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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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  • uhm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kennedy (18142) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:07AM (#7218337) Homepage
    last time i checked the operon was to be the server class amd64 cpu, where as the athlon64 was to be the desktop version.

    if you're going to compare workstation class chips, compare the freaking workstation class chips...
    • Re:uhm... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _|()|\| (159991)
      compare the freaking workstation class chips

      The Opteron 140 and 240 series are workstation-class chips. Put an Opteron or two in a box with a bunch of hard drives--it's a server; put it in a box with a $1,000 graphics card--it's a workstation.

    • Re:uhm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they have dual processor workstations? IIRC, the Athlon 64 doesn't do SMP (excluding the FX51, which is just a rebranded Opteron).

      So therefore, to have a dual processor AMD64 workstation, you'd need an Opteron. Case closed.
    • The G5 is a server/minicomputer class chip. IBM has been using them for high-end machines. The only difference with Apple's version is the packaging.

      That said, the important thing to compare is the relative price of the systems. There have been several cases where various Mac-oriented magazines have trumpeted "Mac beats PC", but in the performance tests they have tested the Mac against a PC costing less than half of its value. That said, this test is actually pretty good. From a quick search, the Alien

  • by Caradoc (15903) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:07AM (#7218339) Homepage
    From the article:

    "But upgrading to XP 64 could mean giving up functionality without getting much in return. In fact, XP 64 looks like a throwback to Windows past: Its interface mirrors that of Windows 2000 or even Win 98. Microsoft has not disclosed what else will be in the OS, so it is possible that you'll still get most of XP's other features.

    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."

    In moving from a Dual 1GHz G4 (Quicksilver 2002) to a Dual 2GHz G5, I have yet to find any software incompatibilities - everything works just fine.

    This may change once my copy of Panther shows up, but my printer and other hardware continue to work for now.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You also are not running in 64-bit mode. The Macs do not take advantage of their 64-bit nature like XP64.
    • The beta 1 seemed to run legacy stuff just fine.

      Sating that XP64 is a 'throwback' when the only version available is the first beta that doesn't have any useful device drivers, doesn't run directx or even .net is a bit premature... Wait until a version is released that's more than a 'hey look we've got a 64bit OS too, honest!' release.

      Anyway the first thing anyone does when they install XP is switch off all the crappy eye candy and go back to the Win2000 'throwback' look because that was actually useful.
    • 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
  • by Spodie! (675056) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:09AM (#7218360)
    It might still get owned, but redoing the tests with the OS that the G5 was meant to run on will be a better comparison. What can it hurt, it's only 9 days away from release.
    • Ok, at best there will be a 5-10% improvement. Does that really displace the times or scores that were nearly twice as slow as competitors?
    • The same could be said about the Athlon. Those A64 machines all run under 32-bit Windows.
    • by hype7 (239530) <u3295110@a[ ]edu.au ['nu.' in gap]> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:23AM (#7219203) Journal
      I just sent this letter in to PC World. I think it pretty much covers all the mistakes they made in the cross-platform benchmarks.

      >--

      I have been a long time reader of PC World, and have much respect for your magazine. However, I am yet to see a more abject review than the "64-Bit Takes Off" what was presented in your November 2003 Edition.

      Let's start with the choice of Microsoft Word. Undoubtedly a widely used piece of software, and Microsoft incredibly allowed Office v.X for the Mac to receive a number of features that the Windows version is yet to receive. There is, however, one thing that Microsoft will not allow Office for the Mac to achieve; and that is performance parity. To add to this, much of the codebase of Office v.X is left over from the good ol' days of MacOS 9 - reflected in the fact that Office is still a Carbon app. So, although Office on the Mac is extremely widely used, it's of dubious use as a means of comparing performance between processors. Unless, of course, all you do is Office and it's not presently running fast enough for you.

      Next. Premiere. This is what stunned me. There is a reason that Premiere doesn't work very well on the Mac. This is because absolutely nobody who does video editing on a Mac uses it. Period. Final Cut Pro wipes to floor with it; not only in functionality, but performance also. Of all the ways you chose to benchmark the G5s, this surprised me the most.

      In the Quake test, the Mac was hamstrung by the fact that it only had a 128MB video card in it. I also may be wrong in making the assertion, but doesn't the 256MB ATI 9800 Pro run at a faster clock rate than its 128MB cousin? This would account for quite a performance differential. Despite the fact that Macs aren't really known for games, no other computer with a 128MB graphics card beat it.

      The next test was Photoshop. This is the one app you benchmarked in which some 64-bit optimisations have taken place for the Mac, and is also an app that many people use on the Apple platform. In this test, the G5 beat everything on offer from the x86 world by quite a handy margin.

      What makes this even more impressive is that the G5 system you benchmarked is running on a stop-gap operating system release from Apple. OS X 10.3, codename Panther, has been specifically designed to take advantage of the G5's 64-bit CPU structure; it's out in barely a week.

      I would certainly be interested to see a re-run of the tests, if you think that this feedback is valid. Cross-platform benchmarks are notorious for being difficult to standardise; I do, however, believe that if done properly they can be both useful and interesting.

      -- james
  • by weez75 (34298) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:10AM (#7218375) Homepage
    G5, Athlon64...any way you go it's an alternative to Intel. I think the importance isn't which is quicker but that they both offer serious alternative solutions to Intel which forces everyone to innovate. Both companies deserve credit for working toward better solutions for customers.
  • sort of true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by archen (447353)
    It's still the fastest desktop processor, because there is no desktop OS that runs on the Opteron until Microsoft releases the XP version in 2004. And no, Linux is not a desktop OS - ie something regular people can use (yet).

    I don't know why Apple shoots them selves in the foot with this speed BS anyway. Seriously I like my iBook for many reasons, but speed isn't one of them (because it's slow - although seems as fast as many PC laptops for some reason), but I'm willing to put up with a little drag to h
    • It's still the fastest desktop processor, because there is no desktop OS that runs on the Opteron until Microsoft releases the XP version in 2004.

      Interesting, because I can think of many reviews that I've read that ran benchmarks on WinXP (32 bit)... And IIRC, that's a desktop OS. I have it on my Laptop, and Win2k is a desktop OS too right? The Opteron can run that too... wow!
    • "And no, Linux is not a desktop OS - ie something regular people can use (yet)."

      Yes it is. People seem to forget Linux was developed to be a desktop OS. Being a server was second.

      Secondly, it's being used by regular people, now, today. I know them. These are the same people that didn't know how to do things on Windows, and while they still don't know how to do things on Linux, they think it's more fun.
    • That is true, speed is not everything alot depends on what you are doing and what how easy/comfortable doing it is on the system of your choice. I recently switched from a PC-laptop to a PowerBook lap top and it was not because of the blistering speed, it is because of:
      1. The quality of the built in hardware.
      2. The ergonomic design of the machine.
      3. The operating system.

      Of course I could get more or less the same out of a high end PC "Centrino" laptop on points 1 and 2. But even then the PC-laptop often ends

  • Shhhh.....! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Beatbyte (163694) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:11AM (#7218382) Homepage
    ...you'll wake the Mac zealots!
  • by gunnk (463227) <gunnk@NoSpAm.mail.fpg.unc.edu> on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:11AM (#7218388) Homepage
    So they compare 32-bit apps running on a 64-bit AMD chip to 32-bit apps running on a 64-bit G5 and conclude that the AMD chip is much faster than the G5.

    This does nothing to benchmark the capabilities of the chips -- just the capability of the chips to run non-native apps.

    Go back to your lives, citizens, nothing to see here...
    • They run nativ apps. Both processors can process 32bit code natively, and they do it here.

      And AMD should profit MUCH more from 64 bit than g5:
      G5 runs the same, only in 64 bit (more memory/cache bw required)

      K8 gets twice as much registers.
    • SPECint SPECfp (Score:3, Informative)

      by p7 (245321)
      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.

  • I was surprised that a single CPU Opteron could be in the same performance ballpark as a dual CPU G5. Does the Opteron do more per clock cycle than the G5? Are applications not taking advantage of the second processor? Is there some other performance bottleneck, such as the memory subsystem? I look forward to finding out...
    • I was surprised that a single CPU Opteron could be in the same performance ballpark as a dual CPU G5.

      I didn't see a detailed description of the Opteron system, but I suspect that it had two processors, as it beat the Athlon 64 FX-51 in most tests, despite having slower memory and a lower clock speed.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Compare the single G5's results with the dual G5's: only Photoshop makes use of the second CPU.

      So they're basically pitting ONE G5 against ONE Athlon64 in the other tests.

      But this is not the only incoherence with this test. Using a Classic, unsupported application like Premiere instead of the native After Effects ? Testing a Mac's performance in Microsoft Office ? This is a joke.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:13AM (#7218422)
    "Our test suite, PC WorldBench 4, cannot run on Macs. 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.

    The dual-G5 sparkled in one main area: our Photoshop test, which it completed in 18 seconds, or about 17 percent faster than the Aurora's 21 seconds. The 1.8-GHz single-chip G5 ($2999) trailed at 27 seconds.

    Elsewhere, the Alienware earned top marks, performing particularly well in the Premiere QuickTime test."

    ======

    >>$200.00 is nothing and no direct testing comparision is funny.... This is pure marketing hype.
    • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:19AM (#7219157)
      So I followed their links to the other PC sites and configured a few of them to match (as closely as possible) the basic dual G5 from Apple. Result: Apple, $2999. AlienWare: $3160. Voodoo PC: $3060. Falcon Northwest: $3179. Etc. I'd have done them all, but I have a life.

      I tried to be as fair as possible. However, it was usually difficult or impossible to get matching optical drives (as in SuperDrive), and many models not only didn't offer Gigabit ethernet, they didn't offer Ethernet *at all.* They had modems, though. Optional (I didn't add them, so they'd cost you extra.) Good grief.

      So lacking some of the features that the G5 comes with standard, the Athlon-based PCs came in more expensive. Same old game on the "PCs are cheaper" front. The Athlons may be faster, but they'll cost you.

      Now how is that for fair? "Faster costs more money." That sounds like reason to me. You can have a really fast processor, but at the expense of giving up a few things you might want in order to be productive. Like the internet.
      • Yes, they always claim the Macs are expensive, and it always turns out to be exageration at best, straight out nonsense at worst.

        They also like to print a bunch of marginally meaningful numbers to woo the masses, while leaving out the most important ones - like MTBF for instance. Can't have anyone getting the idea that they could keep a working computer in place instead of buying a new one every year, can we? Who cares if the G5 will still be working after the AMD chip has burned itself to a crisp? You're

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:14AM (#7218424) Journal
    I think the jury's still out. We haven't seen OS's or applications optimized for either platform. However, both systems are still pretty damn fast. I think it's going to come down to what you like best. Personally, I like OSX better than Windows or Linux on the desktop. OSX gives me all the power and stability of Linux, and it's easier to use and prettier than Windows, and it runs Photoshop. I'm a photographer, so that's pretty important to me. I still run Linux on my servers, though...those Mac servers are ridiculously expensive.
  • File this one under "duh"

    And as for the dept:

    from the os-x-doesn't-run-so-hot-on-athlon dept.

    should be:

    from the os-x-doesn't-run-on-athlon-at-all-dept.
  • by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:21AM (#7218510)
    Did you look at the apps they compared the G5s and the Athlon64s with?

    Word- It's Microsoft, no shit it's going to be faster on windows, who would have guessed that?
    Premiere - The video app that sucks so hard on mac that Adobe stoped making it. Try the same functions on FCP and watch it come out a few times faster.
    Quake 3 - A game, 'cause you know macs are what everyone uses for gaming, and developers spend just as much time optimising their mac versions.

    Photoshop - The only relavant and fair app they bothered to test, and the G5 is noticablly faster than any of the Athlon 64 systems, beaten only by the Opteron.

    And /. calls this a trouncing?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:22AM (#7218515)
    I cannot believe this is taken seriously on Slashdot.

    Let's look into this more closely: the PCWorld team tested only four applications, one being Microsoft Word, FFS, and another being Premiere, which is no more supported on the Mac, runs in Classic and is leagues behind Final Cut Pro in terms of performance, as anyone with a clue in Mac video processing will tell you. This alone qualifies this comparison as biased in my book.

    Where is the After Effects test ? And where is the Mathematica test ? Did you only know that any G5 will trounce an Athlon 64 in these apps ?

    Also, looking at the results, I can hardly call it "trouncing the Mac". Only one in the four apps make use of the 2GHz' second CPU (Photoshop), and dutifully the G5 beats the PC in this test, and the scores in the other tests (not counting the Premiere's joke of an application) are not even that far apart.

    Lies, damn lies, statistics, advertisements and benchmarks.
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kirby-meister (574952) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:22AM (#7218523)

    Aside from benchmarking Word for Mac against Word for Windows of all things, what does this actually prove? That Macs don't run software as well as Windows does when it comes to software that has been available for Windows longer? I'd be more interested in a price comparison between the systems.

    No software-RAID setup on the Mac? Why RAID on the other machines?

    Seems kind of one-sided.

    • > No software-RAID setup on the Mac? Why RAID on the other machines?

      > Seems kind of one-sided.

      See how there are two entries for the Alienware Aurora? Now read the note at the bottom:
      "Most of the PCs used dual, RAID-striped hard drives; the Apple systems did not. We retested the Alienware Aurora with the 128MB Radeon 9800 Pro card and without RAID for more-direct comparison with the G5 systems."

      I think that's being pretty fair, personally since it appears that the point of the article/benchmarks wa
  • by sakusha (441986) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:25AM (#7218551)
    I've argued with benchmarkers over and over about this, Premiere is a lousy benchmark, used only by people who want to stack the deck against Macs. Premiere is highly optimized for PCs, and highly unoptimized against Macs. Fortunately that benchmark will go away soon since there won't BE any further Mac Premiere versions.
    If you want to do a proper test, you'd use a crossplatform product that runs equally well on both platforms and is highly optimized for dual processors, like Discreet Cleaner or Combustion.
    There's only one benchmark I can think of that is more worthless than Premiere, the "MSWord scroll test." For some stupid reason, some benchmarkers think it's a useful test to see how fast the can scroll to the end of a long Word document with the arrow key. Unfortunately, Word has a delay loop built into the scroll function, it even changes the delay loop depending on the speed of the CPU. The results are totally useless.
  • 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].

  • "Uh.." (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheTomcat (53158) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @08:33AM (#7218648) Homepage
    See: http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/2003/06_jun/fea tures/cw_macg5_interview.htm [digitalvideoediting.com]. Funny stuff.

    [excerpt:]
    DMN: Now, you're saying it's the first 64-bit desktop machine. But isn't there an Opteron dual-processor machine? It shipped on June 4th. BOXX Technologies shipped it. It has an Opteron 244 in it.

    Rubinstein: Uh...

    Akrout: It's not a desktop.

    DMN: That's a desktop unit.

    Akrout: It depends on what you call a desktop, now.

    ---

    S
    • Apple had the same problem when they launched the 'first' 32-bit desktop machine, which came to market considerably later than the 32-bit Acorn Archimedes machines.

      I fully expect them to launch the 'first' 128-bit home machine a year or so after everyone else has them.
    • It depends on what you call a desktop, now.

      Doesn't it?
  • 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:Unscientific (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zathrus (232140)
      Oh, and I didn't mention that most of th PC's had double the graphics memory

      Which affected what, exactly?

      and had RAID as their primary storage.

      The Opteron didn't. Many of the other systems did, but excepting the incredibly inane Word benchmark it doesn't appear to have affected anything (as to be expected). It's not like they were playing with any really huge files -- the 150 MB Photoshop test can be held entirely in memory after all.

      As best I can tell they bought these systems with the criteria of h
  • "In time, 64-bit PCs could change the face of desktop computing. A 64-bit chip can run longer, more complex instructions than a 32-bit one, improving performance of data-intensive tasks such as audio and video encoding, advanced engineering design apps, and, naturally, games."

    How delightful that PCWorld has chosen to make things nice and easy to read for any small children who might happen to accidentally read this article! It's a pity that actual facts and content had to be discarded to make this poss

  • by Arkham (10779) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:00AM (#7218958)
    We're all geeks, so we love benchmarks.

    It's too bad that no rigor is applied to 99% of the benchmarks that are applied.

    Raw CPU benchmarks like SPEC end up being compiler tests rather than processor tests.

    "Real-world" app tests like this one are better, but only if the apps used are representative of apps used by the person reading the benchmark. They are not a realistic measure of holistic system performance.

    Adobe Premiere? Come on! Does anyone on the Mac use that at all anymore? Is it even OSX native? Since Final Cut 1.0 came out 2+ years ago, anyone who considered that dog Premiere deserves what they get. Isn't there a better editing package on the PC, or is the Mac just that much better for video editing?

    Microsoft products should be excluded from benchmarks on Microsoft's OS. Of COURSE Microsoft optimizes performance of their apps on their OS more than their apps on other OSs. That test is pointless.

    The Quake test would be valid, except as many people here have pointed out, it's a 32-bit app, so it's not using any of the 64-bit capabilities of these boxes. When we get a native, 64-bit version and can compare it to two boxes with the same ATI video card, then it will be a valid test.
  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @09:43AM (#7219429)
    I am seriously considering getting a G5 just to run Matlab simulations. Where's the tests of something that may stress the hardware a bit, like Mathematica or Matlab?

    These benchmarks are a bad joke. My pentium II or Athlon box runs Word pretty fast.
  • by beej (82035) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @11:28AM (#7220746) Homepage Journal
    This could be made more clear in the Slashdot header...I'm sure it's possible to build a system out of old 486s that could put both of these to shame for load times.

    Their tests are largely I/O-bound and video card related, too. It's a system comparison, not a processor comparison. If you have different I/O or video card, you'll get different results.

    So who has the faster processor? Who knows. I suggest you buy the system you like the most.

  • by Steve Cowan (525271) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @11:36AM (#7220810) Journal
    I had a chance to try a 3.2 GHz P4, an Opteron, a dual G5, a 3.06 GHz dual Xeon, and an Athlon 64, using a suite of productivity and multimedia apps. Here's the verdict:

    The P4: Very very fast.
    Opteron: Super fast.
    Dual G5: Really really fast.
    Athlon 64: Totally fast.
    Dual Xeon: Nice 'n fast.

    Telling results! Unfortunately since I have put so much effort into accurate, impartial analysis of the test results, and participating in all the arguments with disbelievers and naysayers, I have not had a chance to get any work done for months. But who wants to use CPUs for productive tasks anyway, when it is so much fun to sit back and watch them "trounce" each other!
  • Fairness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by akuma(x86) (224898) on Wednesday October 15, 2003 @01:54PM (#7222304)
    There seem to be lots of complaints about the fairness of the benchmarks.

    If you want to compare the performance of CPUs with different ISAs, then you need to have the benchmark source code to compile it to the target ISA. This also brings the performance of the compiler into question but there's just no other way to do it if you want to compare CPUs with different ISAs.

    One benchmark that people in the industry use to measure relative CPU performance across different ISAs is the SPEC benchmark. Just about every single computer maker from Dell to HP to Sun have submitted scores. Apple has not. This is in an of itself very telling. What is Apple afraid of? I'm hoping IBM releases a computer based on the G5 so that we can get some idea of the SPEC performance. Apple seems to believe it has something to lose by submitting a SPEC score.

    Don't like SPEC? Please suggest some other CPU intensive applications to benchmark that have source code and publish your results.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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