Which do you think would be faster?

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by DakotaGuy, Apr 8, 2002.


Which would be faster if all other specs were the same?

  1. Of course the 1 GHz G3...come on it's running at the same speed as Apple's best PowerMac!

    27 vote(s)
  2. The 550Mhz G4, because Alti-Vec makes up for the 450Mhz.

    11 vote(s)
  3. Apple will never build an entry level machine that uses either of the processors, so who the heck ca

    3 vote(s)
  4. I would rather have a Celeron then a G3 or G4...

    2 vote(s)
  1. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    I noticed on the thread about Apple's entry level computer some argue that it should be a lower powered G4, somewhere around 550MHz and others say it should be a G3 running at 1Ghz. If you had the choice which would you rather have and which do you think would be a quicker entry level machine? Discussion?
  2. Buggy macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2001
    I would probably prefer the G4 because of what I use a computer for...

    Video and graphics

    But then I wouldn't buy an entry level Mac.

    So for the entry type person that is going to buy and entry level mac the G3 is the better choice.
  3. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I said G4 550Mhz in that thread as a cost reason, as I'd presume that those chips will be getting cheaper over the coming months with new G4's been released.....

    My ideal target performance wise would be a 667Mhz to 733Mhz G4, I think this would be an excellent entry point to the Mac World.....

    I think that a G4 running at 733Mhz depending on bus type and other variables, I would expect a G4 to slightly edge out the 1Ghz G3...... in OSX as it's all Altivec'd......

    It'd make an interesting test though!!
  4. sturm375 macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2002
    Bakersfield, CA
    I would choose the 1 Ghz because except for a few applications, none of which I use, the altvec engine doesn't help. So in general computing, the G3 would be better, also we should get it for less money thant a G4.
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    I didn't vote.

    You forgot to put in 'It depends what application you're running?'

    That would be my vote.

    If it was just OS? Well I might say the G4 - but I agree for cost reasons and more, that won't be in an entry level machine for a while. You're talking about making the difference between the top and low end 450Mhz, this would need to change or see the arrival of the next version of processor.
  6. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    I agree with dukestreet...

    it does matter...to a degree....what u are using the system for...

    but for a generalization....I chose the G4 :p
  7. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    Re: I agree with dukestreet...

    Me too...but I chose the 1 GHz G3 because the majority of apps aren't Altivec aware...
    So there! :p
  8. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    This gets a little long...but this is going to cover options and G3 vs. G4 for a cheap model line computer.

    Let me respond to three specific issues on G3 vs. G4: Cost, consumption, and overall performance.

    I: Cost
    Originally, when the PowerMac G4 first arrived at 500MHz with DVD-RAM Apple had it priced at $3500. Don't forget that you had a separate monitor to buy that would jack up the price to nearly $4000 or more, easily.

    Even as Apple progressed to a dual processor 500MHz G4 the price was up to $3500 w/o a monitor. Apple did manage to jump a full 233MHz, the largest top-model update of a G4, up to April 2002. The new Macs supported no dual processor, but because of Apple's incredible speed increase, the use of Superdrive and the type of chip it was using, Apple had no choice but to maintain the prices of their Pro-line Macs at $3500. Apple's dual processor model only rose by 67MHz, while maintaining the same type of chip and the Superdrive.

    To make matters worse, Apple's monitors now consisted of only LCD displays, with a low of $600 and a more common 17" at $1000. Apple only lowered the prices on their Pro-line PowerMacs because consumers were unwilling to pay $4500 for a high end computer system.

    As for portables, the cheapest portable fast G4 you can get still is more than $2000. For a top of the line portable, people aren?t going to want to shell out $3000 just for a fast portable. And as for the conversion of Powerbook G3 to G4 the prices and speeds were the same, but over a time period. In that period, the prices of G3s must have dropped, because so were prices on G3 Powerbooks back then.

    On the argument of the G3, Apple has overall kept the price of G3 components as low as possible, except for the Powerbook G3s, upon debut of each line of model. The prices of the iBooks maxed out at approx. $1800, and Apple never sold the iMacs beyond $1500, to the best of my knowledge. With the Apple iBooks Apple has managed to keep prices, again, below $1800 for their high end G3 portable.

    Winner: G3

    II: Consumption
    If Apple were to make a low end computer, Apple would have to use the cheap, low power 7400 or 7410 chips Apple used to use in their PowerMacs up to AGP Graphics. The 7450 chips Apple used in their old Macs provided a conformable amount of energy.

    However, in a much noticed argument about the Rev. A and B Powerbook G4s the 7400 and 7410 chip, respectively, throws off a tremendous amount of heat, resulting in either melted internal circuitry, or other damage.

    On a personal note, my father told me that Apple attempted to make a leather case G4 for the Powerbook, but the case melted.

    In supporting the G3, Apple has even kept complaints about a fast G3 to a minimum. Apple even went as far as removing the fans from their early G3 CRT iMacs, because the computer was kept from being so hot.

    Again, on a personal note, I have the iBook Firewire 466MHz. Even after 100 minutes of watching a DVD the iBook stays moderately warm, but not overly hot. If it were, the bed cushions I was watching the movie on would have caught fire, or would have started burning.

    Winner: G3

    III: Overall Performance
    What really affects performance among the G3 and G4 families is the operating system and the system bus.

    Mac OS X is a prime example on how the system software affects the chip performance. When Apple came out with their G3 at even 450MHz and compared that to tests with a G4 at around the same speeds, there was little difference, because of the way the operating system handled G4s. The operating system was OS 9, and it worked as a 32 or 64-bit processor integrator as a software and computer operation package. Also, under OS 9, dual processors only managed to work 3% faster than a single processor, because OS 9 failed to integrate instructions among the processors. Now, since OS X comes installed on all of Apple's new computers, OS X can take advantage of the G4 Velocity engine AND dual processors. However, since dual processors completely take away the purpose of a cheap computer, we will use just one chip.

    Finally, tests with many other applications show the integration of the velocity engine. Photoshop, most 3D programs, and iTunes have support for the G4 V. Engine.

    However, in argument for the G3, a supermajority of current Applications do not support the Velocity Engine. And without that, the G4 would have the same processing power as a G3

    Winner: Tie.

    On the basis of three arguments, we see that the G3 seems to have a better advantage over the G4 on price and on energy consumption. Speed is rather important, but having a low-end model for the consumer and education market is better.

    As for options, there are other things in a computer that would drop the price of it dramatically.

    (1) Optical drive. A simple 24x CD-ROM or slow CD-RW will do fine.
    (2) RAM. Apply at least 256MB into this model.
    (3) Hard Drive. For a desktop computer a 20GB should be more than enough. (I have a 30GB Hard Drive and after lots of image editing and large files downloading, I still have 23GB left.
    (4) Monitor. Since the prices of LCD monitors are extremely high, along with the fact that you can find 17? CRTs for less than $200 a 17? Flat CRT will do very well.
    (5) Style. I would not be the one to judge exactly how the style of this low-end computer should be designed. I would suggest that for ease of use, an all-in-one with a bottom base and a top monitor will be acceptable.
    (6) Bus speed. I suggest a minimum of 133MHz.
    (7) Processor speed. Apple?s prices on G3s are cheaper than the G4, as previously discussed. I suggest that Apple inserts the fastest G3 available, possibly, 800MHz.

    There are probably more options for computers and styles than I can list. But, currently, this is how I feel Apple should go about making a computer to fit these categories. And upon the basis of a fast G3 Apple will not only keep their low-end design at low cost, but also to maintain the maximum efficiency of their processor.

    I would like to cite Page, Ian for his program Mactracker, and an old issue of MacZone, to use as a reference for this post.

    In the time it takes to read this message, an Apple computer will already have performed 15 billion float-point operations more than a consumer PC.
  9. britboy macrumors 68030


    Nov 4, 2001
    Kent, UK
    king cobra, are you jef's replacement for the long posts? :p
  10. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    My biggest problem with the statements made regarding the price of the G4 PowerBook is that *everybody's* top end notebook is in the $3,000 to $4,500 range... Even second-tier machines like WinBook hit the $3,500 mark when you put respectable amounts of RAM and Hard Drive in them. What's left to compare? Junk like Sager? The disposable consumer models from Dell and Compaq? You do Apple and yourselves a grave disservice when you compare Apple's portables with the Latitudes, Pavillions, and Presarios out there. They're junk. They're MEANT to be junk. No respectable corporation uses them, and there are reasons for that.
  11. sjs macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2002
    For the 90+% of people who do email, internet, word processing, checkbook, iTunes and iPhoto: a seriously fast G3 is superior to a G4 of same clock speed because the apps don't benefit from G4 . G3 is cheaper.

    To understand how G4 with altivec works refer to this site: (Test will follow)

  12. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The 1GHz G3...

    ...supports a 200MHz bus which would give it a speed advantage (although I don't think a 550MHz G4 could keep up anyway). Also, the 800MHz G3 uses only 3.6 watts of power, so I'd guess the 1GHz one uses 4-5 which is much less than the G4. So, basically the G3 is faster, more power efficient, and cheaper.
  13. Beej macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2002
    Buffy's bedroom
    I could write a really long post here, but I'll just give a one word answer:


  14. mac15 macrumors 68040

    Dec 29, 2001
    I'd have the G3 for email and internet and that but when I crank out photoshop I would go the G4
    But its hard because we don't know hoe fast the 1ghz G3 is yet
  15. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia

    i voted for the 550MHz G4. most of the stuff i do is 3D and Graphics stuff. a 1GHz G3 might be pretty good, but until i see it i'll stick with the G4.
  16. Buggy macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2001
    King Cobra:

    non computer info: Leather doesn't melt. It burns.

  17. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    iTunes directly uses Alti-vec and iPhoto benefits indirectly thru OS X Alti-vec enhanced Quartz rendering system. Other than that, most programs don't use Altivec.

    The main point that I keep on pumping out is that a G4 is required for DVD encoding, which is one of Apple's main focuses right now. No G4, no SuperDrive. IBM's Sahara G3 will never be used in a Mac (my opinion).
  18. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I'd still go for the G4 although preferred speed would be in the 600 to 700Mhz speed.....

    Now that OSX is default the G4 even at low speeds is still a very, very fast chip...... With OSX optimized for the G4 it makes it faster still..... and with iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD all enhanced for the OSX/G4, again the speed is most dandy......

    Alot of the main software on the Mac is enhanced for Altivec, particularly the creative and digital media packages (the macs single biggest market)......

    A 1 Ghz G3, would be quite speedy I expect, but also still quite expensive as they aren't currently available in bulk (or indeed at all... though I'm not sure there)

    With such power demanding :p tasks as emailing, browsing or word processing, there would be hardly any difference in speed between the two chips, as these tasks aren't exactly taxing on the processor......

    I also really believe that alot of people are underestimating the use of 90% of mac users needs....... I don't think people blow X amounts of $ just to email or word process, and now that Apple have released the digital hub software, I think the needs of low end users are beginning to get ever more complex, they use them to manage their photo content, or encode audio, etc etc. and now as OSX is the default OS, the G4 really shines here when the number crunching gets alittle more demanding!!!

    If the system spec variables were the same, i.e same bus speed, same RAM, same graphics etc. a G4 at 600 to 700Mhz running Apples default OSX, I'll stick my neck out here and say it would cane the G3 running at 1Ghz at the same specs in OSX.........

    I'd love to see Apples range all shift over to G4's and then have the Pro-sumer models switch to G5's when the G5 is released!!! There is still alot of potential in the G4 chip for consumer models maybe as high as 1.4Ghz...... the G4 running at the same speed as the G3 is a superior chip, and runs Apples current default OS far better.......

    As Steve Jobs has said...... OSX needs the G4.........
  19. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    Will a SuperDrive even fit into an iBook case?
  20. ejm625 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2002
    Apple is done with the G3. Good old Steve said it himself. However the speed tests on the early G4's were pathetic. They lacked a decent front and backside catch. If a low-end machine was made it'll be at the 800Mhz range (with all other models increasing accordingly).
  21. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    i think that soon there will be no place for G3's. Alti-Vec is going to be used in alot of things. if it isn't there won't be as much use for Macs, because speed will be the only consideration, and PC's will always win.
  22. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Not yet, but very soon!

    Right now, the SuperDrive won't fit. But there were rumors that Panasonic was demo'ing a notebook sized, tray loading SuperDrive to Apple during MWTokyo (not quite sure that I have the details).

    But rest assured, the SuperDrive in laptops is coming, and Apple better have a G4 in both their laptops when it's ready.
  23. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    i have heard rumors of a superdrive being in the next TiBook update. is this possible, are there any superdrives that are actually made and suitable for a TiBook?
  24. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    The painfully obvious answer is that a 1ghz G3 is 1ghz! :D

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