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An Upgraded G4 MDD

JoyBed

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2019
183
154
A dual 7457 at 1.5 GHz, huh? Consider me curious, what does it take to get something like that? What did it start out life as?
Wat does it take? For me almost nothing, just money for the cpus itself. It started like everything else I do. I was bored so I was thinking what can be done and wasnt done. I soon find out that a MDD never got a dual 7457 cpu upgrade so... I started working on it.
 
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r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
So I just ran Geekbench 2 using Rosetta, in a Snow Leopard Server VM, in my 2013 Macbook Air with a dual-core i5 processor. For this exercise, I only allocated 2GB of RAM to the VM, and one of my two CPU cores.

I still managed to score 1684 - higher than any G4, and just a little below a Dual Core 2.0 G5 (which scores 1814 according to Everymac).

Next thing is to run this my 2006 C2D 2.0, if I ever manage to complete the Snow Leopard installation that it is (this machine, which I got for free alongside my Digital Audio 533, just shuts down at random times!).

So not sure if anyone is still curious about this, but I ran the same Geekbench 2 under Rosetta exercise in my i7 quad-core Mac Mini, in a Snow Leopard Server VM. I used the latest VMWare Fusion 12, and installed the VM in an external USB3 SSD, allocating 2 cores and 4GB of RAM to the VM.

The Geekbench 2 result is 2854. Higher than any PPC machine other than the G5 Quad - and a fair bit higher than the next-best performer, the 2.7 DP G5.

Interestingly, when I run the exact same exercise but without Rosetta (ie as a native Intel machine, but still within the Snow Leopard VM) the scores are twice as high at around 6000 - you can really see the performance impact of emulation!

Screenshot 2020-09-17 at 21.27.44 (2).png
 

Amethyst1

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2015
2,432
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13" MacBook Pro (Early 2011) – 2.3 GHz dual-core hyper-threaded i5. Bare-metal Snow Leopard.

Geekbench 2.2.7 Rosetta:

gb227ppc.png


Geekbench 2.2.7 Native:

gb227x86.png
 
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r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
13" MacBook Pro (Early 2011) – 2.3 GHz dual-core hyper-threaded i5. Bare-metal Snow Leopard.

Geekbench 2.2.7 Rosetta:

View attachment 954751

Geekbench 2.2.7 Native:

View attachment 954752

Yeah basically the same score, though I imagine my Mac Mini is somewhat throttled by virtualisation - of course it cannot run SL natively.

@Amethyst1 did you perhaps buy this particular laptop as one of the fastest Snow Leopard machines? If so I detect a pattern :)
 
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Amethyst1

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2015
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@Amethyst1 did you perhaps buy this particular laptop as one of the fastest Snow Leopard machines? If so I detect a pattern :)
Hell yeah :) If the quad-core (15"/17") models weren't plagued by those GPU issues I'd have gotten one of those but...

Someday I want to build a Hackintosh with a ridiculously-overclocked i7-2700K and really see Snow Leopard fly.
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
364
413
So not sure if anyone is still curious about this, but I ran the same Geekbench 2 under Rosetta exercise in my i7 quad-core Mac Mini, in a Snow Leopard Server VM. I used the latest VMWare Fusion 12, and installed the VM in an external USB3 SSD, allocating 2 cores and 4GB of RAM to the VM.

The Geekbench 2 result is 2854. Higher than any PPC machine other than the G5 Quad - and a fair bit higher than the next-best performer, the 2.7 DP G5.

Interestingly, when I run the exact same exercise but without Rosetta (ie as a native Intel machine, but still within the Snow Leopard VM) the scores are twice as high at around 6000 - you can really see the performance impact of emulation!

View attachment 954740
It does seem like Geekbench likes it when you throw more cores at it, and it doesn't look like you were quite throwing the whole cpu at it in the vm. Any chance you could give it access to all 4 cores and 8 threads?

Because in my own tests alone, going from a single to a double 1.25 GHz G4, I nearly doubled the score. It very much seems like OSX plays very nicely with more cores and more threads.
[automerge]1600378348[/automerge]
Out of curiosity - can you try running Geekbench (Intel) with more cores assigned to the VM?
Oh hey, you beat me to the punch.
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
364
413
Like so?

Holy crap, exactly like that. If you compare single core performance, The G5 actually does ok up against things a lot newer. Sure, we're still talking about scores only about half as good, but not one tenth or, god, one one-hundredth.
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
364
413
There's a Ryzen kernel for 10.6 but I'm not sure how that would perform.
I've actually been looking for that, it would make running 10.6 in a VM much easier. Otherwise it's low powered newer laptop Intel chips, or high powered older laptop Intel chips. Either way, my Ryzen powered desktop is faster.
 
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r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
Out of curiosity - can you try running Geekbench (Intel) with more cores assigned to the VM?


It does seem like Geekbench likes it when you throw more cores at it, and it doesn't look like you were quite throwing the whole cpu at it in the vm. Any chance you could give it access to all 4 cores and 8 threads?

Well I wanted to make it a bit of a fair fight, that's why I only assigned half of the CPU power. And also to simulate plausible VM performance, where you wouldn't realistically assign all your cores to a VM if you were using it in real life.

But by popular request, here you go: the beast is unleashed.

4752 under Rosetta 32-bit. This is 43% faster than a G5 Quad.

10791 under Intel 64-bit. This is only 8% less than the 'native' Geekbench 2 score reported on Everymac, which is definitely less than I was expecting, and highlights just how good virtualisation has got.

PS: Interestingly, the VM thinks this is a machine with 2 CPUs and 8 cores, as opposed to 1 CPU with 4 cores (and 8 threads). I guess it can't quite make sense of hyper threading.


Screenshot 2020-09-18 at 07.22.02 (2).png
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
364
413
Well I wanted to make it a bit of a fair fight, that's why I only assigned half of the CPU power. And also to simulate plausible VM performance, where you wouldn't realistically assign all your cores to a VM if you were using it in real life.

But by popular request, here you go: the beast is unleashed.

4752 under Rosetta 32-bit. This is 43% faster than a G5 Quad.

10791 under Intel 64-bit. This is only 8% less than the 'native' Geekbench 2 score reported on Everymac, which is definitely less than I was expecting, and highlights just how good virtualisation has got.

PS: Interestingly, the VM thinks this is a machine with 2 CPUs and 8 cores, as opposed to 1 CPU with 4 cores (and 8 threads). I guess it can't quite make sense of hyper threading.


View attachment 954941
I just want to go on record to say that when you have a 6 core 12 thread CPU, you definitely give as many VMs as you can access to all of the CPU.

But I can't begin to imagine PowerPC hardware like that. If real PowerPC Macs had been able to get scores like that, they would have to have been on some sort of "G6" which never existed.

Just to get there with emulation, though, Apple could have supported this long after 10.6, and it would have made much more sense to do so, too. How long do you think it took them to sell computers that could emulate a PPC CPU faster than any real one they ever sold?

I get why they wouldn't support Classic on Intel, but did Rosetta really need to be dropped?
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
I get why they wouldn't support Classic on Intel, but did Rosetta really need to be dropped?

I guess for the same reason they stopped Classic with Tiger, PPC support with Leopard, and 32-bit support with Mojave, to incentivise developers and users to update their software and hardware to newer standards. After enabling a 'transition', but with the understanding that it will be temporary and eventually you'll have to upgrade.

Which is frustrating but as a company selling both hardware and software, I get to be honest. Otherwise you are stuck ensuring compatibility with much older hardware for a long time - that's clearly what Windows does, and they are still selling 32-bit versions of their OS!

(Of course there is nothing to stop people from simply not upgrading their machines, or virtualising/emulating like I've done above).

However my little exercise does show that an 8-year old Mac Mini can run OSX PPC apps (assuming no compatibility issues with emulation of course) much faster than any PPC ever could, at a tiny fraction of the footprint and energy consumption. Basically to show that most of us here are just having fun with our PPC machines, and if we actually had a need to run PPC software there are better ways of doing it :)

I wonder how long Rosetta 2 under ARM will be supported for!
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
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413
I guess for the same reason they stopped Classic with Tiger, PPC support with Leopard, and 32-bit support with Mojave, to incentivise developers and users to update their software and hardware to newer standards. After enabling a 'transition', but with the understanding that it will be temporary and eventually you'll have to upgrade.

Which is frustrating but as a company selling both hardware and software, I get to be honest. Otherwise you are stuck ensuring compatibility with much older hardware for a long time - that's clearly what Windows does, and they are still selling 32-bit versions of their OS!

(Of course there is nothing to stop people from simply not upgrading their machines, or virtualising/emulating like I've done above).

However my little exercise does show that an 8-year old Mac Mini can run OSX PPC apps (assuming no compatibility issues with emulation of course) much faster than any PPC ever could, at a tiny fraction of the footprint and energy consumption. Basically to show that most of us here are just having fun with our PPC machines, and if we actually had a need to run PPC software there are better ways of doing it :)

I wonder how long Rosetta 2 under ARM will be supported for!
The death of 32-bit makes sense if you're trying to make Rosetta 2 as simple as possible, as does all the other transitions the operating system has been going through lately. But Rosetta 1 lasted a single OS version. As much as people updated their apps because of it, people are still trapped on it because they need PowerPC support. If this was Microsoft, those would be massive companies who have no plan on leaving the software they were using for a decade.

Which is why Windows 10 still has a version of Internet Explorer. And why they still have a way for you to run 16-bit Windows apps in 32-bit Windows 10.

I suppose the whole "try to support it forever" philosophy Microsoft has is something I actually quite like about them.

If Rosetta 2 lasts longer than a single OS version, I will be amazed.
 

Amethyst1

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2015
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And also to simulate plausible VM performance, where you wouldn't realistically assign all your cores to a VM if you were using it in real life.
Back in the early days of virtualisation, we had just one core/cpu and assigned that to the vm(s) - so I'm not buying that argument ;)
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
Back in the early days of virtualisation, we had just one core/cpu and assigned that to the vm(s) - so I'm not buying that argument ;)

Fair enough :) I haven't done a lot of virtualisation really, I just got a VMWare 'warning' when I went all the way up to 8 threads! But in any case it does demonstrate that this CPU doesn't even have to work that hard to match native PPC G5 performance.
 
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Amethyst1

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2015
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Fair enough :) I haven't done a lot of virtualisation really, I just got a VMWare 'warning' when I went all the way up to 8 threads!
Hehe, I still remember trying the very first public beta of VMware in March 1999 and being amazed beyond words to see a PC and Windows booting in a window on my Linux box (back then it was Linux-only) just like it was nothing special. It was slow and quirky but darn, it worked.

---​

Here's the fastest Mac capable of running Snow Leopard natively:

 
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r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
Here's the fastest Mac capable of running Snow Leopard natively:


You know what, I'm happy that my Mini gets as much as half as that 12-core beast of a tower :)

PS: And I have integrated USB3 which the Mac Pro doesn't have :) Is the 2012 Mini the only Mac to have both Firewire and USB 3.0 by the way? Or are there any portables?
 
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repairedCheese

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
364
413
Rosetta was there in Tiger, Leo and SL. Or do you mean one version after ppc support was dropped?
Yeah, that's what I meant. I barely even thought about x86 support in Tiger and Leopard. And a quick check says that Rosetta 1 was a part of the current Mac OS from 2006 to 2011, as that's when Lion came out. That sounds great in theory, but now it means a massive library of Mac software is locked away.

And they did it again when they dropped 32-bit support. Who knows what won't make the leap to ARM?

This is why I like having a PowerPC Mac that can run Mac OS 9. It's almost the opposite of what Apple does now. The G4 MDD is a Mac that went out of its way to support as much software as possible even after 9 had been declared dead years earlier.

It's actually appropriate that the only Core Image AGP video cards aren't supported in OS 9. It's very on brand for Apple to make you chose one, not both.
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2010
980
466
London, UK
Just for the sake of it, I re-ran the same exercise in my 2013 dual-core i5 MacBook Air, but under the same conditions as the Mac Mini 2012 exercise. All cores/threads assigned to the VM, run from USB3 SSD.

Rosetta result is 2416, just above the second-fastest G5s (the dual-processor 2.7Ghz).

I would definitely try this also on my 2006 white MacBook, but even though I managed to somehow install Snow Leopard on it, it randomly decides to switch itself off (pretty sure something is wrong with the logic board?) so can never get as far as installing Geekbench!

Captura de pantalla 2020-09-18 a las 11.16.04.png
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,642
15,598
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I suppose the whole "try to support it forever" philosophy Microsoft has is something I actually quite like about them.
Apple sells hardware and uses it's OS and services to entice you (or force you) to buy that hardware. Microsoft sells software and services. To sell those to the widest consumer base possible it has to make it work on almost every conceivable system out there, including older systems. While MS does sells some hardware they aren't Apple. All Apple has to focus on is making it's OS and services work with a range of current devices.

That's the difference.
 
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