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  1. #1


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    How much faster is an G4 iBook compared to a G3 iBook?
    Right now I have a G3 iBook (900 MHz, 640 MB RAM, Combodrive, 40 GB HDD). I'm looking at a G4 iBook (1.2 GHz, 768 MB RAM, Superdrive, 60 GB HDD).

    How much faster would the G4 be over my G3. I figure that after selling my G3, the G4 would only be another $200ish on top of it. Would this be worth it?

    Also, how are the G4 iBooks? Did they have any known issues or problems?

  2. #2

    Zoolook's Avatar
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    It'll be significantly faster, if only because of the added mhz and the memory/motherboard will also be quicker. For the extra $200 it might be worth it.

    For what it's worth, I think the iBook G4s are nice, but if you could stretch to a Powerbook, they are slightly more robust. Don't expect miracles from the G4 these days. What exactly are your requirements?
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
    It'll be significantly faster, if only because of the added mhz and the memory/motherboard will also be quicker. For the extra $200 it might be worth it.

    For what it's worth, I think the iBook G4s are nice, but if you could stretch to a Powerbook, they are slightly more robust. Don't expect miracles from the G4 these days. What exactly are your requirements?
    I'm mainly looking for something that will last me a bit longer than my G3. It's getting on the old-side, and I need something that will last at least another year or two.

    Otherwise, the G3 does most things I need it to do: basic web browsing, word processing (and similar things). Though, most videos seem to chug on this, and it'd be nice to play videos more smoothly.

    Other than that, I don't do anything terribly intense: just web browsing, word processing type things, syncing to my Touch, etc.


    What exactly is better about a Powerbook than an iBook if they are the same/similar specs (the basic specs at least: processor, RAM, etc.)? Are they better built in general?

  4. #4

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    Hope this helps. A friend of mine had an iBook G3 800Mhz and it really had issues with playing Flash Videos smoothly.

    I own an iBook G4 1.33Ghz and have no issued with any Flash video. They play smooth.

  5. #5

    Zoolook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomheartmother View Post
    What exactly is better about a Powerbook than an iBook if they are the same/similar specs (the basic specs at least: processor, RAM, etc.)? Are they better built in general?
    The G4 is a slightly better CPU, clock for clock, meaning if you had a G3 and a G4 with everything else being equal, the G4 would perform better for most modern applications.

    The G3 ran on a 100mhz system bus, this dictates how quickly information gets from RAM to the CPU and from the CPU to the GPU etc. The G4 runs on a 133mhz system bus, which is significantly faster.

    Also the G4 iBook has a better GPU. The iBook G3 you have probably has a 32mb ATI Radeon mobility (not a bad chip actually) but the G4 has the Radeon 9200 mobility, more in line with the 8500 desktop chip with shader capabilities etc. So things like transparencies and other effects will be GPU accelerated, rather than running from the CPU.

    The 80GB hdd is not standard, so you may be lucky and it might be a 5400rpm drive, as opposed to the standard 4200rpm drive. The former is a lot faster than the latter... ask a MacBook Air owner!

    Also, the 1.2ghz chip breaks the magic ghz barrier... where many applications and web resources ask for, and assume a minimum of, this spec.
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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  6. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
    The G4 is a slightly better CPU, clock for clock, meaning if you had a G3 and a G4 with everything else being equal, the G4 would perform better for most modern applications.

    The G3 ran on a 100mhz system bus, this dictates how quickly information gets from RAM to the CPU and from the CPU to the GPU etc. The G4 runs on a 133mhz system bus, which is significantly faster.

    Also the G4 iBook has a better GPU. The iBook G3 you have probably has a 32mb ATI Radeon mobility (not a bad chip actually) but the G4 has the Radeon 9200 mobility, more in line with the 8500 desktop chip with shader capabilities etc. So things like transparencies and other effects will be GPU accelerated, rather than running from the CPU.

    The 80GB hdd is not standard, so you may be lucky and it might be a 5400rpm drive, as opposed to the standard 4200rpm drive. The former is a lot faster than the latter... ask a MacBook Air owner!

    Also, the 1.2ghz chip breaks the magic ghz barrier... where many applications and web resources ask for, and assume a minimum of, this spec.
    Thanks for the info. How would a G4 Powerbook be better than a G4 iBook? I think you mentioned that the Powerbooks are more robust.

  7. #7

    Zoolook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomheartmother View Post
    Thanks for the info. How would a G4 Powerbook be better than a G4 iBook? I think you mentioned that the Powerbooks are more robust.
    I think the build quality is better, most people would agree. Plus you might get a 9700 Radeon (which has better shader support) and a widescreen if you stretch for the 2005 model. However, you're looking at quite a bit of extra cash.

    The 12" model with the 1ghz or 1.25ghz CPU has a faster hdd (5400rpm) and might come with a superdrive if you're lucky.

    Depends on your taste and the size of your wallet though. I happen to think the PowerBook G4 is one of the best Macs ever made.
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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  8. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
    I think the build quality is better, most people would agree. Plus you might get a 9700 Radeon (which has better shader support) and a widescreen if you stretch for the 2005 model. However, you're looking at quite a bit of extra cash.

    The 12" model with the 1ghz or 1.25ghz CPU has a faster hdd (5400rpm) and might come with a superdrive if you're lucky.

    Depends on your taste and the size of your wallet though. I happen to think the PowerBook G4 is one of the best Macs ever made.
    Thank you for all of your help.

    I ended up snagging a G4 iBook (1.33 GHz, 512 MB RAM, combo, 60 GB HDD) for $385 shipped. I think I got a pretty good deal. How hard is it to add extra RAM into these? Also, do you happen to know (or know where I can find out) how many RAM slots these have? The seller told me that it has 256MB built in and a 256MB in another slot. Are all slots full then?

    Thanks.

  9. #9

    Zoolook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomheartmother View Post
    Thank you for all of your help.

    I ended up snagging a G4 iBook (1.33 GHz, 512 MB RAM, combo, 60 GB HDD) for $385 shipped. I think I got a pretty good deal. How hard is it to add extra RAM into these?
    It's easy. You can get a 1GB module

    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...D50A9FA5CA7304

    For a total of 1.25 GBs, for $65
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
    It's easy. You can get a 1GB module

    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...D50A9FA5CA7304

    For a total of 1.25 GBs, for $65
    Thanks. That's the route I'll probably be going.

    Also, how can I find out what model number the laptop is (for my own reference)?

  11. #11

    Zoolook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomheartmother View Post
    Thanks. That's the route I'll probably be going.

    Also, how can I find out what model number the laptop is (for my own reference)?
    It'll be in the 'about this Mac' tab, click 'more info' then it's one of the 1st bits of information you'll see.
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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  12. #12


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    One last question (I think):

    I can transfer data from the G3 to the G4 via a fireware cable in target disk mode, correct? Do you happen to know off hand what type of firewire port is in the G4 iBook (6 pin or 9 pin)? I know the G3 is 6 pin, but I'm not sure about the G4. I'm trying to decide which cable to buy.

  13. #13

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  14. #14

    Zoolook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomheartmother View Post
    One last question (I think):

    I can transfer data from the G3 to the G4 via a fireware cable in target disk mode, correct? Do you happen to know off hand what type of firewire port is in the G4 iBook (6 pin or 9 pin)? I know the G3 is 6 pin, but I'm not sure about the G4. I'm trying to decide which cable to buy.
    It should be OK, but may depend somewhat on what versions of OS X on on each iBook. However the iBook G3 and G4 have the same type of Firewire port, so you can copy your settings over. I would not recommend booting from the G3 hdd into the G4, because there are significant differences between the drivers for a start.
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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  15. #15


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
    It should be OK, but may depend somewhat on what versions of OS X on on each iBook. However the iBook G3 and G4 have the same type of Firewire port, so you can copy your settings over. I would not recommend booting from the G3 hdd into the G4, because there are significant differences between the drivers for a start.
    How should I do it then? My understanding was that I would just have the G4 on, and I would turn the G3 off and then back on holding the correct button to enter TargetDisk mode. At that point, the G3 HD icon would appear on the G4 desktop, and I could drag and drop items over.

    Should I do it in reverse or something? Could I drag items from the G3 and drop them in the G4 HD icon on the G3 desktop while the G4 is in TargetDisk mode?

    Also, both will be running 10.4.11.

    Essentially, the only things that I'll be transferring are my iTunes stuff (songs, podcasts, apps, videos). I have some docs and pictures that I might do this way too (or maybe just a flash drive).

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