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Mac Reference Desk: The G4/933 MHz Power Mac

Power Mac G4/933 Facts at a Glance

  • Introduced: January 28th, 2002
  • Discontinued: N/A
  • Processor Family: Motorola MPC7455 AKA Apollo G4
  • Processor: Dual G4/1 GHz
  • Processor L1 cache: 32K
  • Processor L2 cache: 256K at 933 MHz.
  • Processor L3 cache: 2MB DDR SDRAM at 233 MHz.
  • System Bus Speed: 133 MHz
  • RAM Slots: 3, 168-pin SDRAM DIMM.
  • RAM Installed: 256 MB, 1.5 GB max.
  • PCI Slots: Four full length slots, 64-bit, 33MHz
  • Graphics Slot: 4x AGP slot, filled.
  • Graphics Card: nVIDIA GeForce4 MX, 64MB of DDR SDRAM. ADC & VGA connections.
  • Hard Drive: 60GB Ultra ATA (7200 rpm)
  • Optical Drive: "SuperDrive" Writes DVD-R at 2x, Reads DVDs at 6x, Writes CD-R at 8x, Writes CD-RW at 4x, reads CDs at 24x
  • Expansion Bays: Three 3.5-inch hard drive expansion bays, one filled.
  • FireWire: Two 400Mbps ports (15W total power)
  • USB: Two USB 1.1 ports
  • Networking: 10/100/1000BaseT Ethernet, 56k V.90 internal modem & AirPort slot (IEEE 802.11b compliant)
  • Initial Shipping OS: 10.1 (boot) and 9.2
  • Initial Retail Price: $2,299
  • Current Price


Internal Links

External Links

  • Apple's online specs.
  • LowEndMac's information page - pending
  • EveryMac's information page - pending
  • Index of all online Macintosh hardware and software reviews

March 22, 2002
The introduction of the January 2002 Power Macs was a quiet one. The official announcement came weeks after the Macworld expo in San Francisco. This was done, no doubt, to avoid stealing the new iMac's thunder, but the new towers are definitely deserving of attention.

Overview: This latest round of Power Macs are the first to break the elusive (for Motorola at any rate) "Gigahertz barrier." The new lineup consists of a G4/800, a G4/933 and a Dual G4/1GHz. All three use Motorola's new MPC7455 processor, aka Apollo. The Apollo is manufactured using a silicon-on-insulator process, which boosts clock speed and lowers power consumption. All three models sport 256K "on chip" cache running at full processor speed, but the low end model lacks the 2MB backside (or level 3) cache found on the G4/933 and Dual G4/1GHz machines. The L3 cache runs at one quarter of the processor speed, or 233MHz and 250MHz for the G4/933 and (dual) G4/1GHz respectively. Although the MPC7455 is currently topped out at 1GHz, Motorola claims there is plenty of room to push this number higher.

Meet The Dual G4/933: While Apple's Dual GHz machine is aimed squarely at the power user, for most people the G4/933 is the more cost effective machine. Priced $700 less than the 1 GHz machine, the G4/933 does a decent job of keeping up with its big brother. This may or may not come as a surprize. If you take the second processor out of the equation, the 1GHz machine is only 67 HMz faster than the 933. What happens when you put the second 1 GHz processor back in the mix? Short answer is "not much" longer answer is "it depends." Yes, OS X is multi-processor savvy, and yes there are applications (Photoshop, Cinema 4D etc) that can take advantage of two processors. If you do a lot of work in MP aware applications, the dual processor machine will quickly pay for itself in time saved. If you are counting on the OS to "just speed everything up" because it is MP savvy you may be in for a disappointment. In our tests, under OS X, the extra processor was only a factor when silmultaneously running active tasks in several applications, ripping a CD, exporting an iMovie and duplicating a few thousand files for example.

Other than the missing processor, the G4/933 and Dual G4/1 GHz share a lot in common. Both come with the "SuperDrive" which allows you to write DVD's, write or rewrite CD's and read DVD's and CD's. Bear in mind that the SuperDrive is actually slower than a dedicated CD-RW drive, 8x4x24 compared to the 24x10x32 CD-RW drive in Apple's "low end" G4/800 tower. Apple offers the CD-RW drive as a build to order option for a $200 savings.

The rest of the G4/933's specs are basically a trimmed down version of the Dual G4/1 GHz machine's, less installed RAM, and a smaller hard drive for example. Common to both, nVIDIA's GeForce4 MX card with 64MB of DDR SDRAM residing in a 4x AGP slot. You can opt for the more powerful nVIDIA GeForce Titanium card which sports 128 MB DDR RAM as well as other

Additional MacSpeedZone Resources

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet, Or Slower Than Molasses In A Juneau Winter? - Virtual PC Performance On The New G4 Tower Macintoshes - Well it actually falls somewhere between these two extremes. For the test results below we ran Virtual PC 5.0 with Windows 2000 on each of the new Tower machines

Eeny Meeny, Miney Moe - All The New G4 Towers Go Toe To Toe - A Performance Report - We finally have benchmark results for all three of the new Tower Power Macs. In general, the results confirm our feelings about each one of these machines

Dual Processors, Gaming And OS X - In Terms Of Performance The Gigahertz Machine Is A Giant Killer!

Photoshop, Gaming And More - A Further Exploration Of The Comparative Performance Of The New Dual Gigahertz And 933 MHz G4 Towers

Is Apple's Top Of The Line Dual Processor Gigahertz Tower Too Fast, Too Powerful? Perhaps - The Dual Processor G4/1GHz vs The G4/933, A Performance Report

The Gigahertz Power Mac Unveiled - A Pictorial Review - We are in the process of acquiring all three of the new Power Mac Towers. The first to arrive was the dual processor gigahertz machine. Although in looks it is similar to the last generation of Power Macs, for the uninitiated, we provide a pictorial unveiling of the new machine

A Dueling, Dual Processor Shoot Out - A First Look At The Performance Of The New Gigahertz Tower Compared To The Last Generation Dual Processor Machine

The Inside Scoop On The Gigahertz Power Mac - Up Close And Personal - A Pictorial Review - The internal components of these computers are laid out in a nice, uncluttered way. Everything is very identifiable, uncomplicated, and easy to access

Is Apple's Top Of The Line Dual Processor Gigahertz Tower Too Fast, Too Powerful? Perhaps - The Dual Processor G4/1GHz vs The G4/933, A Performance Report - We spent the weekend benchmarking the new single processor G4/933 Tower. Below you will find some of the results of our work, and a comparison between the 933 and the dual GHz G4. All the test below we done using OS X.

Photoshop, Gaming And More - A Further Exploration Of The Comparative Performance Of The New Dual Gigahertz And 933 MHz G4 Towers - We take a performance look at the new Dual GHz and 933 MHz Towers (comparing them to each other and the last generation of Tower machines), when booted into a variant of Mac OS 9.

AppleTalk: Why I Need A Dual G4 Gigahertz Power Mac - Reader comments on the advantages of, a dual processor machine.

For Great Prices On Upgrades Check The Vendors Below
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Additional Web Resources:

Which Of The Power Mac G4's Is The Fastest Digital Video "Engine"? - This test was inspired by a reader who was trying to decide between the G4/933 and G4/1000MP for digital video production. He wanted to know if the 1000MP was worth the added $700. Actually, if the two machines are comparably equipped (512MB RAM, 80MB hard drive, SuperDrive, etc.), the difference is $500. That means the 1000MP costs 20 percent more

How Does The Pentium 4 and Athlon XP Running Windows XP Compare To The G4 Power Macintosh Running OS X? - Which is the fastest? It depends what you are running. Is megahertz immaterial? It would seem so. When a 1400MHz Athlong runs as fast or faster than a G4 "2000" and faster than an 1800MHz Pentium you have to look elsewhere for answers

The NEW Dual 1000MHz G4 Power Mac Takes On All The Other G4 Macs. - The Dual G4/1000 is the fastest. But as long as the refurbished Dual G4/800's are available for $2K, they give the best bang for the buck.

Apple Finally Goes Gigahertz - Apple's Power Mac G4: gigahertz times two. This is just what Apple needs in the performance department. Previously, the fastest G4 chip in an Apple machine was the 867 MHz G4 released in July. But as so many Mac fanatics are quick to point out, there's a lot more to a computer's performance than the raw clock speed of the processor. Still, none will deny themselves the joy of saying a word that has so far eluded them: gigahertz. [Forbes]

Apple product managers on the 1GHz Power Mac - With the announcement of new Power Macs earlier today, Apple broke a barrier that every Mac user has been waiting for -- the release of a 1GHz Power Mac. MacCentral spoke with Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of Hardware Product Marketing and Tom Boger, director of Power Mac Product Marketing about the new systems. [MacCentral]

That's a Whole Lot of Power, Mac - Apple promises the dual-processor machine can perform an "amazing" 15 billion floating-point operations per second, or 15 gigaflops. According to Apple, this allows the machine to run Adobe Photoshop about 70 percent faster than an Intel Pentium 4 at 2 GHz. And encoding video is 300 percent faster, Apple claims. [Wired]

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