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The "To Buy or Not to Buy" Official Thread (merged) - Page 2

post #41 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by sc_markt
I'm not buying a PPC based mac (unless Apple lowers prices by 40 to 60%) because as of today, PPC based macs are marked for obsoletion. And I can't imagine most developers writing two sets of code knowing this.


I do not think that Intel based Macs will be much cheaper if any than the current Macs. I would go ahead and buy now. I bought mine a month ago and I am OK with the decision to go Intel. It does not mean that Apple is going to the Wintel platform. It means they are using an Intel chip inside.

With the announcement that the Mac OS has been compiled for the past 5 years for both platforms and Xcode 2.1's release to produce universal binaries, I do not see any reason that there will not be support for G5 systems well into the future.
post #42 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by gugy
Can you tell me why the Powermac and laptop crowd should wait?
Powermac were just upgraded. Steve did not give any hope of a PB G5 to ever happen. IBM looks stuck on their current G5 models (just look at the minor Powermac upgrade). So I don't see any significant upgrade coming until probably middle or end of next year.

I can't see why to wait for Power Mac updates (although I wouldn't be surprised if we still see the 970MP by January) but the laptop crowd (I'm in there) might want for a minor bump or maybe price drop.

I don't see that there's much pressure on prices the way some are predicting. Yeah, I'd buy a used G4 Powerbook if the prices bottomed, but why should they until Mactel units start shipping? G4 laptops are still, for better or worse, Apple's cream of the crop. If you sell yours, you have no option but to go buy a PC laptop. And why would you do that?
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May the road to recovery be free of rubberneckers.
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post #43 of 165
I have been reading these forums and am pretty confused. I was hemming and hawing between buying a 14" iBook or a 15" Powerbook both with Superdrive. I was waiting until the WWDC to see if there would be updates on either line up.

Now is it worth it to buy either one of these? Is there a PC laptop that compares to either of these? It seems like a lot of people are saying that this makes the Mac the same as a PC -- is this true?

I am a Mac fan -- I love the way OS works, but I don't want something I buy to be obsolete with no tech support within the next few years.

Reading these forums is like Jekyll and Hyde. Some people think it's great while others are predicting doom much worse than Y2K. While I love my G4 tower, I am not a technophile like some of you so please explain pros and cons of buying now vs. waiting or even buying a PC laptop.

Thanks!
post #44 of 165
Well, I'm still on track for buying a Powermac in the next month. They are fast machines, and all the software is optimized for it. Apple sells 1 million macs a quarter - it is going to take YEARS for the number of Mactels to surpass the PPCs. and that after the transition is complete. The PPC will be very well supported for the next 5 years easy.
post #45 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by ChappySinclair
I am not a technophile like some of you so please explain pros and cons of buying now vs. waiting or even buying a PC laptop.

Thanks!

I'm no techie either, but I can make a thing or two clear for you:
Buy a PC today and you will be stuck with Windows (or Linux) on that particular machine probably forever, unless you get some hacked version a few months after the Macs with Intel chips ship next year and some kid hacks it. Even then it's not guaranteed to work on any and every PC system. So you may be stuck with Windows forever. If that's okay with you, I recommend buying a PC because you can most certainly get a PC laptop that is as good as or far better than the G4 17". That statement is slightly contingent upon what you kind of work you do on your laptop.

Buy a Mac and you will have OS X on it right away and you will be able to get updates for it without a performance hit for some three years. Okay, I just made that number up. No one knows for sure, but I would bet three years.

I say if you like/love Macs, buy one. You might wait until there is an update or price drop. I too want an iBook 14" or a PB 17". I just don't want to buy at the end of a product cycle as I have in the past. I want to buy at the beginning. Hope that helps.
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May the road to recovery be free of rubberneckers.
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post #46 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by kwsanders
I do not think that Intel based Macs will be much cheaper if any than the current Macs. I would go ahead and buy now. I bought mine a month ago and I am OK with the decision to go Intel. It does not mean that Apple is going to the Wintel platform. It means they are using an Intel chip inside.

If the currently offered development system is any indication,
you might be wrong. 3.6GHz P4 for $1K, whereas 1.8GHz Power Mac is $1.5K.
post #47 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Well, I'm still on track for buying a Powermac in the next month. They are fast machines, and all the software is optimized for it.

Good deal. You should definitely do that. If we all truly support Apple, then we should not let them down now. I do think that we will still be getting OS updates including Leopard when it is released and new software in the future due to some of the things that were said today during the keynote speech.
post #48 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by markoh
If the currently offered development system is any indication,
you might be wrong. 3.6GHz P4 for $1K, whereas 1.8GHz Power Mac is $1.5K.

Are you talking about just the physical processors or the entire machine?

A 3.6 GHz P4 based PC is not a 3.6 GHz P4 based Mac. I would definitely spend an extra bit of money to open up the machine and see the beauty that inside the Mac. No cables to be seen. Yes, they are there, but hey... it is a thing of beauty.

I just wish some of the system options were coming out sooner. If a new Intel based PowerBook was coming out soon, I might think about buying a new laptop pretty soon.
post #49 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by ChappySinclair
I have been reading these forums and am pretty confused. I was hemming and hawing between buying a 14" iBook or a 15" Powerbook both with Superdrive. I was waiting until the WWDC to see if there would be updates on either line up.

Now is it worth it to buy either one of these? Is there a PC laptop that compares to either of these? It seems like a lot of people are saying that this makes the Mac the same as a PC -- is this true?

I am a Mac fan -- I love the way OS works, but I don't want something I buy to be obsolete with no tech support within the next few years.

Reading these forums is like Jekyll and Hyde. Some people think it's great while others are predicting doom much worse than Y2K. While I love my G4 tower, I am not a technophile like some of you so please explain pros and cons of buying now vs. waiting or even buying a PC laptop.

Thanks!

No tech support? What in the blue hell are you talking about?
post #50 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by markoh
If the currently offered development system is any indication,
you might be wrong. 3.6GHz P4 for $1K, whereas 1.8GHz Power Mac is $1.5K.

Heh, but you don't have to return the 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac, whereas the developers have to return the transition machines to Apple. So, any inference you make on price is pretty baseless.
post #51 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by kwsanders
Are you talking about just the physical processors or the entire machine?

I have no idea if the development system is a Power Mac with an Intel inside or some ugly black Dell-like box. The only known facts about these development systems are the price and the CPU. I guess we'll have pictures in a couple of weeks when
they start actually shipping these.
post #52 of 165
What happened to the value of 68K Macs when the PPC macs came out? It didn't drop overnight, sure. But in a couple of years, when all the new software required a PPC, 68K Macs were selling for less than a penny on a dollar.

And this transition will happen much more quickly than that one did. PC users are used to their machines being valueless in three years, but it'll be a new experience to most of today's Mac users.

Look at the bright side: In a few years you'll be able to get a G5 at a thrift store for $10. It'll run old software just fine.
post #53 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by Hudson1

Thirdly, they stated that their developer tools are designed so that applications will compile for both PPC and x86. That suggests that applications made three years from now are likely to run as well as ever on PPC architecture.

What about the software a person currently owns? Will current users of software get a free upgrade to the dual platform versions? This could be software developer's wet dream. Make people buy a version to upgrade to current hardware.
post #54 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by bostongeek
Heh, but you don't have to return the 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac, whereas the developers have to return the transition machines to Apple. So, any inference you make on price is pretty baseless.

You have to return it to Apple? How crazy is that? And if you don't return it I guess they put a lien on your house and sue the hell out of you.
post #55 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by bostongeek
Heh, but you don't have to return the 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac, whereas the developers have to return the transition machines to Apple. So, any inference you make on price is pretty baseless.

Thanks for pointing that out! I didn't know, and was making a hell of alot of inferences in my head, lol.
post #56 of 165
I was thinking about buying a Powerbook in a few weeks, but not now. I'd like to think that there will be "fat binaries" for all my programs in the future, but frankly I doubt it. There seems little reason for developers to spend much time optimizing their code for the PPC platform when x86 is the future [for Apple].

When I bought my PowerMac G5, I saw it as an investment that'll last me at least 4 years. Now with the PPC being Apple's red headed step child, I really see no need in keeping it. Thus, off to eBay it goes before it depreciates any more... My old iBook will hold me over for another year and change.

If you really need a Mac, buy one now. If you're looking for a speed upgrade, you're better off holding out.

It's definitely the end of an era.
post #57 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by bucci
I was thinking about buying a Powerbook in a few weeks, but not now. I'd like to think that there will be "fat binaries" for all my programs in the future, but frankly I doubt it. There seems little reason for developers to spend much time optimizing their code for the PPC platform when x86 is the future [for Apple].

When I bought my PowerMac G5, I saw it as an investment that'll last me at least 4 years. Now with the PPC being Apple's red headed step child, I really see no need in keeping it. Thus, off to eBay it goes before it depreciates any more... My old iBook will hold me over for another year and change.

If you really need a Mac, buy one now. If you're looking for a speed upgrade, you're better off holding out.

It's definitely the end of an era.

I feel ya. I'd get read of it asap too. I think Jobs is a smart guy and all, but he came out of this looking like one thing, a liar.
post #58 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by bucci
I was thinking about buying a Powerbook in a few weeks, but not now. I'd like to think that there will be "fat binaries" for all my programs in the future, but frankly I doubt it. There seems little reason for developers to spend much time optimizing their code for the PPC platform when x86 is the future [for Apple].

When I bought my PowerMac G5, I saw it as an investment that'll last me at least 4 years. Now with the PPC being Apple's red headed step child, I really see no need in keeping it. Thus, off to eBay it goes before it depreciates any more... My old iBook will hold me over for another year and change.

If you really need a Mac, buy one now. If you're looking for a speed upgrade, you're better off holding out.

It's definitely the end of an era.

remember, most os x programs are cocoa which just need to be compiled for both at the same time..it really doesnt seem like hard work to me
post #59 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by cj171
remember, most os x programs are cocoa which just need to be compiled for both at the same time..it really doesnt seem like hard work to me

What about software that uses Altivec? The MMX programming model is a little different than Altivec. The Mathmatica example kinda tells me that they had no Altivec optumization.
post #60 of 165
I planned on buying a new PowerMac this year. I may still do so if Apple replaces AGP with PCI Express.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want to own the 1st generation of Intel Macs. I'd rather let Apple get the bugs out.
post #61 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by markoh
If the currently offered development system is any indication,
you might be wrong. 3.6GHz P4 for $1K, whereas 1.8GHz Power Mac is $1.5K.

Can you say INCENTIVE?

My guess is that Apple is selling those things at or below cost to get people on board. No price inferences possible from that.

Mandricard
AppleOutsider
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Mandricard
AppleOutsider
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Hope Springs Eternal,
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post #62 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by Mongo Like Beans
No way I'm buying a mac now. Sad really, took me awhile to save enough money for what I wanted.

Now that is an auspicious first post!

Welcome, I think.
post #63 of 165
sigh sigh and more sigh's...
these things just has to happen when i was so excited about switching PC->MAC.... never the less i'm still buying my ibook! I need to experience mac's and hopefully like them. If i need power in the end i'll just upgrade my bloody PC for gaming or what ever. But will the ibook/powerbooks get any further updates soon?
If they do get any, i'll buy one in a flash.
once again, sigh...
post #64 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by Kesh
Buy the mini. It'll last you three or four years before you would want a new machine anyway. And, in 3 years, they'll have worked out the bugs in the transition & OS, so you'll have a legit reason to upgrade. Plus, your monitor, keyboard, etc. will all move up to the new machine then, too.

I'd say anyone who's in the market for a mini or iMac should go ahead and buy now. It's the PowerMac and laptop crowd that should hold off for a while...

3-4 years before you want a new computer? I think that it is more like 1 - 2 years before you'll want a new one, and that is only if you buy near the top of the line (although, depending on your funds, it might take longer to justify getting a new one).

That being said I agree that if you are interested in an iMac you might as well get one now. The mini, on the other hand, I think I would hold off until the next revision.
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post #65 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by Mandricard
Can you say INCENTIVE?

My guess is that Apple is selling those things at or below cost to get people on board. No price inferences possible from that.

Mandricard
AppleOutsider

Also, you need to buy a membership to Apple Development. Then you get to purchase the Development kit for another 999. In the end, you pay over the $1800 for a new mac to rent a Mactel for a year from Apple.
post #66 of 165
Thread Starter 
I have been wanting an Apple for sometime now. As I said when I started this thread, I am going off to art college and decided I need to switch to Apple for good. I will keep my PC but still need to start the switch. Of course I know Apple is where the fun is at.

Of course, as you may have guessed, I finally got the money to buy my long awaited FULLY LOADED 17in PB when I heard about the WWDC and the possibility of a G5 PB. Ok, so that didn't work out and it's ok... but this Intel throws a wrench in all of it.

I have decided to count my blessings and ignore the fact that my machine could have been so much better if IBM would have stayed up to par with Intel. I will buy my PB and accept that I could be screwed (software wise) in a year+.

Thanks Jobs.
post #67 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by tetzel1517
No, no they're not. Security against viruses has absolutely nothing to do with processors. It's all about the OS, and OS X will still be the most secure consumer OS out there.

As a computer scientist, let me say that this is absolutely false! Some of the most common attacks used against Windows and Intel Linux machines are buffer overflows, some are referred to as "stack-smashing". It complicated but what stack-smashing attacks do is write past the end of a buffer and onto the stack, replacing instructions and making the computer do the attacker's bidding. This is directly influenced by the instruction set specs. I don't know for sure if PPC is vulnerable to this, but I think it is not. On SPARC, versions previous to SPARC V9 (UltraSPARC) are vulnerable, but SPARC V9 64-bit binaries do not have an executable stack and the UltraSPARC processors support a no_exec_stack flag. You turn this on by adding a line to /etc/system in Solaris of
set no_exec_user_stack = 1
and this protects you from many buffer overflow vulns.

I think AMD and possibly Intel are adding something like Sun's no_exec_stack support to their processors, but I don't know the details of how it works and when.
post #68 of 165
Speakers and Airport. Affected in the future or not?

I'm stubborn and I'm still going to buy a laptop this summer because I need one for school. However, I might be a little more restrained with software/peripherals.

But I cannot go without a good set of speakers and Airport. Will these transition to a hot new Intel Powerbook?
post #69 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by D.J. Adequate
That's usually my advice, but this time I think it is wrong. Apple just announced that they are orphaning this whole architecture in 18 months. I've been sucked in too many times by promises of support into the future and fast emulation. If you have even a decent Mac, I can't see not waiting till this time next year and seeing how things play out.

Ask how many people that bought Yikes machines if they wished they had waited six months. This seems comparable.

I think this is a good point. Apple typically doesn't support older hardware very well. Ask those G3 buyers that were told that OS X would run great on their boxes; go ahead and buy. After a lawsuit was filed, Apple finally released drivers for the video on those old machines, but OS X never really flew on them.

Even though I'm a computer nerd (or so my GF tells me, even though I have lots of other interests...) I still don't like the idea of buying a new machine every 2-3 years -- it's expensive!!!
post #70 of 165
I'd just like to point out a machine bought today would have a 2-3 year life-span under normal circumstances.

You ladies hand-wringing over how your 3 year purchase will affect you in 18 months it laughable.

It is not like you machine will just not switch off on 6/6/2006.

In fact, it is the very opposite buying now actually insulates you from problems as there will be no interruption in software availability, continued support via Apple and the lack of any possible transitionary issues.

You'd have to have a pretty huge set of dual processors to be buying a Mac with intel day 1.

Z
post #71 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by zaz
I'd just like to point out a machine bought today would have a 2-3 year life-span under normal circumstances.

You ladies hand-wringing over how your 3 year purchase will affect you in 18 months it laughable.

It is not like you machine will just not switch on on 6/6/2006.

In fact, it is the very opposite buying now actually insulates you from problems as there will be no interruption in software availability, continued support via Apple and the lack of any possible transitionary issues.

You'd have to have a pretty huge set of dual processors to be buying a Mac with intel day 1.

Z

Agreed, somewhat. I personally am going to wait at least a year from the date of release to purchae one.
post #72 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by ThinkingDifferent
What about software that uses Altivec? The MMX programming model is a little different than Altivec. The Mathmatica example kinda tells me that they had no Altivec optumization.

I, personally, would guess that Wolfram had optimized versions for Intel already and it was just a matter of swapping out the altivec-optimized files with SSE-optimized files, which if they had coded things nicely (which that probably had) could be as simple as changing a couple of compile flags. I think this is true for many of the big companies. Think of Adobe--they already have Photoshop, etc highly optimized for both architectures. Apple's switch to Intel just means that Adobe turns on the optimizations that they already have for x86 processors when the x86 version is being built and the PPC optimizations when the PPC version is being built.
post #73 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by bucci
I was thinking about buying a Powerbook in a few weeks, but not now. I'd like to think that there will be "fat binaries" for all my programs in the future, but frankly I doubt it. There seems little reason for developers to spend much time optimizing their code for the PPC platform when x86 is the future [for Apple].

I disagree with your assessment of the current life-span for PPC chips for two major reasons.

First, developers get PPC support mostly for free. Think about it--their software already runs on PPC. So in that respect all they really have to do is make sure to check that PPC checkbox under architecture in XCode and PPC will continue to be supported.

Second, you're right, developers probably will not spend their time optimizing their code for PPC, however not because they don't want to, but because chances are they've already done it!

Now the one major exception is for new software that hasn't yet been written, but developers will realize that for the next few years most of Apple's installed base will be running on PPC, so it is worth their time optimizing for PPC. I don't know how familiar with software development you are, but most code that is written for OSX doesn't actually receive (nor require) any specific architecture-level optimizations. Usually a good algorithm is all that is needed (which is usually a good algorithm on any platform). Out of the software that does need optimizing, much of it will be done using Apple's libraries with add a layer of architecture independence so that the developer doesn't need to directly worry about whether it is Altivec, MMX/SSE, or the processor itself (ex: G3) that is actually doing the work. So again, in this case they mostly get PPC support for free (they just need to remember to click that PPC checkbox...).

In short: do not worry about PPCs for the next few years. Just buy the computer when you need it.
post #74 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by rogerattack
On the contrary, i bet Bill Gates shat a brick today (although he probably already knew), with OS X running on x86, Apple is a step closer to being a head on competitor to Microsoft. If Gates is afraid of anything, it's competition.

Bingo.

Just wait until the other shoe eventually drops and a company like Dell or (more likely) HP starts shipping some sort of reference design PC running MacOS.

Yes, I know, Apple has stated that they will continue to control the hardware. However, Microsoft is currently the most vulnerable that they have been for many years (if ever), Apple may just go for the jugular.
post #75 of 165
zaz and off/lang are the ones who've assessed this correctly. The benefit from buying a PPC-based Mac now has GONE UP, not down. Once Intel-based Macs are released, the application bugs will be on that side of the fat binary fence, not the PPC side (hardware bugs, too). Developers are going to heavily support PPC Macs for years to come because that will be almost the entire installed base. I doubt Intel Macs in real service won't outnumber PPC Macs until at least 2010. So buy a PPC Mac now and an Intel Mac several years from now. You'll hit both sweet spots that way.
post #76 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Hudson1
zaz and off/lang are the ones who've assessed this correctly. The benefit from buying a PPC-based Mac now has GONE UP, not down. Once Intel-based Macs are released, the application bugs will be on that side of the fat binary fence, not the PPC side (hardware bugs, too). Developers are going to heavily support PPC Macs for years to come because that will be almost the entire installed base. I doubt Intel Macs in real service won't outnumber PPC Macs until at least 2010. So buy a PPC Mac now and an Intel Mac several years from now. You'll hit both sweet spots that way.

After being literally depressed about saving my money for this long and being soo disapointed, this actually makes sense. I think you're right, Hudson1 and I will be buying my PB G4 17in Fully Loaded with a kickass bag VEERY SOON.
post #77 of 165
Been chatting with some video production colleagues this morning.

None of them were happy, most had mixed reviews of the whole thing, and some were downright p****d.

The kicker is that as of right now, Rosetta does not do Altivec. Ergo, that nice new copy of PPC flavor Final Cut you bought last week ain't gonna run on a Macintel. Plus, Uncle Steve has left himself precisely zero wiggle room. The Apple press release says that by the end of 2007, there will be no more PPC Macs. That's none, zero, zilch, nada.

This really has a few pals of mine torqued. We tended to buy Macs precisely because we could hang onto them longer. Last years main editing system might be the one that does lesser work, and so on. My shop still even has a Yikes that does nothing but scan stills for low-end stuff -- the machine's more than amoritized, and when it breaks, that's it.

Such a path will be difficult to pull with Macintel. Clearly, Uncle Steve wants you to buy new stuff.
post #78 of 165
Indeed, there's no good reason to wait for the Intel Macs. I feel that developers (including Apple) are finally at a point where everything is running fast, optimized, and smooth on OS X using PowerPC. It will take years for everything to run optimized and stable on the Intel-based Macs. Granted, the sheer Mhz increase will probably make up for it in the meantime, but you're really better off with a PowerPC-based Mac for at least 3 years yet, especially if you run pro applications.

And I wouldn't worry about today's Macs depreciating in value quickly. If no one else, the Audio industry will buy up your PowerPC-based Powermacs like hot cakes, because they pretty much just got done moving to OS X. Developers aren't going to all have their Intel-based software waiting in the wings in one year. They're going to do exactly what they did in the move from OS 9 to OS X, and port it whenever they God-Damn feel like it, and not a moment sooner. You won't see the Adobe Creative Suite running natively on Intel-Based Macs until 2007 or later. Plus, they own Macromedia now too, so they'll probably take a few extra years while they re-organize and rebuild all those prodcts, merging the pieces they want with their current apps.

And in 2010, Quark will be pleased as punch to announce they've begun beta-testing Quark on Intel-based Macs.
post #79 of 165
Thread Starter 
A mean uncle he is.
post #80 of 165
Quote:
Originally posted by Sam Damon
The kicker is that as of right now, Rosetta does not do Altivec. Ergo, that nice new copy of PPC flavor Final Cut you bought last week ain't gonna run on a Macintel.

Aren't there relatively few applications that make good use of Altivec? I've never seen a list but my impression was that Photoshop and the Apple iLife and Pro apps were the major examples. Adobe has an x86 version of Photoshop (obviously) and we should expect that Apple will make very good dual versions of all of their apps. Maybe Rosetta will be of most use for more obscure applications that won't be updated but those are probably the ones least likely to employ Altivec anyway (IMHO).
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