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Re: comparing x86 and powerpc laptops

On Wed, Apr 09, 2003 at 12:14:58PM +0200, florian wrote:
> On Mit, 2003-04-09 at 10:55, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Wed, Apr 09, 2003 at 10:18:42AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > > On Tue, Apr 08, 2003 at 11:57:20PM -0500, emorfin@caracol.red.cinvestav.mx wrote:
> > > > > hi!
> > > > > 
> > > > > im currently thinking about buying a laptop. basically i
> > > > > wonder if its worth to get a powerpc laptop, since most
> > > > > x86 ones are alot cheaper. 
> > > > > 
> > > > that's their only "adventaje"
> > > 
> > > And not even that is really true. I have recently counseled my niece on
> > > the buying of a laptop, and she finally went for an ibook (the cheapest
> > > version). This was just after Apple lowered their price last autumn.
> > 
> > And BTW, there seem to be a speed bump on ibooks programmed soon, as can
> > be seen here :
> > 
> > http://www.thinksecret.com/news/aprilibooks.html
> > 
> > There is nothing more frustrating to buy a notebook and to find the week
> > thereafter that the models have been upgraded. And you may even find
> > rebate on older models too.
> i know how that is =)
> another criteria for me is also: gotta work well with eclipse and other
> java stuff. its possible to compile eclipse by hand to run on debian ppc.
> but it works kinda buggy..
> i know that you cant really measure the overall performance in mhz. but
> after all i think its for sure that a 1ghz powerbook would not be as fast
> as a 2ghz x86 laptop, or?

Well, remember that these are P4 processors, and that, altough not
exactly comparable, the 3.0 GHZ P4 is more or less equivalent to the
Athlon XP 3000+, altough the P4 is a bit faster, especially with hyper
threading. Now, if you consider that the Athlon XP is in truth running
at 2GHz, you will see that the P4 is quite slower Mhz to MHz, and would
make, more or less, a 2GHz P4 equivalent to a 1.3GHz Athlon. Given that
the ppc is faster for some calculation than an athlon or PIII, i would
say that a 800MHz (soon to be 900MHz) G3 would not be that far out of
place against a 2GHz CPU. Sure, it would be slower, but not by that

Also, remember that the P4 is a very power hungry/heat producing CPU,
and the only way it is running at all in a notebook is that it use speed
throthling, which will almost all the time be active in battery mode,
and you would end up with a 2GHz processor, but which doesn't run at
2GHz, but maybe at half that speed or something such.

There is a reason the new mobile processor from intel is so popular, and
that is because it is based on the PIII design, running at 1.4Ghz and
such, and outperforming much faster P4 processors.

> i know that the apple laptops are great design-wise (i used two powerbook
> models for like 4 years, but mostly with mac os).. but what are other reasons
> for it, when you only want to use debian on it?

There is only a limited set of models, and thus the hardware used is
well known, and there is driver for them (thanks to the great work of
people like Benjamin, or Michel for the X/DRI support). They consume
much less power than their equivalent x86 laptops, which will make for
less heat production, longer battery lifes (my uncle had a Duron aptop
which had only 30 Minutes battery life in normal mode, it became more
with a bit of tweaking, but he was not able to do that).

There are some security implications (most rootkits are x86 ones, so not
that usefull on ppc based processors). Also, MOL is much better than
wine, as i have heard, or even as things like vmware (which is expensive
to buy).

> (besides the battery lifetime. thats really great on the apple laptops,
> but not some high priority criteria for me)

Well, battery life, but also the noise level that comes with having to
heat dissipate and having an active fan.


Sven Luther

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