Damian Cugley’s Weblog

Mr Steve announced two new PowerBooks, one large (more a portfolio than a notebook) and one dinky (smaller than a PowerBook Duo, apparently). The new 12 model has a lot of similarities with the 12″ iBook, not least the screen (1024×768 with a 12·1″ diagonal), maximum memory (640 MB), and network (10/100 base-T). So it is kind of an ‘iBook G4’ with the following differences from the iBook Combo:

iBook Combo PowerBook 12″
Processor 800 MHz G3 867 MHz G4
L2 Cache 512 KB at 800 MHz 256 KB DDR SRAM
Main memory 128 MB PC100 SDRAM @ £1049·00 256 MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM @ £1398·99
Max memory 640 MB @ £1209·02 640 MB @ £1517·41
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 with 32MB SDRAM NVIDIA GeForce4 420 Go with 32MB of DDR SDRAM
Disc 30 GB Ultra ATA 40 GB Ultra ATA/100
Wireless Airport-ready Airport-Extreme-ready;
Video output VGA, S-Video VGA, optional S-Video/composite
Operating System 9 and X X only

I’ve priced them with maximum RAM because if I were hypothetically to buy such a beastie, I would give RAM priority over anything else. But maybe that’s because I’ve been having trouble with my mere 256 MB on the desktop at work, thanks to Microsoft .Net.

But how much memory does a computer really need? The computer I am typing this on runs more or less acceptably maxed out at a ‘tiny’ 64 MB, despite X11 chewing up 34 MB of it for some reason (so long as I avoid Mozilla). I remember playing Elite on a BBC Micro Model B (Photos) that had 32 KB for main memory and graphics combined. The computers listed above both have 1024 times as much RAM in their graphics cards alone. In a notebook! The world’s gone mad, I tell you.

12 January 2003

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