New 12" iBook the same as the old 12" PB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Bhennies, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    Hi, is the new 12" iBook the same thing performance wise as the last model 12" Powerbook except for bluetooth and DVI output?
  2. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    I was thinking that, having just bought the 12in Powerbook before they were updated.

    Does anyone know if things like the data buses and other internals of the Powerbook is better than those of the iBook? Or vice versa? Not sure!

  3. Flickta macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2002
    Born in USSR
    64 Megs of video Ram. The only thing I miss in my 12-incher.

    That's a huge difference. That's amazing. (Comparing my 12 to 17 incher in games) Add 330 Mghz and you get a perfect machine... This Powerbook is not crippled anymore.
  4. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Of course no-one will be able to say for sure until the machines are actually released, but by the look of the specifications, the performance of the new 12" iBook should be very similar to the old generation 12" PowerBook. They both use the same 1GHz G4, on a 133MHz bus, with 512KB L2 cache, and connected to DDR266 RAM. So assuming they share a common motherboard design and/or system controller (likely), it would probably be fair to say that their CPU and memory performance will be very, very close, if not identical.

    Hard drive performance will be harder to pick. Apple uses a range of drives in its product families, often just based upon current availability. Both the iBook and the PowerBook use slower 4500rpm notebook hard drives, but specifications like buffer sizes and access times vary from model to model. The differences in hard drive speed aren't likely to be great anyway. I honestly can't comment on the optical drive speeds, because I only do a small amount of CD burning. It's just not important to me.'ll have to check that one out yourself.

    Graphics are a slightly different matter though. Here you have a 32MB nVidia GeForce FX5200 Go in the PowerBook versus a 32MB Radeon 9200 Mobility in the iBook. From what I've read, the Radeon is actually *faster* than the GeForce FX, so the iBook may be the winner in straight-out 3D performance. Of course video performance is highly dependent on the quality of the drivers being used, and I don't know if ATI or nVidia does a better job on Mac OS X. Maybe the hardware advantages of the Radeon are negated by poor drivers. Who knows...the Mac community does not perform the same kind of rigorous benchmark testing that the PC community does (which I find very frustrating sometimes...people seem to be content to just say "It *feels* faster!!". Total bull****). Anyways...on paper at least the iBook's Radeon should be the winner here.

    So in the key performance areas (CPU, memory, hard drive, graphics), the new iBook should be at least the equal of the old PowerBook, if not better in some areas.

    In terms of other features, the PowerBook has a few advantages over the iBook (including the ones you pointed out):

    - PowerBook has DVI out, iBook still only has VGA out
    - PowerBook has Bluetooth built in, iBook does not (although it is now a relatively inexpensive BTO option on the iBook)
    - PowerBook does display spanning, iBook requires an unofficial firmware hack to do more than display mirroring
    - PowerBook has an audio-in jack, iBook does not (important if you want to do GarageBand or music stuff. On the iBook you will need a USB audio-in adapter)
    - PowerBook is available with Superdrive, 12" iBook is still not available with a Superdrive if this is important to you.
    - Standard hard drive size on the PowerBook is 40GB, but still only 30GB on iBook (but hard drive size can be upgraded as a BTO option).
    - PowerBook is slightly smaller and slightly lighter than iBook
    - PowerBook keyboard is said to be of a higher quality (subjective assessment)
    - PowerBook aluminium finish is said to scratch less easily than iBook plastic finish. Aluminium may be more to your tastes than white plastic (subjective assessment).

    In favour of the iBook though, we have:
    - It's cheaper while offering very similar performance :)
    - AppleCare for the iBook is cheaper than for the PowerBook
    - The iBook is reported to feel cooler after extended operation than the PowerBook

    Personally, if I were having to weigh up a purchase decision between the old run-out model 1GHz 12" PowerBook and the new 1GHz 12" iBook, I would take the iBook, no question. The slightly smaller size and weight of the PowerBook, the aluminium finish, and things like the DVI-out just wouldn't be enough to make up for the pricing difference (given that both notebooks will probably perform at near identical levels).

    Of course, comparing the new 12" iBook to the *new* 12" PowerBook is a different story! But you were asking about the old PowerBook. Anyway...let us know how your decision making process goes.
  5. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    wireless reception

    in addition to all the performance factors pointed out by oingoboingo, I'd add that iBooks have much better wireless range/reception than PowerBooks. the difference is incredible... so much so that I'm toying with the idea of selling my 867MHz 12" PB and buying a new 1GHz 12" iBook (cto w/bluetooth).
  6. Bhennies thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    Thanks for the replies! I'll have to consider getting one then.
  7. rsgunther macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2002
    I have to disagree generally with the previous posts. I have owned both the 12" ibook G4 800 & the 12" Powerbook 1GHZ combo. I currently own a 15" Powerbook 1.25GHZ w/Superdrive (I bought refurb which came with a 5400 RPM hard drive).

    Overall, the powerbook is a MUCH more solid / better built machine. The ibook "felt" loose. The case, the keyboard, the design were all weak. It just felt cheap. The 12" Powerbook was VERY solid. Even though the 15" PB is a "better" machine, I find myself wishing I would have kept the 12" PB. There is just something about it. Perfect size, very solid build, fast. Just an outstanding machine. The ONLY thing that bothered me about the 12" PB was the NVIDIA card vs. the ATI card.

    Overall, I would highly recommend the 12" PB over the 12" ibook. You can buy the 12" PB for about the same price as the new 12" ibook refurbed from Apple. I would suggest taking that route. It is a better machine all the way around. If price is the key, get the ibook, it is still a good machine, but you get what you pay for.

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