The G4 revolution

Hans Sluiman h.sluiman at rbge.org.uk
Fri Sep 10 06:50:45 EST 1999

Now that the new generation of G4 Powermacs is about to arrive, can we
expect a substantial increase in speed and performance compared to G3
based systems when running phylogenetic applications such as PAUP 4,
Puzzle, Phylip and fastDNAml? This is particularly relevant for those of
us doing timeconsuming bootstrap analyses of relatively large data sets
on Mac platforms.

Obviously, existing softeware needs to be rewritten to make use of the
new Multiprocessing and AltiVec technologies that are built into the G4.
However, the extent to which applications will benefit from the enhanced
FPU speed of the G4 will depend on whether they use floating point
instructions or integers. How do PAUP et al. work?

My obvious dilemma is this: would it be more sensible at this point in
time to invest in a high speed G3 Mac (tried and tested technology
available at reasonable prices), or to pay a premium price for a top of
the range superfast G4 whose improved performance may well be disappointing?


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