PowerMac G5 1.6 or stick with G4 1.5?

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

  1. esotu macrumors member

    May 31, 2004
    I've got a G4 with the OWC Mercury Extreme 1.5GHz upgrade installed. I'm about to go to college, so I'm wondering if I should look for a cheap low end 1.6GHz G5. Am I going to see a noticeable performance boost? I mainly play games like Warcraft and use MS Word/Internet. No major editing stuff. Is the 1.6GHz G5 much faster than the G4?

    I've seen some disappointing benchmarks that seem to prove the G5 chip is no better than the G4. I figured the 64-bit would really make a difference...doesn't look that way.
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    64-bit only works when you use 64-bit apps, of which there aren't any (yet).

    Stick with the G4, its a good machine.
  3. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    No. It's faster but given the current apps not by much.
  4. invaLPsion macrumors 65816


    Jan 2, 2004
    The Northlands
    Throw in some more ram and maybe a faster video card and stick with the G4. :cool:
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Or save your money towards next years latest blinging thing.

    There's certainly a helluva lot of difference between my dual 1.4 g4 and the 2.5 g5s we have at work...
  6. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    it might be a little bit quiter and use a little less power? but thats about all i can think might be different
  7. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    stick with the g4, only make the jump when you can afford a mac twice as fast
  8. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2004
    The G5 is considerably faster, but considering your applications, you won't really notice it. Statements such as "64 bit is only faster with 64 bit applications" are patently false. Any processor intensive applications will see an increase in speed, though it will not necessarily be a doubling, as one might assume. Because the processor is responsible for performing calculcations when performing any form of rendering, 64 bit makes a huge difference. It means during every cycle, the processor performs a calculation 64 bits long, as opposed to 32. Add that together with improved hardware since the time of your G4, and you end up with a much much better machine, provided you use any sort of application that is that processor intensive. For Warcraft and Word, you don't need a G5. Hell, you don't even need a 1.5GHz G4. Stick with what you have, and upgrade when you can afford a much faster machine.

    To demonstrate the speed of the G5, my boss always uses the story of one of our major customers. When the G5s were first announced, he ordered a dual 2.0, with a gig or two of ram. He does the video rendering for one of the colleges at York University. On his dual 1.25GHz G4, it took 9 hours to render his video. He'd done substantial upgrades before, and it usually only saved him half an hour to an hour. So, he sets up his G5, sets the rendering, and goes upstairs to make himself a cup of tea. Just for fun, he decides to go back and watch the bar move for a bit. He gets there, and the screen looks as if he hadn't started it. He checks to see if anything's frozen, and everything is perfectly responsive. It took him 20 minutes to figure out what had happened. It had rendered in the 20 minutes since he'd set it going, and was done when he'd gotten back.
  9. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    you do know this really has nothing to do with it being a 64 bit processor right? the 64 bit part ATM really only has to do with the ability to address memory in large blocks, and work with it in large blocks. apps that don't take advantage of this aren't going to see many improvements in terms of the way they interact with memory.

    the reason the G5 blows away a G4 in processor intensive tasks has everything to do with it's elastic FSB. the G5 can move data and process it at WAY more than double the speed of a G4 (probably 3-4x or even more), and so is capable of burning through tasks that utilize the processor heavily. OS X is starting to incorporate 64 bit coding as well, so just as you see a bonus via dual processors (even if the app isn't specifically dual proc. aware) you will see a bonus (with Tiger most likely) from the 64 bit properties, but that really isn't the determining factor in the G5 smoking a G4. it's the efficiency that it can move information through the system (they've effectively removed all bottlenecks present in the G4 architechture).

    a 1.6 ghz G5 really won't do much compared to the 1.5 G4 because it's not capable of utilizing it's (albeit crippled for money's sake) improved architechture whereas the 1.5ghz G4 is capable of saturating it's.
  10. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    64-bit cpu's have two advantages

    1) can have more than 4GB of ram

    2) they can adress memory in bigger chunks

    now the first one dose not mean sh*t unless you get a g5 with 8 slots and the second dose not mean sh*t unless your doing very specialized stuff the g5 is better at floating point than the g4 and the g4 is better at integer and altivec stuff clock for clock so for some stuff even your 1.5GHz g4 will be faster than a 1.6GHz g5 (assuming the same amount of ram and video card)

    from the mouth of an amd rep a 64bit cpu is no faster than a 32 bit cpu of the same design with most things you although you can show the difference with benchmarks written to take advantage of 64-bit memory addressing, the only reason that amd64 cpu's are allot faster clock for clock is that they are based on new more advanced newcastle cores. the same go's for g4's and g5's but g4's have the edge on a couple of things clcok for clock.

    (15 posts till 1500 posts :D)
  11. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    having no experience with those 2 computers, i would guess the g5 would be significantly faster. i dont know what video card you have but im going to assume it runs on a bus slower than agp 8x which would make the graphics faster, it uses pc3200 memory unlike any g4, and its fsb is over 4x faster than the g4 processor even supports. the g5 uses an SATA bus for hard drives also. the processor might not be that much faster but i would imagine that the supporting components make it a lot faster.

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