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Titani-YUM: The PowerBook G4/400 & G4/500 Information Page

1-15-01
For a long time now, Apple has touted their four square product strategy, consumer desktop (iMac), consumer portable (iBook), professional desktop (G4 tower) and professional portable (PowerBook). Although the G4 processor is clearly aimed at the professional user, the PowerBook line has been stuck with a G3 processor. This all changed at the 2001 Macworld expo in San Francisco where Steve Jobs announced the Titanium PowerBook G4. While the PowerBook G3 series were elegantly designed, they lacked sex appeal according to Steve. At just 1" thick and 5.3 pounds, the new Titanium PowerBooks redefine "svelte" and have sex appeal to spare.

Like their immediate predecessors, the new PowerBooks run at 400 or 500 MHz but on a G4 processor of course. Unlike their predecessors, the new PowerBooks' backside cache runs at a 2:1 ratio (200 or 250 MHz respectively) instead of a slower 2.5:1 ratio. Our recent tests indicate that the improvement would be minimal. The main improvement will come into play when using applications that can take advantage of the G4's AltiVec (Velocity) instruction set.

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New, Not-So-New & Gone Completely: To work within the confines of a 1" form factor, some compromises had to be made. You will only find one FireWire port on the new PowerBook instead of two. According to Apple reps, there simply wasn't room for two FireWire and two USB ports. The expansion bay is gone and the battery, which has a 5 hour life according to Apple, has been moved to the bottom of the unit.The audio out jack has logically been moved to the side for easier access. The new PowerBooks sport a "mega-wide" 15.2 inch TFT screen with a native resolution of 1152 x 768. The Titanium also supports resolutions of 1152 x 768, 896 x 600, and 720 x 480 at a 3:2 aspect ratio. At a 4:3 aspect ratio, it supports resolutions of 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480. While nVidia found its way to Apple's G4 desktop, the PowerBooks are still powered by ATI's RAGE mobility 128 graphics chip residing on a 2x AGP bus. The DVD drive is now slot loading and located on the front for easy access. The Apple logo now faces up when the PowerBook lid is open.

There are several entries in the "Not-So-New" department: the 56K V.90 modem, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet, AirPort slot, CardBus slot etc. are all present and accounted for. For a complete side by side comparison of the three most recent generations of PowerBook, refer to our chart below. We have placed an order for both of the new 'Books and will post benchmarks on this page after we have run some real world tests.

 



PowerBooks Compared

  Lombard PowerBook G3 Pismo PowerBook G3 Titanium PowerBook G4
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Processor G3/333MHz or G3/400MHz G3/400MHz or G3/500MHz G4/400MHz or G4/500MHz
Backside Cache 1MB @ 133MHz or 160MHz 1MB @ 160MHz or 200MHz 1MB @ 200MHz or 250MHz
System Bus 66MHz 100MHz 100MHz
RAM 64MB 64 or 128MB 128 or 256MB
VRAM 8MB 8MB 8MB
Graphics ATI Rage LT Pro ATI Rage Mobility 128 (2x AGP) ATI Rage Mobility 128 (2x AGP)
Screen Size 14.1" TFT 14.1" TFT 15.2" TFT
Hard Drive 4 or 6GB | (10GB BTO option) 6 or 12GB | (18GB BTO option) 10 or 20 GBUltra ATA/66 | (30GB BTO option)
CardBus Connections 1 1 1
Optical drive CD or DVD DVD Slot loading DVD
USB connectors 2 2 2
FireWire connectors - 2 1
SCSI HDI-30 - -
Wireless options - | Infrared Port AirPort slot | Infrared Port AirPort slot | Infrared Port
Titanium PowerBook G4/400 Reviews/Information MacSpeedZone | Reader Reviews | Titanium Central | LowEndMac | MacAddict | Macworld UK | Macworld | MacInTouch | BareFeats | PR Newswire | PowerBook Central | The MacJunkie | Seattle Times | Business Week | Macworld UK | The PowerBook Zone (1) | The PowerBook Zone (2) | c|net | | Macintouch |PowerBook Zone | Apple | MacNN | SfGate | Mac-Upgrade | Right on Mac | PowerBook Source | PowerBook Source | About.com | MacOpinion | MacDirectory | MacCentral | MacUser UK | MacintoshGuy | LowEndMac | MacCentral MacProf | Macworld UK | TidBits | MacDiscussion | AppleLust | MacOpinion | LowendMac | LowEndMac | Macworld | LowEndMac | LowEndMac | Go2Mac | Macworld | EveryMac | LowEndMac | LowEndMac | MacAddict | MacOpinion | || LowEndMac | Go2Mac | Go2Mac | Go2Mac || AppleLinks | Orlando Sentinel | Canada Computers | MacObserver | MacOpinion | LowEndMac | Go2Mac | Go2Mac | Macworld | MacJunkie | PowerBookZone | | | | BusinessWeek | Houston Chronicle | MacJunkie | MacOpinion | | Voelker | MacOpinion | MacOpinion | MacOpinion | EveryMac | BusinessWeek | FCW | IMG | Macworld | | ABCNews |
Titanium PowerBook G4/500 Reviews/Information MacSpeedZoneReader Reviews | Titanium Central | LowEndMac | MacAddic| | Macworld UK | Macworld | MacInTouch | BareFeats | PR Newswire | PowerBook Central | The MacJunkie | Seattle Times | Business Week | Macworld UK | The PowerBook Zone (1) | The PowerBook Zone (2) | c|net | Macintouch | PowerBook Zone | Apple | MacNN | SfGate | Mac-Upgrade | Right on Mac | PowerBook Source | PowerBook Source | About.com | MacOpinion | MacDirectory | MacCentral | MacUser UK | MacintoshGuy | LowEndMac | MacCentral | MacProf | BareFeats | TidBits | Macworld UK | MacDiscussion | AppleLust | MacOpinion | LowendMac | LowEndMac | Macworld | Macworld | EveryMac | MacAddict | MacOpinion | | Go2Mac | Macworld | Go2Mac | Go2Mac | ZD/Net | C/Net | PC Magazine | AppleLinks | Orlando Sentinel | Canada Computers | MacObserver | MacOpinion | LowEndMac | Go2Mac | Go2Mac | Macworld | MacJunkie | PowerBookZone | | | | | BusinessWeek | Houston Chronicle | MacJunkie | Macworld | MacOpinion | | IT | CreativePro | PC World | Applelinks | Applelinks | Applelinks | Applelinks | The PowerBook Source | MacOpinion | Applelinks | Applelinks | MacOpinion | MacOpinion | EveryMac | BusinessWeek | FCW | IMG | Macworld | ZD/Net | ABCNews |


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