Mac vs. Pentium Speed Comparisons

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by stevietheb, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. stevietheb macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

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    #1
    Looking to buy (exploring several options), but I'm coming over from PC land, and therefore I'm looking for a little info.

    Does anyone know where I could find some sort of utility or website that compares Pentium speeds to Mac processor speeds? For example, mac processor X is roughly equal to Pentium X?

    Thanks, this community rocks!
     
  2. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

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    #2
    depends upon what you're doing on how faster or slower a mac processor is over a pentium
    in general somewhere around 1 to 3 times faster than a pentium processor for the same clock speed
     
  3. dieselg4 macrumors regular

    dieselg4

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    #3
    I think Barefeats did some side-by-side comparisons. Like the other user stated, its goign to be a bit difficult to directly compare because G4's are better Mid-Range Pentiums for some things and G5's are better than Pentium IV for some things. In general, Macs are better for video and photoshop type things, and organizing your personal life via integrated iLife apps. PC's are, again in general, better for 3d gaming, and have more widely available CAD/CAM software.

    I don't think a G5 was 3 times as fast as its Intel competitor (Xeon), at least as I recall.
     
  4. dieselg4 macrumors regular

    dieselg4

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  5. dieselg4 macrumors regular

    dieselg4

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  6. stevietheb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

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    #6
    Thanks for that.

    What I'm actually wondering is how much faster a G4 iBook (800 mHz) with 640MB RAM would be than my current setup: PII 600 mHz (stop laughing) with 512 MB of RAM. When I bought this machine almost 5 years ago, with the crazy RAM it was really plowin' through what I needed it to. However, I was just testing out Photoshop 7 (had been using 5.5 still)...and it appears that it's time for an upgrade.
     
  7. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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  8. Magickmas macrumors newbie

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    #8
    yeah, I've been wondering this as well...

    I'm going to be switching down from a 2ghz pentium 4 desktop machine to the 1.25ghz powerbook and I'm wondering if that's going to be much of a noticeable speed difference. All I really use it for lately is writing, playing back music, email, browsing, and chat.


    Ummm yeah. Any one know anything about this? Think the powerbook will be able to last me a good 3-4 years?

    kind of off topic but I figured I'd ask anyway.
     
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #9
    i would say a 1.25g4 and a p4 2.0 are about equal, anyone telling you a g4 is equal to 2-3 times clock has smoked to much and their brain has been fried. Please remember we are talking G4, heck even the dual G5's are only on par with the 3.2 P4. depending on the app you are running. Please remember a year ago dual g4 1.42 was getting spanked by a single P4 3.0.
     
  10. flahiker macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2003
    #10
    Ok,

    I have an AMD k6-II 550 laptop, 192M ram that I have been using for about 3 years. I also had a k6-II 450 tower that just went belly up.

    I used the tower as a linux server with a 60GB RAID-5 for 2+ years. Other than that it was configured using Win2k and performed some electrical engineering CAD work, CD burning and light photoshop. The motherboard just recently went belly up.

    The laptop also was used for CAD and general stuff (email, Word, Excell...). Although it is a little slow, it still does most of

    I am seriously looking at a 1G Ibook. I may have to run VPC to do the engineering work, but I think it will be ok.

    Will the ibook be signifagantly faster than my laptop? Running VPC?
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #11
    G4 is a good chip, its not a great chip because moto forgot to clockem up. it will do most anything but it wont win any benches and is not a gamers chip. any emulator will look like crap so i wouldnt even think of vpc unless it has a app you cant live without and cant find a mac version. my 2 cents.
     
  12. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #12
    For that type of usage, you'd do fine with a 233MHz iMac. Why in the world do you think you need to upgrade?

    :confused:
     
  13. i_wolf macrumors regular

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    #13
    Another thing to consider is that the architecture of the G5 is so radically new that performance at present is 'worst case scenario' for the G5, while software and apps have been well optimized for the Intel and AMD chips. Also newer Intel and AMD chips are built upon the previous generation of chips (P5 Prescott and AMD athlon 64) which means they automatically take advantage of existing optimizations and are in a nicer position than the G5, since the G5 is new from th ground up. Still the G5 kicks booty!
    As compilers are released that can take advantage of the G5 abilities and software starts to become optimized i would imagine that its performance will improve big time.
    A good example is the recent final build of XLC and XLF compilers form IBM. These produce code for the G5 that runs on average of 2 to 3 times faster than present 'optimized' code for the G5 with GCC.
    The only area where the Mac will fall well behind the PC in performance terms is in the area of Games. Games tend not to be optimized for the Mac platform. Most tend to be ports from the PC and because they are ports their performance suffers. There are some notable exceptions and the situation is improving but if you are buying for games buy a Mac and an XBox!
     
  14. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    #14
    Wow.. a k6/2.. I hadn't even thought about one of those in like 2 years. Brings back some great memories. Sophmore year of college I got my k6/2 500, barely faster than my pentium mmx 233.

    Yeh, you'll find your ibook to be a LOT faster than that laptop. I could use a 6 font on "LOT" and it'd still be an understatement. Though I'd look into CAD options other than Autodesk through VPC. I don't think that'd be much fun.

    Your life will get so much better after buying that iBook... :)
     
  15. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

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    #15
    In my experience, for creative stuff:

    A 1.25Ghz G4 is about the same speed as a 2Ghz P4.
    A 1.6Ghz G5 is about the same speed as a 2.8Ghz P4.
    A dual 1.8Ghz G5 is about the same as a 3.2Ghz P4.
    A dual 2Ghz is faster than a opteron or FX51.

    However in stuff like games:

    A 1.25Ghz G4 is about the same speed as a 1.7Ghz P4.
    A 1.6Ghz G5 is about the same speed as a 2.3Ghz P4.
    A dual 1.8Ghz G5 is about the same as a 2.6Ghz P4.
    A dual 2Ghz is about the same speed as a 3Ghz P4.
     
  16. i_wolf macrumors regular

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    Jul 17, 2002
    #16
    for what its worth... having a duallie won't make much of difference on a pc or mac because most games do not take advantage of SMP (symetric muti processing)... i.e. 2 cpu's!
    Quake engine games can, but the perform slower than single processor games.
    Also its hard to compare Mac and PC in games terms because most PC games are written in Direct X, and then ported to Mac and rewritten in Open GL.
    Sometimes they run as well... other times they don't. Simply because of bad ports, completely unoptimized ports and a rush job to get the game out on to the market.
    Games is really a bad way to compare PC's and Mac's IMO
     
  17. flahiker macrumors member

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    #17
    Thanks,

    FWIW, the cad work I do is electrical schematic capture and some light PCB layout.

    I do some VHDL and verilog design work for ASICS and FPGAs but that only requires t text editor. Simulating does take time, but I use a 750Mhz pentium at work and it is acceptable.
     
  18. mckeek macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #18
    OK, I'll chime in here. I am in charge of about 75 Windows pee-cees in my day job, so I feel qualified to speak for that side of things. OTOH, I am a mac guy in my private life, having an ancient G3/233/OS9 box at home and lusting after a nice new 15" PB.

    Pentiums vary widely due to bus speeds, memory configurations, disk types, etc., just like Macs. Also, and more importantly, OS matters. Windows 2000 will probably be 50% faster than XP on any machine. MS OS's get slower and slower with each release, unlike OSX. In PC-land, they just throw faster and faster hardware at it to more than compensate.

    Also, speed does not equal speed. Processing power, disk access, all sorts of things may increase or decrease a particular process's "speed". However, most people think that if programs launch rapidly, a computer is "fast". For example, my desktop at work is a PIII/500mhz/256M Deskpro. If I compare launch times to launch the same version if Word 2000 (uncached after bootup, same Norton's configuration, etc.) XP boxes didn't get any faster than that old Compaq until they got to 1.8Ghz or so. But, a task that's less OS specific, such as a Photoshop filter on a big file, would be much faster on the P1.8. So be careful in comparing "speed". In general, a new G4 Mac running 10.3 will probably have the same "apparent" speed (i.e. app launch times, for example) as an XP box running at about 1 and a half times or so the Ghz. Some guy above posted some numbers which are probably pretty accurate. I can't speak for the G5, tho.

    Another thing to consider is the standard software that comes with the system and the overall system integration. Here, Apple is miles ahead. For example, we get Dell Dimension 4600s at work and you wouldn't believe the crap software they bundle with it. Compared with iLife/safari/etc., standard XP bundles like Dell's image suite and MusicMatch are the most rinky-dink junk you can imagine. Too bad most windows users will never know what they are missing.

    So a Mac costs more than a PC with the same apparent "speed". Big whup. When you consider the overall system package, design, construction, software, OS, and integration, (EXCEPT FOR THOSE LAME SINGLE-BUTTON MICE!!!), the value lies with the Mac, IMHO...but the PCs pay my mortgage!!! :)
     
  19. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #19
    I'd suggest that to anyone, no matter what platform they use! Ugh, I hate AutoCAD so ****ing much. :mad:
     
  20. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #20
    Re: Mac vs. Pentium Speed Comparisons

    Hmm... this isn't going to be an engineering comparison; but as someone else who recently switched I thought it might be worthwhile to chime in.

    I bought my first Mac - a Powerbook 15" 1.25GHz - the end of September. Prior to that I was using Linux on a 2.4GHZ P4 (at work) and on a 600MHz P3 (personal laptop); both machines could dual-boot into WinXP on the rare occasions I needed it.

    Short answer: any concerns I had regarding any possible relative slowness of the G4 were unfounded.

    Longer answer: This thing feels quite zippy, especially compared to XP (which normally was fast enough, but occasionally would inexplicably just bog down for short periods of time). I think it helps that I've got 512MB of RAM; a friend with 256MB on a 12" Powerbook sees a significant speed difference. But the bottom line is, processor speed increases have significantly outstripped the vast majority of users' need for the power. On the PC side this means it's a waste of money to spend a few hundred more to get a 3.2GHz hyperthreading P4 instead of the more "pedestrian" 2.4 GHz P4. When comparing PCs to Macs, it means that the never-ending pissing matches between PC and Mac fanboys about the latest and greatest processors are in truth pretty pointless.

    On my Mac, Word opens and is ready to go in about 3 seconds. On the P4 at work, it takes maybe 2.5 seconds. On the Mac, Photoshop filters are fast. On the PC, ditto.

    So what's the difference? In my mind, it's not the processor. It's OS X, plus the other Apple applications. This stuff just rocks. It's what my Linux desktop wanted to be when it grows up. It is SO not XP; it is light years ahead of all the other OSes.
     
  21. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #21
    Ah...now it's clear to me...
     

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