Please Help! [CPU comparison: G4 vs. Intels]

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Feanor2004, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Feanor2004 macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2004
    I've decided to switch to Apple from PC and one thing that I can't understand that powerfull of Moto's PowerPC g4.
    I think I'd go with iBook, so can somebody compare PPC G4 in iBook (L2 256kb) to centrino ones, Pentuim 4 and Pentium 4 mobile
    Thanks for attention
  2. vwcruisn macrumors regular

    May 7, 2003
    Santa Monica, Ca
    what are you going to be using the computer for?
  3. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Good luck! Unfortunately, I don't know anything about processors. You still came to the right place though.

    Just for future refrences, try to title your threads a little more descriptively. A lot of the subjects in here can fall under the "Please help" category. The better the title, the more reads and responses you'll get.
  4. Feanor2004 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2004
    I'll need it for simple tasks: Interenet, mp3 converting, gaming...
    Just wanna know for what I'd pay money ( compare with prices on PC laptops).
  5. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
  6. Feanor2004 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2004
    Really I'm not a gamer so it's not an important issue...
    Just want to show me the comparison of PPC G4 to some kind of Intel MObile processors. If it's possible?.:rolleyes:
  7. latergator116 macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2003
    Providence, RI
    It isnt exactly simple comparing two totally different processors, but for what you are doing, thr iBook will be fine. Comparable to a similar priced pc
  8. Feanor2004 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2004
    Maybe it's possible to give a rough estimate?... couse I'm finaly lost in these nombers :confused:
  9. jazzman45 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2003
    lawrence, ks
    yeah, it's hard to say really.

    on my 867 mhz G4 powerbook, it can do stuff i would never imagine doing on a PC.

    My own testimonial:
    I was working with adobe indesign, photoshop, safari (web browser), word, mail, and itunes for about 6 hours straight for a school project. During this time i was playing mp3s and not once did any of them skip or mess up at all...let alone any crash from any program.

    It's hard to determine because apple hardware works very well under high-load. For example, if i ever need to, the same computer can run two 1024x768 monitors, burn a CD, play a dvd (external writer), and write to an external hard drive. Your mouse might get a little jerky, but the video plays smooth and your data is safe.

    there's my 2 cents.
  10. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2003
    Re: Please Help!

    its not that simple. youd be better off comparing two complete systems as opposed to processors.

    as a pc user, id have to say that any computer built after 1997 will do for internet, word, mp3; except for gaming, for which id get a pc for.

    but if you like an ibook, get it.

    its just a computer, only as good as its user
  11. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2003
    not to pick on you, but ive run autocad2k, viz4, pshop 7 on a pentium 3 800 512mb on a regular basis.

    and im talking surfing (which i dont really consider an app) while rendering, 3d-ing acad, and manipulating in ps7, switching constantly between appz as the workflow demands

    and this was 2-3 years ago

    and no, no crashes. im sure im not the exception.

    win95 and 98 were highly unstable, about the same as system 8 or whatever it was in 93-95, but win 2k is really good.

    going back to the original post, a g4 is roughly equivalent to a pentium 3 at the same clock speed. <running for cover>
  12. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    iBook G4 versus Centrino notebooks

    Take a look at It compares the 1.25GHz 15" AlBook and the 1.33GHz 17" AlBook to a collection of Centrino and Pentium4M notebooks. The news isn't good, I'm afraid. Even a 1.3GHz Centrino notebook will render scenes in Cinebench 2003 significantly faster than the 1.33GHz G4 17" PowerBook. The situtation with an 800MHz G4 iBook will obviously be worse.

    While the UT2003 botmatch and Cinebench tests that Barefeats ran aren't conclusive by any stretch of the imagination, I think they are indicative of a wider trend...Intel Pentium M (aka: Centrino) notebooks are generally faster than PowerBooks, and certainly much faster than iBooks. I recently purchased a 1GHz 12" PowerBook to replace my 2-year old 1GHz Pentium III Dell Inspiron. I love the PowerBook, but at best it feels about 'as fast' as the Dell did running Mandrake Linux. I primarily use my machines for software development, plus the usual web, e-mail, digital photos and a bit of gaming.

    The G4 PowerBooks and iBooks are really nice portable machines, no doubt. But don't buy one believing that it will be an all-conquering speed demon, crushing all Centrino notebooks in its path, because it simply won't. Look instead at the build quality, the attention to detail, the excellent industrial design, and the tight integration betweeen hardware and operating system. This is where Apple notebooks are generally superior to many PC notebooks.

    If you do decide to order your iBook, make sure you fill it up with as much RAM as you can fit in it (640MB I believe). OS X is RAM hungry. Even my 1.6GHz G5 system performed relatively poorly with the stock 256MB RAM, until I bumped it up to 1.25GB RAM.
  13. zyuzin4 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Eugene, OR
    My G3 700mhz ibook runs laps around my 1000mhz mobile Athlon. I actually didn't even think about the actual clock speed fully until reading this thread. I got the ibook to replace the peecee and the difference is amazing. Of course we all know that these two different worlds are awfully hard to compare
  14. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    Re: iBook G4 versus Centrino notebooks

    Macworld (December issue) did a PC to Mac comparison and they used two MPEG encoding programs on the PC compared to the Apple supplied one on the three Mac's. The Apple was the victor. The three Mac's were two G5's, one single and one dual and a dual G4. The PC's were recent as well including an Opteron.

    What's the point, forget benchmarks; look at the real world. I am sure the Apple software had better code, which resulted in the better numbers. MP3 encoding the PC's won.
  15. Felix_the_Mac macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2003

    Without judging the accuracy of the comparison I would like to remind people that the Pentium 3 is faster than the Pentium 4 at a given clock speed.

    My personal estimate of the speed of my 1.25GHz Alumimium PowerBook is that it is equivalent to 1.8GHz P4.

    However, the speed issue is not so easy to judge because of Altivec in the PPC which allows the processor to punch above it's weight when using applications which are written to take advantage of it.

    I use my PB for the normal things: Web, iPhoto, Music, programming and speed is not an issue.

    The only application I would like to run faster is MS Virtual PC! (which I use for MS Excel and Autoroute ... Advice to readers: I suggest that when purchasing your Mac you take advantage of the discounts available on MS Office vX for Mac)
  16. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    Not any more. When the original P4s came out, yes, but once the Northwood core and the 533mhz bus were introduced the P4s caught up. It may be a "depends on what you do" kind of thing, but I find that when rendering in Carrara, my P4 2.26 is slightly more than 3x as fast as my P3 800. For comparison, my G4 800 runs about 5% faster than the P3. The story changes slightly if you're used to a tualatin (sp?) core P3, the bigger cache gives it about a 10% boost over the coppermine P3s.

    My 2 year old PIII 1ghz laptop gets the exact same render speed in Cinebench as the 1.25 ghz 15" powerbook. Now it gets spanked in all the OpenGL stuff, but at the time a geforce2 go was the top of the line video for a laptop, the powerbook has a signficant advantage there.

    Overall, for the things I do (rendering in Carrara), P3s, P4s, and G4s will give you similiar performace clock for clock within about 10%. Unless something is heavily optimized for Altivec and does not use SSE, you probably won't notice a significant difference between them if they were all the same clockspeed. Your mileage may vary depending on the things you do.
  17. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    The P4 never caught up. If you had a Pentium III at 3.2GHz, it would be faster at integer tasks then the Pentium 4. Floating point the Pentium 4 would be faster. The Pentium 4 uses it higher clock rate to overcome its inefficiencies.
  18. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2002
    I'm, by far, not a chip expert either, but the G4 has its limitations. The chip wouldn't be so bad if it actually worked on a good system bus. The G4 1.33GHz machine (17" PB) runs on a 133MHz bus (maybe 166, not sure).
    The P4s and Centrinos run on a higher bus.

    Now, once the heat issues are worked out on the G5s, expect these guys to match and/or crush any Intel offering of P4s or Centrinos.

    Quite honestly, and this is also opinion, I believe that the G5 is simply what the G4 should have been. It is, essentially, IBM's version of a G4.

    I tend to think that the G6, whenever that debuts, will be a phenomenal chip that will destroy the G5.

    Ok, enough of my tangent....

    The G4 is good for what it does (I have the 12" PB, 1GHz) but yes, I can feel its limitations. And, no, I would not trade it for any Wintel counterpart. :)
  19. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    Some people put way too much faith into the bus. You could have a 12-lane expressway, but if it was in the middle of nowhere, it would never really be used.

    Take these two chips for example. A Pentium 3.2 GHz Extreme Edition gets an integer score of 1503 and a FP score of 1494. The non-Extreme Edition gets a 1249 and 1267. These two chips have a 533MHz bus. Compare that to an UltraSPARC III at 1.2GHz from Sun, which has a 150MHz bus. It gets 722 and 1118. Pretty respectable numbers when you look at the difference in the bus speed. Sun also has a separate memory bus for the chip compared to the interconnect.

    In terms of MPEG-2 encoding, the G4 beats the newest x86 processors, 32 and 64-bit.
  20. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    Here is the feature you never heard about in a iBook: it will survive a drop from the desk! iBook are very strong and child resistant. This may seem like a small factor but you just have to drop a dell laptop one time to understand its importance. And unless you are never moving your ibook or never use it in the bus-plane-café, it WILL happen!

    Also, dont listen to what people say about speed. Unless you are playing 3D games or doing video-sound editing, computer speed is mostly irrelevant. The need for faster computer is a myth invented by computer manufacturer to buy new machines. 99% of the users could do the exact same work they are doing today with a computer 3 years old (or even older). Macs have a life expectancy of about 2-3 times longer than the PC: no P2 can use Windows XP in a decent way while a 5-6 years old mac can use OSX without much problem.

    Just telling you all this to show that there is more in buying a computer than its speed...

    If you are still unsure, go to a mac shop and play with OSX for a while and see how well integrated the apps are (ilife, itunes, etc..)

    Finaly, buy a computer for what you need, not for what you think you need or even worst for what the seller says you need. The new iBooks are terrific values, just make sure to get an airport card so you can connect to the net from anywhere.
  21. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    I keep seeing people say this and it's simply not true. I've got XP running on a dual 266 PII, no problems. It's from mid-1997, nearly 6 1/2 years old. For a while we even had it running with one of the CPUs out, so just a single 266. We've also got it running on stacks of PII-366 laptops that I think we bought in 98, again no problems. On the other hand I sold my bondi blue from the same era because it was intolerably slow running OSX.

    To imply that Macs have some magical lifespan advantage over PCs is FUD. A decent video card and enough RAM can extend the lifespace of machine for a long time on both sides. The old PIIs had plenty of RAM and the dual got a new video card last year for about $30 when the old voodoo3 died. Unfortunately while the bondi could take 256meg, it's video card was crap so couldn't keep up. If it had been a desktop that could be upgraded, a G3-233 would probably still be in use around here too.
  22. lbodnar macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2004
    Dell laptops

    Glad that you've noticed Dell, Mantat!

    We have about 30 Dell Lattitude C640 laptops. Almost half of them have developed problems with a trackpad (cursor moves on its own). The best we can do is to disable them and give users USB mice. We had two dead on arrival. Three dead batteries. One faulty modem. Three failed LCD screens.

    We have a corporate agreement with Dell with next day onsite support but were unable to get one of them serviced for a YEAR. And this is UK! Dell support typically wants you to take the whole PC apart and swap parts with another one before they "diagnose" a problem and then it would take a month to get a technician to visit us. We simply gave up. I really feel sorry for houshold Dell buyers!

    You have to hold one in your hands to judge build "quality". Go figure!

    I have no prejudice against PCs but if you go for one get at least Toshiba. They last for 3-5 years and the only problem is normally screws getting loose.
  23. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    You are comparing totaly diferent computer!!! The mac you describe is a consummer product while the dual P2 surely isnt...

    I tried to put win xp on a p2 300mhz and its crawling even with 512 meg of ram. Maybe its the video card, I would have to check it out...

    Even with your exemple, I still believe that the mac as a longer life out of the box.

    ----edited part to react to lbodnar ------

    IBM also make good laptop (I am using one at work right now) but they are MUCH more expensive (by 1k+) than iBook and heavier.

    In my mind, if you only need a laptop for internet work, office and small programming, the iBook is the perfect computer. I own a 12" revB and if the iBook offering at the time was the current one, I would have taken the iBook and put all the saved money to get airport and external HD.
  24. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2002
    Yes, yes, and that's why I'm glad you answered. I don't claim to be a chips expert, and I certainly don't knock Macs (I ONLY use PCs at work), but I do know that the G4s are somewhat lacking. Yes, they do have their strength in multimedia stuff, but sometime next year, I'll have my dual G5s and have more power than any 1 human will know what to do with, including me. :D
  25. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    You could say the P4 is lacking as well. The G4 can beat the Pentium 4 in some areas and the P4 beats the G4 in some areas. When Intel was still below 3GHz, the US III could best the Pentium 4 in some tests while the P4 could beat the US III on others. There are many different microprocessors on the market and most of them have a niche in what they do best and there is not one single processor that can do everything the best and there never will be. If you want a processor that will beat a P4 or P5 or whatever Intel comes out with in all cases, you will be waiting for a longtime.

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