Should I wait for intel to buy a Powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hwnelson, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. hwnelson macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2004
    in a box
    I'll be off to college in about a year and I imagine this question is a little premature, but I was wondering if buying the last version of the PB (as rumored by macrumors) before intel comes out would be a better idea than waiting forever and buying a PB after intel comes out. I am currently on an imac G4 800 MHz which I bought 4 years ago and I am anxious to buy a labtop soon. Anyways, any suggestions will be helpful.

  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I would wait until Expo Paris next month and see if Steve Jobs announces a PowerBook update. It runs September 20th - 24th. If you need a new laptop now, would recommend getting one. Otherwise it would be better to wait for the Rev. B Intel Mac. That way the bugs will be worked, and there should be more 3rd party software compatibility.
  3. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I agree with wdlove. If you need one now, get one and it will still last you several years, but if you can wait, I would wait at least until the first line of intel PBs come out, but its even better to wait for the first revision.
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you don't need it for a year wait ...

    When the MacIntel Notebooks come out, you may be able to run Winblows after a reboot or in a window using a virtual machine.

    This would completely eliminate any problems you may have if a professor decides to make use of a Windows widget for a grade.
  5. freiheit macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2004
    If you'll be off to college next year and you want the PowerBook for college, I'd say wait a while. When the Intel based ones come out, you'll probably find better deals on PPC based ones (tried and true) while the Intels will be the new and unproven. PPC should still be supported for several more years (since right now 100% of the Mac userbase is on PPC and that's highly unlikely to drop by more than 15% before the end of 2006) so that's not at all a bad move.
  6. sbbruiser macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2004
    Newport Beach, CA
    As a current grad student, I say sit on it.

    No it isn't any fun running on the lamp stand when there are sexy aluminum powerbooks coupled up with a free iPod mini (cram and jam) everywhere you turn. But next fall could be even worse. Think of the hottest 13.3" wide screen, 4lb, 16x DVD burning, intel-based, Leopard + Longhorn powerbook you can imagine sitting next to your brand new, color screen, bluetooth, 10GB iPod mini that you got for free during cram and jam 2006. OK, so I got a little ahead of myself there, but hopefully not that far.

    If you really need a laptop in the coming year, don't fret over the decision too much. I spent forever mulling over my current 12" 1.33GHz PB, and sweat bullets for the first 15 days after purchase with with constant nightmares of Steve Jobs announcing G5 PB eutopia. After that subsided, I haven't regretted the buy a single day since.

    At the very least, wait until the Paris Expo. You'll be much wiser after.
  7. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    A year is a long time to wait, I'd buy one after the Paris Expo.
  8. lfielder06 Guest

    Dec 5, 2004

    When is longhorn coming out again? (is this where you got a little ahead of yourself?) :p

    BTW: Get one now and you wont regret it. Then if in like 2 years you want a nice intel Pb then you can sell the PPC one and get an intel after all the intel's kinks have been worked out.
  9. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    If you can, why not buy a little 12" iBook right now, and then upgarde to a Rev B Intel PowerBook in a year or so. You'll get good resale on your iBook if you put it on EBay.

    iBook is an awesome little laptop. I have found it quite able to do anything I've asked it to. You will get alot of enjoyment out of it while waiting for intel PB.
  10. PaRaGoNViCtiM macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2005
    These questions are so common, and so hard to answer. Everyone's situation is different, and thats what your answer depends on. If you are in dire need, get it now. If you have the ability and the patience, then wait!
  11. ajampam macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    It just feels like me from a year ago.....waiting and waiting....for the G5s....I picked up a 12' 1.5 superdrive PB last month and have been very very happy with is THE best laptop I have and ever had! My logic was simple, I did not want to pick up the rev a I picked up the 12 incher to be a perfect stopgap....and havent regretted the decision AT ALL. I dont know how desperate you are for one now, but I would say get one if need it now OR you dont want to pick up the rev a mactels....thats waht you will have to buy next year or will have to wait again for the next it is all up to you!!!
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Should you wait?


    If you want a new laptop, go buy a Powerbook G4. If, when the Intel machines arrive, you want one, then sell the G4 and get one. You win both ways.
  13. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    and the computer has lost half its value because no one is going to bother with universal binaries when it is 100x easier to simply port to intel mac. Let's face it - apple will support PPC for several years to come but if you are interested in using new software from any other company then it is probably in your best interest to wait.

    I don't know what all the hoopla is about "kinks" in first generation machines. I had the first G3 and the first G5 that apple released. These computers took much longer to become outdated - I resold my G5 1.6 ghz with just a RAM upgrade for $1250 - $350 less than I paid for it almost 2 years ago. That is because I bought the new tech when it first came out. Yes, sometimes there can be problems, but usually a company like apple will support you through them. I personally ahve never had one and think the benefits of buying tech when it is first released far outweight the drawbacks.

    You have the newest technology for a much longer period of time - that is the goal isn't it?

    Wait. Wait for the new powerbooks. You will get a more powerful machine with better battery life, compatibility with all windows apps and ALL new mac OS apps. The G4 is just a really old processor. It's not worth it anymore.
  14. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Well it's obvious someone wasn't paying attention to the Stevenote when the announcement was made. :rolleyes:
  15. Xephian macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    United States
  16. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I''d definitely wait will much closer to the time you are due to start College. If you need a new laptop or desktop - then buy now - but from your post i got the impression that you want to set yourself up well for College. Twelve months can be a very long time to wait - when you know you want something badly.. but it is also a very long time in terms of IT hardware...

    Who knows what might come out between now and then...
    If you want a PPC vs MacIntel - then once the new machines are announced - go grab the last of the PPC models... either way it will most likely not be the current range. I think we will see movement on many fronts in the next twelve months - and Steve did say in his last KeyNote - that they had some exciting PPC products yet to be released.
  17. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    fine, some of the big names will maintain support, but the point still stands that companies will be able to choose to either make universal binaries or just support mactels. Why buy a computer that could already be incompatible with some of the newest software in just 1/2 of a year.

    Yes, if you have to have it then buy it now, but your 4 year old iMac is not too much slower than a brand new powerbook. That's how old the G4 is. Now if they introduce a nice new PB G5, then that's an entirely different question.
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    In my opinion it's like taking a gamble, you know what the PPC Apple computers are like, and I'm guessing you like them. However, if you wait, and buy an intel Apple, you better like it because there's no going back.
    As for worring about the software, my guess is that you computer will be several years outdated by the time you start running into those problems.
  19. prp134 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2005
    I know this is a lil premature, since we dont even know when the intel macs are coming out, but whats ur estimation on when a PB Rev B would come out? :confused:
  20. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Yes, buy the PB NOW!
    If you have the money buy it. You can wait for forever, there's always gonna be something right around the corner.

    If you don't have the money, then save still.
  21. Hattig macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2003
    London, UK
    You are talking out of your rump.

    By the end of 2007, around 25% of the Mac market will be using Intel based Macs. By the end of 2008 it might be 50%.

    Considering that in XCode you can either make a PowerPC application, or a PowerPC + Intel application, I don't think that there will be many, if any, Intel-only applications. No-one is going to write software for a 25% portion of a 3% niche market unless they are insane.

    I don't think you have thought it through at all. Also I don't know why so many people believe that because Jobs said the migration would start in the middle of 2006 with the first shipping machines, Apple will release the first PowerPC based machines in January 2006. To be honest I expect Apple to keep on offering PowerPC based alternatives to each Intel based Mac for quite some time as well. I expect the first Intel based machine will start shipping in May or June of 2006, just one line, probably the Mac Mini. By the end of the year the iBook and Powerbook might have gone Intel as well. iMac G5 and Powermac G5s will change to Intel during 2007.

    Anyway, if I was the original poster, I'd stick with the 800MHz G4 for a while longer, but only because he doesn't need a laptop right now. It isn't a bad machine at all. Quite possibly I'd buy an iBook 12" for portability around college next year anyway, if I was in your situation, and have the iMac around for music and odd tasks. If Apple release sexy Powerbooks in September and you can't resist, then maybe that is the time to get one. A current 12" or 15" is around twice the speed of the 800MHz iMac, and has significantly better graphics to boot, so waiting for the specification bump whenever it arrives makes sense to me to get something even better.
  22. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2003
    It's true, I'm no expert. I think your 50% estimation might even be too high.

    However, think of all the little PC shareware and freeware applications. If you are a real computer geek these apps can be a lot of fun and very useful. If I can emulate these apps on a mactel then that's a lot of utility gained right there. Furthermore, if these PC shareware/freeware developers can port their apps to mactel in a breeze, i think it is much more likely that they will. And finally think of all the commercial windows software available. I grant that 95% of all this windows software is garbage, but that 5% is still pretty nice... Just being able to play all WMP movies without a problem would be wonderful.

    That doesn't even take into account how crappy the G4 is. I have a freakin powerbook g4 1.5ghz and a power mac g5 1.6ghz. First of all the G5 absolutely annihiliates the G4 in terms general computer usage - just take opening safari as an example: G5 opens in about 1/4 of a bounce, the powerbook opens in about 1.5 bounces.

    Now let's take all the rumors that have been slipping through about how BLAZINGLY fast the developer boxes run Mac OS X. If these rumors are even 1/2 true, the Yonah chip, being released 1/06, is the likely candidate for new mac portables. It is even faster than the Pentium M and I'm guessing will be at least comparable with the top end P4 in the dev boxes.

    These portables will definitely be faster than my 2 year old G5.

    Now consider power consumption: The Pentium M can get 4 hours battery life no problem. The powerbook G4 probably averages between 2 1/2 and 3 hours. The napa chip (portable yonah), will probably get around 5 hours.

    And finally regarding the date of release of mactels. Yes, mid 2006 was what apple said. But it makes perfect sense for them to overestimate the time until transition. They don't want people to hang around and wait for the mactels to come out. They want people to buy existing computers until the mactels are ready. So now they can come out in January, as soon as yonah goes into big production, and say, "wow, we've made better progress than we expected. Check out our new line of fantastically improved Mactel laptops! Available today!" Now they don't have to deal with the 3 month period where everyone is holding out for mactels to come out.

    Okay and if they aren't going to release intel powerbooks until mid 2k6, then they better put the freakin awesome IBM 970FX into a powerbook between now and then. That on its own is worth waiting for.
  23. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    If you can wait then wait. If you want it now the current models are still great machines. It is just a matter of preference.
  24. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Uhoh. You just hit ITASOR's worst pet peeve in the whole world. This is my "start smacking around the mouse and keyboard" pet peeve.

    It's a LAPtop, not a labtop. Yes, you use them in labs, but they're called LAPtops because you can use them on your LAP! Just like a desktop is called a DESK top. Ugh, man that annoys me, especially when people say it out loud. UGH!!!

    Sorry, just decided to blow up on this one. :eek:
  25. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    But we're talking about PowerPC-based Macs with an installed base in the millions. A company would be crazy to introduce a software product that's Intel-only after 6 months of the first Mactel. Based on what I saw in the keynote, all that is involved is a few code tweaks, and mouse click during compilation.

    Not to be a prick about it, but a 4 year old iMac would be an iMac G3, which is significantly slower than my PowerBook.

    And I'm not holding my breath for a PowerBook G5. :)

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