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G3 vs G4

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mrjamin, May 1, 2003.

  1. macrumors 65816


    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.

  2. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    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.

  3. macrumors demi-god


    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. :(
  4. Moderator emeritus


    for comparisons between various models of macs you might want to take a look at www.barefeats.com
  5. Guest


    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....
  6. macrumors 601


    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.
  7. macrumors 604


    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
  8. macrumors 68030


    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
  9. Moderator emeritus


    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.
  10. macrumors 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. :)
  11. macrumors 65816


    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.
  12. Retired



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


    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.
  14. macrumors 68000


    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.
  15. Moderator emeritus


    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.
  16. Retired



    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;)
  17. macrumors regular

    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
  18. macrumors regular

    oops, didn't quite use the bold right...
  19. Retired


    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
  20. macrumors member

    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.
  21. macrumors 6502

    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!
  22. macrumors member

    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!
  23. macrumors regular


    where is this? i can't find it... can you post a link?????
  24. macrumors 6502a


    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?
  25. macrumors member

    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.

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