On G4 Speed
While it’s true that the current 1GHz G4 cannot nearly compare with a 2.4GHz P4 in terms of raw horsepower, I would point out that lack of MHz is not the most significant hindrance in the Macintosh architecture. Bus speed limitations, HD controller speeds, and lack of onboard cache have an equally-devastating effect on the speed differences between the top Macintosh and the top PC.
For evidence, I cite <a href="http://www.barefeats.com/pm01.html
</A> . Note that the 533MHz single processor PowerMac is nearly identical in performance to the 733MHz PowerMac. The author of the article concludes that the gap in 733MHz PowerMac performance is due to the lack of L3 cache.
The 533 model was introduced on July 18, 2001 <a href="http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g4/stats/powermac_g4_533.html
</A> . The 733 model was introduced on January 28, 2002 <a href="http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g4/stats/powermac_g4_733_qs.html
</A> . In this case, it is clear that the performance of Apple’s PowerMac computers has remained stagnant, despite a 200MHz processor speed increase.
I would suggest that what Apple needs is NOT faster processors, but a completely redesigned hardware (motherboard) architecture that compensates for Motorola’s lack of MHz.On Apple Market Share
I’ve often heard that Apple will not be able to gain market share until its processing speed matches that of a PC. And while I’m inclined to believe that a comparable MHz rating would help hardware sales, I humbly suggest that there is a more sure-fire way to gain market share.
Please do not confuse this with an, “I only get 125 fps on my PowerMac, “ rant. My reasoning for games = market share has nothing to do with how many fps the Macintosh gamer sees on his monitor. My contention is that there are TWO types of consumers that consistently upgrade their computer hardware: graphics/arts professionals, and gamers.
Graphic artists, designers, etc., directly benefit from faster hardware, as it cuts down on rendering time, etc. These individuals depend on cutting edge speed to get their jobs done faster every day.
Gamers, while not depending on computers for their livelihood, are insatiably generous when it comes to upgrading their computers based on the latest and greatest video games.
As an example, I cite myself. I use to have an Athlon 650 that I used for Starcraft and other “strategy” games. When Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was released for the PC, I found that my graphics chipset and processor were not adequate for playing MOHAA. In fact, I couldn’t even get MOHAA to get past the introductory screen.
What did I do? I went to the local Fry’s and dropped $400 into an Nvidia card, a new motherboard, and a new Duron 1Gig processor.
Freakish? Desperate? Perhaps.
But consider this. My roommate went to Best Buy and purchased a brand new eMachines 1.4Gig machine for $650 for playing MOHAA, Star Wars JKII, and a slew of other first-person-shooter games. I seriously doubt that we’re the only one’s shelling out cash for new PC hardware every time an MOHAA-type of game hits the market.The Point
Consider this. If video games were ported to the Macintosh platform BEFORE they were released to the PC platform, and those same video games were released SIMULTANEOUSLY, would there be cause to upgrade Macintosh hardware?
Imagine the possibilities. If Apple Computer made a legitimate investment in PC gaming companies, such that contracts were made for SIMULTANEOUS video game release on BOTH platforms, then the Macintosh would have the following advantages:
- Does not require Microsoft OS/Registration
- Is capable of file sharing with MSFT PCs
- Is capable of running Office applications
- Comes with “i” apps - free
- Has underlying UNIX core that supports preemptive multitasking
- Is not susceptible to frequent MSFT crashes/viruses/VBA macros
- Plays all the cutting edge games that a PC does
Now, not only do creative professionals spend money on Macintosh upgrades, but gamers put their money toward Macintosh hardware whenever they upgrade. Both of the heavy-upgrade markets are tapped. The money that Apple had invested in gaming development/partnerships comes back to them by way of hardware purchases.On Apple Dissatisfaction
Idle threats to “leave the Mac and buy a PC” are commonplace on some of the Macintosh forums. My personal belief is that the people who make such statements are really Apple’s biggest fans. When their favorite computer maker appears to have a flaw, they see a flaw within themselves. It has also been suggested that we (the Apple consumers) should write to Apple telling them what we want from our OS and our hardware. While this is a noble effort, I have an alternate method for getting Apple to “listen” to our requests.
Don’t buy any new Apple hardware.
If you need your PowerMac to utilize the fastest bus speeds, and the current generation of PowerMac hardware is 2 years behind in technology - DON’T BUY A NEW MAC. If you’re tired of watching your PC friends play MOHAA months before it’s even considered for porting to the Macintosh platform - DON’T BUY A NEW MAC. If you’re tired of having to buy $30 USB peripherals just to hook up your 5.1 speakers to a Macintosh - DON’T BUY A NEW MAC.
Tell your friends and family NOT to buy a new Macintosh computer until they offer more bang for the buck. Hold out with your current Macintosh as long as you possibly can (G3 350MHz for me). When your PC friends laugh at you because you paid twice what they did for less-functional hardware, just smile and realize that you’re helping Apple Computer by spending your money elsewhere and showing them the error of their ways.
It will take some time. But after several quarters of losing money and stock value, Apple Computer will realize that “Power” should come first before physical beauty. Especially when your product is called “PowerMac”.My $0.02,