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Re: Advice on a iBook ...

Michael Schmitz wrote:
> >       For instance, some time ago I asked what x86 (mobile)
> >       processor the iBook2's could be compared to and I received all
> >       answers from a Celeron 300 to a Pentium III 800. :-/ What is
> >       a realistic figure?

Is this a troll?

> Irrelevant. Any figure someone could come up with is pretty irrelevant.

There is not much hard data here.  I've done considerable
professional work in benchmarking and performance analysis, and the
problem here is that Motorola doesn't submit the G3 or G4 processors
for SPECmark testing, so it is damn difficult to compare it to other
processors on an even basis.  For example, Apple has published BS
figures comparing the G4 to Pentium II processors several years
ago.  The problem is that these were vaguely presented, and were
instruction mix specific.  So, like, they picked a narrow mix of
integer intructions that the G4 kicked butt on, and they came out
smelling like a rose.  The funny part was that the P-II actually
beat the G4 on one of the categories, and Apple actually published
that too in their ads.  Just shows you that Apple is stupid, even
when they are being stupid.

> What kind of application are you interested in? Compare execution times
> for that particular application. That's the only realistic figure.

Very true.

As for the iBook2, I would be surprised if it couldn't play DVDs. 
But perhaps that would be a good reason to leave a small partition
of MockOS on it.  Hey, you will pay for it.  For me, playing DVDs is
hardly the point of my computer.  I can play them nicely on my TV. 
They play well on my 750MHz P-III laptop too, but I just use DOS for
that (and only that) because I can't get X4 to work on my laptop
(probably because I refuse to upgrade to woody) and without that
none of the linux players seem to work.  Why not use DOS, when I
paid for it?  Besides 2 times a year when that happens, I only use
Linux, and I think the iBook2 would be fine in the same way.

> I've seen anything from a bit worse than the clock speed ratio (blame that
> on compiler optimization differences) to quite a bit better than the clock
> ratio (where cache size got limiting on the mobile x86). That was with a
> rather integer heavy app (but by no means exclusively integer math).

My gut feeling is that the G3/G4 core is about 20% faster in a
typical mix of non-GUI Linux applications, so a 500MHz G3 is
probably loosely comparable to a P-3 600MHz, but with *much* better
power consumption.  I've said it before, I personally think the
coolness factor of the iBook2 is equivalent to 200-300 MHz, so this
would put it in the 800-900MHz P-3 range.  I still say the TiBook is
not nearly as cool as it should be, especially in the resolution and
speed departments it's quite obsolete, unless you need/use MacOS, in
which case my opinions are useless.  Middle of the line X86 laptops
are much faster, and are now more than $1000 cheaper from several
sources, including firewire and all that, and that $1k will buy you
a pretty nice HDTV capable TV to watch your DVDs on.

> >       I also understand that GCC may not be as mature for PowerPC as
> >       it is for x86, but is the difference considerable?
> Yes.

Really?  What would be an example of a good compiler for powerpc?  I
wasn't aware that gcc was that bad, but I wouldn't know, I guess.  A
better question might be, in what areas does gcc suck in powerpc


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