All Macs In-Depth Tests


Send this page to a friend...
Site Supporters
MacPhoneHome - track and locate missing computers
This month's contest prize

Spell Catcher X

Spell Catcher X
From Casady & Greene

MacSpeedZone Gift Shop
MacReviewZone gift shop
Power Mac InfoZone
iMac InfoZone
PowerBook InfoZone
iBook InfoZone
eMac InfoZone
Xserve InfoZone
Processor Upgrade InfoZone
Graphics Card InfoZone
iPod InfoZone
OS X InfoZone
All Computer Performance
Power Mac Performance
iMac/eMac Performance
PowerBook/iBook Performance
Mac & WinTel Processors
Hardware & Software
Partisan Pages
Macs In Education
Macs In The Creative Field
Macs vs Wintels
Macs In The Sciences
Macs In Business
General Partisan Info
Buyer's Guides
Power Mac
Shop for ...
Macintosh Products
Macintosh Books
Non-Computer Items
Mailing list
List information...
Latest Discussion Threads

Sites We Like...




A Peek at Pismo: The PowerBook G3/400 & G3/500 Information Page

For Great Prices On Upgrades Check The Vendors Below
Processor Upgrades
Small Dog MacConnection

Graphics Cards
Small Dog MacConnection

Hard Drives & Optical Drives
Small Dog

RAM & Other Memory MacConnection

SCSI, Firewire USB Cards
Small Dog


Used/Refurbished Macs
Service & Parts
ebay Small Dog

While the first MacWorld of the year 2000 (MacWorld San Francisco) was conspicuously lacking any hardware announcements from Cupertino, MacWorld Tokyo was another story entirely. Apple announced a new graphite colored iBook, the immediate availability of the long promised 500MHz Power Mac G4 and last but not least two new PowerBooks.

Of Apple's four square product line strategy, (professional desktop, consumer desktop, professional portable & consumer portable) the PowerBook line (professional portable) has gone the longest without any revision. The "Lombard" PowerBooks were announced last May with a slim new design and a 333MHz or 400MHz processor. The new "Pismo" PowerBooks sport either a 400MHz or 500MHz G3 processor and a system bus that has been bumped from 66MHz to a blazing 100MHz. Both processors have a full backside cache although they operate at a 2.5:1 ratio as opposed to the faster 2:1. This ratio will result cause a slight performance hit but seems to be the standard across Apple's product line with the exception of the G4 Power Macs. This may have been necessary to avoid battery consumption or heat issues. You can always use freely available software to try pushing the cache speed higher.

Just as the Lombard 'Books did away with serial and ADB, the Pismo PowerBook has axed the last "legacy" port on Apple's hit list, the SCSI port. The good news is that the new PowerBook includes two 400Mbps FireWire ports for hooking up high speed devices like hard drives, scanners and digital video cameras. Those of you accustomed to using your PowerBooks as an external hard drive (via SCSI Disk Mode) will be happy to hear that this feature is still available via FireWire.

Apple's tag line for the PowerBook is "make desktop movies anywhere." This is interesting considering the fact that the new PowerBooks come without any video editing software. Apple recommends purchasing Final Cut Pro, but the inclusion of iMovie would have given users a good "out of the box" starting point. The digital video power users would still want to upgrade to FCP. Graphics professionals and gamers should appreciate the inclusion of ATI's Rage Mobility 128 graphics system residing on a 2x AGP bus for improved bandwidth. As with the Lombard 'Books, the new PowerBooks sport 8MB SDRAM, enough for dual monitor support in addition to video mirroring. Although they didn't make it to the iBook, DVD drives are standard on both of the new PowerBooks.

The most exciting addition to the PowerBook in our opinion is the addition of a slot for Apple's AirPort card for wireless networking and Internet access. Now every machine Apple ships is AirPort ready. This, coupled with the release of AirPort software 1.1 which allows you to use your Mac as a Base Station, is a clear indication that Apple is truly committed to wireless technology. Below we provide you with a side-by-side comparison of the Lombard and Pismo PowerBooks.

PowerBooks Compared

  Old PowerBook (Lombard) New PowerBook (Pismo)
Processor 333MHz or 400MHz 400MHz or 500MHz
Backside Cache 1MB @ 133MHz or 160MHz 1MB @ 160MHz or 200MHz
System Bus 66MHz 100MHz
RAM 64MB 64 or 128MB
Graphics ATI Rage LT Pro ATI Rage Mobility 128 (2x AGP)
Screen Size 14.1" TFT 14.1" TFT
Hard Drive 4 or 6GB
(10GB BTO option)
6 or 12GB
(18GB BTO option)
CardBus Connections 1 1
Optical drive CD or DVD 6x DVD
USB connectors 2 2
FireWire - 2
Wireless options -
Infrared Port
AirPort slot
Infrared Port

MacUser UK
SF Chronicle

Reader Reviews
Reader Reviews
Bare Feats


Top of page

Recent Additions
Search Site

Check out our new and improved PriceZone shopping engine which lets you compare product prices from a multitude of stores on the fly.

Wednesday , February 12

iMac DealZone -  New iMacs Available Almost Everywhere - This Week's Best Deals MacReviewZone logo - small

Tuesday, February 11

Deal Of The Day - Processor Upgrade For The iMac $33 Off The List Price! MacReviewZone logo - small

Monday, February 10

Deal Of The Day - $60 Off List Price Of Highly Rated, High Speed CD-RW FireWire Drive

PowerBook DealZone - Get A Free AirPort Base Station With Your PowerBook! This Week's Best Deals MacReviewZone logo - small

Sunday, February 9

The OS X InfoZone: The Best OS X Information From Around The Net!

The PowerBook InfoZone - The Best G4 PowerBook Information From Around The Net!

Friday, February 7

Power Mac DealZone - New Towers Beginning To Trickle In - This Week's Best Deals MacReviewZone logo - small

Deal Of The Day - Save Close To $400 On The Artixscan 2500F MacReviewZone logo - small

Thursday, February 6

Deal Of The Day - 17 Inch iMac With SuperDrive For $1,695, A $300 Price Drop - Plus 512 MB Free RAM And Other Goodies MacReviewZone logo - small

iMac DealZone -  New iMacs Arriving Soon - This Week's Best Deals MacReviewZone logo - small

iBook DealZone - 14" iBooks In Short Supply...This Week's Best Deals MacReviewZone logo - small

Home New & Old Macs Upgrades Performance Machine Specs Opinions Buyer's Guides MacReviewZone

Copyright 1996-2003 by Cider Press Publishing LLC all rights reserved. MacSpeedZone is not authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Computer. Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, iPod, iBook, iMac, eMac, and PowerBook are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Additional company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks and are hereby acknowledged.