Time for a new machine...

Comments on this forum and Star Fleet sites
Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Bradster » Thu Mar 14, 2002 6:10 am

"Hello?" Hello? hello..."Echo!" Echo! echo...It seems I scared everyone off. :o :biggrin:Well, if anyone is still interested, there's an excellent article (but a few months old) at ArsTechnica that explains the architectural differences between Intel's Pentium 4 processor and Motorola's G4. Don't worry... you don't need an EE degree or know "geekspeak" to understand it. It's written mostly in layman's terms with pretty, colored graphics and even some animations so the general computing public would understand it. However, it is looooong!! If you're seriously interested, be prepared to devote an entire evening to reading it and comprehending it all.The Pentium 4 and the G4e: an Architectural Comparison:Part I: General OverviewPart II: The Execution CoreAlso, there's been a bit chatter and mud-slinging going on lately about some SPEC2000 tests performed by the German magazine "c't" claiming that the G4 performs at half the efficiency of an older Pentium 3. Let me immediately go on record that those reports aren't worth the paper they're written on! Long story short, the SPEC benchmark completely ignores a second G4 processor if its available (many Apple computers have multiple CPUs in them-- mine has 2 G4s) and it also completely ignores the AltiVec unit. One analogy for this would be like test driving a Ferrari, being limited to using only first and second gears, and then complaining that it isn't as fast as advertised. Hmmph! I can go into more details if anyone is interested. Somehow, though, I get the feeling that no one wants any more details... ;)

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Bradster » Thu Mar 14, 2002 6:19 am

Ooohh!! Here's a fancy little graphic from the article:It's a P4 on the top and G4 on the bottom. Is that short row good or bad for Apple's G4? What does it mean?! I guess you'll have to read the article to find out!!:biggrin:

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Bradster » Sun Mar 17, 2002 7:12 pm

Hey, remember what I mentioned about using Virtual PC for Windows/DOS/Linux software? Well, I ran a couple benchmarks last night. This is running Windows 98 on a 500 MHz G4. Don't forget that VPC is optimized for Win 2000 (I'm trying to get a Win2K license to use soon) and that emulation takes a LOT of CPU overhead.CPU emulation can not be multithreaded; thus, my having dual processors doesn't make much of a difference except that I can run other Mac software simultaneously on the other CPU without adversely affecting the VPC environment.It's worth noting that I just benchmarked my CPU with a native Mac app and pulled 3864.1 MFLOPS (3.8 gigaflops). I've read reports that the newest PowerMacs pull around 8 gigaflops. Apple claims it can do 15 gigaflops, but that's on paper, not in real-world tests like the one I've mentioned here.(Edited by Bradster at 8:18 pm on Mar. 17, 2002)

Shane
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:10 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Shane » Sat Mar 23, 2002 9:47 pm

It's quite weird really, as my friend has a MAC and he want's to get rid of it. His place of work uses mainly PC's so he's a little out of it, by owning a PC. It's a shame as his MAC works much faster than my wee machine.Shane.
I like parties, I like fun, I want to live in a hamburger bun!

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Bradster » Sun Mar 24, 2002 12:38 pm

Yes, I suppose if someone is in a completely PC-centric workplace, he's better off wth a PC too unless all the software he uses have Mac equivalents. Much of the whole debate comes down to just a matter of opinion, though. The "desktop metaphor" is quite different Windows and Mac and some people just like the feel of one system over the other.It's a funny thing, the way people interact with computers. Actually, David Coursey, the executive editor of ZDNet's AnchorDesk, was recently challenged to make the switch from PC to Mac to see if he could actually *work* with it and if he'd like it enough for keeps. The challenge officially lasted one month and he had some pretty interesting commentary along the way. Here are the articles that cover his pilgrimage:The challenge: If I go Mac, will I ever go back? (16 Jan 02)Why I just love the new iMac (and why you might, too) (4 Feb 02)Mac voyeurs: All talk, no action (19 Feb 02)Try a Mac? Why it won't hurt as much as you think (25 Feb 02)How Apple's iMovie made me a Spielberg--in just one hour (20 March 02)Even if you haven't read through all my techno-babble on the past two pages, I'd seriously recommend any curious user to read David's articles above. They're concise, detailed, and usually objective. He apparently has one more article to write before his "Month with Mac" series is complete; although, it's actually been two months!Oh, by the way, I know this may seem pedantic, but the name is Mac, not MAC. It's not an acronynm; it's short for Macintosh.I may be pro-Mac but I'm extremist-"proper grammar". ;)

User avatar
Crash
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:16 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Crash » Tue Oct 22, 2002 8:18 pm

Suppose it'd be too much to ask if you're done quite yet? You can't beat a well-built PC with a nice lump of AMD magic inside, in my opinion.
Dream big and bold and daring.

AndyThomas
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
Contact:

Time for a new machine...

Postby AndyThomas » Tue Oct 22, 2002 8:32 pm

I have to admit that my own experience with Macs is far from extensive. However, I have no difficulty in believing that Macs beat PCs in some fields. At the end of the day, raw processing power is only useful if the software you're running can exploit it. So even if a Mac looks weaker on paper, in terms of CPU, its overall hardware architecture and software design could allow it to triumph. Also bear in mind that very few computers ever operate at their full potential in terms of speed - it's how much productivity humans can get out of them in the workplace that can count for more, which is where Macs often seem to have an advantage. I certainly enjoyed using one for a project at Uni once. It's sort of a cultural thing ;)
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Bradster
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2002 12:43 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Bradster » Wed Oct 23, 2002 11:23 pm

For what it's worth, I find myself much more productive on my Mac which is about half the clock speed of other PCs I work with. Don't think I'm inexperienced with PCs, though. I've had access to and worked with Macs since 1987 and PCs since around 1988. I've used Mac OS 2.0 to 10.2 and MSDOS and Windows 3.0 to 9x to 2000. Admittedly, I've only had a little first-hand exposure to XP, but I think I've made my point.Anyhow, remember that it's not *only* hardware architectural differences that make Apple computers different; it's also about differing desktop metaphors and user interface concepts and guidelines. Some people think that the only UI differences between Mac OS X and Windows XP are superficial things like "the taskbar vs the dock" and "global menubar vs window menubar". True, those do play a part, but there's much more to the differences when you see how different things *interact* with each other. What Andy mentioned above is precisely what I am refering to. For myself and people I know, the overall "feel" and UI design of the Mac OS makes the workflow faster regardless that the CPU clock and bus speed is slower.As far as the price goes, yes, I'll be the first to agree that they are overpriced -- *especially* in countries outside of the USA. Apple has long had the highest profit margin in the PC industry. There's no denying this. However, it should be noted that Apple's computers are time and again being reported on average as being cheaper to maintain than PCs and having a much longer lifespan than PCs. Does this long term savings adjust for the higher initial cost? Some people say yes, that it's well worth it.Of course, I could go on and on with a long discourse on the "PC vs Mac" subject, but it's probably not worth the effort here. ;)(actually, I'm probably repeating myself now -- I didn't bother to re-read my earlier posts to this thread. whoops.)(Edited by Bradster at 7:31 pm on Oct. 23, 2002)

Matt Darcy
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:28 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Matt Darcy » Thu Oct 24, 2002 2:08 pm

I have my windows and linux PC's running Intel P4's and AMD Thunder birds, they run pretty well, nothing will beat my Sparcs though.......even in 32 bit mode they rule. I have an ultra sparc iii 500 MHZ and man does it FLY !

User avatar
Crash
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:16 pm

Time for a new machine...

Postby Crash » Sat Oct 26, 2002 4:06 pm

Yep Andy you're spot on. Cross platform clockspeeds mean NOTHING and even the difference between a Athlon XP and a Pentium 4 is about a 50% in terms of benchmarks.
Dream big and bold and daring.


Return to “Feedback”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron