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MDD 2003 vs G5 1.8 single

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#21 bunnspecial

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 05:45 AM

Just a note in regards to the G4 MDD, if it has a FireWire 800 port it can NOT boot OS 9. The MDD units that only have FireWire 400 ports were the last PowerMacs to boot OS 9, IIRC.


The folks over at OS9 Lives have been working on getting OS 9 on unsupported machines, and the FW800 MDDs were-I think-the first ones they "cracked." 


The early technique was to downgrade the firmware to the FW400 firmware. As I recall, this disabled the FW800 port, but actually had the interesting side-effect of making the internal USB ports run at USB 2.0 speeds in OS X(they were actually USB 2.0 compliant but were artificially limited-my theory is that Apple wanted to push people toward Firewire for data transfer, and thus drug their feet on including USB 2.0 across the line). I think they now have an OS 9 install that will install directly on the FW800 MDD. 


As a side note, though, I know that when I refer to the "MDD2003" I'm talking specifically about the FW400 version that Apple introduced at a VERY low price point after the G5 was announced. I've heard that it was done for OS 9 support, although I don't know how true this was. In any case, though, the majority of these computers are single 1.25s and make for great dedicated OS 9 machines. 


As to the original question-I can tell you that Geekbench will score the single 1.8 G5 about 1.5x faster than a single 1.25 MDD. To be fair, I have the "original" Single 1.8, not the iMac in a tower version. 


A dual 1.42 MDD can trade blows pretty well with a low spec G5, although if you're using software that can leverage the G5 instructions completely the G5 will come out ahead. Also, the super speed 7447A-based G4 upgrades don't really get competitive with the dual 1.42 until they pass about 1.6ghz. I have a 2ghz 7448 upgrade card in a DA G4, and it really only shows its speed in single threaded tasks. 

There's a lot more to the G5 than just the processor-the entire system really can just move data around faster than the G4 towers and consequently I find even lower spec ones are often faster in general use. It doesn't stop me from using G4s, though. In fact, I only recently "retired" a dual 1ghz Quicksilver in favor of a dual 2.7 G5. 

#22 just.in.time

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 06:00 AM

That's cool, learned something new today :) (the OS 9 Lives hack to boot OS 9 on FW800 MDD)

#23 Unknown_K

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 06:52 AM

The memory susbsystem of a G5 tower should be much faster (plus you can use more then 2GB of RAM). I have a last gen 1.25ghz single G4 MDD for OS 9 work, not sure why people wasn't to hack the FW800 dual model for OS 9.

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#24 Cory5412


    Daring Pioneer of the Future

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:21 PM

The QuarkXPress Edition Power Macintosh G4 was $1299. Compared to the 1.6 G5 at $1999 it looked cheap, but there had been Power Macintoshes close to that price point before, and eventually as the iMacs were released and the G3 sped up, the G3/266 and /233 desktops got to around that price point. The specs on this one were quite low for the time. 256MB/80GB, Combo, no Airport card, etc.


Truly, it was meant to fill in the gap for people who needed a new machine but didn't want to buy a G5 because Quark had yet to release an OS X version of XPress (and there were a few similar situations) and not specifically for the fact that it was cheap, but I'm aware of a lot of people who got them instead of iMacs at the time because of the price.


Such a configuration didn't need to have a particularly high end configuration, because XPress 4 was already seven years old and would run on a potato. 6 did run OS X and was released later that year, I wonder how much Apple and Quark collaborated on things like this. Quark was basically dragged kicking and screaming into almost every transition Apple has done. They didn't support PPC natively until 3.2 in 1996. Oddly, Quark was a little bit ahead of the trend on the Intel transition. They seem to be a little bit better now, if only because Adobe is keeping them on their toes with inDesign.


I have often wondered if the cheap Power Macintosh G3 "MDD 2003" (which is what EveryMac calls it, you can also call it "For OS 9") would ever have existed without the fact that a few really big name programs simply didn't exist for OS X by the time the G5 came out. This is the main reason I call it the QuarkXPress Edition. I'm guessing Apple, still trying to keep their product stack somewhat manageable after the four boxes idea grew a few more boxes over the years.


As I mentioned on the previous page, I would love to see some web browsing performance measurements done on G4s and G5s. 

#25 senrew

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 03:25 PM

I manged to replace the shit PCI video card in the G5 with a 9600 Pro. Even with the upgraded video, the G5 still feels sluggish just moving around in 10.5. Honestly, I think I'd rather keep the MDD for it's somewhat historic place in the lineup.


I have several older versions of Adobe products and other older OS9 era programs that I'd like to start using again, so I think I'll keep the MDD with dual boot partitions. OS9 for actual use, 10.4 or 10.5 for when I need to do more modern tasks.

#26 TheWhiteFalcon

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 05:04 PM

I ran a DP 1.8 G5 for a while and thought Leopard was fine.

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