PowerBooks & iBooks

17″ PowerBook G4

17" PowerBook G4

The 17" PowerBook G4 was launched at 1 GHz in January 2003. That model shipped with Mac OS X 10.2.4, 512 MB of memory, a 60 GB 4200 rpm hard drive, and a 1x SuperDrive. It had Nvidia GeForce 4 440 Go graphics with 64 MB of video RAM driving an internal 1440 x 900 display; it could also use an external display via S-video or DVI (VGA was supported with an adapter).

The 'Big Al' notebook had two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, a CardBus slot, a built-in modem, and gigabit ethernet. It included AirPort Extreme (802.11g WiFi) and Bluetooth support. RAM expansion to 1 GB is supported by Apple using PC2700 DDR SDRAM on a 133 MHz bus, and users later discovered that the 17" PowerBook works with 1 GB modules, giving it a 2 GB memory ceiling.

The computer measured 10.2" x 15.4" x 1.0" and weighed 6.8 lb. The battery was officially rated at 4.5 hours.

17" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz

Eight months later, in Sept. 2003, Apple updated the Big Al design using a 1.33 GHz CPU and a 167 MHz system bus for a 33% power boost. The new model included ATI Mobility Radeon 9600, an 80 GB hard drive, and a 2x SuperDrive.

17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz

In April 2004, the Big Al PowerBook gained 13% more power by moving to 1.5 GHz. The updated model had ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics, a 4x SuperDrive, and Bluetooth 2.0.

17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz

In January 2005, Apple moved the 17" PowerBook to 1.67 GHz, just 11% faster than before. In addition to the faster CPU, video memory was doubled to 128 MB, and a 5400 rpm 100 GB hard drive and 8x SuperDrive were included.

Hi-Res 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz

The final revision came in October 2005, just two months before Apple began its transition to Intel CPUs. There were several changes under the hood - the new version used PC4200 memory, had a dual-layer 8x SuperDrive, and included a 1680 x 1050 display. With the new design, Apple managed to squeeze an extra hour out of the battery.

Through the entire family, 512 MB of RAM, Bluetooth, and AirPort Extreme were standard, and each revision had the same ports as its predecessors.

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