G4 vs Pentium M

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by PARL0PH0NE, May 19, 2005.

  1. PARL0PH0NE macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2005
    Like most potential switchers out there I am waiting for the upcoming Ibook update before I make my purchase. Today I decided to take a look at the 12" ibook and power. After trying them both out for a few minutes I noticed that it takes the laptop about ten seconds or more to load a program or any document. As a pc user I have had no experience with Macs. Is this normal for Macs, or is it an aspect of the Mac OS? I tried out the G5 desktops and they seemed to have this problem too.
  2. amholl macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    I have the latest 12 inch ibook. It is very snappy. Firefox, IM, Thunderbirdall open in around 1 sec. My office apps open in 3-5. iLife is the same as office. btw, my ibook is stock. It works like a champ on all ilife, office and online apps. With more RAM, it could run all the pro apps. Although my ibook is great, get a powerbook if your wallet can handle it. It is lighter, has better graphics and more ram and MHz. It is very similar to my fathers P-M 1.3 Ghz w/ 512 RAM.
  3. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    The Pentium whips the crap out of any G4.

  4. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Excuse me? I prefer the G4. My 1.5 ghz PB runs a lot smoother then my dell 2.0 ghz when working on 300mb+ photoshop files and thats when both had 512mb ram...
  5. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    That's not a Pentium M dude. The Pentium M is pretty much on par with an Athlon 64, clock per clock. Plus, since you call it a 2.0Ghz (not a Pentium M 755, as they are usually advertised), it sounds like you are referring to a P4-Mobile. P4-M's are horrible.

    Its ok to get them confused. Quite a few sites ran articles explaining the differences between a P4-M and a Pentium M. Yeah, you definitely want to have the latter.

    Here's one of those articles:
  6. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    If we would get rid of the clunky Windows OS and put Linux or some how OS X, I think you would find the Pentium M would whip the G4's silicon a** all the time except apps based on the velocity engine of the G4. The G5 is the only competitor for the whole x86 chip lineup,IMO. Well the G4 will own the celeron, but practically any CPU can beat that.

    EDIT: Mav, their are Pentium M's that are 2 Ghz now you know? But of course I have no idea how old his dell is.
  7. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    A Pentium-M is definitely a nice processor.

    However, the G4 is no slouch either. Something must have been wrong with the Mac hardware you tried out. Except on very processor-intensive or non-native GUI (Matlab in particular) apps, most things open for me in 3 dock bounces or less.
  8. daveL macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2003
    Who cares, unless you are going to run Linux on it. People are on MR because they realize what a total piece of crap Windows is, not because they are counting CPU cycles.
  9. ramuman macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2005
    The OP was asking for a comparison - and in a direct comparison, there is no contest. I wish my PB had a P-M in it. Then again I wish my A64 rig had OSX on it. Pick your poison I guess :p.

    However, if he was comparing any PC with a 7200 or 5400 RPM drive to the iBook's 4200, then that right there is a big part of why the iBook apps loaded slower.
  10. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Or maybe they're on MR because they like macs... Not necessarily that they believe windows is a piece of crap :rolleyes:
  11. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    well i know its not a Pentium M, but my G4 1.5Ghz outperforms my old 3.06Ghz P4 laptop. no probs.

    just today it took about 5 minutes for all the hardware to come 'online', Powerbooks on in about a minute. photoshop runs about the same, id say better on the mac because slowdown on a PC kills everything whereas a mac 'isolates' slowness. well, most the time :)

    for a smoother ride; G4. at least in my experience.
  12. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    Ok, well regardless of processor comparisons, I have to say that when I first switched, I found this to be an issue as well.

    The new Mac OS takes a bitof time to get used to. While for example a program can take a couple of seconds to load where in windows it would be almost instant (like office for example) you don't get the same kind of hangs mid-way through a process like you do on my PC's at Work and Office. You don't get any egg timers, any pausing, and the thing that was truly remarkable to me was the little things like being able to play MP3's, do word processing whilst simultaneously chatting on iChat and browsing Safari without the MP3 skipping etc.

    This to me, was the change that has prompted me to use macs wherever I can. I also have a current ibook (typing this thread from my patio outside in the dark) and it's a great little machine. You can't go wrong!
  13. ramuman macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2005
    What kind of PCs were you guys running where multitasking with mp3s causes skipping and a 3.06 P4 takes 5 minutes to boot up? :eek:
  14. ifjake macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    i believe it. my 1 GHz Ti Powerbook runs way smoother than my 2.4 P4 desktop. sure, software could have a lot to do with it, but still, i'm not doing anything with my PC that i'm not doing with my Mac (at least, not without my consent). actually it's the other way around most of the time.
  15. vatel macrumors member

    May 6, 2005
    I find that the Mac always takes longer to open any given program that runs on both XP and OS X, and I have a 5400 rpm drive on my Powerbook vs a 4200 rmp drive on my Dell. On the other hand, the Mac is much better at handing multi-tasking and running smoothly with a number of windows open. If I have even one intensive app in the backround on the Dell (CD ripping, computation) the machine is pretty much useless, where the Mac still continues to feel responsive.
  16. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    Hmm? If a Pentium M clock per clock is on par with an Athlon 64 then a G4 would also be on par with a Pentium M, clock per clock, since an Athlon 64 is on par with a G5 clock per clock and a G4 also is on par with a G5 clock per clock.

    Of course the highest clocked Pentium M is 2.13 GHz or something while the highest clocked G4 is 1.67 GHz.
  17. Ti_Poussin macrumors regular


    May 6, 2005
    Currently the centrino is a better mobility chip over the current G4 in powerbook in raw power, but the G4 have a better futur, dual core and good bus speed bump soon by free scale. The Altivec is a good point in favor of the G4. Optimize appz for the G4 as much as they get for the intel architecture and it will kick out the centrino easy.

    But a centrino with a good Linux install can kick some serious ass in raw power, but I still do more on my Powerbook 1GHz then many of my friend with there centrino 1.8 GHz (something that have been say many time on this forum but it's true, less time repair stuff or compiling, more time working).
  18. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Another part of it may be that Windows is engineered to look faster - it will open an app window but you won't be able to do anything for a couple of seconds while it does everything else it needs to do in the background, but with Mac OS X you are ready to go as soon as your window is open.

    Having said that, both my 1.6 GHz P-M and my 1.8 GHz P4 PCs are pretty snappy at booting up and opening applications - opening a Word document takes no more than a second so any delay is negligible. However, neither CPUs are hyperthreaded, so any CPU-intensive app (e.g. importing into iTunes) does slow everything else down substantially.

    By the way, when you say "10 seconds" did you time that? People are notoriously bad at estimating short time intervals when we are waiting for something to happen.
  19. iQuit macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2005


    MHz don't really mean anything,my 366 MHz oldschool iBook will keep up with my dad's 1.2 GHz Pentium....it is simply because PPC chips run a lot more effecient and are a lot better for multitasking. Mac OSX makes it just that much better because it is silky smooth,also you can't really compare an Intel Or AMD with a PowerPC,then run a whole lot differently...where as a 1.67 GHz PowerBook is almost just as fast as a PC that is twice as fast as it. I'd say the G4 is faster for most purposes except for gaming,not that Mac's can't handle games...just there are not very many developers and the ports are just ports so they don't run smooth. Overall Mac's are the best...hands down.
  20. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Also, OP should point out what he's going to be doing with his computer, that has an impact on what he should look for.

    The current Mac notebooks are no slouches, but they are not the top of the heap either in raw performance. For most general tasks however, you should probably pick your OS, and not worry too much about GHz and CPU power.

    Other posters pointed out the importance of hard drive speed, RAM, etc. which probably have a greater impact on your computer's responsiveness than your CPU (assuming its a relatively recent CPU.)

    I'd like to see the entire PB line running on 7200 RPM drives to help maximize its performance and separate it a bit from the iBook line. That is assuming that 7200 RPM drive are okay in PowerBooks (I think I've heard of people putting them in.)
  21. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    The G4 is a good chip, but it has it's problems. It has a slow Front Side Bus and doesn't clock very high, but it is pretty efficient. The Centrino (which is just a fancy term for a Pentium M [Mobile] and wireless 802.11x) is based on the old P3, which was much more efficient than the P4, but didn't clock as high.

    The problem is, you were looking at a low-end machine. The iBook is great for what it does, but it's not that fast. Especially with it's 4200RPM drive, low-end video card, and (I'm assuming) low amount of RAM. Coupled with the fact that this was probably a machine that had been used quite a bit, there's your slow down. How many other programs were running? Had it been rebooted or re-imaged recently (probably not)? I had the same feeling when I played with an iMac at an Apple Store, but when my friend got one, it was surprisingly quick. Especially when we upped the RAM to 1GB. Made me think that maybe I should get one too.

    One other thing you might not realize. When Windows launches an application, it pops up right away most of the time. But for some things, you can't actually use the app for a few seconds until it is finished loading. With a Mac, it takes a few seconds to load some things, but when it pops up, it's usually ready to go. With a good video card, you can see how smoothly things like Expose and Dashboard runs. And with lots of RAM, almost everything basic runs instantaneously. Even when you runs several things at once. Windows on a fast CPU will seem a bit snappier for some things, but an app taking 10 seconds to load is NOT normal for OS X, even on an iBook. Even Photoshop or FCP. MS Word maybe. :p
  22. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    If you have from 768 to 1.25gb in an ibook it will fly, the standard 256mb just doesnt hack it in the real world, as for the processor the G4's are a good chip but a pentium M is faster, but if you want one you will have to live with windows which i personally couldnt bare, Anyway if i were you i'd just go for a iBook and buy the ram seperatly from crucial and install it yourself the instructions on how to do this come with the iBook,

  23. john1123 macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2005
    Down Under
    T'is true. AppleStores often have the basic configurations of Mac's on display. In the case of the iBook this would mean a meager 256MB RAM which - as anyone here will tell you - is pathetic. You'll need at least 512MB RAM to run Tiger smoothly.
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    That's exactly how I feel.

    Even when I used to Minimize a window while another program was running on a WinXP computer, a white rectangular box would appear where the program used to be, and the system would sort of "hang" while that part of the desktop would get filled in.

    On a Mac, I've never had that happen.

    Of course, like I said in another thread, the Pentium-Ms do beat the snot out of a G4, but the G4 does feel fast because its all very smooth. But I wouldn't want a G4 if I had to do any intensive processing like in Matlab or something. You'd need a Pentium M or Athlon for that.
  25. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    when you say documents/applications do you mean word? because office 2004 is a bloated POS, excel runs faster under emulation than it dose natively under OS X, how they manage that i have no idea but they have.

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