MHz Myth?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by pnz999, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. pnz999 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    #1
    I am a PC users for almost 10 years now, but now I interested in switching over to the Mac. Right now, I have a 1.2 GHz AMD Thunderbird / 512 MB PC133. (I bought it 3 years old). What do you think the iBook 800 MHz G3 is a good upgrade from my previous PC?

    I also read about this MHz Myth between x86 (Intel and AMD) to the Power PC (G3 and G4). According to Apple a 800 GHz G4 perform like a 1.6 MHz P4-M, so does the iBook 800 MHz G3 perform like what? exactly a Celeron? Duron? Transmeta? PII?
     
  2. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #2
    So I don't have to retype a bunch of stuff I think this thread will help explain a few things.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13916

    To answer your question about the iBook G3. The G3 is a very fast CPU for it's clock rating in a lof taskst it will actually out perform the G4. The disadvantage it has is that the G4 has a vector unit called the Altivec Engine. This unit performs a limited number of fpu functions very quickly. Apple has optimized a good portion of OSX for use with Altivec and a large number of new programs also take advantage of it. For most things though the G3 like I said will be MHz to MHz as fast or faster then the G4 but for those limited tasks that the G4's Altivec unit can excel in it will totally trounce the G3. If you read the link that I sent will understand to the point the importance of pipeline length this is even more important to the G3 as it's pipeline is even shorter then the G4's. As to which CPU in the WinPC world it would compare to I don't have a clue.


    This is a very grossly simplified explanation even by my standards. I'm sure someone else will take the time to give you all the details of Altivec you could ever want and more. Though if you really want more detail there are a lot of resources out there and you could do a search at www.google.com.
     
  3. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    #3
    From a very non-scientific personal experience, my 550 Mhz TiBook with OS X runs much more slowly than my 1 Ghz PIII Dell laptop. My TiBook has 512 MB of RAM vs 256 MB in my old Dell. However, after being forced to reboot in OS 9, I must admit that my TiBook is much, much faster.

    Remember also that certain processors perform certain tasks better. Apple isn't exactly lying when it says that Macs running Photoshop are faster than PCs running Photoshop, but try saying the same thing for games! :rolleyes: Anyhow, if you are buying a Mac, don't buy it for the speed because I think you will be disappointed.

    My honest $0.02.
     
  4. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #4
    I agree totally. A Mac is definitely at the moment at least about having the fastest machine. Though I kind of figured that you weren't wanting the fastest thing out since you are looking at an iBook.

    Also as he said Apples claims aren't totally incorrect just misleading. Apple selected a specific set of Photoshop plugins that take huge advantage of Altivec and used them to show the comparison.

    About your TiBook I really recommend maxing out on ram with any machine running OSX between 500-1000Megs of ram should be good. OSX's performance is really dependant on the quantity of ram you have. At the current prices of Ram it's hard to argue why you haven't loaded up.
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    The G3 is about 20 percent faster than a Pentium II of the same clock speed and about 5 percent slower than a Pentium III.
     
  6. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #6
    My 233 mhz G3 iMac is at least as fast or faster than my 500 mhz pentium III at work.
     
  7. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #7
    In what measurement?
     
  8. MacCoaster macrumors 6502a

    MacCoaster

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Location:
    Washington, DC / Rochester, NY / Lexington, NC
    #8
    Actually, the MHz Myth itself is a Myth. :p

    Seriously, to be honest, the G4 itself blows for high end Macs.

    Don't let Apple deceive you, the processors from Intel and AMD spanks the G4 so badly it's not funny.

    Speed, IMHO, is a variety of things combined. Productivity, OS bloat (Mac OS X's GUI is way more bloated than Windows XP, that's the idea I'm talking about), CPU speed (yes, MHz matters, just not for comparing different processors, RAM bandwidth (gawd, a measly 1.3 GBPS on the Power Mac G4 DDR. :eek: Athlons and Intels are approaching 5.3 GBPS or higher.

    800MHz G3 compared to 1.2 GHz Athlon? Sorry, but the 1.2 GHz Athlon blows the G3 way out. G3 doesn't even have SIMD. Athlon does (3DNow!, SSE (in Athlon XP), MMX, etc).

    G3s used by Apple are way outdated. There are already 2GHz IBM G3s, 200MHz DDR FSB, etc. etc. Even spanks the 1.25GHz G4 really bad in raw performance.

    Believe it or not, the Celeron 333MHz running at 375MHz barely beats a 933MHz Motorola PowerPC G4 at double precision. The Pentium 4? Blows the G4 waaaaay out.

    A great thread about performance (or lack thereof) of the Motorola PowerPC G4s can be found here.
     
  9. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #9
    Well your very negative and somewhat uniformed but kind of true thread went off the deep end when you said there was a 2GHz G3. There may be one just ONE in a lab somewhere but not available by any means.
     
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #10
    Well, since they're both running in MilliHertz (mHz), what's the difference? You might try them when they're running in MegaHertz (MHz).

    MacCoaster:

    Interesting. You talk about things that don't exist. IBM still hasn't gotten out production versions of 1 GHz G3 processors, though that should happen shortly.

    We do need to remember that the G3 and G4 processors came from the low power (603) side of things, not the performance (601, 604) side.

    It makes them good for laptops but not for heavy duty calculations. The 604e would have been a great base for a fast machine even if it didn't have the backside cache. Can't we have it all?
     
  11. phampton81 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #11
    Man alive! I really wish people would stop talking about computers as if they are cars. Cars go from point A to point B at a given speed, miles per hour here in the US. Computers don't do that, that is nowadays they don't. As we all know computers serve us thousands of functions everyday. If someone if just asking if their 800Mhz iBook will be faster than their 1.2Ghz Athlon most people here will agree with me that there is no simple answer. If this guy wants to know whether everyday fuctions like starting up, shutting down, opening aplications and browsing the internet will be faster, then I would tell him.....yes. I have a 1gig athlon and a 700Mhz g4 eMac, now I can break out the stopwatch but in my opinion they are very similar, but then again I don't play the latest games, I dont use Photoshop extensively and I am not running any real processor intensive apps. So my advice to this guy would be; If you are using your PC for normal everyday tasks, you will not be dissappointed in the new iBooks, but if you are into games and other processor intensive tasks stick with a PC.
     
  12. MacCoaster macrumors 6502a

    MacCoaster

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Location:
    Washington, DC / Rochester, NY / Lexington, NC
    #12
    2GHz does indeed exist as at least almost final and should be out sometime in the coming months.

    As far as I hear, 1 GHz is available, but we haven't heard of anyone really using it; that's why most people think it doesn't even exist. In fact, 1 GHz should have been available for a while. It was announced in October, 2001 and I believe they were in production 1H02 or whereabouts.

    They're still capable of 200MHz bus, etc. It's interesting that the IBM PowerPC 750FX @ 1GHz performs around 2300 Dhrystone MIPS, just about the same as Motorola PowerPC 7455 @ 1GHz (2310 published).
     
  13. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #13
    I kind of know about the 1GHz G3 but where are you getting your info about the 2GHz? I do realize that the G3 and G4 perform very similirly in CPU and FPU performance but not when you talk about Ativec specific tests.
     
  14. Inhale420 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    #14
    also you must remember the athlon speeds are more efficient than pentiums. for example a 1.6ghz athlon performs on par with a 2.0+ghz pentium 4.

    anyway to the original poster, your athlon 1.2 is not 3 years old, because the first computer to break the ghz barrier did so in the summer of 2000, about 2 1/2 years ago.

    if your issue is speed the athlon is much faster than the ibook you're talking about. if you want to switch you need something faster (depending on your occupation) or you're going to feel burned. my pc is slower than yours, with less ram and i don't even feel the need to upgrade.
     
  15. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #15
    iBook G3 800MHz is plenty fast

    I just bought the mid-range iBook (my first Apple), and my first impression is that it compares very favorably to the Dell Inspiron 5000 it is replacing. For the application I most often use, the web browser, Chimera 0.6 on my iBook is at least as fast as IE6 on my Dell. The real question is, what do you want to do with your laptop? In my case, I wanted a small, rugged laptop that I could use to run everyday consumer apps (browser, Office, DVD Player, etc.), but I also liked having Unix under the hood since that's what I've used at work and school. The only deal-breaker for me was that I had to run the Cisco VPN Client to have remote access to my office, but happily Cisco has an OS X version. So definitely consider if you have any Windows-only apps that you absolutely have to use (Virtual PC is serviceable but definitely not recommended).

    In terms of the MHz myth, the myth is not that PowerPC is slower than x86, rather the myth is that consumers even NEED faster CPUs in the first place. My 600MHz Dell was more than fast enough for anything I needed to do - the reason I got rid of it was because it was an 8 lb. hunk of junk that overheated (fan noise drove me nuts), and that I was literally holding together with tape because the case has cracks all over it after 2 years. As I said in another post, the average consumer needs a 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 like they need a car with a top speed of 300 MPH. What's the point, other than empty bragging rights? To continue the analogy, I'd rather have a a car that's smaller, more affordable, more comfortable, and more fuel-efficient, thank you :)
     

Share This Page