Need help understanding processors

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by wolftrack7, May 11, 2008.

  1. wolftrack7 macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2008
    I am going to purchase a used laptop but am not sure what processor I need. On the ebay search it list, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, PowerPCG3 and PowerPCG4. I do understand that the latest is the Intel Core 2 Duo. What I do not understand is what difference I will see in each one. When some one says that one is fast than the other, does that mean on the internet when downloading or is that referring to large photos that I am using off the net?

    I intend to use iphoto quite a bit, so I will have some large photo files.

    Thanks in advance for any information that can help me.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Intel Core 2 Duo > Intel Core Duo > PowerPC G4 > PowerPC G3

    Donwloading speeds have nothing to do with your processor. Manipulating videos and photographs, however, are very processor intensive. Apple has now dropped support completely for the G3 processor.

    The Core 2 Duo is about 10-15% faster than the Core Duo at the same clock speed. The Core Duo is about 100%+ faster than the G4 at the same clock speed.

    Here's a comparison using the mini:
  3. wolftrack7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2008
    Thanks! That helps quite a bit. I guess it is worth the money to always go with the newer technology rather than try to save a buck.
  4. matt90 macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Los Alamos, New Mexico (Atomic City)
    Keep in mind that they're coming up with faster processors practically every day. I heard somewhere that processor speed doubles avery three years. In that case, I would buy a new processor every third year and not waste money on every new update.
  5. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    You mean like just being around you heard this?

    Not really a hushed rumor, but the lay of the land. :confused:
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Well according to Moore's Law it doubles every two years. Amazingly enough so do software requirements. Mainly by bloated and lazy programming not superior function.

    Like in 2001 I could easily run a 320x240 quicktime video on a 233mhz G3 running Mac OS X. Then fastforward to today that same video impregnated in a website as a Flash video and an 800mhz G4 will studder the video and bring use up 100% of the CPU. Progress:confused:

    To the OP yes it is definitely better just to get the newer technology. If you want the best bang for your buck I would buy from the Apples refurbished store. Generally with used Apples you do not get the same CPU to cash ratio as with refurb or new.
  7. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    I think you misunderstand Moores Law: it states that the number of transistors doubles every 2 years, not doubling in speed every 2 years. They are not the same thing.
  8. matt90 macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Los Alamos, New Mexico (Atomic City)
    Okay, I was wrong. It's every two years. I was just too lazy to verify what I said beforehand. Sorry.

    And the number of transistors is generally closely enough related to processor speed that it's okay to say that processor speed is doubling. Isn't it? (again, I should probably check my facts)
  9. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    No, clock speeds have hit a wall because of the heat generated. So now they are putting multiple cores, and you'll only see a significant speedup for applications that can be multithreaded.
  10. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2005
    Go for the Core 2 Duo - along with performance improvements, the power consumption has reduced considerably with newer processors (this means better battery life with better performance for laptops). Plus you can also be sure that Leopard and the next version of Mac OS X (and probably the one after) will work on it..if you do retain the Mac for a long time.
  11. wolftrack7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2008
    Thanks for all the help here. I sure appreciate it. I will follow your advice Wiseguy27 and get the core 2 duo.

    Thanks again!

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