G4 1.67GHz Powerbook 17"

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by CooperBox, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #1
    Could someone please advise me on how hot this G4 Powerbook A1139 model runs. i.e. is it reasonably comfortable on the lap, or rather a case of 'hot chestnuts roasting etc'........
    I'm asking as I've seen a very clean one priced 'just right', but as the seller is not local, I wouldn't be able to test it regarding heat transfer prior to purchase.
    I have a 667MHz G4 TiBook now performing beautifully since installing TenFourFox with the recommended tweaks, but it gets pretty damn warm on the lap. Must confess I've yet to re-apply thermal paste to the heatsink which may help some. But I would have thought there must be some significant difference in heat transfer between the 667MHz G4 and 1.67GHz. Or do the (improved?) changes to the fan configuration make the A1139 a reasonably comfortable 'usable' laptop?
    I would also be interested to know how does this 17" 1.67GHz model compare to the 17" 1.5GHz?
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    I have both the A1138(two of them actually) and the A1139.

    First of all, I have "issues" with actually using the A1139 on my lap, as I find it a bit unwieldy.

    With that said, none of these run particularly hot. In my experience, they are a bit cooler than the MBPs that replaced them. One really nice feature that's absent from the MBP is a pair of vents at the edge of the side that seem to me to move air better than the hinge vent of the MBP.

    I don't think you'd find them uncomfortable from a heat perspective. My 15" 2012 gets a lot hotter.

    As far as performance-these are among the "peppiest" PPC computers I have used and I think you will see a big difference going from your 1.5ghz to the A1139. The faster system bus(including the changeover to DDR2 RAM) is what I think really makes a difference.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    They get warm. Fans kick in around 140º or so. For some people this is too hot on bare legs or through pants. For me, I'm used to it so it's not a big deal.

    I will however, run my 17 on a flat surface if I know I am going to be pushing the CPU for awhile.

    The fact that the range of operation tends to be around 120-148º was what scared the crap out of me when I saw my MBP pushing high-160s.
     
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #4
    Totally agree on that - even though the specs are the same as the 15" 1.67, it feels much faster and the hi-res screen is beautiful.
     
  5. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #5
    It will absolutely give you fifth degree burns. Yeah, that bad. It's best to send that laptop to me so I get burned instead of you.

    (FAKE MOD EDIT: Dangit, not again. *drags Cow to timeout*)
     
  6. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #6
    The 1139 isn't too bad for heat. I don't much care for mine though. I was very excited to get it, but I really find it slower to use than my 1.5GHz 12" PowerBook. I actually prefer my 1GHz TiBook to the 17" High Res 1.67. Maybe mine is just a dud, but real world performance is actually pretty bad IMO.
     
  7. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #7
    Thanks for all the replies. That's just the sort of heads-up I needed before making a decision.
    Will advise how things turn out.
     
  8. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #8
    That's interesting - I've often suspected that some same spec Macs are not created equal. I remember my first 1.67Ghz 15" was a let down - I can only assume there's a massive variation in the performance of the components - which is a little hard to believe given the asking price of these machine back then.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #9
    The TiBooks came with L3 cache. The AlBooks do not have that. Combine with a stock 5400rpm drive and this may be why you see this difference.

    Getting a drive (or SSD) with at least an 8MB cache (if 5400rpm) or a faster drive will help. There isn't anything you can do about the CPU cache however.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 18, 2016 ---
    See my respons above.
     
  10. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #10
    I wonder what the L3 cache adds in real world terms to make such a difference?
    I'd be interested to see a comparision between the Titanium 1Ghz and the Al 1Ghz 17", which was the only one of it's type to keep L3 cache.
     
  11. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #11
    Yes the 1MB of L3 cache is a major game changer. its a shame that feature disappeared from the G4 chips. Like I said, I even found my 1.5 12" PowerBook to be a much better experience, and it lacks the L3 cache as well. My guess is my HDD is the culprit. There is nothing "wrong" with it, I just don't think it is a good drive. SSD? Not for this old POS lol.
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #12
    Well, it's what makes my son's TiBook with 1GB ram run Leopard like it's a Albook with 2GB ram. That's the only real world example I can give you as it's the only comparison I have. His Mac is a rocket.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 18, 2016 ---
    Yeah, if it's got a 5400rpm drive you can tell.

    My MBP has a 5400 drive and I can definitely tell. However, I'm ok with that because it has more capacity.
     
  13. val1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2015
    #13
    The Geekbench 2 results for these two machines are very close (556 for the Ti, 576 for the Al).
     
  14. bunnspecial, Feb 18, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #14
    Most of the Al series used 7447 CPUs. Motorola made a similar chip in this series-the 7457-that had an interface for L3, and I sort of wish that Apple had used it. The 7447 did at least double the L2 cache to 512K, up from the 256K of the 7455.

    As a side note, I have a Newertech upgrade for a G4 tower with a 2ghz 7448. Although the 7448 lacks L3 cache, it makes up for it some with 1mb of L2 cache. This CPU is really fast, especially for a single CPU G4.

    One final thing-the current generation Power8 chips can have up to 16mb of L3 per "chiplet" with each "chiplet" containing one core. Some versions of the Power8 even support L4 cache.
     
  15. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #15
    Damn! The seller of this 17" G4 1.67GHz model who's located way north of Paris (I'm down south) won't ship, and insists on a local 'cash only' sale. Back to square one I guess.
    But from what I've read here already, a 15" 1.5 or 1.67GHz could also be a good second choice. Must keep my eyes open. One of my problems tend to be that (unless gifted) the computers I like to buy must be almost 'like new' condition. They're out there, but just take longer to find.
     

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