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Apple’s PowerBook G4

In March 2001, Apple's titanium PowerBook G4 became commonly available. This system represents the "professional portable" portion of Apple's five-part product line. The PowerBook G4 includes both the first 15-inch screen (actually a 15.2-inch screen) and the first G4 processor on any Apple laptop.

The PowerBook G4 is approximately half a pound lighter than the PowerBook G3 it replaces. It comes in two standard configurations and can be custom configured at Penn's Apple Store.

What it has

  • G4 processor with 1 Mbyte backside level 2 cache
  • Two DIMM slots, currently allowing up to 512 Mbytes RAM
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • 10/100BaseT Ethernet
  • 56 kbps modem
  • Two 12 Mbps USB ports for connecting low-speed devices
  • One 400 Mbps FireWire [IEEE 1394] port
  • One Type II PC Card (PCMCIA) slot
  • 15.2-inch active-matrix screen with 1152 x 768 maximum (native) resolution
  • ATI Rage Mobility 128 AGP video controller with 8 MB SGRAM
  • Stereo speakers and 1/8-inch stereo out jack
  • Mac OS 9.1

What it doesn’t have

  • Analog sound-in port (sound must now be imported through either USB, FireWire, or a PC Card)
  • Floppy drive (external USB floppy drives such as the Imation SuperDisk are available)
  • Removable drive bays
Standard configurations

The PowerBook G4 is offered in two standard configurations at the Computer Connection:

  • 400 MHz G4/128 Mbytes RAM/10 Gbyte hard drive
  • 500 MHz G4/256 Mbytes RAM/20 Gbyte hard drive

Technical issues & recommendations

ISC does not expect there to be significant hardware-related compatibility problems with the PowerBook G4. However, the PowerBook will have the same software-related conflicts that any Mac OS 9.1-based workstation would have.

ISC has tested the PowerBook G4 for compatibility with University-supported hardware and software. Special attention has been paid to dial-up networking and modem functionality, which has been tested using a modified version of ISC’s modem testing script. The PowerBook G4 is compatible with the 2000 PennConnect CD-ROM and with Penn’s supported network applications.

These workstations meet ISC’s Recommended Configurations for New 'Desktop-Equivalent' Laptop Workstations. As always, support providers should be aware of the technical issues associated with any new workstation design.

--John Mulhern III, IT Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services


Please note: This material is no longer current and appears online for archival purposes only.
Use the search and navigation tools above to locate more up-to-date materials, if they exist.


Please note: This material is no longer current and appears online for archival purposes only.
Use the search and navigation tools above to locate more up-to-date materials, if they exist.
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