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One more G4 for the PowerBook? 487

Posted by pudge
from the so-there dept.
PurdueGraphicsMan writes "Much as we'd love to see the next PowerBook revision include a processor evolution to the mighty G5, we know it's not that simple. The Register provides some sound reasoning (and boatloads of model numbers and voltage specs) as to why we'll probably see a 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook before any G5 PowerBooks materialize." I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package while other people can't even get it in a PC tower. Oh, and I don't want to burn my lap.
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One more G4 for the PowerBook?

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:47AM (#8374483) Homepage Journal

    It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package [...] and I don't want to burn my lap.

    Not to worry, the Viagra they spam isn't contraindicated against the "Grow your Willy 4 Inches in 4 Days" stuff.
  • Go Motorla (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goyuix (698012) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:48AM (#8374503) Homepage
    Even though we all like to look at IBM as the hero of Linux and their cool chips... a little competition from Motorola can only be good for us consumers!
    • by blixel (158224) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @01:43PM (#8375886)
      a little competition from Motorola can only be good for us consumers!

      What about non us consumers? You self centered americans are always thinking about yourselves.
  • Need the G5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:49AM (#8374506) Homepage Journal
    I would certainly expect the G4 to be around for at least a little while in portables (perhaps even a dual G4 in the 17in Powerbook), but there is a decided pressure to put the G5 in a portable. When I moved from a dual 1Ghz G4 to a dual G5 at 2.0 Ghz, the difference in performance was striking. For those users who are constantly pushing the limits of their hardware with compiling code or are heavy users of scientific code or even Photoshop, the G5 is a must have. And even though PurdueGraphicsMan would feel guilty, I would not, knowing that my research could go even faster than before.

    The real beauty of the G5 is that not only do we get the raw power, but that power is coupled with an OS that is the easiest to use for both the basic user (undergrads or grad students coming into our labs to learn science and the research process) and the advanced user (computer science faculty we are collaborating with to build custom tools for data visualization and processing).

    • Re:Need the G5 (Score:5, Informative)

      by PurdueGraphicsMan (722107) * on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:51AM (#8374537) Homepage Journal
      And even though PurdueGraphicsMan would feel guilty, I would not, knowing that my research could go even faster than before.

      Actually, that somewhat dorky statement about feeling guilty was relentlessly added into my post as though I said it. I would never say something that dorky.

    • Re:Need the G5 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drooling-dog (189103) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:53PM (#8375277)
      This is sure to get modded down by this crowd, but...

      This (usually baseless) need to have more and more power on a laptop - and to pay top dollar for it - has to be the marketing triumph of the century (well, maybe after bottled water). My old 400MHz IBM still does everything I ask of it, and if I had the choice I'd rather double the battery life than the processor speed.

      But thanks, anyway, for creating a plentiful secondary market for nice laptops. That's how I got mine...

      • Re:Need the G5 (Score:5, Informative)

        by localman (111171) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @01:30PM (#8375719) Homepage
        Yup -- since you don't use need it, everyone else must be a fool to pay for it.

        I guess the fact that I use my laptop as a portable recording studio isn't a reasonable justification? Even the top of the line 17" 1.33 Ghz can't always keep up with my realtime processing needs.

        You're right in general about people buying more power than they know how to use, but there are also a lot of us who actually need that power.
        Personally, I am itching to get my hands on the next major powerbook revision. I doubt I'd spring for a measly 166Mhz bump, but I need all the power I can get. Definitely getting a G5 when they're available.

        Cheers.
        • Re:Need the G5 (Score:3, Interesting)

          by andy55 (743992) *
          I guess the fact that I use my laptop as a portable recording studio isn't a reasonable justification? Even the top of the line 17" 1.33 Ghz can't always keep up with my realtime processing needs.

          Good points... as you use yours for a recording studio, i use my 17" as a intensive dev environment, with Metroworks Codewarrior, Dreamweaver, Office X, and photoshop all w/ stuff open (and compiling) at the same time -- when you're a shareware dev, you wear a lot of hats, and having that power and instant acces
      • Re:Need the G5 (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mr. Piddle (567882)

        Computer graphics will always be cutting-edge. As CPU/Ram/Disk increases in capability, it'll be fully utilized by content creators immediately. So, I entirely agree that a 400MHz CPU is a absolutely great home/office desktop, but it makes a mediocre game/movie development workstation by modern standards.

        While graphics could be called a niche market, be aware that it includes MCAD/CAM, too, which isn't trivial by any measure. Basically, if it runs OpenGL, then there is always room for faster and bigger
      • Re:Need the G5 (Score:3, Informative)

        by badasscat (563442)
        This (usually baseless) need to have more and more power on a laptop - and to pay top dollar for it - has to be the marketing triumph of the century (well, maybe after bottled water). My old 400MHz IBM still does everything I ask of it, and if I had the choice I'd rather double the battery life than the processor speed.

        I said the same thing about my old 300mhz Celeron IBM Thinkpad until about a month ago, when I finally realized I was deluding myself, as you probably are. No offense, but to an extent I
  • by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:49AM (#8374515) Homepage Journal
    It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package

    Ummm...am I on the wrong website?

    CB

    • by PseudoThink (576121) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:01PM (#8374659)
      Right we site...Pudge only feels guilty because he'll need that extra power to run his Windows emulator at even a marginal speed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:50AM (#8374523)
    I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package...

    Yeah, it is far more satisfying having that much power in a large package in that general region.
  • Guilt? (Score:3, Funny)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscoward@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:52AM (#8374554) Journal
    Not exactly the state of mind of most people when they purchase that ultra-compact incredibly powerful new machine using the PHP's lost credit card. I hate to ask this, but what kind of terrible Freudian traumas did you suffer as a child?

    Mother: Pudge, are you surfing in there?
    Pudge: Yes, mom, now leave me alone?
    Mother: Two-hand surfing, Pudge! And stay away from newsnet!
    Pudge: Grrrr... mumble. Thank god for peer-to-...
    Mother: And no Kazaa either!
    Pudge: Damn!
  • by millahtime (710421) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:52AM (#8374556) Homepage Journal
    The G5 will prolly wait a little longer to be in a laptop as the heat and power issue. I am sure they will get that down with the new power management in the G5 but it might take a bit.
  • Too easy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ryanvm (247662) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:53AM (#8374573)
    I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package

    Don't you mean, "on a small package"?
  • by Stack_13 (619071) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:54AM (#8374585)
    Well, I hope that they sell the low-power version of the laptop in the Swedish market [wired.com].
  • by merlyn (9918) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:54AM (#8374591) Homepage Journal
    Of course, it had to happen. Within two weeks or so of almost every Apple purchase I've made over the past 11 years, Apple has announced a much better unit for less money.

    And I just bought the 1.25Ghz AlBook, last week.

    I'm thinking of starting to take up a fund, to help me buy any existing technology that people want upgraded. Then, it'll be a matter of two weeks and, ta-da, new tech is now available!

    • by rampant mac (561036) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:10PM (#8374777)
      "Of course, it had to happen. Within two weeks or so of almost every Apple purchase I've made over the past 11 years, Apple has announced a much better unit for less money."

      Apple will let you "trade in" any purchases you made, if a newer model is released. I can't remember if it's for 14 days or more that the coverage applies to. I believe it's 14 days though.

      Just call the Apple store if a new model is released, like tomorrow, and they can hook you up. I did just that when I purchased my 17" Studio Display (price dropped $200 3 or 4 days after my purchase, and I got my money back).

    • You'd think that after 11 years, you'd have figured out Apple's product upgrade schedule. ;)

      Thinking back (but not too hard), it's been pretty much the same methodology since Stevie came back.

      Speed-bumped/updated current models appear 4-7 months before entirely new machines. This is stretched out over Consumer, Pro, and Pro-sumer lines.

      It's kind of like how automakers, well Ford anyway, introduces their cars. They put out the schmancy new Lincolns about the same time they upgrade the Taurus, which is a
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @11:59AM (#8374644)
    Apple needs the G5. Powerbooks used to have a great advantage over x86 laptops in the battery life department, but that is no longer true. The 15" and 17" models typically only last 3 - 4.5 hours on a charge, the 12" maybe a little longer. iBooks last longer, but are a bit underpowered. With the introduction of the Pentium-M, there are now x86 laptops that are both faster and last longer on a charge (like the IBM T41). The Powerbook G5 cannot come soon enough.
    • I don't see why they just don't put (slightly) larger batteries in them. It would be interesting to know how they balance battery life vs size.

      Strangely enough, my older 15" tiBook has a 61-watt hour lithium-ion battery. It has 33% more capacity than the new 15" albook battery, which has a 46 watt-hour battery.

      The 12" albook has a 47 watt-hour battery and the 17" has 58 watt-hour battery. The iBook 14" has a 61 watt-hour battery and the iBook 12" has a 50 watt-hour battery. This is all from the apple s
  • asbestos? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Peartree (199737) <idl3mind.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:00PM (#8374654) Homepage
    You just need to buy yourself a pair of asbestos pants :)
  • Hypocrite! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:02PM (#8374679)
    I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package...

    You know you want it.
  • Poor performance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iJed (594606) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:03PM (#8374688) Homepage

    I really hope that Apple do not release another G4 based PowerBook. Although I am pretty doubtful that this rumour is true.

    The 166MHz bus in this thing is hardly going to be able to feed a 1.5GHz G4 CPU since this poor bus performance already cripples the current models. At least it seems they have got the L3 cache back. That should at least make things a little better.

    I think Apple is more likely to use these faster G4s in eMac and iBook models rather than in PowerBooks. I think the iMac will also go G5 soon too.

  • by amichalo (132545) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:04PM (#8374695)
    There is no doubt the G4 will remain a staple in Apple's notebook lineup through 2005.

    It amazes me that my 1st generation 400 Mhz G4 Powerbook is mostly hindered by lack of RAM (256mb installed) than processing speed. I have no doubt a 1Ghz G4 iBook would satisfy the computing needs of a liberal arts college student. Perhaps for those in engineering or graphics classes they would push the envelope, but teh G4 remains a great chip.

    I would rather enjoy the cost savings and power consumption savings of a G4 laptop than the cool factor of a G5 because I just don't have that great a need.
    • by valkraider (611225) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:25PM (#8374935) Journal
      You know, I feel similar except my concern is not for "speed" but "investment". I really want to untether myself from my desk, and a 1.25Ghz 15in Powerbook seems like the exact beast I want. And it would be a great improvement over my iMac 800Mhz G4 (processor speed and bus speed and graphics card).

      But the issue isn't whether the G4 is good enough, or whether I need a G5. By all accounts, for what I do, the G4 is great...

      BUT - and there is always a but, right? - If I am going to drop $2500 on a high end laptop, I want it to last a good while - not be out-dated in two months... Why would I spend that much money, even on an upgraded G4? I wouldn't. We bought a 12inch 1Ghz PowerBook the day they came out - and that will be the last G4 we buy. My next purchase will be a G5 Laptop, and it would be today if Apple released it...

      Apple has great product life. My 500Mhz iMac G3 runs fabulously - and I bought it for $1100 4 years ago! I just don't want to buy an "expensive top line end of product line model" just to have the new one come out in a couple months - because even if they have another speed bump in the G4 PowerBooks - they WILL release the G5 PowerBooks this year.
    • by misterpies (632880) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:32PM (#8375017)

      >>I have no doubt a 1Ghz G4 iBook would satisfy the computing needs of a liberal arts college student.

      The computing _needs_ of a liberal arts student could be satisfied by a typewriter. The only reason a student needs a powerbook is as a babe magnet, which means they're really only necessary for geeks.
  • iBook (Score:4, Interesting)

    by valkraider (611225) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:05PM (#8374703) Journal
    My bet is that the next PowerBook sports a G5, while these new G4s are used in the iBooks.

    I would expect something like this:

    Powerbook G5, 2Ghz, 1.8Ghz, 1.6Ghz
    iBook G4, 1.5Ghz, 1.33Ghz, 1.1Ghz

    With the new line of iBooks having the bus speed/architecture of the current PowerBooks (essentially I would think the current Powerbooks be given the new G4, changed into a white plastic outfit, and rebadged iBook - well, basically excluding the 17inch model of course...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:16PM (#8374836)
    It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package while other people can't even get it in a PC tower.

    How do I mod an article as a troll?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:19PM (#8374868)
    I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package
    Ok, our straightman has given the setup line. Punchline deliverers, please form a queue...
  • Applications (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ann Coulter (614889) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:19PM (#8374869) Journal
    I doubt that we will be seeing laptops with more than 4GB of memory anytime soon. Virtual memory is slow for the kinds of applications normally used on a 64-bit system. If virtual memory is used, we might be seeing more 32-bit applications that does paging of 4GB blocks before the implementation of a 64-bit Apple laptop. I also think that most people would be running their 64-bit memory addressing applications for long spans time and I doubt that they would use a laptop for them. And as for 64-bit integer applications, I would love to have faster encryption with larger keys on my laptop but most people still use 32-bit systems and using such key sizes would be inpolite. Faster internal data transfer will be useful though. In conclusion, I think that the applications for 64-bit machines are inappropriate for laptops and there will not be much of an advantage for a 64-bit laptop.
  • by FS1 (636716) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:35PM (#8375049)
    Lets take a reasonable fair look at both sides. I myself am slightly biased against macs because i don't seem to be compatible with them but that is another story. Many people are saying that the G5 "Rules" cause it is a 64 bit chip, and granted it is. There are also the AMD fanboys myself included that say, "hey we had the first desktop 64bit processor and ours kicks your G5 to the curb." Also there are the intel automatons that say, "man apple computers sucks man they can't touch the P4/XEON performace wise." Which depending on the facts given, any one of these could be seen as correct (most likely not the last one). Then there are those who say, "that apples are the best because we have a unix based OS that is sooo user friendly." The PC (L)users like myself say, "there are more applications and games written for our OS, you will be assimilated." Last but not least, there are the linux-geeks who say, "we have the best of both worlds we have a unix-like OS that is completely reconfigurable and runs some windows apps if we want it to and has a community of geeks behind it, so our OS is l337." Which there are major facts and opinions that support any of these claims, minus the assimilation part, and either way you look at there are tradeoffs for the OS you use. Then there are the benchmarkers who say, "Look at this G5/Opteron/P4 it totally outscores the others, in my totally unrealistic and unrepeatable and highly illogical benchmarking procedure." Also there are benchmarkers that listen to the whiners and try to compare the apples to oranges to watermelons to pear to peaches over and over again, and are flamed cause the G5/Opteron/P4 was the winner and it is against their "religion." The trouble with 64bit computering is you need 64bit everything in order to reap the maximum reward. Not every app on every platform has the exact same coding and drivers and hardware supporting it. There are going to be differences and they will vary widely. From what i have discerned from all this inane babble is that the G5 is indeed a worthly processor and people do like the OS that supports it (i do not). Also the opteron/Athlon 64 chip is indeed just as fast if not faster (code permitting) than the G5, the crown passing between the 2 based on what your running and how optomized it is. But that leaves us with the poor old P4/Xeon, which even though it has a 1-2Ghz lead on its competitors, is just competing with them. This is my opinion and i base it all the stuff i have read on the issues. Show me an unbiased review, ha you ain't going to find one, and i might change my mind. To sum this up people need to stop listening to what they are told, if they won't actually hear what people are saying.
  • by Ride-My-Rocket (96935) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:40PM (#8375125) Homepage
    I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package while other people can't even get it in a PC tower.

    I'll be sure to think about what you said -- and then laugh -- while I'm playing Half-Life 2.
  • Laptop performance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guacamole (24270) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:45PM (#8375168)
    I must say that the improvements in the speed of Apple portables have been really pathetic during all recent years. Consider this example.. almost two and a half years ago I bought an iBook with a 600MHz G3 processor. Honestly, I felt the performance was barely adequate and I decided to replace it eventually, maybe in about three years. But today, for about the same price, you can buy an iBook with an 800MHz G4 (and all other components slightly beefed up). The speed improvement is barely noticeable. In the same time frame the PC portables have improved by a whole lot more, not to mention, I wouldn't have had this performance anxiety if I bought something like an R-series IBM Thinkpad with +1GHz mobile pentium 3 for about the same price back then to begin with)..

    If Apple doesn't come up within a year with an iBook replacement that has at least 1.5GHz or so CPU, I'll probably just switch to PC laptops.
    • Re:iBook performance (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anm (18575)
      Why did you buy an iBook if performance is a concern? The cache and higher memory limit of the PowerBook line make a world of difference.

      Anm
    • Not to mention completely ignoring the substantial differences between the G4 and the G3.
      I have an iBook 700, which has continued to get faster with each new OS release. The only real limiting factor for me now is the hard drive size. I'm contemplating a DIY upgrade of the hard drive, as soon as my Applecare runs out.

      By contrast, my desktop machine is a Beige G3, with a 400mhz G4 upgrade. That machine seems faster than my laptop, and it probably is, using benchmarks.
  • misguided thinking (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @12:48PM (#8375202)
    The G5 is faster per clock than the G4

    So, why not a 1.5 GHz G5 laptop? It would be even cooler than the G4.
  • by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @01:06PM (#8375410) Homepage Journal
    why does this story have a G5 icon, if it's about G4s! I smell a bait and switch in progress...

    CB
  • Laps (Score:3, Informative)

    by Goo.cc (687626) * on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @01:08PM (#8375431)
    "...Oh, and I don't want to burn my lap. "

    That is why no one calls them "laptops" anymore. Most companies either call them portables or notebooks.
  • Underpowered? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amigori (177092) * <eefranklin718@yahoo.OPENBSDcom minus bsd> on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @01:32PM (#8375749) Homepage
    I see alot of posts here saying that the iBook and Powerbooks are underpowered. I guess it all depends on what you use it for. Last fall, I bought the new 12" PB 1Ghz/512Mb/AirportExtreme/Bluetooth/DVD-R, and there wasn't anything close from Dell or Gateway in terms of size, performance, and features. Anyways...

    The people yelling "Underpowered!" are probably game freaks with lots of disposable income who completely rebuild their PC every 6-9 months. I'm not sorry that school is taking all of my money and I can only afford to upgrade every 2-3 years. Besides, 30 fps gains when your already above 200 fps really isn't necessary. The new UT2004 Demo runs just fine on my PB. I'm sure if you tried the PC version on a similarly spec'd PC (1Ghz AMD/512Mb/32Mb nVidia 5200FX) it wouldn't run near as fast. And I'm sure those playing on a Centrino laptop will find that UT2004 will definitely drain your battery in less than 4 hours. Probably closer to 1-1.5 hours and a much lower framerate due to the integrated Intel Graphics on many of those laptops.

    People, its all about selecting the best product for your needs. Apple's laptops primary target market is NOT gamers, overclockers, or anyone whose on a Ghz rulz powertrip. Its much closer to people who just want their computer to work extremely well and are simple to use and not have to f* around with drivers for 2 hours just to get the damned thing to boot right.

    I'm not even sure I should bother with this argument because everytime we get an thread on Apple hardware, I see the same "Underpowered!" and "Too expensive!" posts. And the people who make these arguments just don't understand what Apple, as a business, is trying to do. Make a profit, and build a computer that's easy to use.

    Just a few thoughts...
    Amigori

  • Oh, please (Score:4, Funny)

    by Temsi (452609) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:51PM (#8377581) Journal
    I don't want a G5 on my lap anyway. It'd make me feel guilty, having that much power in a small package while other people can't even get it in a PC tower.

    How do I mod an original post as Flamebait?

  • by barfy (256323) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @04:54PM (#8378335)
    The next refresh is NOT going to be a G5. The basic reason is 64 bit traces. This is *not* trivial to do and meet the other design goals of the Powerbook. Portability and Battery life are two of the most important design goals of the PB and IB lines. Apple does not offer "desktop" replacement laptops (where weight and power requirements are not as important, as they mostly sit at a desk, and are plugged in).

    This is not quite the same as the Athlon 64 or Opteron notebooks. They are Mainly used in LARGE, HEAVY laptops. And the Athlon 64 and Opteron are generally not currently purchased because they are 64 bits, it is because they are kick-ass I86-32 processors, that also do 64 bits.

    So... This is what I would expect... Current PB parts moved down to the IB line, with less l2 cache. Artificially slower machines, but much faster than currently. They are going to be forced to bump the ibooks more, because of GarageBand. It just barely runs and there is too much lantency on an Ibookg4 800. The Low-end Ibook owner and a typical garage band user are going to intersect too much to not serve them better on this box.

    I would also expect the Ibook to support a SuperDrive. Prices have fallen significantly enough to provide this and still maintain a good profit margin.

    I would expect the ports and graphic parts to remain the same (but maybe a bump in the graphics part, but probably not).

    The PB to get ~ 20 to 30% speed bump across the line. Remaining g4 (see reason above).

    Same ports. Top of the line ATI mobility chips. To speed up Quartz Extreme, and provide better game playabilty.

    Faster Hard Drives.

    More Memory (512 and 1 G will be standard models)

    Finally, the second shoe of the HP deal will drop, and enabled superdrives. With updated Idvd and Itunes for creating lables for your dvds. [lightscribe.com]

    These are two compelling upgrades, that should see significant performance improvement across the lines. Maintain profit and Price points. The Lightscribe enhancment gives a decent and exciting marketing message...

    And then you can wait about 6 more monthes for the engineering challenges of making a true apple powerbook g5.

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