How much useful life would you say my PowerBook G4 has left?

VGplay

I spelled "VAGplay" wrong
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Two years ago I bought a 1.5ghz 12" PowerBook G4 here on the boards. It has been an awesome laptop for me. I love its size, its build quality, it has been able to do everything I need a laptop to do, and is still snappy most of the time. I've maxed out its RAM and upgraded the hard drive. But I am going to college shortly and have been thinking about how much longer I can use it.

Probably my biggest concern is Snow Leopard dropping PowerPC support. I run Tiger on it, but with Leopard still supporting PowerPC just about every program supports it too. When Snow Leopard finally comes out, will most developers move onto being Intel-exclusive?

Another concern is how it cannot play HD video. I shoot HD myself so that's an issue. And with more and more online videos moving to HD, I might be left behind (on my laptop, at least). I also cannot do anything else if playing Flash video, even standard definition.

I have the money right now for a new 13" MacBook Pro (and am pretty set on getting that, if I end up buying a new laptop) and with Apple just refreshing their laptops two months ago I am not concerned about waiting for what's around the corner. The iPod rebate is a very enticing incentive, as well.

Do you think my PowerBook has more than a year left of useful life? If that's the case I'll hold onto it for a while longer. But if you think it'll only be good for a year or less, I think I'm going to spring for the 13" MacBook Pro.

1.5ghz PowerPC G4 Processor
1.25gb RAM
250gb WD Scorpio Blue Hard Drive
Nvidia 5200go Graphics

Thanks.
 

tsuehpsyde

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Personally, I think it's about time for that upgrade. :) The new 13" Macbook Pro is a nice little laptop for the size and features (I'm digging the new SD Card slots). Especially if you shoot HD Video. Not to mention you are qualified for the student discount on the Macbook Pro. :) I say make the jump. I wish it offered the faster graphics card in it, but meh, so be it.
 

prodigee

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+1 for switching. The new MBP 13" is an amazing machine, and because you have a PowerPC processor and not an Intel processor you won't be able to upgrade to Snow Leopard. Since you also qualify for the student discount it makes no sense not to upgrade now.
 

gunnm74

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I've got that same laptop and I have the same issues you do. Mine originally had Panther on it and my only upgrade option was to Leopard (Tiger was no longer for sale). Although some people say Leopard should be faster than Panther, I disagree. Many of the things I used to do in Panther run more slowly now.

There are many reasons for getting a 13" MBP now. The memory, hard drive, processor and video are exponentially better than what's in the PB 12". I think the MBP 13" even weighs less. With a student discount and free iPod, it's a good time to buy.
 

t5brick

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As much as I liked my 12" PBG4, I have to say that it would surely be time to upgrade now. I ended up getting a fantastic deal on a MBP a couple years back, but I would very much prefer a smaller form factor than the 15" model that was the smallest available "pro" at the time.

Go with the 13" MBP, enjoy your free iPod and see if you can sell the 12" PBG4 for a little extra cash.
 

kyosho1

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I am using my 12" PBG4 right now! If you do shoot HD video and have the money, go for the MBP 110%. As for dev's dropping PPC support, who cares? I bet you could find software for anything you can think of on a PPC. my powerbook will last forever! BUT if i could afford a new MBP, I would switch in a heartbeat. (i am running Leopard.)
 
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i dont know if that thing will last you a year....

.... but i'll be god damned if the 12 inch Powerbook wasnt the single best laptop apple ever made......
 

kirbyrj

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i dont know if that thing will last you a year....

.... but i'll be god damned if the 12 inch Powerbook wasnt the single best laptop apple ever made......

Agreed. I keep coming back to the fact that I really like the 12" Powerbook and try to make it work for what I need it to do even though I know it's underpowered and obsolete.
 

Database

Detroit Redbirds!!!
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Agreed. I keep coming back to the fact that I really like the 12" Powerbook and try to make it work for what I need it to do even though I know it's underpowered and obsolete.

nice bump of a 4 month old thread!
 

VGplay

I spelled "VAGplay" wrong
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Haha, I saw this on the first page and thought, "Wait...what?"

I ended up buying the 13" MacBook Pro not even a week after I posted this thread. Its awesome, I don't think I could be happier with it. A benefit I didn't think of is that it's allowed me to not need to take my desktop to school. In my dorm I have a monitor and printer I that hook up to. I actually use this setup more than my desktop, which I now use as a remote media server when I'm at school.

And on top of all that, once I completely transistioned to the MacBook, I sold my PowerBook for $435 on eBay, which paid for a PS3 and games. So you could say I traded my PowerBook for a PS3, and still have a great Apple laptop.
 

Verge

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435 wow... why do ancient macbooks cost so much. I was wanting to make an iphone app, cost me 600 for a danged decent 2 year old laptop. The funniest part is that core duo macbooks are going for core2 prices. Do mac people not know the difference?
 

prodigee

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435 wow... why do ancient macbooks cost so much. I was wanting to make an iphone app, cost me 600 for a danged decent 2 year old laptop. The funniest part is that core duo macbooks are going for core2 prices. Do mac people not know the difference?

Its purely because of the resale value, like why do VW cost so damn much even though you can get a newer used car that is better for less? It makes little sense on the surface, but with OSX things last longer because the OS is so completely different than Windows that it can run flawlessly on 5 year old hardware.
 

funstuie

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I sold my powerbook last week for £400 which works out at about $620. The specs weren't even as good as the OP's.
 

Yonzie

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I expect my 3-yr old 2.16Ghz C2D MBP will last me another 3 years after I put in a new battery, 4Gigs* of memory and a SSD this summer. The switch to intel processors was a big thing, but nothing major have happened since.

* It can only address 3, but should be plenty.
 

mlambert890

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No... its because Mac people dont know the difference and because Apple doesnt dip below a certain price point on new hardware.

They say "I WANT A MAC!" for whatever reason (probably peer influence) and then go the Mac store and say "oh... I dont have a grand". Then they check eBay in a panic for whatever they CAN afford and overpay for a paper weight.

I have a Mac G4 dual and a Mac G5 dual sitting right here. Neither will ever run Snow Leopard. The G4 doesnt run Leopard very well either.

The notion that Windows cant last on old hardware is crazy. Thats either ignorance, FUD or some Vista halo effect. Im running Windows 7 right here on a PENTIUM 2 machine. Do you realize how OLD that machine is? It would be the equivalent of trying to run OSX on a PowerMac 9500 (PPC 604e)

It is COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN to say that the Mac gives you longevity. History doesnt get rewritten just b/c of one screwed up release (Vista) And for the record, I have Vista SP1 running on Pentium 4 machines that pre-date the existance Cheetah.

Most of the crap MSFT gets is for maintaining backwards compat and for insisting that the OS run on the most ancient crap hardware. Its Apple that happily strands old BIOS revs, old hardware standards, old APIs, etc. I like Apples plenty, but thats just a reality of the business model.
 

kirbyrj

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The P2 isn't worth anything though. The G4/G5's are at least "worth" something even if they aren't practical. I still have a Powerbook G4 12" around just because I like it. I should sell it while it is worth something.
 

gunnm74

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As an update, I gave my PB 12" to my mother to replace her old homemade AMD Athlon 1.2GHz machine with 768mb ram, an AIW Radeon 9000 and a 15gb hard drive. The most important thing she got was USB 2.0. Life sucks when all you have is USB 1.0.
 

450

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As an update, I gave my PB 12" to my mother to replace her old homemade AMD Athlon 1.2GHz machine with 768mb ram, an AIW Radeon 9000 and a 15gb hard drive. The most important thing she got was USB 2.0. Life sucks when all you have is USB 1.0.

I recently bought a USB 2.0 card for ~$3-4 on eBay for my PIII. It was money well spent IMO.
 
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