PowerBook Buyer's Guide

PowerBook G3 2000 (Pismo)

The 2000 PowerBook G3 signaled a significant change from previous G3 models, although these changes were not necessarily apparent on the surface, since Apple chose to use the same form factor as Lombard (1999) PowerBook G3's. Pismo PowerBooks, as they are called, included faster G3 processors, a 100MHz system bus (as opposed to 66MHz on Lombard models), two FireWire ports, and built-in AirPort technology. These machines represented the pinnacle of G3 technology and were the fastest portables on the planet when introduced. Meant to be used as a desktop replacement, Pismo models were really the first portable Macs capable of doing anything that their desktop counterparts could do. With larger screens, more powerful processors, and greater expansion capabilities, Pismo PowerBooks were also marketed as the professional alternative to the consumer-focused iBooks - although for a $1000 premium over the iBook.

In September 2000, Apple introduced the Revision 'B' PowerBook G3 2000 models. The only difference between the original Revision 'A' Pismo models was the inclusion of 10GB (with 400MHz models) and 20GB (with 500MHz models) hard drives.


At the time: A+

General (PowerBook G3/500)

  • 500MHz PowerPC G3 processor
  • 1MB backside L2 cache
  • 128MB standard RAM, maximum 512MB
  • Available 12 or 20GB hard drives
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • 56k internal modem
  • No floppy drive
  • Available as build-to-order through Apple Store

General (PowerBook G3/400)

  • 400MHz PowerPC G3 processor
  • 1MB backside L2 cache
  • 64MB standard RAM, maximum 512MB
  • Available 6.0 or 10GB hard drives
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • 56k internal modem
  • No standard floppy drive
  • Available as build-to-order through Apple Store


  • 2 USB
  • stereo in
  • stereo out
  • video out
  • S-video out
  • 2 FireWire
  • IR
  • 2 expansion bays
  • 1 PC card slots
  • ethernet
  • internal modem
  • internal AirPort slot


  • 14.1" TFT XGA active matrix at 1024x768 resolution, able to display varying resolutions.


  • 5.9 lbs.

Apple's Specifications:

PowerBook G3 (FireWire)

Logic Board Ports Power
Processor: G3, 400, 500 MHz
PMMU: integrated
FPU: integrated
Data Path: 64-bit, 100 MHz
L1 Cache: 64K
L2 Cache: 1MB
2nd Processor: none
Slots: One Type I or Type II PC Card
ADB: n/a
Video: VGA Style
Floppy: none
SCSI: none
Geoports: none
Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
FireWire: 2
Mic Type: Built-in
Other Ports: Speaker,
Max Watts: 45
Amps: 1.2
BTU per Hr: 153.9
Freq Range: Hz
Battery Type: 50 Watt Hr LiIon
Soft Power: yes
Memory Video Memory
Logic Board: none
RAM Slots: 2, PC100 SO-DIMM
Min - Max RAM: 64 MB - 512 MB
Min RAM Speed:
RAM Sizes: Up to 256 MB
Install in Groups of: 1
Resolution Video Memory
Built-in LCD
512 x 384 n/a
640 x 400 n/a
640 x 480 n/a
800 x 600 n/a
832 x 624 n/a
1024 x 768 n/a
1152 x 870 n/a
1280 x 1024 n/a

Notes: S-video and VGA video output ports
Physical Software Storage
Introduced: 2/15/2000
Discontinued: n/a
Form Factor: PowerBook
Gestalt ID:
Weight (lbs): 6.1
Dimensions (in): 10.4 H x 12.7 W x 1.7 D
Notes: Weight is 5.7 pounds with DVD-ROM module removed and weight saving module installed.
Addressing Modes: 32-bit
Orig SSW: 9.0
Orig Enabler: n/a
ROM ID: n/a
ROM Ver: n/a
ROM Size: 4 MB
AppleTalk Ver: n/a
Mac OS
Floppy Size: n/a
Floppy Inject: n/a
Min. Int HD Size: 6, 12, 18 GB
Int HD Interface: ATA
Orig CD Speed 24x
Int CD Support: yes