PB G4: 1.5 or 1.67?


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 16, 2005
Bay Area, CA
On the 15" PowerBook model, which do you think is the better buy? For my specific purposes I mean that I can get the exact same specifications, except for the processor, for about a $120 price difference. Basically what I'm asking is if the extra 170MHz is worth $120 plus tax (7.25%). I know that there's only a marginal performance difference noted so far between the two (9-11%) but I'm interested in real world performance users that place a pretty hefty demand on their systems (database, pretty intense rendering, limited DV and GarageBand action).

How easy is it to tell the difference between these two processor speeds?

Are there any thermal considerations for the faster processor (lower battery life, more heat)?

Also, as a somewhat unrelated question, how much better is the 128MB GPU? I'd have to go for the faster processor in order to get this, but since most of my non-Photoshop graphics work is CPU-intensive rather than GPU-intensive, I'll only pay the premiums if any developers think that CoreImage performance will be dramatically better with the double graphics RAM. Are there any clock speed or specification differences between the Mobility 9700 64 and 128 versions?

Lots of questions, I know, but any feedback or input you could provide would be great. I'll be ordering my new PB within the week!

Thanks all.


macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
I went from a 1.33ghz 12" OB to the 1.5 ghz 12" PB (so the same 0.17 increase) and the only difference between the two models came solely down to the speed of the harddrive. So IMO you'd be better off with the 1.5ghz model and upgrading to the Superdrive if you want it, saving yourself some cash in the process.

BUT... if you did want the 128MB on the gfx its a moot point as you'd have to get the 1.67ghz version. Someone else will have to shed light on that, but if I remember benchmarks correctly the difference in games was around 1-5fps... not exactly a huge margin...


Jan 18, 2005
if it HAD to be a 15" Powerbook i would certainly opt for the 1.67 version. just through choice. after having a combodrive 12" PB for a few weeks now i would certainly get a superdrive with my next model. that and a 128mb video card :D


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 16, 2005
Bay Area, CA
Thanks for the feedback, all.

I guess I should have specified that ALL specifications (including SuperDrive, etc.) are the same. The only difference for $120 more is the faster CPU and the option for the faster GPU, which would add another $90 or so.

So is that faster CPU and 128MB GPU worth $210? It's looking like "no," because like most graphics pros, it's not 3D GPU power I need, but rather a good GPU coupled with a great CPU for computational and rendering tasks. CoreImage filters in Photoshop and Quicktime are impressive, but by the time software will be optimized for it, I'll probably be a year out from the next upgrade--long enough to learn to use CoreImage before getting my hands dirty, so tos peak.

And for a more than 10% premium for a 10% faster CPU and no other performance benefits, my research indicates that the extra money is bet put toward RAM than 170MHz of CPU speed. Keep the comments coming if you've got them!

Thanks again.


macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2005
I'm in the same boat: 15" 1.5GHz, 64mb vram, combo versus 15" 1.67, 64mb vram, super. I'm just not sure I'm ever going to be editing and buring video, nor ripping dvds. I rarely even burn CDs, so I don't think the superdrive is my gig.

I think I'll stick with the newer 15" 1.5GHz combo (includes scrolling trackpad, motion sensor) and I'll use the $300 in savings to buy an airport extreme base station and another 512mb ram that I'm sure to use.


macrumors member
May 7, 2004
Chicago, IL
Wow , there seems to be a lot of us in this boat.

I cant decide.

1.5 w/ 64 vram VS 1.67 w/128 vram.

I mean it's an extra 250 dollars for what amounts to an increase that may not be noticeable.

The only reason I want the 1.67 is for the extra vram ..because I figure with tiger around the corner the more video memory would be very useful. Although that might not even end up making any difference at all. I wish barefeats would post some benchmarks just so I can tell how much of a different this would really make.

Blast. Why must it be so complicated.



macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2004
Another thing that separates the 128 MB option from the 64 MB option: the ability to use a 30-inch Cinema Display. Not that I would use it anyway. :p Otherwise I'd opt to get a 1.5 Ghz model instead and save the cash since there's not really a performance difference. Only if the FSB was increased to at least 400 Mhz or even 533 Mhz we will then see a huge performance increase...

I'm waiting for the NEXT revision of PowerBooks. I hear there will be dual-core G4 processors inside of them, and maybe hopefully the FSB increase along with new PCI Express GPUs!!! *drools*


Sundance Kid

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2005
Well, I too am stuck between the 1.5Ghz and the 1.67Ghz model with the 128 graphics card. I mean if i'm going to be playing game on it should i go for the more expensive model? I'm not going to be upgrading my computer for at least 3 or 4 years after i buy it (i might do the ram though). Since i live in Canada, it will cost me 500$ to upgrade for the 1.5Ghz to the 1.67Ghz and the 128mb card. Is it really worth it? I hear there is almost no difference between the 1.5Ghz model and the 1.67Ghz model, but does the graphics card actually improve the computer by half?

Thanks for the help,

The Sundance Kid
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