PowerPC vs. Intel: Has Apple Been Lying to Us?
Was it all a lie?
The Mac Pro is the newest, coolest, fastest, and best Mac ever - or so Apple says.
Apparently, it's up to twice as fast as it's immediate predecessor, the Power Mac G5 Quad.
Sounds great, doesn't it?
A new system with a new architecture that's up to twice as fast is sure to bring in big bucks for Apple and make plenty of customers happy.
Wasn't PowerPC Faster?
But wait, there's something not quite right about all of this, something that I'm sure a lot of people are thinking: "I thought Intel chips were half as fast as the PowerPCs, not two to four times faster."
I seem to remember a time, about nine years ago, when Apple was bragging about how it's PowerPC G3 CPU was up to twice as fast as its Pentium II counterpart.
Does the snail ad ring a bell?
Then Apple started a whole new era of computing with the 500 MHz PowerPC G4 in 1999, claiming it was 2.94 times faster than the 600 MHz Pentium III.
Anyone remember the tank ad?
Then in 2001, we had the "Megahertz Myth" video, showing why the PowerPC's architecture was so much more advanced and efficient than the X86 architecture.
In 2003, we had the introduction of the G5.
Apple claimed that it was twice as fast as the fastest Pentium 4 machines, and everyone loved it.
Virginia Tech put 1,100 of them together and made the world's third-fastest supercomputer.
And Now Intel Is Faster?
All that changed in 2005.
All of a sudden, Apple decided to start using processors from the same company they had been bashing for years by claiming they were half as fast as the PowerPC chips Apple used!
Now Apple said that IBM had dropped the ball, that IBM's inability to produce fast enough G5s had forced them to go down this road.
And today Apple says that the new Mac Pro with it's Quad Core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" processors makes the new machine up to twice as fast as the Power Mac G5 Quad.
I find that very hard to believe.
For the last 12 years, we've been hearing how the RISC architecture (found in PowerPC) was so much better than the CISC architecture (used in Intel's x86 family) - and now, after all this time, Apple is abandoning that?
I think the question we all have to ask ourselves right now is: Has Apple been lying to us for 12 long years, or are they simply trying to get for Windows users to buy Macs by making it easier to run Windows on them?
Recent Vintage Mac Living articles
- What a waste! Some schools would rather store old computers than put them to use, 2007.09.12. Denver Public Schools is one example of a school district so ready to buy new computers that it has tens of thousands of old, usable computers sitting in storage.
- My incredible $110 Lombard and Power Mac G4 deal, 2007.07.11. Sometimes pawn shops can be a great source for older Macs, such as turning up a Lombard PowerBook and a very upgraded Power Mac G4 Digital Audio for just $110!
- Too stressed to even think about computers, 2007.05.16. "I've been so preoccupied that I haven't been able to think about computers, much less write about them."
- More in the Vintage Mac Living index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Power Mac 7500, introduced 1995.08.08. This workhorse introduced a new desktop case and CPU daughter cards.
- June 19 in LEM history: 00: Mac software not 'as pathetic as it could be' - 01: Hate Windows? Get a Mac - Little payments, big business - 02: Undoing years of Mac evangelism? - 03: Back on the low-end TiBook - 06: Pimping my PowerBook G4 - 07: Safari for Windows not a slam dunk success - 08: What about the iPod touch? - Falling for the Sony Alpha α200
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ