Jump to content

To G4 Dvi or to G3 Lombard?


Recommended Posts

Yes, a strange topic indeed. I'm looking for a good PB capable of running Classic OS. I was trying to find nice, small 1400 (my first portable Apple) but in Europe it is difficult. But I can see some G3 and G4 Ti showing here and there from time to time. Not an easy decision which to choose - G3 is more durable, G4 is faster, better suited for eventual use of OSX. And hence my questions to users of G3 Lombard and G4 DVI (2002) users:

1. Are they capable of using 1920x1080 resolution on external monitor?

2. Is there any difference in daily OS 9 performance between them?

3. Is above particular G4 version less prone to the infamous paint peel off than earlier models?

4. What would you choose and why? ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say "Lombard", you mean the first gen G3 that were part of the  PowerBook G3 Series: Wallstreet Series I; Wallstreet Series II, aka PDQ; Bronze Keyboard, aka Lombard; and the G3 FireWire, aka Pismo - which looks like this?:

 

220px-WallstreetII.jpg

 

Or are you talking about another G3 Powerbook in Europe known as the "Lombard"?

 

The ones I mentioned above run anything from System 7.5.x to OS 9.2.2 and if you max out the RAM and upgrade the tiny 2 - 4 GB hard drive to at least 16 GB you can run OSX up to 10.4 but do not expect much power out of them. At least the Pismo with its 500MHz G3 CPU can keep up with the more modern G3/G4 machines, but the Lombard would have a bit of trouble with its slower CPU. You can get an accelerator in them to get them above 500MHz to get them to run OSX at a respectable pace however, but that is an expensive option.

 

As for the other G3/G4 machines, it depends on them, they can run OS9 on top of OSX but I seen some software incompatibilities with some programs, probably because of OS 9 itself or because of its emulation. I have noticed that the G3 PowerBooks and iBooks you can select to start up with either OS9 or OS Directly, and also with some G4 iBooks, but not with the G4 PowerBooks of this time (made 2003 - 2008) though they can run OS9 through OSX. The performance issue is not an issue; comparing it to the 1400cs, the G3 PowerBook/iBooks is 2X to 8X faster though there is that software issue on some programs.

 

It also depends on what other options you want that the G3/G4 could give, vs. what you can loose. Software issues being one of them; for me one example I can give is I noticed that Quark 3 cashes on OS9 but Quark 5 runs just fine. I/O is another, most G3/G4s do not have SCSI, so if you have scanners or external hard drives with SCSI, you lose them or need to convert them to USB, which could be expensive. Believe me I am not going to lose my 24bit Abaton Scanner that can do scans bigger than tabloid sized paper because its a SCSI!

 

If it were not for the price of shipping, there are a couple here who still have 1400s who are selling them in the USA. One person I deal with, J English Smith, was very helpful in having me solve a mystery to my dead 1400, which I thought was the Logic Board - it turns out to be the LCD Display. Boy do I feel dumb on that discovery, but great in now knowing what it is now to get it fixed right when I get the money and the parts. He may still have a 1400 or two and parts for it for sale, but again, shipping from the USA would be very expensive, and you would need to think if it is worth it. PM him (and others) for a price quote and then think about it.

Edited by Elfen
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used three out of four of the TiBook revisions as daily drivers, and here's my take:

 

A. The original 400/500mhz models are junk with severe build quality/design flaws. Avoid. Never had a second-gen VGA model so can't really comment on them, but allegedly some of the worst structural issues got some fixes.

 

B. All the DVI models from 667mhz to 1Ghz are pretty interchangeable. I remember my 667 (first-gen DVI) having an issue with the paint pitting on the handrests, I'm not so sure about the 867 (second gen). The vast majority of the Ti's issued by the company I worked for were of the DVI generation, and consistently the worst problems inherent to *every* Ti generation was the hinges seizing up. This was never really fixed, ever, and when it happened it wasn't uncommon for the user to literally rip the screen off the unit.

 

(The other inherent issue with Ti's was simply their fragility; drop them once from a fairly low altitude, even just rap them on a desk too hard, and you'll pop the bonding between the frame and the upper case panel. Once that happens you end up with a "floppy" laptop that droops visibly on one side if you lift it by the opposite corner. Just about every functional Ti that was handed in at upgrade time had this condition, but it was actually sort of unusual for Ti's to even last until the next scheduled upgrade; people found all sorts of creative ways to destroy them prematurely. Granted it's sort of the status quo that people abuse corporate laptops regardless of brand, but Ti's had really glass chins compared to most contemporary machines.)

 

This all said: if you want to talk performance it's no contest; a DVI Ti will wipe the floor with a Lombard or Pismo. It's better by every measure. And if you really want to drive a 1920x1080 monitor the Lombard has only 8MB of VRAM. "24 bit color" usually involves a 32 bit framebuffer allocation on "modern" (post mid-1990's) video chipsets and I'm pretty sure the ATI Rage is no exception, so, no, the math says it won't drive one, at least not without somehow disabling the built in monitor, and even then... the framebuffer would *barely* fit. You *may* be able to use 16 bit color, but the DVI Ti's all have at least 32MB so they'll run a monitor that large with impunity.

 

So... yeah, if you can get a DVI Ti in good physical shape (I'm sure there are literally *dozens* of them still in circulation), preferably one that has had the hinges replaced by sturdier third-party ones (my personal Ti that I gave away years ago had this modification) then that's what you want for an OS 9 laptop.

 

(So far as the hinge issues go, basically *every* laptop Apple ever built had similar clutch issues. Really the only difference with the Ti verses the earlier model is because of the minimalistic design of the screen mounts you were slightly more likely do do something dramatic like break the screen off when the clutch fails. Lombards and Pismos aren't immune either.)

Edited by Gorgonops
Link to post
Share on other sites

OS9 on my Beater 1400 runs pretty well on its 466MHz G3, but it's a 16bit only machine AFAIK.

 

My Pismo 500 is great, in clamshell mode it drives my 1600x1200 LCD at 24bit, haven't ever tried using it with the 1080p LCD, but you've got me curious, even if I do hate that format as a working desktop. Mine has been relegated to Blu-Ray "personal theater" duty until I get a few of the Macs hooked up to it in a Byzantine KVM setup.

 

I'm typing this on my pet 12" AlBook which I really like. I'm going to give Faux9 a try on it once I have the Tiger Installer in hand. The Native9 17incher is on my watch own personal watch list.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My Pismo 500 is great, in clamshell mode it drives my 1600x1200 LCD at 24bit, haven't ever tried using it with the 1080p LCD, but you've got me curious, even if I do hate that format as a working desktop.

 

1600x1200 and 1920x1080 are *close* to the same number of pixels; playing with the calculator both would *technically* fit into 6MB of RAM at 24 bit color and 8MB at 32 bit (again, most video cards today use 32 bit words to store a 24 bit color framebuffers; the extra ram is sometimes wasted, sometimes used as an alpha channel/overlay, something. I don't know what the Mac drivers do; I *think* Mach 64/"Rage LT" supports a packed 24 bit framebuffer but there's a performance hit for using it while I don't think Radeon does at all. Rage 128, which the Pismo has, no idea.) So... what happens if you open your laptop and try to dual-head it, can you still use full color depth? Even with packed 24bit pixels there's not going to be enough RAM to do that with 1920x1080, at 1600x1200... you *just* barely should fit. That's one way to determine if it's packed or 32 bit.

 

In any case, if I *needed* a native OS 9 machine I'd still take the DVI Ti (if it wasn't a total basket case) over a Pismo or Lombard simply because MOAR is usually better. The CPU is faster, bus is faster, and the video card is *oodles* better, particularly if you have any desire at all to run OS X on it. The only "legacy" port the Lombard has that the Ti lacks is its oddball SCSI port so it's not really a much better "bridge" machine.

 

Any of them would probably end up anchored to a desk, however. You carry these old dogs around they're just not going to last.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Closing the lid at the first sign of bootup enables clamshell mode, which makes all VRAM available to the external monitor. It won't do the resolutions/bit depths in questioned with spanned displays/segmented VRAM.

 

I ran the numbers to get the pixel counts, but didn't finish the calc. for VRAM requirement. Testing is easier and checks driver for 1080p/RAMDAC compatibility of the Pismo at the same time. I figured it to be a near run thing, if possible at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Doubtful, different chipset. Give the info at LEM a going over:

 

http://lowendmac.com/2000/pismo-powerbook-2000-firewire/

 

I don't see a listing for 1080p, but there are a couple of wide screen resolutions available. They have a typo spec'd listing 1600x1200 as 1600x1000.

 

Clamshell mode rocks! Uset the Pismo as my main graphics machine recently when the DA and QS'02 both had bellyaches at the same time.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, it became quite lenghty during my absence, so I'll try to answer in one longer mail ;)

 
Elfen - it is Lombard aka "Bronze keyboard" G3 version that I was thinking about. I want choosen machine to run OS9 natively. SCSI is rather not needed as I have in my PC (ironic, isn't it?).
And yes, I was in touch with J English Smith (very nice person BTW), but he has only one 1400cs/117 left with FDD only. And I was afraid about eventual system reinstall, as I don't have any Mac with FDD drive (I have one USB, but with Mavericks on MBP it is possible only to use diskettes in R/O mode...). And of crouse shipping costs are high. There is alternative to USPS Polish service (they ask about half of what USPS used to charge for this), but it is not available in J English Smith's region...
 
Gorgonops - I'm thinking about G4 DVI 667 MHz model in nice cosmetical condition (I've heard that from these series at least screen hinges were somewhat improved), with almost no signs of paint peel off. Fragility of these G4s would not be a problem, as I would use it for pleasure from time to time, rather not carrying around (this is my MBP duty).
 
Trash80toHP_Mini - sometimes it is possible that graphic card could have enough memory, but could not be capable of specific resolutions, especially in case of analog outputs, where specific timings of signal must be pre-programmed. It is usually easier in case of DVI output, where no D/A conversion is needed.
 
So after reading all of your posts, I'm leaning towards mentioned above G4 DVI, with perhaps a chance for a 1400 in nice shape and reasonable price in the future, with System 7 - mostly for a REAL nostalgia ;) Alas it is not always nostalgia. There are still very productive features of classic OS missing in OSX - like window print, or possibility to automatically mount network disks after system start. Not to mention coding quality. Has anybody ever enjoyed waiting for print preview in Excel 2011? Or turn of wysywig font menu to speed up launch time? Office 2001 apps do it better. No joy.
Edited by sylwiusz
Link to post
Share on other sites

...

 

So... yeah, if you can get a DVI Ti in good physical shape (I'm sure there are literally *dozens* of them still in circulation), preferably one that has had the hinges replaced by sturdier third-party ones (my personal Ti that I gave away years ago had this modification) then that's what you want for an OS 9 laptop.

 

...

 

Hi,

That's interesting , never knew there was some third-party stronger hinges.

Do you know how it was done ? always heard it was impossible to open these glued screen bezels without bending it badly...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

That's interesting , never knew there was some third-party stronger hinges.

Do you know how it was done ? always heard it was impossible to open these glued screen bezels without bending it badly...

 

Yeah, several companies were making/selling improved replacements; Apple also did make some tweaks themselves, so a given type of machine may well have used more than one revision of hinge. Some of the third-party hinges looked pretty much like the originals but made of, say, stainless steel instead of "pot metal", but I recall one company selling ones that were physically fatter. And, yes, the replacement procedure is absolutely horrible. Here's a writeup from someone who got pretty good at it.

 

(The machine I had with replaced hinges I had repaired by a company that I negotiated a trade with; in exchange for swapping my broken hinges I gave them another Ti that had a brand-new AppleCare'd LCD in it but had the logic board destroyed by a liquid spill. Since both Ti's had been free it was a heck of a deal...)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trash80toHP_Mini - sometimes it is possible that graphic card could have enough memory, but could not be capable of specific resolutions, especially in case of analog outputs, where specific timings of signal must be pre-programmed. It is usually easier in case of DVI output, where no D/A conversion is needed.

Exactly, that's what I meant by driver/RAMDAC compatibility. From the (always questionable) info on LEM, it appears that the Pismo will not do 1080p even with plenty of VRAM on board. So I'll be definitely be testing that! ;D

 

The split slow-side I/O bus of the NuBus architecture 1400 precludes any external monitor bit depth higher than that of the rare 16bit VIEWpowr card. The 1400 is the pick of the NuBus PowerBook litter in my estimation, so good luck in finding one over there. ;)

 

Have fun with your DVI/Ti, given your requirements, that sounds like a winner to me as well.

 

 

______________________________________________

 

As a side note: Ironically, the only remotely possible 1080p solutions I have available for NuBus Architecture Macs would be:

 

The very late Radius Thunder IV GX/1600 which is almost certainly hamstrung by RAMDAC incompatibility, given possible development of a 1080p driver.

 

The other is my very early SuperMac Spectrum/24 project card. That eager lil' puppy was built with all options wide open in 1989, before Video Resolutions became set in stone. One day I'll have the 720p/24bit and 1080p/8bit @ 60Hz timings and crystal requirements for analog VGA noodled out (or find someone who already knows how to calculate them) to put my pet IIfx (also 1989 vintage) into the world of HDTV LCD resolutions. Not too shabby for 25 year old retro-ware! :D

 

.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The split slow-side I/O bus of the NuBus architecture 1400 precludes any external monitor bit depth higher than that of the rare 16bit VIEWpowr card. The 1400 is the pick of the NuBus PowerBook litter in my estimation, so good luck in finding one over there. ;)

 

Have fun with your DVI/Ti, given your requirements, that sounds like a winner to me as well.

Got it! In nice working condition 667 MHz DVI version. I already have my Photoshop 6, Office 2001 and Tiger discs ready, but I have to wait for shiping from Germany ;)

http://www.ebay.de/itm/221575891021?_trksid=p2059210.m2750.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

The split slow-side I/O bus of the NuBus architecture 1400 precludes any external monitor bit depth higher than that of the rare 16bit VIEWpowr card. The 1400 is the pick of the NuBus PowerBook litter in my estimation, so good luck in finding one over there. ;)

.

Not an easy task, but with PB G4 I can patiently wait ;)

 

 

As a side note: Ironically, the only remotely possible 1080p solutions I have available for NuBus Architecture Macs would be:

 

The very late Radius Thunder IV GX/1600 which is almost certainly hamstrung by RAMDAC incompatibility, given possible development of a 1080p driver.

 

The other is my very early SuperMac Spectrum/24 project card. That eager lil' puppy was built with all options wide open in 1989, before Video Resolutions became set in stone. One day I'll have the 720p/24bit and 1080p/8bit @ 60Hz timings and crystal requirements for analog VGA noodled out (or find someone who already knows how to calculate them) to put my pet IIfx (also 1989 vintage) into the world of HDTV LCD resolutions. Not too shabby for 25 year old retro-ware! :D.

Yes, that would be something really exceptional :) And pairing old Mac and software with modern LCD is a real pleasure to experience ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, 720p@24bit is definitely the sweet spot for the card. But the preset timing mode of my ViewSonic P225f for VESA(GTF) 2048x1536@75Hz in whatever amount of colors/grays that 3MB of VRAM can dish out would absolutely rock!

 

2k & 4k Display resolutions from the dawn of time! :D

 

 

.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love it when serendipity rears its lovely head! Hopefully, tomorrow the VESA site moderator will be sending the CVT Spreadsheet companion to:

 

Coordinated Video Timings Standard

Version 1.1

September 10, 2003

 

http://ftp.cis.nctu.edu.tw/csie/Software/X11/private/VeSaSpEcS/VESA_Document_Center_Monitor_Interface/CVTv1_1.pdf

 

:D

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

OK, so G4 Ti DVI has arrived :) Nice cosmetical condition, very, very minor paint loss (a few 1 mm spots). Works like a dream at 1920x1080, a real pleasure to see OS 9 at this resolution, especially that its elements (menus, fonts) are normally more compact than the ones in OS X. Seller wrote in description that battery was dead, but after a few hours it started to charge and now it is capable of holding charge for about 3 hours and has only 39 cycles   :p Seems like typical deep discharge and lack of use of li-ion cells - they need some time under power to resurrect  :O Anyway quite lovely Powerbook, so thin and light. Yes, fragile too, but under my ocassional use it should last :p

Edited by sylwiusz
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...