PDA

View Full Version : G3 vs G4


mrjamin
May 1, 2003, 03:06 PM
Ok, someone's probably going to have a go for not searching for this one, but 'G3' is too short for the search feature.

Anyway, here goes. How does a newer G3 iBook (800/900Mhz with quartz extreme) compare to an old G4 system (450Mhz for example), with regards to their processing power/efficiency? Examples not specs would be more useful to me in this situation.

MrJ

Mr. Anderson
May 1, 2003, 03:19 PM
I don't know if the specs have been discussed here - but its a good question.

You might want to do a search at google or MacWorld, etc. and see what you get.

D

szark
May 1, 2003, 03:26 PM
If you're just searching for G3 or G4, there are links off of the main page to do this. They're located at the bottom of the right-hand column.

As for the comparison -- sorry, can't help. :(

AmbitiousLemon
May 1, 2003, 03:38 PM
for comparisons between various models of macs you might want to take a look at www.barefeats.com

caveman_uk
May 1, 2003, 03:47 PM
I would guess the difference between systems would not only depend on the processor. An ibook, for example, uses quite slow hard drives which slows it down. Also the amount of cache a processor has at it's disposal is important. As is whether the apps you want to use take advantage of the G4s altivec unit.

By old G4 system do you mean a cube? They're quite in demand as 'cult' items and can be fitted out with faster hard drives and graphics cards. Having said that a new imac would kill them. An ibook well depends on what it's doing, if you use the hard drive a lot etc....

zimv20
May 1, 2003, 04:35 PM
my ibook 800 folds faster than my pmac g4/500.

the pmac is a dual, but i'm not running the DP-aware folding scripts.

osx feels faster on my pmac, but it's got more RAM, a better video card and faster HDs.

MrMacMan
May 1, 2003, 04:55 PM
Go for the iBook, unless your using photoshop alot and other G4 enabled processes, the G3 wins hands down.

The G3 has a shorter pipeline and have longer battery life, etc.
800/900 G3 > 450-500 G4

mnkeybsness
May 1, 2003, 05:04 PM
from personal experience...

i have a quicksilver 867...

a friend of mine has an iBook 700...

when i try getting on his ibook to do ANYTHING, i feel like throwing it out the window because it seems to get bogged down by anything.

ugh...i despise the G3 running OS X

besides...OS X is altivec optimized...the G4 is the only one with altivec...seems to be a reason why i have that slowness factor with a G3

AmbitiousLemon
May 1, 2003, 05:08 PM
yes a g4 is better than a g3. but he is comparing a 450mhz g4 to a 800 or 900mhz g3. The g3 will kill the g4 in all tasks. tests at barefeats have always showed that at like hz the g3 just barely lags behind the g4 in most tasks. a modern g3 will kill a 3 year old g4.

QCassidy352
May 1, 2003, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
from personal experience...

i have a quicksilver 867...

a friend of mine has an iBook 700...

when i try getting on his ibook to do ANYTHING, i feel like throwing it out the window because it seems to get bogged down by anything.

ugh...i despise the G3 running OS X

besides...OS X is altivec optimized...the G4 is the only one with altivec...seems to be a reason why i have that slowness factor with a G3

yeah, but you're comparing a G4 867 to a G3 700... not to mention that your friend's ibook only has 16 VRAM and probably less RAM than your PM. In the question posed here the mhz goes hands down to the ibook and the video memory is probably closer too.

I'd say the ibook will be faster unless you're doing your work primarily in altivec aware apps. (or, unless you'd be getting a 7200 HD, lotsa RAM, and a really fast vid card... but in that case you're shelling out a lot more $$) My ibook 900 is very very fast (that's relative, i know, but it's darn snappy) in OS X.2.5. :)

mrjamin
May 1, 2003, 07:06 PM
cheers for the info - i'm not looking at buying either an old G4 or a new iBook; mainly because i've already got a new iBook anyway. I was just confused as to why there was such a huge Mhz overlap and how the high end G3's performed compared to lowend G4's. I maxed the RAM on my iBook which i think was definately a good move! the difference between that and a friends G4800 TiBook in general OS X tasking is barely noticeable, photoshop doesnt perform that much better either.

jefhatfield
May 2, 2003, 07:01 AM
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
yes a g4 is better than a g3. but he is comparing a 450mhz g4 to a 800 or 900mhz g3. The g3 will kill the g4 in all tasks. tests at barefeats have always showed that at like hz the g3 just barely lags behind the g4 in most tasks. a modern g3 will kill a 3 year old g4.

really?

if that's the case, i may go for the ibook...i have been eyeing it since it came to 999 dollars:D

AmbitiousLemon
May 2, 2003, 08:59 AM
take a look at the barefeats link i provided above. you will have to dig around through the archives a bit to get a feel for it. but i think by looking at the various tests over the past few years you will see what i am describing. they dont usually test ibooks. but there is a recent ibook test where the pit it against a 12" pbook. the ibook actually beat the pbook in one test.

lmalave
May 2, 2003, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by jefhatfield
really?

if that's the case, i may go for the ibook...i have been eyeing it since it came to 999 dollars:D

Best thing to do is to go to an Apple store and try the iBooks first hand. The thing that convinced me to buy it is when I tried the low-end 700MHz iBook with only 128MB of RAM running Jaguar, and it was still quite snappy. That night I ordered my 800 MHz mid-range. Which of course is identical to the current low-end model, except you'll get a CD-ROM instead of a Combo drive.

AmbitiousLemon
May 2, 2003, 09:12 AM
arent you going back to school jefhat? i believe you mentioned a masters somewhere. so this would be the best $950 you spent not $999.

jefhatfield
May 2, 2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
arent you going back to school jefhat? i believe you mentioned a masters somewhere. so this would be the best $950 you spent not $999.

omg,

i am always in school

in 1980 i started as a general ed major at the junior college while i was still in high school, two years later i declared myself as a business major at a four year university, three years after in '85 as an english major then dropping out, and finally going back to school in '92 to finish my AA and then BA bouncing back to business again

1995 i start graduate school at the business school where i got my BA and then my school cuts the major out...which i think is bad business

but i join a dot.com as a vice president of a startup and when that fails, i come back down to earth and decide to be a techie and go for my master's in computer science or telecommunications management...at this point, as you can imagine, i have incurred a debt

so here are my choices for finishing up

1) finish up at the original b-school with a MS in digital security *which would help my computer business and clients...but at $1500 a class, i would incur further debt

2) finish up with a MS in telecomm management at a new cal state university which is yet to be accredited so i can't use the degree anywhere, but it's very cheap...like 2000 a year...and the school shares some of the same teachers as the first school which is accredited and highly regarded

3) finish up at the local military academy with an MS in computer quality and assurance which is like digital security where my friend teaches which is not yet to be accredited and will never be accredited because the degree is only used within the confines of the military or civil service, but nowhere else...but this school is free and really actually a very fine institution that has produced a lot of generals and admirals

in the meantime, i always take at least one class a semester in cs at the local junior college, where they want me to teach, but the catch is that i have to have an accredited master's degree to make professor so that leaves me with choie #1 and all the extra debt that i would incur

i have a friend who got his PhD in computer science when he was 40 and it took him the better part of a decade to pay the thing off (120k) and set him so far behind the curve when it came to buying a house, car, or even some basic necessities

i don't want to become like some broke berkeley or santa cruz professional hippie intellectual with multiple graduate degrees $100,000 or more dollars in college debt...you know the type, working at starbucks or some record shop on telegraph or pacific, too smart for their own good, and bitter and unhireable

at my age, you start thinking about more solid things like retirement, making money, and just keeping up with the career path you have set;)

ibilly
May 2, 2003, 12:15 PM
On ebay, you can certianly ger a 667 PB G4 for $1000 (I just checked) and some are actually @ 1ghz but ending in a week. I dont know why you would want a 450 when you could have a 667 for the price of an ibook 800, plus you get an awesome screen!667 PB G4 for $1000

ibilly
May 2, 2003, 12:16 PM
oops, didn't quite use the bold right...

jefhatfield
May 3, 2003, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by ibilly
On ebay, you can certianly ger a 667 PB G4 for $1000 (I just checked) and some are actually @ 1ghz but ending in a week. I dont know why you would want a 450 when you could have a 667 for the price of an ibook 800, plus you get an awesome screen!667 PB G4 for $1000

that is a very good price

it is strange how a machine worth between 2500 to 3500 could, in a short time, be worth only 1000 a little more than a year later

when i first looked into getting a laptop, which was a pc, they had 10 inch passive lcd screens and cost no less than 2500 dollars...and of course, they had those large 3 gb hard drives and 32 mb of ram:p

iPat
May 3, 2003, 10:55 AM
I just switched from a 700MHz iBook to a 867MHz 12" PowerBook and have to say that the G3 processor in still a very good processor. I've run xbench on both and both have the same amount of ram. While there is no doubt that the PowerBook is faster....In every day use it doesn't seem that much faster. I have a lot of respect for the G3 because they are excellent performing processors who do it with much less heat production. As mentioned before in these boards the 12" PowerBook get VERY warm...My 700Mhz iBook case never got much warmer than room temp no matter what I was doing. I know that if IBM put a VMX unit on the G3, bumped up the stages to increase clock speed that the energy requirements and heat production would go up....but I still say it's an excellent processor to start with..especially for portables.

My satisfaction with my PowerBook is more in the form factor than in the absolute increase in speed and the 700MHz iBook suited my needs perfectly. I think I would definitely go with the 800/900 Mhz iBook instead of the 450 Mhz G4.

macrumors12345
May 3, 2003, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
a friend of mine has an iBook 700...

when i try getting on his ibook to do ANYTHING, i feel like throwing it out the window because it seems to get bogged down by anything.

ugh...i despise the G3 running OS X


Haha...you should try using an iBook 500 (which is what I have, at least until Apple releases the 970 systems!). The iBook 700, with twice the L2 cache and 50% more memory bandwidth, feels scorchingly fast compared to the iBook 500!

iPat
May 3, 2003, 11:44 AM
I should also note that my 700Mhz ibook has 640MB of ram. It makes a huge difference in terms of how the computer "feels" when using it. Interestingly enough, I ran xbench and cinebench2003 on my PowerBook with 256MB of ram and now with 640MB and it is actually slower with 640MB in these tests. However, the "feel" of machine is MUCH better. With 256 MB their were hickups in the dock icons bouncing, everything took forever to open/startup/shutdown, etc. So eventhough these bench mark number are slightly lower....the machine feels MUCH faster and the GUI is smooth and responsive, applications open in 1 or 2 bounces, etc. I remember my iBook with 256 MB and it was VERY slow. Before my crucial ram came I thought I made a big mistake...after upgrading ram I was very happy!

holy MAC!
May 3, 2003, 12:58 PM
take a look at the barefeats link i provided above. you will have to dig around through the archives a bit to get a feel for it. but i think by looking at the various tests over the past few years you will see what i am describing. they dont usually test ibooks. but there is a recent ibook test where the pit it against a 12" pbook. the ibook actually beat the pbook in one test.


where is this? i can't find it... can you post a link?????

jethroted
May 3, 2003, 01:26 PM
Well what about this. Would a 1 ghz G3 be as powerful as a 1 ghz G4 if they both had altivec? Would one still be better than the other?

iPat
May 3, 2003, 01:41 PM
I think I read somwhere that the FPU on the G4 is different than the G3. With the 512K L2 cache on the G3 vs. the 256K L2 cache on the G4 it might be close. The real beauty in the G3 for me is it's performace/heat production ratio. One of those BareFeats articles does mention that the G3 is faster than a G4 in some non-altivec programs.

Again I think highly of the G3 due to it's simplicity and favorable energy requirements. I think it' s a rock solid design that could be improved (and brought up-to-date) to serve as a repalcement for the consumer-level processors when the PPC970 comes.

I think if Apple could put the PPC970 in the pro lines and servers with 64bit OSX and they could put a scalable and energy efficient (IBM built G3 derived) processor in the consumer lines (still 32 bit) they would be in a good place. The need to get away from Moto I think is based on their lack of development....to replace the proline with a PPC970 and not think longterm about the consumer line makes no sense.

The G4 is going nowhere and I can't imagine they could even bump the speed up to a 1GHz in the 12" PowerBook as the 867 is already very hot. They need a lower power processor for their consumer lines and the 12" PowerBook.

AmbitiousLemon
May 3, 2003, 01:54 PM
iPat take a look at this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=25871)

who knows if it is true or not (seems a bit too good to be true), but his talk about updating the G3 line is exactly what you seem to be in favor of. We can only wait and hope at this point.

iPat
May 3, 2003, 02:26 PM
That would be fantastic if it's true. Like I've been saying it's a solid if not outdated design. I little tinkering here and there to bring it up-to-date and I think they have winner. Adding VMX is natural as it's obvious that Apple and IBM are going to back it well into the future. Put a 1.8 GHz and 1.6 Ghz in the iMac and a 1.2 in the iBook (with a 400 MHz bus and true DDR ram) and I think they have some very solid consumer machines that would be drastically faster than what they have now and favorably priced.

Seperate the pro/server and consumer lines by offering pro users 64 bit OSX, increased amount of RAM (at or above 4 GB), an 800Mhz bus, etc and charge them what a good workstation costs.

I think a major problem with Apple right now is that the above average (but less than poweruser) consumer or gamer has to but what Apple would like to sell as a workstation for professionals to get decent performance and they don't want to pay workstation prices. If Apple's implementation of the PPC970 is truly good, and a 1.8 Ghz PPC970 is somewhere in the ball park of even a P4 @ 2.5 GHz (I know this is probably an underestimate) and dual processor machines are offered, there is no need for the average to above average user to purchase a Powermac as were looking at a dual P4 @ 2.5 Ghz = P4 @ 5Ghz. Top this off with rumors that the highest PowerMac maybe a dual in the 2.0 + GHz range and that is overkill for all but the most demanding users and these people should be charged accordingly.

Now if the G3 derivative can even compete with a 2.0Ghz P4 (regardless of clock speed) then that should be more than enough for consumers and Apple should try and sell these ata competitive price.

I don't need 64 bits, I don't need dual 2.3 Ghz PPC 970s, I don't need 8GB of ram, and I don't need a $3000.00 + sticker price. I need a reasonably priced computer that will surf the internet, allow me to use iApps, and at most allow me to play all but the most demanding video games at 40+ fps.

Cubeboy
May 3, 2003, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by iPat
[B]That would be fantastic if it's true. Like I've been saying it's a solid if not outdated design. I little tinkering here and there to bring it up-to-date and I think they have winner. Adding VMX is natural as it's obvious that Apple and IBM are going to back it well into the future. Put a 1.8 GHz and 1.6 Ghz in the iMac and a 1.2 in the iBook (with a 400 MHz bus and true DDR ram) and I think they have some very solid consumer machines that would be drastically faster than what they have now and favorably priced.

Seperate the pro/server and consumer lines by offering pro users 64 bit OSX, increased amount of RAM (at or above 4 GB), an 800Mhz bus, etc and charge them what a good workstation costs.

I think a major problem with Apple right now is that the above average (but less than poweruser) consumer or gamer has to but what Apple would like to sell as a workstation for professionals to get decent performance and they don't want to pay workstation prices. If Apple's implementation of the PPC970 is truly good, and a 1.8 Ghz PPC970 is somewhere in the ball park of even a P4 @ 2.5 GHz (I know this is probably an underestimate) and dual processor machines are offered, there is no need for the average to above average user to purchase a Powermac as were looking at a dual P4 @ 2.5 Ghz = P4 @ 5Ghz. Top this off with rumors that the highest PowerMac maybe a dual in the 2.0 + GHz range and that is overkill for all but the most demanding users and these people should be charged accordingly.

Now if the G3 derivative can even compete with a 2.0Ghz P4 (regardless of clock speed) then that should be more than enough for consumers and Apple should try and sell these ata competitive price.

I don't need 64 bits, I don't need dual 2.3 Ghz PPC 970s, I don't need 8GB of ram, and I don't need a $3000.00 + sticker price. I need a reasonably priced computer that will surf the internet, allow me to use iApps, and at most allow me to play all but the most demanding video games at 40+ fps.B]

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your post, most desktop users don't need anymore than a G3 to do all their work. The only people who will really need the dual PPC970s are the professionals who require powerful systems to do their work productively.

Unfortunately, dual processor configurations doesn't quite work that way, the only ways to actually benefit from having two processor is a)have a well threaded program, or b)multiprocessing. OSX is well threaded which is definitely a plus, there are also lot of well threaded programs for professional work. However, most desktop programs and games aren't threaded at all, and even the best threaded programs such as final cut pro give around a 70% boost to performance when using 2 processors. Programs that aren't threaded at all will actually recieve a penalty to performance when using a dual processor configuration.

Barring that, P4s are mainly used in desktop, professional work like video editing and rendering are mostly done on PC workstations using Dual Xeon configurations, the Dual PPC970 equipped powermacs main competition will be dual Noconas (next xeon) and dual Opteron equipped workstations.

iPat
May 3, 2003, 11:24 PM
I realize I simplified my 2.5 x 2 = 5.0 P4. But even at 70% a dual 1.8 PPC970 (with performance close to a 2.5 Ghz P4) is pushing close to a 3.5 Ghz P4 (again probably an underestimate as I have seen numbers that put the 1.8 closer to a 2.8-3.0 P4. This would still be a nice pro machine with (as you point out) appropriately coded software.....I think Apple fans have a lot to look forward to in the next couple months....should be exciting!