G4 vs. Intel purchase questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by VintageMac, May 22, 2007.

  1. VintageMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    #1
    I am considering buying a laptop and am debating between a 12" PB G4 1.5 and the former MacBook 1.83. Questions--

    Is the 1.83 Intel significantly faster than the G4 1.5?
    Will my current software from my eMac G4 1.25 also run on the 1.83 intel, e.g. MS Office?
    Are there any other considerations I should keep in mind as I compare these two?

    Vintage
     
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #2
    No. Not "significantly". In fact, it can be the opposite; if most of your software is PPC stuff and do not have Universal Binary version, then the Intel-based computer will have to sacrifice a lot of power in translating PPC to X86 (that is, using Rosetta) and it's a severe slowdown.

    If nothing else, the fan will be revving like crazy when you use your PPC software...
     
  3. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

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    #3
    It depends what means most to you. I have both a G4 Powerbook and a MacBook. For Office and Photoshop, the G4 is MILES ahead unless you plan on splashing the cash on UB models.

    My advice would be if the current Office and other PowerPC programs are what you use and you can get the G4 at a price cheaper than the MacBook, go with the Powerbook. Just make sure you max out the RAM.

    David
     
  4. theISHkid macrumors regular

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    #4
    Just keep in mind the way everything is going... to intel. Are you planning on keeping this for a while and trying to upgrade your old software?
     
  5. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

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    #5
    Sure everything is going to Intel, but if you have a lot of PPC software now, than you're better off going with the PB. New software releases are going to be universal binary so you really don't have to worry about compatibility with a G4. Like others have said, you'll definitely see the 1.5ghz G4 pass the 1.83ghz Intel in some things, especially PPC apps. You'll still get a lot of years out of a PB G4 especially with max RAM. Just because Intel is the "new" thing, doesn't mean it should be your only option.
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #6
    I would suggest the MB simply because shackling yourself to "dead" hardware (e.g. the PPC line) is not a good idea for longterm use. Software that comes out will be more and more tailored for intel processors. No need to leave yourself "behind" right out of the gate, correct?
     
  7. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #7

    For software that's not running in emulation it's enormously faster. I have a 2GHz MacBook and it compiles about 6 times as fast as my 1GHz PowerBook did.
     
  8. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

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    #8
    No.
     
  9. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #9
    No one has asked what software you'll be using.

    If you have MS Office, yes, it's PPC and needs to run in Rosetta and will be slower on Intel, but you really won't notice any difference in normal use. Except it'll take twice as long to start up the first time.

    If you have Photoshop CS2, yes, it'll have to run in Rosetta, but I don't see any benchmarks that say a 1.5 GHz G4 is any faster than a dual core Intel. In fact, here's some benchmarks - http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/intel_imac_benchmarks/ showing a 2GHz Core Duo iMac with 512MB RAM is slightly faster than a 1.25 GHz G4 Mini with 512MB. Going from 512 MB -> 1GB on an Intel Mac makes a much bigger difference than on a PPC Mac because emulation is RAM hungry, and the Core2Duos are faster still, so you're likely to see Photoshop CS2 running at about the same speed at least, and maybe a bit faster.

    But let us know what you'll be doing with it. If you were talking about CS2 on a G5 PowerMac vs Dual Xeon MacPro, there's no contest - G5 wins big. But for laptops, the new ones are much, much faster running native applications and roughly equivalent for PPC apps.

    So it all comes down to future-proofing. Get the Intel.
     
  10. VintageMac thread starter macrumors member

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    May 19, 2007
    #10
    Thanks for all your comments. I am not doing anything complicated-- primarily Word from Office 2004. Internet. Light duty photos, since I just got a Canon XTi, but not Photoshop.

    The comments I've read so far nudge me towards the 12" Powerbook 1.5, combo is okay since I have the Superdrive on my eMac. I'd then likely get an external 19" or so to go with the Powerbook.

    Vintage
     
  11. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #11
    Yes, MS Office is PPC and should technically run faster on the G4. But seriously? The only lag I've noticed on my C2D MB with Word is just launching the app in the very beginning, and as impatient as I am, I can handle waiting an extra second or two. For everything else, my MB is way faster than my 1.33GHz iBook G4 (and even the iBook felt faster than my 1.33GHz PB G4). I know the PB you'd be considering is the 1.5GHz, but honestly? I could never go back to using a G4 laptop as my primary computer.

    This MacBook is really really nice. I'm a big wuss when it comes to weight and I so prefer the form factor and weight of the 12" PB, but the size of the MB isn't enough to deter me especially given how much I like the speed, wifi reception, display, and keyboard of the MB.

    It doesn't hurt that it's newer technology, either.
     
  12. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

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    #12
    I'd save a bit more and go for a refurb core 2 duo macbook for sure. It gives you more potential for the future.
     
  13. theISHkid macrumors regular

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    #13
    How much will you be saving by going with the older powerbook? If it is less than 200 dollars I would go with the macbook.
     
  14. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #14
    I was trying to nudge you towards the MacBook. If you're thinking of a refurb from Apple, I see the 12" G4 1.5GHz PB Combo is $1099 on Apple's refurb site, which is exactly the same price as a brand new, latest model, MacBook.

    OK, 12" PBs are going for less on eBay, but still ... what price are you thinking of paying?

    Is the form factor a big issue for you? I can see how you would pay more if you loved the 12" PB so much you wanted it above everything else, but if it's performance you're thinking of, buy a MacBook
     
  15. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

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    #15
    Wrong. I stated in my OP that it depended on what software the OP was running and if they were intending to upgrade or not.

    Wrong. Office is a dog for anything above small files on Intel compared to PPC. NOT just on start-up. I use both systems daily, and whenever I need to do large documents, I turn to my PB.

    Oh, and I can assure you. Regardless of ANY benchmark you can throw at me, the PB runs CS2 much much faster than my Intel system both with the same amount of RAM.

    So it all comes down to cost, not future proofing. Like I said originally, if the cost of the PPC machine he/she is looking at is significantly lower than the Intel - go with it.

    David
     
  16. VintageMac thread starter macrumors member

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    May 19, 2007
    #16
    The 12" PB 1.5's are running in the $700.'s on eBay. I just don't want to need to get new software to run on the Intel MacBook.... And I would likely be sharing some files back and forth between my laptop and eMac. Btw, what is the easiest way to keep them syncronized?

    Vintage
     
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #17
    While Office may run faster on the G4 because it's PPC, there is going to be a new Office by the end of the year (hopefully...if it's not going to be delayed as long as Vista).
    My advice to you is to get the Intel macbook because in the future, you want to do something else, and the G4 might be useless then. However, with an Intel mac, you'll be able to do more stuff in the future. Get the macbook and then buy Office 2008 to go with it (if you find 2004 to be too slow).
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #18
    Unless you need VB scripting, which will no longer be part of MS Office on the Mac.
     
  19. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #19
    I'd get the Macbook, for stuff like Word the difference is not as bad as some posters might have you think.

    It is unthinkable to spend $700 on a 1.5ghz single processor computer today.
     
  20. mopppish macrumors 6502

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    Nov 27, 2005
    #20
    Geez. So complicated.
    You won't have to buy any new software. PPC apps will run in rosetta on the MB at least as fast as they would on a G4. So you're looking at much faster performance from the MB with universal programs and about equal performance with the apps you already have.
    Also, keep in mind that some of the apps you have may very well have free updates that make them UB (though Office is not one of them). I have a handful of apps (mostly audio stuff) that released free incremental updates that accomplished this.
    Soooo... get whatever's cheaper. In most cases from resellers or Apple themselves, this is actually the Macbook.
    Keep in mind that while a $700 PB on ebay is cheaper than a $800-$900 refurb Macbook, the MB comes with a year warranty (and the possibility of Applecare).
    I would only consider a PB off ebay if it was still under Applecare.
     
  21. FireArse macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 29, 2004
    #21
    I think the OP has his mind set...

    ...on a 12 PB. And I can hardly blame him. They look and feel far better than a MacBook.

    Yes with Dual Core Intel and a glossy screen - but owners of a PPC 12 PB know what I mean.

    I'm thinking of flying out to NY to pick up a refurb 12 PB myself. Pick up a cheap-(ish??) PB and make the most out of the trip!

    F
     
  22. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

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    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #22
    Just. Pure. Blatant. Lies.

    To the OP, my advice would be to ignore this ridiculous comment. Office 2004 runs acceptable on Intel but anything over small documents and there is a real slowdown.

    If you don't plan on updating your PPC apps (for Office, that would mean more money), get the PB.

    In everyday things, there is no amazing benefit of the MacBook over the PB in terms of speed. Oh wait, it starts up faster and apps open 2 seconds quicker..... BLAH BLAH BLAH. Big Deal!
     
  23. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    London
    #23
    Not true.
     
  24. VintageMac thread starter macrumors member

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    May 19, 2007
    #24
    Topics to avoid at family reunions--- religion, politics, and PB G4 vs. MacBook.

    I'm still leaning towards the PB

    Vintage
     
  25. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

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    Jul 14, 2004
    #25
    My $0.02,

    In regards to Office, my iMac 1.8 core duo scrolls through Word docs faster than my 1.33 PB 12" did. It's really not that much of a slowdown otherwise. When Office 2008 comes out, I won't buy it (I learned LaTeX instead :eek:).

    One thing to consider... are you going to be messing around with digital video? If so, get the MacBook... you'll encode and compress video much faster! Also, the MacBook's hard drive is a dream to upgrade on your own... you'd have to pay someone $$$ to upgrade a 12" PB hard drive.
     

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