How fast is a G3 800MHz iBook and 867 MHz Powerbook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by CmdrLaForge, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world

    I"m interested in switching from PC to MAC.

    What would be interesting for me is how fast is a G3 800MHz iBook and how fast a G4 867MHz Powerbook in comparison to each other and a PC ?

    Is it worth buying the Powerbook ?

  2. giovanni macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2002
  3. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    although giovanni really spelled it out quite clearly, I will attempt to add to his overwhelming explanantion.
    First off, I own an 800mhz iBook w/384 mb RAM and its qutie quick for my needs. Mail.App and ichat open in two bounces and safari in just one. I use photoshop elements for very light thigns and i have no problems it runs faster than PS7 on my 1.6ghz Maxed out PC actually.

    Differences to consider
    The Powerbook has an Altivec (enhanced) G4 processor, which is much more current than the G3 in the iBook. Which will makei t last longer and faster in almost everything but these differences are quite marginal. I mean if your doing serious apps like pS or FCP then you may need the faster machine or a pmac desktop. On the other hand the iBook handles everything i've done so far well. Most people are going to reply that the powerbook is worth the extra $$$ and i disagree. The bottom line shoudl probably come down to what other featuires your looking at such as the superdrive because you cannot get one in an iBook and might not be able to in the near future. Also thingsl iek bluetooth and airport extreme should be carefully looked at. The potential ram is the same so thats how ever much u want to add but the 12in pbook has DDR. So overall your decision shoudl probably look at other features you want and price range instead of the slight differences in clock speed and the version of the chip.
  4. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2003
    VA, USA
    My wife has an 800 Mhz iBook and I have the 12" Powerbook. The price difference is $500. Both are maxed out with RAM at 640 and both have a 30GB Harddrive, decent video with 32MB RAM, and combo drives. So $500 buys you:

    1. More power - G4. I used the iBook daily from November through the end of January. Switching to the 12" Powerbook I saw a significant increase in usability. Word scrolls faster, Virtual PC works better, iPhoto works better with ~800 MB library, finder is faster, etc.
    2. DDR RAM - goes into above. I really think this provides significant improvement.
    3. Much better keyboard that does not leave marks on the LCD when closed.
    4. Slot-loading combo drive that does not easily come out when traveling. I always had a problem with my 600/800 Mhz iBooks that the tray unlatched itself when traveling. I would pull it out of my bag at the airport to get X-rayed and if I grabbed the iBook by the CD tray it would pull out.
    5. Airport Extreme. This make a huge difference when moving large files around from my file server (iMac tethered to Linksys B/G wireless router). This is a huge time saver. I keep my photo library synched with my iMac so I some siginificant data traffic. I also store all my downloads on the iMac and synch my work folder.
    6. A really kick-a** looking notebook. It just feels rugged and looks great.
    7. Better video out options (VGA, S-Video, and RCA compared to VGA and RCA) and audio in port.
    8. Bluetooth built-in. I plan on buying an Erickson T68i to maximize this advantage.

    That is it off the top of my head. I was looking for these capabilities in this form factor. I loved the 12" iBook, it just did not have enough of what I needed. The Virtual PC improvements alone were huge for me. I must use Virtual PC for W2K VPN as well as Red Hat 7.2 for test cases I was writing.
  5. Athos macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2003
    The iBook TV adaptor has S-Video too, but you have to buy it separately.

    CmdrLaForge, I was in the same position as you: I decided to save my money (to buy a PowerMac 970 next year) and bought an iBook 800MHz with 640MB RAM, an AirPort card and the TV adaptor. For my needs, the iBook was the best solution (database and web development).

    Also, the iBook can be hack (really easy) to support monitor spanning like the PowerBook 12".

    But, if you really want to do heavy picture editing in Photoshop or use Final Cut Pro to its fullest, go for a Powerbook G4 with 1MB L3 cache (the 12" don't, only the 15" and 17" have L3).
  6. giovanni macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2002
    you are the sweetest guy - thank you for making up for my occasional nastyness :)

  7. KingArthur macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    Marion, Ohio
    Sadly, Virtual PC doesn't take advantage of the Video card or much of the AltiVec enhancements (if any other than moving the window around). With Microsoft's aquisition of Virtual PC, who knows what we can expect next. I would bet that the majority of improvements you see with Virtual PC are due to DDR RAM for faster retrieval of the many instructions and data necessary in such an intensive emulation. DDR memory will definately help in running more applications simultaneously.
  8. timbloom macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2002
  9. markomarko macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2002
    Edmonton, Alberta
    ignore that barefeats link

    Go directly to the database for that single benchmark instead. The barefeats guy is a little fussy and sometimes his findings are tainted because of it.

    here's the link:
  10. macphoria macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2002
    Here is simple answer.

    Let me make it simple for you.

    For majority of things you'll do on your computer, 800Mhz G3 iBook and 867Mhz G4 12 inch PowerBook are about the same (if you consider the cost difference, some advantages that PowerBook has become negligible). HOWEVER, if you start getting into VIDEO work, PowerBook is MUCH MUCH better.

    Bottomline is, if you are going to do video work, go with PowerBook. If not, go with iBook.

    Here is a link to see performance comparison if you are interested.
  11. CmdrLaForge thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    Re: Here is simple answer.


    thanxx to all of you and thanks macphoria. I think thats the point. Videowork or not.

    I'm not doing any videowork at the moment, but I will in one year or so.

    So .... maybe the powerbook is the best choice.

  12. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    A comparison

    FWIW, I've been thinking about the laptop issue for awhile, mulling things over (and perhaps subconciously waiting for a new 15" design :)

    In any event, here's a cut-n-paste from an Excel spreadsheet that I've been working on. Unfortunately, I don't have the time this AM to go into all of the details, so I will probalby leave some people hanging. I expect that you can probably copy/paste this back into Excel to get nice columns to play with it yourself, etc.

    Here goes...

    Ave/Var XBench Score Processor Performance Index (P.I.) Description sample size Base $ Loaded $ Cost/P.I. Cost Delta Cost +% Value Index

    Average: 83.8 PowerPC G4 @ 1.00 GHz 97% 15" TiBook $2,631 $2,701.06 $236 110% 108%
    Std Dev: 7.8 PowerPC G4 @ 1.00 GHz 97% 382 $2,959 $3,037.79 $564 124% 96%

    Average 75.9 PowerPC G4 @ 867 MHz 88% 15" TiBook $2,349 $2,661.89 -$46 98% 109%
    Std Dev 5.2 PowerPC G4 @ 867 MHz 88% 342 $2,892 $3,277.22 $497 121% 89%

    Average 86.1 PowerPC G4 @ 1.00 GHz 100% 17" AlBook $3,101 $3,101.00 $706 129% 94%
    Std Dev 4.1 PowerPC G4 @ 1.00 GHz 100% 3 $3,335 $3,335.00 $940 139% 87%

    Average 70.8 PowerPC G4 @ 867 MHz 82% 12" AlBook $1,880 $2,284.61 -$515 78% 127%
    Std Dev 5.4 PowerPC G4 @ 867 MHz 82% 179 $2,395 $2,910.45 $0 100% 100%


    Okay, a quick rundown on formulas:

    XBench Scores: the average & Standard deviation for each system, from the XBench website data.

    Performance Index (PI): Simply the average from whichever system, divided by the score from the best system (17" AlBook). For example, the 12" AlBook = 82%.

    Description/Sample Size: what the system is, and how many datapoints were available in XBench's database (Note: partial and invalid scores were deleted from the analysis). Be careful here, because the description text is much longer than the sample size value, and because of the lousy formatting here, the Dollar values that follow afterwords will look skewed.

    Base $/Loaded $: My minimum buy-in cost, and how much I think I'd probably want to spend. All systems include a Superdrive within the base price. The loaded price adds more RAM, Max HD, and an Airport system. Prices are from Apple's website, under the Government Employee discount section (saves a bit more than hundred bucks or so).

    Cost/P.I.: Above cost divided by the system's Performance Index. Because the 17" AlBook is the PI=1.00, these numbers are unchanged. The rest increase.

    Cost Delta: The system's cost, divided by my "Loaded 12" price, expressed in dollars

    Cost +%: As above, expressed as a percentage.

    Value Index: the metric I'm having the most trouble with finding a good expression for. What I've listed here is:

    V.I. =(System Performance Index)/(12"PI) * (System Price)/(Loaded 12")

    There's a lot of holes in this, so I'm not sure if this helps or not, but it is kind of helping me mull over if I want to go with a loaded 12" or pick up a surplus 15". It kind of infers that I'd go for a 15" if the price was around $300 lower....

  13. CmdrLaForge thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    Re: A comparison


    thank you - that helped me --> I was doing something similar but not so detailed.

  14. ThoughtKriminal macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2003
    ive never had a mac laptop, but i can tell you that new macs are definatly fast and up to speed with PCs as far as im conserned.

    ive been a sole pc user for like 7 years until i recently got my new imac 1ghz with like 760 some ram.. i know 1 ghz doesnt sound fast, but this thing burns rubber.

    i can play warcraftIII at 1440Xwhatever resoultion, 32 bit color. all textures, animations, effects, and lighting on the highest possible settings. it looks beautiful and i dont get even get the slightest hardware hangs with 100+ units and buildings in combat. belive it or not, i can even run it in window and chat or surf the web without my machine showing any real strain.

    New macs are really fast, however i belive the g3 is a really old processor.. even if the clockspeed is reved up as high as it will go, it probably wont perform close to as well as the g4. Personally i would go with the powerbook, but if you dont have the cash to spend on it grab an ibook instead of a pc laptop. you wont regret it.
  15. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003
    I'm typing this on an 800mhz iBook with 256 of ram that I just picked up for 1250 (with a 10 gig ipod and airport installed)...the laptop, even with 256 of ram is very fast...iphoto, imovie itunes, everything runs without a hitch....Nice companion to my new 1Ghz iMac....

    in less than 2 months i've got 2 new macs... my first mac's....Apple rules

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