06/22/03 by rob-ART
PowerBooks and iBooks we've been able to test are
the ones at local dealers, which tend to be anemic
when it comes to memory configuration. In other
words, our memory hungry, real world tests won't
So we continue to
post these Xbench
results to give you some flavor of how they
compare. If you want to see real world test
results, check out the RELATED LINKS near the
bottom of this page.
When you compare
performance of the 1GHz 17" to the 1GHz 15"
PowerBook using Xbench, the main difference is the
memory speed. The 17" has the newer technology
Double Data Rate (DDR) memory bus. But until Apple
introduces the update of the 15" PowerBook with
features like FireWire 800, AirPort Extreme,
improved AirPort antenna placement, aluminum case,
and "glow in the dark" keyboard, the 17" has to be
considered the superior machine.
Many of you have
written asking about how the fastest 12" iBook
compares to the 12" PowerBook. Based on Xbench
numbers, the 12" G4/867 PowerBook is clearly faster
than the 12" G3/800 iBook. In the real world, the
PowerBook will also shine on AltiVec aware apps
like iMovie, iTunes, QuickTime encoding, Final Cut
Pro, and Photoshop. What about the newest iBook
with a 900MHz G3? It will be added to the charts
above later this week. But I can tell you right
now, based on MacSpeedZone
tests, the 12" PowerBook beats on AltiVec aware
apps while the iBook G3/900 excels on non-AltiVec
Some of you have
asked me to comment on whether an older,
refurbished or used 15" G4/800 PowerBook would be a
better choice than a new 12" PowerBook. The Xbench
shows the G4/800 PowerBook to be stronger in memory
and graphics over the 12" G4/867 PowerBook. Ditto
for the 15" G4/867 PowerBook. Add the bigger screen
and larger memory capacity -- the 15" PowerBook is
the clear choice.
I didn't post the
OpenGL test results because I doubt its validity.
The creator of Xbench should have more than one
OpenGL function to truly test that part of the
graphics. FYI, in OpenGL
run by other sources, the Radeon 9000 Mobility used
in the 15" PowerBook was fastest.
As for the hard
drive test, it uses very small block sizes which I
doubt tell you anything. For drive speeds, you're
better off referring to BARE
FEATS' tests on 2.5 inch
If you are planning to upgrade the iBook's hard
drive, good luck. It's very difficult. You have to
completely disassemble it. The instructions for the
show it to be more doable.
The Titanium G4
PowerBook drive upgrade is not too hard but I
suggest you download the PDF document linked on the
memory upgrade page on TransIntl.com
or read MacNut's
WITH REAL WORLD TEST RESULTS
has an exhaustive collection of real world tests
comparing various iBook and PowerBook models. Note
how well the iBook G3/900 does compared to the 12"
PowerBook G4/867 when running NON-AltiVec
2. MacWorld has
posted some real
world test results for the 17"
versus 15" PowerBook versus 12" PowerBook. The 17"
edges out the 15".
did a review of the 17"
where they compare it to the 15" PowerBook. They
found very little difference in
4. By the way, if
you are trying to decide between an iBook, 12"
PowerBook and used/refurb 15" PowerBook, MacWorld
has that comparison
just for you. My advice: get the used or
refurbished 15" in either 867 or 1000MHz
did a comparison of the Radeon 9000 Mobility (used
in the 15" PowerBook) versus the GeForce4 MX Go
(used in the 17" PowerBook). All things being
equal, the Radeon is faster.