With the introduction of the G4 iBooks in October 2003, Apple phased out the last Macs with G3 processors, which had been in use since November 1997 – and brought the iBook past the 1 GHz mark. Although the G4 iBooks use a G4 CPU, it’s not the same version used in the PowerBook G4 – this version has only a 256 KB level 2 cache, which means it won’t provide the same performance as a PowerBook at the same clock speed.
The “1.0 GHz iBook G4” is often sold on the used market as a 1.07 GHz iBook. Apple marketed machine as a 1.0 GHz model for the sake of simplicity, despite the fact that a 14% speed difference (1.07 GHz vs. 933 MHz) would have made the top-end iBook a much more attractive option. Benchmarks bear this out.
The new iBooks support AirPort Extreme, which has 5x the bandwidth of the original AirPort. Also new are USB 2.0, Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics, room for an internal Bluetooth module, and the use of DDR (double data rate) RAM.
Base memory is 256 MB (128 MB onboard, 128 MB in a slot). This is the oldest G4 iBook to officially support OS X 10.5 Leopard.
Apple has admitted to a manufacturing defect in first generation G4 iBooks that may cause the power system to fail due to failed solder joints.
- Got a G4 PowerBook or iBook? Join our G4 ‘Books Group or PowerBooks and iBooks Forum.
- Got an iBook? Join the iBook Talk List.
- Our Mac OS 9 Group is for those using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
- Our Panther Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.3.
- Our Tiger Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.4.
- Our Leopard Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6.
- introduced 2003.10.22 at US$1,299 (933 MHz) and $1,499 (nominally 1 GHz); replaced by 1.07 and 1.2 GHz models 2004.04.19
- requires Mac OS X 10.3 Panther through 10.5 Leopard
- CPU: 933 MHz/1.07 GHz G4
- Bus: 133 MHz
- Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 555 (1.07 GHz)
- Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 486 (933 MHz)
- ROM: 4 MB, NewWorld ROM in RAM architecture
- RAM: 256 MB of SDRAM (128 MB soldered in place), expandable to 1.125 GB using one 1.25″ PC2100 compliant SO-DIMM (PC2700 compatible)
- Level 2 cache: 256 KB on-chip cache
- Video: ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 4x AGP
- VRAM: 32 MB
- display: 14.1″ 24-bit 1024 x 768 91 ppi color active matrix, resolution scaling for 640 x 480 and 800 x 600 modes
- Video out: VGA and composite video
- Hard drive: 40/60 GB UltraATA-100
- optical drive: 16x8x24x CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive
- floppy drive: external USB only
- expansions bays: none
- USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
- FireWire: 1 FW400 port
- Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
- Modem: v.92 56k
- WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme optional
- Microphone: built in
- PC Card slots: none
- Battery: rated at 6 hours
- size: 12.7 x 10.2 x 1.35″ (32.3 x 25.9 x 3.4 cm)
- Weight: 5.9 pounds (2.7 kg) with battery
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to the iBook G4, Charles Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.09. Replacing the G3 iBook in October 2003, the iBook G4 was and remains a value leader until it was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.
- Best iBook G4 deals, updated monthly.
- Best Classic Mac OS Deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Best Mac OS X 10.0-10.3 Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3.
- Best Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.4.
- Best Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.5.
- What’s the best Mac OS for your iBook, PowerBook, or MacBook?, Charles Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.08.19. Tips on choosing the best OS for your PowerBook 500 Series or newer Mac notebook.
- What’s the Best Version of OS X for My Mac?, Ian R Campbell, The Sensible Mac, 2008.02.28. Which version of Mac OS X is best for your hardware depends on several factors.
- The Future of Up-to-Date Browsers for PowerPC Macs, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.08.31. With Intel-only “Snow Leopard” shipping, software support for PPC Macs will continue its decline. Also, a look at SeaMonkey 2 and Camino 1.6.9.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Low End Mac’s Safe Sleep FAQ, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.15. What is Safe Sleep mode? Which Macs support it? How can you enable or disable it? And more.
- The Safe Sleep Mailbag, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.15. Safe Sleep mode is enabled by default on modern MacBooks. How it works, and how to change how it works.
- Tips for Installing or Reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2009.06.10. Mac OS X 10.4 uses less memory than Leopard, supports Classic Mode on PowerPC Macs, and, unlike Leopard, is supported on G3 Macs.
- MacBook White updated, DIY Mac tablet, danger of ‘Safe Sleep’, $350 80 GB SSD kit, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.05.29. Also Apple tablet ‘confirmed’, 3G and lower cost MacBook Air models rumored, 500 GB bus powered hard drive, Mini DisplayPort adapters, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $2,299, and more.
- Salvaging parts from a dead iBook, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2009.05.26. With a broken power plug, the iBook was unusable – but the RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can live on.
- The iBook Can’t Replace the Hard Drive Blues, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2009.04.28. Replacing the hard drive in a Pismo PowerBook or polycarbonate MacBook is easy. But those iBooks are another thing entirely.
- Is Leopard Slower than Tiger on G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2009.04.17. Truth be told, when you have 1 GB of RAM, Leopard benchmarks an insigificant 4% slower than Tiger.
- Is It Worth Maxing the RAM in Old G3 and G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2009.04.15. Increasing memory can make your old Mac faster and make you more productive, but it probably won’t improve resale value by the amount you spend.
- Making the switch from a G4 PowerBook to a Unibody MacBook, Charles Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.17. The transition to an Intel-based Mac hasn’t been without its problems – slow dialup performance, incompatibility with Eudora, and no real gain in speed with standby apps.
- 2 compact portable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.01.12. Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to your notebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide bus power.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Leopard on an 867 MHz G4 trounces Vista on a 2 GHz Core Duo notebook, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.12.16. Apple makes sure that each version of OS X runs well on the minimum supported hardware, while PCs well above minimum spec struggle under Microsoft’s latest version of Windows.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Leopard runs very nicely on PowerPC Macs, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.11.19. Some claim that Mac OS X 10.5 is so optimized for Intel Macs that it runs poorly on PowerPC hardware. That’s simply not the case.
- Every working computer is useful to someone, Allison Payne, The Budget Mac, 2008.11.19. Whether it’s a PowerBook 1400, G3 iMac, or Power Mac G4, it could be all the computer someone needs.
- The future of PowerPC Macs and software as ‘Snow Leopard’ approaches, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.11.13. Apple phased out Classic Mode and G3 support with ‘Leopard’ last year, and next year’s OS X 10.6 won’t support any PowerPC Macs. Will other developers abandon PowerPC as well?
- 9 browsers for G3 and older G4 Macs compared, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.09.26. The latest versions of Opera, Safari, Shiira, iCab, Radon, Firefox, Demeter, Sunrise, and Camino that run on Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”.
- Tiger vs. Leopard: Which is best for you?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.09.22. Two great versions of Mac OS X, but unless your Mac is well above the minimum spec for Leopard and has lots of RAM, stick with Tiger.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- TruePower AC adapter for iBooks and PowerBooks is rugged, reliable, and affordable, Charles Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.08.14. Apple’s track record with AC adapters is spotty, but the TruePower adapter is tough enough to survive being run over by a truck.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don’t need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook’s compromised ergonomics.
- The Compressed Air Keyboard Repair, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- Leopard best OS for G4 PowerBooks, support expectations from Apple, back to Opera, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.09. Leopard features worth a little performance compromise, depreciation and the best value Macs, voice dication software for PowerPC Macs, and more.
- Can Linux replace OS X on older Macs?, Carl Nygren, Classic Macs in the Intel Age, 2008.06.30. Looking at Ubuntu 8.04 on a 1 GHz PowerBook and Kubuntu 5.04 on a clamshell iBook.
- Praise for Opera, low cost iBook mobo replacement, IrDA and IRtalk, WaMCom recommended, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.06.18. Also the use of ‘compleat’, booting from CD, new Toshiba 1.8″ drives too thick for MBA, and PowerPC support and Snow Leopard.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Macintosh peace of mind, PA Semi and the iPhone, $40 802.11g PCI card, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.01. Also Power Mac vs. Mac mini, more on DVD User Op Patch, 12″ vs. 14″ iBook, and VGA for a Power Mac 6100.
- 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro worth it?, iBook video fixed, Compact Flash vs. SSD, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.13. Also buying a used Power Mac G4, a Power Mac 7600 still in daily use, OCR software for modern Macs, and Leopard on a Blue and White G3.
- Weak AirPort Extreme, Open Firmware hack, deleting old Systems, and spacing problems in Pages, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.12.07. Fixing a weak signal in AirPort Extreme, thoughts on the Open Firmware Leopard install hack, when it’s safe to delete an old System, and line spacing issues in Pages.
- Leopard DVD Player requires 1.6 GHz CPU, dual processor questions, and dual boot Macs, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.10.24. DVD Player currently runs on any G3 that supports Tiger, but the new version needs 1.6 GHz of power and other bloat in Leopard.
- Is a used iBook still a sensible low-end option?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.15. From 500 MHz G3s through 1.4 GHz G4s, used iBooks range in price from under $200 to over $700. Are they a good choice, or do reliability issues say otherwise?
- The future of G4 iBooks in the Age of Leopard, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.10.22. Almost all of the G4 iBooks are supported by Mac OS X 10.5, but 4200 rpm drives could be a real bottleneck.
- External $100 Sony DVD burner likes Macs, Brian Gray, Fruitful Editing, 2007.10.10. The box and manual say nothing about Mac compatibility, but this 18x USB 2.0 DVD burner is plug-and-play (at least with Tiger).
- Danes refunded for defective G4 iBooks, rumored Mac minitablet, handle for MacBooks, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2007.10.01. Also software update for MacBook and MacBook Pro, Give 1 Get 1 XO laptop program, CardBus adapter for ExpressCard notebooks, and bargain ‘Books from $130 to $2,688.
- iBook unreliability, iBook G4 AirPort problems, RAM for a PowerBook 1400, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.08.27. Pismo vs. iBook as the more reliable portable, catastrophic iBook failure, and a Pismo that won’t recognize new hardware.
- Are the white iBooks still a good bet or should you steer clear of them?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.08.20. The dual USB iBooks have the worst repair record in Mac history, yet some are exceptionally reliable. Should you consider buying one or avoid them?
- The TiBook marches on: 400 MHz productivity in the 2 GHz era, Neil Hokanson, My Turn, 2007.07.26. “Even though my PowerBook isn’t the fastest or latest and greatest, it works, and the low-end marches on.”
- Operation FlashBook: Running Tiger from flash on a PowerBook G4, John Muir, Mac Daniel, 2007.05.29. With the hard drive failing and Compact Flash prices falling, it was time to consider running the PowerBook G4 from flash. Looking back at 6 months, was it worth it?
- Apple on mini CDs, 74 minute CD-Rs more compatible, iBook G4 reliability, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.05.14. Also installing OS X using Target Disk Mode, partitioning your hard drive, Google’s tool to simplify web pages, Canada and copyright law, and more.
- LED backlight coming to MacBooks, Intel’s new Centrino CPUs, Danish iBook G4 complaint, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2007.05.11. Also different drive sizes, manganese could double battery life, using a MacBook with the display turned off, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,299, and more.
- 11 No Cost Tips for Optimizing Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Performance, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.03.12. If your Mac is getting sluggish, here are 11 tips that can help restore its original performance.
- OS 10.4.8 making PowerBook run cooler?, Charles W. Moore, OS X Odyssey, Applelinks, 2006.10.24. “…I haven’t restarted, and the ‘Book is still running in the high 40°s – low 50°s most of the time. The fan has only activated sporadically while doing heavy multitasking.”
- Better laptop performance: What’s the best upgrade?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.09. Memory, CPU, bus speed, and hard drives all impact performance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the most up time in the field?
- Region free DVD viewing options for Intel and PowerPC Macs, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.09.12. Several hardware and software options that will let your view ‘wrong region’ DVDs on your PowerPC or Intel Mac.
- Inside your notebook’s battery: Ordinary AA Li-Ion cells, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.09.08. That expensive battery in your notebook computer probably holds less than $30 worth of off-the-shelf AA Li-Ion batteries.
- Apple updates battery recall, MacBook ‘best computer for school’, random MacBook shutdown, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2006.09.01. Also more on battery safety, high capacity battery for 14″ iBooks, low-cost USB 2.0 PC Cards, turn your ‘Book into a reading light, bargain ‘Books from $380 to $2,399, and more.
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop (uh, notebook) cool, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.07.24. A quick look at the Podium CoolPad, ChillMat, ChillHubs, Laptop Desk, Xpad, iLap, and iBreeze – seven stands designed to keep you ‘Books running cooler.
- Macs take away Microsoft pain, Macs revive James Bond, iMac king of all media, iWoofer, and more, Mac News Review, 2006.06.16. Also Windows users guide to switching to the Mac, Bluetooth firmware update for PPC Macs, universal USB 2.0 drive adapter, waterproof case for video iPod, and more.
- Power strategies for using your ‘Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries and at least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you’re traveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your ‘Book.
- End of G4 models points to unprecedented value for used G4 Macs, Leaman Crews, Plays Well with Others, 2006.06.02. The PowerPC G4 may no longer have a place in Apple’s product line, but that’s a far cry from saying G4-based Macs are obsolete. If anything, their value is going to increase.
- SCSI and FireWire Disk Modes, Paulo Rodrigues, Tangerine Fusion, 2000.11.29. How to use SCSI Disk Mode and FireWire Target Disk Mode for ultrafast file transfers.
- iBook Talk List
- iBook G4 – Technical Specifications, Apple
- There is an incompatibility between the Kensington Startup ADB extension and the Trackpad control with Mac OS 9.0.4. Symptom: trackpad responds during boot, but not later. Solution: disable Kensington Startup ADB extension. This may also apply to other USB portables and versions of the Mac OS.
- Portable Computers: Models Which Do Not Have a Backup Battery notes the iBook has no backup battery to retain time and other settings when the main battery is removed. A small capacitor holds enough energy to maintain PRAM contents for 20 seconds, so switch batteries quickly.
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