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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Apple Hardware......... Is it any good?

Apple Hardware......... Is it any good?
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manthari
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Jun 18, 2000, 11:39 AM
 
Apple always tries to stress the point that their hardware is the best and that the PowerPC chip is the fastest chip on the market. I have to admit that Apple has a very good sense of design that is reflected in there hardware, but, I don't think that its the best performance wise.

When the 500MHz PowerPC chip came out, Apple went straight and compared it with an 850Mhz Pentium III and, according to them, the PowerPC processor was faster than the Pentium. Having this in mind, I read a review in PC Magazine about the 500MHz G4. It was compared with a 600 MHz pentium III and guess who won.... the Pentium III did!!!

The problem is that we are buried in all this propaganda about which processor is better. The PowerPC has the AltiVec (velocity engine) unit which gives it a small edge, but is it really a match for the lates Pentium III or for the better AMD Athlon?? PowerPC is having trouble catching up in the MHz race and Motorola and IBM are having some troubles between them. Apple is the only customer for the PowerPC processor, and if Motorola and IBM stop making them, Apple will be doomed .

I think Apple should switch to AMD or Intel so that they can keep up with the MHz race and lower their hardware prices. Sure the G4 wouldn't be called a "G4" anymore, but it will be running at the latest speeds with a price that wouldn't break the budget.

why is Apple forcing us to use the ATI Rage graphics card?? Its not the best graphics card out there is it? Apple has the stronget monopoly in the world and thats very true. To use the MacOS you must buy Apple hardware. If you buy Apple hardware then you're stuck with the Apple OS and the ATI graphics cards!!! Apple should be taken to court and should be forced to allow other companies to build mac clones. Apple should be forced to compete in a fair market, and if they still think that there hardware is the best, then they are going to win for sure.

I still love Apple and its OS, but they should try and keep up with the wintel machines, other wise they'll start to loose..
     
PCTek
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Jun 18, 2000, 12:21 PM
 
Apple has used Intel's own benchmarks to compare their processors. Other companies usually use proprietary methods of testing. Of course, PC Magazine gives the Pentium the edge.

As for ATi, Apple has a deal with ATi, And it would be stupid for Apple to have ATi do all of the graphics chipsets for all of the products except the Professional Desktop.
     
iYeat
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Jun 18, 2000, 02:22 PM
 
First thing that you must mention is that Apple does not conduct their own tests. They're done by a 3rd party. Also, it depends on what you're doing in those tests. Photoshop is made by Adobe, an unbiased dual-platform software company. Things like word, starting up, etc, are made by Microsoft, who is in bed (and always has been) with intel. Of course their stuff will run faster on a wintel box.

What video cards are better than ATI? Certainly not Voodoo. I've seen those things Fry more PCs than they've worked on. If Apple was forcing you to use ATI, they wouldn't have put any PCI slots. You can always take out the ATI card if you'd like, and sell it on ebay or something.

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Arty50
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Jun 19, 2000, 03:20 AM
 
Apple is NOT a monopoly. Can you go to a Ford dealer and buy an Expedition with a Chevy 350 engine? No. By your rationale, Ford is a monopoly. Tell that to GM, Daimler-Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc. Apple has the right to insist that their software runs on their machines only. This is indisputable. Just like Ford has a right to only put Ford engines in their cars. And no this is not like MS. MS insists that only their software (IE) runs on every machine. This would be like saying that every car must have a Chevy 350 (which is a damn good engine BTW).
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BigMark
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Jun 19, 2000, 05:33 AM
 
Originally posted by manthari:
Apple is the only customer for the PowerPC processor, and if Motorola and IBM stop making them, Apple will be doomed .

why is Apple forcing us to use the ATI Rage graphics card?? Its not the best graphics card out there is it? Apple has the stronget monopoly in the world and thats very true. To use the MacOS you must buy Apple hardware. If you buy Apple hardware then you're stuck with the Apple OS and the ATI graphics cards!!! Apple should be taken to court and should be forced to allow other companies to build mac clones. Apple should be forced to compete in a fair market, and if they still think that there hardware is the best, then they are going to win for sure.

I still love Apple and its OS, but they should try and keep up with the wintel machines, other wise they'll start to loose..
Maybe you've been asleep for the past few years or just writing this because you have too much time on your hands and think what you've written is humourous. Go and sit in the corner and put that dunces hat back on.
     
WDL
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Jun 19, 2000, 06:01 AM
 
The intended use should determine the choice.

If I was a "gamer" perhaps PC would be the choice - however, for everything else, thank God for the Mac!

I was a late comer (in age) to the computer - I needed something to help me catch up - the short learning curve of the Mac got me up, running and productive in a brief time! A big plus for me, because I had things to do and a timeline to do them.

The other beauties of the Mac didn't sink in until I really had time to grow and appreciate them.

Anyway, considering that for MOST people in the world, a computer is only an unattainable dream - we should all realize how fortunate we are to be even having these discussions.

If it fits - wear it!

WDL
     
Cipher13
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Jun 19, 2000, 06:08 AM
 
Stuck with the Apple OS?
First of all get the name right. Its Mac OS.
Second of all, if you don't like the Mac OS, go and get Linux! or BeOS!
OR GET A FRIGGIN WINTEL!
Apple doesn't make you buy their hardware - and for me the operating system is the deciding factor in my buying a computer. It simply makes sense to get a faster piece of hardware, that is better quality, and is made by the same people that makes the OS!
And open your friggin eyes, there are Mac clones out there. Heard of Starmax? Power Computing? Or whatever their called.
Apple doesn't have to keep up with the Wintel machines. If anything, they have to keep up with Apple.
PowerPC's are faster, run cooler, use less power, are smaller, and basically are more advanced. If you want a processor with big numbers on the end of its name then go and get a pentium.
Now you decide which computer you want to buy. One thats more advanced in every area, or one with a big number after it.
Hey while your at it, go and get Windows 2000 as well - I mean, an operating system with the number '2000' after it must be better than one with the number '9', right?

Cipher13
     
suhail
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Jun 19, 2000, 11:53 AM
 
Apple hardware is high quality and I love it. Pocessor speed does not relate to quality, it relates to performance, and I think its doing well. Wintel needs to catchup with Apple, its been like that since the original Mac.

It never enters my mind to go out and spend $1000 on a PC, why be a sheep?

Mac is not for everyone, and I'm sure there are some Mac users who would be better off using a PC, and some PC users who are better of using a Mac.
     
PCTek
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Jun 19, 2000, 01:43 PM
 
There *were* Mac clone manufacturers, and they sold a lot of clones. So many, in fact, that Apple was loosing cash, so they killed them.
     
sblunden
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Jun 19, 2000, 09:46 PM
 
Did anyone read the review that compared a G4 and a 1Ghz Pentium III. The G4 was faster in most (maybe all) of the tests. I have the link at work, I'll try to remember to post it tomorrow.



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exa
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Jun 19, 2000, 10:07 PM
 
Come on peeps, get REAL, yeah, a 500mhz G4 is faster than a 1ghz wintel proc... sure, in photoshop on a FEW filters, but what about the rest of the world, where altivec hasn't been touched upon? I think not... I just can't stand the people who say G4s at half the speed of wintel procs are twice as fast, etc... Not to be anti-mac or anything, but some of us have to open up their minds and notice how, well, much of Apple hardware, just sucks... Price to performance? PC wins hands down, in both areas... in fact, I'd buy a PC instantly if it wasn't for that bloated f****** operating system... sure there are others, but not as supported... Lets take some aspects of Apple Hardware.... first off, the case... Apple likes to constantly downgrade their systems... G4? sure, one 5.25" bay and one 3.25" bay (and 4 internal)... not quite the appetizing for adding stuff... sure you can go external but then the price adds up... and pci slots? three? bah, you can get a nice six+ slot pc for half the price... I can go on forever, and I know this message is beyond flamebait, so, flame away
     
exa
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Jun 19, 2000, 10:20 PM
 
A few responses to Cipher:
First off, don't expect Apple to hold that low power consumption crown longer, Intel unvieled new chips that consume LESS than a watt of power (G3 takes 7watts).

Second (as mentioned), clones were killed long ago (where the hell were you?)

Third: Windows 2000 is by far more crash resistant than OS 9 (hell win 98 is). Sure, OS X will just crush that fact, but I don't quite see OS X out yet... And yeah, w2k is bloated as hell... so much for that...

And hey, apple does make you buy the hardware if you want their operating system, can't really do much about that... if you want to use their operating system (which I do)
     
Hobbit_Boy
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Jun 20, 2000, 01:30 AM
 
Disclaimer: I am not an apple expert. I am a 17 year old Highschool student that has been using a Macintosh before he could write his own name. (it was really an Apple IIe...) So im not an expert..my two cents..

Apple uses RISC processors that (if im not mistaken?) do multiplication instead of addition. (its way more complicated, but in simplistic laymens terms right?) The RISC system boosts preformance without size or heat. Power consmpution my @ss...who cares? I care as long as its running at 68F and running fast.

True, I hate my ATI card in my G4 400 sawtooth. Its lame for UT and other "games" (yes I am a gamer...so shoot me!!! LOL) I find however, that my machine can compete with my PC using friends quite well. I am actually considering getting a Voodoo3 2000 for cheap and putting it in one of the other PCI slots JUST for UT (im a serious UT player here..have the intellimouse with USB overdrive baby!)

Apple hardware has been good (in my 14 year history with Apple). I used a mac SE to wrtie many reports, graduated to a Mac II...then a Quadra 650 (that thing is a TANK)..and FINALLY a shinny new G4. I LOVE how simple and easy things are. Since im in Highschool now i use this computer ALOT. Im up late writing term papers and I like the Apple ease. Especially when im stressed and tired. I do NOT need and MS errors!

Yes, there were Apple clones. The clone wars!!! Heh heh...

If you dont like the Mac OS..get a second HD and install a version of LINUX on it..I might do that with my computer. Heck, you can run SoftWindows or VPC and emulate a wintell..with the G4 its almost like having a 200-300 mzh pentium..not to bad.

The hardware is getting more and more cross platform..USB, AGP...and the RAM now is interchangable. Smart on Apple for going to firewire, USB, AGP...like Martha Stewart..Its a good thing.

I think Apple has bright future actually. If they would do somthing about the imacs, Apple would be a shining star in computers (more so than they are)

I mention the imac because our school has 30 Rev.A imacs that are terrible. They crash, freeze...its a sad testement to the contracting Apple does. I didnt know untill recently that the imac is made in Mexico..quality controll is probably less than in Cuppertino. I had an Imac DVSE for a breif time and all it did was freeze and crash. I suppose to windows converts..it seems stable, but my Quadra NEVER had problems like the imac did. But enough about the imac, back to the topic.

I think that Apple does not have a monopoly. You can change the hardware (some), and you can run a diffrent OS if you so please..and easliy I might add.

The price factor is disapointing. I accept quality for a high price, but my laptop purchase will by a PC sadly. I can't afford a new G3 Powerbook or an ibook. I only have 1000$...so its Toshiba for me :-(

Anyway...Apple is back, those that said it was dying and decaying are eating their words. Apple now has a direction and a future roadmap. I applaud them!
     
exa
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Jun 20, 2000, 12:14 PM
 
Sure, PPCs use RISC, wintel machines use CISC, or so it seems. In reality, both processors are both, only that the ppc is more RISC and the wintel procs are more CISC. But how does this matter? Look at the performance. The performance/mhz is slightly higher for the ppcs now, but the mhz isn't quite high enough. The wintels are obviously faster...
The way I see it, motorolla is to blame... They are the ones slacking off and being tratiorous to the ppc. They even helped AMD roll out their new copper based chips, meanwhile they hardly work on the ppc. Apple really needs to get a better manufacturer, sure there is IBM and their new G3s but Apple won't use these faster G3s until newer G4s are available. It is not quite a good time for Apple, unfortunately...
     
wlonh
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Jun 21, 2000, 12:57 AM
 
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G4ZONE/ph...GHzPCvsG4.html

ba da boom... 1GHz is only 15% faster overall...

and a great source of info on RISC v. CISC and other stuff can be found at mackido.com

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 06-21-2000).]
     
MacOS761
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Jun 22, 2000, 12:39 PM
 
Keep in mind how much faster the OS runs, and therefore speeds up everything else (or should I wsay, keeping it from slowing down). Windows is BLOATware, some of the worst ou there... make that THE worst. The Mac OS is designed spoecifically for the PPC, plus it is more streamlined (yes, even OS 9) in terms of MB and overall efficiency. Hence the concept of the Mac as an "appliance" - something easy and efficient - vs. the PC as "hardware" and "software" - two different pieces that hopefully will work together most of the time.
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exa
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Jun 22, 2000, 01:05 PM
 
Thats true, windoze is very bloated. For example, when my friend ran seti on his P2/300 on win 98, he achieved 80 hours (and a lot of other speed computers also did it in 80 hours, weird). When he upgraded to windows 2000, that number decreased to 14 hrs. Under linux, he can do them in 11 hours, which is lower than my 12 hr beige g3/300.
     
pathogen
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Jun 22, 2000, 04:38 PM
 
about that ATI problem... I'm sort of happy with what I've been give defacto in my macs. The cards that ship with most PC's are horrible, and you end up buying a replacment card for it asap (unless if you're lucky enough to choose a card when you buy the system).

If you need to. the ATI nexus 128 32MB is astounding and so far is one of the best cards you could ever put in your Macintosh and is bloody brilliant for UT and Quake Arena. And that's last years model... The new ATI cards will rock, because they will be competing with the Voodoo 4+5 coming soon (fully mac compatible, not just thru lame beta drivers).

My only complaint about macs are that they do need more PCI slots (granted you're likely never going to fill one with a network card) and that SCSI drives are still so expensive.

For speed, $700 every two years to get the latest, fastest PowerPC processor isn't too bad.
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exa
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Jun 22, 2000, 04:56 PM
 
I see some wrongness in your post... First off, most pc makers, all major ones, let you chose what card you want when you build them online, ie, dell lets you put in a 64mb geforce in your system, which blows an ATI nexus away; you don't get "lucky" when this happens, its quite easy to; hell, apple doesn't even allow you to choose. 2nd, The ATI Radeon will not only be competing with the voodoo 5, but the geforce as well, and the point is, 3dfx is SUPPORTING the mac now, not through beta drivers, but through REAL ones (get with the news man). Still, the Radeon will blow the voodoo 5 away...
     
yoyo52
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Jun 24, 2000, 01:00 AM
 
Geez, my son's Rev A iMac does SETI data faster than 12 hrs!!
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Trevor Covert
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Jun 24, 2000, 05:24 AM
 
Just to make a few comments regarding the gaming mentioned in this thread...

First, Hobbit, if you're a SERIOUS gamer you'll wait until July/August for a Voodoo4 or Voodoo5. They're expected to release by MWNY but I've heard that there may be some slippage in the target date. Of course, picking up a cheap Voodoo3 will still give you a nice boost in your favorite games but doesn't have the full support, 32-bit 3D, QT acceleration, DVI input, FSAA, etc.

Regarding the ATI Radeon - ATI has yet to officially announce an actual product based on this chipset OR a clear strategy for bringing the product to the Mac. I don't think a product based on the Radeon will ship in time to realistically compete with the V4/V5.

And as for a better choice for a graphics manufacturer, NVIDIA is clearly the market leader in desktop graphics cards on the PC. They got in that position by consistently delivering top-performance products and outpacing their competitors time and time again. I'm expecting an Apple/NVIDIA partnership of some kind in 2001.

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sblunden
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Jun 24, 2000, 10:58 AM
 
PowerMac G4 bests the 1Ghz PCs
(In photoshop of course)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2 000/04/17/BU1016CH.DTL&type=tech_article

[This message has been edited by sblunden (edited 06-24-2000).]
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