Is a G4 @ 400 better than a G3 @ 400?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I have an old Blue and White G3 PowerMac running @ 400 MHz with 384 mb of RAM. I must admit to not using it much because I either use the Pismo in my sig or a Windows desktop.
    The thing is, I work on a shoestring here as far as my computing needs go (Fer Gawd's sake don't mention "Restraint" or "Budget" when talking about things that S.W.M.B.O. needs [She Who Must Be Obeyed] such as shoes or handbags)
    So anyway, I was wondering if a G4 PowerMac which also runs at 400 with 384mb of RAM (maybe upgradeable in weeks to come) would be an improvement, and if so, in which ways?
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
  3. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #3
    If you upgraded the ram to 1GB, it's easily an upgrade, the G4 architecture was a bit of an improvement over the G3 architecture even at same speeds.
     
  4. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    Aug 25, 2008
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    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #4
    To be honest with you Steve, I don't think you'd notice a lot of difference other than graphics performance. I think the one you've got is the PCI graphics model.

    To get as much information as possible about what you're asking, download Mactracker http://www.mactracker.ca/, and compare the G3 vs G4 info summaries.

    PS. a mate of mine has nicknamed his Significant Other 'Imelda' because of her penchant for buying shoes :D
     
  5. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2007
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    Blackburn in North West England
    #5
    Ok guys, Thanks for the replies.
    It seems that, according to the long thread I just read, there is no definitive answer. It makes it difficult when reading threads like that that the people posting on it were talking about machines costing $1,000 to $2,000 and I'm talking about stuff costing £50.
    Maybe my best option is to wait a while and find a G4 PowerMac with lots more MHz to play with to come along on eBay at my kind of price.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  6. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    #6
    Steve - have you considered an all-in-one desktop computer rather than a tower plus monitor setup?

    For example, my specs show I have a tower G3, but because of the hassles of lumbering it and a monitor about, I've decided to leave it parked where it is, and have bought for portability a G3 600 MHz iMac for UK£65. Perhaps that might be better for you, even though you do have the Pismo for portability.
     
  7. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    Blackburn in North West England
    #7
    I have plenty of spare time right now so I'll give you the full answer.
    I HAVE considered some of the All-in-One systems. The eMac G4, The older Bondi type iMacs and the Snow version. I decided against them for reasons of space in the particular place that I want to use the Mac.
    The issue that you don't know about is that I'm disabled. My spine is totally Kerry Packered so on some days I'm fine and can get downstairs where the normal PC stuff is but on some days I'm confined to bed. One day isn't so bad 'cos I can catch up on my beauty sleep but sometimes it can stretch to 3 or even 4 days. That's one reason I got the laptop. A portable PC means it can go upstairs but I have to admit that more power would be better. For example, my Poker sites don't work well.
    The systems mentioned above may work but there is nowhere near my bed to put them. A tower, on the other hand, would just sit on the floor in a convenient location with the screen on a bedside table and the keyboard and mouse on my lap.
    It may not be everybody's cup of tea but it's better than twiddling my thumbs. :)
     
  8. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

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    #8
    ok, for the last time.......hopefully........

    G3's & G4's, in the underlying technical design & specs, are the same processors............the ONLY difference is the added Altivec registers and instruction set, and perhaps a few degrees in operating temps....

    IF, and only IF, you run apps that are optimized to take advantage of Altivec, then the G4 will perform better. Otherwise they will perform virtually the same.
     
  9. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Surfboxmasta .... We kinda agree'd on that already, lol

    On a similar sort of vein, would it also be true that a dual 450MHz will only be as fast as a single 450MHz when running just one programme BUT if there are 2 progs running, each will run twice as fast on the dual processor machine (roughly) 'cos each prog can use its own processor.
     
  10. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #10
    Not only that but system could be running on one core while an application uses another. So there will be a performance difference for even one demanding application, as it can have a whole core while the other is used by the system.
     
  11. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Trainguy .... Would that be an Apple *CORE*?

    OK, OK, I'll get my coat before I'm thrown out, lol
     
  12. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

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    #12
    Lot's of stuff uses Altivec.. pretty much everything in OSX that has to do with graphics or media, including pretty much every aspect of the OSX GUI, all the visual effects, and iTunes and Quicktime, etc. Yes, a G4 will run OSX considerably faster than a G3 at the same clock speed.

    Dual Cores will also help. It wasn't until 10.1 (I believe) that they fully implemented the addressing of both processors for single tasks. OSX after 10.1 will use both processors to their full capacity. So yes, dual G4 450s would produce performance approaching that of a single G4 at 900mhz even when running one app. Prior to 10.1, you had to install plugins for any apps (like photoshop) that would call on the second processor, otherwise it would just sit idle all day. After 10.1 it would spread the load just like today's intel dual cores.
     
  13. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #14
    OK, cancel some of the stuff I wrote in post #7 about not having room for an all-in-one type Mac. I just bought a bedside table with a larger surface area on top and an eMac. It's still old and slow, especially by today's standards but still twice as fast as my Pismo.
    The full specs of my new eMac (another eBay buy) are as follows ....

    Apple Emac 800Mmz (Generation 2)
    512MB Memory,
    40GB Hard Disk,
    CD drive,
    17" Screen, and a new compatible USB Optical Mouse, and USB Keyboard, running OSX

    I already have some 168 pin 512 mb RAM chips that I was going to sell on eBay so that will max out the RAM
    All for £80 delivered.
     
  14. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #15
    I had both (well, still have in a way) a 450mhz G3 iMac, and a 450mhz G4 Cube. And I can tell you from experience, the Cube feels a good bit faster than the iMac. Not twice the speed or anything, but certainly a huge improvement.
     
  15. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    Blackburn in North West England
    #16
    For my next trick, I need to make the eMac wireless. Memsahib won't allow ethernet cables running all over the house so some other kind of witchcraft will need to be employed.

    What's this "Airport" stuff all about?
    I have Airport in my Pismo and that works flawlessly when I want to go online with it. The eMac is supposed to be "Airport ready" as this quote from the specs shows ....
    This model has "built-in antennas and [a] card slot for [an] optional AirPort card".

    Does that mean that I can take the Airport card out of my Pismo and slot it in the eMac or do the 2 machines have different slots to accept different Airport cards?
    Ta muchly,
    Steve
     

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