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PowerBooks & iBooks

Low End Mac's Overview of G3 PowerBooks

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- 2009.04.15 - Tip Jar

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Apple had several different G3 PowerBook models over the years:

  1. Kanga, Nov. 1997, 250 MHz
  2. WallStreet, May 1998, 233-292 MHz
  3. PDQ, Sept. 1998, 233-300 MHz
  4. Lombard, May 1999, 333 and 400 MHz
  5. Pismo, Feb. 2000, 400 and 500 MHz

Kanga, the First PowerBook G3

Introduced in Feb. 1997, the PowerBook 3400c had been the world's fastest laptop with its 240 MHz PowerPC 603e CPU on a 40 MHz system bus with a 256 KB cache, which had a MacBench 4 score of 334. The 'Kanga' PowerBook G3 (sometimes called the PowerBook 3500) uses the same basic architecture as the 3400, but with a 250 MHz G3 CPU with a 512 KB cache and a faster (50 MHz) system bus. It scored 747 under MacBench 4, and it was the world's fastest notebook when it was introduced.

PowerBook G3 Like the 3400c, Kanga has a 12" 800 x 600 active matrix display and a 160 MB memory ceiling. It included a 20x CD-ROM drive (up from 12x in the 3400c), a 33.6 kbps modem, 10Base-T ethernet, IrDA, and two PC Card slots (they are not compliant with the newer CardBus standard).

This is the only G3 PowerBook that has never been supported by any release version of Mac OS X. It can run Mac OS 8.0 through 9.1.

At 7.7 lb., Kanga was no lightweight, and it was only on the market for 5 months before it was replaced by the PowerBook G3 Series.

Kanga Resources

WallStreet, the PowerBook G3 Series I

Five months after Apple introduced its first G3 computers, the Kanga PowerBook and the Beige G3, it rolled out a family of G3 PowerBooks with three different CPU options (233, 250, and 292 MHz) and three different display options (12", 13", and 14"). Officially known as the PowerBook G3 Series and code named 'WallStreet', the new model had a brand new design, used a faster system bus, and was available at higher speeds than Kanga.

14" WallStreet PowerBook G3 The entry-level configuration has a 233 MHz CPU on a 66 MHz bus with no cache and a 12.1" 800 x 600 display, and it earned the nickname 'MainStreet' due to its lackluster performance. It scored just 445 on MacBench 4, 33% better than the PowerBook 3400c but 40% slower than the 250 MHz Kanga model. (On the plus side, it cost a lot less than either of those models had.)

For those who needed more screen space, the 13.3" and 14.1" displays had 1024 x 768 resolution. The 13.3" screen was afflicted with a cable problem and is best avoided, making the 233 MHz 'MainStreet' model with the 13" display the least desirable model of the family.

The most common hardware problem with WallStreet models is the clutch that holds the screen in the upright position.

The middle model has a 250 MHz CPU and a 1 MB cache on a faster 83 MHz system bus. The faster bus and larger level 2 (L2) cache helped it achieve a MacBench 4 score of 881 - 18% better than Kanga. The top-end 292 MHz WallStreet scored an impressive 1030 on MacBench 4 - 38% higher than Kanga and 17% better than the 250 MHz WallStreet.

32 MB of RAM was standard at the entry level, 64 MB at the top, and Apple officially supported configurations up to 192 MB (a 128 MB module in the top slot, 64 MB in the bottom). As higher capacity modules became available, users discovered that WallStreet could support 256 MB in each slot for a maximum of 512 MB.

The original battery could power this PowerBook for 2.5 to 3 hours, and with one in each drive bay, you could achieve 5 to 6 hours.

These are the oldest PowerBooks supported under any shipping version of Mac OS X, although they are only officially supported through OS X 10.2. However, many WallStreet owners have successfully installed 10.3 using XPostFacto. Due to the computer's architecture, OS X can only be installed on a hard drive or the first partition of a hard drive under 8 GB in size - we suggest 7 GB to play it safe.

PDQ, the PowerBook G3 Series II

Apple updated the WallStreet design four months later with the introduction of the 'Series II' PowerBook G3, also known as 'WallStreet II' and 'PDQ'. Except for one low-end model, the 14" display was standard, and all models now had a cache and a 66 MHz system bus.

The 233 MHz PDQ model included a 512 KB L2 cache, which helped it achieve a MacBench 4 rating of 764. That's over 70% higher than the cacheless 'MainStreet' model it replaced - and the reason we label the MainStreet a Second Class Mac. It should have had a cache.

The middle PowerBook now had a 266 MHz CPU, which helped it benchmark at 941 - just what you'd expect from a 7% faster CPU. And at the top, the 300 MHz PDQ squeaked past the 292 MHz WallStreet with a 1052 score on MacBench 4 - just 2% better.

The only other substansive difference between WallStreet and PDQ is that the newer model has ATI Rage Pro video, a small improvement over the Rage II graphics in the Series I models.

WallStreet and PDQ Resources

Lombard, PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard)

One year after the introduction of WallStreet, Apple released a 2 pound lighter, 20% slimmer PowerBook G3 with even more power. Code named Lombard, the new model shipped at 333 MHz and 400 MHz on the same 66 MHz system bus as PDQ.

Lombard PowerBook G3The 333 MHz model includes a 512 KB L2 cache and scores 958 on MacBench 5 - that's less than 1% lower than the 300 MHz PDQ's 966 score, and the difference can be attributed to the bigger L2 cache on the PDQ.

The 400 MHz Lombard benchmarks at 1237, nearly 30% higher than the 333 MHz model, thanks to a 20% faster CPU and a 1 MB L2 cache.

Visually, Lombard is thinner than WallStreet and PDQ, and it has a transluscent brown (Apple calls it bronze) keybooard. This is the first PowerBook with USB ports and the first with no ADB or Apple serial ports.

Although there are two device bays, the one on the left can only hold a battery. The one on the right can hold a floppy drive, Zip drive, optical drive, second battery, etc. Because it's thinner than WallStreet, Apple only included a single CardBus slot.

Lombard's translucent bronze keyboardLombard uses ATI Rage LT Pro video and supports extended desktop mode, a feature PowerBooks had lost when the PowerBook 5300 was discontinued in August 1996.

Lombard officially supports up to 384 MB of RAM, but users have discovered that with two 256 MB modules it's possible to install and use 512 MB. There have been a few CPU upgrades for Lombard, including 466 MHz G4. Lombard is officially supported through Mac OS X 10.3, and 10.4 can be installed using XPostFacto.

Lombard Resources

Pismo, PowerBook (2000)

If you've spent much time around Low End Mac, you'd think that the 'Pismo' PowerBook was the be-all and end-all of PowerBooks. And in the minds of many, you'd be right. We've published more articles about Pismo than any other Mac notebook, and some users have even upgraded it to the point that they can run Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' on it (which is completely unsupported by Apple).

Pismo PowerBook 2000 The last G3 PowerBook (just 'PowerBook', no longer 'PowerBook G3') was announced in Feb. 2000. It's the same size and weight as Lombard, but Pismo has FireWire 400 ports instead of SCSI, room for an AirPort card, and a 100 MHz system bus. Pismo can be used as an external FireWire drive in FireWire Disk Mode.

In the field, a fresh 50 Watt-Hour Apple battery with a full charge yields up to 5 hours of use. Using two batteries can increase that to as much as 10 hours. Replacement batteries can boost that by up to 60%, for a potential 8 hours with one battery and 16 hours with two.

Pismo uses the same device bay components as Lombard, although its DVD drive cannot be used on Lombard.

PowerBook G3For the ultimate power, there have been a few 500 and 550 MHz G4 upgrades made for Pismo, although not all of them are still available. And for the ultimate speed, the PowerLogix BlueChip was available at 1 GHz, the fastest G3 CPU ever available in a Mac notebook. Pismo is the only G3 PowerBook to support 1 GB of RAM, although Apple only officially supports it to 512 MB. Note that you will not be able to use virtual memory under the Classic Mac OS (version 9.2.2 and earlier) with 1 GB of memory installed. It is the only G3 PowerBook officially supported under Mac OS X 10.4.

Overall, Pismo is the most flexible, most expandable PowerBook Apple ever built thanks to two device bays, support for fast hard drives and 1 GB of RAM, and the option of a G4 upgrade. Of all the G3 PowerBooks, this one has the strongest following.

Clamshell Mode

Pismo supports "lid closed" (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used lid closed mode, Pismo must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your Pismo until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Pismo will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions than you do with the internal display. The Pismo is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if your Pismo runs hot (perhaps due to a G4 upgrade or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in lid closed mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your 'Book and restore use of the built-in display.

Pismo Resources

Other PowerBook G3 Resources

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PowerBooks & iBooks

Low End Mac's Overview of G3 PowerBooks

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- 2009.04.15 - Tip Jar

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Apple had several different G3 PowerBook models over the years:

  1. Kanga, Nov. 1997, 250 MHz
  2. WallStreet, May 1998, 233-292 MHz
  3. PDQ, Sept. 1998, 233-300 MHz
  4. Lombard, May 1999, 333 and 400 MHz
  5. Pismo, Feb. 2000, 400 and 500 MHz

Kanga, the First PowerBook G3

Introduced in Feb. 1997, the PowerBook 3400c had been the world's fastest laptop with its 240 MHz PowerPC 603e CPU on a 40 MHz system bus with a 256 KB cache, which had a MacBench 4 score of 334. The 'Kanga' PowerBook G3 (sometimes called the PowerBook 3500) uses the same basic architecture as the 3400, but with a 250 MHz G3 CPU with a 512 KB cache and a faster (50 MHz) system bus. It scored 747 under MacBench 4, and it was the world's fastest notebook when it was introduced.

PowerBook G3 Like the 3400c, Kanga has a 12" 800 x 600 active matrix display and a 160 MB memory ceiling. It included a 20x CD-ROM drive (up from 12x in the 3400c), a 33.6 kbps modem, 10Base-T ethernet, IrDA, and two PC Card slots (they are not compliant with the newer CardBus standard).

This is the only G3 PowerBook that has never been supported by any release version of Mac OS X. It can run Mac OS 8.0 through 9.1.

At 7.7 lb., Kanga was no lightweight, and it was only on the market for 5 months before it was replaced by the PowerBook G3 Series.

Kanga Resources

WallStreet, the PowerBook G3 Series I

Five months after Apple introduced its first G3 computers, the Kanga PowerBook and the Beige G3, it rolled out a family of G3 PowerBooks with three different CPU options (233, 250, and 292 MHz) and three different display options (12", 13", and 14"). Officially known as the PowerBook G3 Series and code named 'WallStreet', the new model had a brand new design, used a faster system bus, and was available at higher speeds than Kanga.

14" WallStreet PowerBook G3 The entry-level configuration has a 233 MHz CPU on a 66 MHz bus with no cache and a 12.1" 800 x 600 display, and it earned the nickname 'MainStreet' due to its lackluster performance. It scored just 445 on MacBench 4, 33% better than the PowerBook 3400c but 40% slower than the 250 MHz Kanga model. (On the plus side, it cost a lot less than either of those models had.)

For those who needed more screen space, the 13.3" and 14.1" displays had 1024 x 768 resolution. The 13.3" screen was afflicted with a cable problem and is best avoided, making the 233 MHz 'MainStreet' model with the 13" display the least desirable model of the family.

The most common hardware problem with WallStreet models is the clutch that holds the screen in the upright position.

The middle model has a 250 MHz CPU and a 1 MB cache on a faster 83 MHz system bus. The faster bus and larger level 2 (L2) cache helped it achieve a MacBench 4 score of 881 - 18% better than Kanga. The top-end 292 MHz WallStreet scored an impressive 1030 on MacBench 4 - 38% higher than Kanga and 17% better than the 250 MHz WallStreet.

32 MB of RAM was standard at the entry level, 64 MB at the top, and Apple officially supported configurations up to 192 MB (a 128 MB module in the top slot, 64 MB in the bottom). As higher capacity modules became available, users discovered that WallStreet could support 256 MB in each slot for a maximum of 512 MB.

The original battery could power this PowerBook for 2.5 to 3 hours, and with one in each drive bay, you could achieve 5 to 6 hours.

These are the oldest PowerBooks supported under any shipping version of Mac OS X, although they are only officially supported through OS X 10.2. However, many WallStreet owners have successfully installed 10.3 using XPostFacto. Due to the computer's architecture, OS X can only be installed on a hard drive or the first partition of a hard drive under 8 GB in size - we suggest 7 GB to play it safe.

PDQ, the PowerBook G3 Series II

Apple updated the WallStreet design four months later with the introduction of the 'Series II' PowerBook G3, also known as 'WallStreet II' and 'PDQ'. Except for one low-end model, the 14" display was standard, and all models now had a cache and a 66 MHz system bus.

The 233 MHz PDQ model included a 512 KB L2 cache, which helped it achieve a MacBench 4 rating of 764. That's over 70% higher than the cacheless 'MainStreet' model it replaced - and the reason we label the MainStreet a Second Class Mac. It should have had a cache.

The middle PowerBook now had a 266 MHz CPU, which helped it benchmark at 941 - just what you'd expect from a 7% faster CPU. And at the top, the 300 MHz PDQ squeaked past the 292 MHz WallStreet with a 1052 score on MacBench 4 - just 2% better.

The only other substansive difference between WallStreet and PDQ is that the newer model has ATI Rage Pro video, a small improvement over the Rage II graphics in the Series I models.

WallStreet and PDQ Resources

Lombard, PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard)

One year after the introduction of WallStreet, Apple released a 2 pound lighter, 20% slimmer PowerBook G3 with even more power. Code named Lombard, the new model shipped at 333 MHz and 400 MHz on the same 66 MHz system bus as PDQ.

Lombard PowerBook G3The 333 MHz model includes a 512 KB L2 cache and scores 958 on MacBench 5 - that's less than 1% lower than the 300 MHz PDQ's 966 score, and the difference can be attributed to the bigger L2 cache on the PDQ.

The 400 MHz Lombard benchmarks at 1237, nearly 30% higher than the 333 MHz model, thanks to a 20% faster CPU and a 1 MB L2 cache.

Visually, Lombard is thinner than WallStreet and PDQ, and it has a transluscent brown (Apple calls it bronze) keybooard. This is the first PowerBook with USB ports and the first with no ADB or Apple serial ports.

Although there are two device bays, the one on the left can only hold a battery. The one on the right can hold a floppy drive, Zip drive, optical drive, second battery, etc. Because it's thinner than WallStreet, Apple only included a single CardBus slot.

Lombard's translucent bronze keyboardLombard uses ATI Rage LT Pro video and supports extended desktop mode, a feature PowerBooks had lost when the PowerBook 5300 was discontinued in August 1996.

Lombard officially supports up to 384 MB of RAM, but users have discovered that with two 256 MB modules it's possible to install and use 512 MB. There have been a few CPU upgrades for Lombard, including 466 MHz G4. Lombard is officially supported through Mac OS X 10.3, and 10.4 can be installed using XPostFacto.

Lombard Resources

Pismo, PowerBook (2000)

If you've spent much time around Low End Mac, you'd think that the 'Pismo' PowerBook was the be-all and end-all of PowerBooks. And in the minds of many, you'd be right. We've published more articles about Pismo than any other Mac notebook, and some users have even upgraded it to the point that they can run Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' on it (which is completely unsupported by Apple).

Pismo PowerBook 2000 The last G3 PowerBook (just 'PowerBook', no longer 'PowerBook G3') was announced in Feb. 2000. It's the same size and weight as Lombard, but Pismo has FireWire 400 ports instead of SCSI, room for an AirPort card, and a 100 MHz system bus. Pismo can be used as an external FireWire drive in FireWire Disk Mode.

In the field, a fresh 50 Watt-Hour Apple battery with a full charge yields up to 5 hours of use. Using two batteries can increase that to as much as 10 hours. Replacement batteries can boost that by up to 60%, for a potential 8 hours with one battery and 16 hours with two.

Pismo uses the same device bay components as Lombard, although its DVD drive cannot be used on Lombard.

PowerBook G3For the ultimate power, there have been a few 500 and 550 MHz G4 upgrades made for Pismo, although not all of them are still available. And for the ultimate speed, the PowerLogix BlueChip was available at 1 GHz, the fastest G3 CPU ever available in a Mac notebook. Pismo is the only G3 PowerBook to support 1 GB of RAM, although Apple only officially supports it to 512 MB. Note that you will not be able to use virtual memory under the Classic Mac OS (version 9.2.2 and earlier) with 1 GB of memory installed. It is the only G3 PowerBook officially supported under Mac OS X 10.4.

Overall, Pismo is the most flexible, most expandable PowerBook Apple ever built thanks to two device bays, support for fast hard drives and 1 GB of RAM, and the option of a G4 upgrade. Of all the G3 PowerBooks, this one has the strongest following.

Clamshell Mode

Pismo supports "lid closed" (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used lid closed mode, Pismo must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your Pismo until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Pismo will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions than you do with the internal display. The Pismo is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if your Pismo runs hot (perhaps due to a G4 upgrade or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in lid closed mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your 'Book and restore use of the built-in display.

Pismo Resources

Other PowerBook G3 Resources

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

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Archives

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Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

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Archives

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