Stirring the turd : Some tests of processors are in order...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Seanb23, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Seanb23 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I prefer OS X hands down to XP any day of the week, but it's looking more and more like Moto and now IBM have been laughing all the way to the bank as they take Apple's money and sleep on the job. I'm p*ssed, in other words, that my $3300 laptop cannot handle the exact same complex audio programs that high-end peecee laptops costing less compute with ease. Yes, XP is unstable. Yes, pipeline. Yes, viruses. Etc. Etc. Etc. I DID buy an outrageously expensive powerbook to re-join this camp in the first place, OK ? But this is halfway through 2004, and, well, I've seen the enemy artillery with mine own eyes, in my own house even...

    Wake up and smell the burnt rubber, Apple. I found this link from the end of 2003, among many others, with a few minutes of google. Anyone have anything else they have found in the past year or so ? No links to grand descriptions of university superclusters, no links to old MHz Myth speeches from, what, 2001 ? No platform wars, no irrelevancies about Explorer vs Safari vs Firefox...just some raw modern benchmarks.

    Yessiree, modern benchmarks only. Let's put our favorite computer company's feet to the fire of the competition. Some, um, Mac rumors have it that even Steve himself uses a lot of profanity when this topic comes around. Good.
  2. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    i agree.

    however i look at it this way, PC's are faster, PC's are cheaper..... but Apple is still better, for basically every other reason.
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Anyway, none of the fastest macs are represented..
    Fastest pm is single 1.8 ghz, fastest pb is 1ghz 17".

  4. iNetwork macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2004
    New Mexico

    Well now that the cat is out of the bag. PC's are faster--specifically AMD. If it's raw processing power you want the PC is a year or 2 advanced of the PPC arean. It's a good, easy platform, but it's not FAST!. I think when I get back home I'm going to compile matching Linux kernels on a PC and for different Macs and do some benchies... :) Finally someone to stir the turd!
  5. Rabidjade macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2004
    As I said in another thread, you just can't compare the two. Why? Baseline speed is based on software, which is written to perform on certain platforms. Software written for PC's has to take in account of thousands or even millions of variations of hardware and 3rd party software that might have to run along side of it. Software written for Apple computers runs at a faster speed because it’s designed to run on 1 platform only, an Apple. PC software has to be open to run on Intel, AMD, Cyrix/VIA, and the other smaller processor companies who still make processors. There are a lot of different shoes to fill when writing code for these platforms. More code=slower access times=slow computer. PC has its ups and downs, as does Apple but no matter what the media hype is, they don't replace each other, period. Most sites I found are biased towards one side and leave critical facts out to debunk their claims. Can't compare apples and oranges. Those who bash XP don't know how to run it, been using it since the beginning and only had errors that were either my fault or bad hardware. You can blame the OS for the viruses and other bad things that can happen but that is mostly based on the user and the precautions they have to take. Because you hate something enough to make it bad, doesn't mean it is bad.
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you really think cheap is better, then you shall have it the day Wal-Mart drive MicroSoft and Dell out of business.

    Who needs Gucci style and price when you can have Sam's quality products everywhere in your life.
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    That little list is hardly what I would call a "scientific" test. The test can be run on Mathematica 4 or higher, so right off the bat you have multiple versions of the app being tested. Then, I see nothing in there saying that Dual processor Macs were used for testing. The xServe and G5 could both be single processor, not to mention the 700mhz difference between that 1.8ghz and the current 2.5ghz. After even more analysis, it appears that both the Xserve and G5 ARE the single processor models.

    Additionally, I just noticed that different versions of OS'es are allowed (Win 2000, XP Pro, Linux, etc...). Plus, there is no way that a 1.7ghz P4 can be faster than a 1.8ghz G5 unless a version of Mathematica was used that had no G5 optimization. This test is crap.
  8. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    If you want some fair benchmarks with specific versions of apps and dual processor Macs, try this page.
  9. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    There is nothing new here, I am sure Apple is quite aware of the speed differences between the various chip manufactuers.

    The choice is simple, if you prefer to work in the OSX environment, you buy a Mac. If you think you can work, or peform, better in a different OS or on a different platform then you buy that.

    I love my Macs, and have been a Mac user since 1986 or so, but I don't have blinders on at all... there is a LOT of PC hardware out there that kicks Apples butt. Do I get mad about it... nope. I am an educated consumer and buy what works best for me. To date that has always been Apple. If I ever thought a PC would serve me better I would probably buy one.

    Don't stress about your machine, or that other machines are faster. You can collect all the benchmarks in the world showing that PC's are faster, and all it is going to do is stress you out more. Shop around, buy what you are most comfortable with, and enjoy!


    James - 18 year Mac user
  10. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    dude those benchmarks are flawed, i bet that 1.8GHz g5 had a nvidia 5200 which is pure crap

    we need some fair benchmarks between macs and pc's

    i'd like to see some 3d rendering tests with maya, some photoshop tests, some audio tests when both platforms use the same app the same with video editing.

    i'd like to see equal amonts of ram both systems with the same gpu (preferabley a 9800xt or a 6800u) both with the same HD and the same speed ram, make the comarison to just test the difference in cpu with both systems running debian or mandrake linux

    that would be the ultimate benchmark.

    i'd like to see a 15" 1.5GHz powerbook vs 2.0GHz pantium m

    i'd like to see a dual 2.5GHz g5 vs a dual opteron a quad opteron and a dual xeon and maby a p4 3.4 ee.
  11. justinshiding macrumors member

    May 7, 2004
    Chicago, IL


    It actually wouldnt matter even if they were dual processors...mathmatica has zero support for multiple cpus. They actually used it as a benchmark in an issue of maximum pc a few months back, zero percent increase when using a dual cpu machine.

    You know...for all of these supposed benchmarks are supposed to report they really seem kind of pointless. I would say that the subjective appearence of speed is more important.

    example: my computer is an althon 700mhz w/384mb ram, my friend has a celeron 2.x ghz w/128 megs of ram which is cluttered with all sorts of spyware, and programs that load that shouldnt need to (both running xp pro). my computer feels faster in day to day usage... subjectively it feels faster most of the time. That's what i've noticed about the macs I've used(mostly at school) that they arent faster than pcs but they feel more responsive. They have a feeling of snappiness. You click something it happens. I realize there would be great differences in their benchmarks of the machines mentioned above, but I wouldnt take that celeronfor anything.

    (yes i realize it isnt all that fair to compare an althon to a celeron..and the ram difference too)

    What're you going to do with all of that speed anyways ? Unless you're going to be gaming or doing something very cpu oriented then you probably dont need all that extra power.
  12. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    I have to say this has been the best post I have ever seen in a PC vs Mac speed test. You can find benchmarks all over that say the Mac is better or the PC is better. I agree with James. Buy what fits the bill. I have a 17" PB and it works for me, and I couldn't care less how fast PC's are. I enjoy my Mac life because it works for me.
  13. jrober macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2003
    Heathfield, UK
    How do we compare then?

    I like this thread, absoloutely true "whatever floats your boat" I couldn't agree more.


    If people are always comparing speeds how should we do it. Here in Europe we have the Euro NCAP car safety tests. At first manufacturers complained that these this was not fair and that test is flawed, but fact is consumers now look to these to tell them how safe their current and crucially their next car one is. Manufacturers now work hard to produce the best car based on these scores and as a result consumers have a clearer choice.

    So how would we do a similar test on how fast a computer is? One which consumers could have confidence in and would not contest with discussions about which card was used or whether the spotlights on the front affected the result.

    Over to you?
  14. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    That NCAP Crash Test is a complete red herring to the chip speed problem.
    Now, if you had a load of customers complaining about durability of their machines, then maybe we could devise a fair tenth floor window test. :)

    meanwhile, back to the real problem....
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    What you are describing has already been done and already discredited. The thing about these kinds of benchmarks is that lend themselves to fraud and manipulation. Intel is notorious for this. Intel has compilers whose sole purpose is to run benchmarks. That is to say that these special compilers cannot compile the code for Microsoft Word or the next version of Doom, but it will compile certain benchmarks. One of the tricks is to recognize the code for a particular benchmark and replace the algorithm with the result.

    For most of today's computer tasks, the slowest element is the user. No matter how fast the processor, the time required to complete your memo is determined by your secretary's typing speed. Your web surfing performance is limited by your network.

    The only benchmarks worth anything are those that simulate your workflow. Anything else is merely a substitute for thinking.
  16. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    that will be true until we get computers that can read human brains....human brains are still the fastest computers ever :p
  17. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Love the "Stir the Turd" metaphor - I'm stealing that.

    Here's a little camparo - from a user perspective. I just finished a huge rendering project for a video using Electic Image - touted to have the "Fastest Rendered on the Market".

    I renderfarmed the frames to the project using the Camera renderer - there are not tweaks to the configruation of Camera. All machines have over 1gb RAM And here we go:

    1.3ghz PPC 7455, One processor, One Frame, Rendered @ 3:34min. Set to Raytrace 640x480.
    1.5ghz PPC 7455, One processor, One Frame, Rendered @ 3:17min. Set to Raytrace 640x480.
    2ghx Pentium 4, One Frame, Rendered at 6:45min. Set to Raytrace 640x480, but produced 'dirty' images (explored why, but couldn't solve in time).

    So quick and dirty, the P4 produced half-quality @ twice the time. Yes, before the propellerheads pipe up, I was running a minimum services set, and no virii or other apps running.

    This is not meant to really "Stir the Turd" it's just some perspective from a guy with a foot in both camps.
  18. Seanb23 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Yeah, obviously different platforms are going to be optimised for different programs, and I'm not at all suprised at the allegation about Intel benchmarks.

    Here at the house, we have compared my Pbook 17" 1gig with a top-of-the line custom made Mchip laptop, and an older 2 Ghz AMD desktop, all with 1gigRAM, in two very-high-end audio programs called Reaktor 4 and Live4. Not suprisingly, The pentium and AMD compute identical processees at about 1/2 to 1/3 of the CPU load of the powerbook in Reaktor4, which some claim was optimized for Windows first, and then OS X. In Live 4, which was developed for the Mac market first and foremost, the pentium and AMD handle the same applications at about 60-70 percent of the CPU load that the powerbook does.

    Both machines are fairly stable, for machines running Windows, that is.

    It was nice of one person to actually post a Dual g5 link to an obviously biased Apple benchmark site, but the link showed Apple slightly behind, even if you allow for the different video cards.

    I suppose I could post up all these benchmarks that show M chips and AMDs far, far ahead in the laptop race, but since you claim that you have evidence that the tests are always going to be rigged in Intel's favor...well, actually AMD is currently way ahead there, too.

    What do I need all that speed for, you ask ? Well, when I paid $3300 for this machine, I bought into the idea that Macs tend to run much more efficiently on slower CPUs, and that 1 GHz would be more than enough. It isn't, even with 1 gig of RAM, not to run complex audio editors side by side. Get enough going and the CPU just shuts right down, while the M chip hums right along.

    I too want my work station to be nice and efficient, pleasant to use, and fast enough to get the job done. Unfortunately, I also want it to be portable, and the powerbook, while, "acceptable enough to get by on," is by no means the powerhouse I was led to believe it was. Sorry. But I'm just not ready to go back to the world of Windoze headaches, so this leaves me in a bind.

    Maybe we'll see those G5 powerbooks sometime in the next 3 years. Somehow I doubt it.
  19. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA

    You know I actually agree in some regards. What is the most sad is Mac gaming... if such a field really even exists. This was taken from Barefeats:

    Speaking of Windows PCs, I was sent a link to Xbit Labs' site. They ran UT2004 BridgeOfFate botmatches (among others) on an Athlon 64 3400+ desktop with various graphics cards. I read carefully their test parameters and tested the G5/2.0MP with 9800 Pro using their settings. Here's how it compares to the Athlon 64 with 9800 Pro:

    At 1024x768, G5 = 67 fps, Athlon = 153 fps
    At 1280x1024, G5 = 63 fps, Athlon = 128 fps

    At first I thought it wasn't a fair fight. But a "3400+" Athlon is running at an actual 2.2GHz. Though the Dual G5 offloads the sound processing to the second CPU, the Athlon offloads the sound processing to a SoundBlaster Live card. So we'll call that even. That leaves one 2GHz G5 cpu to process the game instructions while the Athlon 64's 2.2GHz cpu processes its game instructions. In other words, they should be about even.

    That kind of performance gap is truly truly sad. My Mac might really work for me but when it comes to something like that... it's not so positive.

    And, while Mac game ports are usually not as great, and DirectX outperforms OpenGL... you still see 1/3 of the framerates that very comparable PCs would give... *tear*
  20. Seanb23 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    So, to bump the thread a lil' bit, does anyone have any hard evidence yet that proves that high-end Macs, particularly laptop models, process modern stuff, like real life third party CPU intensive programs, as quickly and efficiently as cheaper and far faster laptops made by "our enemy" ?

    That they come anywhere close ?

    Anything at all, beyond mere conjecture ? My observations are leading me further and further to the conclusion that Apple is simply laughing at it's me. This feeling is strikingly similar to the feeling I used to get from M$oft when their double-talk became grindingly obvious and loathsome.

    Am I ready to tackle Linux, if only for the sore fact that I am allowed to run it on modern hardware ? Will the superior Mac OS ever be allowed out onto the open market ?
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I agree with the Seanb23, the original poster of this thread.

    Its simple. Apple is far far behind the competition in terms of speed, and it doesn't matter that our operating system isn't 64-bit optimized, or whether program X or Y would run faster if it was 64-bit optimized, or made to take advantage of Altivec, as people would argue 3 years ago. The fact is that the software, the operating system, and the games available are NOT optimized for the Mac, and whether its the software manufacturers' faults or not is irrelevent. Yes, maybe they can adjust their software so it would perform optimally on Apple computers like on PCs, but in reality, meaning "the world we live in", it isn't. So all this "hypothetically, if they were to optimize blah blah blah to take advantage of X, Y, and Z, then Macs would be faster" bullsnit can stop, because that isn't reality. With the software available today and tomorrow, Macs are behind.

    On the other hand, I'd rather use my 12" Powerbook any day of the week, and if I had to buy a laptop all over again, there's no way I'd go PC. My reason is not that using my Mac brings a smile to my face. My reason is that it doesn't bring a frown, or frustration. So my reason for using Macs is due to something that doesn't occur, not because I actually smile or feel happy when I use my Mac. I just use it, and I don't need to think about anything else other than what I'm doing. :)
  22. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    well said. Several times in the yahoo mac room I get in arguments like these and people really think macs are the fastest out there. They are NOT. Mac diehards really need to get over themselves. Ever notice how apple does not benchmark against AMD....its because they are scared of AMD even though they have not done all that well lately..they are still below 2.6 ghz last i checked.
  23. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Rightly Apple should be...AMD uses the same technology IBM does (since the two companies share manufacturing plants), so AMD is logically Apple's biggest threat.
  24. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    actually AMD designs its own chips still, so technically it does not use the "same" technology as IBM.
  25. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2004
    Over the past while, i've reached the same conclusions as above. Abstract has it nailed. I'm always out of focus on my PC... trying to get it to work. Now generally, i don't mind fixing things because i find it challenging. I've owned a 800mhz TiBook, and now my dual G5. I never have 'fix' or 'tinker' with the hardware, and i rarely have a software problem. When the end of the day rolls around, i find that my greatest productivity is on the Mac because it just works. And besides, Mac OS is just so nice...i've got my complaints, but i do prefer it. I guess the only reason i bought a pc was to play City of Heroes. :D

    Another thing i find interesting is how much faster my Dual G5 folds compared to my 3.0e P4. the dual helps i am sure, and they don't have a program for HT P4's yet...

    Like all the others here, I say just use what you like for what you like. Apple is not supreme on every battleground. If you invested 4k on a mac thinking that it would spank PC in everything, you'll be dissappointed.

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