MacSpeedZone's G4 News And Resource Page

Updated: Saturday, April 28, 2001

At the Seybold publisher's conference on Tuesday August 31st, 1999, Steve Jobs announced the availability of G4 Power Macs at the Apple Store. The unexpected announcement (and excellent pricing) was met with enthusiasm. Jobs and Phil Schiller wowed the audience with impressive head-to-head demos pitting the new G4 not only against a 600MHz Pentium III but also Apple's own Blue and White G3! The G4, of course, won hands down. Now that they are available, we have changed the focus of this page. All pre-release news, speculation etc. has been separated from the post release information that is now available. New topic areas should make it easy to find the information you are after. Happy reading!

News & Commentary

Mac3D: G4 vs PIII shootout yields poor Mac G4 performance and controversy - I had felt the report was unfair and I did not dispute the results but had a number of issues with how the test was performed

Motorola in Talks to Improve G4 Production - It's not Motorola's G4 development team that has been lagging behind the industry in innovation and design enhancements, it's the company's manufacturing process, sources say

Update on Q3 and Altivec - id Software's Graeme Devine made a post to the Quake3World forums regarding some enhancements he was making to the Mac version of Quake 3: Arena. Specifically, he was working on Altivec instructions which should give G4 owners a significant boost

Carmack confirms Slashdot comments, talks Altivec - PPC CPUs are as good as, or slightly better than, x86 on a clock for clock basis, but they can't overcome the large MHz gap that exists," said Carmack. "Altivec has some wins, but it won't make any significant difference unless the performance is extremely focused in a small area, and the balance of computation and bandwidth is just right."

The Motorola [7450] G4+ Processor Core -- Does It Make The Cut? - Motorola released the significantly improved "G4+" processor, which promises to dramatically (and positively) affect Apple's status in the market. G4+ basically takes G4 and improves it all-around in a bunch of nice ways

Nightfall developer responds to AltiVec questions - If you want to see what an AltiVec game can look like, go look at the Playstation2 games. G4 Macs are closer to its performance than PentiumIII PC's. We are talking games where the characters have memories, the physics is amazing (throw a stone in a pond and see the real ripples lap against the shore - not fake texture effects

Where are the AltiVec games? - AltiVec just doesn't have that large of a role in today's 3D games where 3D hardware is used (which is true of every G4 Mac). 3D cards do a much better and faster job of rendering than an AltiVec software renderer could do. The main thing AltiVec can do is speed up the transformation math

G4 Games - I just bought a brand new G4. Are there any games optimized for the G4 processor?

Pentium IV versus G4 - Risc processors (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) like Motorola`s G4 can execute more instructions than their Cisc-pendants (Complex ISC) at the same clocking. That means in practice that a Cisc chip, how it is normally used in a X86-compatible by AMD and Intel, must divide a complex statement (for instance an instruction) into several statements

Gauging the gigaflops gap - what is a gigaflop and should we give a flip? Perhaps we should figure out what a "flop" is -- let alone gigaflops -- before deciding whether it matters.

New G4 chip hits 1 GHz; Apple plans uncertain - With the upcoming "Apollo" processor, Motorola's G4 processor family will be able to join the 1-GHz club, David Bearden, senior member of the technical staff at Motorola's Somerset Design Center, told an audience at the Microprocessor Forum taking place this week in San Jose, Calif



G4 Upgrade Information


Press Releases

  • Apple - Apple Unveils Power Mac G4 and Cinema Display
  • Apple - Apple Unveils Power Mac G4
  • Apple - Developers Rally Around Apple's New Power Mac G4
  • Apple - Third Party Developers Announce Support at Seybold For Apple's New Power Mac G4
  • Motorola - "Motorola's New MPC7400 [G4] Microprocessor Delivers Quantum Performance Leap for Embedded and Desktop Systems"

PowerPC G4 Plus taped out - sources have added their voice to earlier hints that Motorola has completed the PowerPC G4 Plus, a process known in the trade as 'taping out'

PowerPC G4 Plus in Macs by "mid-summer" 2001 - sources confirm that Motorola has begun to release fully-working samples of its next generation PowerPC G4 Plus and that Apple will have product at speeds of around 750MHz that could hit the market by "mid-summer" 2001 or earlier

Motorola upgrades PowerPC G4 - Motorola yesterday unveiled its latest PowerPC G4 processor, the 7410, but the new processor is unlikely to please Mac users looking for a chip capable of catching up with Intel's ever-growing megahertz lead

Where the hell is... the PowerPC 'G4 Plus' - getting the PowerPC 7400 above 500MHz has proved difficult, to the extent that Apple has been forced to ship dual-processor machines to help convince buyers that its Power Mac isn't lagging way behind Wintel.

AltiVec and multiprocessing in CAD/3D - The PowerPC G4 processor with the AltiVec instruction set is a superior chip architecturally for science and 3D visualization than anything coming out of Intel. Over the next two years, with perhaps particular emphasis on 2001, we'll see a number of amazing feats in 3D visualization running on Power Macs with the G4 processor. To borrow words from Billy boy himself, "the best is yet to come."

MacWorld - "Fantastic Four: With the Power Mac G4, Apple Brings Super Power to your Desktop"

MacWorld - "Sidebar: Introducing the G4 Processor"

Low End Mac - "Power Macintosh G4/450, 500; code name: Sawtooth"

Low End Mac - "Power Macintosh G4/400; code name: Yikes!"

SF Examiner - "Super Duper?"

Insanely Great Mac - "Analysts split on G4 revolution vs evolution scenario"

New York Times - "Apple Is Now the Champ in Computer Speed Wars"

ZDNet AnchorDesk - "Best of Mac: G4 Power Macs Steal the Seybold Spotlight"

MacObserver - "G4 Availability Promoted As 'Immediate,' Apple Store Says 30 Days"

Sacramento Bee - "Apple's top-line computer: New G4's chip much faster than Pentium III, Jobs says" - "Inside the G4 Spec Sheet"

SF Chronicle - "Apple unveils new computer to compete with Pentium III"

CNNfn - "New Power Mac faster yet"

Wired News - " Lavish Debut for Apple's G4"

TechWeb - "Apple Announces G4 System, OS 9 Upgrades"

Info World Electric - "New G4 chips beef up Power Macs"

MacCPU - "How Fast is Fast? The G4 compared to the G3" - "G3 and G4: The purpose of two chips..."

Wired: "Think Different About Upgrading" - Covering Apple's dubious decision to disable (via a firmware update) G4 upgrades in Yosemite G3's.

Pre-Release News, Rumors and Speculation
  • AppleInsider - Rumor that Apple used Yosemite firmware update to disable future 3rd party G4 upgrade cards.
  • AppleInsider - More speculation on Sawtooth design including teh
  • AppleInsider - Speculation that "Sawtooth" Macs may appear before the Hollidays.
  • AppleInsider - Rumors of Motorola falling behind on G4 production. The story that prompted the replies above.
  • MacEvolution - Excellent information on G4 specs and design enhancements.
  • MacEvolution - One the benefits of copper over aluminum processor interconnects.
  • AppleInsider - The Power Mac G4 roadmap, complete with a new set of aquatic code names!
  • Mac OS Planet - Coverage of G4 preview at WWDC '99.
  • Opus - In depth look at The G4 processor and Altivec.
  • MacUser UK - Covers development plans of both Motorola and IBM as well as Motorola's plans for G4 successors, code named "Project 2K" and "V'Ger"
  • MacCentral - On the potential for G4 upgrade cards.
  • Phase 5 - Slightly off topic but still interesting. Press release covering development of G3/G4 upgrades for the Amiga platform.
  • MacCentral - Motorola and IBM's divergent plans and how they affect the possibility of G4 upgrades
  • MacKido - Takes an in depth look at AltiVec vs MMX II
  • Insanely great - On Motorola/AMD deal and Motorola's shift in focus from desktop to embedded applications.
  • Macnn A short piece on a dual processor G4 card supposedly in the works. Code name? "Godzilla!"
  • MacKiDo Very interesting article with some educated guesses about G4 chips and why they will outperform Intel's upcoming Merced chip
  • Altivec related e-mail sent to Macintouch.
  • Apple Insider - "Special G4 Report" covering development history and new logic board (cade name "Sawtooth") design.
  • Apple Insider - An earlier G4 report that focuses on the chip itself and its performance complete with graphs comparing the G4 and Pentium III.