# Is a Mac Pro more powerful than the Human Race/Planet Earth?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by thomasp, Jun 8, 2007.

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1. ### thomasp macrumors 6502a

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Sep 18, 2004
Location:
UK
#1
Firstly, sorry for the randomness of this thread, but it will hopefully make an interesting discussion point!

We all know (shame on you if you don't!) that in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Deep Thought created a supercomputer to find out what the ultimate question to life, the universe and everything was, and that supercomputer was Planet Earth (until it was destroyed by the Vogons...)

Anyway, are today's computers more powerful than the human species inhabiting this rock? The following is my own analysis, and some of it may not be technically correct - please feel free to correct it as necessary!

The top-of-the-line Mac Pro comes with two quad-core processors clocked at 3GHz. It is my understanding that this gives an equivalent clock speed of 8 * 3 = 24GHz or 24 x 10^9 Hz. One Herz being one "cycle" per second, which I assume is one "simple calculation" per second.

Now, let's assume there are around 6 billion people on this planet - assuming a billion is a thousand million, that's 6 x 10^9 people.

So, if these people are combined "together" and made to do a simple calculation, they'd have to do four calculations per second (24 / 6) to equal the rate at which the Mac Pro does calculations.

What is a simple calculation though? "n + 1" where 'n' is an arbitary integer? I reckon a human brain could probably do 1 + 1, 2 + 1, 3 + 1 and 4 + 1 in less than a second.

So, what do you think? Are computers now more "powerful" than the human race? Could they work something out quicker than the entire human race working "as one"?

2. ### sycho macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Oct 7, 2006
#2
Wow, you are not thinking about this correctly at all. Just move along from this is my advice.

3. ### Silentwave macrumors 68000

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May 26, 2006
Location:
Gainesville, FL
#3
I don't know how right you are, but last time I checked, a mac pro can't get up, pick up a hammer, and build a house.

Joined:
Aug 1, 2004
5. ### mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Jan 9, 2004
Location:
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
#5
We're already only the third most intelligent species on the planet...do you really want to be fourth?

6. ### TimJim macrumors 6502a

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May 15, 2007
#6
thats not true

and no, no computer is smarter than a human because it can not think for itself it has to be programmed/told what to do.

7. ### Luis macrumors 65816

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Jul 19, 2006
Location:
Costa Rica
#7
Out of curiosity what are the first 2?

8. ### Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

Joined:
Jul 22, 2005
Location:
Bookshop!
#8
two chips work together a hell of a lot better than 20 people, let along < 6,000,000,000 of them. Besides, without a question, how can we get an answer? Oh yeah, 42

Dolphins and rats

9. ### Luis macrumors 65816

Joined:
Jul 19, 2006
Location:
Costa Rica
#9
But they cannot do anything unless they are told what to do by humans...

10. ### mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

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Jan 9, 2004
Location:
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
#10

Read the book yourselves.

11. ### TimJim macrumors 6502a

Joined:
May 15, 2007
#11
rats and dolphins are not smarter than humans, i'll never believe that. maybe there the smartest animals, but theres a reason why humans have been so succesful on earth. theres no underwater dolphin cities and no sewer rat infastructure sorry.

12. ### gauchogolfer macrumors 603

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Jan 28, 2005
Location:
American Riviera
#12
Dictionary.com -> sarcasm.

13. ### Luis macrumors 65816

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Jul 19, 2006
Location:
Costa Rica
#13
Well I guess I got my answer! without reading the book

14. ### wonga1127 macrumors 6502

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Mar 16, 2006
Location:
Wishing for a magic bus.
#14
I think what matters is that its not what we or computers think, its how we think, and what we do with what we thought.

Yes, a Mac Pro can't build a house, but if you told it how, it could build tons of them at the same time fast. Computers already know how to blur digital photos based on what humans told them, but a human can't manipulate pixels and change an image on a large scale, at least not in a minute or two.

The advantage of being human is that you can figure out how to do things, and not be told how to breathe or walk or other stuff. We can just figure it out ourselves, but computers cannot.

We win at art, they win at math, but only because we taught them.

Joined:
Jul 19, 2006
Location:
Costa Rica
#15
Exactly, QFT

16. ### stoid macrumors 601

Joined:
Feb 17, 2002
Location:
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
#16
The only way a Mac Pro is more powerful than the human race is if you pick it up and throw it at each unarmed human individually. The thing is 40 lbs of solid anodized human slaughtering machine.

It's even got handles to aid in lobbing, now that's convenience!

17. ### Abstract macrumors Penryn

Joined:
Dec 27, 2002
Location:
Location Location Location
#17
If you're only capable of 4 thoughts per second, then that's fine, but don't group me into the same race as you.

My brain is capable of much more than that. How else could my entire body coordinate so many processes at once? It takes more than one thought to type out a sentence, even though you'd consider the formation of a sentence as a "single" thought. It's not. Not at all.

18. ### SC68Cal macrumors 68000

Joined:
Feb 23, 2006
#18
Computer is only as smart as the user using it.

Plus, the Mac Pro is a joke. Most powerful consumer workstation? yes. Most powerful computer? No.

Joined:
Mar 16, 2004
Location:
Andover, MA