Below we have a performance comparison of the new iBook G3/800/800/512K
(the one that has the 14 inch screen), and the new iBook G3/700/700/512K.
We have thrown in results for the last generation
PowerBook G4/800/800/256K/1MB/200, for comparison's sake.
There are still a few of the 800 MHz PowerBooks kicking
around, but they are getting scarce.
As you will see in the results below the 800
MHz iBook pulls in from 10% to 15% better performance over
the iBook G3/700, in straight processor intensive tasks,.
However the results will also show that the G4/800 PowerBook
runs rings around both of the iBooks in many of these same
labors .. obviously not all portables are created equal.
One of the main performance improvements of
the new iBooks, was suppose to be the new 7500 Radeon graphics
chip with 16 MB of memory in the G3/700 iBook and 32 MB in
the 800 MHz version. This is the same graphics system that
was installed in the last generation of PowerBooks.But despite
them having the same graphics system, once again the PowerBook
ran rings around the iBooks in gaming performance. This we
believe is because the the graphics system resides in a slower
2X AGP slot on the iBook, and a faster 4X on the PowerBook.
The G4 processor may be a factor as well, but we don't know
enough about the construction of these games to know if they
are capable of taking advantage of the special speed improvements
of the G4.
The new iBook is faster at gaming than the previous
version of iBook .. ranging from 28% to 49% faster in our
testing of the respective G3/700 iBooks.
This is just a first look at the new iBooks
performance. We will be posting additional information in
the coming days. If you have a specific question about the
performance of these new iBooks post it in our forum (see
link at the top of the page) and we will see if we can answer
What's The Difference?
||April 2002 800 MHz PowerBook
||November 2002 iBooks
||$999 $1,299 $1,599 $1,849
||800 MHz G4
||700 or 800 MHz G3
|L2 cache size and speed ratio
|L3 cache size and speed ratio
||1 MB DDR @ 200 MHz
|System bus speed
||ATI Mobility Radeon 7500
32 MB DDR 4x AGP
|ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 16MB or 32MB 2x AGP
||15.2" TFT Active Matrix
||12.1" or 14.1" flat panel
||S-video & DVI-I connector (with VGA adapter)
|Hard disk drive
||40GB Ultra ATA/66
|20 or 30 GB Ultra ATA (40GB BTO)
||CD-ROM or Combination drive
|| 768 MB
"Real World" Tests
The tests below are from our suite of real world application
tests. These tests feature a diverse selection of applications
commonly used by the Mac community. The test suite was designed
to render an accurate and well rounded picture of a machine's
performance. All of the tests below, except for the game tests,
were timed with a stopwatch. The times were then converted
to percentages, relative to the new G3/700 iBook, which is
set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better.
The copy folder test not only stresses drive
performance but also takes advantage of faster processing
capability & caching schemes. The PowerBook has
a MB of DDR L3 cache running at 1/4 of the processor speed,
which we believe is the prime factor for its disproportionately
The test above creates and destroys 1,000 windows.
See the Let1kWindowsBloom
site for more info. Again we believe that the cache is
a factor here for the PowerBook, and perhaps the graphics
subsystem as well. All three machines have the same graphics
card (the 700 MHz iBook only has 16 MB of graphics memory,
rather than 32). But the graphics card is in a 4X AGP in the
PowerBook but only a 2X AGP slot on the iBooks
Large document is scrolled from one end to the
other using Classic OS 9 when booted in OS 10. This test gauges
on-screen graphics performance
Large Document & Database
(series of complex actions) was run in Microsoft's Word program.
Word is part of Office
Number Crunching & Rendering Tests
A Ripple Effect
is applied to an iMovie. Apple is doing a good job of
getting all of its applications up to speed to take advantage
of the G4 Processor ... such as that in the PowerBook
program has been highly tuned to take advantage of the G4
and is precisely the type of work that the G4 was made for.
It will also gobble up whatever processing capability is present.
This is a good test for assessing the fundamental processing
potential of each machine. Really highlights the processing
advantage of the G4 processor for programs that can be coded
to take advantage of it.
File is run through a series of Photoshop
7 filters that, for the most part, do not take specific advantage
of the G4.
encode compresses a QuickTime movie for streaming on the Web.
Again an Apple application tuned for the G4
movies to DV allows you to import them into iMovie
CD-ROM drive speed and CPU processing power
are the factors influencing the scores above. G4 wins again
MP3 Encode, AppleWorks search & replace
and folder copy are all carried out at the same time
is tuned to take advantage of the processor as well as the
graphics system. Again we think that the iBooks are being
hurt because the graphics card is in a 2X AGP slot. The iBooks
turned in about 15 frames per second and the PowerBook about
Both the games above are very demanding on a computer's resources.
In the test above the iBooks turned in only 16 frames per
second. In high quality mode the game was not really playable
on the iBooks. The PowerBook turned in 34 frames per second