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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into upgrading my desktop system, which is currently PC, but I'm thinking of replacing it wiht a powermac. I'm still pretty new to macs and most of my research was on laptops. My questions are...what is sawtooth and what's quicksilver? Is quicksilver a term for the colour of the case?
 

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Yes, but it also refers to the generation of the machine.

A Quicksilver is a more recnt machine than a Sawtooth.

Both are older machines. I guess you're looking at used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah...I think I have to go used for cost reasons. I'd like a G4...I'm not sure how fast I need. The speeds sort of confuse me...in the sense that I don't know how a G3 @ 900mhz would compare to a G4 @ 900...or 867. What's the most recent G4 powermac? I can't afford a G5 but i can be a pretty demanding user.
Which would be why I'm already looking into upgrading from this iBook to a powerbook and it's only been since november since I bought it. I love it though. It's definately converted me to an apple lover.
 

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What's the most recent G4 powermac?
The most recent G4 Powermac would have to be the MDD (Mirror Drive Doors). They are dual 1.42 GHz G4 processors. I think they come as $1799 for the Single processor, and $2499 for the Dual Processor. You might want to check the price.

Hope this helps you out a bit


Eric C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! That brings up another question. How does a duel processor system compare to a single?
 

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Look for a level 3 cache. For example my 733 mhz 'Quicksilver' is slower than the older generation 'Digital Audio' @ 533 mhz. Or the 'Quicksilver' 867 mhz is a lot faster than just the mhz difference would suggest.
 

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The 533 is faster than the 733 in a lot of situations as the 533 had a 1MB L2 cache but one model of the 733 had a 256MB L2 cache and no L3 cache. The effect is that often the faster 733 is spending more of its time doing nothing, just waiting for instructions or data while the 533 is puttering along.

It depends on the application.


This is the one of the reasons why I would take a 533Mhz. tower over a 800Mhz. iMac.

Of course the CPU upgrades you can get for these machines probably carry their own L2 and L3 cache so it may be a non-issue if you are upgrading them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hey guys. that page was helpful. I'm going to be doing a fair amount of gaming with it. That's probably the most demanding part. But also, I like to do a bunch of things at the same time on my computer. Like have at least 5 browser windows open while talking on msn and icq and having itunes open with music playing and checking my email and downloading in acquisition at the same time. This seems to completely bog down my ibook...it does need more ram though. But I know it's attainable because I'm doing it right now on my PC.
 

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Wow, you're running OS X with 128 MB RAM?! Yes, it is time to get more (even if you are using 9, it would be a big help)

I've found http://www.barefeats.com/ a pretty interesting site with hands-on performance testing of different PowerMac and Powerbook models. It is pretty straight up and easy to understand. For the older PowerMac models you will need to hunt through the archives

This article compares the Quicksilver with no L3 cache
http://www.barefeats.com/pm01.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh yes. Panther on 128mb is killer. I wanted to upgrade to 640 but it'd cost me about $160 that I dont have to spend on ram right now.
I'll live for now. I want to upgrade to a powerbook anyway.
 

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Ram. Get Ram. Lots of Ram.

Ram is cheap. I remember buying a single meg for over $120.
 

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the 533 had a 1MB L2 cache but one model of the 733 had a 256MB L2 cache

Keep in mind that the 1MB L2 cache on the 533 was backside (and at half the clock speed to boot) whereas the 733s' cache is on die (right on the processor), so there is probably not as wide a margin as some of you are imagining.

So basically, while the 733 is struggling with a small cache (256k @ 733Mhz) the 533 is struggling with a slow one (1024k @ 266Mhz).

The main reason that a 533 can sometimes out perform a 733 is that it was a dual processor model, not that the cache was bigger.
 

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Look for a level 3 cache. For example my 733 mhz 'Quicksilver' is slower than the older generation 'Digital Audio' @ 533 mhz.
Eh? That can't be right. How can your 733 be slower than a 533, even if the 533 has dual-processors? Dual-processors make no difference unless some certain application takes direct advantage of them; OS X runs better with dualies, but your 733, on average, is faster. FYI - Both machines do NOT feature a Level 3 cache.
 

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Not the dual 533. Just the 533 with LEVEL 3 Cache. This is what made the difference in benchmark tests. Also there is a difference between G4 chips. Not just clock speed. The megahertz myth applies to Mac G4s too, not just peecees. I think MacDoc has some info on his site about this.
 

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Not the dual 533. Just the 533 with LEVEL 3 Cache.
What in the world are you talking about? First of all, there was no such thing as a G4/533 with a Level 3 cache - the only way that's possible is if that machine that you saw benchmarks for had an upgrade card in their once 533 G4.
 

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Sorry. Youre right. I think it was just the 667 and 733 that had the LEVEL 3.
 
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