Pentium 4 vs Athlon 64 vs G5 Benchmarked

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by straphound, Oct 14, 2003.

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  1. macrumors member

    #1
    This PC World article focuses on the future of 64-bit computing and the new Athlon 64 and Athlon FX processors from AMD. They benchmark the dual G5 at the end of the article on some common test. According to PC World, the Athlon is substantially faster. They also seem to think that the dual G5 is not a good value. They worked with Macworld on these tests.

    "Apple touts its new 64-bit Power Mac G5 as the world's fastest personal computer, but our initial tests indicate bragging rights may belong to PCs using AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51 chip." Take with a grain of salt...


    "Even Apple's 2-GHz dual-CPU G5 unit had a hard time keeping up with a single-chip FX-51 PC in most tests. (Tests were not exhaustive, however: Working with our sibling publication, Macworld, we selected four applications available on both platforms and then ran seven hand-timed tests. 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. (Prices do not include a monitor or speakers.)"

    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,112749,pg,1,00.asp
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    #2
  3. macrumors bot

    #3
  4. macrumors regular

    #4
    Ignorance or simply omission

    In the benchmarks table they state "...into the QuickTime format."
    That's about as useful as saying you own a Ford.
    Quicktime format could be any of about 12 video codecs and about 8 audio codecs, each of which have a plethora of settings. There must be about 5000 different "QuickTime formats" once you combine all the settings in all the codecs.

    Is this just plain ignorance on the part of the PCWorld testers that they don't "get" the openness and flexibility of QuickTime?
    From the specs I might assume they rendered to DV (720x480), but the 30fps throws me as you would usually render DV to 29.97fps for proper NTSC playback.
     
  5. macrumors member

    #5
    i like how no one replys to bad things.... its funny :D
     
  6. Gus
    macrumors 65816

    Gus

    #6
    Well, why bother, really? I mean, no matter how much we post to the contrary, some PC mag will always find a test or set of tests that shows that the New PowerWhatever is up to 50% slower and 50X more expensive than whatever Intel or AMD schwag that was just released, even after admitting that they couldn't run similar tests. It's become ridiculous. Actually, I have finally achieved the point where I can now just laugh, and have a better day. :)

    Regards,
    Gus
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    benixau

    #7
    ummmm -
    *didnt adboe drop premiere for mac due to crap performance copmared to FCP?
    *it doesn't suprise me that a microsoft program runs faster on a microsoft OS than on its competitors OS.
    *they didn't mention anything about the G5 optimisations from adobe for Pshop
    *im glad they used a 64-bit OS for both platforms (NOT) I do belive that unless apple likes them a lot (unlikely) they were running jag-G5-edition rather than panther.

    IMO it was an unfair test - lets pit pshop w/all optimisations and renderman against each platform - under panther. then lets see whose got the fastest machine. <- what no takers? shame :D
     
  8. macrumors member

    #8
    Whatever you say the AMD 64 platform is performing better performance than the G5 2GHz.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Juventuz

    #9
    Great rebuttal.

    He made some excellent points, heck I can influence a test between a Yugo and a Ferrari and show how the Yugo is a better vehicle.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    #10
    Just a little bit biased....

    Considering that Premier doesn't even run on OSX and Word has always worked better in Windows (duh) I'm not so sure this test can be considered particularly relevant.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    #11
    My reply to any of these "G5 isn't the fastest" arguments is this:

    If it isn't the fastest, it's darned close, and in the end it doesn't run Windows. The time I gain by not wrestling with a crappy OS makes up for the 2% speed difference.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    KentuckyApple

    #12
    This article is garbage. It is evident that the author knows absolutely nothing about Apple computers. His comparison chart at the end is a joke. How can you compare frame rates between 128 meg and 256 meg video cards. Also, MS word is a piece. Everyone knows that it is engineered to only work well with the newest and best MS OS. Sheesh!
     
  13. macrumors member

    #13
    I believe it was a rapidly shrinking client base that pushed them to drop it, not bad performance. There is no PC version of FCP, so there is not a benchmark they could set with it.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    eric_n_dfw

    #14
    How about performing the same time of actions and comparing render times in FCP with PC Premier and even vs. compositing in PC After Effects.

    Lets test the use of the machine, not blindly having to pick the least common denominator between the two.

    The MS Office comparison is relevant, however, as that is a big selling point Apple uses. Office on Mac is fast enough for me on a G4 500, but I don't use 1400+ page documents either.

    The other comment about video card memory differences is wrong - from the bottom of their chart:
    The chart shows that Aurora system still beating the Dual G5 in Quake quite handily.

    (I game on a console machine so I could care less about the gaming stats though.)
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    srobert

    #15
    It was good while it lasted? (G5s trounced by Athlon 64s)

    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=12130

    64-bit Apple G5s trounced by Athlon 64s, Opterons

    By INQUIRER staff: Wednesday 15 October 2003, 13:54

    TESTS PUTTING an Athlon 64 FX-51, and a 2GHz dual Opteron up against a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 and two PowerMac G5 systems have AMD's 64-bit offerings mashing up the Apple and pulping the Pentium.

    The Athlon 64 FX system outperforms the 64-bittish G5 systems in most of the benchmarks, including Premiere 6, Word, and Quake III. Apple-friendly Photoshop, still performs best on the platform, though, the dual G5 managing a 15 per cent performance lead over the Athlon 64 FX-51.

    The dual Opteron system however, beats the dual G5 in other Photoshop tests.

    PC World said systems with the FX-51 showed "pronounced improvements in some of our more CPU-intensive tests, particularly AutoCAD, where they were about 44 percent faster, on average, than the P4 unit".

    The FX-51 PCs also "stood out on our Premiere tests, and posted top scores on the Photoshop and VideoWave tests. The P4-based PC had the best score in our Musicmatch test".

    In PC World's game tests, the FX-51 PCs were "clear winners", posting noticeably higher scores.

    The tests kick off here .
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    mac15

    #16
    Ah well, it was bound to happen really. Wait till the G5 get Hyperthreading and jumps up a few hundred megahertz, then things will get interesting once again :D
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    #17
    But this isn't all that bad - imagine if we didn't have a G5 and were still stuck with the G4s.....;)

    At least now we're more competitive....

    D
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    srobert

    #18
    It won't affect the value ofthe G5 that much... but I wonder what will happen with the "fastest personal computer in the world" campaign.

    As noted in the article:

    "Apple touts its new 64-bit Power Mac G5 as the world's fastest personal computer, but our initial tests indicate bragging rights may belong to PCs using AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51 chip.

    Even Apple's 2-GHz dual-CPU G5 unit had a hard time keeping up with a single-chip FX-51 PC in most tests."

    We could argue that the G5 is already "X" months old (annouced/shipped). How far are we from the next speed boost?
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    #19
    Flaky Tests

    I like how they used Word.:rolleyes: Lets see how Appleworks performs on both systems. Also using a 50MB photoshop file hardly tests the system. Using a 1GB or greater file would show a lot more. I would like to see some tests that really stress the system, and not just processor specific tests. I have yet to see any tests that match the caliber that Apple showed at WWDC. They look like fast machines, but who wants to run Windows anyway:D
     
  20. macrumors regular

    #20
    I found this reply on Slashdot, and found it to be right on...

    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.

    - From a post by James on Slashdot...
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    #21
    Am I missing something? The PCs benched the 64s with PC WorldBench. So WTF? PC World benched some 64s with a PC benchmark app and suddenly the forgone conclusion is that it 'trounces' the G5? They ran tests on FOUR (4) applications!!! Timed tests!! On FOUR APPS!! The G5 Won some of the photoshop test, which would be one of the 4 apps used and one WAS A FRICKING GAME!?!?! Guess what, the other app was M$ WORD!!!! Yea, we all know what a great app WORD IS!! Where does this 'trounced' come from?

    As far as PC World, they claim the G5 isn't a good value because it's $200 more then the Alien-ware. Ah, alien ware makes fricking boxes. oooooooo. And I'm sorry, but looking at the insides, the G5 IS HANDS DOWN WORTH THE $200 MORE!!!

    This is typical PC anti-mac crap rhetoric. The PC is faster at games, we know this. The G5 will close the gap, but games are not our goal. The other app, M$ Word, I mean come on. And why use Premier when FCP is what most G5s will en up running?

    Peculiar taste in chosen apps to use to compare.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    mac15

    #22
    yeahs thats reall fair, 128mb ram vs 256mb and serial ATA vs Raid. I know the top one is stupidly unfair but SATA vs Raid maybe different and I'm not sure if its fair or not. But I assumed for high end benching and writing to the disk insanely quick, RAID would win?
     
  23. macrumors regular

    #23
    Please, please read the article before you spread FUD.

    Their benchmarking proces was utterly ridiculous. By no means was there a "trouncing". In fact, I wouldn't even consider the G5 as "losing" anything.

    Both chips are very fast. The G5 is in a desktop machine.

    FUD smells bad. Don't spread it around.

    Find a solution that fits your needs and price point then start using your tool and stop reading tripe like this.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    #24
    Could we all stop the measuring and put the ruler away? I use a 17" PB 1GHz and an Athlon XP1800+. The only app which I run on both is Folding, and the Apple sucks. The Apple is still faster for my real-world use, though. If you want to play games, get an XBox. If you want to run MS software well, get a PC. If you want to work productively and have something other than a beige box, get a Mac. If you want to keep comparing these stats, get out more.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    #25
    I thought PC world had more class than that, but I guess not. I thought these benchmarks smelled fishy.

    Besides, what's the FX at? 2.2 ghz? or something like that...

    I just love these wonderful benchmarks.
     
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