Prospective PowerBook owners: Now what??

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc. Rumors' started by Skandranon, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Skandranon macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2002
    North Carolina
    Fellow Macsters,

    As this is my first post & thread, I'd like to start by thanking you all for providing me with all the nitty-gritty info/opinions I've always pondered over without asking. Despite being my first public foray into the threads, I've had my eye on MacRumors daily for the past few months and must applaud the quality of discussion that I've seen here.

    After Apple's recent declaration of no new CPUs in the coming months, I've found myself torn about purchasing a new PowerBook this spring. Once again, the question of when to jump into a new machine pops up, especially in light of the PB's slower processor speeds when compared to the new iMacs. While I know of many prospective PB owners have been awaiting a speed-bump in the current 667 MHz models, it's not looking like we'll get one until after MacWorld Tokyo.

    So those of you who feel as stumped as I do, I inquire: What are we to do? Should we bite the bullet and purchase what's out there now or hold out a little longer for MWNY for faster PowerBooks. I am hoping that my PowerBook investment will last me longer than two-three years and judging by the speeds available even on the low-end iMacs, I'm feeling a little hesitant about getting a 667 Mhz machine for almost $3000.

    Current PB owners: Any thoughts? :confused:

    Power Mac G4 400
  2. me hate windows macrumors 6502

    me hate windows

    Jan 18, 2002
    well, it depends on what you want to do with it and how much you need it.
    If it is just for internet, typing, some games, and just the basic stuff, then you should probably get one now. Because it wouldn't really matter if there were speed bumps soon. Because you could still do all your stuff just as fast.

    But if you wanted it for video, or any other processor and ram sucking thing and it wasn't that urgent, then I would wait.
  3. grrr223 macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2002
    Since most people aren't using FCP on their laptops (please excuse me if you are) Even if it's going to be your main system for the next few years, I think you'll be fine with what's currently available, although if you don't need it RIGHT now, just wait, better things will come. But I don't think you'll regret it if you buy now. I think a damn 500 mhz iBook could last me 3 years if it's not my main system, it'll do what I want it to on the road. Great little gadget.
  4. ThlayliTheFierce macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I personally am going to wait until there are new models, specifically because I anticipate a few things, not just processor upgrades:

    -increased low-end bus to 133 Mhz
    -increased battery time with lithium hydroxide batteries

    There's no way I can afford a high-end, but if the low-end had the 133 mhz bus I'd be ok with that, even if it weren't the fastest processor. It still comes with a big screen, a combo drive, and, well, it's the coolest-looking laptop on the market (how can you beat an all-Titanium case!?!?!?)
  5. moby1 macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2002
    Sunny San Diego

    I own a 550 and although I love it, it's just not fast enough.

    I'd like to avoid having a desktop and another portable. I think I could do this if the PB speeds went to 800/133. I'd buy that system.

    Now I'm stuck. I still think we'll see a speed bumped PB in Tokyo. I think the comments were aimed at all the G5 speculation.

    The Combo drive doesn't count as a revision to me, maybe a 'soft' revision but hey;

    I bought a G3 400 and a G3 500 in 2000 and 2001. I then bought a G4 500 and a G4 550 in 2001/2002. There's been very little real speed gains in the past 18 months. ('cept AltiVec and that's a minority of the apps').

    I'd consider the 667/133 but my 550's fan runs way too often for me - I've heard the 667's runs all the time. We need a lower heat/consumption processor with even better batttery management.

    Other than that, it's still my favorite Mac!
  6. -=AsukA=- macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2002
    you got 4 comters in just 2 years????

    WOW i wish i could blow money like you! any way, back to the origenal post. what make you say NAY to the new iBooks and Tibooks in MW tokyo? it will happen after all it has been 6 months since the last rev! if you need a decent computer to do your work with little weight, small size and portability relativly soon, then get a Tibook now! if you want latest greatest things, then wait till march and order a New Tibook then, THEY WILL UPDATE IT! they'ed be fools to not touch it! HOWEVER the updadt will not be that much better than the current TOTL model, in my opinion. and even if you do get one now and a beter one comes out, it can still do everything that yours can do, and is still a VERY fast portable computer! the call is your however, if you wait there is a greater chance if getting more for your money, especialy if your willing to blow $3,000.00 on a laptop!

    Now that i think of it, the 16MB graphics card is kinda old..... if any thing happens it will most likely be faster clock speed and bigger HD! but i bet a new graphics card and L3 cach are in the works!

    If i where you I would wait! its not to long and something will happen!:D
  7. Xapplimatic macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2001
    Apollo PowerBooks

    Personally, if the fan bothers anyone, wait for the high-speed Apollo G4 rev that should be coming soon (Tokyo?).. It's much lower power / lower heat.
    And yes I know S.J. said "no new CPUs for a while".. but that's not the same thing as saying "no speed bumps".. because technically, the Apollo is already out there in the towers, it wouldn't be new.. just putting upgrading another line with something already familiar. Wait for Apollo.. it will be worth it.

    I'd also like to add that better battery management could happen by OS 10.2.. at least bringing it back on par with OS 9 power management.. Has anyone else noticed the lack of "slow CPU" and "processor cycling" options in OS X power management? That's a major source of battery waste.. I'm totally hoping Apple will fix this in 10.2.. If not, I hope some industrious programmer out there will find a way to add it into a 3rd party preference pane.. Tinker Tool?
  8. moby1 macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2002
    Sunny San Diego
    RE: WOW i wish i could blow money like you

    Actually, I did not have all the machines at once. I buy and sell macs on eBay.

    I've done quite well since the Macs have such good resale and I always sell within 12 months so the warranty transfers. I've found excellent bargains on eBay (be carefull though).

    I've done better than my cousin who bought a PB G3 400 and then traded it in for a PB G4 400 - and now that's depreciated.

    I am actually very, very carefull with my money.

    ...and it's 9 Macs in the past 2 years (counting the new iMac when it gets here).

    p.s. I'll be selling the PB G4 550 when new iMac arrives.
  9. Falleron macrumors 68000


    Nov 22, 2001
    Skandranon, I think you should get one now! You can carry on waiting for ever if you dont!! You could be waiting until summer to get one otherwise.
  10. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    yep im getting one now. im not going to wait. if something better comes along that i may want i always have the option of reselling it. cheaper mind you.
  11. mac15 macrumors 68040

    Dec 29, 2001
    get one now
    well worth it
    but I heard there was going to be 800mhz tibooks at macworld Toyko
  12. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    if there is then im sure it will be either 2999 or above...which is not how much i want to pay for one. im looking at the 2000 - 2300 range...550mhz combo drive.
  13. OSeXy! macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2002
    London (or virtually here)
    No matter what apple says, I do think there will be an Apollo-based PBook for MWTok or, at latest MWNY. It's not possible to guess what they really mean by "no new CPUs" beyond telling us not to expect a G5... But the 7445 Apollo just makes so much sense for the PBook, I can't see why Apple wouldn't use it if Moto says the chips are available... But that's what we're all thinking.

    Beyond that, I hope the "next generation" PBook brings back some of the features of my Pismo. 2 FireWire ports! And I love the fact that I can decide whether to pop in two batteries, leave the DVD drive at home and just take the internal Zip module, take everytning out to save weight, etc...

    I know the expansion bays were criticised by some, but I think they're great. If only apple itself created more cool and useful things to go in those bays, they could have the mobile digital hub to die for. (Ideally these modules would become a standard for macs, so you could pop your iZip into a slot on your iMac or PMac when you get home -- or at least into a universal docking station...)

    So I'd like to see an extra expansion slot which could take another battery or other thingys on the next major rev PBook (MWSF?), as well all the things (faster bus, higher res, DDR, etc.) which I hope will be introduced more quickly...
  14. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    Response to USB2

    I'm flabbergasted that no one seems to think that the "upgrade" that will be coming soon will be Firewire 2.

    That's not a new CPU and would explain why so little is coming out right now...
  15. agreenster macrumors 68000


    Dec 6, 2001
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Powerbook 550

    I have a Powerbook 550--in fact, I'm using it at this moment--but I have to disagree with a point someone made earlier--They arent too slow. Compared to the DP systems, sure. But compared to other laptops and some single processor desktops, they are pretty fast. Its definitely faster than my 400mHz G4. I do 3D animation on it, video editing, occasional gaming, and even rendering. Its a great little thing.

    It does get hot, and the fan does run occasionally, but not too bad. If I had to decide whether to get one now or not, I would probably wait. I would guess that faster versions will soon be available. But, I doubt its going to be a night and day difference. But if you want one sooner, you wont be dissapointed with either model. All I know is that this computer really performs well.
  16. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    yep...i got the 667 combo after all... i went for broke. i am very impressed with this baby. its not slow at all. i was running itunes photshop6, illustator 10, exlporer 5 and dreamweaver all on classic and i had no slow downs at all. its snappy....really.
  17. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    When discussing the PowerBook's speed, please distinguish between OS 9 and OS X. In my experience, the G4/550's speed is more than fast enough in OS 9, but in OS X it's shockingly bad. Scrolling this simple web page, I feel like I'm on a Pentium 133 with a Trident video card in OmniWeb 4.1, with no other apps running, with 256MB of RAM, and that is NOT an exaggeration. If I were using OS 9, this 'Book would last me years, but I really want to be able to sell this thing and upgrade to a faster PB as soon as I can. Aside from this machine's speed, it's very well-engineered, and OS X is quite nice, but I'm sorry, it's just not worth its price to me, and I feel stupid for not waiting for something faster. The $3000(?) 667MHz model seems like it would be an even poorer value, although I've never used it.

  18. bunge macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2001
    I've got to say that the 667 is fast, probably somewhat more than slightly faster than the 550 because of the MHZ and the faster system bus. The 667 feels as fast as any desktop machine I've ever used for what I do (web, photoshop, a little video). It's pretty amazing even if it isn't the overall fastest machine on earth. It's a portable for Pete's sake....
  19. Hemingray macrumors 68030


    Jan 9, 2002
    Ha ha haaa!
    Re: Response to USB2

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Apple quoted as saying "no new hardware", not "no new CPU's"? True, FireWire is not a central processing unit, however it IS part of the hardware. And if that's so, wouldn't FireWire 2 (GigaWire?) possibly require revised hardware? Just a thought.
  20. Grokgod macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2002
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    To wait or NOT? That is the question.

    :rolleyes: There is No question in my mind that you should WAIT!

    Here are my reasons!

    1: HEAT: The 667 model heats up like a son of a bit**. You can fry an egg with bacon and a side of slaw, on the table that it sits on!
    Heat is a big problem. THe Apollo will a better chip that runs cooler. Perfect for a laptop and it will in the next revision, it must be the next upgrade. I saw a Ti 667 heat so bad, i couldnt touch it.
    Without gloves- not a joke.

    2: SPEED: OSX needs more speed, and in the future with changes and os upgrade it will need more. The Os just needs a lot of processing power. Saying OS9 is zippy is meaningless!
    OSX is the future of Apple and its apps, and that is where your head has to be at.

    3: VIDEO: The 16 megs video card has to be upped. OSX uses major video card resources and needs more than 16 to run properly! It will be upped soon no doubt.

    4: BUS SPEED: you know the answer here, we need it and its coming, faster bus speed!

    All these thing will make the Ti, a true PRO User Laptop and anything less isnt worth the money and will not last. No matter what anyone tells you, this is the reality. If you can do your work with lesser specs then you need an iBook not a Ti.

    And for those of you that are constantly saying,
    "Stop whing blah blah blah, be happy with what is out"
    I say to you " Stop talking like a fool"
    This board is for voicing opinions, hopes and questions.
    Opinions that makes themselves reality with the actions of buying or not buying.

    Its the choice of the consumer to hold out for better models, not to just blindly buy what is available and be happy with it.
    Hell, not at these prices!

    Sure Apple would be SO happy if we all went and bought models which we would have to replace very very quickly.
    They have a chart listing the amount of people that cant hold out and are chomping at the bit.

    The trick we all know, is to by something that will last, so you can get your money worth.
    In the PC world, noone was buying any models for a while cause their current model did everything that they wanted it to, they didnt need a speed bump or a better bus.

    We DO!

    I say hold out! Send a message to Apple, that we want more.
    Believe me that if they got this message via sales, there would be sudden flux of everything we want, in a sudden and surprising manner!:p
  21. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    the 667 does heat up pretty good....but after 6 hours of use the part around the power button becomes pretty toasty...everything else is warm or cool. its heat is hardly enough to screw the system up.. they specifically designed the rev b tibooks to displace heat better then then what they had in the rev a models. dont be worried about the only need to be a little concerend about it if your naked with it on your balls. it could scorche your jewls man! other than that its plenty fast for any serious 2d/3d artist. 133mhz speed bus and 512 ram should help a whole lot.
  22. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    GrokGod: :) finally someone said what needed to be said. i was fearing a long post of my own.

    Definitely wait. The key decision maker in this is your own statement "I am hoping that my PowerBook investment will last me longer than two-three years."

    if you buy now your computer will most definitely NOT last more than a year.

    It will most likley be very nice right now, but a year from now you will be kicking yourself saying i bought this thing for 3k and if i had waited two months i would still be useful.

    Osexy: right on. we all know by browsing moto's site they have a pile of these things ready for the Pbook.

    Alex_Ant: right on. my 333mhz g3 is fast enough in OS9. But the dual Ghz G4 at work still has problems with OSX. Apple said the new imac (i havent used one yet but will soon) is the first mac built to run OSX. This was not said of the Powermac. Im not sure but i would bet OSX runs nicer on an iMac than a Powermac right now. After all that wild speculation ill add one last touch, if a new powermac is released it will likely be built for OSX (whatever the hell that means) , and therefore worth the wait. you dont want to be caught with the last Pbook built for OS9.

    Krossfyter (and other hot kids): this si why the apollo makes so muych sense. the reason the pbook was redesigned and took so long to get to a G4 was heat issues. The Ti was designed not only to look cool and be light but to act as a heat sink along the entire case. Apple has been beating back heat issues in the Pbook with a big stick for quite some time. The Apollo is supposed to up performance at lower power consumption (=less heat), this could be the nail in the coffin of the heat issue in the Pbook.

    mcrain: firewire2 is a distinct possibility (ye another reason to wait). we have all been wondering when firewire2 will rear its head for awhile. with usb2 out there firewire (although still beating out usb2 in performance) could use a bump so that it is still in a whole different category. Someone else mentioned the new batteries. Possible i suppose, i dont know what would be involved ina ll of this. The only thing im beginning to think is that with new batteries new firewire and all the rest maybe this will represent an entirely new form factor. And that is not likely for some time (perhaps not until the g5 rears its long awaited head). But firewire made its debut in a Pbook g3 that was the last in its line before the g4. It would make sense for apple to do this again. Batteries im not so sure of. Maybe one of the supertechs around here could tell us how easy it would be to change the power system.
  23. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    ambitious lemon... i agree an apollo in a powerbook would smoke the current high end pb...however i dont think that going to happen untill a good while now. sure they might come out with a rev c powerbook but that wont be the apollo would probably be 8OO mhz or something like that and much better at dispelling heat. lets face it the apollo first has to come through the powermac and it will be awhile for that to happen...but its going to for sure....then after that it will come to the powerbook. how long are we talking here? more than a year for sure...your right. could be two if they conitnue to revise the g4s.
  24. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    krossfyter: ok maybe im wrong, but it was my understanding that the 933mhz and 1ghz powermacs were apollos. also if you check moto's website you will see they have a pile of mobile apollo chips waiting around for something to put them in. seems like all signs are pointing to apollos in the Pbook, in fact i think that is probably the only thing we will see in the next revision.

    but am i wrong about the PM being apollo? anyone know for sure?
  25. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    hmmm... good question. i was under the impression (somehow) that the apollos are to be in the g5s. i guess these new processors can be in the next powerbook revision without it be a g5. i dont know for sure so i need for others to clear this up. regardless ...if these new processors are to go into the next powerbook they most definitly will not show up until after they have it in the powermac....the apollo processors that is....n we all know how frustrating the wait for these new powermacs have it must be a longer wait for the powerbooks to have the same processor architecture. besides ....dont you think if these new apollos are comming out in a powerbook soon then the high end rev b models of powerbooks would be selling for a but cheaper now....or some kind of discount? i dont just adding my thoughts in this matter.

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