Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Apple Benchmarks

After hearing Apple's claims that the new PowerBooks are "4 times faster," a number of people are quick to point out how slow the PowerPC processor has been all along despite Steve's claims otherwise. Not true. It's true that Steve's past G4 benchmarks were a little contrived. In an attempt to prove hz didn't matter, he tended to favor graphical applications optimized for the Altivec engine. Not a good test of real world performance. But this doesn't mean the new Intel processors blow the doors off the G5. Far from it. The "4 times faster" claim refers only to the long in the tooth laptop line where Apple replaced a single dated G4 processor with the equivalent of two Intel processors with faster clock speeds in addition to other improvements. Of course it's 4 times faster. Hz for hz, the G5 and Intel processors are roughly the same with one exception: the Intel runs cooler so you can use it in a laptop. So don't go throwing out your G5 desktop just yet.

18 Comments:

Blogger Margie H said...

Dude, your baby is soooo beautiful!!! The cutest baby ever. Great blog too!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Dovid said...

HI. Just came here because it was listed on google's notable blogs, and I am not disapointed. I have an ibook g4, and it's so freaking slooooooooooow....... Blog on!

10:08 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:48 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

Hz for Hz meaning Intel Ms? Because I dont know that the p4 (despite how I love it and AMD over any apple ive seen in years) can do that.

I am sorry, I get that the dual P4s are supposed to be newer as you say here, but frankly considering that P4s have changed little since the latest G5s came out (what a few months ago only), I dont think things were any different when apple said it a year ago. HT was already out, and the dual P4s out now aint all that much faster than a good HT P4.

Frankly, I think both statements are BS. That the G5 (64 bit was overhyped for example) was faster than the Pcs... AND that the new apples are 4 x faster than the G5s. What I mean to say is, I think apple always stretches the truth. Because they can. Because they market to people who like to feel superior, who like their PC to be a style statement.

Its one of those OJ killed his wife, AND the cops are corrupt issues.

But it all points back to apple, and marketing to people with limited real computer knowledge.

So you wind up with so many people who buy them as much for the style and social statement as anything. To be seen in starbucks with one...

It insults the real serious users who use apple (there must be millions), and keeps PC users like me from ever wanting to check them out.

At least dell doesnt try to sell me on how much faster than apple it is, and oh by the way it is half the price. :)

I should add, I own an apple laptop and it works great. But it isnt any better, and it did cost 600 bucks more than an identical dell. Where did that 600 extra go? Im going to guess the fancy case and how cool I look when I get a 10$ mega late con leche.

R2K

12:53 PM  
Blogger Bob Lee said...

My point was that Apple did *not* claim that the new Intel computers are 4X faster than a G5. They claimed that the new laptops with two Intel chips are 4X faster than the old laptops with one old *G4*. That's believable.

1:07 PM  
Blogger gnome said...

Just a question.... are things like processor performance still measured in MIPS?
If yes, that would make things much simpler and cross platform comparisons easier...

2:43 PM  
Blogger Diary of a Ghost said...

You seem to be a very smart person. I think you are a genius. I think you know exactly what you are talking about. Thank you for sharing with us your brain.

6:55 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

Gnome, it isnt that simple. Processors do many different tasks today in the pc. It isnt as simple as raw numbers, raw benchmarks (MHZ, cache, bus throughput) seldom predict how real world benchmarks will work on the system. Apples were great at photoshop, so that is all apple ever boasted about. While PCs (great at everything) were particlarly dominant in the area of computer gaming and (though many will argue everything I say here) graphics and video work. So apple never boasted about how macs did with quake 3.

Anyway, mute point. Apple is now an OEM (like dell) who happens to make software as well. Eventually they might not even be in the PC market, and will focus only on software. Which might be smart, since OSX can now run on the PC, and since apple computers are basically PCs as well (the hardware is identical in almost all areas) with a different OS.

R2K

2:29 PM  
Blogger gnome said...

Alex, I see what you are saying and I guess you might be right, but still some form of cross-platform benchmarking would help, even if it were to be broken down to categories, like gaming, 2d etc.

cheers

3:29 AM  
Blogger Scott Addison said...

I agree with gnome. cross-platform benchmarking are sometimes different stories.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Robert G. said...

Hey thanks for the helpful info! there's a lot of stuff going around about the new macs, some good, some bad, but personally I can't wait to get my hands on one and try it out.

4:44 AM  
Blogger bureX said...

It's only marketing :(
Almost every product you buy has a "4x faster", "75% more speed" or "double performance" label, so this is not such a big surprise if you ask me... Microsoft has hired some company to do some benchmarking for them a while ago, and it turns out that "Linux is way slower than Windows Server 2003, Windows is 45% faster!". Fortunately, those ads that contained these results were quickly removed because many complaints were filed in, and it turns out that Windows was faster in only some very rare occasions, which is not enough to prove the major speed increase. Maybe Apple will take the same beating, who knows?

6:27 AM  
Blogger John Bob said...

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Have fun. Thanks and have a good day!

8:29 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

Nice add john bob...

No I am mostly pissed off that apple is STILL doing it!

This morning I saw the "Intel set free" commercial. The most condescending, stupid add in a while. The implication, as usual, is that PCs are boring and stupid and never do anything.

First of all, the bulk of the computer world is PCs... apple is the minority. The world runs on PCs... But that is not important really. My problem is that after bashing intel for so long, apple is forced to use it, and they act like it is them saving this poor cpu from PC hell. Yet look at what makes an apple computer different? The OS (apple OS can be gotten for the pc now) and the price. Thats all. Its just lame, and It makes me angry when apple takes advantage of those who know least about computers, but have money to waste. Like adults (over 30) and schools. They wind up spending a ton of money and getting nothing more in return.

1-800-867-5309

11:26 AM  
Blogger jedimacfan said...

Nice blog. I found it on the generic blogger welcome screen. I'll keep you bookmarked.

12:23 AM  
Blogger The Stig said...

you sound, or at least write, like a smart person. Personally I find OSX a huge pain in my a**, that though is probably because I am so used to my AMD 64 powered Windows, I love it. Anyway, I'll be keeping this in my favorites. Interesting stuff. I'd love to see a comment on my blog, http//:www.srcentral.blogspot.com

6:54 PM  
Blogger tim said...

Alex - I take no exception to your Mac v. PC argument. However, I did notice your use of the word "mute." You referred to something as a "mute point." I believe that you meant to say that your point was a moot one. "Mute" refers to the inability to produce or absence of sound. Moot is an adjective that means hypothetical, or staged for practice. If something is moot, it is of no (legal) significance. Mute vs. Moot. I believe that you intended to use the latter.

ЗДРАВСТВУЙТЕ everyone!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Attila Szegedi said...

With all these iMac G5 vs. iMac Intel performance comparisons flying around, am I the only one who noticed that most of the Mac PPC binaries are not optimized for G5, but for G4, while x86 binaries can be fully optimized for Core Duo. I wonder how much that contributes to the observed performance differences. Also, the G5 in iMacs only has 512K L2 cache (presumably it was an effort to stop it from stealing market from a single-CPU PowerMac G5...) vs. 2MB in the Core Duo. Another big factor. Will be curious to see how the first new "Pro" desktop Macintels stack against equivalent PowerMac G5s - they have comparable L2 caches. Specifically, once there are pro desktop Macintels and Adobe Photoshop is released as a Universal Binary, it'll be interesting to pit it against the Adobe Photoshop on a PowerMac G5 with the Adobe's official Photoshop G5 performance patches.

9:28 AM  

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