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Mac Reference Desk: The April 2002 PowerBook G4/667 and G4/800
On April 29th, between expos and with little fanfare, Apple introduced the latest revision of the PowerBook line. The new 'Books sport either a G4/667 or G4/800 processor, but unlike their immediate predecessors, the latest PowerBooks also sport a 1 MB level 3 cache in addition to the 256K "on chip" (aka level 2) cache found on the December 2001 PowerBooks. This cache runs at an unimpressive sounding 4:1 ratio, but uses DDR SRAM to significantly improve performance.

The April 2002 PowerBooks also feature an improved graphics system, using ATI's 32 MB Mobility Radeon 7500. The December 2001 PowerBooks used ATI's 16 MB Mobility Radeon GPU. Games should be pleased with the performance improvement.

Completely new to this generation PowerBook is the presence of a DVI port. This allows you to connect to a standard VGA monitor with the included adapter or to any of Apple's flat panel displays. To connect to the latter, you will need to buy a DVI to ADC adapter. Dr. Bott and Apple both sell these adapters for around $150. Perhaps as an acknowledgement that it has outlived its usefulness, Apple has done away with the infrared port. Currently supported only as a "technology preview," BlueTooth is likely seen as infrared's replacement. Below, we provide you with a quick overview of the most significant changes followed by more in-depth information and links to further reading.

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December 2001 PowerBooks April 2002 PowerBooks
Processor speed 550 or 667 MHz 667 or 800 MHz
L3 cache size and speed ratio None 1 MB, 4:1
System bus speed 100 or 133 MHz 133 MHz
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon 16 MB of DDR ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 32 MB of DDR
Display 15.2" diagonal 1152 x 768, 91.1 dpi 15.2" diagonal 1280 x 854, 101.4 dpi
Video Output S-Video & VGA S-video & DVI-I connector (with VGA adapter)
Hard disk drive 20, 30, or 48 GB 30, 40, or 60 GB
Audio line in None Minijack
Infrared Port Available None

Common Facts & Features

  • Introduced: April 29th, 2002
  • Discontinued: N/A
  • Processor Family: Unknown, most likely Motorola MPC7450 or MPC7451
  • Processor L1 cache: 32K
  • Processor L2 cache: 256K at 1:1 ratio
  • Processor L3 cache: 1 MB DDR SRAM 4:1 ratio
  • System Bus Speed: 133 MHz
  • RAM Slots: 2, 144-pin SO-DIMM slots. 1 GB max.
  • Expansion: PC Card/CardBus slot
  • Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 32 MB DDR memory.
  • Ports: 1 FireWire, 2 USB 1.1, audio in, audio out, DVI-I (DVI to VGA adapter included), S-video.
  • Networking: 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet, 56k V.90 internal modem & AirPort slot (filled on G4/800)
  • Optical Drive: Slot loading combination drive. Reads CD's at 24x, reads DVD's at 8x, writes CD-R and CD-RW at 8x.
  • Notes: First PowerBooks in recent years without an infrared port.

PowerBook G4/667 Facts & Features

  • Processor: G4/800
  • Processor L1 cache: 32 K
  • Processor L2 cache: 256 K at 667 MHz.
  • Processor L3 cache: 1 MB DDR SDRAM at 167 MHz
  • Installed RAM: 256MB PC133 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 30GB Ultra ATA/66 (4200 rpm)
  • Initial Shipping OS: 10.1 (boot) and 9.2
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,499
  • Current Price

PowerBook G4/800 Facts & Features

  • Processor: G4/800
  • Processor L1 cache: 32 K
  • Processor L2 cache: 256 K at 800 MHz.
  • Processor L3 cache: 1 MB DDR SDRAM at 200 MHz
  • Installed RAM: 512 MB PC133 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 40GB Ultra ATA/66 (4200 rpm)
  • Initial Shipping OS: 10.1 (boot) and 9.2
  • Notes: AirPort card installed.
  • Initial Retail Price: $3,199
  • Current Price

PowerBook G4/800 60 GB Facts & Features

  • Processor: G4/800
  • Processor L1 cache: 32 K
  • Processor L2 cache: 256 K at 800 MHz.
  • Processor L3 cache: 1 MB DDR SDRAM at 200 MHz
  • Installed RAM: 1 GB PC133 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 60GB Ultra ATA/66 (5400 rpm)
  • Initial Shipping OS: 10.1 (boot) and 9.2
  • Notes: AirPort card installed. Available through Apple store only.
  • Initial Retail Price: $3,799
  • Current Price

Additional 'Zone Resources

MacSpeedZone - Apple PowerBook Specifications and Reviews Page. A detailed side by side comparison of the April 2002 PowerBooks and older models.

MacReviewZone - PowerBook and iBook Reviews. A comprehensive listing of reviews from a variety of respected Mac publications.

Additional Resources

Macworld UK - Apple has upped the processor speeds on its range of PowerBook G4 professional laptops, with the top-end model now reaching 800MHz.

The Mac Observer - While rumors swirled that Apple would be releasing new 800 MHz PowerBook G4s (TiBooks), the rumors were off. By a day.

Forbes - Apple Computer kicked the speeds of its Powerbook portable computers up another notch this week. Not only will new models be faster, but they'll also be able to act more like a replacement for a desktop Mac.

Mac Upgrade - New Ti PowerBook Reaffirms Apple’s Commitment to Portable Graphics, ATI.

News Factor - In addition to a 133 MHz clock speed boost, the new high-end PowerBook adds 1 MB of level 3 cache, which has been shown to deliver significant speed improvement in Apple's desktop line.

PR Newswire - The new 15.2-inch mega-wide display features an enhanced resolution of 1280-by-854 pixels, 23 percent more than previous models, along with higher brightness and better color saturation. - Apple has announced a new upgrade to the venerable and sleek Titanium PowerBook G4 with more speed and more screen resolution/real estate. Not only this, but the new video system has been upgraded, and there are other cool goodies.


Internal Links
External Links
  • Apple's online specs.
  • LowEndMac's information page - pending
  • EveryMac's information page - pending
  • PowerBook Reviews
  • Index of all online Macintosh hardware and software reviews

Additional information will be added here over time. Bookmark this page and check back!

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