People who are faimiliar with macs/apples: G4/G3 processors, how big of a difference?


Diamond Member
Jan 17, 2001
im planning to buy an ibook or the powerbook, but am not sure which one i should buy. the 1500 ibook (G3 600mhz with cdrw/dvd drive) or the $2000 and up powerbook (G4500mhz) im not too familiar with macs. need your help and opinions ;)


Mar 11, 2000
G4 = G3 + Altivec + a bit extra (oversimplified).

Thus for most stuff, G3 ~ G4, but for some programs G4 >> G3. OS X.1 has some Altivec optimization. Virtual PC is heavily Altivec optimized too (although I'm told still pretty damn slow on a G4 500).

If you were buying a desktop, no question - must be G4.

For a laptop, it depends. The iBook 600 combo with 12" screen is by far the best bang for the buck. However, for specific purposes, a G4 500 MAY be faster, although the 100 MHz hit is significant. Depends what you need it for. If for Word/Excel/Explorer and some non-Altivec'd apps the iBook may be faster.

iBook test.


Golden Member
Dec 15, 2000
There is not that much performance difference between the two unless you're interested in running Photoshop or other graphics-intensive applications on your laptop. Personally I'd go for the iBook, unless you really like that 15.2" screen. ;)

Good luck!


Platinum Member
Sep 30, 2000
to me, OS X is a much better experience on a g4 than on an equally clocked g3. if i were to choose an apple laptop, however, i would go with the new 12.1 inch screen iBook.



Senior member
Apr 16, 2000
Hey all,

If your planning on using Mac OS X, the G4 will work better.....

Here's an interesting comparison....

I have a 867MHz G4 Quicksilver tower and a 600MHz G3 iMac. I became addicted to American McGee's Alice by Aspyr. Believe it or not, with its original configs, the iMac wth 256MB RAM would load the game faster than the G4 with 128MB. Then again, when I added a 512MB stick of Crucial RAM to the G4...well...that ended all comparisons between that and any other machine around the dorm! I know the ram was a bit excessive, but it shows a point of how you could try to compensate. Also consider that some of the TiBooks only ship a 133MHz bus on the 667MHz model, the rest are 100MHz. Most iBooks have been bumped up to 100MHz, with the low end at 66MHz.

I prefer the G4 processors. Very strong. The iBook seemed to be more fun to use from my experience. Sounds odd, but it's true. If your not doing real intensive stuff, get the iBook and use some of the extra cash to get a RAM upgrade on it. Either way you can get a combo drive now! :)

Lemme know what you decide or if I've managed to completely confuse you! ;)

Mike D