PowerPC questions

PowerPC questions

I currently run the demo of Cheetah 5.8 on a Mac Mini G4 1.33GHz 512MB I temporarily borrowed from my former boss.

As I really enjoy Cheetah 3D though, I'd like to soon upgrade to the full version as well as my own Mac.

I've, therefore, three questions:

1. When I buy Cheetah 3D 6, will I be able to use that same key on a copy of Cheetah 3D 5.8 for PPC?

2. I thought about going with a PowerMac G5 (either dual- or quad-core) with 16GB RAM and a Quadro FX 4500. Will any of those be ok for Cheetah 3D/did earlier releases already benefit from additional cores as much as the recent Intel releases?

3. Anyone got any experience with the quad G5? I'm kind of hesitant to go that route, seeing as how the liquid cooling on these doesn't seem to be of the highest quality.
Hi there.

Yes. I'm well aware of the fact that recent versions won't run on legacy hardware.

I'm, however, solely seeking a way to use version 5.8 (which works great on a Mac G4, so far. Could be a bit faster though and I'd love to unlock the full version).

I'm mostly interested in the rigging feature, since not a single Windows software matches Cheetah 3D's simplicity. For everything else I'll rely on tools like Sculptris or Archipelis.


Active member
Cheetah 3d takes full advantage of multiple cores dating back to long before I started using it seriously (version 4). The major advantage of a modern CPU will be rendering speed.

The only thing I can't answer affirmatively is the licensing question — need Martin for that.
the Cheetah3D 6.x registration number I currently sell also work for Cheetah3D 5.8.1. So you can use Cheetah3D 5.8.1 without any problems on a PPC Mac if you want. And once you buy a Intel Mac you already have a v6.x license.

Cheetah3D 5.x runs fine on the mentioned G5 PowerMacs. Just consider that these G5 PowerMacs weren't very power efficient. The smallest todays Mac Mini uses much less electrical power and is considerable faster.

Kind regard
Thanks Martin.
I will definitely consider going that route then.

I probably will never acquire an Intel based Mac though.
Fact of the matter, I already own a Windows machine that is quite capable and well on par with even the more expensive Macs. So as long as Apple isn't selling MacOSX for none-Apple devices and Hackintoshs are a gray area (I imagine explaining my boss why that machine running MacOSX doesn't look like any known Apple device might be a bit tough), I'll stay with the PPC architecture.

As for power-efficiency: Yea. At 450-550W those things are definitely not very power efficient. My current Windows workstation draws less than half of that. Thankfully, I won't use it much except for some simple animation work every holiday season.


Active member
Statistically speaking, the liquid cooling system does not seem to have been a big issue, though of it does go it is a major problem:


I don't really see the point of avoiding intel macs though, unless you're really short of money. $150 gets you a G5 vs $600 for a vastly faster Mac mini with a warranty that uses far less power.


Benchmarks are hardly the final word but consider that the fastest g5 scores less than a third of the base Mac mini.
Well. The PowerPC I will want anyways (I heard MorphOS is soon going to support it).

The Intel Mac sounds like a tremendous waste of money though. Nothing my Windows workstation can't do.

Truth be told, I really only want that PowerMac for Cheetah 3D and MorphOS. Everything else I'll stay Microsoft centric, since they offer a far better value in terms of SDKs.
I'm the junior programmer at a small software company and my toolchain consists of a couple of Microsoft applications like Visual Studio 2010. So there's that.