What do all these benchmarks mean???

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Future Man, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Future Man macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002
    I have sen a lot of "benchmarks" lately talking about how the mac is fater or slower than its PC competition. How can so many "benchmarks" vary so widely in what they find.
    Charlie White at DV Editing.com
    has some tests that demonstrate how a dual gig G4 is slower that a single p4 2.53ghz machine even in Photoshop benchmarks, while on the other hand there have been benchmarks referred to at this site recently that would seem to say that macs are being crushed by their PC competition but then electricimage post his own findings that would say the MAC is still competing??. Who is right and can anyone give a good explanation as to why all of these test seem to produce such different data?

    BTW my links are off, just scroll down to the DV EDiting article about MAC v PCs. FM.
  2. Paolo macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2001
    The Moon
    not much

    These bench marks don't tell you much about the speeds of the computer.... a good site to go to is the apple quiktime site and search for megahertz myth... it sort of explains the differents in macs and other chips and shows why and how the bench marks work.

    Basically if you give a mac and a PC a short operation... the mac will finish it faster... but if you give them both a hugely long set of operations... then the pc will get it out faster.

    (At least that's what I understood)

    But Apple say that in the 'real world' people don't give the computer hgely long lists of operations... so apples are faster in the 'real world'
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Benchmarks come from a lot of sources. Early benchmarks from the 1970s and 1980s were more a look into the efficiency of the compiler to produce good, quick code. They really didn't test the machine a whole lot. These were benchmarks such as Erasthone's Sieve and a Fibonacci number sequence generator.

    Later on, they became more specific to real-life applications.

    Now, it's hard to tell what's real. the SPECint and SPECfp benchmarks mean a lot to scientific computing. Macintosh does not do well in these anymore. Therefore, the optimized Photoshop plug-ins are used to show superiority when working in Photoshop.

    Anyway, where a Macintosh application uses two processors and AltiVec/Velocity Engine, Macintosh has a chance to keep up with most x86 processors. If it's not, forget it.
  4. Future Man thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002

    Thanks guys-

    Paolo, I did not know that Macs were supposedly built for short order operations. That is very interesting, is it symptomatic of Altivec/velocity engine? Bousozoku, Mr. white at www.digitalvideoediting.com has data that shows a dual gig Mac being blown away by a single pIV 2.53mhz rendering Photoshop filters. And PS is written to take advantage of Altivec right?
    I guess the test is sort of screwed because the pc chip is 50% faster than either of the gig chips in the Mac therefore even both G4s together fall 500mhz short of the single Pentium chip. I wonder though. I am really hoping to see some hot stuff this August.
  5. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    still, can you see yourself buying a p4 over a dual g4 for photoshop?
  6. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Re: Cool

    Macs aren't built for "short operations", they are however, built for small ones. If it can't fit in the cache, a Mac is going to lose the benchmark. The P4 can process (at most) 4.2GB/sec of data for anything that isn't helped by the cache or by hoisting loads (loading data before you need it so that you don't have to wait for it). The G4+ (even dual G4+s) are limited to 1.05GB/sec on those tasks by their slow ram. Once we get faster memory this problem will be greatly reduced. the Photoshop filters Apple uses (I would guess) are easily vectorized, and involve a lot of math on a small data set that can be kept in the unusually large cache on the G4+.
  7. Future Man thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002

    U r right Jeff i would never buy a PC for anything much less Photoshop! LOL I hate PCs and all their minions. Its just that there was a time when you were bad a** to have PPC chip. That time is infortunatley not now. I love my mac and wouldn't go PC for anything (even games). But as a "poweruser" i just want a little more. We have dual Gigs at my work to run FCP.
    There I run on 10.1.5 and I can tell you as someone who runs FCP all day that there are still some big issues for video professionals and osX. Its sort of a hardware ans software thing
    At home I run everything in 9 and it works fine, until you have to force quit that is. But alas, at its least its not a PC;)

    Thanks for the demistification catfish_man. I hope DDR solves some of the pipeline issues.
  8. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    PC's are faster than macs in a lot of ways. The problem with the PC's is the enviroment and the compatibility issues from every point of view (softwares, peripherals, hardware, etc).

    Something that runs in a mac will run, except for some compatibility issues, but PC's are faster. Now, the problem is that there are 300.000 of system out there configured in 300.000 different ways. Most of the PC's are build to do one job, but a multimedia PC (or may be one on the hands of a graphical artist) will work just fine.

    That is why 90% of 3D aplications runs in PC's, 3D people have to know about the system. People that uses Photoshop or Illustrato just do not care because they are no hardware requariment (only ram and may be video ram). 3D work has many other variables.

    Any way, the problem with PC's is Bill Gates, he just doesn't care that much about the interface an compatibility as Apple does, there are not standarts in PC's, that is why they are so conflictive and people goes to Macs.

    I'm just here because of the enviroment and the stability, but if I want speed, I'll jump in to the PC world, now, I do not want to deal with their problems.

    I had a G400 and I just changed for a Dual 500 and there is not too much difference in the rendering speed. I'm going to add a 1.5GB Ram to this machinne to see if it works fine (of course it will), but forget about spending 3000$ for a new dual what ever from Mac. I rather buy discontinued computers and add ram to them.
  9. Future Man thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002
    Render Times

    Yea, I have to say that the difference in render times between my dual gig at work (512 RAM) and dual 533 at home (1.5 RAM) are sort of negligible. The dual gig is faster but not much. Neithers ram is ever maxed out during everyday FCP renders. :confused:

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