The areas where the PowerBook pulls ahead of
the faster clocked iBook fall in to three categories;
On-Screen and gaming graphics performance
In multimedia applications that have been tuned for the
Work in large documents
This is explained by the PowerBook's faster graphics card,
G4 processor and the fact that the PowerBook has a level 3
cache, and the iBook does not.
From a purely performance perspective does it make sense
to choose the PowerBook over the iBook? If you work often
with applications that take advantage of the G4 processor
it's a no-brainer ... pick the PowerBook. It will pay for
itself in time saved.
If your processing requirements are more modest, and you
use your portable for light duty when on the road, from a
performance perspective the iBook will be enough for you.
The PowerBook though, because of its better graphics performance,
will seem snappier and more responsive than the iBook ...
even when doing more casual chores.
Beyond the performance question, the PowerBook is much more
feature rich than the iBook. At a $700 premium it is well
worth the price, and will hold up its value better when you
are in a position to let it go, and upgrade to something new.
Difference and similarities in processor,
and memory & graphics systems of each machine
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 PowerBook G4/667, which is set to 100%. For all scores,
higher numbers are better.
The slightly faster iBook processor appears
to trump the PowerBook above
The PowerBook's better graphics card stomps
all over the iBook in this on screen graphics test. Let
1K Windows Bloom is a simple carbon application that
opens and closes 1,000 windows.
Large document is scrolled from one end to
the other using Classic OS 9.2.2 when booted in OS 10. Test
shows the performance of on-screen graphics
Large Document & Database Type Tests
(series of complex actions) was run in Microsoft's Word
program, which is part of Office
A Macro (series of complex actions) was
run in Microsoft's Excel program, which is part of Office
Stresses the processing & memory systems
of the machine. This test takes place in a large AppleWorks
document. The fact that the PowerBook has a L3 cache and
the iBook does not helps the PowerBook here
A Ripple Effect
is applied to an iMovie. Another test that responds well
to the PowerBook's G4 processor
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 power of each machine
encode compresses a QuickTime movie for streaming on the
movies to DV allows you to import them into iMovie
Multitasking - some of the tests
below take special advantage of the PowerBook's G4 processor
An MP3 encode, Search & Replace in AppleWorks
and Folder Copy are all carried out at the same time
A Sorenson encode and fractal render are
performed at the same time
A QuickTime DV conversion and MP3 encode
are carried out at the same time
Aside from the graphics card, Giants
is also tuned to take advantage of the processor as well.
Indeed, when run on a dual processor machine, you will see
ahead of the same game running on a single processor
machine. Frame rates here are 13.3 for the iBook and 25.8
for the PowerBook.
To see the performance of these machines
compared to many others click
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