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AMD Businesses Apple Hardware

PC World: Apple G5 Gets Trounced By Athlon 64 1063

Posted by timothy
from the os-x-doesn't-run-so-hot-on-athlon dept.
StewedSquirrel writes "PC World magazine has published an article comparing the AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron versus Apple's G5 processor, both 64-bit contenders for the title of 'fastest desktop processor.' Apple has made many claims to be the first, fastest and only 64-bit processor for the desktop and workstation market, but (not mentioning the fact that Opteron beat the G5 to market by over 4 months) the benchmarks should speak for themselves. Of note is the 3.2GHz Pentium 4, coming in competitive with the G5, but significantly behind the Opteron and Athlon 64 systems."
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PC World: Apple G5 Gets Trounced By Athlon 64

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  • Exactly (Score:2, Informative)

    by Frothy Walrus (534163) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:13AM (#7218420)
    I'll take a slight speed hit (oh no! only 294 frames per second!) if it means not having to use an OS which finds a way to annoy me every 20 seconds (Windows), or an OS straight out of 1997 (Linux, etc). OS X is a revolution in usability.
  • In Memoriam of Alpha (Score:5, Informative)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:27AM (#7218583) Homepage Journal

    both 64-bit contenders

    Both the G5 and the AMD64 are great chips, but they really only represent the intrustion of 64 bit computing in the popular consciousness, not the actual beginning of 64 bit computing.

    Compare their performance with the last Alpha chip, development of which was cut off years ago, and tell me again how the best is being brought to us.

    Even as Intel picks the carcass [theinquirer.net] of Alpha to revive the still-born Itanium series, the killed off Alpha chip line has performance that embarrasses HP into covering it up [theinquirer.net].

  • Unscientific (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nexum (516661) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:43AM (#7218763)
    Hmm...

    So this is how we benchmark two different platforms these days?

    For everyone's information, I should not have to point the following out, but here we go... the benchmarks were taken from the following apps -

    Quake III, developed on, and for, x86 over 5 year period of programming research and enhancement. Later ported to OSX in a week by OmniGroup.

    Word, developed on, and for, x86, by the developer who also wrote the operating system running on the PC's. Ported by MBU to OSX.

    Photoshop, Adobe develops Photoshop in a very balanced way for the two platforms, and these are the results for this test -

    Fastest 50MB image = 17 seconds, G5 = 18 seconds
    Fastest 150 MB image = 47 seconds, G5 = 51 seconds


    The final test was a Premiere rendering, where almost all the systems tested did the job in 3 or 4 seconds. The fastest was 3 seconds, the G5 did it in 4. This is Premiere which no longer exists as a current ongoing product for OSX.

    Does anyone see just how biased and unscientific this all is?

    Oh, and I didn't mention that most of th PC's had double the graphics memory, and had RAID as their primary storage.

    This article is FUD.

    -Nex
  • Re:uhm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wakko Warner (324) * on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:52AM (#7218851) Homepage Journal
    i think IBM is using PPC970 (aka G5) as server cpu too, isn't?

    Bzzt. The POWER4/POWER4+ is most certainly not the same as the G5. Consider the G5 the stripped-down, workstation version of the POWER4.

    - A.P.
  • by primalamn (716272) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:34AM (#7219293)
    Apple never said first 64-bit workstation. Only first 64-bit personal computer. Get it straight.
  • by tliet (167733) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:34AM (#7219296)
    The new Macs aren't great values either, as the top-of-the-line G5 ($3549 as configured) costs about $200 more than the similarly configured Alienware Aurora. (Prices do not include a monitor or speakers.)

    Ah, the well known high quality brand Alienware, of course Apple doesn't have a fighting chance against a brandname like that. Alienware's years of service in the Fortune 500, the constant stream of quality awards in consumer magazines. Apple's crazy to ask 200 dollars more, the G5 should be half the price to even be considered.

    And the speedtest, well, we all know everybody is still stuck on the Mac with Premiere as their main application running in Classic. Why didn't they test Netscape Navigator 3.0 as well? I mean, that's todays most popular webbrowser!
  • by danaris (525051) <danaris @ m a c.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:40AM (#7219393) Homepage

    The POINT is that Apple never marketed the G5 as the fastest workstation. All Apple marketed the G5 as was the a) first 64-bit desktop (and if your definition of desktop differs from "a pre-built box from a well-known company that an ordinary human might buy", that's your problem, not Apple's), and b) the fastest desktop around at the time.

    Saying, "Ooh! Ooh! New computers have come out! There are benchmarks against computers Apple wasn't talking about! The G5's not the fastest! Apple LIED!" is just plain dumb. Of course faster computers will come out! Apple isn't dumb enough to think or claim that their first-generation G5s will always be the fastest, and anyone who thinks they were claiming that is dumb.

    And does anyone else see the possible conflict of interest with PC World running these benchmarks? Now, note that I'm an Apple fan. However, I won't completely believe any benchmarks that are done by anyone with an interest in seeing either side win. And it would probably be best if both computers were running something neutral, like a Linux or a BSD. Does anyone really believe these benchmarks are any more fair and unbiased than Apple's own???

    Dan Aris

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @10:24AM (#7219964) Homepage Journal

    Off Topic Warning: Slashdot just gave me a message I've never seen before: "Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 31.0)." So in order to fix this problem, I bring you... "TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER". You'll know it when you see it. You can thank the dipshits constructing the lameness filter for the added content. When will you fucks realize that tampering with posts only hampers comments? If the moderation system is not sufficient to the task of cleaning up slashdot, improve the moderation system, don't make end runs around it.

    XP 64 won't have the 32-bit XP's support for DOS apps at all, nor will it run 16-bit apps (but it should have no trouble with 32-bit software). More important, 64-bit drivers for common hardware, such as printers, will be scarce when the OS debuts.

    You think that's bad. You should look at the current state of today's 64 bit XP [microsoft.com] on itanic. As per microsoft technet [microsoft.com], it's missing just about every goddamn feature:

    Digital Media
    The following digital media features are not included with Windows XP 64-Bit Edition:

    • Digital video disc (DVD) video playback - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • CD Recording - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Kodak Imaging Accessory
    • Windows Media Player
      A subset of Windows Media Technologies
    • DirectMusic(R)
    • Microsoft TV Technologies for Windows(R) - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Video mixing renderer (VMR)
    • NetMeeting(R)
    • IEEE 1394 audio
    • Fax

    Subsystems and Protocols
    Windows XP 64-Bit Edition does not provide support for a number of older subsystems and transport protocols, including the following:

    • Microsoft(R) MS-DOS(R) subsystem - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • OS/2 subsystems - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • 16-bit subsystems - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX (POSIX) subsystem - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Legacy transport protocols - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) LAN and WAN
    • AppleTalk Protocol LAN - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Services for Macintosh - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Data Link Control (DLC) LAN - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • NetBIOS Enhanced User Interface (NetBEUI) LAN - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Service Advertising Protocol (SAP) Agent for Server - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) router - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Infrared Data Association (IrDA) - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Network BIOS (NetBIOS) gateway - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER

    Mobile Computing
    Windows XP 64-Bit Edition does not provide support for features aimed primarily at users of portable computers. The following features are not included:

    • Hot docking/undocking - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • PC Card - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • IrDA - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Terminal Services client for Handheld PC - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • Power Management- TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • System Restore
      The System Restore feature is not supported in Windows XP 64-Bit Edition.

    Networking and Communications The following networking and communications features are not included in Windows XP 64-Bit Edition:

    • Internet Locator Service (ILS) - TEXT ADDED TO DEFEAT LAME FILTER
    • MSN Internet Access
  • SPECint SPECfp (Score:3, Informative)

    by p7 (245321) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @10:35AM (#7220095)
    SPECfp base2000
    2Ghz G5 - 840
    Opteron 146 (2Ghz) - 1291

    SPECint base2000
    2Ghz G5 - 800
    Opteron 146 (2Ghz) - 1170

    SPECfp rate2000
    Dual 2Ghz G5 - 15.7
    RackSaver RSN-1164/op (1.8 GHz Opteron) - 22.5

    SPECint rate2000
    Dual 2Ghz G5 - 17.2
    RackSaver RSN-1164/op (1.8 GHz Opteron) - 24.0

    These numbers seem to back up the PCWorld tests.

  • Re:uhm... (Score:2, Informative)

    by _|()|\| (159991) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @11:14AM (#7220612)
    Bzzt.

    Several sources report that IBM will base entry-level Linux servers on the PowerPC 970.

  • by mkldev (219128) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @02:23PM (#7222582) Homepage
    The parent poster was correct. These tests either show that the G5 and the Athlon 64 are equivalent or for a few tests, show a testing bias.

    When reading my analysis, bear in mind that an average person with a stopwatch has +/- 1 second margin of error per test, so anything within two seconds is considered the same time.

    Also consider that most machines spin down their hard drives when not in use, leading to up to a five second stall. Because there was no aggregation of multiple tests, tossing out any outliers in the process, these test results are basically useless, but you can consider them to have a +/- 12 second margin of error.

    Finally, bear in mind that my analysis is extremely biased. Please look at the facts yourself and make your own decisions. Do not blindly accept my opinion as truth, as doing so doesn't do anyone any good.

    Analysis of results:

    • Render test: all times identical.
    • Quicktime test:invalid (see below).
    • Photoshop 50 MB test: tie between Polywell 2 and dual G5 for first place
    • Photoshop 150 MB test: tie between Polywell 2 and dual G5.
    • Quake tests: invalid.
    • MS Word tests: invalid.

    Reasons for invalidation of Quicktime test:
    1. If two machines with similar performance suddenly show more than a factor of two difference, this almost always means that only one processor is being used on the slower system due to differences in the software used.
    2. The test is poorly described so that it cannot be reproduced. There is no "Quicktime format". Quicktime is a wrapper movie for any of dozens of formats. QuickTime has different default codecs in different versions. I doubt Premiere installs the same version of QuickTime that most Mac OS X 10.2 users would have installed (thanks to Software Update), thus there is a good chance they were using different codecs in this test.
    3. According to the QuickTime API docs, your application has to be modified to take full advantage of multiple processors when compressing images. Since Premiere for the Mac was last updated not long after that support was added in QuicktTime (as best I can tell), odds are very good that it does not use the new APIs, while recent Windows versions almost certainly do.
    Reasons for invalidation of MS Word test: factor of four difference clearly indicates that software is not comparable across the two platforms. The results are beyond any sane person's ability to accept from nearly equivalent machines running even remotely similar code.

    Reason for Quake test invalidation: this should be dependent on graphics card performance, not CPU performance. The G5 beat all but one configuration with an equivalent video card. This one configuration inexplicably was about 50% faster than all the other configurations. Since at least one machine in each 128M speed class uses 8x AGP, it is safe to assume that there are substantially different versions of ATI's drivers being used in these tests, rendering any results meaningless in terms of the performance of the machine itself. The most likely (but hard to prove) interpretation of these results is that the G5 performs slightly better than any Athlon64 when given an equivalent video card, and that the one machine is either mislabeled or has a newer version of the ATI drivers than the G5 and the other 128MB PCs.

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

  • Re:uhm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hoser McMoose (202552) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @03:27PM (#7223270)
    The absolute cheapest Power4 server that you can buy costs $5745, and that's for a single-processor, 1.2GHz Power4. If you want to compare comperable servers, you'll have to wait until IBM release their servers based on the PowerPC 970 (aka the G5). They aren't available yet, but should be here soon.

    If you want to compare the high-end though, you can do that too. I'm very certain that AMD would GLADLY compare a $5745 Opteron server to a $5745 Power4 server any day of the week.

    FWIW, check out the SpecWeb scores sometime, a 4-processor Opteron 846 (2.0GHz) server is the fastest of all 4 processor servers out there, just edging out an IBM pServer 655 with 4 Power4+ 1.7GHz processors. In SpecInt the Opteron easily beats the Power4+, though IBM wins SpecFP by an equally large margin. The 4P Opteron is also faster than the 4P Power4+ 1.7GHz as a Java server according to Spec JBB2000. Again, the Opteron is second fastest out of all 4P servers, just behind the 4P 1.5GHz Itanium2 from HP.

    Long story short, the Opteron HAS been tested against the Powe4+, and it's holds it's own very well.

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