Let's see your PowerBook G4 1Ghz Superdrive reviews!

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
It seems many people have already received their new PowerBooks. Let's see some reviews! It's your duty as an AI member! How hot does it get? How often do the fans kick in? How does the Superdrive work? What kind of internal changes can you see under the keyboard? Anything other changes that have gone unreported? Post your observations here!


  • Reply 1 of 18
    When it's on battery, it seems to get a legitimate 3 to 5 hours in X. Also, when on battery, it's slightly more than twice as fast as a 500 on AC, CPU-wise. (ran some Altivec Fractal tests among other things.) On AC, it's 125% faster or so, CPU alone. Seems logical enough.

    The Radeon 9000 is really awesome. During some severe testing of quartz extreme, I barely noticed any dropped frames, and the CPU meter barely moved at all. iCal is usable, but it's still pretty sluggish when resizing the window.

    The machine seems to run cooler than the 800's. The bottom actually stays cooler than does the one for the 500. The fan will come on if heavily stressed, though, and it's about what you'd expect. Thanks to an impressive array of heatsinks and pipes that are obvious when lifting the keyboard, the new book manages to stay pretty cool.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    ok can anyone else post a review

    i have a ti800 & im interested in knowing what

    changes are there in the 1ghz model

    1.faster/slower than the 800 ?

    2.heat issues ? (the 800 runs hot when stressed)

    3.any paint issues ?

    4.what heatsink/pipe is he talking about ?

    5.airport reception better or still crappy ?

    6.battery life better or worse ?

    7.startup time better or worse ?

    8.aqua layer faster/slower/same ?

    im looking at a 1ghz/1gb powerbook so i want to

    make sure its worth it.

    currently i code on the 800 on & off & that along

    with vpc is enuf to set the fan off sounding like

    a jet turbine..

    so new owners please post as much info as possible

    to help others out

  • Reply 3 of 18
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Reduced Processor Performance downclocks the 1 GHz G4 to 667 MHz so it'll probably not be any faster than your PowerBook G4 800 on the road unless you feel like burning through your battery.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    [quote]Originally posted by Eugene:

    <strong>Reduced Processor Performance downclocks the 1 GHz G4 to 667 MHz so it'll probably not be any faster than your PowerBook G4 800 on the road unless you feel like burning through your battery.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    That's a strange statement to make. One would assume that the 800 would downclock to something lower than 667 when on Reduced Processor Performance, so he would still see some improvement.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    Nope, the 800 downclocked to 667 as well...I do not know if the 1Ghz turns off the cache like the 800 did, though.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    And the funny thing is the last 667 model didn't downclock at all...my friend claims that at least. Perhaps it turns off the cache though...
  • Reply 7 of 18
    I recall reading in the hardware technote that the 800 downclocked to 667 and turned off the cache, and the 667 just turns off the cache.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    That's interesting. Well, you learn something new every day
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Well, I got my new 1GHz TiBook a few days ago and I love it. I got the 1GHz model with 1GB RAM, 60GB HD, 64MB Radeon 9000, and the Combo Drive (I'll get a SuperDrive when they are a bit faster - in my next computer). Even though it's not the SuperDrive model, here is my review anyway:

    Coming from a Classic iMac G3, the new TiBook is VERY snappy. You notice the differences in program launches, to window resizing, to the 'genie' effect which is now silky smooth, and overall system performance. Using XBench, I peaked at 105 for overall performance. Ripping CDs in iTunes gets a peak rate of 13x! This is new for me as I was only able to peak at 5x or 6x on my iMac. Copying data back and forth to my FireWire drive is just as fast as it was on my iMac (which had a 7200rpm drive). Web browsing is noticeably more pleasant as well.

    People were bitching about the 'slower' 60GB hard drive that Apple is now using, but these new Fujitsu (MHS2060AT) HDs are benching higher than the IBM 60GB 5400rpm drives. I guess it's because they have 'high areal densities' according to the maker. More importantly, it is the most SILENT hard drive ever! You literally can NOT hear it. This is not last year's 4200rpm HD. I should also add that Dell is using these drives in their high end notebooks as well instead of the 5400rpm ones so there must be something about them (beyond cost efficiency) that appeals to them.

    The build quality is tight and solid, but I am assuming you'll still have to baby it since it's not as indestructible as the iBook. Not sure if they fixed the paint issues, but there is a slightly different texture to the paint versus the previous ones. Also, not sure if they fixed the keyboard hitting the display issue, but it looks like the display is raised just a bit when closed so it does not touch the keys.

    The battery life has been good - but Apple's claim of 5 hours is a bit off (even with the new slightly larger ones in the new TiBook). Maybe if you leave it on with brightness on low, reduced power on, and don't use it, but with real time usage - it lasts about 3 hours. This is with full processor power, Airport on and brightness on more than half doing normal tasks. This to me is good, but not much better than my friend's 2 spindle PC notebook which so many think have horrible battery life. Both machines conk out shortly after you watch a DVD movie.

    The display is stunning and EXTREMELY bright. I have it set 4 dots down from the max and it's plenty bright on battery power or not. The wideness is awesome, the color is sharp and there is not one dead pixel anywhere (I used the freeware app that displays each color for you to examine and look for dead pixels - I think it's called 'PixelCheck'). Unfortunately I am still not pleased with font smoothing technology and still can't get myself to say it looks 'great' - it doesn't. I've tried every setting and some text still looks slightly fuzzy. When you remove it all together text looks gross (thanks to the god awful Geneva font) so it's a no win situation (for me). However, it looks a HELL of a lot better on my TiBook than on my iMac! In some cases I still prefer the way text looks and overall font management on my PC.

    I would have liked a 2 button track pad with the option for side scrolling. Luckily there is a freeware app that emulates this (sort of). It's called 'uControl' and I highly recommend it (especially if you're used to a PC notebook and hate Apple's idea of a track pad). IMHO, two buttons and a scrolling feature helps productivity and will not confuse the average user so Apple can still call it 'simple'. If it does confuse some users - they should not have a computer!

    Another major annoyance is the PowerBook sound system/controller that goes into idle mode constantly. So, when you throw something in the trash, or use any system or Office X notification or event sounds, the TiBook halts for a few seconds, turns the sound controller on THEN plays the sound. What a ridiculous and annoying bug (hopefully no one will call it a 'feature'. Even if its to reduce power its a shoddy way of doing it). Luckily (once again) there is a freeware app called 'KeepSoundAwake' which loads at startup and keeps your sound controller active so when a sound needs to be played, it just plays with no pauses or rainbow swirl cursor (like it's supposed to). There is no battery life difference using this app so I have no idea why the sound controller (or whatever it is) isn't always active to begin with. Search VersionTracker for both apps.

    Other cool little things like the slot loading drive, the glowing Apple logo in the back and the funky soft touch keyboard add to the overall fun and cool factor! While the TiBook is a bit heavy, it IS rather thin and it does have an optical drive so it's still a bit lighter than a comparable system.

    Airport works flawlessly, but then again the TiBook is not my first wireless notebook and my PC's wireless worked right out of the box as well (since they both use the same standards, there is nothing to configure unless you're setting up some other server or something - not my area). Reception with the TiBook has been excellent and I know that this was not one of the previous model's strong points. I get 3 or 4 bars EVERYWHERE in my house (2 levels, 14 rooms) so I think that's pretty good. The speed is excellent and on par with my wireless PC. The TiBook's Airport card is working with my $129 Dell Access Point with a great signal and zero configuration. I guess Apple is charging $299 for the spaceship design!

    Compared to my Friend's 800MHz TiBook, the new models run a lot cooler. The bottom is NOT burning hot and is quite comfortable to use on your lap. However, this means the fans come on more and they aren't exactly silent! I think there are two fans - one on the right and one in the middle (where the vents are of course). The one to the right is usually the one that comes on first and it's not loud. Not silent, but a decent sound. But when the one in the middle kicks in it can get a bit loud (that is of course only if you are in a quiet surrounding). There ARE quiet notebook fans out there (like the one in my PC notebook which is silent) but for some reason Apple did not use them. However, the fans come on less often when running on battery (and I have the reduced processor power feature disabled).

    Overall I am very pleased with the new TiBook. Good specs at better prices is what made me buy one. The power, memory and storage are more than enough for my needs and I got a very good deal on it. In comparison with my friend's 800MHz TiBook, there IS a difference in speed, heat, and overall performance where the 1GHz TiBook comes out on top. If anyone suggests that the 800MHz model is faster, they are wrong. However, I don't think you should drop another $3000 for this new model. It's not that much of a leap so I'd recommend waiting for the next revision which of course will be even better.

    [ 11-21-2002: Message edited by: Patchouli ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 18
    <a href="http://homepage.mac.com/colinlaughery/photoalbum2"; target="_blank">http://homepage.mac.com/colinlaughery/photoalbum2</a>;

    These are some pictures... The TI IS THE BEST!!! that is all I can say!
  • Reply 11 of 18
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    [quote]Originally posted by madmax559:

    <strong>im looking at a 1ghz/1gb powerbook so i want to

    make sure its worth it.

    currently i code on the 800


    somebody needs a dose of <a href="http://www.lowendmac.com"; target="_blank">http://www.lowendmac.com</a>;
  • Reply 12 of 18
    [quote]Originally posted by progmac:


    somebody needs a dose of <a href="http://www.lowendmac.com"; target="_blank">http://www.lowendmac.com</a></strong><hr></blockquote>;

    grin~!~ i am in reality...i just tend to tax

    it to a greater extent than most people

    im running win2k in vpc & oracle on osx

    & coding for both systems & literally using

    it as a desktop replacement so it does stress

    the system

    thanx to all the reviewers...keep em coming

    looks like the 1gb is a good buy..

    my 800's been appropriated by the mrs

    i was more concerned about battery life & the heat

    issue & it looks like its been resolved ...

    1ghz is plenty fast for a c compiler & a small db & the vid card is decent enough for quick gaming

    also looks like the airport issue may have been

    resolved...the airport on the 800 is pretty bad

    in terms of range.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    What iBook control jack?
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Well, I just hope it doesn't get <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/28245.html"; target="_blank">as hot as this laptop.</a>
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Update for anybody who is interested:

    As of Dec 10th, I have started to notice keyboard marks on the screen. I guess Apple didn't fix it. \

    Regardless, tis still a great computer.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Keyboard marks here too after 2 weeks, can't see them tough when the computer is on.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    1 Ghz tibook is ~50% faster than the ti500 in Logic Platinum (audio sequencer, for those that don't know).
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