View Full Version : AMD Battles Megahertz Myth

Aug 29, 2001, 04:12 PM
Tom's Hardware has an article (http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/01q3/010829/news-02.html) explaining AMD's new plan in it's battle against the megahertz myth. It seems that the new Athlons (based on the Palomino core) will be specified by MODEL rather than MHz. Model A1600, for instance, is a 1.4GHz Athlon, but AMD views it as equivalent in speed to a P4 1.6GHz, at least. They demand that no motherboard/BIOS maker ever reveal the actual clockspeed of the chip, and even go as far as to prevent the printing of the CPU's clockspeed in the motherboard manual. Interesting concept. Reminds me of Cyrix's model naming back in the early-mid 90's. I think having AMD around is definitely a good thing, but this tactic seems a bit, well, untoward.

R Cheerz
Aug 29, 2001, 04:56 PM
Well, Intel markets higher MHz chips as being faster than AMD's offerings. Its fair game I think!

Aug 29, 2001, 06:18 PM
Do they? Does Intel ever actually aim at AMD?


Aug 29, 2001, 07:18 PM
I like the idea of battling the Mhz myth, but not this way. Model numbers will confuse people more, and they're based off of Intel's chips! I think a new rating should be established, like floating point operations/sec, or ICCs (instructions per clock cycle, someone already posted about this). Something more tightly tied to the hardware than a model number, like a car's horsepower. I think it will annoy the techies who know that a 1.4 ghz Athlon = P4 1.6.

Aug 29, 2001, 07:43 PM
I am a firm believer that education is the best way to get the word out, and is ultimately the right thing to do. This viewpoint goes against all things corporate though, and it may eventually backfire for AMD and others who try it. For instance, if Intel had done that earlier on in it's heyday, then the average Joe might understand now that clock speed means about as much as having a big bowl of tapioca pudding in a drive bay to use as a cd player, and everyone would be buying AMD. The government and corporate America (this may sound like a conspiracy theory) like to keep us all dumb as much as possible because, eventually, a dumb consumer is a good consumer, just as a dumb voter is a good voter. This is why I use Apple computers. I understand the insides of a computer fairly well, and I evaluate the pros and cons of a Mac vs. WinTell box debate better than the average Joe, and use the Mac. Most people don't get it, and think that fatal error messages and a computer that crashes once a day is just a way of life. They buy an HP or Compaq. I try to spread the knowledge and educate all, but unfortunately people LIKE to stay dumb because it is easier to stay that way. I will forever fight this, but unfortunately for Apple, I fell this might be the biggest losing battle in history. Time and good marketing will tell...


P.S. Good to see you again blakespot, not been posting for a while?

Aug 29, 2001, 08:03 PM
Ah yes, the troubled life of the computer literacy crusader. I know it well.

Aug 29, 2001, 08:57 PM
When Apple said that Megahertz wasn't the most important part of the processor everyone laughed. But, I'm sure when CNET and TechTV and all the other technology sites report on this they'll all start doing reports on how real the Megahertz Myth is and how it's so great that AMD had the balls to come out and be the first to prove Intel wrong.

Aug 29, 2001, 09:53 PM
I want to deal with the information, not be manipulated by hidding numbers. I'm agree education is the way or some other kind of raiting, but not "hiding".
I remember the times where you see an add of the new macintosh models (LC2) and you couldn't tell about the technology, Mhz was an unknow concept like video ram. You could hardly get a 50MB hard drive and a double sided floppy drive, that was the new stuff. Now people is learning about what is important about a computer and what is not, let people still learning...

Let's trow the hammer against the screen again!!!

Aug 29, 2001, 10:52 PM
Perhaps it is now time for Apple and AMD to team up and defeat Intel's grip on the Mhz Myth by rating the speed of their processors in a different manor. Two against one might just work!

Aug 29, 2001, 10:53 PM
I can certainly understand the reasoning, but this is going to backfire for several reasons... First political.

This is the equivalent of saying, "I told the police everything I know about Chandra Leavy. I have been cooperating. But, I'm not going to tell you."

There will be far fewer people willing to buy a computer of unknown MHz than there will be willling to buy a computer of less MHz and a good reputation.

Second, technical. Athlon is the chip of choice for high end users who know what they are doing. How can you custom build a box if you don't know how fast to set the clock... Rely on auto-detect BIOS? How can you overclock it by say, 5%, if you don't know what 5% is?

Man, Athlon was winning a lot of respect... PC World tested four Athlon 1.4 based systems against two P4 2.0 GHz based systems... The result: The fastest P4 was slower than the worst of the Athlon systems.

That is the kind of info sales people can show the average consumer. But, it helps not to have a cloud of mystery surrounding the whole thing!

password is pong
Aug 29, 2001, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by ptrauber
The government and corporate America (this may sound like a conspiracy theory) like to keep us all dumb as much as possible because, eventually, a dumb consumer is a good consumer, just as a dumb voter is a good voter.

I think you have watched one to many Oliver Stone movie. Some how I don't think the so call "Megahertz Myth" has anything to do with government or corporate mind control.

"I voted for George W. Bush because Intel processors run 600 Megahertz faster then AMD processors"

Aug 30, 2001, 02:00 AM
This is so funny.. I haven't laught this hard in a while.. I mean really now.. PC users are so obsessed with the MHz rating, who are they going to sell to when the first question out of the mouth is "how fast is it?".. Come on..

Why don't they instead just put it in fine print and advertise with dumbo-ear sized letters on the computer how many MIPS or MFLOPS instead of the clockspeed. MIPS and MFLOPS has a more real world performance indication, and a high ooooooohhh ahhhh factor to boot which will give those poor PC'rs the rosy glow of having high speed numbers that they need to sleep at night. lol

Aug 30, 2001, 03:09 AM
I don't think MIPS and FLOPS and other indicators will help, because the P4 will win that battle.
The companies (everyone, Apple, Intel and AMD) would print theoretical limits that never occurr. Because of the P4s high clockspeed and its (too) long pipeline, it will win that contest (which doesn't mean it is faster when you are actually working with it).

Aug 30, 2001, 09:57 AM
I couldn't aggree MORE with the Megahertz Myth. A 867 G4 is quicker than a PIII running in the same clock speed or even 200 - 400 MHZ more. But is the latest G4 quicker than a 2GH P4 in anything but the "SuperLatestEditionAltiVecOptimizedBastard - WhatAppleuses init'sexpos - PHOTOSHOP"

Mother Apple try some FPS tests pleazeeee....

Let me tell you something that is more fair. Do not compare MHZ in terms of real performance but what MONEY can buy in terms of real performance. And I think here Intel and AMD have a great advandage over Apple.
I realy don't want to be bad. I am still a P2 user but I am waiting and hoping to buy a G5. I think this CPU will change things for Apple, and it should eventually lead Apple to tell LESS LIES in people in order to support its overpriced (however quality I must admit) products.

R Cheerz
Aug 30, 2001, 10:14 AM
I though FPS depended more on the graphics card rather than the processors raw speed. A game otimised for say a GF3 would produce higher framerates than on the same system with an optimised ATI Rage 128?

Aug 30, 2001, 11:34 AM
I would be crazy to ask systems with different video cards to be compared. I am talking about systems with identical components (where this is possible) to be tested.

andsince we are talking about video cards Apple shouldn't <<trash>> Intel because if it wasn't Intel, Apple would still have to use ISA bus for its video cards AS Both PCI and AGP are Intels creation. Apple innovates, that's for sure. BUT other companies also do THE SAME!!!
MAC fans open your eyes... don't believe Apple or Intel. The truth is always somewhere in the middle!!!

Aug 30, 2001, 12:05 PM
FPS reflects the graphics card and how well the drivers and engines are optimized for the platform. It's not an accurate measure of overall speed. This is why my Athlon 700 w/Voodoo 3 16 mb performed better than my roommate's Athlon 800 with Matrox G400 32 mb. Even if you could get a P4 and G4 systems specced out exactly the same, the graphics drivers for the Mac are not as optimized or advanced for the platform yet. Thus the Mac will lose, even though it may be the faster overall system. Photoshop was used because it's optimized for the P4 AND G4. Photoshop can max a system's power and resources very easily. In my opinion, it's a better measure of speed than FPS, because it really uses all of the systems components, including the graphics card.

[Edited by ThlayliTheFierce on 08-30-2001 at 01:10 PM]

Aug 30, 2001, 01:22 PM
Can't you people see that Apple is ALWAYS using photoshop
for its tests? You cant realy figure out which CPU is better by using nly one programm for tests?
Let us say that Apple had best results in FPS than PC and worst reults in photoshop it would still use photoshop to demonstrate the G4??? Apple cleverly uses the program that gives its product a relative advance over Intel. But since it's only one program it can't give an OVERAL performance result for each CPU.
In simple English what I am trying to say that the Apple slogan: "Up to 45% faster than a Pentium 4" can very easily be converted to "Up to 50% slower than a Pentium 4" using some other program.
Nothing more, nothing less. And as Metallica say: "You know it's Sad but True"

Aug 30, 2001, 03:03 PM
Ok, so they use photoshop because it's faster, yeah. But that's not the only reason. They use it because:

1. Most people who use Macs use photoshop.
2. It's easy to script a test in.
3. It's optimized for both platforms, so it is more impartial than other tests might be.
4. Like I said before, it's very system-intensive, and can easily tax out all resources.

And Apple does NOT only use photoshop. I recall a Quicktime encoding test as well. Granted, a DVD-encoding test may be more equitable, but the point is photoshop isn't their only demonstration. Besides, what other test are they going to use? It's hard to compare systems that are so different. The photoshop test brings them closer to a level playing field than other tests would.

Normal Guy
Aug 30, 2001, 04:55 PM
If AMD is going to use model numbers instead of clock speeds, why is the model number of a Athlon 1.4Ghz chip being called a model 1600. Sounds like direct aiming at Intel's Pentium 1.6Ghz chip. Benchmarks a nice way to gauge the performace of a certain chip. Maybe later in the future intel and amd will get together and decided on a way to gauge thier chips that makes it easier for the consumer to understand. If the consumers don't understand what they are buying they may not waste the money. That's OK. They could always wise up and get a mac.

Aug 30, 2001, 05:26 PM
It *IS* aimed directly at the P4 1600...says so in the article. AMD and Intel get together? That's like holding a picnic for the Black Panthers and the KKK! (Ok maybe not that bad but you get the point.) If another speed measure does come out it won't be because AMD and Intel buddied up and made it.

[Edited by ThlayliTheFierce on 08-30-2001 at 06:29 PM]

Aug 30, 2001, 07:12 PM
The conclusion is that noone cares about Apple. AMD has even named it's mobile Athlon, Athlon 4(??? where are the other two?) guess why? Pentium 4....
Intel on the other hand increases the speed of an average Chip (that's true) to make a difference from AMD

Apple should do some things in order to increase its pathetic 5% market share. (in USA at least because in my country it's 0.1%)
a) More programms!!!
b) CPU is not the only speed charachteristic of a system. Why Apple stays to ATA 66? Why the hard disk of its low end, yet $1.700 system, is 5.200 RPM?(!) Why the system Bus is still 133 MHZ? Don't you know that the AGPx4 slot alone can use the whole bus???? (33X4) Why RAM PC133? (yes because of the bus). Anyway these things are surely NOT the technology's edge today! Why should a SUPER COMPUTER (here is another marketing Lie from the GOD of lies MR JOBS) use outdated components?
c) A small price cut would be VERY helpful!!!
d) Stop the lies about the G4 being the quickest CPU.
It may be for some specific uses but it isn't
the fastest overal.

Finaly something to ThlayliTheFierce. You say that Photoshop is chosen for blablabla reasons. I that wants a computer for Recording where the hell should I know if "Cubase" and "Logic" run better in G4 or P4? By the photoshop tests?? Please give me a break!!! And the quick time tests you say, remember that it's APPLE QUICK TIME!
Yes, it's available for both platforms but it's still APPLE!
There should be better ways to compare CPUS other than for PURE APPLE MARKETING REASONS!

Finaly I am REALLY SAD to say all these things as a future Apple Customer. Someone should take notice and push things to the right direction!

Aug 30, 2001, 08:10 PM
You that wants a computer for recording should search around and check if those programs have been optimized for the G4. If they are, then Photoshop is a very good indicator of speed for you, because it is optimized as well. My bet is that they are optimized. And the supercomputer thing is not a lie, but it is a little outdated. The measure of a supercomputer used to be whether or not it could do a gigaflop. The G4 was the first chip to attain this, in theory and practice, so it is a supercomputer by that definition. Steve Jobs doesn't lie (Spikey if you're reading this don't think I'm saying he's a saint), he omits and directs your attention to the better points of his product, like any good CEO would do. Are you going to fault the man for trying to sell what his company makes?

Aug 31, 2001, 03:57 AM
The measure of a supercomputer used to be whether or not it could do a gigaflop. The G4 was the first chip to attain this, in theory and practice, so it is a supercomputer by that definition ------>>>> IS THE APPLE SITE YOUR ONLY SOURCE OF INFORMATION????

Aug 31, 2001, 07:28 AM
i know that in reality g4 isn't that fast as apple or some of you are making it,but,some day there will be g5 or something and we will have fast hdd,bus,memory and all other stuff!

Aug 31, 2001, 10:48 AM
I dont blame jobs for selling his products at all, infact of all the computery people i have heard jobs is the koolest by far.
But what i do hate is the way people believe what jobs says at expos word for word, just because they are closed minded and zealots.
The use of photoshop at expos does demonstrate how limited it would be to a pc user, and also the use of certain tasks the G4 performs especially well in, pisses me off a little.
I really think it is sad that no matter how good a chip is, companies like AMD and Apple have to compete with pure marketing strategy by intel. Pentiums are a cheaply produced, designed and manufactured chip.
Didnt the G4s gigaflops rating prevent it from shipping from america early in its life?

Aug 31, 2001, 12:18 PM
Yes it did Spikey. The US government wouldn't let it ship to certain countries. Why? Because of its computing power! I agree with you about the Intel marketing thing. I would HATE to see AMD go under because of Intel's "Mhz = speed" smokescreen. And Fragiledreams, you haven't offered any argument against what I've said or evidence to the contrary. So until I see some, I'm going to stand by what I've said. The Apple site isn't my only source of information. I'd like to know what yours is.

Aug 31, 2001, 02:26 PM
Do youu know why in politics there are over 10 political parties participating in the elections each time???? Because people don't agree in everything. Things in life just get toooo much complicated.
Our talking about the CPUs is also complicated! Since there isn's that SUPER BENCHMARKING program that gives an exact result of each CPU in REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS each company, Motorola-Apple, Intel and AMD try to market their product the way they consider more efficient!
Intel increases the MHZ 115% more than the fastest G4.
AMD changes its Product names for Intel direct competition purporces and
Apple uses Photoshop do demonstrate its CPU advandage over the others (Intel mostly), because Photoshop is indeed a piece software that G4 runs smoother than P4. But thats it. Nothing more nothing less
Conclusion???? Which chip is better????
Answer: We can't tell by our limited info provided!
The whole thing is like comparing 43 ORANGES with 14 PINAPPLES and 21 PIZZAS!!!

Until there is a commonly accepted Benchmarking system, each of us says it's opinion
You say G4 is the best CPU, I say I don't Know whick one is better, and another might say that Athlon or P4 is the best.
And you know what?

None of us is either right or wrong.

Aug 31, 2001, 06:36 PM
You're comparing the whole system to chips here, I think. You can determine which chip is best based on a number of factors, like Mflops, power consumption, heat produced, etc., most of which the G4 wins. However, what is more difficult, and the direction this forum seems to have taken, is overall system performance, which I agree is near impossible to determine, because it depends on so many things. So yeah, it's hard to say which system is really faster, but processors can be compared much more easily. They are like different kinds of apples (no pun intended), not like pizzas and pineapples.

Aug 31, 2001, 07:44 PM
Putting 2MB Level3 CACHE can transform even a Coke Can to a CPU! (hehehe). ( Also see the 566 G4 running better than the new L3CACHELES 733MHZ G4 issue described on MacRumors)
I would like to know how would a P4 perform with such a huge cache amound. That's very interesting If you consider that the second fastest Motorola CPU for now (733) performs like a 533MHZ one if it doesnt have the 2MB L3 help. -->
AND How does a 533MHZ G4 compares with lets say an old 1.7 P4? (ERrrrr here I think that the P4 is fastest). Of course Apple very cleverly takes this advandage and hugely increases the performance of its CPU by injecting more cache. Other stupids like Intel try to lower cost by omiting this. Here I aggre that Intel takes a more "Cheaply" approach....

Anyway.... we could talk 757346895 days for these stupid CPUs. I am going to sleep!: ZZZZzzzzzzzz after all others sleep the sleep of the just, ALL the time ........ :PPP

Oct 18, 2001, 02:34 PM
The one thing that most of you missed with all of the points made, and there have been some good ones, the model number on the athlon is a conservative performance equivilent. The AthlonXP 1800+ is actually benching equal or higher to the P4@2Ghz in most benchmarks. I only makes sense to pit an AthlonXP 1800+ agienst a P4 @ 1.8Ghz. The Athlon will smoke the P4. Every 3rd party evaluation confirms this. Sheck for yourself. http://www.tomshardware.com http://www.amdzone.com it takes only a little looking around to see that the Athlon is back on top of thge speed race evan with a model number that is 200mhz less than that of the highest P4.

Oct 26, 2001, 07:28 AM
Im a graphics designer in my own company that use both Mac's and PC's. I use a 733 G4 and a 1.8 Ghz P4, Im most cases the P4 is faster, but the P4 is no where as accurate as the G4. Everyone has to remember that the OS has alot to do with performance also. I use the Mac more because the OS is just plain faster and more responsive. Even when im using OS X is the entire system fast. I cant say that about the PC cause it uses Win 2000 and its just like other windows, memory errors and unstable. Take this in to thought. Apple makes all there own computers, so they can taylor the motherboards to produce faster and accurate specs. What does the PC industry have?? NOTTA a one thing in common. All in all, the Mac is by far the better product. Is it worth the money?? I think it is, since i have upgrade the PC 3 time and the mac once.

Oct 26, 2001, 10:29 AM
that just goes to show that macs do have the right stuff put into the machine in the first place so most don't have to tweak it, outside of RAM upgrades from time to time

Oct 27, 2001, 07:36 AM
But consumers dont look at quality of products, they look at specs and facts.
Which is why PCs sell well.

Apart from when you come to laptops, then consumers look at quality, design, and specs. Which is why Sony Vaios suck, and TiBooks kick ass.

Oct 27, 2001, 11:06 AM

you are so right about how zealots hinge on jobs' every word

and about the tiBook vs the vaio, the tiBook is better in every way but i would also love the vaio, too

jobs' key to success is the model he uses from sony and sony's former ceo is steve jobs' role model for the industry being that sony has been a leader, not a follower

and if you look at apple, they are unparalleled in their inoovation in the home computing industry

woz invented the modern operating system, mini desktop ram, desktop rom, the idea of a qwerty keyboard for computing and jobs came up with the marketing to consumers and pushed the idea of a plastic enclosure which would be low cost and effective

the modern motherboard is based on apple's innovations and the use of a crt is also one that apple pushed and apple brought the mouse to the forefront (and yes, xerox had a working model of a mouse but other companies in the valley had less practical working models ten years before but they were so big people had to use a ladder to move the mouse high enough to make the cursor hit the top of the "page"

so in some way, i could see why some people hinge on jobs' every word buy i think they often mix up his contributions with the other steve (actually many people on macrumors don't even really know the truth, but there is a lot on the woz page....

check out http://www.woz.org

Oct 27, 2001, 12:10 PM
Oh agreed, Woz created apple. A Personal computer invented by 2 hackers/phone freakers, never see that one again.
Steve Jobs's influence on apple was really more to do with business.

As for the bashing sony Vaio, well i saw a tw*t with the zealoty name "sonyrules". I want to let him know that theyre products arent all that great, 99% of the time they are a jack of all trades but master of none. the 1% is things like the original playstation, hyperopteploploplane woofers (however u spell it), etc etc

zealots are supid people who cant think for themselves

Oct 27, 2001, 12:16 PM
this field moves too fast!

the P4s i see don't seem "faster" than my iBook or K6-2 366 laptop since i only do businees/office stuff and internet and light gaming

should i move up?

Oct 27, 2001, 12:21 PM
Nah, no need to.
iBooks are kool anyway.
K6-2 is an ok chip.
If it fits your needs then dont move up, save ur pennies till better laptops come out and u need one.

If and when you do move up then i suggest you get an athlon laptop (not sure when they are coming out).
Well consider that after considering an ibook or Tibook, cos apple makes the best laptops.

[Edited by spikey on 10-27-2001 at 01:25 PM]

Oct 27, 2001, 05:18 PM
I am sorry, but for the same price as an apple you could build a dual athlon XP system with 1 gig of ddr ram and a geforce 3 ti500 etc... I mean this system will still require some software and a monitor to boot. the apples look nice and they are not even close to comparable to the athlon systems. If apple and amd could team up and make the g5 with ddr ram and possibly a 2 gigahertz athlon(cuz by the time they make it Intel may be at 3 gigz or a lil less) then I could say, ok maybe apple does have the fastest system.

Oct 27, 2001, 06:20 PM
Ok, the G5 is on its way. It will be made by Motorolla and possibly IBM. If the specs are right, it will be the fastest chip on the market, period. Faster than anything AMD has. Faster than anything Intel has, even the Itanium (or Itanic, however you want to look at it). When Apple has a dual 1.6 Ghz G5, nothing will touch it. Then maybe Macs will be worth the money again.

Oct 27, 2001, 09:01 PM
There's no question that the fastest Macs are slower for most non-photoshop tasks than the fastest available PCs.

And the PCs are cheaper.

Let's face it folks... I love my Mac, but the PowerPC alliance has been broken for a couple of years now. Motorola pushed apple down the Altivec path, and now they can't get the processor speeds up because they made the chip too damned complicated.

G3s easily clock faster than G4s now and surpass them in integer and floating point performance! And they're a lot cheaper than G4s!

However, it's really tough to explain to the consumer why you can ship an iMac that outperforms your high-end G4 at half the price. Therefore, the G3 speeds stay artificially low so that Apple can save face for their "high-end" machines.

The solution is going to be the following:

1) Dumb-down Altivec so that it speed-scales better
2) Make IBM the premier PPC designers again
3) Contract the manufacturing of PPCs to either IBM or AMD so that we can get results and lower prices
4) Spend money sponsoring compiler technologies that remove the altivec burden from the programmers

There's no question that Macs are overpriced right now. Hopefully, Apple can stay profitable long enough to wait out this crappy market and get the chips in place to take advantage of a better situation.

And, btw... let's hope Apple has enough sense to put DDR in their next revision of the G4.

[Edited by oldMac on 10-27-2001 at 10:04 PM]

Oct 27, 2001, 11:16 PM
not only is steve jobs an angel, he is the angel and patron saint of the distortion reality field

many ceos use selective facts to sell a product, but jobs' forces it so much (and a little too often) he looks like an idiot to all but the most loyal and "forgiving" die hard mac users

i hate to see analysts call him the master of peddling colored plastic when we know that the mac products offer so much more

2001 brought great apple products but poorer than expected sales, but to be fair, one should not blame just steve jobs for 2001...part of that was due to the downturn in general of the whole high tech field of computing

Oct 28, 2001, 06:40 AM
Or alternatively oldmac they might just wait till the G5 is out and then dump the G4. Keeping the new G3 in consumer desktop machines.
Thats probably what i would do.

Oct 28, 2001, 06:48 AM
I very much doubt that apple would ever team up with AMD, if they are going to team up with someone i expect IBM. And it would be a good thing too, IBM put more money into developing new technology than AMD.

Generally alot of problems have been happening to Dual athlon systems. alot of heat is produced, cpu running at 40C - 50C, and motherboards like Tyans are problematic. although you are right about Athlons toasting equivalent Macs.

Oct 28, 2001, 10:28 AM
Well, I cheated a little when I listed out the steps of what would happen...

The G5 *does* dumb-down the Altivec unit. So, dumping the G4 in favor of the G5 will essentially fulfill my first point of prophecy. :)

Within the PowerPC alliance, IBM fought against Altivec because they were concerned that it would hamper clock speed and generally make the chip more expensive to make. THEY WERE RIGHT! AND NOW MOTOROLA HAS EGG ON THEIR FACE!

Since then, IBM has seen benefit to a simpler version of the vector unit (Altivec) and have started working on a version for their new G3s.

Of course, Intel (with the P4) and AMD now have similarly dumbed-down vector units on their processors, too. (Generally referred to as SIMD instructions.) It's not exactly the same, but close enough.

The P4's SIMD execution is pretty fast (faster than AMDs). Unfortunately, like the G4, most compilers do not optimize instructions for that unit. So most of the action on the chip is happening in the traditional integer and floating point units, leaving the vector unit to twiddle its thumbs.

This is the primary reason that P4s aren't benchmarking faster than the AMD chips. However, Intel is investing *serious* effort in compiler technology that takes advantage of the SIMD instructions. This takes the burden off of the programmer to code for these special units, and make no mistake, it is VERY DIFFICULT to optimize your code to take advantage of the vector unit. Similarly, it is VERY DIFFICULT to write a compiler that takes advantage of it.

This is the reason that the G4 is only showing spectacular performance in specialized operations where somebody takes A LOT of time to code for the Altivec. For most programmers/organizations, it's just not worth the time and effort.

One could argue, that if the G4 didn't have an Altivec unit, it could be running at 1.0 - 1.5 GHz right now, and it would give us machines nearly twice as fast in every application except Photoshop!


Watch for Motorola to get dropped out of the picture, IBM to start manufacturing G5s next summer, and AMD to be making G3s under contract by the end of 2002.

Oct 28, 2001, 10:35 AM
the ibm connection is there and the amd connection will never happen like mentioned becuase

1) a new architecture would have to be made for Macs by amd
2) apple is too small to have amd shift any resources right now while intel is winning MHz/GHz battle (but amd still has the better processor)

but if amd got into macs along with ibm, then it would certainly help the macs get closer to catching up speed wise but apple is just one company with one os, not hundreds of companies using windows, which as a whole, has a lot of money to influence the market with

apple could still survive on doing what they do best with the graphic designers and artists but new users will be hard to get since the high clock speeds of the pcs will always lure the simple masses

if apple could go back to ten percent of the market like they had in 1999, that would be great but i have never heard anyone ever expect that again from apple (it is just wishful thinking on my part because the amazing iMac revolution is something that is only seen once in a great while...i don't even think something like an lcd iMac or G5 could replicate the newness that the '98 iMac astounded the market with since it was the perfect time for it much like the way it was good timing for the Beatles to invade America and give people something to be happy about just a few months after the assasination of jfk)

Oct 28, 2001, 11:49 AM
They key to having AMD enter the equation is that the G3 has a *huge* audience in many, many verticals and embedded applications. It's much bigger than just Apple's share.

Outsourcing production of some G3 lines to AMD could be a win-win-win for IBM, AMD and Apple.

Having a license to produce G3s could help to stabilize AMD's business through the ups and downs of the PC industry.

The question is whether or not IBM sees benefit in an outsourcing/licensing plan for the manufacture of some of their chip lines.

Oct 31, 2001, 11:38 AM
thanks oldMac, for the comment

win-win-win is cool if apple benefits

i don't care if apple has to team with microsoft on something which would help apple financially...how about that apple add which shows OS X and Office 10 and calls them a "hard working team"...i tell you, i like it (and i like appleworks at the same time, too)

when someone asked steve jobs about the amd possibility, he was not ready to answer and got angry like usual

either he is mad at the idea, or someone leaked the rumor to the press that it may have been a long term apple strategy to team with other chip manufacturers

what is amazing is how he feigns ignorance to words like processor, benchmarks, technical stats, etc when he feels it wwill make him look like a fool...i think he is trying to shake the liar moniker put on him with that distortion reality bit and the totally uncool and unflattering portrayal of him by noah wylie in that stupid pirates movie

noah wylie, by the way, is a good actor but the only portrayal i think is historically accurate it that of steve wozniak in that movie...i also heard of a fictional piece on him in biography (easily the worst show on tv since it looks real on the outside, but its contents follow a cheap formula and is very liberal with any real facts in their biographies which it stamps out with orgasmic regulairity)

Oct 31, 2001, 11:52 AM
this is off post, kind of, maybe, perhaps...

while biography on tv is very entertaining, it is not a bad show because per se because its facts are not lined up correctly, it still beats syndications of gilligan's island...but either way, my tv is gone and out of the house

i am just hard on tabloid press (like enquirer, the sun, business week, people, etc)

i like boring things to read and or see like the economist, harvard business review, the census, visual basic, mac format, and mac tech

and when online,if i want to indulge and not use my brain and get into juicy gossip and backstabbing, my outlet is macrumors (i recently got tired of another url and jumped back to macrumors after very little activity this year overall)...now let's start a forum war

Oct 31, 2001, 12:42 PM
A few major computer manufactures stopped using AMD chips, like Tiny. With these drying up, it makes sense for AMD to be looking for new markets. AMD sold more chips this year than any other, and yet it still struggles to make a profit. One of the big reasons is price wars with Intel. So a teamup between IBM, Apple, and AMD truly could be a winner for AMD because they could sell chips without the same David-and-Goliath competition from Intel.

Oct 31, 2001, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by spikey
I really think it is sad that no matter how good a chip is, companies like AMD and Apple have to compete with pure marketing strategy by intel. Pentiums are a cheaply produced, designed and manufactured chip.
Didnt the G4s gigaflops rating prevent it from shipping from america early in its life? [/B]

Ok spikey:
I agree that Intel for either marketing or design reasons (or both) decided to make the trade off between long pipeline and MHZ... That does not make P4 by any way a cheaply designed or produced chip. Do you know Spikey that if you remove the fan from your Athlon the CPU will melt??????
The P4 on the other side will turn itself off.... Which one seems/feels cheapest????? I agree that the slow clocked P4s
are even outperfomed by the 1GHZ P3 but this Chip realy shines (or will) in >2ghz.
Its 400 MHZ bus makes it ideal for graphics since it can take full advantage of AGP4 thing that the 133 MHZ bus of the G4 certainly can't if you remember that the bus carries other things also other than graphics......
Finaly i am 1000% sure that INTEL can spent more money in both design or production than the crapy company called Motorola......
G4 should have reached the end os it's life for HIGH end machines as it's around for way too long time... Ok.. how may generations of Intel/AMD chips it can compete? P3, P4........ Apple's marketists will have a very bad time if Apple can't deliver G5 in January...

That's the way i see things... Of course a 867MHZ G4 compares well in some tasks with the 2GHZ P4 but for this price (or for APPLES name) that's not enough... it should really crash it the way it is marketed (to do it)...

Oct 31, 2001, 04:28 PM
****ing hell, ofcourse i know an athlon will melt.

Wow a cpu can turn itself off, good thing too cos thats all its good for.

the reasons why the P4 is a cheaply designed chip just made to be heavily marketed and distributed are as follows.

The P4 does not follow its original design (which was actually quite good) because intel wanted to push the chip out at a time when athlons were toasting P3s.....shows chip made fro marketing and not for performance.
Any chip with a 20 stage pipeline is made for marketing, do you honestly think that if consumers didnt care about Ghz then intel would have made the P4 with the pipeline it has???
Proof of the fact that intel has made a hell of alot of cheap chips is the fact that the basic design of the P3 hadnt changed since the pentium 166!!!
Any chip which has been designed for a higher clock rate rather than raw speed clock for clock , is obviously just taking advantage of intels marketing strategy.
Instead of designing a good chip like AMD did with the K7 athlon they just took an unfinished chip with a 20 stage pipeline and put it out when the market was ready for it.
I have used P4s and they are sh*te, sluggish and very inconsistent.
And by the way, dont believe all websites that give strangely nice performance figures for P4s, like alot of other companies Intel either give the reviewer a machine to work from or they just bribe them.

However ur thoughts on the G5 are much agreed.

Oct 31, 2001, 04:38 PM
While my Athlon might not turn itself off, the mobo has a temp sensor and it will shut down programs and the computer if it gets too hot. It happened all the time because I had a crappy heatsink. Now I have a good one and no problem.

Oct 31, 2001, 04:46 PM
ok Spikey I think that we agree although we see the same think from different ways...
What I realy want to tell you is that ok... I know that a P4 CPU is in 2 MHZ for marketing reasons and I will (and am ready to) wait 2-3-6 months for a G5 or whatever. But the average person that has the money to spend right now and needs a computer will think: 2ghz vs 867mhz, 400mhz bus vs 133 bus and will end buying a P4..... And you know something??? I fell very bad to say it but I can't blame him 100%. I cam blame Apple for sticking with Motorola though....... They pissed Apple many times... and Apple contiunue to rely on them....
And something else that annoys me Spikey....
Since Apple lied to it's investors (Cube etc.... ) do you think they would have any problem to lie to its consummers????

Oct 31, 2001, 05:56 PM
Any chip with a 20 stage pipeline is made for marketing, do you honestly think that if consumers didnt care about Ghz then intel would have made the P4 with the pipeline it has???

Ah... Sorry to disagree on this one Spikey but (generaly talking) as far the performance is good I don't care if a CPU has 20 or 100 stage pipeline...

Nov 1, 2001, 01:34 AM
That's just it though-the performance ISN'T good. An Athlon XP 1.53 GHZ will beat a 2 Ghz P4 in most tests... and it costs less. From all standpoints the P4 looks like a hack job to sell processors to a clueless public. And what a wonderful job it's doing.

Nov 1, 2001, 05:39 AM
I know that! I speak in general!
However I don't think AMDs new AthlonXP CPUs should be named the way they are... For e.x both XP and 1800.... AMD should't play either Intels or Microsofts game.... And please don't tell me they didn't know the new windows would be called XP before they name their CPUs! HA!
Anyway I think that AMD, Intel, Motorola and IBM try (tried or will try) to get the most out of the todays 32 bit technology in therms of MHZ before they switch to the new generation of 64bit CPUS.
All CPUs around (Pentium-in all its forms, Ahtlon, G4 and G3) should quickly give their way to new technologies...
Do you ever wonder why the computer sales are falling???
Because someone with a 3 year G4 (or Pentium 3) can do exactly the same with someone that owns a quicksilver (or a P4)

Nov 1, 2001, 11:19 AM
no fellow pc computer tech in the field tells me that the P4 is "better" than the athlon...that is a given

but the early and disappointing benchmarks of the P4 was due to the lack of programs out there which were SSE2 optimized and now that more apps could utilize this, intel has gotten the P4 up front and started to market it...at first, the newness and incopatibility issues hid the P4 info deep inside the intel website (they definitely did not want to call any attention to it)

the P4 will continue to evolve past 2 GHz and people will start asking, "Hey, this machine is not any faster than my 866!" - that is what explains the huge downturn in sales which has happened along with the saturation of computers and the injured economy

and i don't understand the huge aversion to intel a lot of mac users have...when i first strated with the aplle machines in '82 or '83, ibm was the "badguy" but now they make the G3 chip and the award winning top rated mac software, via voice (which got a headline debut on apple.com home page)

[Edited by jefhatfield on 12-19-2001 at 10:41 AM]

Nov 1, 2001, 11:43 AM
Oh i agree with you fragiledreams, motorola has got apple in some major *****. Overall the G4 has not done any good for apples future, its put them behind the competition. Im just hoping once they make the G5 they will be dropped by apple, and im hoping they will go out with a bang.
and i agree about the Athlon kicking P4s ass.

Nov 1, 2001, 10:55 PM
Here's what I think about this: we hate (well, dislike) Intel for the same (but opposite) reasons we like Macs: we recognize superior products and I think at least most of us don't like big corporations who get to tell the public what they want-at the expense of the more innovative and better competition.

Nov 2, 2001, 11:40 AM
to some people like me, even apple seems like a "big corporation" and it is just the way you look at it

but certainly, the nearby intel, compaq, and hewlett-packard in the silicon valley are much larger in size and not as personal and caring as apple

...god, i hate to say this but i will (posters get ready to assault me)

but have you ever dealt with microsoft on a customer level? they are the best and most accomodating large company i have ever been in contact with as a user

...but as a microsoft tech, that is a different thing entirely and adds fuel to the name "microserf"

Nov 4, 2001, 08:24 PM
smart computing, the magazine which has an issue out now, has a detailed breakdown on the amd and intel processors and the stats on the desktop, mobile, and multiprocessing chips as well as info on chipsets

it is the best comparison publication i have seen without being too techinical like scott mueller's upgrading and repairing pcs book (which is the best for techies and engineers only)

Dec 19, 2001, 04:37 AM
Think about this!

Motorola G4 867Mhz ... 7.4 Gigaflops
Intel Pentium III 1,113 Ghz ... 1,2 Gigaflops
Intel Pentium 4 2Ghz ... 1,4Gigaflops
Athlon Tbird 1,5 GhZ ... 1,9 Gigaflops

Dec 19, 2001, 10:07 AM
us techies and engineers know terms like this and level 2 cache and bus speed and pipelines, but as a former salesman, price is number one in importance followed by listed gigahertz speed/megahertz speed

most users do not want to go too deep into the mechanics of their cpu so in their hurried shopping experience, they don't have time to soak up all the pertinent information and make a sound engineering decision

shoppers who are outside of their safe home hate being out and are psychologically in a fight or flight mode and their analytical brain shuts off and they are operating on a brain stem kill or be killed level...where i live people used to come into the store with knives and guns and the place was crawling with 14s, bloods, crips, nortenas, surenos, and other wonderful folk (i had the thankless job of following teens ripping off games in the software aisle)

computer stores in a seventy five mile radius of where i live are always, always, always put in the worst ghetto areas probably because a circuit city looks better near an industrial area better than it does next to that quaint french cafe or saks fifth avenue

i found myself having a hard time trying to educate my mostly white, upper middle class shoppers in an area with no white people and the customers were scared to be in the neighborhood and i am a minority myself but i do not resent the large computer sales companies putting up their stores in the ghettos

by the way, i live south of san jose and the major computer stores where i live are in the relatively rough areas of seaside, sand city, campbell, east san jose, oakland, east salinas, and the "seedy" side of santa cruz...if i were a cop, in this wide geographical area i just mentioned, i couldn't think of a worse handful of areas to choose for any stores, but like i said, large warehouse type computer stores just don't look good next to saks fifth avenue

the only "nice" areas i have seen large computer stores in are in the protected shopping malls, where for some unknown reason in california, is the hotbed for shootings and gangs to meet to challege each other

as some of you older posters know, i am a volunteer social worker for heroin addicts and the homeless and i sometimes get on a social rant every now and then but i just realized that all of the major computer stores in central northern california are in areas where you don't want to send your kids alone

kinda strange wouldn't you say?

Dec 19, 2001, 04:13 PM
Hold on, Back up folks. comparing Pentuims, AMD's, PowerPC Gn's, and all other processors as if they were the same is rediculous. It'd be like comparing all consumer vehicles, be they motorcycles, Musclecars, Trucks, etc. Simply put it depends on the purpose you are applying the device to. It's easy to see that a Honda motorcycle race engine and a GMC turbodiesel will have radically different load-hauling characteristics or acceleration because any fool can see the difference in design context. The real problem with the Mhz myth is that Intel and AMD have us all thinking that all internal combustion engines are designed for acceleration. Us Geeks can see that's stupid but the average consumer doesn't have any context. It'd be like trying to explain the difference between one engine and another to a gorilla. The gorilla doesn't care how fast it is, it only cares if it can heft it well enough to break coconuts. Everything else is propoganda. Most users only do word processing, E-mail, Internet and gaming. They're just breaking coconuts.

MasterX (OSiX)
Dec 19, 2001, 09:16 PM
The sad thing is that this exact forum was discussed at least 3 times before. Anyway....
The only comments I have are regarding people angry at the G4's MoBo architecture. Since the G4 is a low-Mhz CPU it doesn't take advantage of fast bus speeds, DDR Ram and stuff like ATA/100. What the G4 DOES do it kick butt with MP configs (up to 128-processors for the 7400 G4s) and G4s can also do well in multi-tasking, especially on Altivec. Believe it or not, when you run FCP3 at full-speed using the Velocity Engine you're really multi-tasking 8-bit ops on the 128-bit Vector Unit of the G4. We're reminded of the 1MB Cache vs 2MB cache. For months users bitched about the G4's "small" 1MB Cache, calling the architecture "obsolete" and "inferior". Then Sonnit came out with 2 G4 500Mhz upgrade cards, one with the default 1MB Cache, one with 2MB. What was the performance difference? Arouyd 5-10%, 10% TOPS, in PS6, running one filter. Around the same time AMD's first DDR MoBo's came out, according to AMD's (yes AMD!) charts, the AMD DDR MoBO provided 4-16% more performance. Funny because the D in DDR would suggest twice as fast. People want the G5, not because of the Mhz, but because it's designed to run off a DDR 400 Bus, with DDR 400 Ram, ATA/100, FireWire2, or SCSI160 Hard drives, and can run circles around the PS2 in game performance. Well you'll get your wish, I just wonder what clever shell they'll put it in.

Dec 20, 2001, 02:46 AM
i hope the g4 or g5 kicks serious butt in january and i hope it is the g5

i got kind of sidetracked on my last post...sorry

Dec 20, 2001, 11:10 AM
Thanks, that's more raw data on G5 than I've seen in one place B4. If you work for Apple, beware. Steve's SS has ways of making you talk.....

The trend in Apple's rather cautious processor strategy suggests that fast G3's and Apollo G4's will be all we see in the next release. Let's not ignore other signs though. We may well see nVidia chips in ALL the machines. Just having a reasonable amount of V-RAM and native 3D support on Imac would make a huge difference.


Imac-750 G3
-900 G3
-1Ghz G3
Add Nvidia and superdrive option. VRAM goes to 16 Megs.

Ibook- nVidia mobile chipset, 600 G3 or 750 G3

Wild drug induced hollucinations:

Flat panel, carry around 750 G4 Imac with touch screen and superdrive. Airport and cell phone built in. Looks kinda like the Apple 15" LCD without the feet. Has IR port with universal remote firmware for all consumer electronics.

Apple wireless 802.11b ISP, Comcast is just an Apple front!!!!!

All that "Idle" fibre optic that Dubyaw spoke of belongs to subsidiaries of Wozco Inc. who owns Apple, IBM, Motorolla and Disney. Steve Jobs is a servant droid prototype.


Dec 20, 2001, 11:18 AM
you sound like you live up in my neck of the woods on the california central coast, ala ucsc, home of the banana slugs

great campus though, i used to go up there to the hungry slug pub and sing my beatnik stuff

Dec 20, 2001, 11:43 AM
Capitola actually, Depot hill. I work in Los Gatos.

Dec 20, 2001, 01:48 PM
Let's start a company that sells 4Ghz overclocked 386's!!! We'll run a 400Mhz bus and put a 12" fan under it. We could put Windoze 98 on it and sell it to the brainwashed masses with nothing but printer, modem and keyboard connectors.

Duh, me want big Mhz footwarmer to play games and write E-mail. OOh, shiney.


"Good boy, here's a pellet."

Dec 20, 2001, 06:36 PM
lol-that's the funniest post I've ever seen here. Too true, too true.

Dec 20, 2001, 06:54 PM
it's so funny we are talking about melting processors but when things were .35 micron and .28 micron, we were really talking about heat...so soon we forget

intel, amd, ibm, motorola...they all have made "hot" processors, but yesterday's cool processor is today's unacceptable "hot" processor that will melt the world

we need some real context here

melting and destroying stuff is not the real concern and among literally thousands of machines i have seen as an employee and owner of my oen business, melted computers was not the issue as much as heated processors greatly slowing down the performance of a chip

a super heated AMD K6-2 300+ MHz chip could crawl down to a Pentium 1 233 MMX speed if overheated...but so what...if you are doing word 97 will that make a huge differnce

but i know graphics pros and gamers (sepecially) don't like hot systems and go to lengths of putting in non-standard fans in strange places to optimize a cool, fast, cutting edge gaming experience

if it were not for the gamers and the ridiculous amount of money they spend on software, the IT field sould not move as fast and it is funny to see business-only types who think they need to upgrade their 500 MHz computer to run the next version of wordpad or ms works faster...jeez

Dec 20, 2001, 06:59 PM
My concern with heat is that it reduces the life of your hardware. I know that most components are made to be able to function at high temps, but doing so constantly can cause things to fail.

Dec 20, 2001, 07:14 PM

It seems "The Age of Spiritual Machines" is upon us...

And then all this MHz myth crap will be irrelevant.

Dec 20, 2001, 07:17 PM
but the way i jump from machine to machine, i never have it fail before i outgrow the sucker

i am still happy with my sub-400 mhz pc towers and pc and apple laptops and some people think these are museum pieces but they are only 2 1/2 years old or more

by the time heat catches up to most machines i repair, they are four generations old ala windows 95/3.1 with 20 MB of RAM (SIMMS) total max and equipped with a 1 MB video card

gamers, i think, can probably really stress a machine and kill it before its time but some gamers i know get a machine more often than every year (or more likely build a gaming machine)

Dec 21, 2001, 10:40 AM
Just try it outside a lab. One good Gnat fart and it's all over. Let's not even think about what a little Static could do.......

Dec 21, 2001, 01:18 PM
building a pc isnt nearly as risky as that.
Infact if you are careful, and ground yourself properly , you will not damage any of the components.
I have built and opened up loads of PCs and i have never caused harm to a component.

Im not sure if that was what the gnat fart was aiming at?
Is bulding a pc what you were talking about?

Dec 21, 2001, 01:29 PM
The PC isn't the issue, shielding the quantum-level components from EM noise is the issue. When the parts get that small, the noise of a HD head would be like a Lolapolooza concert next to a library. let alone basic environmental noise. Hell, just quantum mechanics by itself (hysenberg and such) is enough to make it a fragile consumer product at best.

Dec 21, 2001, 01:54 PM
ah ok.
Post understood.

Dec 23, 2001, 09:54 PM
i have to learn the quirks of every new pc os for my line of work and i thought of getting an amd-1600 system and i know that it is somewhere between 1.4 to 1.6 ghz, but less than 1.6 ghz for sure

the naming convention does not bug me and having a machine that has the equivalent of 1600 mhz but really a little slower is no big deal for what i need to do

as long as i can comfortably get my work done is the main thing and within six to ten months, every computer in the world on the store shelves will be faster than 1 ghz

intel listing actual speeds beyond 2 ghz will start to lose its speed appeal because sooner or later, even pc consumers and newbies will not care

just months ago i cared a lot more than now

gamers have not come up to me and mentioned anything about processor speed in the new x-box, they just like it and i don't hear about this chip or that chip from them

Dec 24, 2001, 02:28 PM
I agree.
Although the xbox thing might be because the gpu detracts from its cpu. everyone says nvidia blah blah blah..... which makes them forget that the cpu isnt all that good, considering what cpu could have been put in it.