Spring Update: iBook G4 (Early 2004

Oct

28

2018

Prices for electronic components rose month after month. But, in spite of everything, including noticeably improved features, iBooks and G4 models on April 19, 2004 cost as much as their predecessors. They were again the cheapest G4 laptops in the world, but no one paid attention to this fact. In addition to 4 new PowerBooks , on April 19, the company announced the entire line of iBook G4 – it’s time to talk about them.

The update was, in the opinion of observers, insignificant. Radical innovations were not. Even externally. The same 12-inch configuration and two 14-inch, the same case and the same inscription “iBook G4” on them. Same prices. Not lower, but not higher. In fact, it was at that time that the “glands” industry was becoming more expensive, most companies simply did not have the opportunity to keep prices. The new models have noticeably increased performance, and nothing more …

Not including the computer, it was impossible to distinguish the first generation of the iBook G4 from the second, and from the next, which we still do not know about. Nearly. Boring and uninteresting data, like model designation, were applied to the body. Small print, and even surrounded by other obscure letters, numbers and icons.

For example, 9426LL / A (12-inch iBook of April 2004) or 9164LL / A (its 12-inch predecessor). These models went down in history …

I wonder what “engineering tricks” Apple engineers used to save prices amid rising component prices?

From an interview with David Russell, who led the department of portable Macs and Apple Computer wifi technologies in 2004, it is only known that they were. And that prices remain the same, no matter what.

This is the second part of the iBook G4 series, the list of previous parts below:

First: The cheapest G4 laptop in the world ; ibid links to all parts of the iBook G3 series.

iBook G4 (Early 2004) – General Information
In the new model (with the model identifier PowerBook6.5), a PowerPC 7447 processor with a second-level cache (on a chip) in 256K was replaced with a PowerPC 7447a, with higher clock frequencies and a cache in 512K.

The new processor with a large cache size of the second level and higher clock speeds could not help but improve its performance. She grew up.

As before, the “second generation” iBook G4 installed 256 megabytes of RAM (PC2100 DDR SDRAM), but now all these megabytes were located on the motherboard and did not occupy a single memory bank with a 128-megabyte chip, which could be used in a rapidly changing world harder.

The bank was free, Apple heard users.

Otherwise, everything remains the same. In any case, I found no more differences. And not only me. The first and second generations of the iBook G4 12 even showed a common defect. However, most likely it was not without tricks – the prices really remained the same.

The clock frequency of the front tire is the same 133 MHz. ATA-controller – UltraATA / 100, or ATA-6. One and a half times more efficient than the UltraATA / 66 used in the iBook G3, but in April 2004 this was no longer news.

ATI Mobility Radeon 9,200 video card (4x AGP) with 32 MB of video memory. The resolution of 1024×768 is real, and two “artificial” ones are 800×600 and 640×480. On the external monitor, the same 1024×768 was supported.

The “desktop extension” mode, by tradition, was artificially blocked. If someone is missing 1024×768, there is a solution. Either buy a PowerBook G4, or, at your own risk, make changes to the Firmware scripts and system files.

Optical drive – 8x Combo (DVD-ROM / CD-RW). A number of sources have information about the possibility of replacing Combo (in 14-inch versions) on SuperDrive (DVD-RW / CD-RW), but this information could not be confirmed.

2 USB connectors 2, 1 FW 400 connector, Ethernet 10 / 100Base-T. Support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 1.1 is built-in, but you yourself had to buy AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 1.1 for an additional fee, or install it later yourself.

iBook G4 (Early 2004) came with Mac OS 10.3.3 – a very good version of Panther, only with 256 megabytes of RAM, it turned into a caricature of itself. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that in the home computer, one of the main tasks of which was to attract new users on the Mac, it was unacceptable. I would donate a low price.

iBook G4 (Early 2004) – options

There were three options.

The most affordable of them was a version with a display diagonal of 12.1 inches (30.7 cm), and with a clock frequency of 1 GHz.

Hard disk with a capacity of 30 GB and a rotation speed of 4,200 rpm.

This option cost $ 1,099 (as before), but in Geekbench 2 it gained 577 points (the 12-inch iBook G4 of the previous generation gained only 435).

The most accessible of the options with a 14-inch screen (14.1 inches, or 35.8 cm), with the same clock frequency (1.0 GHz) as its 12-inch analog, was equipped with a 40 GB disk, supported the same screen resolution (1024×768, 800×600 and 640×480), and suffered from the same limitations.

This option cost $ 1,299, and scored the same 577 points in Geekbench 2 as its little fellow.

The best of all options, with a clock speed of 1.2 GHz and a 60 GB hard drive, cost the same $ 1,499 as its predecessor, “beat out” 630 points in Geekbench 2 (the predecessor was only 506 points) …

The prices are the same, the performance is higher by about a quarter. I do not know about you, but I have never had anything against such upgrades.

Of course, sometimes you need to redesign the pieces of iron “from scratch”, throwing out all that has outlived its own, but experience suggests that proven designs are more reliable …

Yes?

Two versions of iBook G4, included in history
In early 2005, the Danish consumer protection organization turned to Apple Europe complaining about problems with the 12-inch iBook G4 Late 2003 and Early 2004. These are the same 9164LL / A and 9426LL / A that I mentioned above. A significant number of these models iBook G4, about a year after their purchase, there were similar problems. First, they stopped turning on (the problem was fixed with a clip). Secondly, as a rule, on the same machines, there were problems with the screen: spots, stripes, etc.).

In response to the appeal of users, Apple Europe reported that the warranty period for these computers has expired (1 year), and there can be no free repair. In addition, Apple Europe did not recognize these problems as a “manufacturing defect.”

Like, “sent.”

The Danes were not satisfied with this answer: they investigated problem computers using electron microscopes and the services of experienced experts, and were able to prove their case in court. The 9164LL / A models (12-inch iBook G4 of the first series) and 9426LL / A (12-inch iBook G4 of the second series, which was described in the previous section) were found to be judicially defective.

The design of the motherboard revealed a serious defect, was properly documented, and Apple’s legal service was forced to admit it.

The warranty period for these models has been increased (not only in Europe), now their repair cost the owners only spent nerves and unnecessary trouble.

And these models went down in history. And the sediment remained.

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