Spring Update: PowerBook G4 (Early 2004)




In early 1991, an advertisement appeared on Soviet TV. Stupid, stupid, but still not sick of her. Some phrases from primitive television advertising crashed into the memory, and I would use one of them as an epigraph to this article: “When others undress, we put shoes on them”. I mean, “we sell shoes, cheap.” What did you think? In the spring of 2004, computers and consumer electronics … were getting more expensive. This was not a disaster, as the prices did not rise too much, and were rising everywhere — time to tighten the belts and not waste your nerves on the inevitable. Sooner or later it will pass. Refrain from shopping for a while, wait for the best prices – that’s all.

On Monday, April 19, 2004, information about the incredible was leaked to the media. In those days, Apple’s news did not interest the public, the company existed somewhere on the periphery of consciousness, I myself saw the surprise on the faces of those who had accidentally learned that the iPod maker, on the other hand, it turns out it also produces computers …

But the information that one of the companies is updating the line of portable computers (improving their technical characteristics) not only without raising prices, but even reducing them, could not ignore even the most hostile to Apple media. A sensation!

Some even bought a couple of copies to find out what was the catch … And they didn’t find anything except the usual flaws, without which not a single creation of human hands, and even they were too few to exaggerate the scandal. Disappointment of the century?

Others were even more disappointed: where is the PowerBook G5, with the processor overclocked to 3 GHz? After all, they promised! They promised, but nobody said anything about 3 GHz in the PowerBook G5.

This is the sixth part of the PowerBook G4 series, the previous parts list below:

First: PowerBook G4 from titanium. Apple is trying to stand out … ;
Second: the Titanic breakthrough against the backdrop of the crisis of the industry ;
Third: PowerBook G4: Titanium Thumbelina ;
Fourth: The smallest and largest PowerBook G4 ;
Fifth: The whole family … PowerBook G4 (Late 2003) .

Three models and five options
The update affected the entire “PowerBook family”, released in September 2003. And all the updated models, except the 17-inch, immediately went on sale.

The processor … remains the same: PowerPC 7447a. Actually, Motorola offered Apple PowerPC 7457, with fantastic technical data, but the engineers of the latter, for some reason, preferred to use its weakened version in portable technology. By donating a third-level cache.

Structurally, the April 2004 model range of Powerbooks repeated the previous one: the 12-inch PowerBook – the “powerful iBook”, two versions of the 15-inch model and 17-inch. The thickness of the case is from 1 inch in the model with a 17-inch screen to 1.35-inch in “almost iBook”. From 2.54 cm to 3.43.

Model identifiers were different, but disgracefully predictable.

The 12-inch PowerBook has the PowerBook6.4 (in September, the ancestor of the model had a PowerBook6.2).

The 15-inch “brothers” have the PowerBook5.4 (instead of the PowerBook5.2).

The 17-inch monster has a PowerBook5.5 (instead of a PowerBook5.3).

In all models and variants, the front-side bus clock frequency is 167 MHz, the second-level cache is 512 K, and the third-level cache is zero. The interface with UltraATA / 100 hard drives, and in the online store instead of the hard disk included in the basic package (of different sizes depending on the model and variant) with a speed of 4,200 rpm, an 80 GB drive was offered with a speed of 5,200 rev. / min

Like, instead of complaining about the poor performance of hard drives in Apple’s laptops, order a more smart drive from the online store. At your own expense.

Bluetooth 1.1 and AirPort Extreme – included in all versions of the April PowerBooks.

All PowerBooks of April 2004 used PC2700 DDR SDRAM memory chips.

Almost iBook (but PowerBook)
Processor – PowerPC 7447a with a clock frequency of 1.33 GHz. 256 MB of RAM on the motherboard. The maximum amount of RAM, which without problems and exercises with a screwdriver, you could just order with the purchase – 1.25 GB.

The vacant place in the only free memory bank offered chips of 256, 512 and 1024 Megabytes.

A display with a diagonal of 12.1 inches (30.7 cm) with a native resolution of 1024×768 (and with support for resolutions at 800×600 and 640×480). On an external monitor, a resolution of 1600×1200 was supported, and all modes of using an external monitor.

NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics card (4x AGP), with 64 megabytes of video memory.

60 GB hard drive.

In tests, Geekbench 2 gained 654 points. The predecessor scored 458.

As it was once in unthinkable ancient antiquity (three years before the described time), the price for the cheapest PowerBook G4 of the April model depended on the type of optical drive.

The 8-fold Combo version (DVD-ROM / CD-RW) cost $ 1,599, the 4-fold SuperDrive version (DVD-RW / CD-RW) costs $ 1,799. Compared with the previous model, prices have not changed.

15-inch PowerBook G4
The model was offered in two versions, with a clock frequency of 1.33 and 1.5 GHz.

In variants, besides the size of the case and the screen diagonally (15.0 inches, or 38.1 cm), the graphics card was also common, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9,700 (4x AGP) with 64 megabytes of video memory.

Both variants supported the same set of resolutions (1280×854), with a ratio of 4: 3 and 3: 2. On an external monitor – up to 2048×1536. Naturally, all modes were supported – including the “expansion mode of the working space of the screen”.

In the variant with a clock frequency of 1.33 GHz, the package included 256 megabytes of RAM, in one of two banks. Of the chips available in the assortment of the online store (in 256, 512 and 1024 Megabytes), it could be increased to 2 GB.

Disk in 60 GB (as in the 12-inch model) with 4 200 r / min, and 8-fold Combo-drive. All this is for $ 1,999. No price increase.

Geekbench 2 – 685 points (previous equivalent – 542 points).

In the 1.5 GHz version, the base package had 512 megabytes, a hard disk of 80 GB with 4,200 rpm, 4-fold SuperDrive (no longer the slowest in the industry), it all cost 2 499 dollars … $ 100 less than the previous equivalent.

Geekbench 2 – 733 points (previous equivalent – 658).

17-inch PowerBook G4 (Early 2004)
This model, announced on April 19, 2004, along with everyone else, was supposed to be released a bit later than the others.

David Russell answering the question “is there a delay due to the lack of components” began with “no, no way …”, and finished “… well, yes – connected”. Just in case, in an interview this is a common occurrence, if you have tried this attraction on yourself, you will understand.

In fact, this is the same “older PowerBook G4 with a 15-inch screen”, only in a larger (but thinner) case, with a screen diagonal of 17.0 inches (43.2 cm), and with a higher screen resolution – 1440×900 (16:10), with support for several other resolutions, both with a ratio of 16:10 and 4: 3.

On an external monitor – up to 2048×1536.

The ATI Mobility Radeon 9 700 (4x AGP), traditional for Early 2004 models, but with an unexpected (original for the PowerBook and iBook) innovation. By default, the video memory was 64 megabytes, like all the other Early 2004 … but in the 17-inch model it could be increased to 128 megabytes. Either in the online store (without hands and screwdrivers) with the purchase, or later and independently.

It cost a 17-inch monster with a body thickness of 2.54 cm 2,799 dollars, which is 200 dollars lower than its predecessor.

In Geekbench 2 – 745 points (ancestor – 688). At the expense of what the 17-inch is faster than its almost twin with a diagonal of 15 inches – I do not know. Magic, probably …


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