Fast G3 or slower G4?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kingcrowing, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

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    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #1
    I just bought the G3/400Mhz powermac in my sig, I'm looking to upgrade the processor eventually, this is what I use the computer for: iTunes: I already have all my music on it, I used iPod rip so thats not a biggie, I do rip some CDs but not that often. I watch DVDs, use microsoft office and Internet/iChat. So this isnt gonna be used for anythign real intense, but heres my question, 1GHz G3 for $210, or 500MHz G4 for ~$140. I know that the only real difference is Altivec, but other than ripping MP3s, almost nothign I do will use it. so is it worth the extra $60 to get a 2x as fast G3 or should I go G4? Thanks!
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #2
    I would go with the G4. OS X will also respond better, not just iTunes. Even if the G3 has twice the clock frequency I think the G4 will give better value for the money.
     
  3. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    #3
    The most important thing is RAM, of which you have bags.
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    I'd go for the 500MHz G4. You don't want to spend too much on a PCI Powermac - If you want a box you can actually throw money at with good results get an AGP Powermac (G4 "Sawtooth" or newer).

    That said, the 500MHz G4 should run OS X nicely with 1GB RAM.
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    I replaced my G3/400 with a G3/800 and found the change immense. I debated for a very long time on whether to get a 500 or 550 MHz G4 but there just weren't enough things using AltiVec to justify the extra money.

    Yes, I used it for Photoshop and yes, Mac OS X uses AltiVec but not enough considering the speedup for the majority of my applications.

    Besides, I found that for certain work, the G3/800 was faster than the G4/800.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #6
    If you need it for multimedia applications when get a G4. Keep it under 650 Mhz to keep your 100 Mhz system bus.

    If you want just plain raw speed and power go with a G3.

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3CARDS/G3_1.1GHz_vs_G4_1GHz_review/index.html

    Still you can make up your mind with some benchmarks of different G3/G4 upgrades. I've been tossing the idea around too. I have a PowerMac G3 but I only use it to web browse and the occasional file server. It does that just fine at 450 Mhz but I'd like AltiVec for VLC and iTunes.

    I also love having all that space to mount drives.
     
  7. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Almere, The Netherlands
    #7
    I would say go with the faster G3. The raw speed will be faster then the altivec of the slower G4.
     
  8. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #8
    go for the g4
    because if you ever need to upgrade it you can go up to 2ghz
    sawtooth or petter g4 (not pci yucky)
    osx will purr on a g4 with some ram, the g3 wont (the simplest way to put it lol
    g4 are way better in my opinion dont look back go for the g4
    :)
     
  9. macEfan macrumors 65816

    macEfan

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    #9
    yes, the g4.... It will make your system more stable, and run OS X fine for your needs. Also, the g4 is the newer processor, so and it will still be supported by apple when the next OS comes out. Who knows, the next OS might require a g4.
     
  10. lind0834 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    #10
    From Experience...

    I have a PowerMac G4 400MhZ with 1gig of RAM.
    I have an iBook G3 700MhZ with 640meg of RAM.

    The PowerMac does seem a bit zippier, but on most operations they are equal. The one advantage the G4 has is better support for software. DVD Studio Pro needs a G4. Toast 7 needs a G4. Most Open Source, or really free video conversion software is written for G4s, and stumble on my G3 unless I can find the correct version. The G3 boots more than twice as fast as my G4, but it's OS X.. who needs to reboot?

    My vote is the G4.
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    Where are you getting this?

    IBM's PPC 750FX and 750 GX are newer designs than the 7400s and 7410s that are currently used in G4 upgrade cards.

    I know from side-by-side comparisons with my PM G3/800 and PM dual G4/800 that the G3 is about the same to 7 % faster than the G4 of the same speed.

    Are you saying that slower is more stable? I know that there were problems with the 900 MHz and 1.1 GHz versions of upgrade cards but that's apparently because they were overclocking the processors, not because the correct processors couldn't do the job.
     
  12. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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    Oneida, NY
    #12
    What kinds of test were you running? I would be interested to see how a G3 800mhz could be faster than a Dual 800Mhz G4...that doesn't seem likely.

    Not doubting you, just wondering why? Seems interesting!
     
  13. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #13
    750GX? You mean there are Gobi upgrade cards for the PowerMac G3s out there? In that case I want to change my vote: Go with the 1 GHz 750 GX. That's an awsome CPU. :)

    Now I want a SmurfBox... :D
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/PowerLogix/PFZGX10001M/

    Yep...750GX.
     
  15. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #15
    That's great. I was actually disspointed when the iBook didn't use that in stead of going G4 back when they did (I still got the iBook G4 ;)). I thought the Gobi would have been a better choice.

    Hmmm... now I actually have to start looking for a SmurfBox that can function as a media (iTunes and iPhoto) and general file server. I have a few connections that actually might sell me one... :)
     
  16. kingcrowing thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

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    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #16
    thats what I was thinking about getting, and LOOK AT MY POST TO SEE WHAT I'M DOING! just basic stuff, mostly web browsing, not DVD copying or burning, no photoshop, no editing of any sort, iTunes, DVD watching, Office and internet, thats it! so I think the 1GHz G3 would be better for that
     
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #17
    Well go with the G3 then. Only iLife, Quicktime, and iTunes encoding seemed to get most boost out of the G4. Office and OS X itself were more perky with the fast G3.

    All that I have to say is RAM and lots of it.
     
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #18
    Single processor against single processor, silly. :D

    Of course, the G3 did really poorly in the AltiVec tests. Still, IBM worked really hard on the floating point capabilities and between that and the extra cache, the thing does work better than a G4 of the same clock speed, despite the slower bus speed of the G3.
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #19
    I'm tempted to upgrade my Power Mac G3 B&W now. I think it'd be a much better canidate for a file server and possible video encoding box. I don't like putting my iMac G5 through all that noise.

    Handbrake doesn't work on G3's though. :(

    I can just pop in the OMG fast G3 without tampering with the firmware right? I might do a G4 since I want to encode on it. I'm patient I just don't think a Mini would be a good choice over the Power Mac.
     

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