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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry if this has been asked many times, and I do understand that it's very difficult to gauge performance compared to different processors, but I still need an answer:

How would you compared the relative performance of a 600MHz, 700MHz and 800MHz PowerPC G3 processor (in an iBook) to an Intel P3/P4 and AMD AthlonXP processor?

Just wondering (approximately) what kind of performance I can expect from a 600/700/800 iBook...I'm mainly using it for word processing, web surfing, music and occasional gaming...BTW, I'm accustomed to surfing with a cable modem on a P3 1GHz PC and hope to be able surf at about the same speed on an iBook...

THANKS!!
 

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mmflame, you might want to move your post out of the Trading Post and into the Everything Mac forum, but I will attempt to answer your questions. I have an Athlon P3/1.4 PC running in my lab next to a G3 beige upgraded to a G4/450, and I have observed the two using similar software. An iBook should be faster than an upgraded G3 beige by virtue of a much better video card, a faster bus (100 vs 66 mhz), a faster processor (G4 vs G3 shouldn't matter that much for the apps you are running, other than for encoding music). There is also the question of whether you would run OS 9.2 or OS X; the former runs noticably faster, especially on a G3, but it isn't the latest and greatest.

If you were running X, the PC would be faster at booting and starting up standard Microsoft applications. Finder-type operations like window moves and screen redraws would also be faster on the PC, but everything else should be about the same. As far as internet connections goes, both should run equally except for downloads, which should be faster on the Mac. Gaming is likely better on the PC, assuming it has a better video card than you get on an iBook. Some of the early iBooks had ATI cards with less than 32 megs VRAM, meaning that they wouldn't run Quartz Extreme in OS X.2.

A friend of mine bought a 12" 700 mhz model with a Radeon 32 meg video card. I'm very impressed with his machine; if you get something of at least that vintage, I don't think you will be disappointed with its performance in the tasks you've listed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That was extremely helpful, I really appreciate it. It sounds to me like even if I go for a slightly less expensive 700MHz model rather than the new 800MHz, I should be satisfied with the performance.
 

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Yes, you probably would be happy with an earlier version, at least at the 700 mhz level. However, don't just go by the processor speed; check out all of the specs of any model you're thinking of buying; particularly the video card, which is so important for OS X. A quick source for these specs is Apple hardware specifications. For example, in the version introduced in November 2002, the 700 and 800 mhz models both have an ATI Radeon 7500 card, but the former has only 16 megs VRAM and the latter, 32. This would be the difference between being able to benefit from Quartz Extreme or not. (Only relevant to OS X.) Note that the 800 mhz model introduced in 11/02 may not be exactly the same as the current one, which is now the bottom of the line. And if you are thinking of attaching an external monitor or an LCD projector, pay attention to this, too. I believe that some of these capabilities increased over the generations of the white iBook, but I'm not sure where in its life that the changes occurred.


[ May 16, 2003, 08:03 AM: Message edited by: Fox ]
 

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FYI, I'm surfing on an iBook 466 and I have no complaints with speed. I use NT4 on a P3 - 800MHz w/512RAM at work.

My biggest complaint is the 800x600 screen size. But yours would be 1024x768 so you should be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you guys are great. thanks a million...

looks like i'm hooking in a $1000 iBook 800MHz as we speak.
 
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