More GamesSo thatís fancy numbers, but how does it really play games? Really good for the most part. Older games play like on fire. It even manages to play the first level of Soldier of Fortune 2 silky smooth with all settings as high as possible, a level my MDD canít play well at all, even with the settings set to low. Halo and UT2k4 plays well, even if UT2k4 stutters at the larger onslaught and assault levels. The Command & Conquer: Generals demo play rather good, but the settings has to be lowered and you wonít get it silky smooth framerates all the time. At cutscenes above all, things start to stutter, but itís still very playable. Neverwinter Nights, one of my favorite games ever, plays good as would be expected. But the performance boost compared to the MDD tower isnít that significant. The game doesnít run constantly silky smooth either, but the game doesnít have to play that well, and the performance is excellent most of the time.
Final ThoughtsThe 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook is an amazing machine for normal work. Writing this review on it has been a pleasant experience, and normal work is great on it. Itís powerful, and has a good keyboard and screen. The connection possibilities are good and it supports multiple monitors. The aluminum case is beautiful and feels sturdy. As a work computer there are not much to complain at. The battery life is fairly short, but Iím never far from a power outlet anyway, so that does not bother me.
As a gaming machine, it's decent. Itís not a hardcore gaming machine, but it can play most games out there without any real complaints. But as the system requirements of new games increases, the PowerBook will be left behind. 1 GHz as minimum isnít unheard of right now, and it will increase in the coming year if you judge from the past. But if you want a portable work machine that you can play games on as well, the PowerBook does that extremely well. If you want a more competent gaming machine, the 1.5 GHz PowerBooks will probably do a bit better, especially since you can get a 128MB graphics card and faster hard drives for a small extra. But if youíre really serious about gaming on your Mac, the Dual G5 towers are the only real solution at the moment. They will outlive the current PowerBooks for sure. The PowerBook is a dead end, since you canít upgrade anything but the RAM once youíve bought it. Handy people could change the HD as well, but that is all. Itís still a good work and play machine for casual gamers that doesnít have to play the latest and greatest for years to follow, but can settle for the less demanding games, and games that doesnít need silk smooth framerates as RPGs and strategy games. That said, I think this PowerBook will suit me just fine.
Good keyboard and display
Good for today's games
Built-in Airport Extreme and Bluetooth
Cons:Insufficient RAM when standard equipped
Questionable future as gaming machine
Small hard drive
'fn' key disturbs keyboard layout