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Manufacturer: Apple


Titanium PowerBook G4/667
April 29, 2002 | Patrick Leyden
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The Constant Companion
I have been using the PowerBook G4/667 as my primary Macintosh system for nearly five months. During that time, the Titanium has traveled with me across the continental United States twice (for Macworld San Francisco and nVidia’s unveiling of the GeForce 4), to a number of LAN parties as well accompanying me every day to my 9 to 5 job. Its lightweight design and thin profile make it an excellent traveling companion. I was even able to use it while sitting in Coach class on an airplane. It was a tight fit, but I was able to pull it off provided that the passenger in front of me did not lean back in their seat.

I was prepared to be disappointed in the Titanium 667 as a platform for mobile Macintosh gaming. This is not because I doubted the hardware specifications published by Apple, rather, I was simply expecting to be let down in my quest for perfect portable gaming as I have been in the past. Ever since the first PowerBook was released, I have been hoping that Apple would release the perfect portable gaming machine. My first mobile Mac was a PowerBook DUO 230, but it wasn’t much of a contender. The 1400c/166 was an improvement, sporting an active matrix color screen and the best keyboard I have every used on a Mac portable, but I could barley play the original Quake on that machine. Next up was the original iBook (in Tangerine, if you must know). The G3 processor provided a performance boost, but the graphics processor was anemic at best. The FireWire iBook (Key Lime this time) was the first portable Mac I owned that I could call a gaming machine, thanks to its Rage 128 Mobility-powered graphics and respectable G3 processor. However, its relatively small screen resolution and physical size (800x600 on a 12.1 inch display) and the limitation of having one USB port were major stumbling blocks.

Apple’s release of the G4/667 Titanium PowerBook has resolved every annoyance I have voiced as a mobile Mac gamer. First of all, it is fast. At 667 MHz on a 133 MHz bus, this machine did not balk at any application I threw at it. The presence of the Mobility Radeon graphics processor alone will likely be the selling point for many users who want to play 3D games at reasonable frame rates. There may be faster GPUs on the market from both ATI and NVIDIA, but the truth of the matter is that including the Mobility Radeon in this PowerBook is probably more significant for gamers than the computer’s G4 processor.

The system’s built-in stereo speakers may be maligned by a vast majority of users, but their presence makes gaming a bit more immersive if you forget to pack your headphones. Finally, the PowerBook G4’s wide range of input/output options means that a gamer can plug into an external monitor or television, access high-speed wired and wireless networks and has multiple USB devices plugged in without a hub.



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