iBook g3 vs G4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Adurbe, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Adurbe macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2003
    I have the option of buying a g3 900 iBook or spending a chunk more (£150) for the 800 G4 model, what is the speed difference between them?

    I know the graphics cards are different but im upgrading from an iMac with a rage 128 in it so the difference of a few frames between a 7500 and 9200 on Unreal Tournament doesnt bother me
  2. segundo macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2003
    I'd think that the real speed difference would be seen in those operations that take advantage of floating point processing. While both would run Safari (for example) about the same, you would see better performance in games and in iPhoto with the G4. The G4 iBook has usb2 and a better video card as well . . . I'd go for the G4 iBook. While I love my G3, I could really go for the slot load drive, better video card, and usb 2.0.
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I think I'd go for the G4 as well, but a few points to consider:

    -though the Radeon 9200 is pretty nice, the 800 mhz CPU probably can't really feed it --> you're not going to get that much more out of it than you would a lesser card because the processor simply can't keep up.
    -the G3 might even be faster for some games because of the higher clockspeed. Most (all?) games aren't going to use altivec.
    -the ibook 900 G3 performed rather well against the Rev. A powerbook 12" except where altivec mattered (partly because the the G3 had twice the cache of the G4, as it still does compared to it's G4 ibook cousin.)

    So why would I pick the G4? Here's why:

    -airport extreme instead of airport
    -internal bluetooth option
    -slot loading drive
    -usb 2.0
    -G4. I know what I just said above, but apps and the OS are using altivec more and more as time goes on. With the iapps, and even the finder, altivec is going to make a difference. Certainly with FCP or photoshop. A CPU without altivec is the past... altivec is not only heavily relied upon now, but will be more so in the future.

    of course, it's not my money we're talking about, so you have to decide how much that extra cost means to you. I used to have an ibook 900, and it's a very nice machine, no doubt. But long term, I think you'll be happier with the G4.
  4. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    If i were you, id go with the g4, mainly is a newer architecture processor; in the long run it will be more usefull than a g3 clocked a 100 mhz higher.
  5. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    also, considering all the people that seem to have had logic board problems with the G3 iBooks (white case, white keyboard), reliability-wise, the G4 might be the better choice.
  6. Adurbe thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2003
    all i need the laptop for is java compiling and Dreamweaver and as far as i know the g4 doesnt make much of an impact on these... (i am able to do these things on my current iMac DV+)

    as such

    Thanks for the advice but being a poor starving student who doesnt use photoshop for anything more than adding a beard to a photo i think i may save the money and go for the g3

    me being me i will probibly spend this money on somthing like a firewire HD but hey thats why im poor

    :D :D
  7. ac2102 macrumors member


    May 12, 2003
    Bristol - England
    I have an iBook G4 800Mhz and have previously used iBook G3 versions.

    I must say that while i know little about the speed differences between the two processors, the new iBook is a much better platform to work from.

    The option for airport extreme means that you are starting from the latest in wireless networking technology.

    USB 2 means that you are opening yourself up to a wider range of peripherals (as does bluetooth if you opt for it).

    The slot loading CD drive works really well, although its only advantage over a tray loader appears to be that it keeps dust off the lens.

    The keyboard on the G4 is twice a good as the G3 one. It feels much sturdier and nicer to type with.

    The point i am making is that when you are buying something as expensive as a computer, surely it is better to get as good as you can afford at the time so that it is quite some time before you need to upgrade. I don't know how useful Altivec is, but i do know that i could not be happier with my computer.
  8. five04 macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2003
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    i'm having the same issue. the g3@900mhz is $799 at apple's site, when the g4@800mhz is $999 with student discount. both laptops are very good priced, but it's still $200 extra for the g4. what are some of the benchmarks when it comes to non-altivec applications? is the g4 still faster in them?
  9. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    Get the G4.

    Airport Extreme
    Slot-loading combo drive
    Radeon 9200
    Panther (worth over half the difference all by itself)

    When you order, get the bluetooth module and 60 gig hard drive upgrade. You may not need them but this is your only chance to do it (and retain your warranty). Buy your airport extreme card and 512 meg SODIMM when you get more cash.

    Seriously. Get the G4.
  10. Ice PowerBook macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2003
    G4 a G3?

    I was told by someone at an AppleCentre that the new iBook G4 is only a G3, but made by IBM instead of Motorola.

    The G4 is faster than the G3, but from what he said, it doesn't sound like it would AltiVec support.

    Most iBook owners wouldn't need to use Photoshop or Final Cut Pro as much as PowerBook users anyway.
  11. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    Re: G4 a G3?

    All G4s have alti-vec. Currently no G3s do. The iBook G4 does have alti-vec and it is documented on the Apple iBook pages. The G4s are motorolo chips, while the G3s were made by IBM.

    I think the iBook G4 uses the 7455 processor, as used by the rev A PowerBook 12" but don't quote me on that. The 256k L2 cache points to that though.
  12. Ice PowerBook macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2003
    I was only going by what someone told me at an AppleCentre, I just looked into the matter and found some interesting information.

    I found this page:
    "Is the iBook G4 a Lie?"

    "It appears that Apple's new iBook G4 lacks a Velocity Engine, and may not be using what we've known as a G4 processor at all. The iBook G4 tech specs fail to mention the Velocity Engine at all in stark contrast to all of Apple's other G4-class products. This comes to the chagrin of many users who expect a G4-labeled system, using what Apple calls a G4 processor, to include AltiVec technology.

    Prospective Apple customer Daryl Stimm wrote that after having talked to a sales rep at 1-800-MY-APPLE, who claimed that the iBook G4 does not include the Velocity Engine. Furthermore the sales rep also stated that the G4 processor in the iBook is not a Motorola product at all, but instead an IBM chip.

    Perhaps the chip in question is a PowerPC 750FX, or a Motorola G4 manufactured by IBM without its Velocity Engine, or just an older Motorola G4 and a confused phone rep. At this point in time, while Apple moves away from Motorola, it seems to make little sense that they prolong dependency on the company. IBM has also been Apple's sole supplier of G3 chips for the last several years. Until there is confirmation of an actual processor model number the mystery remains open. The issue will not truly be resolved, however, until Apple's customers are informed andsatisfied."
  13. junior macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2003

    This is from Apple.com's ibook page:

    Processor and memory

    800MHz, 933MHz or 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine and 256K on-chip level 2 cache running at full processor speed...

    So it does mention velocity engine. Don't forget that Genius's at Applestores and Applecare are generally speaking retards and lots of people on these forums know a hell of a lot more than them.;)
  14. Adurbe thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2003
    more out of interest than anything else, but would it be illigal for apple to brand somthing a g4 if it didnt have alti-vec? G4 is only a marketing name they assigned to the moto chips although we assume this means alti-vec as the orginal chips did, but does it HAVE to?

    btw i ended up with the G3 900 and am so gratful i did, 1 its a great laptop, 2 adding airport and other bits and bobs (ram) turned out to be alot cheaper, and to be fair i dont think i use any alti-vec apps(except vlc but hey i was used to an iMac DV+ this is a VAST improvement!)
  15. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    All G4's are made by Moto, while the G3's and G5's are made by IBM.

    Your "source" is getting confused by two things:
    1)when Apple updated the iBooks back in October, the product apge initially didn't mention the processor having a velocity engine. They fixed this after a few days.
    2)Its obvious that Apple is breaking away from Motorola as quickly as possible. This is why many have been speculation that soon the low-end will be getting Altivec-equiped G3s, manufacured by IBM, instead of the current G4s, manufactured by Moto.

    So, don't worry about being ripped off by getting an iBook G4.....they are the real deal. If I remember correctly, its identical to the processor that was in the last revision or two of the Titanium Powerbooks...

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