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View Full Version : P3 vs G4 Technology, a re-evaluation in retrospect




WilWheaton
Jun 7, 2010, 11:14 PM
I've been thinking lately, the pentium 3 architecture was pretty solid. I mean look what its brought us now, the core duo and core 2 duo architecture are both heavily based off of this design and obviously leave powerpc in the dust. I think the problem is that the SIMD instructions on the pentium 3 weren't heavily pushed in benchmarks, whereas everything done with the G4 was almost always altivec enhanced.

Lets look at some articles as well
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/article/1465/
Seems to come to the same conclusion i'm thinking ,

Also this article goes a bit more in depth so you can see the architectures of the day http://www.scribd.com/doc/23982898/Basic-Comparison-of-PowerPC-and-Pentium-Processor-Families

So I'm not sure, was it all just the buzz of the day? I mean sure, apple may have had the better operating systems, but was it just steve jobs candy coating things to make us think we had the better hardware as well?



Hrududu
Jun 7, 2010, 11:22 PM
I'm fairly sure the G4 was far better than the P3. Ya, the P3 laid some groundwork for Core processors, but the G4 was being developed into dual core chips back in 2004 probably about the same time Core Duo chips were being conceived. Who knows what might have happened if more efficient versions of dual core G4 chips would have made it to market in the Powerbook.

zen.state
Jun 7, 2010, 11:26 PM
The most current G4 CPU is actually reasonably current and newer than all the G5 chips. Freescale (Motorola) released the 7448 version on the G4 in 2006 which is by far the most powerful G4 yet.

I used to use a G3 tower that was upgraded to a G4 500MHz. It was faster than my friends P3 933MHz.

One good memory of a P3 system I have though is an HP 450MHz server my father had. For only a 450 it held it's own. I guess being a server it simply had better components and that made it faster. That 450 seemed more like 7-800.

WilWheaton
Jun 7, 2010, 11:29 PM
I'm fairly sure the G4 was far better than the P3.
Well that's my point. If you look at the articles I posted the P3 had all the potential of the G4 when using the SSE instructions it had available.

Ya, the P3 laid some groundwork for Core processors, but the G4 was being developed into dual core chips back in 2004 probably about the same time Core Duo chips were being conceived.

By this time the pentium m series had taken the throne in the pc world and were providing power efficient laptop versions that were for sure doing better clock for clock. I don't remember seeing any dual-core g4s, only dual processor ones.

Who knows what might have happened if more efficient versions of dual core G4 chips would have made it to market in the Powerbook.
Well thats the thing, I don't think there was much point. Intel architecture had far surpassed it at that point due to the pentium 3.

zen.state
Jun 7, 2010, 11:30 PM
I'm fairly sure the G4 was far better than the P3. Ya, the P3 laid some groundwork for Core processors, but the G4 was being developed into dual core chips back in 2004 probably about the same time Core Duo chips were being conceived. Who knows what might have happened if more efficient versions of dual core G4 chips would have made it to market in the Powerbook.

You are correct sir.

I am pretty sure the fastest P3 ever was a 1.5GHz. I can say for certain that any of the G4 chips that ran at 1.5+ would completely smoke the P3.

I would say based on using pc's at work (and several of them) that my G4 7448 1.8GHz is equal to about a P4 2.6 give or take 100MHz.

iThinkergoiMac
Jun 7, 2010, 11:34 PM
Every G4 Mac I've used has been faster than P3 computers of equal or higher clock speed. The G4 is closer to the P4 in terms of end-user speed relative to clock speed. Heck, my 1.5 GHz PBG4 is significantly faster than my 1.5 GHz Pentium M (which essentially a P4 without the hyperthreading if I understand it correctly), and was still significantly faster back when it was a 1.25 GHz G4. Same amount/type of RAM (it's actually interchangeable between computers), same type of HDD. The only real difference is that the video card in the G4 is significantly better, but for things like Photoshop, the G4 destroys my Pentium.

iThinkergoiMac
Jun 7, 2010, 11:36 PM
By this time the pentium m series had taken the throne in the pc world and were providing power efficient laptop versions that were for sure doing better clock for clock. I don't remember seeing any dual-core g4s, only dual processor ones.

Take a look at my reply... clock for clock, my 1.5 GHz PBG4 smokes my 1.5 GHz Pentium M in all areas except Flash.

zen.state
Jun 7, 2010, 11:56 PM
From the linked article:

"Intel's Pentium 4, with its deep 20-stage pipeline. Suppose the branch prediction unit makes a bad prediction and the CPU was just about to process the data in the last stage of the pipeline, it now has to flush the entire pipeline and start over again, losing valuable clock cycles in the process. The longer the pipeline the more performance is lost."

That right there was the fundamental problem with the x86 platform until about 2004. Powermac G4 systems only have 7 stages in the pipeline. 7 vs 20.. do the math.

PowerPC is a RISC CPU and the idea with these types of CPU have always been to do more with less. Until 2004 the x86 world did less with more. Not very productive.

Even though now x86 is the performance king I would say most of the hardware does not even have half the lifespan of the G4.

Hrududu
Jun 8, 2010, 12:09 AM
I don't remember seeing any dual-core g4s, only dual processor ones.

http://www.macrumors.com/2004/09/28/freescale-confirms-dual-core-g4/

http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2004/09/4246.ars

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/06/04/motorola_adds_dualcore_g4/

zen.state
Jun 8, 2010, 09:26 AM
Forgot about this benchmark:

flopticalcube
Jun 8, 2010, 09:29 AM
Forgot about this benchmark:
Hardly surprising, considering its running under Rosetta on the Intels.

DesmoPilot
Jun 8, 2010, 02:08 PM
Forgot about this benchmark:

Pretty poor benchmark as already stated - the intel's are running under rosetta. Get a native version running on the Intel's and the G4 would be left in the dust.