OpenGL on 12" G4 iBook vs PBook

I’m going to get a new laptop (my first Apple) next week and one of the main uses for it will be OpenGL developement on the go. I need a really small laptop, so I won’t be going over 12" and thus my choices are basically limited to the lowest-end G4 iBook and 12" PowerBook. PowerBook would otherwise be the safe bet, but how does its GF FX 5200 Go compare to iBook’s Mobility Radeon 9200 performance- and feature-wise?

All the (massively game-oriented) comparisons I’ve been able to find have suggested that Radeon would be a better performer, but as I’m not all that much into games, I would be willing to sacrifice some speed for more supported extensions / overall better OpenGL support.

So do any of you have any experiences on either or even better, both?

I recently have had the opportunity to compare the 14" iBook and the 12" Powerbook, along with a bunch of desktop GPUs. My tests are particular to my in-development apps (not games) though so take this as one person’s (biased) opinion.

Fill rate test: (drawing overlapped blended 800x600 textures at 60fps, how many can be stacked before dropping frames?)

Radeon 9200: 7
GFgoFX5200; 9

for comparison:
Radeon 9600 mobility (in Powerbook g4): 21
GFFX5200 (in G5): at least 32.

immediate mode primitive drawing (not very real-world, but it gives you some numbers) thousands of points/lines/triangles per second under various framebuffer modes:

         ALIASED        HARDWARE AA    FSAA X2        FSAA X4        SOFTWARE AA

Radeon9200 171/122/21 171/122/21 160/88/11 139/69/6 13/4/0
GFgo5200 454/151/24 105/61/23 411/97/13 240/56/7 18/6/0

Of course performance gets a lot better using VAR or display lists.

There is also a large difference in the quality of the implementation-- the GF being better. Check some pictures comparing antialiasing quality.

Summary: go with the GFgoFX5200 in the 12" Powerbook. (And stay far, far away from the Radeon 9600 in the 15"/17" Powerbooks)

Thanks a lot for your info, that kind of stuff was exactly what I was looking for.

I just ordered my 12" PB, it should arrive by Friday.

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