I wonder if my Sawtooth is going to be faster than the iMac G5s?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by spaceballl, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    Was gonna buy an iMac G5...til the intel announcement. Then I figured I would wait off on making any big purchases (i was going to get a 20" all souped out w/ a gig of RAM and stuff).

    But this is what I figured...
    $500 - 2 ghz G4 upgrade from Giga Designs (seems to have no problem running at 2.1 ghz)
    $169 - (just got it off eBay) Radeon Pro 9800 128mb
    over a gig of memory from an old G3 iMac + what is already in the sawtooth
    $50 - 120gb harddrive used

    So for just over $700, it looks like this computer might rival the newest stuff from Apple. Obviously the G4 CPU lacks a bazillion of the advantages of the G5, but the slightly faster clock + faster graphics card might make this thing a winner, ESPECIALLY for the price. I should get this stuff all in within the next couple of weeks. I'll for sure let you all know!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #2
    I'd still recommend the iMac because I think it'd be a greater difference than you realise. See this thread for some pretty good explanations as to why the current PowerBook and mini are faster and 'better' than an upgraded Power Mac. :)
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #3
    Nope, not a snowball's chance that it will be comparable in speed to the iMac G5.
    The PC100 memory is limited to 800 mB/s. The iMac's is 3,200 MB/s
    The Giga 2 GHz G4 is already overclocked from 1.67 GHz and has only a 512 Mb L2 cache.
    The hard drive buss is 66 MHz compared with SATA 150 MHz in the iMac G5

    The fast graphics card and CPU don't mean much if they are idle 90% of the time waiting for the RAM, system buss and hard drive to catch up.

    The iMac G5 has just been power bumped and is the best value out there right now. Go for the iMac G5, then think of OSX/x86 in three years when it's sorted out.
     
  4. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    #4
    I don't know that the 9800 will work in a sawtooth. If I recall it has a 2x AGP and will not support an 8x card (although I believe some 4x cards will work.)

    I could be wrong, and I am sure someone can correct me if I am.
     
  5. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #5
    The Sawtooth outperforming a iMac G5 has as much chance as the people in Hell getting ice-water.
     
  6. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

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    Mar 6, 2005
    #6
    If i were you i wouldnt bother with those upgrades as they will not rival any of the newer macs, just get a mac mini for the same cost as your CPU upgrade...

    ShadOW :confused:
     
  7. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #7
    I thought about the mac mini... But the mac mini w/ a 1.42 ghz CPU and 512mb of RAM costs only $100 less than these upgrades...
    For $100 more, wouldn't I want a 2ghz CPU, over a gig of RAM, a 7200 rpm hard drive, and a Radeon 9800 graphics card?
    There's no way in hell I'd drop $2k on a platform that Apple has announced will be phased out by 2007. Sure they'll "support" it after... But that's it.
    Not faster... But comparable.
    Yeah the RAM will be a little bit of a limitation, but apps don't use most of the available iMac bandwith anyways.
    It will still be a 2ghz G4.
    I think you're talking about "ATA66", not a 66 mhz bus. It doesn't matter. Drives aren't hitting the max transfer speeds yet.
    I don't get why people are still supporting the idea of spending a lot of $ on a platform that is not going anywhere...

    -Kevin
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #8

    Umm... It's called progress. ;)
     
  9. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

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    Texas
    #9
    Hmm, I don't think that I'd get a mini because its not fully capable of utilizing core graphics, but I might think about a refurb. iMac off the deals page. Earlier today a 17" rev. A was going for $999.
     
  10. The_Man macrumors 6502

    The_Man

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    #10
    I dont understand how people can not buy a computer based on it "being phased out" in 2 years. Any computer, regardless of wether or not its changing chips, will be "out phased" in two years. Any single computer at anytime will be "out phased" in 2 years.

    PowerPC Macs will not shut down as soon as the Intel machines come out. At the initial time it comes out 99.9% percent of all Mac customers will be using PowerPC. So Steve Jobs would need to be an idiot if he were to "out phase" the PowerPC when the intel machines came out

    Anyway, taking the position that a machine will be outdated in 2 years will always apply, and if you use this idea to prevent yourself from buying a computer, than you will never make another purchase in your life.
     
  11. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #11
    Outdated is one thing - but platform jumping w/ rosetta being able to run PPC apps on Intel but not Intel apps on PPC... and rosetta is slow too. Buying PPC right now doesn't make sense when you know Apple is getting on the x86 bandwagon in six months to a year.
    Hmmm that's actually a great idea. I might do that.
     
  12. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Honolulu
    #12
    Spending anything over $500 to upgrade a Power Mac G4 Sawtooth is pointless.

    I think it's only worth it to spend more than $500 if you are Upgrading a Digital Audio or later Power Mac. At least the Digital Audio series has the 133Mhz FSB and AGP 4x. Even then spending $500+ on a D/A could be questionable it all depends on your needs and how much is allready invested in the machine. QuickSilver and MDD Class PowerMacs still have a Good deal of life in them though so spending $500+ for one last Hurrah might very well be worth it.
     
  13. The_Man macrumors 6502

    The_Man

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    #13
    Didn't Jobs say that they will create universal binaries and support both platforms?
     
  14. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #14
    PPC will still be supportedd in 2009 come on people, PPC macs will be fine. These things take time and this change has not even started and ur like , well in 2006 laptop will be intel, well in 07 iMacs will be intel, 2 years were PPC is the only chip, then PPC will still be supported for 3 more years. If u need it get if, if not wait until you do
     
  15. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #15
    Universal binaries are designed right now so that a program will immediately run on both systems. However, once the new Intel macs are out, software will need to be optimized for them. Standard productivity apps won't be affected, but high performance stuff will be.
     
  16. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #16
    Um... Rosetta isn't slow. It will be a bit slower then if the app was on PPC, but the difference should be small. Apple will continue to support PPC in 2010+ because the user base of the PPC will still be greater then the x86. Plus, the PPC is going somewhere. The 970MP will still make it in the Powermac probably. The iMac will still be PPC by late 2006. I am still recommending that my parents to get the Powermac G5 because IMO, the PPC is superior to x86 and my parents won't need anything special. Most of their software is from apple anyway. Any big developer would be stupid to stop PPC development. He would lose a lot of money. I say the PPC will stop being supported by developers by 2012-2015. Apple is too hard to predict, but apple won't screw us PPC users.
     
  17. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #17
    Maybe you haven't heard from developers yet. It's fine for MS word. But try to run iMovie, Unreal Tournament, or something else CPU intensive. Also, it only emulates G3, not G4 altivec.
     
  18. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #18
    Well that is a given. No emulator can run CPU intensive stuff. Plus, Spotlight was still slow in its early builds. Give Apple some time to develop it some more.
     
  19. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #19
    The 9800 is a 2X/4X card. So it'll happily run in a 2X slot.

    Now, I don't know about in a Sawtooth, but a 9800 in an MDD will prevent the use of two memory slots. The MDD has four slots, and the heat generated by the 9800 will cause the two closest modules to overheat :eek:

    At least, that's what happened in my system. I emailed ATI about it and they said they'd never tested the 9800 in a system with more than two slots filled.
     
  20. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #20
    I'm thinking it won't compare. Check out; http://www.barefeats.com/g4up.html

    My impression is that the upgrade card isn't too impressive when compared to other G4 upgrade cards in the 1.5+ GHz range.
     
  21. Invizzible macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2003
    #21
    I think you should save a few hundred dollars by getting an upgrade card that has a slower processor, but performs almost as well because it has an L3 cache. Seems to me I saw some tests on barefeats that showed the 2Ghz card is no faster than the 1.4Ghz (which I have in my sawtooth, and like a lot) due to the lack of L3 cache on the 2Ghz card.
     
  22. dermeister macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    Jan 19, 2003
    #22
    All apps compilled for Intel will be universal binaries, meaning all future mac apps will be intel/ppc anyways... Which puts that argument down the drain.
     
  23. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #23
    Considering the difference in bus speed, memory speed, and backside cache, the upgraded G4 in my opinion performed admirably. It wasn't the G5's equal, but wasn't a slouch either (actually, it was more like Danny Devito to the G5's Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins). Nevertheless, it would be a nice computer to have.

    Why don't all these upgrade cards include huge 2mb backside caches? It seems it would solve some of the performance issues.

    It also was enlightening that the G4/1.42 Dual machine (the fastest G4 Mac ever sold) with the 2mb Level 3 cache was pretty much the best performing G4 overall and the one I would buy if I were going to buy a top notch G4 machine. However, the cost for such a machine is still too high on ebay to justify doing so. For slightly more, you can get a used dual 1.8 G5 powermac.

    It was also enlightening what a kick butt card the X800 is. It would be sweet to get that kind of performance in an older Mac, but I'm sure there are technical reasons why that is not possible.

    So, would I make the upgrades? No. Would I make any upgrades? Yes. I would spend a few hundred for a 1ghz single processor and then get the 9000 card, or possibly the 9800 if I could get it for less than $200. End result would be a reasonable performer for about $400.
     

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