G3 v. G4

BiggeeC

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2002
116
0
Gaithersburg, MD
Yeah so I'm looking for a Mac. You know that. Quick question: why are the iBooks only G3's? Is a G3 that much different than a G4? After MWNY will iBooks be G4's? Thanks

Chris
 

Dunepilot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2002
880
0
UK
In all likelihood there won't be a G4 iBook for some time.

The big question I think you should ask yourself is whether you want to run OS X as fast as possible. The actual OS itself is optimised for the Altivec units present on G4 processors, and therefore you will see a substantial speed gain by running the forthcoming OS X.2 on a G4, particularly on a machine like a falt-panel iMac that has a graphics card that fully supports quartz extreme (Apple's new acceleration by graphics card).

If you'll still be using OS 9 primarily then a G3 should be fine, but ultimately you'll future-proof yourself better by going with a G4. Of course, you also need to decide what applications your Mac will be running, and find out if they're G4-optimised.
 

Grokgod

macrumors 6502a
ok ok ok

If OSX is optimized for Altivec then why is there so much anger about it being slow with scrolls etc..

Is Altivec worthless as a few recent threads have been saying.

If the new QE is going to be offloading the OSX needs from Altivec to the graphics card then is Altivec so needed for the OS to run faster.>?

I wish Altivec was all that and more, it seems like a good Idea but I dont think that its execution is up to snuff.
 

G5orbust

macrumors 65816
Jun 14, 2002
1,309
0
Yes, the G4 IS that much better than the G3. the G3 doesnt have the 128 bit pathways or the Altivec. Also, the G3 is on a higher µ process (µ = micron). The G3 is on the ibook for one reason, tehy want a budget notebook. If Apple didnt, there wouldnt even be a G3 ibook. There would just be a lower powered powerbook instead.
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
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All up in your bidness
I wouldn't say the G4 is that helpful for basic OS X tasks. I use both a 500MHz iMac DV (G3) and a 550MHz TiBook (G4) daily and, with equal amounts of RAM, the iMac actually appears to have slightly faster integer speed (!!), which translated into such things as faster app launches, smoother multitasking, and better general application performance.

The 700MHz Sahara G3 in the new iBook is supposed to be really nice, and fast compared to the 800MHz Power Mac at non-AltiVec tasks. With Quartz Extreme on the way, AltiVec will become even less relevant. Honestly, for non-AltiVec, non-Photoshop/FCP/etc. work, I think an iBook would be a great choice, especially considering it doesn't get very hot and gets great battery life.

Alex
 

rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
584
0
Minot, North Dakota
Yes, the G4 IS that much better than the G3. the G3 doesnt have the 128 bit pathways
I hate to break it to you, but according to IBM.com, the Sahara uses 256 bit pathways.

The Sahara kicks arse. The iBook uses a 100MHz system bus, but still manages to hold its own against a PowerBook 800MHz with a 133MHz bus and Altivec (ok, so the PowerBook is up to twice the speed of the iBook)

But for the price, the iBook and its Sahara are amazing.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2002
273
268
Originally posted by G5orbust
Yes, the G4 IS that much better than the G3. the G3 doesnt have the 128 bit pathways or the Altivec. Also, the G3 is on a higher µ process (µ = micron). The G3 is on the ibook for one reason, tehy want a budget notebook. If Apple didnt, there wouldnt even be a G3 ibook. There would just be a lower powered powerbook instead.
WRONG. WRONG. Damn know what your talking about before your open your mouth. The new G3's used in the Ibook are made by IBM. They are IBM's brand new chips they are not slow. They run on a .13 Micron process(while the G4 uses .18) they only have 4 pipeline stages(while the G4 has 7) they can run at close to the same clockspeeds(although the G4 will probably get faster at MWNY), the g3 has 512k of L2 cach(while the G4's only have 256k), they Use SOI(silicon on Insulator)(so do the G4's), they can run on 200Mhz Buses(ibooks dont)(the current G4s only support 133 as far as i know hopefully this will be changed at MWNY). Heck as it stands from what ive seen these G3's are a good deal faster than the current G4's clock for clock. The only reason that the G4 is faster in ANYTHING is because of Altavic. BTW no hard feelings im not trying to spite you just wanted to point out that you were incorrect. Yes the OLD G3s(from the Blue and white era) were slower than G4s clock for clock but not the new ones.
BTW since youll probably ask me to prove this here is the IBM's page on the 750FX G3's
http://www-3.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/products/PowerPC_750FX_Microprocessor
 

Catfish_Man

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
2,579
1
Portland, OR
Let me clear a few things up here...

...
1) The "256 bit pathways" in Sahara are the memory pathways to its cache. This kicks ass, but it's not at all related to the G4's 128 bit Altivec. The Sahara has 0 bit Altivec (it doesn't do SIMD at all).

2) Integer performance has very little effect on multitasking. Context switch performance does.

3) Last I heard the G4's integer unit, and the G3's integer unit were approximately identical, so basically it would come down to clockspeed and branch prediction (G4) vs. short pipelines (G3).

4)Altivec is all that's keeping the G4 alive. It KICKS ASS. OSX uses it a lot, and QuartzGL actually INCREASES the effect it can have by freeing up memory bandwidth (Altivec is almost always data starved. There's an old quote "Supercomputing turns algorithms into I/O problems" that applies quite nicely). People here seem to think that Altivec is some sort of graphics accelerator. It's not. It CAN speed up graphics, but it also speeds up a ton of other things.

5) I would say that what you noticed with the iMac/TiBook comparison is the slow laptop hard drive. Try comparing to a PowerMac at that speed.

6) The Sahara also kicks ass. The G4 could stand to learn some stuff from it (The G4 will still beat it, but it draws 4 times as much power, and definitely isn't 4 times as fast at most tasks. [although I've heard of tasks where Altivec gave the G4 a >16x advantage(much greater than 16x on a few)]).

7) The Sahara and the G4 have different goals. The Sahara draws 6 watts, is tiny, cheap, and blindingly fast for its size and simplicity. The G4 draws 24 watts, is mid sized, mid priced, and puts almost all its resources into Altivec. It's about equivalent to a G3 without it (slightly better at some stuff [L3 cache, clockspeed], but worse L2 cache and manufacturing process). With Altivec, a good portion of the time it's only limited by the speed of the ram you hook up to it.
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Re: Let me clear a few things up here...

Originally posted by Catfish_Man
2) Integer performance has very little effect on multitasking. Context switch performance does.
Please elaborate. Isn't context switch performance related? Wouldn't the systems being compared have similar context switch performance? I'm not a CS student, as you can tell.
5) I would say that what you noticed with the iMac/TiBook comparison is the slow laptop hard drive. Try comparing to a PowerMac at that speed.

Apps launch faster on the iMac even when they're already cached, so hard disk performance shouldn't have much to do with it... should it? Aside from the hard disk, I think it's a pretty fair comparison with only a 50MHz difference in CPU speed, equal amounts of RAM, identical memory bus speed, no L3 cache, and equal amounts of L2 cache running at full CPU speed.

Alex
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Originally posted by rice_web
Why can't IBM just buy Motorola's semiconductor business and merge the two chip designs? God I'd love that (even though it might be impossible)
Because that would make us all happy, and the gods wouldn't allow it.
 

rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
584
0
Minot, North Dakota
Because that would make us all happy, and the gods wouldn't allow it.
Ain't it the truth? God has been smiting us Mac fans for years now.
(no knocks against religion intended; I'd hate to get into one of those 'pledge of allegiance' debates)

It's worth dreaming about, right?
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Mar 12, 2002
4,121
3
BrisVegas, Australia
the G4 is heaps better then the G3. most of the people in my class have iBooks and i really feel sorry for them. PhotoShop and other graphics apps run so much faster on a G4. one of them has 300 and something MB RAM and i only have 256 MB in my TiBook and it is still heaps better.

the simple truth is that G4s are the ruler(at the moment).
don't get a G3. you might as well save yourself some money and just get a Celeron...
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,239
1
London, England
Originally posted by cb911
you might as well save yourself some money and just get a Celeron...
That's a bit over the top, you can't possibly compare the new 700Mhz G3 (or any for that matter) with that piece of sh*t CPU from intel!
It's far better and faster than the celeron could ever dream!
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,239
1
London, England
Originally posted by cb911
i don't know...
intel have some pretty zippy processors. and ddr ram...

the G4 is still king, but we're talking about G3s here.
Maybe, but your comparing the celeron, a PIII/P4 maybe I could understand, but the celeron is total crap and would get it's a$$ kicked by the G3.
 

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,003
3,125
South Dakota, USA
Originally posted by verbose101

Maybe, but your comparing the celeron, a PIII/P4 maybe I could understand, but the celeron is total crap and would get it's a$$ kicked by the G3.
I would totally agree. My iBook 600 with the G3 750cx kicks the **** out of any Celeron and I would imagine the new iBooks with the G3 750fx "Sahara" run faster. Up to 35% faster then the last generation of G3's according to Apple.

For a laptop like the iBook the G3 makes a lot of sense. I like the minimal power intake of the chip. I wonder what would happen to battery life if Apple went to the G4 in the iBook and didn't do anything with the battery? It also is cheap to buy, is stable, runs programs well and can hold it's own or take out any other budget processor out there. The fact is, in consumer laptop market segments Apple is much more competitive for speed then they are in the professional area.

I love my iBook and I can only imagine that the new G3 700 with the much improved video card will kick some ass. Does anyone know of some benchmark tests that have been ran with the new iBook? I would love to see how it compares to the TiBooks. I think you might be surprised, not saying that it would be faster then the new 667 or 800 TiBooks, but I bet it would kick ass against some of the older less MHz G4's. I have heard people say over and over again, lets get a G4 in the iBook even if it is only an old generation 500-550MHz processor. I think in everyday consumer tasks you would be a lot happier with the new "Sahara" Now where is that rumored G3 "Sahara" 1Ghz. That machine would give any current TiBook a run for it's money Alti-Vec or no Alti-Vec!
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,151
1,170
East Coast
Originally posted by Abercrombieboy
For a laptop like the iBook the G3 makes a lot of sense. I like the minimal power intake of the chip. I wonder what would happen to battery life if Apple went to the G4 in the iBook and didn't do anything with the battery? It also is cheap to buy, is stable, runs programs well and can hold it's own or take out any other budget processor out there. The fact is, in consumer laptop market segments Apple is much more competitive for speed then they are in the professional area.
Everybody keeps saying how these Saharas are so cheap. But no one ever quotes prices (including IBM). Does anyone know what they cost?

And about the G4 iBook. I'm one of the ones clamoring for a G4 iBook, but I've given up hope in seeing one until they decide to put SuperDrives in the laptops. Until then, I guess it's G3's for the iBook.

NOTE - it is curious to note that the eMac has a G4 in it even though it doesn't have a SuperDrive option. Makes me wonder why Apple even bothered with putting in a G4 when the Sahara seems like a much better option for the eMac.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2002
273
268
Originally posted by cb911
the G4 is heaps better then the G3. most of the people in my class have iBooks and i really feel sorry for them. PhotoShop and other graphics apps run so much faster on a G4. one of them has 300 and something MB RAM and i only have 256 MB in my TiBook and it is still heaps better.

the simple truth is that G4s are the ruler(at the moment).
don't get a G3. you might as well save yourself some money and just get a Celeron...
Yes the G4's going to kick the crap out of IBM new G3's in Photoshop, but thats because its altavic optimized, try turning of altavic on your G4 and then do a comparison. Not to mention that if you have a new tibook you have a much better vid card than ANY Ibook as well as a faster Front side bus. Anyway the issue is that outside of major Graphics apps(photoshop, FCP, Maya(i think), ect) Altavic is not used as much as it should be. And without altavic id bet IBM's new G3s are a good deal faster than the current crop of G4s clock for clcok.
 

Grokgod

macrumors 6502a
Gentlemen, put your processors back in your laptops!

Comparing the chips is silly, this thread is silly, and it makes me feel silly!

The iBook isnt running on just a chip, it has a video card with ram specs etc/
The Ti has a different video card and other specs etc.

I dont think that comparing the two chip is practical or worthwhile.

I buy the best and the fastest, with the most video ram etc!

QE will want 32 megs on video ..MIN...

When the processor is freed from GUI tasks there will be even more of a difference tween the two.
 

Catfish_Man

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
2,579
1
Portland, OR
Yeah...

Originally posted by Malus120

Yes the G4's going to kick the crap out of IBM new G3's in Photoshop, but thats because its altavic optimized, try turning of altavic on your G4 and then do a comparison. Not to mention that if you have a new tibook you have a much better vid card than ANY Ibook as well as a faster Front side bus. Anyway the issue is that outside of major Graphics apps(photoshop, FCP, Maya(i think), ect) Altavic is not used as much as it should be. And without altavic id bet IBM's new G3s are a good deal faster than the current crop of G4s clock for clcok.
...and if you turn off the FPU on a G3 then it's slower than a 604! Wow! I want a 604! Bah...

OSX uses Altivec a lot. For some strange reason people seem to think that Altivec has something to do with graphics. IT DOESN'T. It's a parallel processing unit, not a fscking graphics chip. I think this comes from the fact that Photoshop happens to be easily vectorizable, and Adobe has put a lot of work into it. Some programs can use it (OSX, Photoshop, many many others), some can't (textures, my dinky little c++ programs).
 

SPG

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2001
1,083
0
In the shadow of the Space Needle.
Originally posted by ftaok
NOTE - it is curious to note that the eMac has a G4 in it even though it doesn't have a SuperDrive option. Makes me wonder why Apple even bothered with putting in a G4 when the Sahara seems like a much better option for the eMac.
The emac can still be used for the things that really require altivec...
Photoshop-screen's big enough to learn it, remember this is an Educational Mac
FCP-it's got firewire. And if any of you remember the good old days when monitors were expensive, many of us would edit on 17" monitors and consider them adequate.
DVD Studio Pro -they have external firewire DVD burners. A lab full of emacs could all share one or two burners to keep costs down.

The G3 is slow on FCP renders, real slow, and damn near impossible for MPEG2 transcoding for DVD. If you plan on doing any video/DVD stuff the G3 is out of the question...too bad though, I think the iBook is a great machine and I would buy one in a heartbeat if it had a G4.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,151
1,170
East Coast
Originally posted by SPG


The emac can still be used for the things that really require altivec...
Photoshop-screen's big enough to learn it, remember this is an Educational Mac
FCP-it's got firewire. And if any of you remember the good old days when monitors were expensive, many of us would edit on 17" monitors and consider them adequate.
DVD Studio Pro -they have external firewire DVD burners. A lab full of emacs could all share one or two burners to keep costs down.

The G3 is slow on FCP renders, real slow, and damn near impossible for MPEG2 transcoding for DVD. If you plan on doing any video/DVD stuff the G3 is out of the question...too bad though, I think the iBook is a great machine and I would buy one in a heartbeat if it had a G4.
Good point, SPG. I always seem to forget about FCP when I talk about stuff like this (and at $1000, who can blame me for forgetting?). Seriously, I guess I'm misguided, but when I think of the eMac, I think of a computer lab for 3rd and 4th graders. Not really the core type users of FCP.

Anyways, what I'm really getting at is that the eMac should have an option for a SuperDrive, but I guess Apple is scared of caniballizing sales from the iMac.