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Apple's G5 Speeds Challenged

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the some-hype-with-your-coffee dept.

Technology (Apple) 1595

An anonymous reader was the first of a seemingly infinite stream of people to submit a URL to an argument that makes the case that the G5 isn't quite what Apple wants you to think of it. The evidence? Apple's own press material. Worth a read.

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Think Different (5, Funny)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283221)

...and benchmark different too!

Re:Think Different (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283312)

The Mac users don't have much market share left, they are being passed by Linux after being buried by MS. At least let them have thier fantasy "fastest computer" badge.

whatever (1, Interesting)

boomerny (670029) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283229)

They're giving us a desktop UNIX running on 64-bit hardware, what else can you ask for? sheesh

Re:whatever (2, Interesting)

AlgUSF (238240) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283240)

Not to mention a FRESH LOOKING desktop UNIX running on 64-bit hardware.

Re:whatever (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283256)

Wow, two posts into it and the Mac fanboys are already out in full force. Hahaha. I had a desktop UNIX (Solaris) running on my desktop 64-bit hardware (Sun Blade 100) a couple of years ago. This is nothing new. Apple is using marketing hype to pretend they're innovative.

Re: whatever (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283322)

> They're giving us a desktop UNIX running on 64-bit hardware, what else can you ask for? sheesh

Who wants 64-bit for 64-bit's sake? I want fast, cheap computation. I'd be happy with an 8-bit computer if it gave sufficient bang for the buck.

Quite (5, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283329)

And what's more, when you start running programs that use more than 2GB of data, the 64-bit machine is going to beat the pants off the 32-bit one, since the 32-bit machine (i.e. intel) is going to have to resort to slow and hacky solutions such as segments and paging. The intel may me "faster" but only as long as 32-bit are enough for you. The days of 32-bit machines are numbered, just as they were for 16-bit machines when 32-bit machines started to appear.

Re:Quite (5, Funny)

keiferb (267153) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283375)

And what's more, when you start running programs that use more than 2GB of data

Oh, Please. We all know we'll never ever need more than 640k.

I'm shocked, shocked, (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283235)

...to find that people would use benchmarketing to make a product look better than it is!

Re:I'm shocked, shocked, (1)

pnix (682520) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283289)

I know! Who would'a ever thought that a company would EVER use misleading benchmarks to try to increase sales? What a scandal! What an outrage! /me shakes head at anyone who believes a benchmark run by the seller of the product...

Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283239)

Another fanboy-o-rama. The Intel fanboys, the AMD fanboys, the Apple fanboys, they'll all come out to play. Shouldn't these mindless dick size wars be going somewhere else?

eh? (5, Funny)

cfscript (654864) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283244)

Both Apple and Dell are guilty of using misleading prices. For example, Apple gives the price of the low-end G5 as "$1999", and the high-end G5 as "$2999". In other words, they have subtracted $1 from a $3000 computer to make it seem cheaper, which is absolutely ridiculous. This demonstrates that both Apple and Dell are willing to mislead people when stating their prices.

translation :

i am too stupid to round up.

Re:eh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283316)

I was just going to post that, EVERY industry does this. Hell, that's $1 out of $1000, the oil companies even feel the need to 'mislead' you out of a tenth of a cent every time you pump premium into your SUV.

Re:eh? (2, Insightful)

MuckSavage (658302) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283332)

Both Apple and Dell are guilty of using misleading prices.

So are Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Microsoft, Taco Bell, Comcast, Best Buy...
Sorry, I have to go to work at some point, and I don't have time to list EVERY OTHER COMPANY IN THE WORLD. That is the stupidest comment ever, and shows that this whole article shouldn't be taken seriously.

Re:eh? (2, Insightful)

ankit (70020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283393)

How does having one "stupid" comment show taht the article should not be taken seriously? To me the article makes sense. The numbers are in the open. If you dont trust the article, do your own research, and you would come to the same conclusion!

Re:eh? (1)

phliver (258960) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283345)

Yeah, but you see that EVERYWHERE. If you walk into a grocery store, or any other store for that matter, you'll notice almost every item is marked 2.99, 4.95. Its the way it works.

Re:eh? (2, Insightful)

slimak (593319) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283351)

In other words, they have subtracted $1 from a $3000 computer to make it seem cheaper, which is absolutely ridiculous.

I guess I fail to see how pricing something at $2999 vs $3000 is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe its just me, but when i'm looking at a $3000 system, a single dollar will not sway me one way or the other. Americans should be used to this... bottled soda and water are typically $0.99 and for some unknown (to the general public at least) reason, gas is sold with a price having 10ths of cents.

Re:eh? (1)

pnix (682520) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283388)

I agree - anyone who is stupid enough to look at $2999 versus $3000 and think "Wow, that's so much cheaper!" is yet another idiot who deserves to be taken in!

Re:eh? (1)

Niteshade (674961) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283353)

so, Apple uses miselading prices, just like Downy, Coca-Cola, Nike, Ziploc, Crisco, Ford... must be a conspiracy.

Re:eh? (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283355)

"Misleading prices" hardly starts or stops with Apple and Dell; and it's not all that bad, considering they're giving you an up-front price, at least. Consider manufacturers that sell their hardware at "Just $299! (After $400 rebate that will take 6 months to arrive) The $?99 price scheme has been around for as long as I can remember - just look at gasoline prices if you want to see what I mean.

Re:eh? (2, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283374)

Ridiculous, isn't it? Virtually every company the whole world over rounds its pricing up or down a bit to just under a round number.

Flick through any computer magazine and you'll see hundreds of systems priced at $/£/â x99. And the same is true of cars, houses, TVs and just about every other non-grocery item.

To suddenly attribute this to just Apple and Dell is like picking on a kid just because he's got two legs and two arms.

Re:eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283382)

... and?

That's so important to *waste* space here? Maybe you should open your eyes and read the rest of the article which contains more important information.

Good luck!

Re:eh? (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283394)

surely im not the only one that simply reads $1999 as $2000 automagically?

There are police officers on horses outside. what the hell is going on downtown.

Benchmarking Across Platforms (3, Insightful)

RobRancho (569680) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283253)

While the methods Apple used may not have been in the best of intentions and possibly missleading, this just underscores the greater difficulties of benchmarking across platforms, specifically processor architectures. The playing field will never really be level using SPEC. The only way to truly determine which machines are "faster" is at the application level, where real work is done.

Re:Benchmarking Across Platforms (5, Insightful)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283331)

I was going to mod you down, but...

Apple has deliberately turned off processor features on the other platforms that would have led to their 'fastest in the world' claim being untrue. That's the point of the article. Cross-platform benchmarking IS hard, but deliberately crippling what you benchmark against in order to look better makes it seem that your software/hardware/whatever just isn't as good as what you're comparing it to...

Re:Benchmarking Across Platforms (4, Interesting)

Jad LaFields (607990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283349)

Absolutely correct. I was somewhat bemused by all the hoopla yesterday about the G5 and it's 'speed'. I need to know how it will run programs that I will use. I don't run benchmark software very often. =)

I'm not a graphic artist, so Photoshop is unimportant to me. I don't render video, or manipulate sound, so that's not for me. I actually mostly use my home comp for games, the internet, watching movies and listening to music. Maybe it was optimistic of me to think that I was going to find a Mac that would fit my needs, but with all the hype about the G5, I thought I would finally have some reason to be interested in Macs. Does anybody have any numbers for any other programs other than Photoshop? At least some fps in Quake 3? (I don't play it, but it's a good game benchmark)

Apple's benchmarks (5, Insightful)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283257)

Apple is always a little sketchy when it comes to speed measurements. I can't count how many questionable run-offs Steve Jobs has demonstrated during his keynotes.

They're always a little suspect. I love Apple as much as anyone, but their talk of the megahertz myth and the amazing clock cycle of the G4/G5 and the biased tests they use are starting to sound a little shrill. Apple needs to admit that their machines aren't as fast as the fastest Intel has to offer. They're much cleaner and much more elegant, though, and that's why they're in the market. That's what they should stress, since it actually attracts customers -- rather than THE NEED FOR SPEED.

Flaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283258)

Holy shit, did any of you look at all of the hatemail he's been getting? You'd think he spoke out against music piracy or something.

Re:Flaming (4, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283348)

That is a little wierd, although not wholly surprising. It's kind of a variant of the little man syndrome, where folks who adopt a platform not in the mainstream have to justify themselves either via inflated specs in some obscure area or, failing that, vitriol.

It seems to me that if somebody wanted to use an inferior product, the first thing they'd do is develop a thick skin and at a minimum ignore the criticism being lobbed at their platform of choice. That, or choose to adopt something that seems to work better for the majority so that they don't have to feel left out all the time; obviously when you get to the point of chewing out people who are trying to show you why your choice is flawed it's become a popularity contest for you already (competing, not computing).

This only shows me one thing... (1, Flamebait)

oilisgood (161130) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283262)

Al Gore has definately been able to spread his political spinnery into Apple's culture pretty quickly since joining their board. :-)

Picking and choosing benchmark results?! (3, Funny)

Astrorunner (316100) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283265)

OMG, you mean benchmarks are subjective? Marketing execs get a hard on the size of Georgia when they hear the term "benchmark." Let us all hope and pray AMD and Intel don't hear about this, lest we never be able to trust an ad campaign again!

spl=troll (2, Informative)

christurkel (520220) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283267)

The author of this little essay is a known troll in the Mac community. His previous essay made sure to bash Apple for copying the original windows GUI for the Mac(!).

This guy is a known troll. He MAY have valid points but his credibility is zero.

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283297)

Oh wait, you already have. My bad.

Re:spl=troll (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283305)

Yes, it's "slam Apple time" here on Slashdot. Submit your anti-Apple articles and we'll post them.

Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be a "praise Apple time" soon, but for now we're going to treat Apple the way Bill Gates wanted to when he found out about Safari.

Re: spl=troll (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283403)

> Yes, it's "slam Apple time" here on Slashdot. Submit your anti-Apple articles and we'll post them.

No problem; the daily SCO story will be up in a little while and then everyone will forget about Apple until tomorrow!

Re:spl=troll (4, Funny)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283310)

He MAY have valid points but his credibility is zero.

Ummm...this is /. you know.

Are you new here?

(yeah, yeah, pot, kettle, black)

Re:spl=troll (1)

T40 Dude (668317) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283314)

+1, Informative I'm new, so no mod points for me yet, :(

Re:spl=troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283346)

Post on Topic, or ur karma will never be good enough to get mod points.

Re:spl=troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283324)

If He is a known troll, why is it so hard for someone to refute his claims?

Re:spl=troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283328)

I've found that anyone who is not willing to orally pleasure Steve Jobs is considered a troll by the "MAC commune". Please spare us the already rabid defenses.

The last couple of years while MAC processor speed has been stagnant, all we hear is Mhz myth and all sorts of dodges. Now suddenly yesterday, the MAC queens are tromping around like they own the place with their "fastest desktop in the world". I thought Mhz was a myth and it does not matter? You girls sure are having fits trying to defend your speed now.

Re:spl=troll (2, Insightful)

ankit (70020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283347)

Does it make any difference? What he writes about makes sense! The numbers are out in the open. He is simply presenting it in a readable fashion...

Re: spl=troll (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283358)

> He MAY have valid points but his credibility is zero.

That claim really doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

If his points "MAY" be valid, then is credibility is not zero.

Re:similar info from a different source (4, Informative)

elwinc (663074) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283368)

Tom Yager, on his infoworld blog [infoworld.com] has similar info:
The test results are invalidated by severely lopsided testing conditions. Among them, Apple used a prototype G5 running its special GNU compiler and an unreleased version of OS X. The Dells used shipping hardware, vanilla GNU compilers and Red Hat 9.

... Dell's published results on the SPEC site--regarded as the definitive repository for SPEC results--are best-case. They're far better than the results cited by Veritest in the Apple report. That bit takes no special knowledge to ferret out.

Thank you, Apple, for a fine lesson in how to lie with statistics.

Re:spl=troll (5, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283372)

His previous essay made sure to bash Apple for copying the original windows GUI for the Mac(!).

If you're talking about this [haxial.com] (section entitled "Apple Copies Ideas From Microsoft") then you'll find that he admits that Microsoft copies stuff from Apple, but that Apple have copied things from Microsoft too. Which wouldn't seem a too unreasonable claim.

If you're going to claim someone is a troll, the least you could do is give us an example which isn't guaranteed to mislead us.

Re:spl=troll (5, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283389)

This is what really gets my goat sometimes. Calling him a "known troll" and saying "his credibility" is zero does not address his points.

Are you going to deny that Apple cheated at the benchmarks by disabling various optimizations on the competition? Are you going to deny that most software uses integer math, as one "software coder" clearly did (hint: i write a lot of software, and integer math practically always dominates)?

The guy may, or may not be a troll. However, the sheer amount hate mail, and the level of it, was stunning. What kind of people write stuff like that? Very few of them even attempted to address the guys points, and those that did made a hash job of it (nobody uses int math? wtf?).

The fact is that anybody outside the Mac community, having read that essay, is going to come away with a bad impression of said community. Nobody deserves to get hate mail like that for pointing out the other side of the statistics.

Re:spl=troll (2, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283407)

Trolls, by definition, don't make valid points. Just because he dares to disagree with Mac fanatics doesn't make him a troll - there has to be a more compelling reasoning behind that statement if it's to stick.

There may well be aspects of MacOS X that Apple copied from the Windows GUI. Gods know, it certainly went the other way. But if he substantiated his case, then he's still not a troll.

Of course, calling someone a troll is easier than actually refuting his arguments; but that won't really make your point well, either. The way to refute the guy's "maybe-valid" points is to reason through them logically.

Ati ... Nvidia ... now Apple (2, Insightful)

valisk (622262) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283268)

It's a shame if Apple have resorted to this sort of thing, I thought it was bad enough that nVidia had produced drivers designed to give false results, but actually crippling your opponents hardware, to show that your product beats it, is pretty low.

Lets hope we can look at some independent tests in the coming days and see which unit is really value for money, because if Dell's benchmarks are correct their unit is 20-30% faster and only 2/3rds the price.

Who cares?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283270)

My next boxen will be PowerMac G5.

Re:Who cares?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283366)

My next boxen will be PowerMac G5.

That means your next partner will be a man.

Oh well (2, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283274)

He had me thinking he was insightful and thoughtful until the end where he replies to all of his hate mail individually. Woulda made his point better if he just left it alone.

the chap is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283275)

I've looked over his article and website, and verified the figures Apple are quoting from
http://www.veritest.com ... and the guy is simply WRONG in his arguments and in his detail!

Since when is Apple about speed? (1)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283276)

Apple is the new Sony: give people the gadgets they want, and charge a premium for it. Speed
is not the killer argument. As long as it's
fast enough to digest whatever you throw at it,
who cares?

Re:Since when is Apple about speed? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283357)

Apple's been selling computers far longer than Sony. In this arena, Sony are trying to be the new Apple.

Re:Since when is Apple about speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283383)

Apple is the new Sony: give people the gadgets they want, and charge a premium for it.

Since when does Sony charge almost twice what RCA does for similarly configured products? Apple's more like a Philips than a Sony...Sony's commodity, Apple is "luxury"

in other news ... (3, Insightful)

jamesbrown1000 (39200) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283277)

YOUR HOME TOWN (AP) -- You were not "the most handsome boy in school," contrary to what your mother may have said at the time, officials today announced.

"Mothers always say things like that to their gangly, awkward teenage children," one official said on condition of anonymity.
Point is ... no shiat! Apple marketing spins things; Dell marketing spins things ... everyone spins. Don't take it so seriously.

hyperthreading is a different breed (1)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283279)

hyperthreading is like having 2 processor, when you only have 1 physical processor.
So If you want compare a hyperthreading processor vs G5, you have benchmark 1 (single) hyperthreading CPU vs 2 (dual) * G5.
We have to be fair.

Re:hyperthreading is a different breed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283321)

Except that hyperthreading doesn't cost nearly as much as a second CPU? Did you think about that?

Re:hyperthreading is a different breed (1)

phobix (223303) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283342)

That wouldn't be fair at all. Just because hyperthreading allows a processor to act like two processors, it is still just one processor.

Re:hyperthreading is a different breed (1)

linuxkrn (635044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283379)

That is not true at all. Hyperthreading is NOT like having two processors. Hyprethreading only gives you two sets of registers to fill. The CPU can still only execute ONE bank at a time. While this can free up the OS to keep filling the banks with multi-threaded apps, it's NOT like having two CPUs. While you _can_ see increased performance of up to 25% it's not always the case. True Linux sees 4 CPUs...but I digress And yes, I have dual Xeon's with hyperthreading. 2.4.20 compile times: make -j2 = 160 secs make -j4 = 120 secs make -j5 = 110 secs (as low as 96 with > /dev/null for stdout/err) Bottom line is, you can't compare a dual to a single even with HT. And just FYI, the new P4s (not Xeons) have HT now too.

Exactly (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283386)

He turns hyperthreading on but only counts one processor at 2ghz for the apple. Either leave them all on or all off.

That guy is a dipshit.

Summary (1, Insightful)

DougMackensie (79440) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283280)

Anti-Apple Troll vs. Apple Troll

How terribly interesting.... o_O

Re:Summary (3, Insightful)

jgalun (8930) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283370)

It is unfair to summarize it that way. It's more like, "man examining available evidence" vs. "trolls with no evidence." Why is it trolling to show that Apple's benchmarks are wildly misleading? Would it also be trolling if I, say, posted to Slashdot evidence that nVidia was scamming certain graphic benchmarks?

Hell, how is this different from when Microsoft posted benchmarks about web server throughput on Windows vs. Linux? Then, all Slashdot was up in arms that Microsoft had heavily tweaked its Windows set up but left the Linux box plain vanilla. Why is it that when Apple does the same thing so many of us say "It's an Anti-Apple Troll"?

Jesus, the guy even says that there are things that he likes Mac for. How does that make him a troll?

Re:Summary (1, Redundant)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283378)

Everyone knows that any hardware/software manufacturer will "fudge" the benchmarks a bit.

This article is just one big flame war.


Different Benchmarks (5, Insightful)

YomikoReadman (678084) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283281)

Well, it certainly isn't the first time that a company has used a benchmark to make a product look better than it is, and it certainly won't be the last time. I think what we should all learn from this is as follows. Don't worry about Statistics, Benchmarks, or any Media Hype. Just go to the store, buy whatever kind of computer you want that floats ur boat, Be it a Mac, Linux Box, Windoze Box, or god forbid, a compaq. Set it up, get broadband internet, and read lots of Slashdot and play Starcraft.

So does this mean ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283284)

So does this mean that Linux will overtake
Apple in the desktop market after all?

The road to Redmond goes through Cupertino.

imagine.. (1)

chef_raekwon (411401) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283285)

imagine that...a company fudging the specs to sell product. this is absolutely unheard of!! we must stop this travesty now!!!

(this is sarcasm - and should be modded as such ;)

Well, this'll send den Beste right into orbit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283295)

Somebody warn the space station--incoming!

Really smart guy (5, Funny)

T40 Dude (668317) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283298)

Both Apple and Dell are guilty of using misleading prices. For example, Apple gives the price of the low-end G5 as "$1999", and the high-end G5 as "$2999". In other words, they have subtracted $1 from a $3000 computer to make it seem cheaper, which is absolutely ridiculous. This demonstrates that both Apple and Dell are willing to mislead people when stating their prices.

Mislead people ??? $2999 IS cheaper than $3000.

Does anyone care anymore? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283304)

I mean computers are so fast that there's very little that I might want to do at a consumer level that makes a difference. Most applications are responsive on my ancient 500MHz Pentium 3.

The only things that really need speed are things like 3d rendering, video compression and compiling large appllications. 3D rendering in games is influenced by the speed of the graphics card a lot more than the speed of the CPU, so we're left with the long slow scenes. Personally, it makes very little difference to me if a rendering a scene or compressing a video takes 30 minutes rather than 40. If I can kill 30 minutes, I can kill another 10 quite easily.

In the past, I'd have been able to tell you whether I was using a 20MHz or a 25Mhz 386 just by using it. I can hardly detect the difference between a 1.5GHz machine and a 3.0GHz machine without using a benchmark.

In the end, it's just numbers.

The Big Difference (1)

klupo (515382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283307)

The Big Difference may not be the out and out raw speed of the hardware but I'm betting that in conjunction with their new 64 bit OS it will scream and I don't know of any other company putting out a 64 OS to the desktop.

wow, Apple sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283308)

just another dishonest large American corporation.

Seems Apple has learned its lessons from M$ (1)

plj (673710) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283309)

Hadn't Microsoft just done the same when they compared Windows SMB performance against Red Hat. Sad to see Apple is using same crappy methods.

Real World Performance (2, Interesting)

aftermath09 (521504) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283311)

Ultimately, it will be interesting to see the real world performance of the G5. I own a 2100+ amd athlon, but I don't feel much of a speed increase from my old 1 Ghz. As usual, a processor is only one part of a computer's performance, and the 1Ghz bus that the G5 will use will greatly contribute to the percieved speed of the system. Also, the interaction with OS X will be important. I use a G4 powerbook running jaguar, but occassionally there are slow downs - not sure why.

Floating Point *is* important on the Mac (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283318)

"When interpreting these FP results, let us keep in mind that most people use Integer (not FP) most of the time. Therefore, integer results (SPECint) are much more important than floating-point results (SPECfp). In other words, most people should ignore floating-point results because they do not use floating-point anyway (or not much)."

Well that may be true in Windows, but from what I recall the Cocoa API and PDF display model relies on floating point exclusively for screen coordinates. IOW, floating point may not be so important on Windows but it is on the Mac.
I also recall the implementors of Mathematica complaining about the integer centric nature of the Windows API.

The Photoshop and Mathematica benchmarks rock (5, Interesting)

putaro (235078) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283319)

I watched the video. (http://stream.apple.akadns.net/ - requires QuickTime). Now, I'm sure there's many ways you could tweak the benchmarks and so forth but the Photoshop and Mathematica benchmarks rocked. The G5 was 2x faster than the Xeon.

I used to get involved doing benchmarking back in the good old days of Whetstone when I worked on supercomputers. Every manufacturer had a different nasty tweak to the compilers that were pulled out only when it was time to do benchmarks for a customer. The mantra then as now was: the best benchmark is the app you want to run (since most buyers of supercomputers write their own apps, porting them for a benchmark was a possibility).

The G5's may not be the hottest thing on the planet but they're close enough to get Apple back in the ball game. Nice systems architecture, nice case and the claim is they're quiet as well. Oh, and don't forget you can put in 8GB of RAM. Now even OS X doesn't need to swap :-)

Want to compare computer performance, do it yourse (1)

thbigr (514105) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283326)

I still havn't seen an independent organization that does performace comparisons that I would trust. If you need to REALY know, do the testing your self.

Sure it would be expensive for a private user, but for corperations it would be feasiable. I still haven't seen many companies do their own performance measurement.

What about the backplane???? (5, Interesting)

JWW (79176) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283335)

The 1GHz backplane is the real news. No processor benchmark test really takes into account the total real speed of the system when running applications.

The fast backplane will speed up IO, which is a common bottleneck. 1GHz for a PC backplane is huge. The only machine I had seen a 1GHz backplane in so far is a HP-UX server. It cost wayyy more than $2000 or even $3000.

I really believe that with this new chip alliance with IBM Apple will finally be able to put that "the OS is really cool, but PCs are always faster" stuff behind them.

Yesterday was a good day for apple.

No! Surely not Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283337)

Apple playing fast and loose with benchmark numbers!

No! Heaven forfend! Surely not.

I'm a Mac user from way back, but I don't mean this as a defense of Apple:
This is marketing at its best in computing. It's all about exaggeration, benchmarks that don't bear too much scrutiny and hype. Apple excel in all three areas, and have for years.

These machines look truly great, but I'll hold off on gloating over the benchmarks until I see real user tests, not Apple 'tests'.

Doesnt' really matter (1)

TheDredd (529506) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283338)

The big new is that they have new chips, and these suckers can scale and perform well with SMP, who cares if there not the fastest in the world, If apple can't outperform they'll just stick more processors in

Prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283339)

*Every* retailer does this, take off a penny or a $1 to make it look $29.99, $299.99 etc etc

Don't you dare to single out Apple or Dell for this pratice.

Both Apple and Dell are guilty of using misleading prices. For example, Apple gives the price of the low-end G5 as "$1999", and the high-end G5 as "$2999". In other words, they have subtracted $1 from a $3000 computer to make it seem cheaper, which is absolutely ridiculous. This demonstrates that both Apple and Dell are willing to mislead people when stating their prices.

I work for... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283350)

I am a Mac user. I have been using Macs for years. I am writing this article on a PowerMac G4. I enjoy using Macs.

...oh, and I work for Intel, but nevermind that part. ;)

The benchmarks always show the high-end (0)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283359)

In the little graphs, the benchmarks always pit the Dual 2GHz G5 against the Dell. Realistically, though, the Dual 2GHz is the least affordable of the G5s (really, even for professional graphics use, who pays more than about $1800 for a PC any more, and you can even get a bang-up $1800 system with an 18" LCD monitor). So in all honesty, most purchasers would opt for the $2000 G5 vs. the $3000 G5. And the question is: How well does the 1.6GHz G5 stack up against Dell's dirt-cheap 2.66GHz P4s? In any case, you can't really put the 1.6GHz G5 on a page touting the world's fastest desktop, because it very obviously isn't.

Real World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283363)

How you do you explain the differences in the 'Real World' tests ?

I watched the keynote last night and it looked like Photoshop, Mathmatica,etc completely blew away the PC.

I'm okay with using the SPEC tests for comparing the same chip/different mhz but companies routinely change the compilers etc to get better results. Just look at database tpc numbers from Oracle/IBM/Microsoft.

Last time I installed RedHat it didn't come with the Intel compiler and I didn't see a 'Xeon-optimized' version of RH either.

Stop the madness (2, Insightful)

reiggin (646111) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283364)

Apple made it's claims based on the DUAL 2ghz model. In the benchmarks this guy uses to show that it's not the fastest, it is stated that the second processor is disabled. Well, of course, that would injure their claims! As someone else has already pointed out, hyperthreading on the P4 makes it act as a dual processor so if you want to compare single processor to single processor, disable the hyperthreading on the P4 as well as the second processor on the G5. And it's really not surprising to me that a single processor G5 at 2ghz is slower than a P4 at 3ghz. Isn't that they way it should be? I'm just glad that it seems to hold good up against it at all where as the G4 would honestly be blown away by it. Let's all just admit that IBM has definitely put their best foot forward. I'm sure it won't be long before we'll see true 4ghz G5's compared to 4ghz P4's.

Finally, I'm sure the real world testing, once available, will be of more interest to most people than any of these silly lab tests.

PC people are missing the point! (1)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283367)

SPECfp ratings don't matter! Thanks to *mumble* Apple SPECfps are faster per SPEC mark. Stop buying into the SPECfp myth!!!

Serial vs Parallel ATA (1)

Davoid (5734) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283369)

Strange that they didn't bother to test serial ATA on the Mac vs serial ATA on the PC. Seems kinda bogus for them to use two different busses. Look up Serail vs Parallel ATA on a PC and you will see that kind of performance boost.

Last time I checked Apple is also running a somewhat "cooked" version of Bonnie for these tests.


you insensitive clod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6283373)

I'm still using my 486!

Well, what do you expect? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283380)

Steve Jobs' assistants roll out the two carts... they open Photoshop... they click on the "Gnorglize foodlefacets" effect... the progress bars start moving... the Pentium's pulls ahead... the Pentium completes... the Mac is still grinding away... ...and Steve Jobs says, "Well, as you can see, the Pentium really IS a little faster at this particular task. But, hey, the Mac has a prettier case and it's easier to use?"

I'd really like to see this someday, but somehow I don't expect to.

So what does this tell me? (2, Insightful)

w3weasel (656289) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283381)

Is the G5 only 1.8 times faster than the P4 rather than the 2.1 times faster that I was lead to believe?
First nVidia, now this... how am I supposed to go bankrupt buying more computing power than I could ever hope to use?

seriously... so now we might think that in real world usage, the G5 is maybe just a little faster than the x86 competition instead of a S*** load faster. Considering the performance point of Apple's previous offerings, I'm not exactly dissapointed

Benchmarks...who cares? (5, Funny)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283395)

Anyone who's followed the computer industry for more than a couple minutes knows that there are lies, damned lies, and benchmarks.

Go use a machine, for tasks you'd typically perform -- that's the only benchmark that matters.

But if you must assign a number to the size of your virtual phallus, by all means, benchmark away...

A push over the edge (1)

1nt3lx (124618) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283396)

Perhaps the benchmarks and fanfare are only being used to push those who were interested in purchasing a Mac for the OS but were not going to spend $3000 on a G4 when a G5 was expected.

Those who are deeply entrenched are not going to switch sides because of a benchmarks. There are still people swearing that AMD chips are faster than Intel chips, and when the benchmarks show they are then the Intel fans will swear it's not true. Blah blah blah. Who cares?

People use Macs for reasons other than Benchmakrs against Intel/AMD chips. I have used PCs for a very long time, but I have also been using Mac OS X at work and as often as I could. It really is a terrifically designed system which offers significant benefits. The only thing holding me back what the overpriced G4. Now there is nothing, thank you Apple.

Give us a meaningfull measure of speed... (0, Redundant)

mustrum_ridcully (311862) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283397)

like Quake 3 fps ;-)

But seriously, the average punter (i.e. your non-/.'er) only cares about the headlines "oooh it's SO much faster than a PC!" and won't bother reading the small print and Apple KNOW IT.

Strikes me (0)

akpcep (659230) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283402)

That Mac users use Macs because they want to use a Mac, rather than any performance benefits over a PC. They have specific needs regarding applications etc they feel are best served by a mac, and they're willing to pay extra for it.

Which is cool.

Does anyone else think the whole tedious Mac vs PC argument is a bit like comparing apples to oranges (excuse pun)?

Yes ... (3, Insightful)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 10 years ago | (#6283409)

This is nothing new. nVidia and ATI play with 3DMark, Apple and Intel put instructions on their chips to make photoshop run better. This really isn't anything new.

Benchmarks aren't what sells apples and price certianly isn't the drawing point. People use macs because they like macs. Hence why the mac market doesn't increase that much, they're too pricey and don't act like a PC. Granted as a user who uses windows, linux, and Mac OS, and all the subvarients between I can tell you that there are perks to all the operating systems. But as far as hardware goes x86 wins hands down.

Why is x86 better than apple? Simple, they're more tweakable, upgradeable, provide more selections, and are used by more people. Apple makes up for the "not used by many people" by making every mac an exact clone of another. Hence why when you get a file for a mac to be installed you just drop a binary in, every mac is the same (to an extent), whereas every PC is not, but the components are the same some just perform better than others.

Apple's prices are outrageous, and let me get into it a little more. A first time computer buyer is wary of a computer. They don't want to invest a whole lot of money in something they don't know if they're going to be able to use. But for $600 they can have a pretty decent machine that plays most every x86 game out there and runs most every x86 OS out there with little or no trouble. For $600 you might be able to score an old iMac. That old iMac MIGHT be able to run Mac OS 10.2, but it's going to be hella slow and not be able to do half the things the same priced PC will be able to do.

People who buy computers are looking for the most they can get with the least amount of money. Most people's computers are still beige. Most peoples computers have all the same applications. And Most people rely on somoene other than themselves for computer help, hence more PC's more help available.

I like OS X (especially with a two button mouse). I like linux (especially when everything works right). And I like windows (especially when XP loads correctly and doesn't crash and doesn't require me to kill processes in the task manager all the time to get some of my memory back).

All of these systems have their perks and they all have a place in the market, just they all want more of a place in the market, hence the competition. If Apple wanted to procreate so much they'd come up with a bargain computer other than the eMac or iMac. Something that has the ability to be upgraded (even if the user never wants to) and has the ability to run popular programs, hence MS, hey MS if I buy a copy of Word I want to be able to install it on either my PC or my Mac, I don't want to have to buy two different copies.

Anyways, these computers will be blasted out of the water in no time when Intel and AMD roll out their 64-bit badboys. Remember the 970 is actually an older chip in comparison to the AMD and Intel varients. Granted x86 isn't exactly new ... but neither were the moto's.

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