Low end intel vs ppc

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by L Oquence, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. L Oquence macrumors regular

    L Oquence

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    #1
    Is there any reason to stay on powerpc at this point? Intel Macbook Pros from 06 are down to about $150. 06 Mac Pros can be found for <$300. Same era intel Minis and iMacs are super cheap too.

    High End G5's still can fetch $50-100 price points, high end powerbooks can be $70-100.

    Why would you go ppc with those prices? I'm content with my powerpc stuff and don't plan on upgrading but for those who might be buying their first low end mac...
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Location:
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    #2
    Staying with PowerPC is not a decision solely determined by economics. It's a decsion based on style and personal taste.

    I say this as I type this message from a "low end" 17" MBP.

    Coincidentally, my new replacement 17" 1.0Ghz PowerBook G4 is due to arrive today!
     
  3. L Oquence thread starter macrumors regular

    L Oquence

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    #3
    I know. For me personally I like my ppc machines, but for people who want a powerpc based on economics i just want to raise a point.
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    I have a first generation CoreDuo Mini due to be delivered today. I have a couple of C2D based Macs, but this will be my first CD.

    I think it will be interesting to compare to a late G5 or Powerbook. I actually find the last generation PPC computers to still be relatively useable. I can certainly get work done on even older G4 based machines, but the G5 and late PBs feel plenty snappy to me even in web browsing(provided that I stay away from flash-heavy or other bloated sites).

    This post typed from a 1.5ghz 12" PB G4.
     
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #5
    After playing around with the Mini with Snow Leopard for just a few minutes, my "gut" is that it's not as fast or responsive as a DLSD Powerbook.

    Of course, to offset that is the fact that the Mini can tear through Youtube with no trouble(I think probably more to the up-to-date mainstream browsers and current Flash support). The difference isn't huge, but as I said a DLSD definitely feels faster.

    I should also mention the fact that both of my DLSDs(the A1138 and A1139) have SSDs that will nearly saturate the ATA/100 bus under some conditions(I think that there is some overhead in the adapter that keeps it from completely saturating it). I'm going to throw an SSD in the Mini, which I expect will perk it up somewhat especially over the SATA 1 Bus.

    I wish that with all of the other revisions Apple did on the DLSD Powerbooks, they would have at least upgraded the hard drive interface to SATA(especially since they were already using it in the G5). Of course, from what I remember of the c. 2005/2006 laptop market, IDE HDDs were still pretty much par for the course with SATA not being mainstream for 2-3 more years.
     
  6. poiihy, Apr 15, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015

    poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #6
    I don't think anyone would buy a PowerPC Mac for serious work; only for fun. The only real good reason to get PowerPC Macs is looks, because the G4 & B&W G3 towers, G3 & G4 iMacs, and G3 iBooks look nice. Titanium PowerBooks also look special. The Aluminum Powerbooks, Snow white iBooks, G5 iMacs, and G5 Powermacs all look boring and simple, and look just like the early Intels that replaced them, so there is really no reason to buy these latest PowerPC other than the lower price. But the extra few tens of $$$ is probably worth it for an early intel versus a late powerpc.


    But I don't buy PowerPC Macs :p
     
  7. A.Goldberg, Apr 15, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    Jan 31, 2015
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    Boston
    #7
    I believe it all comes down to what you're doing with it. What are you looking to do with it?

    If you'll be using the internet a lot on it, I would suggest an Intel. Anything with Java or Flash becomes a pain- FaceBook, Youtube, eBay, news sites, etc. It's doable on PPC of course, but not enjoyable compared to Intel. If you're doing video editing, then obviously the faster processor will be better and it will handle higher quality video better. My G5 has difficulty playing higher resolution video. G4… forget about.

    If you're going to be doing something using native software (such as Photoshop, inDesign, etc), then a PPC is generally fine. Word processing, spreadsheets, etc work just fine.

    My suggestion generally is if you're looking for a primary computer Intel is the way to go because of how much we use the internet and the increased compatibility. After your basic needs are met, then a PPC is fun to toy around with. That said, there are some people here who only use PPC. It's doable for sure, but in my opinion not comfortable.

    The oldest Intel will run 10.7 I believe. If you have an Intel and need to run OS X PPC software, you're limited to 10.6 with Rosetta. The newest PPC (G5) will run 10.5. If you're looking to run Classic Mode (OS9), you're limited to 10.4. G4's can run 10.5 as well, but it's not always a great experience. In my experience 10.4 is more comfortable depending on the specs. 10.7 is much more compatible and advanced than 10.5 or 10.4.
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    I can't think of any reason to stay on PPC except native software, but even then, Rosetta does its job pretty well. So that pretty much leaves style and personal preference.
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    I mentioned this the other day, but I started out with the goal of writing my thesis on PowerPC hardware.

    As the size of the document and the number of citations grew, I found it increasingly more difficult to actually accomplish this. It was taking me 2-3 minutes per citation on my Quicksilver, and it's frankly time I don't have.

    I think that at the root of the issue is that I'm using two crummy pieces of software-Office 2008(specifically Word) and Endnote X4. I need XML compatibility to too great of an extent to use anything earlier than Office 2008, and I have to much past work in Endnote to consider switching to another citation management program.

    Even on my i5 MBP, it still takes Endnote about a minute to generate a citation, and I managed to crash Word(2011) twice within about two hours while working. As much as I'd love to keep using PPC for this, my time is too valuable right now to mess around with it.

    In general, though, I find that I can comfortably browse the internet(I don't do Facebook, and use Mactubes for Youtube videos) on a G4 or newer. I use a G5 daily at work(2.0 dual core), and it handles everything I need to do on it just fine. For lighter word processing, I'm content using Office X and even Office 2001 or Word Perfect 3.5E under OS 9. Even a G3 or 604E isn't that bad using OS 9 and Classilla.

    I'm not a gamer, but still enjoy playing a lot of the games I grew up with. For the ones never written for Macintosh, I use DOSbox on my MBP. Otherwise, however, where a Macintosh version exists, I play it natively in OS 9 on various G3 and G4 hardware. Honestly, I've found that one of the best gaming computer I have is my Clamshell iBook. I tend to keep disk images on the hard drive and mount them using Toast, which makes the games a lot more responsive than using the optical drive and also avoids having to switch disks(many 90s games required both installation on the hard drive and for the media to be inserted, and some had multiple disks that had to be changed at points in the program). I've found a lot of the stuff that I play to be more responsive on that than on newer or older hardware(interestingly enough, it's faster for some programs than even my 500mhz Pismo with 1gb of RAM). The only game where this really doesn't work-at least not without a numeric keypad-is Civilation II, where the numeric keypad is a virtual necessity. I play that on my iMac G3 :)
     
  10. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    May 27, 2013
    #10
    OS 9 says no. OS 9 also says more use it than people tend to think.
     
  11. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #11
    It has been about 5 years since I would recommend buying a PowerPC to "use" every day. Intel based Macs have been very cheap since 2009/10 and were already a better value for the money.

    Buying a PowerPC system now is all about being part of the collection. Buying something like an iMac G4 or a PowerMac G4 is done more by people who just haven't had one in the collection yet/buying a system they always wanted, or just fancy the design. Aside form that it could be specific hardware or software that only runs on a PPC. Anyone else who spends the money on a G5 or older system is misinformed or made a mistake.
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #12
    I have to disagree with a lot of this.

    I use a Quicksilver as my main design machine at home.

    The new 17" PowerBook I just dropped $69 on beats the pants off the 17" I got in late 2009 for more than double that price. And six years later, I now have cache again.

    Cheap depends on your economic bracket. We had to wait until we got our refund before $189 for a nine year old MBP was cheap enough. Know any good condition MBPs that you can drop less than $80 on?

    No, I have an MBP now because I see a certain need and use for it. And I stayed in the AlBook G4 style. But my PowerBooks and my QS are my main daily drivers - for work and play.
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #13
    I agree that for everyday use there's no competing with early Intel Macs, especially those new enough to have Core 2 Duo processors. You can still get work done on PPC using older software, and some people still do, but generally an Intel is worth the extra money because of the better performance and newer, more relevant software.

    For me PPCs have more of a hobbyist/collector's appeal. I enjoy the unique hardware design, and aqua look of Tiger/Leopard (since I'm running Yosemite on most of my Intels). I can occasionally use them for light tasks, and they do ok, but for daily use there's no substituting my modern Intel Macs.
     
  14. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Jul 25, 2008
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    Central US
    #14
    But when did you buy the QuickSilver? I'm not talking about ditching the PPCs you still own. Lots of us have PPCs that have been our workhorses for years that are more economical to continue using than to replace. My primary setup at home is a quad G5. I wouldn't buy another though when I can get a Mac Pro for the same price or cheaper. I still use my PowerBooks all the time, but I'm talking about somebody who is out to buy a computer to use everyday for their internet needs (what MOST home users are doing). If you're telling people to buy PowerBooks instead of MPB's and MacBooks, you're going to have some unhappy users coming back upset with the poor performance they're going to get. Be honest here, do you really believe that PowerBook is a better machine to use in 2015 than an Intel system? Just because you and I have the patience to deal with old G4s and G5s doesn't mean the masses do.

    As far as computers for $80, you might have me there. Can't say I've personally picked up an Intel Mac for less than $80. However, I'm using a 15" MBP Core Duo 2.16 that works beautifully with 2GB of RAM in grade B+ shape and it was $81 plus $15 shipping off eBay in 2013. Fact is ANYBODY would be a fool to spend $65-$80 on a PowerBook when you can buy a MacBook Pro for $100 that is 5x faster than any G4 portable. I'm talking about people who are buying a computer to use, not as an extra toy. The price argument just doesn't hold water anymore. Here are some Intel systems I've picked up over the last 2 years off eBay that are all working and in good condition.

    MacBook Pro 17" 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo - $167
    MacBook pro 15" 2.16 Core Duo - $96
    iMac 20" 2.4GHz 2008 C2D - $155.5
    Mac Mini 1.83 C2D 2007 - $85.15
    Mac Mini 1.83 C2D 2007 - 120.65

    So thats 5 systems under $170 with 2 of them capable of running Yosemite. If you look, you will find. There are deals like this all the time online, and even more available locally for many when businesses, schools, and individuals are unloading iMacs, MacBooks, and other older Intel systems.
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #15
    I bought the Quicksilver in late 2013. Because I had always wanted to max out a Mac I had always wanted. And in doing that it made it quite capable for the purpose I use it for, Graphic Design.

    And that's the same reason I have one working 17" A1013, on semi-working 17" A1013 and two more dead 17" PowerBooks. I like the 17" PB.

    So, while I do anticipate a need for an Intel Mac (which is why I got the 17" MBP) it isn't a need to use them on a daily basis.

    Sure. If people unfamiliar with a Mac are expecting performance from a PowerPC then they are in for a shock. But these Macs still perform the dutys I use them for quite well.

    I will say, however that I am growing quite fond of my Aluminum MBP and Snow Leopard. Having experienced Lion and above, Leopard/Snow Leopard are where I'm most comfortable (I use a Yosemite Mac Pro every day at work by the way).
     
  16. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    ladner cdn
    #16
    -I would find it rather hard to find a nice condition 2006 macbook for $150 in Cdn....Where a vnc powerbook can be had for $80-$100 (mine was $20 and still can't get over how good a deal I got)

    -I used to own a 2006 (2.0) Mac Book Pro....While the speed and being able to run snow leopard was nice,I didn't really find I was really gaining much just for the joy of say being able to watch utube in a browser (vs say MacTubes or YouView)...Also I found (at least with mine) it ran a fair amount hotter then any powerbook I ever owned,and this was even after cleaning and redoing thermal paste ect (something I redo with all my computers I buy)...In fact I also found the fans ran a lot more and rather annoying!

    -My 15" 1.5GHz PowerBook,1g ram (will ug to 2 soon) 80g ug 5400rpm hd,128 ug ati 9700 does every thing I need a Apple computer for. I find my tweaked Leopard,running all my favorite program's is great! The laptop almost never ramps up the heat (yes I redid the thermal paste ect on this one also) and the fan's are nice and quiet!

    -Yes I own lot's of different computer's (and change the mixture all the time...Apple's,PC's (Windows,Linux),Chromebooks/Boxes ect ....But find myself coming back to my PowerBook more often then not.
     
  17. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #17
    Exactly what I said earlier. You got a Mac you wanted for years and could finally get your hands on. Its part of the collection. Part of the reason I'll still grab a PPC once in a while myself. Sometimes that machine that was too expensive when new pops up for 1/10th the price and its impossible to pass up on a Mac you once drooled over. I hear you brother!
    Thats what the thread is about. This isn't "Can you still use a PPC" its about buying one computer vs another. It is a question of value for performance, not another "I've got an old computer, and it still works" thread.

    There are obviously several of us on here who have a fondness for our PPC systems, thats for sure. I still use and buy PowerPC systems, so I can relate to you and your PowerBooks & Quicksilver. They're neat old "top of the line" systems that are still functional and we've developed the patience it takes to use these things. We're collectors who accept the fact there are faster and better Macs out there, but still find joy in firing of that 14 year old system and doing what we do. The point I'm making here is Intel Macs have better software support from Apple and other developers. They are almost universally faster across the board (obviously late G5 Macs can out-muscle some of the early Core Solo and Duo systems) but all Intel portables are better, and all Intel iMacs and and Mini's are better than their G4 and G5 powered predecessors. So while i love my G3s and G4s, and truly believe the G5 was a chip that never really got the software support it needed to live up to its potential, I would not tell anyone who comes to me looking to buy a Mac for everyday use to pick a PPC over an Intel system. Rare exceptions could be made obviously, but performance for price is going to favor Intel in almost every situation.
     
  18. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #18
    I have a 1.6 C2D MacBook Air (second-gen) coming that I fear will clobber my 12" PowerBook G4 in terms of performance while also being thinner/lighter. What's interesting though is that while this machine is still supported by Yosemite it is actually out-performed by the late model G5s.

    I can't imagine Yosemite runs very well on it but I'll be sure to give it a try.
     
  19. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    Romania
    #19
    Exactly, Intel Macs are still much more expensive than the PPC ones. Especially in Europe where nobody gives away nothing for cheap.

    Four years ago I needed a laptop with a big screen for graphic design work. The most affordable option was a 17" PowerBook G4 (the last top of the line hi-res model). It still works well today and the main reason I replaced it with a rMBP was the short battery life. Of course the rMBP is much faster, but most of the time I'm doing things which do not require huge processing power. If that PB had a 6 or 7 hours battery life I would probably still use it daily.
     
  20. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    #20
    Oh I'm sure there is no hardware limitation that would stop something like the G5 Quad from running the latest versions of OS X. Apple merely wanted to kill the platform and supporting such uncommon models (late 2005 PM G5's) alone in a separate binary would be uneconomical.
     
  21. MattA macrumors 6502

    MattA

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    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #21
    In 2009, I replaced my Powermac G5 (1.6) with a Mac Mini. It's a C2D at 2.0Ghz with the Geforce 9400M.

    It ran circles around the G5 in every way.

    That said, I really miss my G5 these days. I really liked that machine. I liked it so much, I've thought about getting a used Mac Pro to replace my 2011 Mini in a year or two.
     
  22. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    Boston
    #22
    I've started seriously using my deceased brothers Mac Pro (see specs) as a secondary computer instead of my G5. The thing is a rocket ship. I ended up removing his hard drive and replaced it with a 240gb SSD in addition upgraded the RAM. I love the thing and it feels faster than my i5 rMBP. It's an older computer but it runs Yosemite without a hiccup. I highly reccomend it.

    My buddy has a MP 1,1 so he's limited to 10.7 but it too runs beautifully in 2015.
     
  23. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #23
    There are ways of getting Yosemite on those.
     
  24. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #24
    Don't think I could recommend a PPC to anybody looking for a "do-it-all" machine. This particular post is coming to you from my eMac, but I have to admit that my HP laptop with Windows 7 replaced my PowerBook G4 a month ago, and it is slowly starting to see the most use out of all my machines.

    Now, I haven't touched a G5 in quite a few years, so I can't vouch for their current capabilities one way or another; but I do believe that at least on the portable side of the equation, PPC is on it's very last leg for general usability. The desktops have a little ways to go still: my eMac is pretty long in the tooth, but generally still does what I ask it to do with little complaint, and I imagine the last PM G4 models and the G5's have even more life left in them yet.

    But to anyone looking for a computer to use as a main machine? Unless all they want to do is view photos, listen to music and check their email every so often, I simply cannot recommend a PPC. They may be capable of other tasks, but they will be blown out of the water by any machine made in the last couple years, and a much newer and much more supported PC can cost even less than some of these Macs go for.
     
  25. ziggy29, Apr 16, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015

    ziggy29 macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    If all I wanted was a Mac that ran faster, uses more recent and still supported software at a low price, yeah, I'd buy a cheap, early Intel Mac that at least runs Snow Leopard (but would prefer Mountain Lion).

    But I also want Macs that run earlier software, that can run in Classic or even boot into OS 9. THAT is where I use my Pismo and my Digital Audio (the former running Tiger, the latter running Leopard with an upgrade card). I love that my DA can boot natively into both Leopard 10.5.8 AND OS 9.2.2 (and into Tiger as well if I want to run OS X while using Classic mode). We have six Macs, three PPC and three Intel.

    My PPC Macs are not my everyday machines; my primary Mac is a 2012 Mini with a 2.6 GHz i7 and 16 GB of RAM. But all three of our PPC Macs have a place and a usage. And to me, geek that I am, it's just fun to rise to the challenge of making old technology useful even today when our throwaway culture tells us they should be useless! I still love my Pismo more than any other computer I've ever had, 15 years later. (We bought it when Apple was offering a "bounty" on PB 5300s and gave several hundred dollars off the price of a new Pismo.) I think from an engineering and customization point of view, it was the best laptop ever designed.
     

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