3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2005 1:44 PM by Dr_Nick Rivierra
ejoy_uk Level 1 (0 points)
I posted this on silentpcreview.com, and re-post here to share you with my experience with the latest apple product.

I just returned the latest verison of powerbook 12" to apple. Because it's so noisy.

I choose apple's laptop because many people in this forum said apple's laptop is very quiet. But that is not ture, at least for the latest laptop from apple (made since Nov. 2005)

The laptop has a G4 cpu running at 1.5Ghz, 80G Toshiba HD at 5400rpm, and a 64MB 3D card from Nvidia.

When I first turn on the powerbook G4 I notice the noise comes from the left part of the laptop. It seems the cooling fan is running all the time at low rpm. Together with the working noise from HD, it's impossible not to be disturbed in a quiet room working in front of the laptop.

I phoned apple saying the fan is always on, which is obviously uncommon. This book also has some problem reading os x dvd disc. They then arrange a replacement for me.

When I got the replacement (which is also brand new), I think this one should be quiet, but again I'm wrong. The background noise is the same as the first one I got. After consulting apple's user discussion forum, I found such noise is considered normal for a powerbook G4.

The book also runs hot very quickly. I already runs it at reduced speed (1Ghz), and lift the case with a notebook stand. The temp. of the cpu quickly jumps to 45C in 30 minutes even I'm just composing an email. Then the *real fan* turns on, with very loud noise for 1 minutes, only to drive down temp. by 3C. Then after 5 or 10 minutes, the temp. goes up to 45C again and the fan kicks in again. This happens even I'm just listening music through itunes which typically has a cpu usage of 15-20%.

The really bad thing happens when I watch a movie encoded in h.264 using quicktime7, a format apple said providing "stunning quality". Unfortunately, enjoying the "stunning quality" means the cpu will work at 70-80% (at reduced clock rate of 1G), and the cooling fan will run crazily all the time! A good movie can be easily ruined by the noise from the cooling fan. In fact I only watch a movie for 40 minutes and then quit quicktime because of the noise.

I then made a test: just turn on the powerbook and does not run any application, then the fan will fire up in one and a half hour! After that, the fan will kick in every 10 minutes, and I'm sure the cpu usage is as low as 5%!

I phoned apple again, and again they said it's normal, since the fan will kick in whenever the cpu is too hot.

I'm fed up with the hot issue. Beside this, the 'A' key drops out of the keyboard after one day of use! I finally ask a refund to end my very unpleasant experience with the latest powerbook.

Now I understand why Apple will switch to intel's chip next year, power G4 is simply too hot for a laptop.

If the ibook 1.25Ghz is quiet, I probabily will get an ibook instead. Or wait till Jan. next year when apple release its Pentium based intel laptop.

Or should I get a laptop from ibm or dell?

What's your opinions?


PowerBook G4 12", Mac OS X (10.4.2)