The end of PPC

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Wildy, May 25, 2013.

  1. Wildy, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #1
    So a little while ago I started a thread, and people chimed in with some good reasons / features these machines have which keep them relevant in this modern day and age. There will come a day though (for many people, this day has already come), when they are simply too old to be useful at all.

    I have a desktop for all my heavy stuff (media, gaming etc.), but still use my 1.67 PB regularly for server management (SSH), audio production (Logic), casual gaming (Quake 3 etc.), minor photo editing (Aperture), development (Python), web surfing etc. etc.

    For all of those tasks bar web surfing, it will never be obsolete. Pro audio is probably going to be using 24-bit 48kHz RAW for the foreseeable future - which the PB handles just fine. Every day there are bigger and better synthesizers etc., but the sheer number of producers still using G5s seems to suggest that it's perfectly feasible to make decent music with the tools we have already.

    There are always going to be players for the old retro games (though I feel Quake 3 has been somewhat superseded by Quake Live) - thus, gaming will never make it obsolete.

    It's debatable whether using a PPC for development work will be feasible in a few years' time; it really depends on what you are developing. Most of what I develop is either for embedded hardware targets, web applications, or command-line utilities. Regardless, the only intensive part of development is compilation, which can be done on a remote machine anyway.

    While I don't do any editing, I use Aperture to manage my library and fix the colour levels on scanned negatives (I shoot a lot of film - such a hipster, I know). When working with images from my DSLR, my PB does struggle. I feel this is definitely an area where they really show their age due to the lack of RAM and CPU oomph when dealing with high-resolution RAW images.


    So what does that leave? Well, web surfing, and the hardware itself. Thanks to the TFF and the like, we have a modern web browser which is able to handle HTML5. I'm no web designer, but I feel that many websites these days have a severe case of information overload. The other day my girlfriend was complaining that my PB was slow while browsing the Daily Mail (avoid!). Given the design, it's not at all surprising. On further inspection, there are 4.4 MB of resources on the homepage alone (see this for the breakdown). That is absolutely ridiculous. The thing that really grinds my gears is when you go to read an article, the sidebar lists every single article - meaning the thing you're reading takes up maybe a screen height or two, and then there's a massive white gap all the way to the bottom, with reels upon reels of articles on the right that I would have noticed anyway while methodically going through everything on the front page. CSS3 is also another sticking point. It's now possible to achieve a lot of things with pure CSS that would have previously only been possible using sliced up images. The toll some of these functions take on the CPU is quite large in some cases.

    So finally, we have hardware. Well, most of us at least one of: USB 2.0, Firewire 800, Gigabit ethernet, b/g wireless. Given I've worked on some, I know shamefully little about wireless technologies. There's some pretty interesting stuff brewing, what with mesh networks etc., but for the end user, I think it's all pretty transparent. The wifi in Coffee shops etc. will probably be b/g compatible for the next few years, but I can see the introduction of new standards being a major issue. While USB 2.0 opens up the possibility for using adapters, the chipset has to be supported in the OS, which a new one won't be. Which means people will either have to learn to use Linux, or hope someone ports the inevitable Linux kernel module for the new chipset(s).

    If I need to move any large files around, I transfer it over the network. But there are always going to be USB 2.0 flashdrives and external hard drives, I don't think we'll see any change here.



    So to conclude, for my personal usecase, there are really only two things which will mean the demise of my PowerBook:
    1. Continuation in poorly designed, resource-heavy websites
    2. Migration to newer, unsuppoted wireless standards

    I look forward to hearing some other perspectives on this topic.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #2
    My perspective has changed drastically on this topic, I can no longer really use powerpc as my "main" machine or even a 2nd machine more like a its there machine


    as for everyone who is still using powerpc as their main machine...


    [​IMG]
     
  3. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #3
    I use my PB 1.67 15" to control My 2012 Mac Mini with ARD, even browsing is (much) faster in ARD than using the browser on my PB.
    So, it is still good for browsing this way.
    The only thing I need to do though is to get a new fan on my PB, when it heats up while on a website in ARD from the Mini it heats up and the fan makes a terrible noise, for now I have a small fan next to it which helps a lot.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #4
    Just because you're a traitor doesn't mean everyone has to be ;)
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    #5
    Interesting that, if a 2005 QC PMG5 is useless, are all apple computers (besides mac pro and core iX iMacs) made in 2009 or before useless too?

    Mactracker on my ePhone( what I call pre iPhone 5 iPhones) says that a QC PMG5 scores a 3284. A MBP 17" early 2009 scores 3078.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #6
    If anything, PowerPC is becoming stronger where I work. We recently had the G5 die (fried logicboard). I could have searched on eBay and found my boss a new logicboard, installed it and continued on, but we had it replaced with an Intel Mac.

    It's taken me a week or so to integrate this Intel Mac, during which I was reminded that Apple killed Appletalk with Snow Leopard. We have two identical printers on our network, but one is older and only uses Appletalk while the other has IP printing and Appletalk. But the newer one has a faulty manual feed tray while the one on the Appletalk only printer works fine. Most of our printouts are ad proofs on letter so I need to use the Appletalk only printer the most. The problem for us too with IP printing is that it tends to sporadically produce lines or banding effects in our printouts. That'd be ok if we weren't a newspaper using those printouts to shoot film with. So…our venerable PowerMac G4/350 with 98mb of ram running 10.4.11 is now doing triple duty. It's an Applescript server, a font server and now a print server. It's the latter function that makes it possible for my ML Intel Mac to print.

    We will be migrating soon to Intel Macs. Mine was the first. Next an Intel Mini server and then my coworker will get my Mac and I will get a newer more powerful one. Then the Editorial Assistant and possibly others at a later point.

    But the two G4s that we have will continue to serve a purpose. I now have a G5 at home (my boss gave it to me) and I still take my PowerBooks to me to Starbucks and work. In fact, it was my 17" 1.67ghz DLSD that enabled me to still work for the two weeks that we had no Mac. The papers got out on time because Apple design made it easy to integrate my PowerBook in to the work network.

    Lastly, I will say this. I've been using the new Intel Mac for about a week. It has 1GB less of ram than my G5, but it's doing the job very well. However, at least right now, I find it to be mechanical with no perceptible character. Even the start up chime sounds tinny. Using Mountain Lion for a few days or so has made me appreciate Leopard that much more on my PowerBooks.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #7
    They changed that much? My mid 09 scores 4200ish
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #8
    It's useless for everyone needing Intel only apps versions. For the rest it's very useable.

    Geekbench doesn't determine useability of computer, it only estimates CPU and memory performance. Only people I can imagine, who do Geekbench for a living are Primatelabs devs ;)
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Aameiel

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    Cape Coral, FL
    #9
    I been using my iMac G4 ( 1.25ghz 2 gigs of ram ) as a main machine for some time now. After some tweeking to the OS, it does all my everyday things with no problem. I watch youtube videos with no problems, surf the web, pay bills, buy/sell on ebay with no hick ups!! i have an i7 laptop for when i wanna game but for everything else i use this imac and love it !!! Just wanted to share that. :D
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    #10
    Early 09
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1369502531.320790.jpg

    Mid 09
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1369502558.471403.jpg
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #11
  12. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Here
    #12

    Attached Files:

  13. macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    #13
    A mactracker score is the average score of all benchmarks ever submitted. Your mac is above average because you have 8GB of RAM.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #14
    Quantity generally doesn't make any difference, in mines it's not even matched.

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/user/20986

    If you look at my Mac Pro the jump from 32GB to 48GB only resulted in 300 points and that was moving to 3 DIMMs for triple channel. That's why I was wondering out loud if the bench was different in it's newer iterations.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #15
    If I may ask a few questions; what software do you use on the Powermacs for producing your camera ready art? And, is switching to the Intel Macs going to require all new software?
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #16
    Of course any computer is capable of doing some form of useful work until the hardware gives up the ghost (and that's the usual demise).
    However, new machines do offer increases in productivity, and sometimes that is the pragmatic death knell for older hardware. I could be using Photoshop 2.5 and Finale 3.7 on my Mac IIsi: but CS6 and Finale 2012 on a new Mini is a whole different ballgame. I can't even consider going back to my 2006 Intel iMac now. I am getting more work done, faster.

    I've migrated from Mac 68000 to PPC; from OS 9 to OS X; from PPC to Intel: I've seen 5.25 floppies, 3.5" floppies, SyQuest cartridges, zip disks, SCSI, ADB ports, RS-232, NuBus, and countless more technologies come and go.
    All of which leads me to the following:

    All hardware and software is TEMPORARY. Hardware dies. Standards become superseded and obsolete. Old parts become rare and difficult to purchase. New hardware, to replace it, requires a new OS, which runs new software.

    Data, hopefully, is eternal, and can be migrated from machine to machine, from app to app.

    There's nothing wrong with running ageing hardware: but you need to be prepared for the day when the logic board fries, or the PSU eats itself, or some other component fails and no replacement can be found.

    I don't mean to put a downer on PPC ownership! :D
     
  17. eyoungren, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013

    macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #17
    We are using the Adobe Creative Suite 4. For in house ads we start with ID CS4. Up to 2010 we were using QuarkXPress 8.5, Photoshop CS4, and Illustrator CS4. Before 2008 when we upgraded to Leopard it was QuarkXPress 6.x, Photoshop 7, Acrobat 6 Pro and Illustrator 10. We generally handle any incoming CR ads (that are PDF) with Acrobat 9 Pro. With Acro 9 we also have Quite A Box of Tricks and Enfocus Pitstop Pro 7.5. For fonts we are using Suitcase Fusion 4. Suitcase Fusion 2 and 3 will also work on the Intel.

    I will be installing QuarkXPress 9.x soon however (that's just for compatibility reasons) and Adobe CS6.

    I had to reinstall CS4 because I had used XSlimmer on the apps so they only had PowerPC code. Also, I had to create a new account (I had migrated my old one from the G5) before the Mac would recognize that the Intel CS4 versions had been installed. None of the reinstalls touched any of my preferences.

    So, no it did not require new software. CS4 is universal, so is XPress 8.x, Acrobat 9 Pro and Suitcase Fusion 2 and 3. Also, the plugins for Acrobat that I mentioned seem to be universal as well as they function on the new Intel Mac too.

    EDIT: Oh, we also use Office 2011. But Office 2008 is Universal and was what we were using previously.
     
  18. eyoungren, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013

    macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #18
    This is something that my boss is finally starting to get. If I had not pushed at any time for the last nine years I would still be using Photoshop 6 Educational, Pagemaker 7.0 and Illustrator 6 on a Gateway PC with Windows 2000 SP1 and 256MB ram. For what we do it is entirely possible to continue in this way because we produce in house and a PDF is a PDF. With certain exceptions it doesn't matter what program produces it.

    But the nature of my profession is change. Change drives everything and if you do not keep up you eventually lose out or you pay dearly to upgrade. We are a small community weekly with two newspapers and a few monthlys and a couple of quarterlys.

    We are getting out of the printing business (we have our own press downstairs) because the boss's lost out. The cost to upgrade our press and install the equipment we need to be direct to plate is prohibitive and the return on the investment will still leave us at a loss. So, we have started sending our monthlys and quarterlys to a local printer (Valley Newspapers) that prints Barrons and the Wall Street Journal. We have a good price for this and the quality far exceeds anything our press could even dream of. In June we will begin sending our weekly papers to Valley. Last week was the last run for the school newspapers that send us their papers to print. They will be getting our pricing with Valley. The same goes for our commercial clients that use us. In short, because we never upgraded over time we are dumping all of our print customers and the press won't be used any more. This leaves our pressman who is in his mid 50s and has worked here since he was 18 in a quandry as there will be no work for him.

    So, my point is that while upgrade may be painful in the immediate, it is MUCH MORE PAINFUL and has REAL consequences if delayed long-term.

    If I had not pushed it would be extremely difficult to open, let alone work with half of the "camera ready" ads/files we get now.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #19
    I think hardware failure is a given. I imagine if anything significant fails, it'll be time to move on to an Intel.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #20
    You move to Intel, ok, Mac Pro 2008 for example, and than its Logic Board dies ? What then ?

    It is very simple, if software available for PPC does your job, you will keep it. Component dies, you replace it.
    There is zillion places where you can find replacement parts for G5.

    Hardware dies - fact. If software does your job - that is it.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #21
    It depends which part fails. Don't forget that on top of the cost of parts, there's also the cost of time (whether it's your own, or someone else's).

    The software we choose to use isn't a problem - it's the things that are beyond our control which are the problem. New hardware standards, the evolution of the web - these are the things which worry me.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    El Salvador
    #22
    About websites being heavy and stuff...

    On my iBook G4 I've done projects, heavy projects that uses a lot of CSS3, HTML5, a lot of graphics, etc. So heavy that my ibook almost can handle it. It is kinda funny, I can design, write and create heavy web applications on my ibook, but cannot be run on it.

    It depends of tastes, the Daily Mail loads fine with no issues on my iBook G4 1.2 Ghz
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    El Salvador
    #23
    Same here. You gotta keep moving forward, and that's why I keep my Windows Machine up and running. I bought Windows 8, and I will install it only if I HAVE to.

    We have to accept that Macs are way behind Microsoft and HP. I bought my HP computer in 2006, with Windows Vista Basic, and at the same time I had my iBook G3. Windows was for WORK, ibook was for fun. Till this day, my '06 HP runs Windows 7 Professional, 2 GB of RAM AMD 1.4GHz 64bit, I bought and installed Visual Studio 2012 and I plan to Upgrade to Visual Studio 2013. Yes, an 8 years old machine that already passed the Windows 8 requirements.

    Back to the point, Mac is way behind as a software and hardware company.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #24
    You do not need to move forward if softwre that you use does your job on hardware that you have.

    Even 10.5.x is better OS than W7.
     
  25. eyoungren, May 26, 2013
    Last edited: May 26, 2013

    macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #25
    You do if you want to continue doing what I do (Graphic Design).

    Many of our customers (including the Citys of Glendale and Peoria, Arizona) send ads and legal documents in .docx format. The City of Glendale's weekly cable guide comes in .xlsx format. Word 2000 and Excel 2000 on a PC will not open .docx or .xlsx. I cannot open late version .ai files with Illustrator 6. How do I open a late version ID file with Adobe Pagemaker 7? Acrobat 5 for camera ready PDFs with no Quite a Box of Tricks and PitStop Pro? Photoshop 6 Educational for modern PSDs? That's just the stuff coming in.

    Going out? The printer want's PDF/X-4:2008 That's NOT even in cards for Pagemaker 7. Sure I can export a postscript file or a series of EPS files. But Acrobat Distiller 5 does NOT have the option to create that PDF format. We're screwed unless we update (which I have forced over time to what we have now).

    Sure, you're right if your own isolated process is all you have to meet or what you do matters only to you. But sooner or later outside forces will force change on you and my industry does not exist in a vacuum. There's one print customer we have who is about to experience this as there will no longer be anyone available to shoot his pasteups to negative, burn plate and then mount the plates on a press. All the printers in metro Phoenix want PDFs. So, his choice is to buy a computer and the software to produce his paper electronically — or fold.

    NOTE. I am NOT arguing against PowerPC. For my own personal purposes I prefer it and I have more than one PowerPC Mac in my home. But web browsing, light word processing and email, occasional design work is fine as it's not what I depend on for my income. But at work, it doesn't and hasn't since 2006 cut it anymore. I don't particularly like the newer Intel Macs too much, but I do need them to keep up so that I can do my job.
     

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