Will The NewerTech G3/466 Upgrade Make A PowerBook Wallstreet Run Like A Pismo?

A PowerBook G3/233 Wallstreet with a Newer Technology MAXpowr G3-PB.
First Posted 9/8/2000;
Article by Rob-Art Morgan






Whoops! Things were going good until THIS:


If I had a Wallstreet that I used for word-processing, spreadsheets, internet, and stuff like that there, this $600 upgrade is well worth the price. I know this lady who paid $1600 for a store demo G3/233 Wallstreet back in 1999. With this upgrade, she's only out $2200 total. That's a $1300 less than the price of a new PowerBook Pismo G3/500 at the Apple Online Store.

However, if you play 3D games or do "walk throughs" with architectural models, you're going to want the newest, baddest PowerBook with a RAGE 128 Mobility graphics chip. (In fact, I hope Apple comes out with a Radeon based model in the near future.)

Other Thoughts

There's really no way to accelerate the graphics of an older PowerBook. iXmicro tried with the $300 RoadRocket but with only 4MB of SGRAM, it wasn't really designed to accelerate games like Unreal and Quake. I assume iXmicro is defunct since their site no longer exists.

When deciding whether to upgrade or sell & buy new, there's more than speed to consider. The newest PowerBooks come with FireWire and USB built-in. You can buy CardBus addons for older PowerBooks that do FireWire and USB, but they never work quite as well as built-in. For example, I have a PowerBook Wallstreet and the Newer Tech FireWire2Go card. However, when I hooked up a VST "pocket size portable" FireWire drive, it didn't supply enough power for the drive. So I had to purchase a special A/C adapter for the drive... which defeated the purpose. When I connected it to the new PowerBooks, their built-in FireWire supplied enough power to the drive that it didn't need the A/C adapter.


Where to Buy

The MAXpowr G3-PB G3/466 is available direct from the Newer Online Store or from Small Dog or MacGurus.

Test Configurations & Procedures

  • Test Systems: PowerBook G3/233 with 192MB of RAM (Virtual Memory OFF). PowerBook G3/500 with 128MB of RAM (Virtual Memory ON.) Mac OS was 9.0.4.
  • Adobe Photoshop 5.5 was given 90MB of application size. The test file was a 18 MB Photoshop photo. The FOUR Photoshop effects were timed using Photoshop's built-in timer. The effects included:
    1. ROTATE Clock Wise at 30 degrees.
    2. GAUSSIAN BLUR at 30 pixels
    3. RENDER LIGHTINGEFFECTS - flashlight, default settings
    4. MOTION BLUR (30 pixels at 30 degrees)
  • Apple iMovie 1.02 is a FREE download from Apple Computer's web site. I used the "render titles" function as a test since it's so CPU intensive. I created a two line title ("My Great Movie by rob ART mog") using default settings. Then dropped it in the "story line." I used a stopwatch to time how long it took to render 122 frames. (iMovie 2 is now available but the same test isn't quite comparable since it uses 188 frames to render the same title. However, when you do the math, they both render the same number of frames per second.)
  • Casady & Greene's SoundJam MP Plus 2.5.1 was used to convert a 2.5 minute music selection into MP3 using default settings. Using a stop watch, I timed it to the nearest tenth of a second.
  • Microsoft Word 98 (included with Office 98 or purchased separately) was used for two word-processing power tests: Find & Replace: Find all occurrences of "dogs" and change to "cats." There were a total of 21,621 occurrences. Spell Check: There was one misspelled word in the entire document. It was the last word which was changed from "dogs" to "doogz."
  • Corel Bryce 4.0 3D rendering was used to test a combination of CPU and FPU speed. I use a document I call "Rock Island," a crude creation of mine.
  • Id Software's Quake III Arena (Demo) settings were "demo defaults" at 640 x 480. HOW TO RUN THE TEST: When the main screen appears, I press "~" and enter "timedemo 1" (return) and "~" once more. Then I click on DEMOS and run Demo1. Once it finishes and returns to the main screen, I press "~" once more to get the frames per second readout.



CompUSA Honolulu for letting me test their G3/500 PowerBook "Pismo."

SmartDisk/VST for the use a 3GB portable FireWire drive which holds all my test applications and documents.

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© 2000 Rob Art Morgan, publisher of BARE FEATS