To Buy Or Not To Buy (G4 decisions)

What to buy???

  • Buy the $3000 NOW!

    Votes: 3 10.7%
  • It will be less than $3000 after July 7, WAIT!

    Votes: 17 60.7%
  • Get a PowerBook

    Votes: 8 28.6%

  • Total voters


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2002
I am going to college next year and I am upgrading my system. While I do want a lot of power, i am thinking about price. I have a dilemma:

Right now I can get a 1gig DP with 17" for just about $3,000 (including the education, monitor, and general G4 rebates, about $750 savings).

Do i buy this system now or wait until after July 7 (when the rebates expire)? Would it be a lot cheaper after July 7, or would the price go back up?


macrumors member
Jan 29, 2002
Los Angeles
Wait Until After MWNY

I say wait. You might be able to get a good deal on a used dual GHz that someone got burned on. The rebate is great, but I say be patient.


macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2002
Atlantic City area
wait until...

I would wait until after the MWNY show which is on July 17th. You'll be able to get a better deal on that same system...this has been proven time and time again.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2002
Here's my way of looking at it

Here are some points to consider:

1) There will probably be a slight speedbump and no G5's in MWNY, so don't hold your breath for something revolutionary.

2) Can you conceivably get the same system with the 17" monitor with a rebate greater than $700 after July (or whenever the rebates expire)?

I think you should just get the system unless you strongly feel that what Steve & Co. will unveil at MWNY is worth the wait. You may be paying an extra $700 in foregone rebates to wait until MWNY. But then again, MWNY is less than a month away!!!

Decision, decisions . . .


macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2002
Re: wait until...

Originally posted by theranch
I would wait until after the MWNY show which is on July 17th. You'll be able to get a better deal on that same system...this has been proven time and time again.
exactly what i was going to say


macrumors 6502a
Dec 11, 2001
get a powerbook!! they're the best rev yet.... all the old "bugs" with the portables are corrected... it's THE PERFECT laptop and the PERFECT system for college... i surely would love to get one

but still wait until macworld in case they start offering deals on the powerbooks (usually they have $200-$300 discount on powerbooks during the back-to-school period... it's worth the wait :)


macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
Portland, OR

It's been shown over and over again (BadAndy's Altivec thread on arstechnica, Apple tech docs, etc...) that the biggest thing holding Altivec back is memory bandwidth. I would not be at all surprised if the midrange DDR powermac beats the pants off the Dual Ghz. For certain types of tasks DDR would provide *double* the speed. Think about doing an Altivec add of 2 32 bit (4 byte) numbers (I know it can do 4, but you need somewhere to put the result, I'm having it store the result in a 64 bit variable). 1 billion X 2 X 4 (bytes) = 8 Gigabytes/sec. Now, since you need to write it back to the ram, double that (16 GB/sec). PC133 ram maxes out at just over 1GB/sec or one sixteenth the speed of the processor (and this is not a particularly data heavy task, Altivec can eat a lot more bandwidth than that pretty easily). If you double the bandwidth (PC2100 gets 2.1GB/sec) you can double the speed (even better, PC2700 or PC3300 with 2.7GB/sec and 3.3GB/sec. Or dual channel PC3300 for 6.6GB/sec). Obviously most tasks won't get this dramatic an improvement, but you can see how useful it would be.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2002

Wow, thanks for the responses. I just wanted to point out that i am buying a Dual i gig, i just want to know when, i am sure the next one is going to be a lot better, but i have to buy this for college. Thanks! Don't Forget to vote!


macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2002
for college, buy an emac, you never said what you planned on doing w/it. why do you need to spend all that dough on a machine you plan to upgrade in several years anyway?


macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
Natick, MA

Wait until after MWNY and then get the fastest TiBook. You will be able to take it anywhere and have a G4 processor to boot. The L3 cache on the rev. c TiBook makes a huge difference over the previous models and should not be set aside lightly.

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
Originally posted by big
for college, buy an emac, you never said what you planned on doing w/it. why do you need to spend all that dough on a machine you plan to upgrade in several years anyway?
exactly. Everything is irrelevant unless we know what you plan on doing with your machine. A DP 1GHz machine rocks if you're doing a lot of Digital Video, Photoshop and 3D app type stuff, but if you're just going to be playing around on it, you'd be better off saving some money.

Besides, many things can happen between now and when you get to school, if you don't need it immediately, wait.


macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2002
Re: Thanks

Originally posted by cookemonster
Wow, thanks for the responses. I just wanted to point out that i am buying a Dual i gig, i just want to know when, i am sure the next one is going to be a lot better, but i have to buy this for college. Thanks! Don't Forget to vote!
Well, I gotta say, in college, it was VERY valuable to have a laptop. If you need to get something typed, and your in a dorm or a loud environment, it is nice to take YOUR environment someplace quiet.

That said, I had a laptop & a desktop, as I've always preferred desktops.

I would say that you should chosse your budget now (not your computer). It is conceivable that you may be able to make it to school with a dual 1.2 & a 17" for about 3k after MacWorld, or a Dual 1 & 17" for $2750ish.

Whatever happens, the price of the Dual 1ghz machine will tumble after MW, and if the new machines have highly updated MoBos/cases, may even drop a lot!


macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2002
Mobile student

I don't know if your course involves any essay-writing or whether it's something of a more technical nature, but I have to say that my powerbook has served me incredibly well over the past three years at University.

The main reason I suggest that a powerbook or ibook would be a better buy if you're going to do an arts subject comes down to library access.

The amount of time I have saved by being able to take my powerbook to the Bodleian library here in Oxford (one of the UK's non-lending copyright libraries that has a copy of every book every printed in the this country) has been astounding.

If you think about it, you'll save writing notes from every book you read by being able to write your essay directly in the given library itself.

In addition, by having a portable Mac you can save room and weight when transporting it to and fro from University.

Alpha's point on Level 3 cache should be borne in mind too.

Best of luck deciding


macrumors 6502a
hmmmm my turn.

I think that considering your in college.
This is going to involve term papers etc.

You need a portable, to get away from roomates and go outside or to the all important coffee shops or most important to impress women that you happen to meet because they are staring at your new Powerbook Ti!

I have seen benchmarks on the new Ti and its is very fast and steady!

It compares in many instances to the DP 1 Ghz.
Especially if your not going to be doing alot of things that need DP.

This new Ti is really the best that Apple has out right now.
If you want to buy right now then I suggest that you get the Ti 800.

If you want to wait or can discipline yourself, then new york should bring a few interesting events to the Powermac lineup, hopefully DDRam!


macrumors member
Apr 29, 2002
defenitly go powerbook. but wait till after mwny, bc if we get G5's then G5 powerbooks will come out soon after that shaming your pb.


macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
No computer for college

In my experience, I went to college in the US, I studied Digital Media. I got a Powermac 9600/200 (the top of the line at that time) with a 20" monitor, I had a powerboo 5300 too.

Let me tell you that I didn't use them that much. Well, I did used them but for my spare time, not for my studies.

In your case, I would wait until july and get a top of the line iBook and/ or an iMac. When you go to callege for the first time your parent give you a lot of freedom with money and you can get lots of loans. You may regret spending so much money that you are gonna need in the future.

Get practical. For example. I wanted to buy a video mixer 3 months ago, there was the digital one ($2100) and the analog version ($1100). Everybody was teloling me to get the digital. Even I had access to the money for the digital, I took the analog. Thanx god, I'm not making that much money as I expected and now my parents have an econimic problem (this is in my country), I'm glad I didn't borow the extra $1000 for the digital.

Any way, save some money, no one needs a dual 1Ghz for school, that is not gonna give you better grades at all, it may distract you more.

Save that money for conventions in your field!!! that IS a good investment, no one is gonna give you work for what you have, you are goona get jobs for what you know (un less you plan to rent your computer).

Take the experience of this 27 year old guy. If I was born again, I would spend more in me and not so much in equipment.

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
I'd personally say wait until a DDR Macs are benchmarked, the numbers compared to the Dual 1G may just suprise you.

Right now the difference between the DDR Macs and the Quicksilver is most likely going the be a lot bigger than the difference was between the Yikes and the Sawtooth. Yet the low end Sawtooth was definitely a better choice than the High-end Yikes.

Of course you may not have long to wait for benchmarks since the servers should be shipping soon, and benchmarks should come soon after people mob the AppleStore.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
definetly dont get one now... DDR is going to change everything. secondly, do you NEED a DP 1GHZ?? get a 1GHZ iMac after July 17th w/ Geforce 4MX. save on money to buy software. Remember, Office X costs how much? $500?? and photoshop?? $600, and all that other software you will want?? save on the money. Or better yet, get a 1GHZ iMac, and get a low end iBook, perfect for college, cuz u get portable when u need, and great battery life also, and you have gaming iMac at home(with a Geforce 4MX, we should be able to DOOM III at at least 800x600x24)

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
Wow, jadam, it seems as if you had an awful lot to say. :)

Remember though: no one AFAIK has confirmed rumors about a 1GHz iMac G4. And I think that a half of a grand of dinero is overpricing Office X. You may get charged up to $450. But, then again, you should be able to get education discounts (don't quote me on this), or you can pick of somewhat cheaper copies on eBay or something like that. Photoshop is probably another story, unless you can upgrade from 4 or later.

If you need a computer for college, an iBook would do fine. (I use my Graphite 466 at class and I have over a year to go until I hit college.)

As for what really happens with Apple computers, if you can wait until the MacWorld after the rebates expire, I would recommend it, just as a lot of other people would. It's a win-win situation. If something new comes out and you want it, you got it. If nothing surprising new comes out but the price of an old version of the hardware has been jacked down you could buy that. For this MacWorld we are focused on the iMac and the PowerMac. I doubt an iBook update, but, then again, you never know. :)

Fear the King.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 11, 2001

high school, college, and edu staff all qualify...

of interest:

$199 for office v. X FULL
~$250 for most adobe products FULL
basically there are great education discounts available... even the apple store for education offers some incredible deals... i bought fcp3 for only $299 and haven't been dissapointed


macrumors 6502a

I have to say that I take offense to your comment.
No really, I do..
I am angry, Grrrr. I am mashing my teeth and chomping food off early in my mouth! Chomp.

Why , you may ask, shaking in fear.
Well, it should be obvious. It is, isnt it?

ok it isnt.

First, you said G5! Again, NO, no, there isnt going to be a G5.
Yes, that what I typed, NO G5! There isnt going to be any G5's at MacWorld.
Does that make you want to get me, tear me up. Sorry it wasnt my idea.

So if there isnt going to be any Freakin G5 then there isnt going to be a G5 Ti!

So you can put a skinny halter on your shame, take it out for a drink and call it your girlfriend. There isnt going to be any shame on the Ti!

Ok lets, recap for the handicapped. < my new slogan >

NO G5, There isnt going to be a G5 at MacWorld!
Therefore NO G5 Powerbooks!
Hence, hold on to your shame, cause it wont be needed.
Save it for that special moment with mom and dad.


macrumors member
Jan 13, 2002

Don't buy anything now. Put off purchase as long as you can. If you need it for school, get it the day before it starts As we've seen recently, new stuff comes out all the time, even outside of big trade shows. The odds of something cheaper and better coming along within a couple months is about 100%. Other than the recent overpriced iMac fiasco which is dramatically hurting sales and crushing Apple's stock price (down about 20% since the reports came out), mac prices only get cheaper. Sometimes a month can save you $1000 on the high end or get you a 50-100% faster mac for the same price. At one point the powermac 9600/350 was around $4000, then the low end G3 came out for $1700 and was nearly twice as fast! All in a days difference.

I agree with others that a portable makes the most sense. For the same price you could get an ibook now, and a tower in 7 months after MWSF that's faster than the DP 1Ghz for most things. I went back to school a year ago, got a Ti midway through, and don't know how I lived without it! Using the internet in my yard on a nice day is oh so fun too, and I couldn't have done that with a high end tower.