BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

Is The "Revision B" Titanium PowerBook G4 Really Improved? And how does it compare to the 600MHz iBook?

October 29, 2001.
Updated on October 30th with FileMaker Pro, Bryce and Cinema 4D graphs.
Updated on November 5th with iBook G3/600 results.
Updated on November 13th with full Titanium G4/667 PowerBook results.
Updated November 24th with "one on one" Final Cut Pro shootout between the fastest iBook and fastest TiBook.
by
rob ART morgan, Bare Feats Mad Scientist

HOT FLASH: As of 1/7/02, Apple is offering a model of the iBook with a 14" screen. But the performance is the same as the 12" results listed below.

I've been campaigning since January for a better graphics chip in for the Titanium PowerBook G4. And I've been complaining since July about the FireWire speed deficiency. Check out these first four graphs to see for yourself if Apple succeeded in improving an already awesome laptop:

 

 

(The above graph uses what I call "max" settings. It is the "High Quality" System Settings with textures and geometric detail controls pushed to the maximum.) If you are a gamer, the new Titaniums will not disappoint... unless you are playing next to a Power Mac Dual G4 running OS X.

 

(The above graph is the "fastest" System Setting but with color depth at 32 bit.) At low rez, the CPU is doing most of the work. This new version of Quake 3 appears to be G4 "aware."

 

(The same Granite Digital "911" FireWire case with the same IBM 60gxp and same drivers was tested on four listed laptops. When I read the technical specs in the developer notes, I don't see anything Apple changed on Rev B. So the "why" of the rev A deficiency remains a mystery.) 

 

KEY IMPROVEMENTS

The four graphs above illustrate two key performance improvements offered in the "rev B" Titanium PowerBook G4: Graphics and FireWire.

Like I said in January, "The Rev A TiBook may have 'this year's' metal but it has 'last year's' graphics chip." I felt it should have had the Radeon Mobility or the GeForce2 Go chip from the beginning. At the very least, it should have had 16MB of video memory. The addition of the Radeon in this new revision was enough to compel me to run out and buy a new Tibook.

In July, while testing the iBook 2001, I was shocked to note that it was almost twice as fast as the TiBook when running a 3.5 inch "Oxford 911" FireWire drive. Even the iMac DV was faster. I posted my findings here on Bare Feats. This time I held my breath as I tested the new "rev B." What a rush to see it running just as fast as the iBook and all the others. (Whew! Yay! Err. Ugh. My condolences to all the owners of Rev A.)

If that isn't enough to excite you, Apple has given the Rev B Gigabit Ethernet. Readers are reporting to me that they are getting blazing network speed with the Gigabit Ethernet even without a Gigabit switch, without AppleShare IP, and without an OS X Server. The only requirement is that one of the Mac's be running OS X.1 and the other be running either OS X.1 or OS 9.2. (Note that they were using a direct cable with no 100BaseT switch or hub in between.)

 

CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO for iTunes, AppleWorks, and Photoshop results.

GO TO PAGE THREE for FileMaker, Bryce, Cinema 4D.

Or jump to PAGE FOUR to see a PHOTOSHOP & FINAL CUT PRO "one on one" between the fastest iBook and fastest TiBook, along with CONCLUSIONS.

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