Quick Overview of G4 iBooks

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.

G4 iBooksThe G4 iBooks support 802.11g AirPort Extreme, USB 2.0, Mobility Radeon 9200 or 9550 graphics, an internal Bluetooth module, and DDR (double data rate) RAM.

For more in-depth coverage, see Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to the iBook G4.

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.

Online Resources


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