Athlon 64 vs G5 comparison

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Cubeboy, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Cubeboy macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2003
    Bridgewater NJ
    Review can be found here

    Now, a few things to note:

    All those custom desktops and workstations (especially the Opteron based ones) are going to be much more expensive than the Dual G5 Powermac, with the possible exception of the Alienware.

    Also (judging from the title) I'm not sure about the reliability of these guys (although they are quite popular), I would have preferred a comparison from Barefeats or Ace's but any review is better than none.

    The G5 performed very well in photoshop and I suspect it will outperform Athlon64 based solutions in most other dve/3d rendering applications which is what I consider to be most important.
  2. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    who cares about premeire, why dont they do it in final cut and then see who is faster (hopefully us). we also have to remember, we are pretty close and apple will be at 3ghz by summer time (suppose to). what is amd's roadmap for the next year, i would be curious to know.

  3. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I am also curious if the results would be different if the tests were conducted after the release of Panther?
  4. tace macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    I know one benchmark the Athlon 64 will win, number of times the OS has to be rebuilt and the box has to be rebooted. :D
  5. Rezet macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2003
    Connecticut, United States of America
    Man... So basically they let me know that i have the crapiest computer on the list (benchmarks wise)... I know i should be upset, but for some reason i dont feel so.
    So far 1.8 performed quite nicely, and i dont have any problems with it.

    BTW tace, you got apoint there... :)
  6. markiv810 macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2002
    in Limbo
    These PC magazines should shut the **** up and stay in their self created PC ****ing world. Do those b@stT@rds know that it's been a while since Adobe discontinued supporting Premier on macs. As for word I presume that Microsoft makes the best version of word for Apple, as Microsoft is such a noble company. Just because a certain app has same version for both Windows and Macs does not mean that they are equally optimized. Photoshop 8 testing would be a better choice as Photoshop 8 is more optimized for G5 and hence the G5 can show it's true power. It's about time when PC magazines accepted that the highest end Mac's are as fast as the highest end PC's out there Check out the Virginia Tech cluster the 2nd most powerful Super Computer delivering 17.6 Teraflops for a mere 5-6 million dollar. There is too too much propaganda on the PC side.

    [mod. edit - Profanity]
  7. CMillerERAU macrumors regular

    May 12, 2003
  8. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000


    May 18, 2003
  9. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    LOL, only fools buy custom-built PC systems. If anyone wants to buy a pre-built personal computer, it should be an Apple system (Dual G5 2GHz = $3K).

    A decked out AMD FX51 system costs around $ 2,483 (+Tax for Cali buyer) shipped from .

    AMD FX51 2.2G OEM = $758
    Zalman CNPS7000 heatsink = $42
    Corsair XMS 1GB (2x512) ECC TwinPack PC3200 = $317
    Asus SK8N = $213
    (2) Hitachi 160GB/8MB SATA HD = $338
    Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD Writer = $235
    ATI AIW 9800Pro 125MB OEM = $361
    Chieftec Alu case = $73
    Antec True550W PSU = $110
  10. aphexist macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2003
    No, you don't know that. It hasn't been tested and that is pure assumption.
  11. aphexist macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2003
    PCWorld doesn't stand for "Wintel Computers" World. This article wasn't bashing the G5 at all; rather it showed test results from a fixed number of independant tests. There is no reason to use a piece of software that has been optimized for an OS or processor just to make it appear to be better.

    The need for better performance on applications and games is what pushes processor and OS upgrades. There is nothing to accept; Apple raised the bar and AMD raised theirs. Competition is good.
  12. markiv810 macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2002
    in Limbo
    I think doing Office Test and Premiere test makes it a bit obvious to even me that the whole point of doing the comparison test by the PCWorld magazine, was to prove that no matter what AMD 's Athlon is far superior to Apple's G5. The industry favors PC's more, there is more propoganda for the PC. I am not saying either is better all I am saying is, both G5 and Athlon 64 are at the same level and it is almost impossibe to compare 2 different kinds of processors.

    One more thing G5 is made by a very small and inexperienced Computer Company called IBM, which does not have adequate experience of making processors. Tell me how in the sane world can a single 2.2 Ghz Athlon 64 beat a dual 2.0 G5. Did you know that most of the applications that are used for benchmark comparisons are written for a pc. Most of the games suck on the mac as the developers are to shy to put in the effort and write a decent game.

    Btw I have a Graduate degree in Computer Engineering and I know what I am talking about.
  13. gello2424 macrumors member

    May 25, 2003
    I don't understand why people get so upset when Apple gets beat? Hell I have one of the new Dual G5's and you can imagine I would be pissed that it might not be the fastest computer! Who cares? We get Apples because they are great computers I really don't give a rats ass if it is the fastest though that would be nice to impress us computer geeks.

    Now on the other hand I do care very much if I have the fastest PC that you can have! I am just happy that AMD finally can say HEY look we can kick some ass too!

    The reason I care so much about my PC's being faster is because of the games other then that I could careless.

    Oh Yeah? Why does everyone say Windows XP sucks? I know they have problems but I myself have never had that many problems? Yeah so what I have do a patch every now in then hell I even have it all set up where it does it for me. But nothing is perfect though it should be!

    Don't get me wrong I will take OS X over Windows XP any day.

    It just seems silly that the second that something "might" be better then our "god" like G5's people come out with the silly stuff like "well yeah Windows sucks"

    Oh well I guess what I am saying might be dumb but over that last year that I have joined this board it seems people get a little upset when something "might" just be better then are dear Apple!

    P.S. Where the hell are the rest of my G5's!! LOL :)
  14. reflex macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2002
    Yes, lets all stay in our own little worlds where nothing bad ever happens and we are always happy. <hint>sarcasm</hint>
  15. yujini macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2003
    LA, CA, USA

    I'm not sure for AMD, but i know Intel claims that they'll reach 5ghz-7ghz by the end of next year.

    They also said that they'll have their first 5ghz prototype chip by Q1 of 2004.

    So i assume AMD will be similar.
    (not by the clock speed but performance)
  16. Cubeboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2003
    Bridgewater NJ
    Apparently you don't have any idea what your talking about since the only time dual processors are actually going to boost application performance is when you have programs with two or more threads. Otherwise, having dual processors will actually hurt performance (snoop response;lengthens every read request, resource contention issues etc).

    OF COURSE most of today's programs are written for the pc, they account for the vast majority of the market, Doh!
    Does that mean that many of the benchmarks are not well optimised for the mac platform as well? no. Does that mean that any comparison is instantly branded as biased and unfair for using real-world programs even when they aren't optimised for the G5? no again. Isn't it funny how any comparison that doesn't show the G5 winning is instantly branded as biased and crap. I find it hilarious!

    You say that there is more propaganda on the pc side than the mac side. I've never seen any pc fanboys flaunting their computers as the "world's first desktop computer", I've never seen any pc fanboys quoting company and vendor produced benchmarks. If anything, the mac side has more propaganda by far.

    Now, personally, I don't like pc world, I prefer getting my numbers from enthusiast sites like Barefeats and Aces and from as many sources as possible. However, your arguments are without base, without structure or any support to speak of, the tests used by PC World are based on common real-world tasks (which is really whats important), and many of them have been optimised for the G5 platform. Arguing that they are propaganda based on the given information is useless and self-defeating.

    BTW: Where did you get your graduate degree from anyways?
  17. aphexist macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2003
    Congratulations! I have a M.S. in computer science. So we might be equal in terms of knowledge of software design. I have a hard time believing that the developers have held off on creating optimized applications and games because they are "shy." The Mac developers have access to the same HLLs. Blame the compilers? That would make Apple look bad and that is the last thing you would want.

    The numbers are there. They show that performance in real-world applications is higher for a custom-built AMD machine. Yes, in my opinion, Mac has a superior interface and greater usability. That is not what is being tested.

    No excuses are necessary. Having just bought a dual G5, I was surprised to see that it didn't dominate the Photoshop benchmark, since that app is the flagship of what Macs do very well (it's not optimized, boo hoo). C'est la vie...the bar is raised.
  18. ColdZero macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2002
    So Apple does some benchmarks showing that the G5 is faster and of course because the G5 won, they were ok.

    Somebody now does benchmarks with a new processor that beats the G5 and that makes these crappy benchmarks.

    I see the logic in this :rolleyes:

    If you ask me, they actually went out of their way to make the benchmarks fair. All of computers were how you could buy them from the vendor. This ment that the PCs could have RAID, faster video cards and such. Instead, they removed some of those in some systems to make a more direct comparison to the G5.

    Would Apple have ever taken a processor out if it was comparing a dual g5 to a single p4? I doubt it.

    Either way it comes down to what you use and what you like. I like both platforms and both OSs, they have their strengths and weaknesses. I was going to buy a dual g5 to replace this dual 1ghz G4 I'm working on now, but I guess I'll be looking into an Athlon-64 now as well.
  19. Cubeboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2003
    Bridgewater NJ
    I've just noticed something in the how we test section below the chart:

    "In Adobe Premiere we timed the rendering of our workspace and timed the export of a 959-frame movie at 720 by 480 resolution and 30 frames per second into the QuickTime format. In Adobe Photoshop we timed the operation of ten filters on a 50MB image file and a 150MB file. In Microsoft Word we timed a search-and-replace of one word in a 1437-page document, and the execution of the auto summarize function on a 210-page document. We ran Quake III version 1.32's included "timedemo four" using high quality settings at two resolutions, and recorded the average frame rate. All machines were tested with 1GB of RAM and the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card; the Mac version of the graphics card has a maximum of 128MB of RAM, while the high end for PCs is 256MB. 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. Tests on PCs performed by the PC World Test Center; tests on Apple systems performed by the Macworld Test Center. All rights reserved. Chart Notes: In Quake III, higher is better; elsewhere, lower is better. Best scores in bold."
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It feels like people on both sides of this "argument" (though it should be a friendly debate, it doesn't feel that way) are sort of missing the point.

    As far as the way these particular benchmarks are executed, there's nothing inherently wrong with the tests. They took three commonly used high-end programs and a game, ran them on factory standard high-end boxes, and published the results. The tests were basically fair for what they're testing.

    That said, the tests fail at two things:

    1) If you're wondering what the theoretical capabilities of the chips in the computers are, these tests are useless.

    Since none of the programs are particularly well optimized for any of the really new processors, they don't tell you what either the AMD or IBM chips are really capable of when allowed to run all-out. And, only two of the four programs (Photoshop and Quake) use a codebase that is well optimized for the Mac at all; Premiere isn't well optimized for the Mac (it's now a dead product, in fact), and Word uses a completely different codebase on the two platforms.

    Most of Apple's benchmarks were on processor-intensive number-crunching programs that were optimized at least for the G5 (like the NASA benchmarks published a while ago). Under those circumstances, I'd expect the G5 to be at the very least quite competitive with AMD and Intel chips, as this article shows it in the optimized-for-both-platforms Photoshop.

    2) If you want to know how productive you will be with an Athlon or G5 based box, these tests are nearly useless.

    If you use any of the four applications they tested, then these results will apply to you.

    HOWEVER, most people doing video editing on the Mac don't use Premiere, because Final Cut Pro, by most accounts, demolishes it--I know which one I'd choose. They can't test that side-by-side since FCP doesn't even run on the PC (which might be reason enough to opt for the Mac), but a better speed comparison would be to perform a similar operation on Premiere on the PC and FCP on the Mac. Premiere might still win, but at least then you'd be making a comparison that users would be more likely to benefit from.

    Photoshop is heavily optimized all around and a widely used app, so that's a much more fair comparison. The G5 did well there, I might add.

    I'd expect Word to be vastly faster on the PC (it is MS, after all), and it is. [Of course, it's pretty darned fast on any platform, so I don't much care--not many of us do find-and-replace on a 1500 page document, and even then you can probably wait the extra 15 seconds for that, about five of which look like they came from the lack of a RAID array.]

    If you're doing hardcore gaming, you'd be an idiot to buy a Mac for it, but the G5 actually did quite well in the Quake III test--it held its own, particularly against the other 128MB cards and the P4 system.

    What I'm getting at with this whole rant is not that the benchmarks are unfair, or intentionally fudged, or meaningless. But it is a fairly narrow spectrum of tests, and in my mind only the Photoshop and Quake tests really show me anything I want to know about the G5 versus Athlon 64.

    All things considered, I think the G5 looks pretty good.
  21. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000


    May 18, 2003
    No one else noticed the whacked difference between the 1.8 G5 and the 2.0 GHz G5?
  22. Chad macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2003
    OK here are my thoughts from a new Mac user who still will use windoze for some things
    I am a photographer for a living ;)

    I had macs since the 128k days but got off them some years ago ;) yes I went to the dark side ;)
    I bought a new G5 2x2

    I wanted to smile again;) have fun and have a fast puter I could have fixed up a new dual xeon which I almost did but I get tired of all the crashes and other things

    anyway the test in question
    funny on the 50 meg file there was 1 second dif ?? nothing really for speeed that is human error speed ??
    also they dont say how long it takes to open the file and close it this is why I got the Mac as it will beat the PC in total workflow speed
    (one other PC test I read said well if we included the open time the Mac would have won hands down) well DUH that is aprt of the workflow
    they should do 20 files open run a set of actions and close and give us total time ;)

    also the boxes in question I think should have 2 gigs of memory not just 1

    for video I also wanted a Mac for final Cut Pro from what I have heard it blows away premier anyway

    also all graphics cards should have had the same spec card the PC cards used a 256 meg card ???? in some of them advantage PC

    Also the PCs used a striped Raid setup ??? this also gives advantage to the PC side

    to me I am blown away at the G5 not for speed only but for build quality and feeling
    I will have to take a few months to learn the interface better

    I will still use the PC for somethings such as a Prgram for RAW called C1 and a few other things

    so far I am a happy Mac owner now ;)
  23. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    thank you chad... it's always so... *refreshing* to hear from people like you - people who actually use their computers for real-world work and have an opinion based on real-world buying decisions and experiences.
  24. Jonathan Amend macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Montreal, Canada
    Hate to break it to you, but that's only the theoretical speed of the cluster (rpeak). The rmax (actual speed) has yet to be tested by top500 and the #2 cluster right now has an rpeak of 20 tflops so expect the G5 cluster to come in at 3rd or 4th.

    Are you absolutely sure you know what you're talking about? Last time I checked, IBM:
    1) is a huge corporation that is more than 50 years old
    2) invented the "Microsoft" PC
    3) Fabs the Athlon 64
    4) Also designed and fabs the G5.

    Btw I have a degree in passing the 10th grade.

    Oh and Chad, read the whole article. They disabled the raid and put a 128MB Radeon to do the Athlon 64 vs. G5 benchmarks. None of the tests they did should have required more than half a gig of ram. As for the file open/close stuff, it's irrelevant and you're just assuming that Macs are faster at this. I've never before seen a benchmark where such trivial things were included.
  25. Chad macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2003
    thanks ;)

    one thing I will say also, I replaced my monitor with a 20 cinema ;)
    I am blown away by the quality now my other sony monitors are on the way out and cinemas in ;)

    first thing I did was hook up my gretag profiler to the monitor and I thought hmmmmmm I can hardly notice a dif ???
    these guys are almost perfect out of the box I really cant say I will keep using it
    now if one has either a spyder or a gretag and does this on a CRT you will laugh at how much it can improve your monitor.

    also eye strain is down from looking at stuff for 8 hours a day when I am tweaking images or reading etc...

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