G3 vs. G4

2ms

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 22, 2002
440
70
How much faster than an 800Mhz G3 is an 800Mhz G4? I won't be using Photoshop. I guess I might do some audio and/or video stuff very occasionally, but I'll overwhelmingly be using it like a typical hard-working/busy college student for basic stuff. This doesn't mean speed doesn't matter to me though -- I'm very sensitive to things like latency of GUI and generally like my computers snappy. I'm aware OSX has some G4 optimization, but can't see how the effects could be that pervasive.

Is the G3 actually faster on a lot of things? Give me ball-park figures like "G4 10% faster 75% of time, 5% slower 10% of time, and 80% faster 15% of the time."

Any other things I should know while trying to decide whether to get iBook to replace in 2 years or TiBook to replace in 3 years?
 

oldMac

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
522
1
It really depends more on the machine...

The speed really depends a lot more on the machine than on the G3 vs. G4. At the same clock speed, the G4 is really not much faster than the G3 for integer performance, which is what really matters for 90% of what most people do with their computers.

The biggest difference, however, is that Apple puts G4s in nicer machines. Machines are not speedy by clock speed alone. There are other *huge* factors to consider including hard drive speed, bus speed, video chipset, bus architecture and all kinds of other things.

Typically, you'll find that Apple's G4 machines are faster than their G3 machines primarily because the G4s tend to get better hardware. This is especially true with the laptops (which makes sense since the iBook is the only machine that Apple still puts a G3 in.)

That being said, I've got a 500Mhz iBook and love it. However, I do wish it were a bit quicker running OS X and wish it could drive an external monitor at higher resolutions. The newer iBooks look to be better at running OS X and there's a hack to drive external monitors at higher resolutions. For price/performance, it's probably the best deal in Apple's lineup.
 

Goblin2099

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2002
65
0
New York City
Just as a note, my 1st generation 500 mhz tibook outscores a brand new 800mhz ibook in just about every category using Xbench. It's obviously not the most scientific comparison, and doesn't say too much about real world tasks, but it's enough to show that the G4 has enough of a jump on the G3 to overcome lower clockspeed and a slower graphics card.
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
Re: G3 vs. G4

Originally posted by 2ms
...I'll overwhelmingly be using it like a typical hard-working/busy college student for basic stuff. This doesn't mean speed doesn't matter to me though -- I'm very sensitive to things like latency of GUI and generally like my computers snappy.
Sounds like you're the ideal iBook customer. Do yourself and your wallet a favor, and get the 12.1" 800MHz iBook. OS X is quite snappy on it, and its size and ruggedness make it ideal for just tossing in your backpack with your other stuff. And it's definitely worth the extra $300 (more than the $999 iBook) to get the Combo drive plus the 32MB VRAM. I was watching the first Band of Brothers DVD on my iBook last night and it makes a niiiiiiice portable DVD player. Buy it from a reseller, too, so you can save the sales tax and get the extra stuff they always offer (for $1333 I got my iBook with 384MB RAM and a printer free after rebate).
 

atomwork

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2001
240
11
Miami Beach
Velocity

Im confused. My first mac was a IIlc or so;) Since i upgraded to a G4 800 from a G3 400 the world wasn't the same. The new macs are flying saucers if you ask me.
Regarding this toppic. Isn't apple promotion the G4 with the Veclocity Power meahning that data runs totally different and better then any PC and the older processors? So, then the G4 architecture would be anyway better no matter if the clockspeed is the same.
I was just last week at a friends house and he had the 14" G3. Don't know how fast but must be 500, 600...It was ok. Guess with the newer updates they are a good deal
 

irmongoose

macrumors 68030
Re: Velocity

The whole Megahertz Myth was about the Velocity Engine and how it could out-do any megahertz processor at that time. And it actually did. But even the Velocity Engine can only last so long. Once you get to 2.4 or 3 Gigahertz processors, they're going to beat the G4 no matter what. That said, I don't agree with Apple going Intel or AMD... I'm quite confident that a 1.8 or 2 gigahertz IBM processor with the Velocity Engine could beat the Intels.


On a side note, if you are unsatisfied with your OS X speed, check VersionTracker for a theme changer called Duality. I never believed people saying that it made things faster, but I saw a nice looking theme and I decided to check it out, and it really works. I love it.

Here's the theme I am talking about (the first one).




irmongoose
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
and dont forget the price difference...you get what you pay for and sometimes the g4 is giving you things you may not need

like an above poster said, you sound like the ideal ibook user
 

2ms

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 22, 2002
440
70
dammit

I'm getting a lot of conflicting information here. A couple people say a 500Mhz G4 is way faster than an 800Mhz G3 and yet some say the G4's primarily advantage is due to coming along with better other hardware. Are the two basically the same on integer ops? The TiBooks used to have way faster bus and video, but now the iBooks have 50% faster bus than before and sweet video which is only slightly inferior to TiBook's, so I'd think current iBooks are way closer than older iBooks.

Basically, excluding the effects of other hardware, how much faster is a G4 (w/256k L2 + 1MB L3) than a G3 (w/512 L2) at the same clock speed on everyday tasks? I tend to take benchmarks with a major grain of salt since my impression is that they majorly emphasize things like content creation with lots of fp calculations and/or streaming data which needs more bandwidth and cache(are those the only things the G4 really creams the G3 in?).
 

MacBandit

macrumors 604
Re: dammit

Originally posted by 2ms
I'm getting a lot of conflicting information here. A couple people say a 500Mhz G4 is way faster than an 800Mhz G3 and yet some say the G4's primarily advantage is due to coming along with better other hardware. Are the two basically the same on integer ops? The TiBooks used to have way faster bus and video, but now the iBooks have 50% faster bus than before and sweet video which is only slightly inferior to TiBook's, so I'd think current iBooks are way closer than older iBooks.

Basically, excluding the effects of other hardware, how much faster is a G4 (w/256k L2 + 1MB L3) than a G3 (w/512 L2) at the same clock speed on everyday tasks? I tend to take benchmarks with a major grain of salt since my impression is that they majorly emphasize things like content creation with lots of fp calculations and/or streaming data which needs more bandwidth and cache(are those the only things the G4 really creams the G3 in?).

The conflicting reports are because there are two different situations people are quoting. On one hand almost any G4 will be faster when using OSX. OSX has been optimized quite a bit to take advantage of Altivec (Velocity Engine). On the other hand any program that hasn't been or isn't able to be optimized for Altivec will run approximately the same on either the G4 or the G3 at the same MHz thought he G3 will have a very slight advantage in this case.
 

Hemingray

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
2,913
25
Ha ha haaa!
Re: Re: Velocity

Originally posted by irmongoose
On a side note, if you are unsatisfied with your OS X speed, check VersionTracker for a theme changer called Duality. I never believed people saying that it made things faster, but I saw a nice looking theme and I decided to check it out, and it really works. I love it.

Here's the theme I am talking about (the first one).
Sweet, someone updated Iridium Quicksilver to work under 10.2! Just reinstalled it. Boy I sure missed that skin... thanks for the heads up! :)
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Re: Re: dammit

Originally posted by MacBandit



The conflicting reports are because there are two different situations people are quoting. On one hand almost any G4 will be faster when using OSX. OSX has been optimized quite a bit to take advantage of Altivec (Velocity Engine). On the other hand any program that hasn't been or isn't able to be optimized for Altivec will run approximately the same on either the G4 or the G3 at the same MHz thought he G3 will have a very slight advantage in this case.
Well said!

There is probably less than 10 percent difference between the two without AltiVec.

Photoshop does seem amazing with a G4 but mail, iChat, and the majority of applications don't. Mac OS X runs better with a G4 but I wouldn't say it's terribly faster as long as there's a fast hard drive in the G3. folding@home doesn't run twice as fast on each processor of my dual G4/800 as it does on my G3/400. The work unit which takes 43 minutes to process on the G4 takes 66 minutes. The G3 has a fast hard drive, the G4 doesn't.
 

finchna

macrumors regular
May 30, 2002
215
41
For what's it's worth I just post the following in a thread about laptops in response to the question 4 below. The apps I run most frequently on my ibook are Office (everything but Entourage), Graphic Converter, First Class email, Apple email, iChat, Weatherman, IE, Chimera, Inspiration, Toast, iTunes, Seti) It might also be that the improvements in the new line will make things like I describe less of an issue. Hope it works for what you want to do. Ciao,

Nathan

4) im getting 512 megs more ram with the ibook, would OSX be pretty fast in your oppinion? or pretty slow (someone kept saying that osx would be slow as heck on an ibook)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't know if you read a post I made about this a while ago in a different discussion, but here's my "less than speedy story." This might depend a bit on the model--did you get a 700 or 800 with 32MB vram? My 600 is not snappy running 10.2.2--not slow as heck, but the beachball pops up when I print fairly small documents on a network (always via Airport). There are times I have to wait to save things, connecting to network volumes takes more time than it should, opening large PPT decks shows a beachball as does moving through complex slides. However, as I said, I'm on an airport net which is likely slower than wired Ethernet, yet not as slow as a modem. I have a bunch of haxies--but the haxie folks tell me that they should not slow things down--actually got some of them to speed things up--like shadow removers, etc. I also run many apps at the same time. Bottom line is, I'm getting a TiBook as my ibook has become less than a great production tool.
 

insidedanshead

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
154
0
If it means anything.. I have a 733 Mhz G4 and I pretty much run Photoshop, Photoshop, and a little bit more of Photoshop.. personally there isn't a G3 Machine out there that I could stand using for photoshop.. my 733 G4 is starting to feel really old and sluggish.. so I really couldn't imagine buying a G3 nowadays.. but thats just me.. i would say my use for my mac is pretty specialized. and that for ordinary users G3s may work great. I have a friend with a 500Mhz ibook and he records music and develops websites and everything on it.. has no problem.. even ran Warcraft III the other day and wasn't too bad.
 

SilvorX

macrumors 68000
May 24, 2002
1,701
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'Toba, Canada
i decided on an ibook since i heard it was pretty fast (fast enough so that probably the most basica appz wont take more than a min to load), but someone (not naming any names :p) kept annoying me cuz im getting an ibook...and hes going "ibooks are way too slow" and so on...but unlike him, i have a budget and ibook fits right in it (and i'll have enough money left over to get a few other accessories)
the ibook is a great deal (concidering its one of the cheapest laptops on the market (that has a combo drive)
 

redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,614
2
2 Much Infinite Loops
Re: Re: Velocity




On a side note, if you are unsatisfied with your OS X speed, check VersionTracker for a theme changer called Duality. I never believed people saying that it made things faster, but I saw a nice looking theme and I decided to check it out, and it really works. I love it.

Here's the theme I am talking about (the first one).




irmongoose [/B]


let me get this right. u mean, by changing the "theme", the mac would respond "faster"?

i mean RESPOND by startups? the whole computing experience (= starting up photoshop)?

naturally, working with photoshop would be a whole different thing...
 

irmongoose

macrumors 68030
Re: Re: Re: Velocity

Originally posted by redAPPLE


let me get this right. u mean, by changing the "theme", the mac would respond "faster"?

i mean RESPOND by startups? the whole computing experience (= starting up photoshop)?

naturally, working with photoshop would be a whole different thing...
startups won't be any quicker, but the overall responsness of OS X increases quite a lot. For example, when I would click a folder in my dock, it would take about a second for the window to actually load, and then the icons within would loadd after that, taking about another second. Now, with a new theme, it takes less than half a second for both the window to come up and the icons to show up.





irmongoose
 

redAPPLE

macrumors 68030
May 7, 2002
2,614
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2 Much Infinite Loops
Re: Re: Re: Re: Velocity

Originally posted by irmongoose


startups won't be any quicker, but the overall responsness of OS X increases quite a lot. For example, when I would click a folder in my dock, it would take about a second for the window to actually load, and then the icons within would loadd after that, taking about another second. Now, with a new theme, it takes less than half a second for both the window to come up and the icons to show up.





irmongoose
interesting. thx. funny that apple does not do this things themselves.

apple should try to make os x as "responsive" or fast as possible.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Something to remember about the startup speed of applications is that a lot less depends on Apple than depends on the 3rd party developer's code.

Adobe, for example, has applications which were written in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since Windows 95, their code has become stable and speed enhancements don't really depend on Adobe much. On Mac OS, a lot of companies used tricks to get the most out of the cooperative multitasking environment. These tricks no longer help the situation and most of the time, slow down things.

Of course, we don't have to worry about Cocoa-based applications because these don't have a Macintosh or cooperative-multitasking legacy to hinder them. If they're slow, it's most likely because Cocoa is slow.

finchna: I would bet that if you put a faster hard drive with a bigger buffer, suddenly your applications would become faster on your iBook.
 

ddtlm

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2001
1,184
0
Integer performance and AltiVec

2ms, oldMac:

It's not very commonly known, but AltiVec actually has more resources for integer calculations than it does for floating point calculations. RC5, for example, is all integers and is probably the single thing at which G4's kick the most butt compared to other processors.
 
C

ctbarton

Guest
think iBook

I own a 500mhz iBook with 384mb RAM and I'm VERY happy with how it runs 10.2. This past week, though, I got to toy around with a friends 700mhz iBook with the suped up graphics card and only 128mb of memory and was blown away at how much faster it was. The extra video memory running Quartz Extreme is a huge improvement. I can only imagine that the new 800mhz iBooks are even snappier!

I too am a college student and I can tell you, that for price, durability, usefullness, price and price...go iBook. And color me green with envy if you do...:D
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
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Chinatown NYC
Re: think iBook

Originally posted by ctbarton
I own a 500mhz iBook with 384mb RAM and I'm VERY happy with how it runs 10.2. This past week, though, I got to toy around with a friends 700mhz iBook with the suped up graphics card and only 128mb of memory and was blown away at how much faster it was. The extra video memory running Quartz Extreme is a huge improvement. I can only imagine that the new 800mhz iBooks are even snappier!

I too am a college student and I can tell you, that for price, durability, usefullness, price and price...go iBook. And color me green with envy if you do...:D
Yup, I own a new 800MHz iBook (384 MB), and I can confirm that it's quite snappy. Probably not that much faster than the 700MHz with 128MB RAM - I too was surprised with just how fast the low-end model was even with only 128MB RAM and 16MB VRAM.
 

BenderBot1138

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2002
439
0
G3 and G4

If I'm not mistaken, G3 machines can be clustered just like G4 machines. I think I read something about it on the Apple site somewhere.

I'm wondering if it's possible to mix and match as well, but the main thing is that if I'm correct about the G3 clustering, let's see non-apple machine corporations try to do that with doubling their HR budgets!

I'm thinking that as G3 prices drop, eB*y, and me are going to become friends as the prospect of a G3 cluster becomes a fun option, and maybe even a real workhorse for some tasks. ... be interesting to know if anyone has or is trying this.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
let's say overall in same clock speed, the G4 is ten percent faster than the G3

the G3 was ten percent faster than the PPC 604e in its day and was the faster single jump in processor speed benchmarks apple had ever seen
 

MacBandit

macrumors 604
Re: G3 and G4

Originally posted by BenderBot1138
If I'm not mistaken, G3 machines can be clustered just like G4 machines. I think I read something about it on the Apple site somewhere.

I'm wondering if it's possible to mix and match as well, but the main thing is that if I'm correct about the G3 clustering, let's see non-apple machine corporations try to do that with doubling their HR budgets!

I'm thinking that as G3 prices drop, eB*y, and me are going to become friends as the prospect of a G3 cluster becomes a fun option, and maybe even a real workhorse for some tasks. ... be interesting to know if anyone has or is trying this.

Yes it is possible to cluster G3 and to mix and match.

Originally posted by jefhatfield
let's say overall in same clock speed, the G4 is ten percent faster than the G3
Actually this is incorrect. The current Sahara G3 is actually faster MHz to MHz then a G4 at purely CPU tasks.

If the G4 didn't have Altivec there would be absolutely no advantage to it. We would be better off with the G3 in that case.