17″ PowerBook G4 hi-res (Late 2005)

You can never have too many pixels. As the 15″ PowerBook moved to a 1440 x 960 display – the same resolution as all previous 17″ PowerBooks – the 17-incher received a high resolution 1680 x 1050 screen.

17" PowerBook G4Standard is a dual-layer 8x SuperDrive, although those who choose to can special order the 17″ ‘Book with a Combo drive. The standard 120 GB hard drive spins at 5400 rpm, and a 100 GB 7200 rpm drive is a build-to-order option. The Late 2005 model runs at the same 1.67 GHz speed as its predecessor, although its use of DDR2 memory will probably improve performance.

Bluetooth 2.0 (up to 3x faster than the old standard) and AirPort Extreme are standard features.

Battery life is rated at 5.5 hours, an improvement of one hour over earlier models, and the price is US$200 less than the January 2005 model.

Closed Lid Mode: G4 PowerBooks support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book 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. The PowerBook is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if yours runs hot (perhaps due to overclocking or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in closed lid 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.

  • Got a G4 PowerBook or iBook? Join our G4 ‘Books Group or PowerBooks and iBooks Forum.
  • Got a PowerBook G4? Join the Titanium G4 email list.
  • Our Mac OS 9 Group is for those using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
  • 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 2005.10.19 at US$2,499
  • model number: M9970
  • requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard
  • CPU: 1.67 GHz G4 (7457B)
  • Bus: 167 MHz
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 899
  • ROM: 4 MB, NewWorld ROM in RAM architecture
  • RAM: 512 MB, expandable to 2 GB using 533 MHz PC2-4200 DDR2 RAM
  • Level 2 cache: 512 KB at CPU speed
  • Video: ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 AGP 4x
  • VRAM: 128 MB
  • Video out: S-video and DVI (VGA with included Apple VGA Display Adapter)
  • display: 17″ 24-bit 1680 x 1050 117 ppi color active matrix
    • Supports 1440 x 852, 1280 x 1024, 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 640, 800 x 500, 720 x 480, and 640 x 480 at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1280 x 1024, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio.
    • Supports up to 2560 x 1600 on external display. Allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode
  • Hard drive: 120 GB 5400 rpm ATA/100
  • optical drive: 8x dual-layer SuperDrive
    • SuperDrive writes DVD-R and DVD+R at up to 8x, DVD-RW and DVD+RW at 4x, reads DVDs at 8x, writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 10x, reads CDs at 24x
  • floppy drive: external USB only
  • expansions bays: none
  • USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire: 1 FW 400 port, 1 FW 800 port
  • IR port: none
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • Modem: v.92 56k
  • WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme built in
  • Bluetooth: BT 2.0 built in
  • PC Cards: 1 slot, supports Type II cards only
  • size: 10.2″ x 15.4″ x 1.0″ (259 x 392 x 26 mm)
  • Weight: 6.9 pounds (3.1 kg)
  • Part no.: M9970LL/A

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