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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 17" Powerbook - buy now or wait?

17" Powerbook - buy now or wait?
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dwalls32
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Apr 20, 2003, 08:09 PM
 
Hi, first time poster here. I was recently accepted into a college program for Graphic Design at my university. For 2 years I will be doing design work as well as some video editing. Fortunatly, they require the purchase of a Powerbook as part of the program. I am so excited, because I have been eyeing these things for awhile.

My question, I have to have the laptop (as well as some software packages) by the end of August, and I am pretty much only considering the 17" pb, as this will be my only production machine for 2 years, and I want the extra real estate in class. Should I buy now (on ADC) and use the time to get used to OSX (I've been a PC user for years, and haven't had access to an Apple), or shoudl I wait and get it later? Will the current 17" pc be a graphic design workhorse for the next 2 1/2 years? I want to buy the best to get that longevity, and if there is suppose to be another PB out within the next couple months, I would like to know.

Thanks!
     
HasanDaddy
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Apr 20, 2003, 08:55 PM
 
dwalls ---

I have the EXACT SAME problem

I'll be editing and writing a screenplay this summer, and I always love extra screen real estate....so basically, I'm going to be spending my entire summer with my Ti 15"

However, I've saved enough for a 17", but I'll be pretty bummed out if the G5 (970) is introduced this summer

I will say this though....even if the 970 is introduced at the WWDC, I can see Apple not shipping it out for 4 months....

When they introduced the Dual 1.25, those had an 8 to 12 week wait time, as well as the 17"

Yet, there are so many rumors about the portable 970 in production (as we speak) and ready to ship in June....

So i'm conflicted too ---- what does everyone here think???
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AssassyN
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Apr 20, 2003, 09:26 PM
 
Ah man, August is a tough one...honestly though, here's what I'd do.

I'm betting on revised PowerBooks (namely the 12" AlBook & 17" AlBook) by September, but August is still a possibility. Unless you absolutely need it right now, wait until July. By the time July rolls around, there should be some solid evidence as to whether or not a revised 17" PowerBook will be unveiled soon or not. There's no harm in waiting to see. If in July there's no clear signs of updates soon, order your 17" PB then through ADC, but if signs point to nearing updates, hold off just a bit and get a revised edition.

Too, even the current 17" PB will be a solid and dependable machine for your work for the next 2.5 years, definitely.

If you have any other questions, just ask!
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dwalls32  (op)
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Apr 20, 2003, 09:35 PM
 
AHHH! But I want it now! Seriouly, that s good advice. I think I will hold off for a couple months. It will kill me, yes, but I will make due.
     
AssassyN
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Apr 20, 2003, 09:39 PM
 
Originally posted by dwalls32:
AHHH! But I want it now! Seriouly, that s good advice. I think I will hold off for a couple months. It will kill me, yes, but I will make due.
Hehe, tell me about it...I don't really need mine until August of 2003 as well, but I was shaky about how long it'd take me to get used to OS X, so I went ahead and got the first model of the 17" PB. Well it took me a good...3 days, to get fully used to OS X, lol, so trust me, getting it the week before you need it will *not* be a problem, as OS X is so streamlines and simple to use.

If I knew it'd be this easy, I probably could've convinced myself to wait as well & hope for a new revision that'll surely show up around August/September.
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nekura
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Apr 20, 2003, 09:59 PM
 
This is the gift and the curse of the technology world -- constant updates.

If you want to wait to see if anything's coming out, feel free. The problem with doing so is that there will always be rumors that a new update is coming out in x amount of months, and when it doesn't happen, new rumors spring up that claim to be accurate. If you play this game, you'll be waiting for a long time before you get your hands on a Mac.

On the other hand, you can buy now. If it turns out that an updated PowerBook does come out and you must have it, then you can always sell your current one, recoup the costs, and go for the new one. This way you're happy now and happy in the future.
     
katorga
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Apr 20, 2003, 10:51 PM
 
As a required education expense I think the purchase would be a tax write off. Do a 1 year dull depreciation on it. Also, if you could figure a way to add it to a student loan it the interest might be deductable too.

Deduct it and then you can rationalize getting a new one when the 970PPC powerbooks arrive.

But other than the sheer ostentatiousness of the 17" model, I don't see how you could go wrong with it. A 17" Pbook for running around and a 23" LCD at home would be a really sweet rig.
     
dwalls32  (op)
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Apr 20, 2003, 11:01 PM
 
I agree, the 23" display would be sweet. If I didn't have $1200 worth of software to buy (adobe indesign, macromedia flash mx and dreamweaver mx, etc...) I would get it.
     
AssassyN
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Apr 20, 2003, 11:19 PM
 
Originally posted by dwalls32:
I agree, the 23" display would be sweet. If I didn't have $1200 worth of software to buy (adobe indesign, macromedia flash mx and dreamweaver mx, etc...) I would get it.
The 23" Display along w/ the 17" PowerBook *IS* sweet, trust me!

And for all that software...man, there's better ways to acquire it.
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xylon
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Apr 20, 2003, 11:26 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
The 23" Display along w/ the 17" PowerBook *IS* sweet, trust me!
Man...I hate you.


And for all that software...man, there's better ways to acquire it.
Hehehe...

^Thanks to sealobo
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dwalls32  (op)
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Apr 20, 2003, 11:30 PM
 
Yeah, I know that I could probably get the software "elsewhere", but since I will be in a group setting, I don't want to explain to someone in a teacher position why I can't call Adobe tech support with an issue. I will say this is retribution for all the software I have found in various "couch cough **kazaa**" places in the past
     
swsteckly
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Apr 21, 2003, 12:08 AM
 
If the 'G5' was introduced this summer, it would be AT LEAST a year before making its way to the portable linup. When the 17" is revised, (I'd expect sometime between 'fall' and MWSF, if there is one), I'd expect at most an upgrade to the new 80GB HD, A processor boost to 1.2 Ghz, and possibly a new video board.

If this is that big a deal to you, then wait. I doubt it will be released by August, and you'll have missed all of that time you could have had with it. You'll be forced to buy a nearly outdated model, when you could have purchased a brand-new one and spent all spring and summer with it.

You could spend years waiting for that 'perfect time' to upgrade, but believe me, now is the time. Put in your order today, and don't look back. You WON'T be sorry!
     
AssassyN
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Apr 21, 2003, 12:11 AM
 
Originally posted by swsteckly:
You could spend years waiting for that 'perfect time' to upgrade, but believe me, now is the time. Put in your order today, and don't look back. You WON'T be sorry!
Ahh, easy to say, but is it the *smartest* choice? He's already stated he doesn't "need" it until August, and he'll be relying on it for a good 2.5 years...in this situation, he'll need the absolute best he can get when he "needs" it. I'd say wait it out and see, but it can be viewed in both ways.
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HasanDaddy
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Apr 21, 2003, 12:23 AM
 
I would definitely buy now if we were just mulling over a simple G4 boost

but we are talking a possible swith to the G5 (970) which to me seems like something that's worth mulling over

Overall....I think I'd be pissed if I grabbed a 17" now and watched the G5 be unveiled in june

if it was unveiled in the fall though, I wouldn't mind

and yes....I could always ebay it....?
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k2director
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Apr 21, 2003, 12:40 AM
 
I doubt the next 17" revision will have a G5/PPC 970. More like a 1.2 Ghz G4 that also needs less power, and extends battery life a bit. The successor to the G4 will be saved, initially, for PowerMacs. They need as much help as they can get.

My bet for the next 17":

Faster, power-conserving G4
Slightly bigger battery
2x DVD-R (instead of 1x)
Better graphics chip

But I don't think we'll see it until Aug-Sept, maybe longer.
     
HasanDaddy
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Apr 21, 2003, 01:48 AM
 
hmmm -

good observation

what about this being 'The Year of the Laptop' though???

if Apple can bring out mobile 970's, doesn't it seem like they would want to pursue that?
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urrl5201
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Apr 21, 2003, 07:20 AM
 
Judging from Apple's past these are money minded people and will squeeze all they can from the G4. From 400 to 500 to 667 to 867 to 1 Ghz I think the track record is proven here and I would expect no surprises in the next version of the 17" other than a minor CPU G4 speed boost, a GPU update and a bigger or faster hard drive. Right now is the time to buy and enjoy the 17" which fortunately seems to have fewer bugs than the 12". I honestly think they would put a dual CPU into the 17" well before a G5, which will be for desktops only for some time to come. Dream on if you want; the G5 is not even in a desktop and you expect it in a laptop??? THIS SUMMER??? LOL!!! Get real.
     
djjava
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Apr 21, 2003, 08:39 AM
 
Originally posted by k2director:
I doubt the next 17" revision will have a G5/PPC 970. More like a 1.2 Ghz G4 that also needs less power, and extends battery life a bit. The successor to the G4 will be saved, initially, for PowerMacs. They need as much help as they can get.

My bet for the next 17":

Faster, power-conserving G4
Slightly bigger battery
2x DVD-R (instead of 1x)
Better graphics chip

But I don't think we'll see it until Aug-Sept, maybe longer.
you forgot to mention a bigger price tag... I'd imagine a new 17" PB with those/similar specs would add atleast $500-$800 to the price tag. Who knows, by August some of the technology will go down in price and maybe only add a semmingly negligable amount to the price. But for me, it was tough enough to cough up the cash for the current revision, even with the edu discount. Once the dual-processor-PB17 comes out, I'm going the ADC route (I hope--or maybe not--to still be in Grad School by then).
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mrtew
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Apr 21, 2003, 09:17 AM
 
Originally posted by urrl5201:
....the G5 is not even in a desktop and you expect it in a laptop??? THIS SUMMER??? LOL!!! Get real.

The G3 came out in laptops at the same time as in desktops.

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AssassyN
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Apr 21, 2003, 09:40 AM
 
Originally posted by djjava:
you forgot to mention a bigger price tag... I'd imagine a new 17" PB with those/similar specs would add atleast $500-$800 to the price tag. Who knows, by August some of the technology will go down in price and maybe only add a semmingly negligable amount to the price. But for me, it was tough enough to cough up the cash for the current revision, even with the edu discount. Once the dual-processor-PB17 comes out, I'm going the ADC route (I hope--or maybe not--to still be in Grad School by then).
Bigger price tag? Doubtful. In September or whenever the next revision comes out, the 1Ghz processors won't be as valueable as they are now, and neither will the 1.2Ghz processors and the 80gig hard drives. Those "updated" components will be about worth what the components that are in the 17" PB currently are worth. It's just like how Dell's top-of-the-line computer, for example, would always be $1,499, no matter what time of the year it was, and you get better & better stuff in it the longer you wait, for the same price.
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tonewheel
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Apr 21, 2003, 10:37 AM
 
I agree. There won't be a price bump in the revision...whenever that may be.

I'd buy now. I've had my Big Al for 3 weeks and have, let's see, NO complaints whatsover. All of the naysayers who predicted potential problems with the first models are nowhere to be found, because their predictions were dead wrong. Buy it now. This is one fabulous computer. And IMO, the next gen predictions posted in this thread won't make that much noticeable difference in performance.
     
cwasko
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Apr 21, 2003, 11:19 AM
 
Originally posted by mrtew:
The G3 came out in laptops at the same time as in desktops.
The G3 is a low wattage CPU to begin with. The G4 was not put in a laptop for quite a while. I would expect a similar product rollout as the G4 with the G5. But who knows - I'd love to see Apple plop the G5 in a laptop by the end of the year - I just doubt they will.
     
AssassyN
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Apr 21, 2003, 11:21 AM
 
Originally posted by cwasko:
The G3 is a low wattage CPU to begin with. The G4 was not put in a laptop for quite a while. I would expect a similar product rollout as the G4 with the G5. But who knows - I'd love to see Apple plop the G5 in a laptop by the end of the year - I just doubt they will.
They can't, it's simply business. You can't release 2 brand new product designs, and later that same year put a whole new mobo design, whole new processor, etc. into it's casing. Business says that doesn't go over.
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dwalls32  (op)
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Apr 24, 2003, 12:08 AM
 
NOOOOO!
I was all ready to buy, and then I called my school. They decided they wanted us students to wait until July to purchase the machines. Seems they think something better will come out, and they want everyone to wait. Oh well, guess they made my mind up for me. Now I can hardly wait...
     
DaedalusDX
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Apr 24, 2003, 01:58 AM
 
Apple will get the PowerPC 970 into Powerbooks sooner rather than later, i would think...

Remember that IBM is themselves using the 970 in blade configurations... believe it or not, blades share alot in common with laptops in terms of space issues and heat issues...

I remember reading somewhere that the 970 was designed to be as low wattage as the G4 running at a 1ghz is today, so i think we will definitely see portables equipped with it.
     
acadian
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Apr 24, 2003, 02:32 AM
 
Year of the laptop? Yeah, maybe. It will take something pretty significant to qualify that statement now though, something more significant then say a 200 Mhz proc bump. Rumours and opinions are worth the paper they're written on. Remember in the weeks leading up to MW 2003, everybody, I mean EVERYBODY, was convinced that there would be no powerbook updates at all. Even CNet missed the ball on that one and ol' Stevie J went out of his way to take a jab at the naysayers and rumour mongerers. It is definately not completely absurd to think that the 970 would be released in a notebook first. Apple likes to throw people for a loop. I;ve got a wad of cash stuck under my mattress right now looking for a home and as tempted as I am to snatch up the 17"er, I just cant get past the Mhz cap. Watching the 17" announcement was like getting into bed with a beautiful woman and blowing your load before she even gets her top off. Coitus-technicus-interuptous, it was all good until they got to the speed......
     
DaedalusDX
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Apr 24, 2003, 02:45 AM
 
Originally posted by acadian:
Watching the 17" announcement was like getting into bed with a beautiful woman and blowing your load before she even gets her top off. Coitus-technicus-interuptous, it was all good until they got to the speed......
uhh.. interesting metaphor... not sure if its PG enough for this forum

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melman101
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Apr 24, 2003, 08:50 AM
 
They just upgraded the ibooks and are still using a G3 proc in those. Doubtful they are gonna release G5 in books in the summer. seems to me they went to squeeze every penny out of their chips. Which is good.

I got the G4 12" and i love it. I just couldnt wait. LoL

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spaced
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Apr 24, 2003, 02:16 PM
 
Originally posted by DaedalusDX:
Remember that IBM is themselves using the 970 in blade configurations... believe it or not, blades share alot in common with laptops in terms of space issues and heat issues...
But laptops don't have gigantic, loud, hot-swappable cooling fans in each case like the BladeCenters do. In fact, they don't even call them fans. They call them "blowers".

I doubt we'll see the 970 in PBs for a while. They still have 1.2 and 1.43 GHz G4 chips they can use for future PB updates.
     
spaced
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Apr 24, 2003, 02:19 PM
 
Oops... mis-post.
     
   
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