MACWORLD: The G4, this misunderstood. | Macitynet.it
The G4 processor developed by Motorola is based on a technology called Altivec that allows to have a high speed on vector operations thanks to the presence of a "coprocessor" that takes care of specific calculations and is used by a series of applications and system services that they range from software for music, for video to Quicktime which we also use in the non-specialized use of our Mac.
All this true for Apple's current operating system, MacOS 9, but it will be even more so for MacOS X: it is no coincidence that on the Apple site these machines are defined like the new desktops presented in San Francisco as "MacOS X Ready" This is not a marketing move to promote the OS that will be released on March 24 but the reporting of a fundamental feature: a machine with G4 will be able to work better with X: QuickTime, Open GL and Quartz that manage the graphical interface of the operating system are optimized for the services that G4 provides and users will be able to benefit from a date that does not seem so far away.
Not to mention those common applications such as MP3 encoding that already work on MacOS9 (see SoundJam and its heir Apple, iTunes) which thanks to Altivec work much more efficiently. QuickTime itself (and even more version 5 at the moment still in preview) takes advantage of this acceleration with evident results in many of the operations we perform daily with our machines with all the applications.
For those who want to learn more and know the advantage of the G4 also in the education and scientific field, we recommend reading this PDF document in English.
You can also find an introduction to Altivec on this MacProf page.