Apple moved the popular iBook to the G4 processor in October 2003, eliminating the last Macs with G3 processors. Although the G4 iBooks used a G4 CPU, it wasn’t initially the same one used in the PowerBook G4; instead, it was version with a smaller level 2 (L2) cache, which meant the first generation iBooks wouldn’t provide quite the same performance as PowerBooks at the same clock speed.
For more in-depth coverage, see Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to the iBook G4.
- PowerBook/iBook battery recall, The ‘Book Review, 2006.08.25.
- 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 anyone using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
- Our Panther List is for those using Mac OS X 10.3.
- Our Tiger List is for those using Mac OS X 10.4.
Late 2003: 12″ 800 MHz and 14″ 933 MHz & 1 GHz
In the initial release of the iBook G4, base memory was 256 MB (128 MB onboard, 128 MB in a slot), and memory can be expanded to 1152 MB by replacing the 128 MB card with a 1 GB memory module. Both iBooks shipped with a Combo (CD-RW/DVD) drive.
The 12″ iBook clocked at 800 MHz, 100 MHz slower than the 900 MHz G3 iBook it replaced, but the 14″ iBooks were both faster than their 900 MHz G3 predecessor, with the faster model actually running at 1.07 GHz, 7% faster than advertised.
Early 2004: 12″ 1 GHz and 14″ 1.0 & 1.2 GHz
Six months later, in April 2004, Apple improved the iBook by boosting clock speed, using a G4 CPU with a larger L2 cache, and putting 256 MB on the logic board, which raised the iBook’s RAM ceiling to 1.25 GB.
As with the nominally 1 GHz Late 2003 model, the 1 GHz models were clocked at 1.07 GHz, which was attested to by benchmark performance.
Late 2004: 12″ 1.2 GHz and 14″ 1.33 GHz
Six months after that, Apple released the third revision of the G4 iBook, once again boosting speed and – for the first time – offering a SuperDrive version of the 14″ iBook. The Late 2004 revision also includes AirPort Extreme as a standard feature.
Mid 2005: 12″ 1.33 GHz and 14″ /1.42 GHz
The final revision of the G4 iBook was released in July 2005. Both models saw a small speed bump, included Bluetooth 2.0 as a standard feature, has twice as much RAM from the factory (512 MB), and included Apple’s scrolling trackpad. Total memory can be expanded to 1.5 GB on these iBooks, and Apple included an improved graphics processor, the Radeon 9550 with 32 MB of video memory.
The iBook line was replaced by the 13.3″ MacBook in May 2006.
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to the iBook G4, Charles W 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- TruePower AC adapter for iBooks and PowerBooks is rugged, reliable, and affordable, Charles W 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.
- 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.
- 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 W 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.
- 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 W 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 W 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?
- 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.
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop (uh, notebook) cool, Charles W 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.
- iBook (white) disk upgrade pages, Graham Cox, 2003.02.26. Step-by-step instructions for replacing the hard drive in an iceBook.
- iBook Portector, The ‘Book Review, 2002.01.04. “The Portector is a custom molded urethane strip that fits snugly over the expansion ports of your Apple iBook protecting it from dirt and dust.”
- Tote and Tilt Adds Handle to New iBook or TiBook, The ‘Book Review, 2001.10.19. $40 and $45 handles make it easy to transport iceBook, TiBook.
- 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
- 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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