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Have a bit of a quandry here.

I have a G3 500 Pismo with 512 of memory, and Jaguar on it. I love the machine, but I'd love it to be a bit faster, and do a little more.

I may be coming into a bit of money in a little while, and I've considered sending it out to have a G4 500 chip put in.

However, I do have a friend at a local university who can get me an iBook G4 at university prices. I figure the amount to upgrade my Pismo + the value of the Pismo is roughly the same as the iBook.

Is it worth it?
 
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Get the iBook - the Pismo is showing its age. The Pismo has practially no (if any) good parts compared to the iBook G4. I would say that it has a 14.1" display, but then again, since the iBook G4's run the same resolution, as everyone mentioned here, "The screen real-estate is the identical." ;) The iBooks have a faster system bus, faster RAM, faster processor, 4 times better (4 x 8 =32) graphics card, holds more RAM (1.1 GB; DDR), Combo drive, bigger hard drive, USB 2.0, etc. Yeah... WAY better than your Pismo.
 

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mf72, I have the new 14"iBook, and I would suggest that you try to max out the RAM and get Airport Extreme and Bluetooth installed at the source, rather that try to add AE on your own, or use a BT adapter after-the-fact. This is what a longtime iBook user suggested to me and it made sense. Just a suggestion.
 
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rather that try to add AE on your own
It's a simple process to install an AirPort card, and even the most of novice users could do it - same goes with the RAM. Bluetooth, on the otherhand, is a different story - I agree; get that pre-installed.
 

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4 times better (4 x 8 =32) graphics card

Just like Mhz aren't the only thing to look at in terms of computer performance, VRAM is not the only thing to look at in terms of video card performance.

The Rage 128 in your pismo can't do many, many things that the cards in the new iBooks can do, regardless of how much VRAM they both have. To say it is 4x better wholesale is an understatement.

--PB
 

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Lars2 is correct on both counts on installation ease and inability. I am not comfortable with going in to install anything unless I have to, which is why I decided to let the folks at Apple Canada do it for me.
 

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It depends on what you need the iBook for,
If you need the PC Card slot for legacy devices and drive
bay expansion for hard drives etc, Then keep the Pismo.
If you want a faster processor, Then buy the iBook.

I'd get the Airport card for sure,
That's if you buy the iBook.


Dave :cool:
 

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Sell it now... while you can still get some decent $$$$ for it. I imagine you might get $8-900 for (maybe)... with that you are good way on to getting an iBook G4.

I would recommend the 12" iBook as the 14" won't get you much more.
 
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Just like Mhz aren't the only thing to look at in terms of computer performance, VRAM is not the only thing to look at in terms of video card performance.

The Rage 128 in your pismo can't do many, many things that the cards in the new iBooks can do, regardless of how much VRAM they both have. To say it is 4x better wholesale is an understatement.
Yes, I know. My reply was pretty basic. In terms of the iBook's graphics card being 4 times better, however, is pretty accurate. The graphics engine in the RADEON 7500 is far, far faster than the Rage Pro in the Pismo, and has a much faster clockspeed as well.

It's also worthy to note that the graphics chip on the iBook is supported by a 4X-AGP bus, making transfer between the chip and processor much, much faster (AGP = dedicated graphics bus - Accelerated Graphics Port) than the transfer between the Pismo's chip and processor. The iBook also uses DDR-SDRAM graphics memory, which is also significantly faster than SDRAM graphics memory, which is featured in the Pismo.
 

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Actually, the Radeon 7500 is probably more than 4x faster just based on the fact that the Rage 128 is limited to rendering textures in squares (this is also the reason that the Rage 128 is no supported by quartz extreme).

There are also more technical reasons, such as wider memory bandwidth (in addition to being faster), more shaders and more pipelines.

As I said, 4x better is probably an understatement.

--PB
 

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Ahhhh yes... Freeman, I feel your pain - maybe not pain, but I can most certainly sympathize.

As a pismo owner, I understand what it's like holding on to a classic, but seeing all the shiny new cars drive by! I have the $$ for a new machine, but have such a pleasure using Kenya (her name), that I have a hard time letting go...

With that said, I will whisper this: [get the iBook].

The Pismo, was such an awesome unit - so well manufactured (and Apple went back to the same screen hinge design) , and still is with the upgrade path that it possesses. but the G4 500 u/g was eclipsed by the G3 900 one. More ppl have gone for that one when it was made avail. But my thing is that the unit ran/runs pretty hot from what I hear. You are still stuck with the same amount of VRAM (8M). The cost of the u/g is better put towards a new unit. You also do not have a combo drive (which you will get with the new unit), though you could add it yourself (@ a cost of @ least $200 min). What is your batt like? good? decent? Although it can be refurb'ed, but that will cost $230 after taxes. The new chip coul dbe a drain on your system. The laps are pretty well priced now and you will get up to date technology. I'm still on the fence about selling mine, but I would keep it only to play with (parts experimentation). I noticing some sluggish performance of some apps, that think are prettt much chip related - not harm done, but this warrior has fought enough battles.

To the Good Dr_G, installing parts on your own is so empowering - not too hard in most cases, but I love taking units apart - you get to look around and learn a few things on your own. You should try to max out ram on a Pismo! (esp bot slot) :eek: not hard, but fun to walk thru.

So Freeman, you are looking @:

chip ($500) + combo dr (@ $200 min - and that is being hella kind, more like $300) + Batt ($200). A decent upgrade will run you @ least $1K or so... That made sense maybe 18 months ago. Not any more though.

Alas, I must conclude that the Pismo is not worth gutting - unless you get some dirt cheap parts (like HDs etc...), but surely not processor. Make sure get BT installed on your newer unit. I have a dongle, but it takes up a USB slot, and my mouse takes up the other. Not fun when I have to print stuff... always have to unplug etc...

Let us know what you do.

H!
 

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Pismo's have to be my all time favourite Mac :D , I'm not sure why. You should sell it and get yourself a G4 iBook, more bang for your buck. The pismo's had great life, and they were durable, but the iBook takes after that.
 

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As another satisfied Pismo owner, I feel the same way about upgrading that you guys do. The Pismo is such a well designed laptop, and it has never let me down. I'm still getting 2 1/2-3 hours on the battery and it's the original one that came with the PowerBook. I am still considering a trade-up and I have the money to do it, but so far I haven't been able to convince myself that there's any compelling reason to trade in such an excellent computer. It's the same thing with my other "classic", a cube - I can get a faster machine, but where am I going to get such a quiet, neat looking, well-designed machine? Going back to the Pismo, I would not recommend upgrading your CPU. I can't image the speed increase being worth the extra money you would spend for this. Either live with what you have or trade up to an iBook. Bear in mind three things you would lose in the trade: (1) no option for running an extra monitor to expand your view (video mirroring only on the iBook); (2) loss of replaceable disk modules; (3) a VGA output that hooks up to standard VGA of any monitor or video projector. The last one may seem trivial, but I use my PowerBook to make presentations and I never need to carry a cable adapter to hook up to video projector. I saw a graduate student nearly lose it when she discovered that she left her cable at home and her iBook couldn't hook up to a video projector without that cable. (Fortunately, an empathetic Mac user at MicroAge - a member on this list - took pity and loaned her a cable.) None of these things may matter to you, but I thought I should note the negatives of the trade since others have noted the positives. In the end, I'll end up trading up, too, but so far, these little things have kept me happy with my Pismo even in the face of these shiny, new toys.
 

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Good points Fox.

The monitor thing is très true as is the optical drive note. Although, the drive in the CD/DVD-ROM iBooks were still good for an u/g to a combo - though not as nicely done as the Pismo.

Apple made a beast in the Pismo that I think that they must still marvel @. Notice that the portables that came after were slowly less and less CIP friendly. I wonder about the new PBs now. Slot loading opticals are out of the Q? for sure.

oh well... either move your Pismo - or forever hold your piece. :D

I say move it.

H!
 

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Fox - Officially you can only mirror with the iBook, but a widely available firmware fix allows you to span. I know it has worked flawlessly on the iBook I use.

The extra adapter for the iBook can be hassle sometimes, since you requre an extra few inches of space on the left side of the iBook to use it, but if you carry your iBook in a bag, there usually is a pouch designed for just that kind of thing.
 

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I just bought a Pismo 400, and it's my very first mac - And I have to say it can't be beat for the price. Even with educational pricing, I can't price out a brand-new iBook with equivalent screen size, 640mb ram and a DVD player for less then $2000.00. If I was going to move to a new machine, I'd probably save a bit extra and go to a new Powerbook...
 

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anil,
If you don't mind me asking, what did you pay for the Pismo, and, what are the specks.
I have been the proud owner of a Pismo for a year now. G4 upgrade 500mhz, 48 gig HD
DVD Combo. Great machine, however, I need to burn DVD's. So I too am wondering what to do???
 

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Spencer, I bought my pismo from a retailer just before the G4 iBooks came out, and added RAM, a new HD, and an airport card. So I paid the steep price of about $1300.00.
It's a g3 400 640mb ram, 15G HD, Airport.
 
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