that can do everything that the 15" can do (the important stuff anyway).

    Also, you can always use any monitor you buy with any other computer as well. Just get yourself a little kvm switch and you are SET!
  9. smitty078 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    I think it's fair enough to say that for choosing 12" vs. 15" the best you can do is go use them both in an apple store or use a friend's.

    Side topic: if your friend has a 15" that is only getting 1 hour of batter, something is wrong. I get 3.5-4 without giving any regard to conserving the battery. If I specifically put thought into battery conservation I've gotten as much as 5.
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