What do you think: last-gen PPC vs. Mactel

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jamdr, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. jamdr macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    For those of us who want to buy new Macs in the next 6-12 months or so, would it be a better idea to get the last generation of PowerBooks, PowerMacs, etc. that run on PPC processors, or wait a little longer for the first generation of Mactels?

    From what I can see, the pros/cons of getting the last generation of PPC Macs are: more refined design but outdated technology, can run all current and future programs at full speed (assuming most devs put out universal binaries) but will not run programs for Intel only (will there be any?)

    The pros/cons of waiting for the Mactels are: much faster (esp. for G4 vs. Pentium M), fresh design but it might be a bit buggy, will be able to run all future programs but you might have to emulate current programs if new versions aren't released.

    What do you think? Are most of you going to jump on these final revisions of the PPC Mac models or are you going to wait for the first revision of the Mactels?
  2. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  3. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    I'm having trouble deciding myself. I do want a mostly bug-free computer, and i'm sort of leaning towards the next powerbook update (which i'm convinced will be before the end of october). The mactels will cool and all redisgned though, probably have some cool features to grab those skeptics, and other plusses. But it's the first step in the transition... may not be totally smooth.

    To sum up, I may as well have written nothing... i have no answer for you.
  4. 1nsanity macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2005
    The last PPC release and the first mactel release aren't out.

    I don't understand why people keep asking questions about products that no one has a clue about.

    You eat because you have too, and you want a powermac because you need one, just get what ever is out when you need it.

    I know I'm keeping my revC Powerbook until it dies on me or if I really need the most powerful solution out there. The G4 1.5ghz in it works great with my video editing and photo editing habits and yes I could get a dual cpu powerpc but I dont need that.

    Just get what ever is out when ever you need it. Stop looking at the cons and pros unless you are trying to reassure yourself, that would be ok I guess since I have seen gazillions threads just like this one....
  5. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'm getting the dual 2 Ghz G5 PowerMac when the next revs come out on the advice of our IT guy.
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Totally impossible to say without a better idea of what either will be.

    My general plan, however, based on what's available today, is:

    Buy a last-gen G5 tower to get me through several years of computing. The G5 is very fast, stable, and I've been entirely happy with my DP2.0 for the past couple years, so this gives me a reliable fallback during the transition. This plan could change if the G5 totally stalls and/or Intel's next-gen desktop chips are a huge advance over their current ones, though--I'm not unreasonable.


    Buy a first-gen Intel laptop, partly beacuse the Intel chips actually have some advantages in the laptop space, partly because as a tech guy I'd like something to get my foot in the door and get used to any differences in the platform, and partly because when I'll be in the market for a laptop in a year or so the Intel 'Books should be available.

    Again, these are assuming things remain roughly as they are now. Big developments could easily sway me one way or the other, since I'm not going to be unreasonable about the decision.
  7. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    If you need to run certain apps reliably, PPC.
    If you want a desktop, PPC.

    If you want to be on the cutting edge, Mactels.
    If you want a laptop, Mactels.
  8. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    why do you think the intel mac's will be "much faster"?

    it will be like always. the new mac's are "only" 10-15% faster than the new ones, some apps will run much faster, some much slower (altivec!). everybody on this forum will first hype the new mac's, then everybody will complain about the crappy graphics card. then people will complain that this and that runs slower than before or at least slower than expected.
    three years later many programs won't run speedy enough anymore.

    it won't matter if there is intel inside. the stories, the disappointed hopes and the complaints will be the same. it's simply ~50% speed increase per year, regardless if there are new ppc chips or intel chips inside.

    so i would buy a ppc mac if you need one and if you want to protect your software investments (that's what i will do).

    if you don't need a mac now and you can afford to update your software, it's certainly worth to wait for the intel macs.

    i think it will really depend more on the software you own and need than on 15% more or less speed. apple will make the hardware work. but there won't be quantum leaps in speed.

    my 2 cents.

    p.s.: don't take the word everybody literally. it only means 95% of the posts ;)
  9. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Judging by PowerBook G3-to-PowerBook G4 and PowerMac G4-to-PowerMac G5, I am siding with getting the first generation PowerBook Intel.

    I know there are many that still prefers last generation PowerBook G3 and PowerMac G4, but despite some bugs, Apple saves the latest and greatest for next generation products. And for most people, PowerMac G5 wasn't buggy enough to be less attractive than last generation PowerMac G4.

    And for PowerBook Intel, these may include 802.11n, ATI Mobility Radeon X800 GPU (or whatever comes out around then... maybe Mobility Radeon X1600), Blu-Ray, ExpressCard, high resolution LCD (and widescreen 12"), Mighty Mouse-style trackpad button, PCI Express, and SATA-IO. And let's not forget dual-core CPU. Of course, I am merely speculating/drooling.

    For PowerMac, I am less enthusiastic. With few exceptions (most notable being PCI Express), PowerMac G5 is as current and bleeding edge as Intel-based desktop PCs. And in many ways, perhaps more so.
  10. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Unless Apple has kept up-to-date optimized versions of its Pro Apps, a lot of us are going o go with the last PowerPC machine.
  11. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    That is unless Apple can prove that Motion and Final Cut Pro and Shake perform better on Intel machines.
  12. msett macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2005
    These posts confused me more and more. lol. Was planning on buying an imac G5 next week. Do I need a new computer? Nope I have powerful pc laptop and desktop and 12 inch powerbook I use sometimes but used it more in the past and mostly dont use it much more because of it not being real powerful anymore. Do I need a new mac? nope. Do I want an new toy, that being a mac I can use and have fun with. Yes. All and all when it comes to my situation what do ya think? Worth waiting even though I really want a new toy or just buy a imac now and in a couple years buy intel mac.

  13. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    My rule for buying a computer.

    #1 Wait until the want becomes a need.

    #2 Make sure that I have the cash.

    #3 Wait until a revision is released, unless I absolutely need a replacement now.

    #4 Buy the best that I can and wait as long as I can before I have to go back to step 1.

    If you need one now, buy now. If you can wait, wait. The day after you buy your computer the next newst and bestest one will come out. There is also something to be said about waiting until a Rev 'A' release.
  14. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    With the ability to run Windows and Mac from the same Machine i would say MacIntel is the way to go. Why not have the best of 2 worlds? Gaming on Windows is superior. Everyday life is superior on the Mac as is most work.
  15. finalcoolman macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    If you want an iBook I'd say buy the current revision since it is more than likely to be the last PPC revision. Then yes the Intels will be out next year but you will have a very stable and refined machine to last you for say three years. Then when it comes time to replace it, the Mactels will be very mature and the software in the new binaries will be widespread and will have matured too. I put it this way. You will be using an Intel powered Mac for the rest of your life after the transisition, whats wrong with using PowerPC for a few more years.
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'd definitely get the iMac now--since you freely admit it's a toy you want, the iMac G5 is a great toy (and a nice computer), so you might as well get one to play with right now. It'll probably be a while before the iMac form factor changes, I doubt they're going Intel for a little while yet, so why not just enjoy what you can get now that most of the kinks have been worked out of the design.

    Of course, there's a perfectly legitimate argument to be made that "what you don't need, you shouldn't buy", which certainly can apply to your case... but since it sounds like you're using your Windows machines more than your Macs due to speed issues, I'd definitely think it worth the money to get back with the Mac and enjoy computing more.

    You said yourself you want a toy to have fun with, and if you're not having fun with your computers, what's the point?

    Note on the 12" PB you mentioned: Have you done any upgrades on it recently? A good 5400 RPM hard drive (or even 7200 RPM if you want to go all out), a gig of RAM, and a copy of Tiger, and that should be a nice zippy computer unless you do a lot of processor-intensive work, all for around $300. Heck I managed to make a 400MHz G3 PB quite useable (for anything but video) for under $200 in upgrades.
  17. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    I was optimistic about the intel switch but all you lot have made me paranoid. I've been looking at getting an iMac for ages but in all honesty my next computer will probably be an Intel Mac.
  18. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I totally agree. My Mac will still be running for a while to come. Just because it is ppc doesn't mean that something I do in Dreamweaver or Illustrator will no longer be valid because Mactels are out and about. I have no issues running the apps that I have on my ppc machine and there is no way I'm getting a Mactel until it's a few revisions down the track. Look at the current Powerbooks, mine is a Rev D, I'll wait for the same reason listed above and because the first few revisions of the Mactels aren't going to be as good in any case.
  19. msett macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2005
    So are you saying I can just install windows on a Mac intel? I just still am at a loss. Like some of you said, if i I dont need dont get it. But really when intel macs come out I probably still just wont need it. I want it but want to spend money knowing applications and stuff will work on it it for years to come. I know some say yes but you still get differing opinions which make it hard. Then its like should I get mini for now but then thats really no powerful at all with almost no graphics card. Dilemmas dilemmas dilemmas.

    I could wait but who knows how long that will be
  20. msett macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2005
    This is what I want to know simply. Will I be spending money knowing I will be getting a computer that will run programs for at least 2-3 years, even new ones and will still be powerful enough for most. I want to know simply I am using a Apple that wont be obsolete next summer.

    I am sorry you guys for keep posting and can not make a decision but for someone who is 16 and only 6.15 an hour I want to know I am spending money right. I have every other electronic device so thats not a concern for me.lol
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Why, other than "teething pains" of the move to a different processor platform, would you mention reliability. My take is that Apple is taking great pains to ensure that by the first Macintel release, that most will not see problems.

    In the end will it be any different for those that made the move from 10.3 to 10.4?
  22. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I think it depends on what product you want. I think the Power Mac will be the last to switch over, that said many may not be able to wait for Intel inside.

    As for me, I just bought the last revision of PB, and am very happy. If a new Mactel Powerbook comes out and offers better performance, I wont hesitate to pick one up.
  23. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    For me, I would go with the last PPC revision to ride out the rough waters ahead for early Intel adopters. That will buy you enough time so that the next mac purchase should be when the Intel systems are all settled in and ready to kick booty.
  24. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    I would go PPC, because it willl still take a while for them to transition to INTEL. It actually wouldn't hurt getting a new powermac, because it will take possibly 2-3 years for them to be flawless.
  25. msett macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2005
    Ok. I think Imac it is. But do you guys think new programs that come out will be made for PPC also? Also windows can be installed on mactels? You say it depends on product. Well then seeing i am getting imac, what do you think on that product?


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