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Kyros
2011-06-09, 13:22
I'm looking to upgrade my 12 inch PB which is finally becoming too slow now that I'm getting more into photo editing and am starting to use lots of programs at once for work, and I'm pretty well set on finding a couple of years old 17 inch. I'm looking at the Santa Rosa and later models (mid-2007 and later). I know that there were issues with the nvidia chips for those models, but seeing how Apple handled the problem when a friend of mine had to deal with it, I'm not really worried about it. Is there anything specific I should watch out for other than that?

The other thing is that the early '08 model (2.5/2.6 GHz Penryn) has an estimated battery life of 4.5 hrs vs. 5.75 hrs from the previous Santa Rosa model. Does that model really have such a bad battery life or was that Apple adjusting their battery tests, which I believe they've done a few times?

I've found a pretty nice deal for both the 2.4 Santa Rosa model and the 2.6 Penryn and other than the battery life I'm leaning towards the Penryn. I'm also thinking about holding out for one of the early unibody models, but prices for those jump quite a bit compared to the non-unibody, and they are hard to find anyway.

Maciej
2011-06-09, 18:12
What's your budget?

Kyros
2011-06-09, 19:28
I'm hoping to keep it at about $1000, but I could go up to $1200 especially if I find a unibody.

Maciej
2011-06-09, 20:35
Three things come to mind:

#1. Normally I hate jumping into an old computer (my opinion anyway), but it sounds like anything will be an upgrade for you since you're coming from a non-Intel based Mac. None-the-less, I'd strongly consider saving up some more cash and trying to get into a modern piece of hardware, maybe a refurb or something. Either way, make sure that it meets the hardware requirements for Lion.

#2. I'd also strongly suggest getting a unibody notebook, for that multi-touch trackpad. Using the Lion gestures will be handy, and that's not something those old one-button trackpads can do.

#3. Lastly, and this is perhaps kind of important given I've mentioned upgrading to Lion. Since you're still using a PowerBook I've got to assume most of your software is still PowerPC (is that what they were called? :lol: ) and once Lion comes out I believe Rosetta is being discontinued. So keep in mind that if you decide to upgrade to Lion you'll probably need to upgrade some of your software, if not then you'll prolly want to disregard point #2 and my mention of hardware requirements.

It sounds like you're pretty married to the idea of having a 17" notebook - is there a reason for that?

Kyros
2011-06-09, 20:45
This powerbook is the only new computer I've ever owned, so I know I'm okay with buying an older model. I don't plan on upgrading to Lion for a long time, since I will need Rosetta, like you said. I'm using Photoshop CS2, and I don't want to shell out for a new version :). I'm also not super thrilled about any of Lion's features so far, to be honest. I'm pretty set on a 17 inch because I'm still moving around too much to get an external screen and I'd like to do photo editing on it. That being said, I'm looking at 15 inch prices as well, and I could definitely get a unibody if I went for one of those, maybe even with a high res screen.

You make valid points, but I'm still happy with my plan :).

Maciej
2011-06-09, 21:03
For the record, and your milage may vary, I've had two 17" MBPs and they hardly ever leave my desk. For portability there is a huge gab between 15" and 17". But the screen is sooooo nice, so I know where you're coming from.

Kyros
2011-06-26, 10:07
Well, I found a 1st gen unibody 17 inch for $1250 from Amazon marketplace, it arrived a couple of days ago and is working great so far. The screen is awesome, obviously, although it is glossy, I didn't want to be picky about it, and so far I usually forget it even is glossy. The trackpad takes a bit of getting used to, but that's going fast.

The only surprises are how long it takes to wake from sleep (about 1 second, but my 12" PB does it before I'm done lifting the screen up), and how variable the batter life is, ranging from 2.5 hrs if I'm doing something CPU intensive, to almost 8 hours with a dim screen and just surfing one or two tabs in Safari.

PB PM
2011-06-26, 13:08
Did you have a 7200rpm drive in your 12" PB? All unibody MBPs shipped with 5400rpm drives by default, which might explain the slower wake time.

Kyros
2011-06-26, 13:46
No, 5400 rpm in the 12 inch, 7200 in the MBP :).

EDIT: This behavior doesn't really bother me, I'm just surprised.

Dorian Gray
2011-06-27, 12:36
The only surprises are how long it takes to wake from sleep (about 1 second, but my 12" PB does it before I'm done lifting the screen up), and how variable the batter life is, ranging from 2.5 hrs if I'm doing something CPU intensive, to almost 8 hours with a dim screen and just surfing one or two tabs in Safari.

The battery life variability is normal for laptops from the last few years. Intel has figured out how to really throttle the power usage in low-load situations, allowing great battery life. The full-load power consumption hasn't dropped in years (in fact, even going up), but the full-load performance is of course vastly better today than a few years ago.

Did you have a 7200rpm drive in your 12" PB? All unibody MBPs shipped with 5400rpm drives by default, which might explain the slower wake time.

No, 5400 rpm in the 12 inch, 7200 in the MBP :).
The time to wake is dependent on how long it takes the hard drive to spin up to speed and settle. A 7200 rpm drive takes longer to spin up to speed than a 5400 rpm drive. Different drives by different manufacturers can also vary quite a bit in this regard.

Enjoy your new desktop laptop notebook computer! ;) Too big for me.

bassplayinMacFiend
2011-06-27, 13:19
Did you have a 7200rpm drive in your 12" PB? All unibody MBPs shipped with 5400rpm drives by default, which might explain the slower wake time.

I think it has more to do with Apple had to design the firmware support chips in PPC land while Intel does the design in x86 land. I noticed this too. None of my Intel Macs wake from sleep as fast as my iMac G5.

Kyros
2011-06-27, 18:14
My dad suggested that it might have to do with the way sleep is handled now, my PB didn't have safe sleep, where it writes the RAM contents to the HD as far as I know, but I assume that would only affect the wakeup time for when the computer enters deep sleep from the battery draining (almost) completely. I think he actually disabled safe sleep on his 13" MBP, maybe I'll check how fast it wakes up. I have a couple of other intel macs that friends own I can compare it against. I assume it's normal behavior, though.