My 4 year old dell (2.66 Ghz) faster than MBP (2.5 Ghz)?!?!)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mokeyboy128, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. mokeyboy128 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2008
    This is probably going to make me look really stupid when asking this. But i just checked the specs of my 4 year old dell and found to my surprise that is it 2.66 Ghz while recently seeing the specs of the top of the line macbook pro only being 2.5 Ghz. How is it possible that the macbook pros are 4 years behind in processor speed?

    I'm thinking that it must have to do something with maybe the macbook pros processors being Intel Core 2 Duo? Maybe that doubles the 2.5 ghz and it is actually 5 ghz?

    Sorry for such a n00bie question :confused:
  2. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007
    there core 2 duo alot lot faster than your dell trust me
  3. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2005
    New York
  4. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Actually, your Dell is a Pentium 4. The Macs use Core 2. Core 2 is a much more effecient processor and you get two processors. Also, the Core 2 is 64-bit, unlike the Pentium 4 which is 32-bit. One will find with a little research that the Core 2 is many times faster than the Pentium 4 at a faster clock speed.

    Remember: MHz is not always the answer.

  5. Vedhead macrumors member


    Jan 13, 2008
    I'm guessing your Dell is a desktop?

    I think that's an :apple: to oranges comparison...
  6. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    I had a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 and it is nowhere near the power of most Core 2 Duo chips.
  7. markrivers macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Mhz alone means very little. That's the essence of the so-called "megahertz myth." Think about all the processors out there clocked at 2 Ghz - P4s, G4s, G5s, core duos, core 2 duos, etc. Do they all perform equally? Absolutely not.

    This is an oversimplification, but one that I find useful:
    Think about mhz like RPMs on a bike. 60 RPM in 1st gear is not the same as 60 RPM in 10th gear - you're doing a lot more work when you hit 60 RPM in 1st.

    Similarly, a processor at 2 Ghz goes through a certain number of processor cycles. But the amount of work that gets done each cycle varies greatly by processor type.

    At the end of the day, what matters is how much work a processor can do, not how many cycles it goes through.

    Take home message - MHz does matter, but only when you're comparing processors in the same family.
  9. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007

    Good example :D
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Intel worked very hard many years ago to promote the thought that more mhz = more power.

    Now, it's come around to bite them in the arse.

    Basically... just google "Megahertz Myth", because I have no idea why a C2D at 2.5ghz is so much faster then a P4 at 2.66ghz, except that it is. :cool:
  11. CalmEnvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2008
    It's because they use Intel Core 2 Duo's. Being that they have two cores they run faster then anything before. Also, don't double the speed. They are 2.5GHz wilth two cores, not 5GHz. They are ideal for multi-tasking. My 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo PC will run faster then your 2.66GHz one.
  12. mokeyboy128 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Thanks for all the help guys!! i googled the mhz myth and found this good youtube video that explains it all

    Basically ive learned that my dell is a piece of **** compared to the new MBP :D

    sorry for being such a n00b =/
  13. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007
    no probs dude, most people here to help
  14. davinche macrumors regular


    May 3, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Well it might not necessarily be a p.o.s. but it just uses older components/a differently designed processor. For many years the computer companies made money getting people to buy more Ghz only for them to get to the point where they now need to get people to rethink the processor speed situation.
  15. katejones macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2008
  16. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    The rule of thumb a few years ago when the Pentium M was released was that it was roughly 1.5 times faster than an equivalently clocked Pentium 4. So doing some quick math would put the 2.66 GHz P4 close a 1.8 GHz Pentium M. When the Duo Core CPUs were released they were supposed to be about 10%-20% faster than the Pentium M X 2 (remember there are two cores in each Duo core CPU). So if we take the middle ground of 15% that would mean a 2.66 P4 would be roughly a 1.5 GHz Core Solo or half that to .75 GHz for a Core Duo. The Core 2 Duo (Merom) was about 10% faster than the Core Duos so that puts the P4 at around .68 GHz. The newly released Core 2 Duo (Penryn) are again about 10% faster than the previous gen so the poor P4 is plugging around at an equivalent .61 GHz.

    So in a perfect world (and I know I missed some steps) your 2.66 GHz P4 is equivalent to a 610 MHz Core 2 Duo Penryn. In reality it's probably closer to a 800 MHz - 1.2 GHz Core 2 Duo Penryn. So yeah your 4 year old CPU would get thrashed by a Macbook Pro.
  17. andrewdale macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    As many have already said, it's not just about MHz/GHz.

    It's just the same as the Megapixel Myth. More isn't always better.
  18. valvehead macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    Your new MBP will blow that P4 away.

    I did a few of my own tests comparing my new MBP 2.5GHz Penryn to my 4-year-old 3.0GHz Northwood P4 HT desktop. Even though I overclocked the P4 from 2.4 to 3.0GHz, my 2.5GHz Penryn left it in the dust. I don't think any of these tests use SSE4, which would make an even bigger difference.


    x264 benchmark:
    Here's a Mainconcept MPEG2 2-pass VBR render test I did in Vegas Pro 8:
    My old P4 hobbled away from the fight with its tail between its legs.:D
  19. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Ahh, the mega WAIT!! gigahertz myth all over again

    BTW is your dell a Dimension with Pentium 4 2.66GHz?
  20. mokeyboy128 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2008
    yeah its a pentium 4 2.66 Ghz desktop
  21. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Think of a CPU like a car engine.

    In terms of power, a 12 cylinder engine running at 4000 RPMs will absolutely demolish the power output from a 4 cylinder engine running at 6000 RPMs. So a CPU with 200 million transistor running at 2.5 ghz will absolutely demolish the power output of a CPU with 100 million transistors running at 2.6 ghz.

    And that doesn't even begin to factor in the design efficiency of each engine. A well designed 8 cylinder Aston Martin engine running at 6000 RPMs should output more power than a mass produced Hyundai engine that has the same number of cylinders when it's running at the same RPM. Analogously, 200 million transistors in a better designed CPU will output more computational power than a less well designed CPU with the same number of transistors running at the same ghz speed.
  22. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Except I'd word it differently.

    One is the Pentium 4, an old 16 cylinder putting out 200 HP.
    The Core 2 Duo is like a modern day Biturbo 8 cylinder putting out 800HP.

    On paper the 16 cylinder looks like it might beat the 8 cylinder, but because of technological advancements the 8 is better than the 16. Same with the processor. The slower processor is more efficient.

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