Which is faster? G4 w/1 GB RAM, or G5 w/512 MB RAM?

Gary King

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 14, 2004
495
1
Which is faster? G4 w/1 GB RAM, or G5 w/512 MB RAM?

I suppose the G4? I'm unsure though. I mean, what's the difference between a G4 and a G5? How much difference? Is it like a P3 and P4? If so, then it isn't really THAT huge. I'd think a RAM upgrade would be better?
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
6,943
3
Citizens Bank Park
Depends on what you are doing. For processor intensive things, the G5 will probably be better. When working with large files, the G4 with more ram will probably be better. Mail, Safari, Word, Excel, Pages, iChat etc, will be about that same (unless they are all open at once, then I'd go with the G4 and more ram). Give us some examples of what you want to do and you'll get a better answer.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
grapes911 said:
Depends on what you are doing. For processor intensive things, the G5 will probably be better. When working with large files, the G4 with more ram will probably be better. Mail, Safari, Word, Excel, Pages, iChat etc, will be about that same (unless they are all open at once, then I'd go with the G4 and more ram). Give us some examples of what you want to do and you'll get a better answer.
512MB of RAM these days is no more than 50 bucks. Go with the G5 and upgrade if at all possible.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
The 1GB RAM sticks seems to have dropped in price to the sweet price point of around $120 dollars. I'll be picking up a pair once they go under $100.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
The question is impossible to answer as posed.

If you have software that requires more than 512 Mb RAM, it may be slow on the G5/512 and run adequately on the G4/1Gb

However, if the OS and software can run within 512 Mb RAM, the G5 in most cases will be faster at the same clock speed. If the code is written to take advantage of the G5, it can be much faster.
http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn/tn2087.html

But: You don't have any desktop Macs with G5 and a G4 running at the same clock speed, so there is no real-world equivalent.

You've just bought the Mini -- are you thinking of trading in for an iMac G5? There is no option to upgrade the CPU in the Mini.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,071
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Yahooville S.C.
1.6 G4s can be purchased and we have the 1.6 G5 Powermacs. I bet the G4 gives it hell. :cool: a 1.6 G4 with Geforce3 in a wind tunnel(MDD) vs 1.6 G5 Fx5200 space heater would be a good match up. :D
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Dont Hurt Me said:
1.6 G4s can be purchased and we have the 1.6 G5 Powermacs. I bet the G4 gives it hell. :cool: a 1.6 G4 with Geforce3 in a wind tunnel(MDD) vs 1.6 G5 Fx5200 space heater would be a good match up. :D
A G4 with a third party CPU isn't the same -- it's either an overclocked CPU, or it's a Freescale CPU with no cache.
 

R.Youden

macrumors 68020
Apr 1, 2005
2,095
40
I have seen some one with a DP 1.42Ghz G4 (similar to mine) with 2GB RAM, a raptor HD and a 128MB Graphics card and it is seriously fast. I think they are also putting a dual layer DVD drive in. Only the real top of the range G5's frsh out the box will be better than this.

Hopefully I will get a set-up near that one day.
 

Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
1,071
0
Georgia
Slightly different question, but does anyone have any experience running Virtual PC 7 on a PowerBook G4 at 512 MB RAM and then upgrading to a 1 GB of RAM? Is the difference noticeable?
 

carlos700

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2004
263
35
Omaha, NE
Lacero said:
The 1GB RAM sticks seems to have dropped in price to the sweet price point of around $120 dollars. I'll be picking up a pair once they go under $100.
Your wait has ended. 1GB DDR sticks now $80 at NewEgg.com
512MB sticks now $34 at NewEgg.com

Works in Mac mini, eMac, iMac, Power Mac, and Xserve
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
Gary King said:
Which is faster? G4 w/1 GB RAM, or G5 w/512 MB RAM?

I suppose the G4? I'm unsure though. I mean, what's the difference between a G4 and a G5? How much difference? Is it like a P3 and P4? If so, then it isn't really THAT huge. I'd think a RAM upgrade would be better?
You know, the G4 can be 350 MHz and above. Which G4 exactly? And yes, its not wise to get G4 with more RAM over G5, because RAM upgrades are dirt-cheap today.
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
Porchland said:
Slightly different question, but does anyone have any experience running Virtual PC 7 on a PowerBook G4 at 512 MB RAM and then upgrading to a 1 GB of RAM? Is the difference noticeable?
It will be faster
 

shadowmoses

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2005
1,821
0
Extra RAM will make virtual PC work much nicer especially when going from 512 to 1gb...

ShadOW ;)
 

Mass Hysteria

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2005
159
0
Porchland said:
Slightly different question, but does anyone have any experience running Virtual PC 7 on a PowerBook G4 at 512 MB RAM and then upgrading to a 1 GB of RAM? Is the difference noticeable?
I thought it would make a difference. I've gone from 512 to 1.5GB in my powerbook and it still runs like a pig, stuff still takes an age to load, just navigating around is a horrible experience . . . and as for Virtual PC, don't get me started!

more ram means more stuff open at the same time and more expense, it doesn't mean more noticable speed - not on this G4. A case of bigger barrel, same size tap me thinks.
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,411
417
Gary King said:
Which is faster? G4 w/1 GB RAM, or G5 w/512 MB RAM?

I suppose the G4? I'm unsure though. I mean, what's the difference between a G4 and a G5? How much difference? Is it like a P3 and P4? If so, then it isn't really THAT huge. I'd think a RAM upgrade would be better?
Upgrading RAM doesn't make things automatically go faster. This is a big misconception. It just means you have more RAM. This *can* make things go faster, but only if you end up running out of RAM for one reason or another. 512MB is actually quite a reasonable amount...I added 1GB to the 512MB that came with my G5, and for my general usage, it made no noticeable difference, nor did I expect it to. It's only for high-memory-use situations that it helps.

So the answer to your question is: *probably* the G5 will be faster, but it depends.

--Eric