Buying new PowerBook, need information about processor speeds

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mjfarsi, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. mjfarsi macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2005
    I am planning on purchasing a new powerbook. I was wondering how does the G4 1.5 gHz processor compare to an intel that features more processing fee. How do you convert mac speed into pc speed? Any info will help
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    For raw CPU speed, you can usually compare a G4 directly to a Centino system (P4-M)
  3. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    So. Cal
    Since the processor architectures are so different (pipeline lengths, number of instructions per clock cycle, etc), one method is to multiply the Mac clock speed by 20/7 (2.85714.....) to get a rough approximation of the processor power of the Mac compared to the megahertz (gigahertz) numbers that Intel is so proud of.
    That number is based on the difference in processor architectures, however there can also be differences based on how well the program is optimized for a given operating system.
  4. mjfarsi thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2005
    So a Powerbook G4 1.5 would be equal to a 4.28 gHz Pentium !?!?!?!
  5. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    You just said you're getting a Mac, so why does it matter how mac/windows processor speeds compare? This question gets asked way too many times.
    Just buy the fastest mac you can afford and you won't have any problems.
  6. Toreador93 macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2003
    Whoa Whoa, just a minute.

    Centrino != P4-m. Those are different. Centrino = P-M. The P4-m is just a slightly more efficient P4.

    Second, there are comparisons on Barefeats that shows a 1.3 GHz P-M beating a 1.33 by a good margin. [hint: Centrino 1.8 = 1.3 as 1.8's didn't exist then]
  7. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    It all comes down to the operating system. Mac OS X is just so efficient and easy to use that you actually save time and do more stuff. Also, the programs are better and far superior to anything on windows so you will enjoy using them.
  8. justinshiding macrumors member

    May 7, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Slightly is an understatement. The pentium M is actually more efficient per clock cycle than the g4 (as your test supports) , but it now clocks up to 2.13's got a massive L2 cache (2mb) and a fairly zippy FSB (533 mhz.) It also has a speed stepping technology that allows to chip to actually run itself at slower clock speeds to conserve battery life....all in all it's a VERY nice chip [which cannot run os x.]

    I've used the last rev of powerbooks a bit at the apple store testing them to see how fast they seem. I can say that if you're going to be using a laptop for anything that isn't super CPU intensive (normal stuff) then you'll have no issues. It becomes kind of doubtful if you're going to to do crazy video editing things or gaming...of course that's true of things in the PC world too. Laptops aren't built to be high end workstations.

  9. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    After looking at those benchmarks I now want a powermac G5!
  10. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Maybe Apple should use this equation to massage the G5 processor speeds – it would certainly shatter the 3Ghz that everyone is clamouring for for the past year. ;)

    So, we're currently at 2.5Ghz... anyone for a Dual 7.1Ghz G5? :D
  11. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i have a rev. A 12". it's a 867 MHz (with 640 MB RAM) and runs all my apps "fine." some apps could be faster, esp. like iMovie rendering or heavy filtering in PS, but when was the last time you used a PC with less than 1 GHz? it's now two yeas old and still going strong - i will have no problem using it for another few years until the machine physically dies, then i'll upgrade.

    this should tell you how 1.5 GHz G4 will be.
  12. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    Uhh noooooo, you're way off track there. I don't know where you got that holy number to multiply the G4's clockspeed by, but its certainly not true. As a matter of fact, in all the testing that i've done to attempt to compare the speed of my PC to my Mac, it seems that the G4 runs about the same as a similarly clocked P4.

    For example, my PC has a Athlon XP 3200+ (running at 2.2ghz). In all of my testing, the PC performs at twice the speed of my 1.4GHz G4, which is what one would expect from a 1.4GHz processor. There is nothing magical about the G4 that would make it run like a 3ghz P4 or Athlon. Actually, in terms of games, the G4 seems to run a bit *slower* than a similarly clocked PC, although this probably has more to do with Apple's immature OpenGL implementation and sloppy DirectX -> OpenGL porting.

    Now, thats not to say that the G4 isn't fast. A G4 is still way more than enough power for most people who just browse the net and write a few emails. But don't expect miracles from it, either.
  13. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    Ditto. I have a 2+ year old 800MHz G3 iBook (640MB RAM) and it still runs almost everything I need without a glitch. Unfortunately, however, I managed to get one of the books with the f#!@ up logic board so I don't know how much longer it's going to last. It's already been fixed twice, and I think I might get one more free fix out of apple before they start charging.

    Without that in mind, the only reasoning I'm about to buy a new PM is because I've gotten heavily into photoshopping and audio work. The G3 is pretty slow in photoshop, so much so that I tend to take pictures in 5MP mode rather than the full 8MP's to save editing time. And forget RAW. It's useable for the occassional photo, but just takes forever. And with Logic/GarageBand, CPU overloads are all too common.

    I'm starting to forget my point....

    Anyway, we're talking about going from an 800MHz G3 to a 1.5GHz (or 1.67GHz) G4. If my outdated iBook can run everything I need (albeit a little slow on the heavy programs) than I can't imagine you'd have any problems with a PB

    .........does this even have anything to do with this post? My mind is gone today...
  14. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    well, basically, who cares about the "exact" conversion? i realize the orig. poster is asking for it, but to that, i say who cares? if he thinks that all the mac users are under massive disillusion of putting up with underpowered CPU and sluggish computers, he's vastly mistaken. whatever the clockspeed on apple computers, it performs as well as any PCs out there - we are not collectively putting up with "slow" machines for the sake of using macs.
  15. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    One more thing, even if the G4 measures slightly lower on bench tests than a P4 (or whatever), you have to remember that Apple makes the hardware, software, AND OS. Whether the processor is a little slower or not, the programs will run faster, as it's all optimized for your system and built to work seamlessly
  16. Alexandernap macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2004
    Rochester NY
    G4 vs P3M

    I just got rid of an IBM Thinkpad with 1.3 p3M and replaced it with a 1ghz iBook. To compare the two is really difficult. I have no doubt that comparing the RAW processing speed of the P3M to the G4 is probably no contest, but this is really meaningless. OSX flows so much smoother than windows that, if anything, my iBook feels faster. As far as multitasking forget it. My iBook blows the doors off the IBM. I typically have 8 or 9 programs running including virtual pc, office, lotus notes, safari, and more on my iBook all day long. If I did that on my IBM something would be crashing sooner or later. All I can say is, to me there is no comparison because of OSX.

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