So i was thinking of buying a 12" powerbook...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BlueSamurai, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. BlueSamurai macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2006
    Hi there fellas

    was thinking of getting said above. Would it be a good purchase and how much money should i be paying for one? I would ideally want to run 10.5 with it and use it for playing dota. Would it run smooth with full detail?

    how does the speed compare to say.. a 1st gen macbook?
  2. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    I'd like to buy one of these too because they are potentially awesome and 12".

    Are they actually capable of running Leopard? I ask because I know nothing about PPC Macs.
  3. Gioman macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    Dota should run flawlessly on it, it is such an old game. I could run it without difficulties on my machine (see signature), and the 12" powerbook is even better than it.
    - I am assuming you are looking at the 1.5 Ghz, latest model.

    If this is the case, max out the RAM and Leopard should run. Not sure how well, however. (I still use Tiger) ... maybe someone with more experience can answer that for you.

    Geekbench scores:
    PowerBook 12": 721
    MacBook Rev A: 2290 - 2450 [1.83 - 2.0 Ghz]

    If I havent analyzed the data incorrectly, this is using the Universal Binary (which Leopard + all other apps are today).. and truly, the Intel processor Macs should be quite faster.
    In Rosetta (which Warcraft III is, dont think they updated it), there will be less difference....
    To give a comparison, the MacBook Pro Rev A (of a friend) scored 830 emulating Rosetta.(Geekbench doesnt calculate Graphics, unfortunately).

    So running Dota should about the same, also considering that the PowerBook has a superior graphics card (dedicated vs. shared)... it is such an old game, so really that shouldnt be an issue.


    I would not recommend this as your primary machine, also considering that it is not at all future proof (Snow Leopard will seemingly be 64-bit only). But Dota should run well, if that is your main goal.
    Moreover, the 12" PowerBook is truly stunning in looks as well as portability... most of the Mac community will agree. Yet at the same time, is gaming on a tiny display a good idea?
    Max out the RAM to 1.25 GB....
  4. gollum macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2007
    I took Leopard off mine and put Tiger back on because it was sluggish with Leopard. I'm maxed out on RAM and have a 1 GHZ.
  5. Gioman macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    Good to know, you are actually not the only one, from what I hear.
    Maybe his would run a bit faster seeing as it is 50% faster CPU-wise.... but Tiger will still go faster, probably.
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I'm not sure that's right. The last emac (the 1.42 you have) had an ATI Radeon 9600. Certainly not a cutting edge card, but better than the nvidea go5200 in the powerbook.

    DotA can actually be pretty demanding, far more so than regular war3.

    Also, war3 IS a universal binary and has been for over a year, maybe close to 2 years?

    I know that people still have this odd obsession with the 12" powerbook, but honestly, it's so badly outdated that I can't see paying more than a couple of hundred for one. Apple really didn't even update the 12" PB in a meaningful way during the last year of its life so you're looking at technology from 2004-5.
  7. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    I had a 1.67GHz 15" with 2GB and Leopard ran fine for many purposes but felt sluggish and I couldn't play flash video with usable framerates. With Tiger it was fine.

    AIUI the 12" maxed out at 1.25GB (??) RAM and 1.5GHz, due to some of the RAM being soldered, so I suspect leopard would be functional but not exactly zippy.

    Whether it's a good buy or not depends a) how cheap it is, b) how much money you have and c) what you want to do with it.

    I don't know (but I imagine Google may turn up some benchmarks) exactly how it compares to a first gen macbook, but safe to say it will be a LOT slower. Apple's marketing at the time the MBP came out claimed 4x faster. For some things it may be higher, others lower. Certainly if you're running PowerPC apps then I wouldn't expect the MacBook to be much faster (it might even be slower). I'm not familiar with the game you mention so I've no idea.

    It's not just the CPU speed that's different. Even the 32bit Core Duo Macbook, short-lived as it was, was vastly more efficient CPU per MHz than the G4, and it had 2 cores, not just one, and it was running at 1.83GHz plus (per core) compared to 1.5.

    Also, the Macbook has faster disk access (SATA vs PATA) and a greatly faster system bus and much faster RAM. The 167MHz system bus had become a real bottleneck for the G4s. I think even the first macbook was 667MHz, if I recall correctly - don't have time to double check all of this right now.

    It really does depend what you'd want it for. I'd take a 12" powerbook over a netbook any day, but I'd want it to be the same kind of price.

    You might also want to take note of this :
  8. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    They are great machines and you shouldn't pay more than £450 (yes they're still significantly expensive) because they're sought after items. I had one and it was amazing but i sold it because its Wi-Fi range was low and i needed an intel machine to run windows.

    I would also recommend you stick with Tiger as that runs far better on it than Leopard
  9. Tymmz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    I'm running 10.5 on my 1.5 GHz PB and it's running fine. A bit more sluggish then 10.4, but the overall appearance and features of Leopard are worth it in my opinion.

    Good luck with your decision. Make sure the battery lasts long enough on your "new" 12'' PB. After more than three years mine lasts for about 10 minutes.
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I'm in the same boat, but I'm also considering the Dell Mini 12. AFAIK, it's the only other 12" laptop in the same price range as a 12" PB. Granted it'll run XP or Ubuntu..
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    No it won't. ;)

    You're right, Tiger is still better.
  12. tonybeyondo macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2007
    I got a 12" G4 Powerbook 1.5 last summer- been running Leopard on it since I got it. When I got it, the ram was maxed out at 1.25gb and the hard drive was upgraded to 100gb.

    The thing is awesome- no problems with leopard at all. I couldn't live with Tiger, as the networking with my desktop and windows machines is inferior. Not that I have any basis for comparison, but I've never had any issues with Leopard period. I keep seeing people say that they can't run Leopard on a 12" powerbook, but if you have a 1.5ghz and maxed the ram there are NO issues.

    I have been getting a bit of netbook-envy lately- the PowerBook IS MUCH heavier than said netbooks. But with a real graphics card, and sturdy aluminum construction, you really can't go wrong with the top of the line 12" PowerBook- IF you can get it for a good price.

    Hope this helps! :D

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