iBook G4 performance differences?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Bloodstar, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #1
    So, I've decided to give an iBook a shot - mostly to see if I'll really be as productive with OS X as I am under my usual Linux environment on my netbook, or if I should just go for a Hackintosh/Mini when the need for an Intel machine comes.

    However, here, I've hit an impasse: I can grab up a model right now (which is weaker, and has a larger screen, at $150) or I can wait a couple of weeks (to grab a more powerful one online, and 12-in... but for a chunk more, at $210.). The difference being... one is in a store, and one I can buy online.

    The $150 model's specs: 1.07ghz G4 (but of course), Radeon 9200 (which is what is REALLY making me cringe at this one - the 9200 sucks badly, doesn't it?), 1.25GB of RAM (the only area which it's more powerful in).

    The $210 model's specs: 1.33ghz G4 (does the extra .26ghz matter too much, really, out of curiosity?), Radeon 9550 (Core Image support, yum), and 512MB of RAM (which I plan to upgrade to 768MB - at least until I grab a 512MB or 1GB stick...).

    I'm not quite sure just how much the 2005 model will outperform the 2004 model, though - I'm actually guessing a fair bit, thanks to CI support, though...

    I may also have the price wrong and the first might be $199, in which case it's not a hard decision at all which one to go for.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Rodus

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
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    #2
    If you are planning on running Leopard then get the higher spec machine, faster cpu and CI support make all the difference.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #3
    Just like I was thinking, then - thanks! I do plan to run Leopard on mine.

    Leads me to another question, though: Aside from a larger screen, do the 12 and 14 inch models have any other differences? I know the resolution stays the same (a super cheap-out move, in my opinion... the 14 should at least be 1152x864!), at least...
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

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    #4
    Go for the 1.33 model It will make a huge difference.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    #5
    For the extra $60 the higher end model is well worth it. You can easily upgrade the ram on the 1.33ghz model to make it equal in that aspect.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
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    #6
    i also vote for the 1.33, as it's better in every way.

    the res is the same as noted, but i've been fixing/supporting these things for years, and have had lots more of the 14" systems fail. i think it's due to more flex, but the later systems were more stable and had less problems. your mileage may vary.

    max the ram, use a 5400rpm drive for best system/battery performace, and run 10.4 unless there is some reason you need 10.5.

    it's a netbook, 5 years before they invented the term. best of luck.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #7
    What are the HDs that typically come in iBooks from 2005? The one I'm eyeing has a 40GB drive (ruled out the 2004 iBook entirely, though I'd already planned for the 2005 one), but... it doesn't mention the RPM. I'm hoping for 5400, since... getting into the iBook to change the hard disk really looks like a big pain.

    Does Tiger really perform much differently on these than Leopard? I know offhand that one of the apps I regularly use (Echofon) asks for Leopard, and I'm pretty sure there are others. If the performance boost is that noticeable (keep in mind, I've never used a single-processor Mac), though, I may give 10.4 a shot.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #8
    In my opinion, only run Leopard if it has a fast 5400/7200 rpm drive and at least 1 GB of RAM. Leopard is pretty sluggish on my iBook G4 1.33 GHz with it's stock 40GB 4200 rpm drive and 768 MB RAM.

    I run Tiger on it at the moment (which runs a noticably faster even with the old slow hard drive) because I don't really use apps that require Leopard. But if I wanted to run Leopard, the first thing I would do is upgrade the hard disk to a 5400/7200 rpm model and the RAM to 1.5 GB.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #9
    1.33 is the way to go for sure. The extra 60 gets you a lot more in the end and the faster CPU and CI capable GPU will go further into the future for you while also making the user experience better.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

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    #10
    I have the 1.33 ghz model that you stated and I say that you should go with this one. With core image and a faster processor, leopard flys on the machine. Wait it out, and get the better model. :apple:
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    PurrBall

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    Oct 25, 2007
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    #11
    I have the 1.33 model and Leopard isn't great on it. I run Tiger most of the time as it runs really well on this model.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    How much RAM is in it, though? That may make a big difference.

    ...Seeing as I'd have to buy a 1GB module, I'll likely stick to Tiger for a bit, unless 768MB is decent enough.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #13
    Don't base your choice on one users experience. A 1.33GHz G4 and a Core Image GPU provide enough power for 10.5. Anyone who isn't getting decent performance with 10.5 on that hardware is obviously doing something wrong. Too many people blame technology for it's issues when it's actually the user themselves thats to blame. People rarely seem to have good computer prowess and need a machine 4x more powerful than your average true geek because they don't know how to help the computer perform better by their own use.

    I have run 10.5 on 1GB and it performed decently. 768MB should be fine as long as you never run more than maybe 3 light weight apps or one heavy weight app.

    Personally if I have the same 1.33GHz iBook I wouldn't even think of running 10.4 as it is 6 years old now and has not had a security update in almost 4 years. 10.5 on the other hand is only 3 years old and just received a security update a couple weeks back.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    PurrBall

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    #14
    It has 1 GB. It's not useless with Leopard by any means, but my being used to a fairly fast Intel Mac and love for Tiger may affect my opinion as well :D
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
    #15
    I'm picking up a 12" 1.33 tomorrow for my partner. She was a technophobe up until a year ago when I introduced her to the iPod touch. Since then, she picked up an iPhone 4 on her own and has integrated it nicely into her life.

    So now it's time for the next step. All it is going to be used for is iTunes, iPhoto, word processing and internet. I already have a bigger drive for it and a 1 gig SO-DIMM (PC2700). She won't need to do any "heavy lifting" and IF she ever needed to, she could access one of my machines. Is there anything this machine might hold her back on?
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #16
    Just got my iBook today - it is, indeed, the 1.33ghz model.

    I haven't installed Leopard on it yet, having only had an hour before heading out when getting it and installing the 256MB module I had... but I'm liking the machine so far! Feels much more usable than my netbook did, possibly in part due to the fact that it uses a normal screen resolution.

    I'll be installing Leopard (and thanks to the small HD, removing Tiger) later tonight if I get around to it. 768MB feels plenty usable, much like I expected.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #17
    I'm using one with 768 MB RAM right now and that works fine, as long as you don't open 5 heavy apps at the same time. ;)

    In Tiger I have (with Adium, Safari and Mail running) 526 MB of free and inactive RAM available. In Leopard it was something like 400 if I recall correctly so RAM will not be a major issue I guess. Have fun with the machine, please let us know how Leopard works out for you. :)
     
  18. macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    Very nice! It's kind of funny that I had that exact model of iBook G4 when I created my account here :)
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
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    Your girlfriends place
    #19
    I used to have one back in the day too.

    I picked up a 12" 1.33 a few days back for my partner to learn OS X. She's been glued to it. :D

    It runs Leopard well with 1 gig of ram but the hard drive speed is a major clamp. Other than having to run flash video's at 240 for smooth playback, it's taken everything well.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #20
    I just installed Leopard on the iBook, running on 768MB of RAM.

    I'll say it right now: I'm happy with this machine. The right speaker blew out within TWO HOURS, but fortunately I was able to grab up a set of portable speakers. (It's not like they're limited to the iBook, either, so I had no hesitation about this one!) Headphones work fine, too, which I'll likely be using a fair chunk of the time anyway.

    Compared to Tiger, things are a bit sluggish to start up on Leopard, but when you start talking about how the apps perform beyond that things are smooth. I'm not a massive multitasker (I run, say, X-Chat Aqua, Adium, TenFourFox, VLC, MacTubes, TextEdit for most apps at once... and I kill the last four when I want to run GarageBand), so I haven't had too many performance issues.

    I'm not sure whether I want to move up to 1 or 1.5GB of total RAM (Again, remember, DDR is expensive now), though. I definitely plan to upgrade beyond 768, though, if I find it restrictive at all.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #21
    Are you sure it's not a wrong balance setting? When I received my iBook I thought the right speaker of my iBook G4 didn't work at all, but after sliding the balance slider back to the middle it worked again. I have no idea at all how the slider moved to the left.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #22
    Nope, it's a completely dead speaker. I even recorded the noise it made while it was dying.

    I keep the balance centered, though - headphones and my external speakers, as I mentioned, work absolutely perfectly.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #23
    Save your money and wait until you can afford 1.5 GB. There isn't going to be a gigantic difference between 768MB and 1GB, and you'll want the other 500MB eventually, so just buy it the first time.
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #24
    I agree. Upgrade to the max when you can and it will be cheaper in the end as well as show more of a boost in performance.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    #25
    Oh, I absolutely didn't plan to go to 1GB then 1.5GB - not unless the 512MB module was pretty much dirt cheap, of course (we're talking $5 or under here)... was just wondering if the full 1.5 was large enough of a boost. (thinking back, over 768MB of course it would be, being twice the RAM.)

    I have noticed something odd about the keyboard, though, which is pretty much a non-issue since I don't use the keys too much... but the right Command key and the enter key beside it are a bit awkward to press on the bottom corners. I'm assuming the cable being right beneath them has something to do with it. This bit doesn't worry me, but I'm just trying to confirm whether it's an iBook thing in general or if it's just my particular machine.
     

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