Processor speeds on Mac vs PC - newbie question

dscan99

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
137
0
Nashville, TN
I've been wondering about this ever since I started researching buying a Mac. Is a 1.33 GHz Mac processor really that much slower than a 3 GHz Pentium PC processor???????? Or is it that the Windows OS sucks up sooooo much power that you need the higher processing power as opposed to Mac OS X?? What's the reasoning behind this....

Curious..... Thanks! :)
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,752
130
Harrogate
Clockspeed is a really bad way of judging performance. Ask AMD! Their 2.4Ghz CPUs are faster than Intels 3.0 (and faster) CPUs. PowerPC processors have shorter pipelines so achieve more per clock cycle than an x86 processor. That said a 3.0Ghz PIV is almost certainly going to be faster that a 1.33Ghz G4.

The G4 will be plenty fast enough for most people though.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
dscan99 said:
I've been wondering about this ever since I started my reseraching buying a Mac. Is a 1.33 GHz Mac processor really that much slower than a 3 GHz Pentium PC processor????????
Define "that". Is it much slower? Yes. Is it less than half as fast? No. Can it be quantified? Not really.

dscan99 said:
Or is it that the Windows OS sucks up sooooo much power that you need the higher processing power as opposed to Mac OS X?? What's the reasoning behind this....

Curious..... Thanks! :)
I don't think Windows is that CPU hungry - but there are couple of things to bear in mind. One is the unnecessary services that are on by default. The first thing I do with a new PC and after re-installing Windows is to disable the unnecessary services - especially the disk indexing service. Another is you have to spend far too much time nursing it along to keep it working.

So, speed isn't everything. In the past week I've spent two full days trying to get SP2 installed on my Dell desktop. Each time I think it worked, something eventually failed (last time was networking stopped totally). I guess it's just incompatible with my machine. At one point I couldn't even remove SP2 in Safe Mode. In the end I just gave up, and I'm staying with SP1 with all the latest updates. My wife suspects I did that all deliberately, to justify getting a Mac.

That's two days I'll never get back. In the past I've enjoyed tinkering with computers, but Windows stopped being fun a long time ago. Right now, I want and need something that willl just work.
 

ewinemiller

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2001
445
0
west of Philly
Yes a 1.33 ghz G4 is a lot slower than a 3 ghz P4, anyone who tells you otherwise is seriously deluded. If you're rendering 3D graphics or playing your favorite FPS game it is quite obvious, but for your average user (mail, surfing, wordprocessing, listening to music) 1.33 ghz is fast enough. Actually anything built in the last 6 years is probably fast enough.

Additionally there are some things that just are nicer to do on the Mac. I have PC workstation that is easily 4x the speed of my fastest Mac, but when it comes time to make a new video of the kids for Grandma, I turn on the Mac even though it is slow because the tools on it make ME fast.
 
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