BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

How Does The iBook 2001 Compare To The G4 Titanium PowerBook?

June 1st, 2001.
rob ART morgan, Bare Feats Mad Scientist

The original iBook looked like a toilet seat to me. But this 2001 model is very cool. It's several ounces lighter and half the cost of the 400MHz Titanium G4 PowerBook. But how does it perform?








When testing the iBook 2001 against Titanium G4 PowerBooks, I couldn't stop thinking about the price difference. Many of my readers are asking, "Is the iBook a better buy than the 400MHz version of the TiBook?" In terms of cost/performance ratio, I'd say, "YES!"

If you are a FireWire "Freak," the iBook is up to twice as fast as the Tibook.

I did add a $28 128MB memory upgrade to the base model iBook but that only brought the total cost to $1327. Compare that to the $2599 you'll pay for the cheapest TiBook.

But there are trade-offs. The 12 inch screen seems tiny compared to the 15 inch screen of the TiBook. And the G4 does run significantly faster for Photoshop and Final Cut Pro functions.

I included the Pismo G3/500 because there's some great deals on used and refurbished Pismos if you want a larger 14 inch screen. If you don't mind the bigger size and extra weight, the Pismo is equal or better in performance to the iBook 2001.

I also included the Wallstreet model of PowerBook with the PowerLogix BlueChip G3/500 upgrade. I came close to selling my upgraded Wallstreet to buy the iBook 2001 until I used the keyboard. The keyboard of the Wallstreet is far superior in feel to iBook 2001 (and any of the other models of PowerBook including the Lombard, Pismo and Titanium). The iBook's keyboard not only looked cheap and felt flimsy, but the keys kept coming off. I couldn't get the DELETE key to stay on. Bare Feats is about measured performance but a lousy keyboard can definitely slow you down.

I know, I know. I didn't include the iBook 2000 (466MHz) in the test. Just use your imagination to picture a laptop that's thicker, larger, heavier, and slower than the iBook 2001.

To help the Titanium seem worth the extra scratch, Apple should announce version 2 this July with the nVidia GeForce2 Go graphics chip (or Radeon Mobility), improved FireWire controller, and slot load DVD/CD-RW.



Bare Feats compares various models of Mac running a FireWire external drive. The iBook is twice as fast as the TiBook!

MacSpeedZone claims the Titanium G4/400 blows away the iBook 2001 G3/500. My figures above dispute that but go read their report anyway.

Bare Feats compares the iBook 466 with the PowerBook Pismo 400.

Bare Feats compares the G4 Titanium with two PowerBook upgrades.

MacWorld Labs compares the G4/500 Titanium with the G3/500 Pismo.

XLR8YourMac tests the G3/500 Pismo PowerBook.

XLR8YourMac tests the G3/500 BlueChip PowerBook CPU Upgrade.


When ordering products from Apple Store USA, please click THIS TEXT LINK or any Apple display ad as your "portal" to the online store. In so doing, you help to support Bare Feats. (DON'T LIVE in the USA? See links for Apple online stores in other countries.)

Small Dog Electronics offers new and refurbished iBooks and PowerBooks.

MacGurus, Other World Computing (OWC), and Small Dog Electronics are selling the BlueChip G4/500 upgrade for Wallstreet and Lombard.

Trans Intl has newest, fastest IBM TravelStar 32GH (32GB 5411 rpm) 2.5 inch drive. If that's too rich for your blood, try the 20GB TravelStar 4200rpm. It's almost as fast for a lot less.

Other World Computing and Small Dog Electronics have heavily discounted upgrades from Newer Technology (rest in peace).


Test machines included the G3/233 Wallstreet PowerBook (with G3/500 upgrade*), G3/500 Pismo PowerBook, G3/500 iBook 2001, a G400 Titanium PowerBook, and a G4/500 Titanium PowerBook. Each laptop had between 192 to 256MB of RAM.

(* PowerLogix BlueChip G3/500 with 1MB L2 cache was installed in the PowerBook Wallstreet G3/233 along with an optional 20GB TravelStar 4200rpm courtesy of Trans Intl. )

© 1995-2007 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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