The PowerBook update that came at the end of January included a slight boost to the clock speed of the processors powering the Apple laptops. While the old PowerBooks came with either a 1.33GHz or 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 processor, the refreshed line now features a 1.5GHz G4 chip in its entry-level model. The high-end 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks ship with a 1.67GHz G4 processor.
Will this modest speed bump mean a measurable increase in performance? We’ve finished benchmarking most of the new PowerBooks (with the exception of the 17-inch 1.67GHz PowerBook G4, which has yet to arrive), and we can report that PowerBook performance has improved with this upgrade.
For the most part, the results followed a predictable pattern. The 15-inch 1.67GHz PowerBook G4 was faster than the new 1.5GHz models, which produced very similar results to the previous 1.5GHz models.
The only exception was the Compressor MPEG-2 encode test, in which the new 12-inch 1.5GHz model handily beat a 15-inch model with the same processor. The li’l 12-incher even beat the 1.67GHz model by a few seconds. We’re still trying to figure that one out.
Look for our full review of the new PowerBooks to appear soon. In the meantime, you can stay up-to-date on all PowerBook-related news by visiting Macworld ’s Mac Laptops page.
In the meantime, here are the results from our preliminary PowerBook tests:
PowerBook G4 Benchmarks
|SpeedMark 3.3||Cinema4D 8.5||iMovie HD Render||iTunes 4.7 MP3 encode||Photoshop CSSuite||Unreal Tournament||Compressor MPEG2 Encode|
|PowerBook 1.67GHz 15-inch||142||4:15||0:51||2:16||2:00||28.4||12:36|
|PowerBook 1.5GHz 15-inch||136||4:44||:56||2:30||2:02||25.5||13:55|
|PowerBook 1.5GHz 12-inch||136||4:36||:58||2:24||2:00||22.4||12:06|
|PowerBook 1.5GHz 15-inch (2004)||134||4:38||0:58||2:26||2:05||26.5||12:24|
Best results in bold. Reference system in italics .
This story, "From the Lab: New PowerBook Benchmarks" was originally published by PCWorld.