PowerPC vs. 'The Web 2.0': What MHz is Minimum and Optimum for Smooth Usage?

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unknown1's picture
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I have been doing some research on the capabilities of the G4 vs. Intel Chips (checking GeekBench scores, etc.) It seems that MHz for MHz the G4 is just about equal to the Pentium M/ Core Solo Mflops (about 60% of a Core Duo) which is pretty good for a chip whos design is much older.

I am running OS X 10.3.9 on my 400MHz G3 Pismo and the OS itself really zips compared to Window XP on anything less than a 3GHz Pentium 4 or 1.8GHz Pentium M/ Core Solo. Heck even then the slowness of Windows XP on the 3GHz P4 boggles the mind; just click on the volume icon in the System Tray and see how long it takes to bring up the volume slider! And it is a real pain watching Windows try and find the icons on an explorer window.

A 400MHz G3 (with 384MB of RAM at least) is not up to the modern web though; videos are unviewable at 1-2 FPS, active content webpages (such as the new yahoo mail interface) are sluggish, etc. I always keep the Activity Monitor up so when things stall I can see if something is 'working' as the CPU stutters along at 100% usage, trying to delegate what it can to various tasks, or if it has actually crashed.

I really think it takes a minimum 500MHz or so G4 to view the web these days (about the equivalent mflops of a 1-1.5GHz Pentium 4?). With Windows XP you really need a 3GHz Pentium 4 or 1.8 GHz Pentium M or Core Solo to use the web stably. The wife's PC is a 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 (with 768MB RAM and a 'pretty good' 128MB AGP Video Card) and it's OK if not perfectly smooth for web videos etc. My Father-in-law's 3 GHz (1GB RAM, 128MB AGP video card) works nicely on the web. Of course video card, RAM and other things make a difference, but I am looking for 'real-world experience', not technical exactness.

I am looking for ratings of watts and 'real-world' Mflops for later 1.4 to 2.0 G4s for comparison, the only Freescale docs I could find go up to 1 or 1.2 GHz. Processor MIPS would be nice also but seem to be hard to find anymore, maybe they just don't have much 'real-world' relevance.

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I use a 1 ghz ibook g4 and it runs the internet extremely well. anything over 1 ghz on a g4 will be acceptable for everything except moderate to heavy gaming. I also have a dual processor 500mhz g4 with 512 megs of ram that i'm typing this on and it runs youtube and 'Web 2.0' apps really well and is worth under $100 on the 'bay. I would recommend a quicksilver g4 or a 1.42 ghz emac g4 for a good price/performance balance.

I don't know of anywhere to find freescale documentation. the faster g4 processors were pretty much made for the upgrade firms. you could possibly contact powerlogix or sonnet and ask them for harder info.

as far as your pismo, I might recommend running mac os 10.4 if you disable dashboard and spotlight. it will run a bit faster for you and I would also recommend reading this article: http://lowendmac.com/mail/0802mb/0206.html . I use the keepvid.com method and you will be able to easily get 20-25 fps if not full speed on your pismo.

Sorry about my tendency to ramble and my bad grammar/mechanics but I've been typing papers a lot recently and it's melting my brain lol.

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Re: PowerPC vs. 'The Web 2.0': What MHz is Minimum and Optimum f

Quote:

I am looking for ratings of watts and 'real-world' Mflops for later 1.4 to 2.0 G4s for comparison, the only Freescale docs I could find go up to 1 or 1.2 GHz. Processor MIPS would be nice also but seem to be hard to find anymore, maybe they just don't have much 'real-world' relevance.

I'm actually sort of confused about what you're asking, here... are you asking for benchmark numbers, or people's subjective experience as to what constitutes a "no compromises" all-around Internet terminal, or what?

For synthetic benchmarks, here's an old a "geekbench" comparison which includes both PowerPC and x86 CPUs, including a 1.42 Ghz G4, a range of G5s, and a 2.4Ghz P4. (It's fun to note how badly the Pentium 4 beat the G4 on most of the tests. Sorry, but the truth is that except for a subset of integer and matrix (Altivec) operations much of the time the G4 isn't even *as fast* per clock as the P4, let alone the twice or three times as fast number Apple's selective Photoshop benchmarks lead people to believe.)

As for subjective benchmarks, well, that's a totally different can of worms. As you've noticed, Windows XP has a slop-slow UI, so sluggish it can make an objectively *much slower* Macintosh seem quicker... an illusion that'll evaporate as soon as you try to watch a YouTube video. There really isn't a reasonable cross-platform benchmark you can apply here. The same Pentium 4 that's "struggling" under XP might look rocket-fast from a UI standpoint compared to the Mac were it running another OS. (But oddly enough at the same time might exhibit a slower framerate while playing Flash content then it does under XP because the Windows version of Flash is better at making use of video hardware acceleration.)

So... again, what's the question?

--Peace

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Re: PowerPC vs. 'The Web 2.0': What MHz is Minimum and Optimum f

Eudimorphodon wrote:

I'm actually sort of confused about what you're asking, here... are you asking for benchmark numbers, or people's subjective experience as to what constitutes a "no compromises" all-around Internet terminal, or what?
--Peace

Thanks for the link. You ask what was the question but you answered it nicely. Along with the previous post it makes a good start.

Quote:

I really think it takes a minimum 500MHz or so G4 to view the web these days... but I am looking for 'real-world experience', not technical exactness.

I am (ALSO) looking for ratings of watts and 'real-world' Mflops for later 1.4 to 2.0 G4s for comparison

SO, I am looking for:

1) Real world experience of G3/G4 Macs on the modern web- Both minimum (works OK for most things like I said about this 1.7 GHz Pentium 4) and smooth, works great for everyday use system specs (like a P4 3 GHz or so).

2) Any info anyone might have on the Mflops ratings of later 1.42 to 2.0 HGz G4s.

3)Watt ratings of the same processors.

4) I am a Power PC fan and am looking for real world experience of modern Power PC users. I know the Power PC is dead, but it was a great processor for its time and just think what it could do with a couple of billion of R&D applied! :^)

I guess the wattage is just a curiosity being all I have read about the HOT MacBooks and MacBook Pros. I am of the opinion that a laptop only needs so much power to get things done. Most people are not rendering animation to DV or working on complex 3D modeling that need quad 3 GHz processors on a laptop. I think a 2 GHz dual core is a good medium for a laptop.

My 400 MHz G3 processor draws 5 watts by itself which is great, never overheats or anything, just can't get out of its own way for some things! I don't know what the minimum/ maximum system wattage for a Pismo is but I don't think it would be more than 35-50 watts total...

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Hardware and the internet

It took me a long time to find this thread of relevance:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/21352

(Why is Applefritter's search engine so useless most of the time? Type in more than two words and the result is almost always "no results." I tried "10/100 ethernet" which is in the first paragraph of that thread and "10/100/1000" which is in the title(!!) and the thread doesn't even come up in either search. If you want to search AF, the better way to go is simply go to Google and include "applefritter" in your Google keywords search in order to search AF. What's up with that?)

Anyway, as you can see, the topic of whether hardware has any relevance to internet experience has been discussed here before. The impression I got was that hardware has little to do with internet speeds, etc. It's almost all in the connection and the browser capability, not whether it's a G4 or G3. Have things changed, or was my impression incorrect?

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Search on Google with the search term "site:applefritter.com" and it will only pull up links on applefritter.com.

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Re: PowerPC vs. 'The Web 2.0': What MHz is Minimum and Optimum f

unknown1 wrote:

1) Real world experience of G3/G4 Macs on the modern web- Both minimum (works OK for most things like I said about this 1.7 GHz Pentium 4) and smooth, works great for everyday use system specs (like a P4 3 GHz or so).

So, the problem is of course is that this is a completely subjective question. What one person finds perfectly fine another might find "annoying". What I'd say, based on the two G4 Powerbooks I've used most recently (An 867Mhz and a 1.5Ghz), is this:

A: 867Mhz G4 (running Firefox) is plenty fast enough to render pages about as fast as they load, and won't usually won't "fall over" while playing embedded Flash advertisements and whatnot, but will drop a few frames when viewing "normal" YouTube videos. (Also expect the CPU fan to kick on and stay on if you're doing a lot of that.) Complex Flash games and Java are hit-and-miss, and video encoded in H.264 just won't fly unless it's postage-stamp size.

B: A 1.5Ghz honestly isn't that much different. It'll manage a pretty solid full framerate on YouTube, but you can still find Flash that'll push it over. (With either machine it's a good idea to run an ad/script blocking plugin to prevent Flash pop-unders from sucking the life out of the box.) About the only difference is that H.264 will "barely work" at standard-definition resolutions. Hi-Def isn't in the cards.

But, as noted, this is *entirely* subjective.

Quote:

2) Any info anyone might have on the Mflops ratings of later 1.42 to 2.0 HGz G4s.

Keep in mind, ironically, that Mflops is a measure of "floating point operations" which the G4 is actually bad at compared to most x86 CPUs. If you want the G4 to "look good" this isn't where to do it. Just to give you an idea, here's some numbers I got out of the "flops.c" C benchmarks a few years ago. (The text files were still hanging around on my hard disk):

Quote:

~/bench$ cat floprun-G4-867.txt

FLOPS C Program (Double Precision), V2.0 18 Dec 1992

Module Error RunTime MFLOPS
(usec)
1 4.0146e-13 0.0551 254.2746
2 -1.4166e-13 0.0462 151.3514
3 4.7184e-14 0.0526 323.2083
4 -1.2546e-13 0.0815 184.0403
5 -1.3800e-13 0.1052 275.5754
6 3.2374e-13 0.0682 425.2005
7 -8.4583e-11 0.1569 76.4655
8 3.4855e-13 0.0739 405.9197

Iterations = 512000000
NullTime (usec) = 0.0006
MFLOPS(1) = 183.1969
MFLOPS(2) = 153.4839
MFLOPS(3) = 246.0242
MFLOPS(4) = 329.4584

~/bench$ cat floprun-p3-700.txt

FLOPS C Program (Double Precision), V2.0 18 Dec 1992

Module Error RunTime MFLOPS
(usec)
1 -7.4594e-12 0.0686 204.1080
2 1.1644e-15 0.0334 209.4755
3 9.8699e-14 0.0542 313.4794
4 3.0903e-13 0.0513 292.5713
5 -1.3012e-13 0.1283 226.0795
6 1.8840e-13 0.0891 325.5779
7 -5.3619e-11 0.1726 69.5411
8 7.7942e-14 0.0816 367.6783

Iterations = 256000000
NullTime (usec) = 0.0007
MFLOPS(1) = 234.9603
MFLOPS(2) = 140.5227
MFLOPS(3) = 226.1500
MFLOPS(4) = 329.5131

As the filenames imply, this is an 867Mhz G4 vs. a 700Mhz Pentium III. The results are *very* close. If anything with this instruction mix the Pentium III looks faster per clock. If you want to get some idea how the G4 scales with increasing clock speed, here's the result from my G4-upgraded B&W G3, taken at the same time:

Quote:

~/bench$ cat floprun-G4-400.txt

FLOPS C Program (Double Precision), V2.0 18 Dec 1992

Module Error RunTime MFLOPS
(usec)
1 -7.6739e-13 0.1101 127.1824
2 -5.7021e-13 0.0986 70.9703
3 -2.4314e-14 0.0693 245.4597
4 6.8612e-14 0.0992 151.2406
5 -1.6209e-14 0.1736 167.0191
6 1.3961e-13 0.0943 307.5394
7 -3.6209e-11 0.2958 40.5652
8 8.9373e-15 0.1047 286.4603

Iterations = 256000000
NullTime (usec) = 0.0013
MFLOPS(1) = 92.4573
MFLOPS(2) = 87.8752
MFLOPS(3) = 154.1723
MFLOPS(4) = 247.6454

Note of course that this sort of benchmark can be substantially affected by compiler versions and optimizations. According to my cheat sheet, compiler versions and optimizations were like so:

Quote:

G4:
Reading specs from /usr/libexec/gcc/darwin/ppc/3.3/specs
Thread model: posix
gcc version 3.3 20030304 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 1671)
867-G4:
gcc -faltivec -fast -mtune=G4 -mcpu=7450 -o flop-7450 flops.c
400-G4:
gcc -faltivec -fast -mtune=G4 -mcpu=7400 -o flop-7400 flops.c

P3:
reading specs from /usr/lib/gcc-lib/i486-slackware-linux/3.3.4/specs
Configured with: ../gcc-3.3.4/configure --prefix=/usr --enable-shared --enable-x
Thread model: posix
gcc version 3.3.4
gcc -static -O3 -march=pentium3 -ffast-math -malign-double -funroll-loops -fomit-frame-pointer -msse -mfpmath=sse,387 flops.c -o flop2

Should someone really be bored enough to try to replicate these results.

Quote:

3)Watt ratings of the same processors.

It's really hard to find TDP ratings for G4 CPUs indexed to CPU speed. (Freescale's website doesn't work that way, and they don't list the highest-speed CPUs, since they're essentially overclocks.) Here's the first Google hit I could find with "real numbers", but I don't know how good they are.:

G4 7455 (180 nm) 1.0 GHz: Typical 15 Watts, Max 22 Watts
G4 7455 (180 nm) 1.33 GHz: Typical 30 Watts, Max 40 Watts
G4 7447A (130 nm) at 1.42 GHz: Typical 21 Watts, Max 30 Watt

(Yes, these arn't the top of the line, but good luck finding data on those.) By comparison, the TDP of the mobile Merom and Penryn Core Duo 2 CPUs tops out at 34 Watts for the "full voltage" up-to-2.8Ghz models. (About half that for the low-voltage ones that Apple only uses in the MacBook Air.)

So, in other words, *per core* the Intel CPUs at almost twice the clock speed are comparable to the G4, if not better.

Quote:

4) I am a Power PC fan and am looking for real world experience of modern Power PC users. I know the Power PC is dead, but it was a great processor for its time and just think what it could do with a couple of billion of R&D applied! :^)

I guess the obvious question is... why? PowerPC was an over-hyped technology designed by committee that never delivered on its promise of providing more CPU-power-for-the-*dollar* then x86 did. It may of been better *per watt* when you were comparing sub-500Mhz CPUs, but with Apple being the only "mass-market" provider of the technology it was never *cheaper*.

The dirty little secret about PowerPC is this: The advantages of "RISC" go away as soon as binary backwards compatibility becomes a requirement. The original point of RISC CPUs was to transfer complexity from the instruction decoding stages of the CPU into the compiler. In order it make a CPU faster without making it "more complex" development of the CPU hardware has to happen in tight lockstep with compiler development, which means to run programs at optimal speeds they must be recompiled with every new CPU variant. If, however, you're stuck having to run *existing binary programs* faster you have no choice but to make the processor more complicated, adding "smart" pipelines, out-of-order instruction execution, etc. And once you've committed to having to perform such preprocessing of instruction streams in hardware rather then in the compiler any formerly "RISC-y" CPU design will start rapidly converging in complexity with a similarly-performing x86 design. The "x86 penalty" of requiring a "complicated" instruction decoder *was* a significant cost in complexity and silicon back in the Pentium Pro era, but at this point it's just an insignificant bump in the instruction pipeline.

I guess the point is that the "problem" that PowerPC was designed to solve in desktop computers just went away on its own, and it happened through good-old-fashioned cutthroat market competition, not through closed industrial cabals. Witness how Intel can design CPUs like the Atom, which perform roughly on-par with a similarly clocked G4 CPU but consume around two watts of power. The x86 penalty just isn't a significant factor anymore. "PowerPC" as a clean and efficient ISA has its place in places like high-power embedded systems (ie, game consoles) and supercomputers, where the requirement of backwards binary compatibility isn't an albatross around the CPU's neck. But in desktop computers? Eh.

--Peace

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So hardware does make a signi

So hardware does make a significant difference, and there is a significant theoretical minimum of hardware for acceptable, albeit subjectively acceptable, internet use, and if we were able to determine the minimum expectations of an average internet user we could theoretically determine a minimal hardware setup, which for an average Mac user would probably lie somewhere, at say, perhaps the 500mhz G4 range with accompanying peripherals, and a G4 is definitely better than a G3 because of the latest aspects of the software involved. Or is this all too simplistic? And then, there must also be a maximum threshold where going over that maximum is not going to show any increase in a "better" internet experience. So if the most demanding thing you do with your computer is surf the net, then there'd be this range of hardware options that lies between that minimum and maximum, but the latest and greatest hardware is almost surely not going to be cost efficient for that type of computer user. Far from it, probably.

I could see this being a very viable way to set up a store which sells used computers. You have them hooked up to the web and then categorized them by how they can perform with the web, and it would be a pretty simple thing that way to get a customer to move toward the higher end system with a better mark-up by just letting them have that subjective experience available. A very large segment of the home computer market is certainly internet use only--those who wouldn't need a new computer, and in this economic downturn age, more of whom will be searching within a reduced budget and are not, and don't want to be, hardware literate. "I just want to get on the web. What do I need?"

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The Web: 2008 vs. 2005

I used to be able to surf the web in a usable fashion, with a few minor hiccups AND play mp3s in the background with iTunes on my 180 MHz PowerBook 3400 until the Hard drive died in 2005. That is part of the reason for my research now into a minimum working system (preferably laptop) as I bought and repaired several 400 MHz G3 PowerBook Pismos in February 2008, which should be several times faster than the 3400 but have found the web experience more difficult than my wife's old Pentium 2 450 MHz.

I attribute it to mainly things like Flash and Java not being well optimized for the PPC but am still disappointed in the performance of the Pismo on the web. Just a note; any video I have downloaded and play OUTSIDE of a web browser plays fine even up to full screen.

I could probably upgrade to OS X 10.4, upgrade to 512+ MB RAM and upgrade to 500 MHz G3 (I already upgraded to a 5400 rpm 80 GB hard drive with little positive effect) but this would cost in the range of $200 and I really don't know if the real world experience would be good enough (or work well into the future) to be worth it.

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My Beige G3 AIO in my sig did

My Beige G3 AIO in my sig did ok surfing the web. not the best in the world but you could watch youtube videos (not in full screen tho, and set to low quality)

My DA G4 533 is comfortable surfing the net altho it will hiccup every now and again. but it does the job.

My P4 2.8ghz 533mhz FSB northwood (no issues here)

i did have a old compaq 500mhz celeron running windows XP Pro SP2 that would do allot better then my DA G4 in web surfing but it died due to bad caps which fried the chipset.

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Re: PowerPC vs. 'The Web 2.0'

Eudimorphodon wrote:

I guess the point is that the "problem" that PowerPC was designed to solve in desktop computers just went away on its own, and it happened through good-old-fashioned cutthroat market competition, not through closed industrial cabals. Witness how Intel can design CPUs like the Atom, which perform roughly on-par with a similarly clocked G4 CPU but consume around two watts of power. The x86 penalty just isn't a significant factor anymore. "PowerPC" as a clean and efficient ISA has its place in places like high-power embedded systems (ie, game consoles) and supercomputers, where the requirement of backwards binary compatibility isn't an albatross around the CPU's neck. But in desktop computers? Eh.

What CPU maker is left to compete with Intel?

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Re: PowerPC vs. 'The Web 2.0'

mmphosis wrote:

What CPU maker is left to compete with Intel?

Did P.A. Semi ever make CPUs? I was under the impression that their specialty was mass production of empty promises.

For desktop CPUs there's this little company you might of never heard of. As for "whatever" IBM is doing just fine turning out millions of PowerPC CPUs per annum, now that they've found some customers actually willing to pay for their R&D costs.

--Peace

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Re: The Web: 2008 vs. 2005

unknown1 wrote:

I attribute it to mainly things like Flash and Java not being well optimized for the PPC but am still disappointed in the performance of the Pismo on the web. Just a note; any video I have downloaded and play OUTSIDE of a web browser plays fine even up to full screen.

I could probably upgrade to OS X 10.4, upgrade to 512+ MB RAM and upgrade to 500 MHz G3 (I already upgraded to a 5400 rpm 80 GB hard drive with little positive effect) but this would cost in the range of $200 and I really don't know if the real world experience would be good enough (or work well into the future) to be worth it.

If Flash is your priority, don't bother any more with a Pismo.

Here's what Adobe thinks you need to run Flash. Take note of the specific caveats about video support, which essentially boil down to "Flash does not and will never support hardware acceleration on the Rage 128 video chipset built into your machine." You're just not going to succeed in turning a sow's ear into a silk purse no matter how much money you dump in that thing. And the blunt fact is if you pick up *any* Best Buy or Fry's sales flier you'll find that for $500 or less you can get a fully-equipped dual core laptop that'll be faster on the web then *any* PowerPC laptop ever made. *Ever*.

Example #1

Example #2

Example #3

(All found simply by going to their website and sorting by price. Wait for a sale and you can do better.) If you absolutely can't stand having Vista staring you in the face Dell will sell you a similar Inspiron with Ubuntu preinstalled for about the same price, or you could deal with the hassle of installing it on one of these.

(It technically bothers me that you could buy three of these laptops for what my *refurb* MacBook Pro cost, and specwise these are all pretty close to it in everything but video card. For a closer comparison, you could buy two for the price of one of the leftover-model plastic MacBooks, which has almost identical guts to the Intel models other then having a *slightly* faster CPU. Or compare to the $500+ people are still paying for used PowerBook G4s, which just *might* possibly manage a better Quake framerate then one of these integrated video systems, but would fall utterly flat on its face on nearly any other performance benchmark)

There are compensations to owning a Mac, I guess, but bang-for-the-buck is definitely *not* one of them. :^b

--Peace

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Re: The Web: 2008 vs. 2005

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Here's what Adobe thinks you need to run Flash. Take note of the specific caveats about video support, which essentially boil down to "Flash does not and will never support hardware acceleration on the Rage 128 video chipset built into your machine." You're just not going to succeed in turning a sow's ear into a silk purse no matter how much money you dump in that thing. And the blunt fact is if you pick up *any* Best Buy or Fry's sales flier you'll find that for $500 or less you can get a fully-equipped dual core laptop that'll be faster on the web then *any* PowerPC laptop ever made. *Ever*.

(It technically bothers me that you could buy three of these laptops for what my *refurb* MacBook Pro cost, and specwise these are all pretty close to it in everything but video card. For a closer comparison, you could buy two for the price of one of the leftover-model plastic MacBooks, which has almost identical guts to the Intel models other then having a *slightly* faster CPU. Or compare to the $500+ people are still paying for used PowerBook G4s, which just *might* possibly manage a better Quake framerate then one of these integrated video systems, but would fall utterly flat on its face on nearly any other performance benchmark)

There are compensations to owning a Mac, I guess, but bang-for-the-buck is definitely *not* one of them. :^b

--Peace

Yeah, being a Low End Mac owner is kind of a bummer sometimes, but not much different than being a Low End PC owner and at least I don't have to deal with Windows. (Low End PC used to be run by Dan Knight of Low End Mac but was dropped due to lack of interest by users...)

I personally think the only real upgrade option above a Pismo is a 1+GHz iBook ($400 range) then a 1.83GHz MacBook ($600 range). The MacBook is really the better value here but at more than our monthly rent, it is a long way off...

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AMD, PA Semi, Flash on PowerPC

I appreciate you commenting Eudimorphodon. As you know, Apple doesn't use AMD chips in Macs. It would be a great option and alternative.

Did you know that Apple bought PA Semi?

I think that the problem is Flash -- I blame the Flash-Intel closed industry cabal. Wink To watch Flash videos using a PowerPC Mac, I click pause and wait for the video to completely load and then hit play. I guess you could also convert the FLV file to a format that plays nicer on a PowerPC.

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Re: AMD, PA Semi, Flash on PowerPC

mmphosis wrote:

Did you know that Apple bought PA Semi?

That is an interesting point I had not heard of. Here is a press release enGadget referred to about their proposed product line from 2007. I wonder what Jobs has up his sleeve besides a bony hairy appendage...

Well, I kind of skimmed the document (best I can do with Internet A.D.D.) and WOW! this is like the Holy Grail for PowerPC lovers.

I really think the 'system on a chip' concept is going to go a long way for portable computing. Freescale is doing it, AMD is doing it, Intel is hinting at it, lets all get in on it! It is also vaporware at this point. Embarrassed But why would Apple pay MILLIONS of dollars for it AFTER they had gone 'all Intel all the time'?

Mind churning over the prospects... Shock

Steve is giving that evil grin and wringing his hands at his ability to keep his legions in suspense...

Just look at that sly way he saying; 'Watch out Woz I'll stab you in the back to get where I want to go and on one knows where that is but ME'.

Cool Mac

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Re: AMD, PA Semi, Flash on PowerPC

unknown1 wrote:

That is an interesting point I had not heard of. Here is a press release enGadget referred to about their proposed product line from 2007. I wonder what Jobs has up his sleeve besides a bony hairy appendage...

Well, I kind of skimmed the document (best I can do with Internet A.D.D.) and WOW! this is like the Holy Grail for PowerPC lovers.

I really think the 'system on a chip' concept is going to go a long way for portable computing. Freescale is doing it, AMD is doing it, Intel is hinting at it, lets all get in on it! It is also vaporware at this point. Embarrassed But why would Apple pay MILLIONS of dollars for it AFTER they had gone 'all Intel all the time'?

Mind churning over the prospects... Shock

Steve is giving that evil grin and wringing his hands at his ability to keep his legions in suspense...

All signs are that Apple acquired P.A. Semi to make chipsets for future iPhones. However, said chips are almost certainly *NOT* going to be PowerPC based. Apple has apparently taken out a license to the ARM architecture, which is what's used for that platform already.

So, don't get your hopes up. PowerPC is still dead and buried at Apple.

--Peace

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Re: AMD, PA Semi, Flash on PowerPC

mmphosis wrote:

I appreciate you commenting Eudimorphodon. As you know, Apple doesn't use AMD chips in Macs. It would be a great option and alternative.

Ironically AMD chips would probably be a better match for their recent decision to go to Nvidia for motherboard chipsets.

One of the things that annoys me about Apple's product line is that Apple tends to match "overpowered" CPUs with underwhelming peripheral hardware. The minimum CPU in the MacBook line, for instance, is a 2.1GHz/3MB onboard cache model. The "almost bottom of the line" (ruling out single-core or "Celeron" models) from anyone else is a substantially cheaper 2MB Core Duo 2 or/1MB "Pentium Dual Core". (which is actually a Core Duo 2 with a smaller cache saddled with an obsolete-sounding name.). These lower-end CPUs are perfectly appropriate choices to pair with low-spec integrated video systems. If you check the benchmarks you'll find that there's less then a 2x spread between the very slowest and the very fastest dual core CPUs Intel makes. Thus there's very little sense in sticking yourself and the customer with a $200 surcharge to put a "better" CPU in a machine that's not equipped as a "performance" machine in other areas.

One almost gets the feeling that someone at Apple feels guilty about the premium prices they charge for their bottom-of-the-barrel spec machines. Perhaps by shoehorning in the faster CPUs they're trying to delude themselves into believing they're giving customers real value. ("Look, my machine is 11% faster at this synthetic CPU benchmark then that Dell of yours. It's totally worth the double-price I paid for it! And you, who paid the extra $150 to get the real video card option instead of a faster CPU and are kicking my butt on game framerates? You shut up!")

--Peace

eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Re: AMD, PA Semi, Flash on PowerPC

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Perhaps by shoehorning in the faster CPUs they're trying to delude themselves into believing they're giving customers real value.

You mean some sort of Megahertz Myth? ;D

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