Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 4th Jul 2003 03:45 UTC, submitted by Derek Kent
Apple NASA recently benchmarked Apple's dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 at its Langley Research Center in Virginia. The main purpose of the tests was to compare the G5 to the G4 for "computational fluid dynamics applications" however they also compare it to the Pentium 4.
Order by: Score:
Finally.
by Shawn on Fri 4th Jul 2003 03:59 UTC

Some real validation of what Apple and IBM have been saying all along about the G5 Processor.

and OS X?
by Kurt on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:04 UTC

Interesting test but really, how well will OS X take advantage (if at all) with the new chip? I would guess to say that scalar floating point is not a main part of the OS.

Basics
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:07 UTC

Because I know a lot of people are going to read miss some of the details of the article, here are the main points not mentioned in the osnews.com summary:

- These tests are not threaded, so they use *one processor only*
- They estimate that the 2.0Ghz G5 is about 20% *slower* than the new 3.2Ghz P4 systems on scalar for this particular test (estimatee by extrapolating the P4 data from their current 2.66Ghz P4)
- However, they say to take the 20% with a grain of salt, because the G5 is a new chip and as compilers for it mature they could close or erase the gap
- The G5 performs about the same as a G4 clock-for-clock on vector operations, but of course the G5 has a higher clock speed.
- G4 was already a monster on vector, so G5 is even more so.

They don't compare to P4 vector operations, but pretty much every benchmark I've seen shows Altivec beating every other vector unit out there handily. So to me, bottom line is that a 2GHz G5 is similar to a 3GHz P4 on scalar -- maybe slightly slower -- and probably significantly faster if the code uses Altivec.

It'll be interesting to see more real-world tests as more shops get their hands on G5 systems. In particular, I'm curious about tests that can take advantage of both processors, and tests that need high bandwidth.

Re: Shawn
by Bascule on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:09 UTC

Some real validation of what Apple and IBM have been saying all along about the G5 Processor.

Not really. From the summary of the article:

The test was well documented and concludes that "the G5 has about 22% better scalar floating point performance per clock cycle than the G4 systems tested and 32% better floating point performance per clock cycle than the P4 systems tested."

Consider the P4 currently enjoys a 60% lead in clock cycles. 32% better performance ber clock cycle is not sufficient to place the G5 ahead of the P4, as Apple contended in their claim that the G5 is "The world's fastest personal computer" and also in their benchmarks.

Also notice they're using the Portland Group and Absoft compilers, because they are dealing with Fortran 90 code. Once again, I'll reiterate that GCC is *not* typically used for compiling scientific computing applications.

Re: Finally
by Sagres on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:11 UTC

Some real validation of what Apple and IBM have been saying all along about the G5 Processor.

Not really, it says right there that the P4 does 255 MFlops and the G5 does 254 *LOL*

Bascule
by twocents on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:35 UTC

If I read the test correctly, the test is not bounded by memory. When you consider memory and the possible use of AltiVec, Apple's claim may still be true (they do say fastest computer not computer with the fastest chip). I will also wait for the final verdict once compilers that are optimized for the G5 are released.

twocents

Re: Finally
by april_fool on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:43 UTC

Not really, it says right there that the P4 does 255 MFlops and the G5 does 254 *LOL*

But 30% better MHz for MHz. In other words, remove Intel's manufacturing edge and G5 comes out well ahead. Unfortunately, it's not so obvious from NASA's data that G5 is ahead of G4 on an equal-MHz basis.

 Re: Finally
by Don on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:43 UTC

"Not really, it says right there that the P4 does 255 MFlops and the G5 does 254 *LOL*"

That's for one G5 processor, the machine has two. How many P4's can you put in one box?

Re: and OS X?
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:45 UTC

"Interesting test but really, how well will OS X take advantage (if at all) with the new chip? I would guess to say that scalar floating point is not a main part of the OS."

Considering the fact that OS X offsets UI rendering to the GPU which of course depends heavily on floating point operations, you could bet that the UI will be significantly benefited by this, but then again, its just a UI it doesn't require INSANE amounts of graphics processing. In the case of OS X, which is factor based, the UI is benefited by offloading to the GPU, but as we've seen in recent Macs Quartz extreme was ALREADY massive overkill for the UI... which ofcourse allowed it to do a lot more backflips without even a hickup.

So, will OS X's UI be able to take advantage of the G5's huge floating capabilities? Sure. Will you notice a difference? Almost certinly not. it was already incredible fast.

RE: Re: Finally
by offtangent on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:46 UTC

> That's for one G5 processor, the machine has two. How many P4's can you put in one box?

More than 2 of the Xeon variety actually!

Here's another angle: how many G5s do you *need* to beat a single P4?

Re: and OS X?
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:46 UTC

Spelling error:

factor based = vector based

Re: RE: Re: Finally
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:48 UTC

"how many G5s do you *need* to beat a single P4?"

Depending on the Application... anywhere from as little as 1/7th of a G5 or as much as 1/2 of a G5.

Re: Finally
by Kevin on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:50 UTC

"That's for one G5 processor, the machine has two. How many P4's can you put in one box?"

One. But you can fit a lot of Xeons in a box.

RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally
by offtangent on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:51 UTC

> Depending on the Application... anywhere from as little as 1/7th of a G5 or as much as 1/2 of a G5

Lets see...
G4=254, P4=255, hence it takes more than one G4 to beat a P4 ;)

Q.E.D.

Re: Finally
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:53 UTC

"One. But you can fit a lot of Xeons in a box."

Too bad the processor itself costs as much as a complete G5 tower. You can build a G5 cluster too you know.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally
by Sagres on Fri 4th Jul 2003 04:58 UTC

Lets see...
G4=254, P4=255, hence it takes more than one G4 to beat a P4 ;)


It takes 1,0039370078740157480314960629921 G5's according to my calculations :-D [(1/254)*255]

> Insanely Great Mac informs us that the final release of
> Panther definitely won't support beige G3 or earlier
> PowerMacs, nor will it support PowerBook G3s that lack
> built-in USB ports.

I don't know about everyone else but this is news that I have been waiting for for quite some time. Thank goodness they haven't removed support for all G3's yet. This PowerMac 350Mhz still has some life left!

RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally
by Wrawrat on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:02 UTC

[Some uninteresting numbers on how many G5s you need to beat a P4...]

Does it really matter? Some code will run faster on the G5, some on the P4... The G5 might be more efficient, but I heard that the P4 could be scaled up to 10GHz. Each architecture have its own advantages.

Oh, and before I start hearing the benefits of RISC architecture and why the G5 is so l33t... The G5 can't run natively >90% [my guess] of the software on the market today. The best technology doesn't always "win".

RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:04 UTC

"The G5 can't run natively >90% [my guess] of the software on the market today."

And yet it runs 100% of all the software I need it to.

Overlooked
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:08 UTC

The thing that everyone else seems to have overlooked (the PC freeks or so concerned about loosing the pissing contest) is the fact that Nasa is looking at using G5s. That says a lot in my book.

RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally
by Wrawrat on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:10 UTC

Good for you, but not everybody is in the same situation as you.

Anyway, How do you know that all your software will work flawlessly on it? Did you tried it?

Re: RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:14 UTC

"Good for you, but not everybody is in the same situation as you."

Fortunately, OS X has all the necesseray software to keep 90% of the computing populace happy.


"Anyway, How do you know that all your software will work flawlessly on it? Did you tried it?"

I do (and have been) every day since OS X's release.

nice
by Brad on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:18 UTC

First off, GO FORTRAN!! it will live forever in engineering. I hope as they mentioned breifly that there will be some G5 optimized FORTRAN compilers coming out.

Next, it's nice to see some very real world results coming that are all about the cpu. x86 vs PPC comparisions should do all they can to take the os and such out of the picture, this means using the most optimized compilers for each cpu.

I wish they could have done something with the dual cpus. I find it odd that this program wasn't threaded seeing it was a fortran code that seamed to be meant for clusters.

I think the last line was very important to.

"Finally, it is important to note that the current test does not factor machine cost or intended use into the picture, and that can have a large impact, especially in clustering applications."

I think this will be a killer for the mac. For building a large cluster and you don't have large funds, or want to get the most bang for the buck, you can be sure they will be building their nodes, not buying dells. Or maybe doing like Sandina (sp?) national labs did and use Shuttle XPCs. Either way when doing this the price performance of the x86s will still probably hold solid. with that being said, seeing a wall of G5's in racks as a cluster would be something to look at for sure.

Re: nice
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:24 UTC

"I think the last line was very important to.

"Finally, it is important to note that the current test does not factor machine cost or intended use into the picture, and that can have a large impact, especially in clustering applications."

I think this will be a killer for the mac"


Hold on there bud, you don't even know how much Apple plans on pricing G5-equipped X-serves yet. Considering the fact that the the PPC970 is significantly less expensive than the XEON, Apple/IBM will have a huge advantage here.

Fortunately, OS X has all the necesseray software to keep 90% of the computing populace happy.
Right... Then explain me the low market share?
I'm not anti-Apple, in fact, I'm interested by the G5, but
I'm not blind at the facts. Most people I know don't even consider an Apple computer (or any other OS than Windows) when they want to get a new computer just because of that.

I do (and have been) every day since OS X's release.
But the G5 is a new CPU... It wasn't even made by the same company. How can you be sure? *sigh*

Re: RE: Re: RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally (whee!)
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:35 UTC

< "Fortunately, OS X has all the necesseray software to keep 90% of the computing populace happy." >

"Right... Then explain me the low market share?"

When most people use the word "market-share", what they really mean is "installed-base."

For example, while Apple's Macintosh market-share may be 3 percent, its installed-base is approximately 10 to 12 percent of the computing industry, a figure that's roughly similar to that of Linux based PCs.

When these figures are coupled with the remaining alternative operating systems on the market, Windows installed-base works out to be somewhere in the way of 80 percent -- a far cry from the 95 figure that is often touted.

So how does market-share play into the picture you ask?

Market-share is determined by quarterly or annual sales figures. The problem with market-share statistics is that it implies that all computers retain the same level of usability over time. It assumes that once a computer is sold, it will retain its productivity status for as long as its parts continue to function.

Unfortunately, usability statistics and replacement purchasing habits of consumers vary significantly between platforms thus causing the market-share figure to look skewed.

Linux users (for example) are known to keep aging computer hardware useful long after it was left for dead by its former Windows using owner. The open source community consistently manages to squeeze every last ounce of processing power from even the most aged hardware available.

Similarly, Mac users are known to keep their computers as primary productivity tools until the gears fall off. This is really a testament to the quality that Apple incorporated into its hardware and software over the years.

Unfortunately, the incorporation of quality into these platform's coding efforts will only fuel the notion that they are far less popular as what they are as long as market-share is the most commonly used gauge to determine platform popularity.


"Most people I know don't even consider an Apple computer (or any other OS than Windows) when they want to get a new computer just because of that."

So you're saying that they don't consider a Mac because of their misconceptions about market share.


"But the G5 is a new CPU... It wasn't even made by the same company. How can you be sure? *sigh*"

because its of the same lineage. The G4 was PPC. The G5 is PPC. There wont be any lost compatibility for that reason.

20 % gain
by John Blink on Fri 4th Jul 2003 05:37 UTC

Quote from conclusion...
Based on an extrapolation of current P4 results, the 2GHz G5 would lag newly announced 3.2GHz P4 systems in Jet3D scalar floating point performance by about 20%, but this kind of comparison is best deferred until G5-aware compiler tools become available (since a 20% performance gain is well within the potential of compiler optimization).


I found this to be the most important part of the whole article. Since I couldn't be bothered reading the whole thing, I'll save it for a rainy day.

You can only really compare to architecture according to how well the same apps haved been optimised for each architecture.

Until then on paper the G5 looks better than a P4, but obviously Intel are pursuing different angles on the P4, eg. Lets see how high our Gigahertz can go.

It is like how some car manufacture create superb engines, whereas other decide lets give it more power and waste more fuel!

For example, while Apple's Macintosh market-share may be 3 percent, its installed-base is approximately 10 to 12 percent of the computing industry, a figure that's roughly similar to that of Linux based PCs.

I sincerly doubt that their installed base is that high, but it's still interesting, and I could be wrong. Do you have any source?

So you're saying that they don't consider a Mac because of their misconceptions about market share.

No no, I was answering to your previous point: the software. Sorry if I wasn't clear enough.

because its of the same lineage. The G4 was PPC. The G5 is PPC. There wont be any lost compatibility for that reason.
Theorically, yes, but AFAIK, they're not manufactured by the same company. That's why I think that it *could* have some issue with some (probably poorly-written) software. You don't have a G5 at home so you can't certify that everything will be alright, like I can't certify that every x86 program will work flawlessly on the Athlon64. I hope you understand what I mean.

scientific community
by TLy on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:00 UTC

Anonymous (IP: ---.ph.ph.cox.net) wrote:
is the fact that Nasa is looking at using G5s. That says a lot in my book.

What I don't quite understand is: with any type of scientific research conducted by use of computer power, the researchers claim that accuracy is far more important than computing speed. Yet the first generation of Altivec was not able to make use of double-precision floating point operands. Therefore, it may produce less precise numbers/figures/what have you.

I remember hearing that IBM will add their own extensions to the Altivec unit on the 970 but does anyone know if it'll be able to handle double precision floats?

Re: RE:Re: RE: Re: RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally (whee!)
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:02 UTC

"Do you have any source?"


I did, but now i cant find it anymore. I'll keep looking. If/When I find it I'll post it in this thread.


"Theorically, yes, but AFAIK, they're not manufactured by the same company.

manufactured no, but designed yes. The powerPC processor was jointly designed by Apple IBM and motorolla in what has since been regarded as the "AIM alliance"


"You don't have a G5 at home so you can't certify that everything will be alright, like I can't certify that every x86 program will work flawlessly on the Athlon64. I hope you understand what I mean.

I do understand, but the Athlon64 wasn't designed in cooperation with Intel as was the case with the G4 with Apple IBM and Motorola. The G5, while being designed solely by IBM (and to a smaller extent Apple) will use the same core technology that made up the G4 as well as the G3. They're all PPC.

Really, your analogy would be closer if you were to ask if your PIII software will be compatible on your PIV.

Re: scientific community
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:05 UTC

"I remember hearing that IBM will add their own extensions to the Altivec unit on the 970 but does anyone know if it'll be able to handle double precision floats?"

If they add anything to it, they will be adding to the genuine altivec instruction set (not a variation of altivec or even a "compatible" version as some have suggested) IBM has specificaly mentioned that it was using genuine altivec technology.

Portland Group F90 v4.0-3 ?!?!?!
by le grimpeur on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:06 UTC

Why the hell did they use an old version of the Portland Group compiler when is very well known that Intel optimizing F90 compiler is almost unbeateble and further more freely available for Research institutions??

In numerical computing you cannot just evaluate the processor itself, you have to consider also the compiler availabilty, performance and pricing. See what AMD is also doing with the Opteron http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10292

Side Note: Where I work (University) I bought the Absoft compiler for a MAC, do you want to know the price? Well 1000$. Intel compiler is free and has SSE2 hand optimized (by intel engineers!!) BLAS 1 2 3 and LAPAC libraries

Hello, 10-13 times the performance!
by Paul on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:08 UTC

Obviously, a lot of people seem to be selectively reading the NASA document. So let's take a look at this comment:

"Consistent with earlier Jet3D tests, the vector version of Jet3D runs an order of magnitude faster than the scalar version (speedups of 10X-13X are typical)."

So while a P4 has a 60% advantage is clock speed to the G5's 32% better performance per clock, when you run code that uses the Velocity Engine, you get 10-13 TIMES the performance for regular scalar floating point operations.

Let's repeat: when you use vector calculations instead of standard floating point, the G5 deliever 10 to 13 times the performance on average.

Of course, not everything can be optimized to use the Velocity Engine, so you don't get 10 times a performance boost across the board since in real-world situations, you'll be mixing both scalar and vector calculations. This is essentially what we saw in the app bake-off, when we saw the G5s run highly computationally intensive apps 2-3 times faster than the dual Xeon.

Even with SSE, there's no way a P4 is touching a G5 when it comes to Velocity Engine optimized, floating point intensive apps.

manufactured no, but designed yes. The powerPC processor was jointly designed by Apple IBM and motorolla in what has since been regarded as the "AIM alliance"
[...]
I do understand, but the Athlon64 wasn't designed in cooperation with Intel as was the case with the G4 with Apple IBM and Motorola. The G5, while being designed solely by IBM (and to a smaller extent Apple) will use the same core technology that made up the G4 as well as the G3. They're all PPC.

Really, your analogy would be closer if you were to ask if your PIII software will be compatible on your PIV.


Um, well, nevermind then. I forgot that IBM was in the alliance, hehe. ;)

Re: RE: Re: RE:Re: RE: Re: RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally (whee!)
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:16 UTC

"Um, well, nevermind then. I forgot that IBM was in the alliance, hehe. ;) "

: )

RE:RE:Finally
by Kevin Arvin on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:19 UTC

Not really, it says right there that the P4 does 255 MFlops and the G5 does 254 *LOL*

Unless you include the Altivec scores (2755 MFlops / 5177 for the dual). There's no doubt that the G5 is competitive with the P4 on most apps, and really fast on Altivec enhanced apps.

Brand new opportunity
by Lorenzo on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:23 UTC

I don't quite see why everybody is so involved in the numerical characteristics of the G5.
I mean, Apple *must* stress the fact that they produce the "fastest" PCs, they are sellers, not critical opinionists... and this must be corrected by the community with the truth.
But... the G5 seems to be (if I'm not wrong...) a very fast CPU which dissipates very little heat (around 30W).
So, who cares if that goes like a 1800+XP or a 2.6P4?
My 1800+ with crawling slow sdram 100Mhz is a powerful machine when it comes to rendering, and with the MEncoder makes almost 22 fps in DVD->DivX compression; a G5 would surely do faster, why bother it is not fast as a 3.06-3.2P4 which makes 82 or more watts making your machine noisy as hell with fans?

The old G4 was a good chip. 2 years ago.
Now they were really trying to survive selling "top of the specs" G4 13xxMhz... G5 brings a lot of computing power more, cool computing power, and it runs the incredible OsX or (my choice) Linux.

It's your alternative, but do you really take care of a slight 10 or 20% more in computing power when buying?
I mean, 10% more means usually *no* difference at all, unless you look at the benchamrks.

Now that the performance gap has been, if not removed, at least levelled (this is what is important, IHMO) I'd buy a PowerBook G5 if I had the money (and if they did it :-) but I'll have to stick with a P4m.

Ciao,

Lorenzo

wait the ages to come
by plahh on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:26 UTC

well G5 = 64 bit system, thought P4 = 32 bit. Lets see when Intel and AMD really but their own REAL 64 bit chips out. Then Apple can back his stuff to pocket and start to move at home ;)

Re: Brand new opportunity
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:32 UTC

"Apple *must* stress the fact that they produce the "fastest" PCs, they are sellers, not critical opinionists... and this must be corrected by the community with the truth."

Corrected?! They aren't wrong.


"The old G4 was a good chip. 2 years ago."

its still a good chip, just not for ultra high-end uses like the G5 will be ocupying.



"Now they were really trying to survive selling "top of the specs" G4 13xxMhz..."

Applications that took advantage of the G4's Altivec instruction set, caused the G4 to remain very competative with the Pentium. Unfortunately, not enough developers integrated altivec code into their apps early on. While that is changing now, it was a bit too late about 4 or 5 months ago, when Apple DESPERATELY needed them.


"G5 brings a lot of computing power more, cool computing power, and it runs the incredible OsX or (my choice) Linux."

While you are correct that it will run Linux, Linux needs to be updated to take advantage of the computerized fans. Without that support the fans will all go on in unison, causing the quiet G5 to be as loud as some of the more noise PCs. Thankfully, that wont keep Linux users from taking advantage of all that extra speed. I'm sure that eventually the OS will get support for the computerized fan system


"do you really take care of a slight 10 or 20% more in computing power when buying?"

For most functions, the G5 will be significantly more than 10 to 20% in speed over the Pentium.

RE:RE:Re: RE: Re: RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally (whee!)
by raptor on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:33 UTC

>Theorically, yes, but AFAIK, they're not manufactured by the >same company. That's why I think that it *could* have some >issue with some (probably poorly-written) software. You don't >have a G5 at home so you can't certify that everything will >be alright, like I can't certify that every x86 program .will >work flawlessly on the Athlon64. I hope you understand what I >mean.

You should be really read a book on instructions set architectures and compilers before posting responses. You might also want to understand the history of the powerpc before making claims of incompatibility. AFAIK, the PPC was a joint effort by Motorola, IBM and Apple. Motorola and IBM have manufatured PPC chips for Apple. Motorola stopped making ppc chips because of financial reasons. IBM decided to make a scaled down verison of thier Power4 + Altivec and call it PPC 970 which is what apple brands the G5.

Any code, poorly or elegantly written, in a higher level language should be compiled into correct object code by a compiler (obviously code that compiles). If the compiler has bugs it will probably generate bad instructions and those should execute the same on a G4 or a G5 (cause illegal instructions faults or the like) since they are built around the same instruction set.

I am sure IBM has a lot of experience in testing and validating thier processors. Compatibility would be the last of my concerns with two processors using the same instructions set. Because the the instruction decode logic would be the first to be tested and validated.

I would be more nervous moving from and x86 platform to the itanium.

wait the ages to come
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:37 UTC

"well G5 = 64 bit system, thought P4 = 32 bit. Lets see when Intel and AMD really but their own REAL 64 bit chips out. Then Apple can back his stuff to pocket and start to move at home ;) "

The G5 is really only the beginning. Being based on the Power 4 it definately has legs, but the power5 is already out. IBM has said that the Power 5 will be 400% faster than the Power 4. Assuming that speed also translates to the consumer dirivitive (980?) things will be very interesting.

Also of interest is the fact that it has been said that the Power 5 will be designed to reach significantly greater GHz numbers which should allow Apple to run in paralyl with Intel which is doing a nice job of increasing GHz be ever-extending the processors pipeline stages.

Re: RE:RE:Re: RE: Re: RE:RE: RE: Re: RE: Re: Finally (whee!)
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:42 UTC

"You should be really read a book on instructions set architectures and compilers before posting responses."

its probably appropriate to lay off him, he DID eventually say, "I forgot that IBM was in the alliance". He was very good natured about recognizing the mistake..

Apple, as usual, is better
by Mark Wilson on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:49 UTC

To the PC fans -- keep using your PC -- I really don't care.

On the software issue -- who uses even 1% of the available Windows software. There's a lot of junk out there. But, if you have to use some software that's only available on Windows, then buy a PC.

I have yet to find any software functionality I wanted to use that was not available on Mac OS X. In every case, the Mac alternative has been as good as or better than the Windows alternative.

Finally, don't forget that Mac OS X is Unix based. There are literally thousands of open source programs available for the Mac.

Lorenzo--
by WattsM on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:50 UTC

What's wrong with you, examining things calmly and rationally and coming to a logical conclusion about what's best for you? Where do you think you are? We want flames, man! FLAMES!

(-1, Sarcasm)

N.B.: I'm aware Apple did bring this on themselves with the "fastest computer EVAR!!!" claim, but realistically, even if by some miracle they'd been quiet and modest about introducing the G5s, critics would still be piling on 'em. I observed to a friend the other day that while Mac people can be arrogant bastards about PCs, they tend to attack the computers; PC users tend to attack Mac users. The idea that someone could buy a machine with so many supposed drawbacks (speed, price, software selection, mouse buttons, whatever) and not only be steadfastly happy but tell friends, "Yeah, these are great machines!" obviously makes some people absolutely livid.

Before the G5 even ships...
by Michael on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:50 UTC

Before the G5 ships, Intel will reduce prices on Xeons on July 17th making Dual Xeon machines much cheaper.

And at the same time, Intel will introduce a 3.06ghz Xeon with 1MB cache.

With the 1MB cache (vs. the G5 at 512K cache), the Dual Xeon will be much faster.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10303

Before the G5 even ships, AMD will be shipping their 2Ghz Opteron, also with 1MB cache, that is also faster than the G5. And you can get Opteron systems today, from 1 processor to 8 processors.

So all this goes to say... if you want a G5 just go ahead and buy it. Performance is so fluid in the PC market, that many benchmarks expire before machines even ship. It's just noise.

Re:Re: Finally
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:51 UTC

One. But you can fit a lot of Xeons in a box."

'Too bad the processor itself costs as much as a complete G5 tower. You can build a G5 cluster too you know.'

What are you on! A 2.8 GHz Xeon processor costs about US$600 and a 2.4 GHz about US$450. A quality dual Xeon MB is $400-1000.

Re: WattsM
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 06:57 UTC

The idea that someone could buy a machine with so many supposed drawbacks:

(speed


Apple's hardware is faster. No drawback here...be it perceived or actual.


price

Apple hardware, when compared spec for spec in both hardware and software is either slightly more expensive, the same price, slightly less or significantly less. No drawback here...be it perceived or actual.


"software selection"

While there is indeed more software for Windows than for the Mac, many of those applications for Windows are lesser versions of a superior version. The superior version (available on Windows) is typically also available on the Mac. if it isn't there is typically an equivilent or superior alternative. No drawback here...be it perceived or actual.


"mouse buttons"

Just like Windows, Macs support mice with multiple buttons. No drawback here...be it perceived or actual.

Before the G5 even ships...
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:02 UTC

"Before the G5 ships, Intel will reduce prices on Xeons on July 17th making Dual Xeon machines much cheaper."

Considering the fact that the Dual XEON machine( while also being slower) cost more than $1000 more than a similarly equipped Mac. I sure hope they reduce those prices GEEZ!


"And at the same time, Intel will introduce a 3.06ghz Xeon with 1MB cache."

Wow, that will halp with the speed deficiency very nicely actually.

Re: Finally.
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:20 UTC

Some real validation of what Apple and IBM have been saying all along about the G5 Processor.

Like always (doh), I beg to differ. Look at this, " 32% better floating point performance per clock cycle than the P4 systems tested." P4 of course having more clock cycles per second...

And NASA doesn't go further into other variables (read the documentation) like optimization, operating system, compiler, etc. Apple, using SPEC, went into there and use a set of configurations only a minority of PC users use (with RedHat and GCC).

Re: Re: Finally
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:24 UTC

Too bad the processor itself costs as much as a complete G5 tower. You can build a G5 cluster too you know.

You also can build a P4 cluster, you know.

Re: Hello, 10-13 times the performance!
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:31 UTC

Obviously, a lot of people seem to be selectively reading the NASA document. So let's take a look at this comment:

"Consistent with earlier Jet3D tests, the vector version of Jet3D runs an order of magnitude faster than the scalar version (speedups of 10X-13X are typical)."


Holy cow. You're right; I don't know how I could have missed this. So basically the G5 seems to be somewhere around a high-end P4 on scalar, but if you can take advantage of Altivec... wow.

Also notice that while they don't graph it, they do mention how the G5 scored with both procs enabled. In scalar, it almost exactly doubled the single-proc performance, which shows that the SMP overhead is low. For some reason on the Altivec version it didn't come as close to linear speedup. But once you've gotten a 10x speedup, I doubt you'll care too much if the other proc only gives you another 1.75x instead of 2x!

I also think you're right about this explaining Apple's WWDC application demos. The 2x performance of the G5 to the Xeon in the demos was probably an average of the fact that it's about even on scalar, but way way faster for small portions of code that can be vectorized. Bandwidth might also have come into play in the demos as well.

You should be really read a book on instructions set architectures and compilers before posting responses. You might also want to understand the history of the powerpc before making claims of incompatibility. AFAIK, the PPC was a joint effort by Motorola, IBM and Apple. Motorola and IBM have manufatured PPC chips for Apple.
Maybe, but you should really read a book on "how to read a forum", especially posts made 30 minutes before yours... And yes, I did really forgot that IBM was in that alliance. I'm not a Mac user, after all.

Btw, there's always a difference between theory and the real world. Yes, I know that CPUs with a identical instruction set should behave exactly the same way, but bugs happens.

...
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:36 UTC

While there is indeed more software for Windows than for the Mac, many of those applications for Windows are lesser versions of a superior version. The superior version (available on Windows) is typically also available on the Mac. if it isn't there is typically an equivilent or superior alternative. No drawback here...be it perceived or actual.

Macs don't have a whole lot of applications Windows have. Sure, it has the top few major applications (Office, Photoshop, Quark, etc.), assuming people are

a) Willing to fork out a whole lot of money when they are happy with cheaper PC software doing exactly as they wish (e.g. Paint Shop Pro over Photoshop). But on the worser extend...
b) Willing to leave a niche application for a "all-round" application that doesn't do as some people need. In other words, the top few applications does not, and I repeat, does not cover every single niche. For example, a whole lot of Malaysia lawyers (I'm willing to venture a bet that this is the same elsewhere) would drop dead if WordPerfect is snatched away from them. WordPerfect, the last I check, isn't available on the PC.

I personally don't mind moving to the Mac (I just question the investment I need to put in with leaving the PC - new software licenses, new hardware, etc.) because all my applications are available on the Mac. BTW, neither Paint Shop Pro nor WordPerfect Office, or any other applications like AutoCAD 2004, aren't available IIRC on the Mac.

Xeon? What next? Itanium?
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:39 UTC

If the Intel processors are soooo good, how can that be, 32 pieces of Power4+ processors kicks 64(!) pieces of the high end Intanium craps in TPC-C?

http://news.com.com/2100-1010-1022355.html

Come back to the floor poor x86 belivers!

Re: Before the G5 even ships...
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 07:45 UTC

If I remembered correctly, when G4 was released, it was not only tonnes faster than its x86 counterpart, but somewhat cheaper. A month or two ago, G4 was not only loads slower and tonnes more expensive than it's x86 counterpart. And if I remembered correctly, it didn't took long for x86 to close the gap.

Now look at G5s. It may be faster than x86, but largely it is around the same speed. It is loads (somewhat) cheaper than Xeon machines from all major OEMs. How long is that gonna last, especially since the gap is smaller than when G4 was first released? That depends on how fast Apple and IBM churn out upgrades and reduce prices. How often would Apple reduce prices and release new machines? Unless they are trying out a new bright business strategy - not as fast as Intel (or AMD for all that matters).

What I'm trying to say is, enjoy flaming Intel and the PC world while you can, cause in a short year, or maybe even less, they would be back with vengeance. Unless by some miracle on Apple's (and IBMs) part.

Re: the G5
by Shawna on Fri 4th Jul 2003 08:41 UTC

>>The G5 can't run natively >90% [my guess] of the software on the market today. The best technology doesn't always "win".

The G5 can run 32 bit and 64 bit OSX applicaitons natively.

Oh wait, you were talking about how it won't run windows software natively. It doesn't even occur to me anymore that someone would want to run windows software on an OSX box now that I've used OSX for a couple weeks. It would be like trying to run an Apple IIe application on OSX.





hey, Apple IIe was cool
by Michael on Fri 4th Jul 2003 08:53 UTC

There are still more good games for Apple ][ than Mac OS X.

And Diversi-DOS kicks ass on whatever bloatware crap they have in OS X.

I mean, Apple had to get rid of the floppy drive so that people couldn't run their Apple excellent ][ software, but had to move to Mac.

:-)

RE: Finally
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 09:07 UTC

"Not really, it says right there that the P4 does 255 MFlops and the G5 does 254 *LOL*"

But hey, the P4 does 255 32-bits MFlops and the G5 does 254 64-bits MFlops.

NASA -- Stop the Space Shuttle!
by Michael on Fri 4th Jul 2003 09:19 UTC

I just noticed that the G5 does not support ECC RAM. That means all those extra bits may not work right! There is no guarantee that the system is working properly!

The Space Shuttle is going to blow up if they use the G5!

Better stay on those ECC Xeons and Itaniums, NASA. Now is not the time to blow up another Shuttle...

x86 considered harmful ;)
by anon on Fri 4th Jul 2003 09:32 UTC

On the software issue -- who uses even 1% of the available Windows software. There's a lot of junk out there.

a) Everyone uses a different .1% of Windows software and b) Windows users have a lot of choices within a single category.

I'm just curious though why Apple zealots think PC users are threatened. x86 architecture is a common butt of jokes. It's not suprising to hear it can be improved. I hope IBM gives AMD/Intel a run for their money, without harming AMD.

For clustering apps, cost is a vital factor. But OTOH, for workstations you often want to maximize the per-processor strength.

Anyway, we should keep in mind we're talking about floating-point, which is unimportant for most people.

RE: Finally
by whaaa on Fri 4th Jul 2003 09:47 UTC

"But hey, the P4 does 255 32-bits MFlops and the G5 does 254 64-bits MFlops."

Nope... the P4 has almost full IEEE 754 FP support, and the FPU performs double precission. I.e. those were indeed 64bit MFlops on the pentium ;) .

I like the G5 myself, but give Caesar unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.

hmm
by Zacay on Fri 4th Jul 2003 09:48 UTC

AM I the only one that thinks this test is bullshit?
Is it fare to compare A PowerMac G5 2x2GHz with a P4 1x2.66GHz?????
Why don't they compare with P4 2x2GHz???

And yes I know there is more than Hz, but should the total be "equal" ;) ????

Its not even fare to compare a 2x1GHZ with a 1x2GHz... so why this!!!??

RE: hmm
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 10:38 UTC

from the article

"Note that even though the G4 and G5 systems have dual processors, detailed benchmarks in the present study pertain to a single processor only."

read the article first

nasa considering g5
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 10:55 UTC

just another bunch of guys trying to do their job - may be to make the foam stick

RE: RE: hmm
by Zacay on Fri 4th Jul 2003 11:14 UTC

> read the article first
Yeah I read it. .but still I am asking the questions of fareness!!! ;)

RE: RE: RE: hmm
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 11:27 UTC

Build a box with a double-P4 configuration...if you can... I hope now you're understand why.

RE: RE: RE: RE: hmm
by Zacay on Fri 4th Jul 2003 11:44 UTC

HAHA.. please I already know that...
I am not asking about that..
I am simply asking if its fare to test like this..
the answer is NO its not fare...

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: hmm
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 11:59 UTC

Your answer is no, but my answer is yes.

Or is it fair to compare 64 Itanium 2 with 32 Power4 ?
Yes, beacuse they are used to the same target and in the same costal range.

Everybody wins!
by Woollhara on Fri 4th Jul 2003 12:08 UTC

Well, we have to look at the big picture here.
A few years ago, The Intel/Microsoft was almost the only combination you could get in PC, then came AMD with the Athlon, then Linux, then Apple OSX then AMD (again) with Opetron/X64 then IBM with the G5, then... etc etc
Nowadays you have the freedom to choose the combination of processor/OS you want on your box (with some limitations obviously) instead of being stuck with just Intel/Windows.

This fact only is priceless and that's what people should be looking at not argueing about a few percent difference in perf.

Re: hmm
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 12:13 UTC

Now, one of Intel's strenght's is its long pipelines (and as a result) it's high frequenzy. Now, it would be rather unfair to use a 2GHz Pentium 4 which is rather old, without all the new Intel features that can be used in this test (higher cache for example), just to have a "fair" competition. The G5's high floating point calculations per clock cycle is its strenght, the P4's sheer amount of clock cycles is its strenght. Just like it would be unfair to compare both processors on just MHz, it would be unfair to compare both processors on your suggestion.

At last
by Zacay on Fri 4th Jul 2003 12:30 UTC

Thanx rajan r.. thats the answer I was looking for ;)
And also thought about..

Re: hmm
by macster on Fri 4th Jul 2003 12:41 UTC

They also used a 2.66GHZ P4. I do think that they should have performed the test with a 3 or 3.2 GHZ P4. Maybe even a dual Xeon.

from the Jet3D Test...

"but a look at the normalized levels reveals that the G5 is nearly identical to the G4 in terms of vector performance per clock cycle. Thus, the increased raw vector performance of the G5 is largely due to its higher clock speed."

There is little to no optimization of Altivec in the G5s. The gains come from moslty MHZ so in this aspect there is still more power to be extracted from the G5 not even factoring in issues with non optimized compilers and Panther which will probably be more optimized for G5.

What really matters
by Jay on Fri 4th Jul 2003 12:57 UTC

The only thing that really matter is that Apple was stuck in a bad place - little incremental speed boosts in the G4, slow bus and slow-down in memory speed and al the ramifications that go with that.

Now they have 64 bit computing, very fast processors, very fast bus and RAM. Now we can run OS X and it will scream. This is great news for all of computing. Competition is back, Apple is healthy and can compete again. This helps move computing forward.

OT: I can't wait to get my hands...
by Ronald on Fri 4th Jul 2003 14:43 UTC

on a G5!!!

MFLOP test
by Derek Kent on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:16 UTC

I thought people might be confused by the test where the P4 had 255MFLOPS and the G5 scored 254. If you read the article a little more closely however, just above the test is this:

"Though dual processor benchmarks are not presented in detail here, it is worth noting that the G5 system benchmarked at 498 MFLOPS and 0.125 MFLOPS/MHz for scalar Jet3D performance when two processors were used."

That's impressive for more than one reason. One is how well this chip scales up in performance in multiple processor systems. By adding a second processor, it only dropped from 0.127 MFLOPS/MHz to 0.125 MFLOPS/Mhz. The P4 scored 0.096 MFLOPS/MHz with a single processor.

The 498 MFLOPS score for the G5 compared to a 255 MFLOPS score for the P4 puts this test on par with Apple's benchmark.

Core of the matter
by ryan on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:27 UTC

This reminds me a bit of the republican democrat arguments here in the US.

25% of either side will never admit that the other side can be right...ever. Its all black and white. Polarization. I am right you are wrong.

30-40% people are roughly moderates and will listen to some logic. The rest just don't care.

Likewise, Apple could have a 20 GHz 128 bit G28 processor with 30 Gig of memory tomorrow sold for $1400 and you'd still have these arguments. Discussion is good but don't dilude your selves logic is not as powerful as protection of one's own views.

For whatever reason there is a need to see apple down. I don't know why but it is impossible for some to accept that apple can do right. Just ignore it and focus on those 30-40% moderates and the group that just don't care.

pc losers
by mstrip on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:35 UTC

Quote from IBM, that Apple was involved in developing the G5.

Chakib Akrout, (IBM): Yes.
DMN(http://www.digitalmedianet.com): Can you give us an idea of what the difference between this new G5 is and the Power4 chip that existed a year ago or so? Just give us a roadmap of where you've gone from there to here.
Akrout: The G5 is actually a derivative of Power4. It's basically the same processor which we took from the Power4 and we brought it to G5. We've added in the G5 beside the processor, the Velocity Engine, which optimized with the same kind of pipeline, with more enhancements we were able to put there. It connected to the fastest front-side bus, which we developed with Apple, which is able to get up to 1GHz. For this we used the most leading-edge process technology we have today. 130 millimeters, with the silicon-on-insulator, copper technology, eight levels. This is our leading edge technology from architecture, micro-architecture optimization and process technology.

Re: At last
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:36 UTC

I realized after you two didn't know what each other was fighting about... :-)

ms distorted losers
by mstrip on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:38 UTC

ah ha pc losers, even in "real world" stats you still act like losers. Risc is good!

Re: Core of the matter
by rajan r on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:40 UTC

This is the fifth or sixth post in this thread that preach the same message - if ya don't like the debates - stay out of it. I don't butt in (well, not lately, I stopped) into debates I don't like and ask them to stop. No one will listen to you.

 Re: Core of the matter
by ryan on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:45 UTC

rajan,

I have nothing against debate as my presence will indicate. By the same measure i can't ignore the apparent need of some to bash apple regardless of the company's actions, regardless of facts. And its SOOOOOOOOOO OBVIOUS that well i have to mention it.

msdistortion
by mstrip on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:53 UTC

I agree, I'm a great fan of AMD and Intel's processors. It just it seems when it comes to Apple people bash them when they get something right. So who is living in reality destortion? Good question, when even Nasa says positive things about the G5 performance against the P4.

Apple OS News.com
by mstrip on Fri 4th Jul 2003 15:56 UTC

Apple debates make OS NEWS possible, look at the traffic that comes in just for Mac news. LOOK at the number of post by each Apple article,,,,,,funny!

Apple's Test Compared to NASA
by Derek Kent on Fri 4th Jul 2003 16:05 UTC

Apple's benchmarks which were highly criticized by some gave the Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 a 194.5% performance advantage over a 3GHz in SpecFP base tests. The G5 getting a score of 15.7, and the P4 getting an 8.07.

NASA's study found the Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 to score 498 MFLOPS for their Jet3D performance. A P4 running at 2.66GHz scored 255 MFLOPS. This is a 195.3% performance advantage for the G5 in this test. Making adjustments to scale the P4 up to 3GHz and using compilers aware of the G5, these test results look remarkably similat to those Apple and Veritest published last month at the WWDC.

NASA -- Stop the Space Shuttle!
by hylas on Fri 4th Jul 2003 16:59 UTC


Dear Stupid,
Please enlighten us which store NASA goes to, CompUSA or BestBuy, to purchase the chips that run the Space Shuttle.

"The Space Shuttle is going to blow up if they use the G5!
Better stay on those ECC Xeons and Itaniums, NASA. Now is not the time to blow up another Shuttle..."

(Your'e kidding, right? Forgive me, this is typical of someone shooting their mouth off and being insensitive)

Please continue.
"Does too"
"Can not"
"Oh yeah"
"Yeah" ...

P4 (2.66)=255
P4 (3.2)=255+20%=300 (estimated)

Though dual processor benchmarks are not presented in detail here, it is worth noting that the G5 system benchmarked at 498 MFLOPS and 0.125 MFLOPS/MHz for scalar Jet3D performance when two processors were used.

so

dual G5=498 (actual test, and add 20% estimated for FORTRAN optimisations).


=o)

Nasa
by mstrip on Fri 4th Jul 2003 17:41 UTC

Dear to you also,

Please be careful about the shuttle incident. There are some of us on here that new a person who died on that day.

Ken

hippocrates and liars
by Minkwe on Fri 4th Jul 2003 18:05 UTC

This benchmark means ziltch!

We know that both processors don't do the same amount per clock so what is the point comparing them on MFLOPS/MHZ -- none

If they are really comparing processors why not test an opteron or an athlon as well. I think because it will make the G5 look bad in MFLOPS/MHZ comparison. So again is there any point in comparing processors based on MHz -- none.

If their aim is price/performance as it should be, they should care about the MHz. They should care about what compilers. The way to do it is this: Set a conservative price range for the whole system (hardware,software,compilers). Test all comparable systems that fall within the range and give a price/performance ratio for the specific type of task being tested. The smallest value is the winner and the one consumers should care about.

Alternatively (more difficult), find competing systems that perform withing a performance window and determine price/performance ratio and conclude as above.

G5 vector quite non hype
by aputze on Fri 4th Jul 2003 18:08 UTC

i find it quit bad that they didn't put some work into the vector unit, as it is very comparable to the G4 and not very well integrated into that ripped off Power4 core. hope IBM will work on that, should be nice to see this together with the FP throughput of the Power5.(sure to check ars technica)

...
by Minkwe on Fri 4th Jul 2003 18:08 UTC

they should not care about the MHz

RE: Apple, as usual, is better
by N/A on Fri 4th Jul 2003 20:29 UTC

> Finally, don't forget that Mac OS X is Unix based.

I think Apple has just been sued by the Open Group for this statement. Apple has been a member of the Open Group for years, but always refused to get a UNIX98 certification for Mac OS X, while constantly advertising their OS as UNIX based.

The point is to some extend that I also find this kind of "marketing arguments" quite strange. Pure UNIX manufacturers like Sun or IBM get a UNIX98 certification and never used "UNIX based" as an argument for their OS. Honestly, it is the extra features that make those OS attractive. Somehow I can't help me to ignore the impression that Apple actually wants to benefit from the technical achievements of these UNIX manufacturers.

Re: rajan r (IP: 219.95.170.---)
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 20:31 UTC

"Macs don't have a whole lot of applications Windows have. Sure, it has the top few major applications (Office, Photoshop, Quark, etc.), assuming people are

a) Willing to fork out a whole lot of money when they are happy with cheaper PC software doing exactly as they wish (e.g. Paint Shop Pro over Photoshop). But on the worser extend..."


But buying a Mac does NOT cost a whole lot of money. Rather, it costs either a little more, is at the same price, is slightly less, or significantly less when you match both computer's hardware and software inclusions as close as possibe.


"b) Willing to leave a niche application for a "all-round" application that doesn't do as some people need."

That comment assumes that the Mac equivilent is not a better solution as is often the case.


"BTW, neither Paint Shop Pro"

And what does Paint Shop Pro offer me that I couldn't get elsewhere on the Mac?


"nor WordPerfect Office"

And what does WordPerfect Office offer me that I couldn;t get elsewhere on the Mac?


"or any other applications like AutoCAD 2004"

You do have a point there. While there ARE alternative CAD software solutions on the Mac, AutoCAD has them all beat.

Re: Re: Before the G5 even ships...
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 20:39 UTC

"Look at G5s. It may be faster than x86, but largely it is around the same speed."

The SPEC benchmarks made it look like it was only slightly faster bet every real world test showed that it was WAY faster. It only confirms what I've been saying all along, "SPEC BENCHMARKS ARE NOT A TRUE GAUGE FOR SPEED.


"It is loads (somewhat) cheaper than Xeon machines from all major OEMs. How long is that gonna last, especially since the gap is smaller than when G4 was first released?"

Comparing the speed at which x86 was able to close the gap is not a fair comparison. Apple announced the G4 but could ship for (if I remember correctly) 4-6 months! That had NOTHING to do with the scalability of the G4 but had EVERYTHING with the INABILITY of Motorola to ship and ramp up.


"That depends on how fast Apple and IBM churn out upgrades and reduce prices."

make no mistake, this situation will not be another Motorola-like induced catastrophe. The ramp up room for these chips is HUGE.


"How often would Apple reduce prices and release new machines? Unless they are trying out a new bright business strategy - not as fast as Intel (or AMD for all that matters)."

That argument assumes that price it the only way to compete.


"What I'm trying to say is, enjoy flaming Intel and the PC world while you can, cause in a short year, or maybe even less, they would be back with vengeance. Unless by some miracle on Apple's (and IBMs) part."

No need for a miracle. The roadmap for these chips is so strong it should have no problem keeping a significant leap ahead of x86.

Re: RE: Apple, as usual, is better
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 20:43 UTC

>> "Finally, don't forget that Mac OS X is Unix based."

> "I think Apple has just been sued by the Open Group for this statement."


And the Open Group was sued for trying to lay claim to a term which has long since been deemed generic.

is being sued
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 21:01 UTC

"was sued"

Oops. Make that, "is being sued"

Some real validation of what Apple and IBM have been saying
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 21:51 UTC

NASA's study found the Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 to score 498 MFLOPS for their Jet3D performance. A P4 running at 2.66GHz scored 255 MFLOPS: a 195.3% performance advantage for the G5 in this test. If we assume a direct correlation between MHz and MFLOPS for the P4 (which would actually overstate the performance of the P4) and increase the P4's score by 12.782% this would give the 3GHz P4 a score of 287.594 MFLOPS. This is still a 173.16% performance advantage for the G5, and NASA states that a 20% increase in performance for the G5 would be reasonable "when G5-aware compiler tools become available."

So it would seem NASA's benchmarks go a long way in validating the benchmarks for the G5 that Apple released last month at the WWDC. In fact, NASA appears to be giving the G5 even better scores than Apple and Veritest did.

The vector tests that NASA performed to test the G5's AltiVec instruction set produce some even more impressive results, and would be a good indication for why the G5 outpaced the Xeon and P4 by such dramatic amounts on real world tests (at times more than 700% faster than a 3GHz P4). "The vector version of Jet3D runs an order of magnitude faster than the scalar version (speedups of 10X-13X are typical)." The dual 2GHz G5 was benchmarked at 5177 MFLOPS (a 1040% increase over the scalar test) and 1.29 MFLOPS/MHz. This also seems accurate considering Ars Technica's claim that the AltiVec engine wasn't as well integrated into the G5 as it was in the G4. The 2GHz G5 (single cpu) scored 2755 MFLOPS, or 1.378 MFLOPS/MHz, which shows a slightly larger performance hit for vector operations than floating point operations when moving to a dual G5.

This is a translation from a French website macbidouille.com
It refers to the 970,980 and 990 (g5, G6, G7)



- Even further in the future of IBM - Lionel - 16:49:27
Here infos not confirmed on the future of the PPC 9xx

IBM is working on the engraving of processors in 65nm with East Fishkill. The production with this smoothness of engraving will start in 2005. They will take lead on INTEL which wastes time with its engraving in oil immersion, although the problems of birefringence were solved. IBM gave up this technology, because there are problems with bubbles of air in the fluid.
Roadmap envisages PPC 980 with 90nm for the third quarter of the next year. The maximum frequency that these chips will reach is not fixed yet with certainty, but they count on 4,5 GHz at the beginning of 2005, when the engraved successor with 65nm takes the changing.
At the end of 2005- beginning 2006, the PPC 990 engraved in 65nm will arrive. It should begin its career with 4,5 GHz and finish it to 9:) It will be derived from Power6.

Veiled what to take again confidence out of APPLE for years.

Real validation!
by JH on Fri 4th Jul 2003 22:08 UTC


Yep, this seems to be the message PC fanboys have been missing when reading the NASA study.

2.66 GHz P4 = 255 MFLOPS
3.20 GHz P4 = 288 MFLOPS (extrapolated)

Dual 2 GHz G5 = 498 MFLOPS
Dual 2 GHz G5 (using AltiVec/Veleocity Engine) = 5177 MFLOPS

These are the RAW performance numbers, not normalized per clock cycle.

I don't know about you, but 5177 MFLOPS compared to 288 MFLOPS is a extraordinary huge performance difference to me.

No wonder the G5s smoked Dual Xeons in Photoshop, Luxology, Mathematica, and Logic/CuBase by more than 2 to 1 in the WWDC app bake-off.

All these apps would have taken advantage of the 10-13 times performance speed-up offered by the Velocity Engine's vector unit. Since in the real world, programs can't utilize the Velocity Engine 100% of the time, that probably translates to a G5 having a 2-3 times performance advantage over the dual Xeons for computationally, math-intensive apps (which pretty much constitutes virtually every multimedia app today).

5177 MFLOPS compared to 288 MFLOPS - no wonder the PC fanboys are in a tizzy! It's becoming obvious that all the hoopla about Apple fixing benchmarks is the first stage of denial. :-P


Interesting Thought
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 22:17 UTC

Apple has been making better software for years, everyone agrees; They just never had the hardware to back them up. Then every time they do crop up with better hardware, everyone criticizes them and says that it's just not possible, PC hardware is always better they say. But now they've proven you wrong... TWICE, and some trolls STILL don't believe them. It's a sad world.

Lemme take that back
by Anonymous on Fri 4th Jul 2003 22:22 UTC

"They just never had the hardware to back them up."

Lemme take that back, they havn't had the hardware for the past 1.5 years. Their hardware has been faster for all years previous to that (exept for the tail end of each upgrade cycle for a particular Mac)

Re: Real validation!
by Sagres on Fri 4th Jul 2003 23:17 UTC

JH:"I don't know about you, but 5177 MFLOPS compared to 288 MFLOPS is a extraordinary huge performance difference to me."

Did you read this part of the article:

"Note that the higher level of optimization (-O2) and SSE/SSE2 options in the Portland compiler degraded Jet3D performance on the P4 system, and were therefore not used."

Either NASA is reaaaaaly stuuuupid or if SSE2 degrades vector performance someone should take the entire intel engineering team and shoot them in the back of the head.

Comments from Craig Hunter of NASA
by JH on Sat 5th Jul 2003 00:41 UTC


Sagres: the test didn't say SSE2 degrades vector performance, it said that code created using the Portland compiler with SSE/SSE2 option on produced worse results than non-vector code. Presumably, coding for SSE/SSE2 is not trivial and since the compiler flags failed to automatically produce better code, the NASA researcher didn't bother testing it.

Someone on Slashdot posted a message from Craig Hunter from January which explains the work he did in writing the vector version of Jet3D for the G4 (not the G5 tested in this latest report).

The info I've heard thrown around seems to agree that the hand-tuned SSE/SSE2 optimizations will give you a 3-4X boost, whereas the NASA guy is saying 10-13X is typical for the G4/G5.

I say bring on more real world test, and we'll see more and more how the G5s really smoke the competition.

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 23:29:38 -0500
From: Craig Hunter
Subject: G4 vs. P4 performance

I have been following the discussion of Rob Galbraith's benchmarks with much interest, as I have spent a good deal of time testing, optimizing, and benchmarking software for the G4 (OS X) and P4 (Linux).

The first thing to realize is that there are numerous benchmarks that show the P4 is faster, and there are numerous benchmarks that show the G4 is faster. What matters? Well, probably the benchmarks that apply to the kind of work you do. For people doing photo processing with the software Rob tested, his results are extremely relevant. But, someone working with a program optimized for AltiVec and dual processors might have a completely opposite experience.

Just to give an example of a benchmark that goes the other way, see this chart.

(You're welcome to mirror this benchmark image, since my web site may not handle a lot of traffic). These real-world results come from the Jet3D computational fluid dynamics noise prediction software, which I developed for my doctoral thesis and currently use in my work at NASA. Jet3D is written in a combination of FORTRAN 77, FORTRAN 90, and C, and is optimized for AltiVec and dual processors on G4 hardware. When compiled on Linux using Intel's ifc compiler tools, Jet3D also becomes optimized for the P4 (using the various SIMD extensions available on the P4).

As you can see, the G4 does quite well here. A dual processor 1.25GHz G4 system is more than 3.5X faster than a single processor 2GHz P4 system. Though it's not shown on the chart, a single 1.25GHz G4 processor benchmarks at about 1589 MFLOPS, 1.9X faster than the P4. If you look at MFLOPS per MHz for a single processor, the G4 comes in at 1.27 MFLOPS/MHz, while the P4 comes in at 0.42 MFLOPS/MHz. If you want a good example of the MHz myth, look at the Cray, which comes in at 1.78 MFLOPS/MHz with only a 500MHz processor, beating both the G4 and P4.

Without AltiVec, the Jet3D benchmark would be about 794 MFLOPS on the dual-1.25GHz G4, which erases the performance lead over the P4. And then, using only a single processor, the 1.25GHz G4 benchmarks at about 418 MFLOPS, which is about half as fast as the P4. And all of a sudden, the G4 doesn't look very compelling. For the Jet3D benchmark, AltiVec and dual processors are key (AltiVec more so than dual procs). This is true for most benchmarks I have looked at; thus numerically intensive applications that can't use AltiVec and/or dual processors are likely to suffer on the G4.

In the case of Jet3D, it was easy to optimize for AltiVec. I was able to hand-vectorize about 10 lines of code within the guts of the FORTRAN algorithm and convert the computations to C for easy access to AltiVec hardware instructions. It had a huge effect for not a lot of work. For other more complicated cases, it may be possible to use the VAST compiler tools to automatically vectorize and tie in with AltiVec (VAST has parallel tools also). But in some cases, vectorization is not possible or feasible. In those instances, you're stuck with the processor's scalar performance, and the P4 generally has better scalar performance than the G4 in my experience. One final note: these are my personal views, and do not represent the views of NASA Langley Research Center, NASA, or the United States Government, nor do they constitute an endorsement by NASA Langley Research Center, NASA, or the United States Government

The Anomaly....
by marcm on Sat 5th Jul 2003 00:52 UTC

Evrybody said before the G5 came out that Apple has slow expensive hardware. Cool, I agree...why not? Now a cool CPU (the G5) came out and it powers their machines. Mega-Cool, only that most of the trolls wont accept that. Intel always had more Mhz than the competition. Who cares? They where not the first to overcome the 1 Ghz barrier, AMD was with its K7. Mhz is not everything. The G5 is a powerfull 64 bit CPU, and I'm sure that Apple's software will take advantage of it. Intels architecture goes way way back...itys still x86, don't tell me IA32 is not x86. G5 is cool, and at the end of the year I'm gonna get a Dual G5 from Apple.
To Anonymous, the platform is nice, I've toyed with one in the last couple of days. It was a dual G4. Apple is cool.

Re: Using pgf90 over Intel f90
by Bascule on Sat 5th Jul 2003 01:25 UTC

Why the hell did they use an old version of the Portland Group compiler when is very well known that Intel optimizing F90 compiler is almost unbeateble and further more freely available for Research institutions??

Typically this is because the build environment for the program has been designed around that particular compiler toolchain. This is happening more and more frequently. I experience it on a daily basis trying to build software designed around the GNU toolchain on my sparcv9 systems with Forte 7.

Our mesoscale atmospheric modelling program, RAMS (soon to be released under the GPL) is designed to use pgf90 on x86.

I have tried to move the build environment to Intel f90 on x86, but unfortunately the model produces different numbers with Intel's compiler versus the Portland Group compiler.

So, there are numerous technical reasons which could be responsible.

Re: Re: rajan r (IP: 219.95.170.---)
by rajan r on Sat 5th Jul 2003 09:11 UTC

The SPEC benchmarks made it look like it was only slightly faster bet every real world test showed that it was WAY faster. It only confirms what I've been saying all along, "SPEC BENCHMARKS ARE NOT A TRUE GAUGE FOR SPEED.

Real world tests of selected applications that mostly are traditionally have been Mac applications as oppose to Windows applications (e.g. Photoshop was not built primarily on Windows, rather Macintoshes). And the configuration of the SPEC benchmarks used isn't fair, if Apple used Windows and ICC on the PC - which is heavily promoted by both Intel and Windows, as oppose to GCC (which Apple promotes) on Linux, the benchmark would be more in favour of Wintel.

And in addition to the fact that gulf of difference between PCs and Macs in Apple's own benchmark is far smaller than back then between G4s and P4s before G5 was released - yet Macheads back then would like us to believe the difference is barely noticible.

Besides, if you see my point, I'm saying that PCs will catch up. Why?
IBM have far less incentive to spend as much effort and money on 970 as Intel and AMD. Why? How many 970s they can sell anyway? Certainly far less than Intel with Pentiums. And IBM's business isn't dependant on 970s.

Comparing the speed at which x86 was able to close the gap is not a fair comparison. Apple announced the G4 but could ship for (if I remember correctly) 4-6 months! That had NOTHING to do with the scalability of the G4 but had EVERYTHING with the INABILITY of Motorola to ship and ramp up.

What about G3? Same problem then. The problem is that neither IBM nor Motorola have any incentive to follow Moore's law.


make no mistake, this situation will not be another Motorola-like induced catastrophe. The ramp up room for these chips is HUGE.

And why is that? With about the same prices as G4s when it was first released in relative to PCs, with what can you say G5s be much more better in relative to PCs then G4s in the same sales benchmark? You can't. And most likely, it won't. In other words, I see no reason why G5s would be more successful than G4s.

Besides, G4s scalability was very high too back then. Where is it now?

What makes you think the situation would be completely different this time? Unless you know some internal business plan I (and the rest of us) don't know, you are just deluding yourself.

That argument assumes that price it the only way to compete.

Sorry fact, heh? From Apple's sales record in relative to other PC makers, it doesn't seem consumers are all that crazy for other variables.

No need for a miracle. The roadmap for these chips is so strong it should have no problem keeping a significant leap ahead of x86.

The roadmap of G4s was also great. Did Motorola kept to it? G3's roadmap wasn't too shabby either. Did IBM kept to it?

Re: Re: rajan r (IP: 219.95.170.---)
by rajan r on Sat 5th Jul 2003 09:23 UTC

But buying a Mac does NOT cost a whole lot of money. Rather, it costs either a little more, is at the same price, is slightly less, or significantly less when you match both computer's hardware and software inclusions as close as possibe.

Good thing you mentioned software (although in a different sense altogether). I'm a PC user. I have Office with Access and Frontpage, Photoshop, PageMaker, and Illustrator. My brother uses a couple of sound editing programs I don't use. Now buying a Mac means buying new licenses for all this before making the Mac useful - which means Office, Photoshop, PageMaker, Illustrator, File Maker Pro (Access altenative) and Dreamweaver (to replace Frontpage). But buying a PC, I can transfer the licenses to the new PC while slowly replacing them on my old machine. Or if I like going against the law, I can make copies of those software on my new PC. Or if I'm even more nasty, I can shop around for pirated good over here (something you can't do for Macs.

Which is more expensive now?

That comment assumes that the Mac equivilent is not a better solution as is often the case.

The fact is that PC have more niche software than the Mac, especially when it comes to business applications. And in many cases, there is no Mac equivilent.


And what does Paint Shop Pro offer me that I couldn't get elsewhere on the Mac?

From the time I used Paint Shop Pro years ago, I can say it is easier to use than Photoshop and have a few features (I find useless) that till today can't be found properly implemented on Photoshop.

It is like comparing PageMaker and QuarkXpress - neither are comparable. Both does roughly the same thing, but both aren't after the same market.

And what does WordPerfect Office offer me that I couldn;t get elsewhere on the Mac?

How the hell would I know? All I know is that my lawyer uncle would rather eat faeces than move to Office. It does have features than Office doesn't have, but since I never used them, I have no idea what it does. But as the second biggest word processor in the market (in terms of market share, of course), it is hardly one you ignore.

You do have a point there. While there ARE alternative CAD software solutions on the Mac, AutoCAD has them all beat.

Precisely. I'm going into AutoCAD for product design (hehe, pirated version, couldn't afford the original just of yet), while now my feature requirements can be filled by just about any market player, but I doubt it is for long.

I would really like to have one....
by Zaphrod on Sat 5th Jul 2003 09:30 UTC

I simply cannot justify the price difference between a new G5 and and equivalent x86 system which despite some people saying otherwise is Huge for me as I build my own systems for Much much less than I could buy an Apple. I will never do those things the G5 seems to excel at. I use my PC to play games and surf the web mostly with some word processing, photo editing and video encoding. While if the benchmarks we have seen are true, I would probably be able to encode a little faster on the G5 I cannot even get most of the games I play on it and the G5 simply cannot compete Price/Performance wise in games which are very very rarely MP aware and will never use the specific optimisations which would make them run really well. Even my favorite game UT2003 which has been ported to the MAC is missing some features because it has to use OpenGL and is definatly slower than on my pc. Maybe if Apple can continue to be competitive with the PC for more than a few months and gain some market share then game developers will make ports for Mac available at the same time as the PC but even now you are more likely to get a port to Linux before OSX.

Re: hippocrates and liars
by rajan r on Sat 5th Jul 2003 09:49 UTC

Hippocrates is the father of modern medicine is from Ancient Greece. He was the leader of a medical school of Cos andthe author (as well as co-author) of most of its books. He had a great impact on succeeding generations of practitioners of medicine and some general rules still apply. His work and writings rejected the superstition and magic of primitive "medicine" and laid the foundations of medicine as a branch of science. The Hippocrates oath is the oath taken by all medical doctors before practising.

Perhaps you meant hypocrite which means "a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion"

Re: Comments from Craig Hunter of NASA
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 10:04 UTC

"Without AltiVec, the Jet3D benchmark would be about 794 MFLOPS on the dual-1.25GHz G4,which erases the performance lead over the P4.And then, using only a single processor, the 1.25GHz G4 benchmarks at about 418 MFLOPS, which is about half as fast as the P4. And all of a sudden, the G4 doesn't look very compelling. For the Jet3D benchmark, AltiVec and dual processors are key (AltiVec more so than dual procs). This is true for most benchmarks I have looked at; thus numerically intensive applications that can't use AltiVec and/or dual processors are likely to suffer on the G4."

Straight from the horses mouth - only dual processor Macs using Altivec optimised operations are faster than the P4 - in other situations the P4 is much faster. In other words most apps are slower on the Mac.

Re: Re: hippocrates and liars
by minkwe on Sat 5th Jul 2003 10:52 UTC

@rajan:
Thanks for the webster lesson :-). However, do you have an opinion on the rest of my post, the title non-withstanding?

Re: Re: Re: hippocrates and liars
by rajan r on Sat 5th Jul 2003 15:49 UTC

If I largely disagree, I would say something right? :-)

some points to consider...
by anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 17:33 UTC

How many 2 GHz PPC 970 chips does it take to "beat" a P4 3 GHz? Just one on most FPU apps with vectorization. How man CPUs? Two. A single PPC 970 chip has 2 CPU cores inside of it.

Accuracy? Depending on the calculations required, a 64 bit data pipe could be more desireable on really big or really small fractions than 32 bit data paths. About half the number of calculations to a 64 bit "word" as opposed to running a 64 bit word in 2 pieces through a 32 bit CPU.

Power consumption? A PPC 970 chip only uses 10 watts of power. A P4 uses over 10 times that amount and generates copious amounts of heat. Multiply that by your cluster size and you would end up with either a very big cooling bill for a P4 cluster, or a quite a bit smaller one for a PPC 970 cluster. Long time Intel and AMD users (I'm one) joke that you don't need a heater in the room if you have your P4 or Athlon running SETI@home.

How about price? Xeon 3.0 Ghz systems cost about as much as the prices Apple is quoting for the G5 when it appears. IBM systems with PPC 970, I've yet to see a price on.

Software support? Lot's of software for the Pentium class CPUs, but how many are actually taking advantage of the advanced features in the P4? Not as many as you'd think. When you code software for the platform at hand, instead of buying off the shelf, then this is a moot point. Most R&D software suites are coded and optimized as much as possible for the target platform. The average consumer (business or personal) is generally the only ones buying off-the-shelf.

How fast would it take for off-the-shelf to catch up? You will see PPC 970 optimized software packages as soon as Apple (and IBM?) start shipping to the mass market. That's simply the way the software market works.

Will I personally buy a PPC 970? Only if I can find a good system that I can afford. Which will be very unlikely. It's a shame that the average computer user can't afford good equipment. :/ (And before you say that an IA32 system is good, try learning about all the patched up architectural nonsense that goes into the current IA32 that has kept the platform "modern" and still backwards compatible. It's a nightmare compared to most other systems.)

some points to consider...
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:00 UTC

"How many 2 GHz PPC 970 chips does it take to "beat" a P4 3 GHz? Just one on most FPU apps with vectorization. How man CPUs? Two."

The test was completed with one processor turned off.

It's all about the cache!
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:01 UTC

Here are some interesting numbers:

Program use 1024 KB of memory -- that's unusally low.

G5 data cache:
hw.l1dcachesize = 32 KB
hw.l2cachesize = 512 KB

G4 cache:
hw.l1dcachesize = 32 KB
hw.l2cachesize = 256 KB
hw.l3cachesize = 2048 KB

P4:
cache size: 512 KB

It looks like the G4 should walk all over these other processors- the whole dataset fits in cache. One really interesting thing about the dual G5 is that each processor can access data in the other's cache... Since the 2nd processor was still installed, I wonder if its cache was still operating! If so, then this might boost the G5's cache to roughly the size of the data set.

Turn both processors ON!
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:04 UTC

I don't think it's fair to compare the system performance of the Mac with one of its processors off to the P4. The highest end Mac has two processors for a reason.

"No!" you cry. "That's not a fair comparison! The P4 only has one processor, so to make the benchmark equal, we have to make sure the systems are on equal footing!"

Well, too bad. It's a system limitation that Intel put in. If I buy a TOP END system, I want to see top end performance. The fact that the P4 was so (badly) designed isn't my problem, or Apple's. Their top end machine spanks ANY P4 system you can put to the test because they decided that a good way to make the system faster would be to make sure it supported dual processors.

Now, if you're stricly comparing PPC970s to P4s, and you want strict PROCESSOR benchmarks, then fine, just test the processor. However, even results like this benefit from the architecture of the system. A fast, data starved processor is useless.

I'm uninterested in raw CPU results. I can't do anything with JUST a CPU on my desk. I need a whole system.

This is the highest performing, lowest cost Dell that anyone posted to this discussion:

Dell Dimension 8300: (same as XPS except not blue)
3.2GHz Pentium 4
200GB Ultra ATA - 7200rpm
DVD+RW/DVD+R/CD-RW
512MB DDR400 SDRAM
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
Wordperfect
ATI Radeon 9800 pro
No Monitor
$2239

This is the base 2GHz Apple. So, the cheapest, highest performing Apple.
$2,999.00

Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
1GHz frontside bus
512K L2 cache/processor
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA
SuperDrive
Three PCI-X Slots
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
64MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem

And that doesn't list the computer controlled cooling or expensive case, the fact that the Apple is quiet, the gigabit ethernet, the optical digital audio and analogue audio in and out, or any of the engineering that went into making all of those things fit together. For only $700 more, you get an extra processor, superior performance, and an operating system that's actually worth using.

Remember, you get what you pay for...even with Apple. Dell puts togher fine PCs, and they're certainly cheaper. However, (for the first time in a while) the Mac is BETTER.

Price comparison
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:10 UTC

price cimparison between similarly configured high-end single-processor systems:

Apple PowerMac G5:
1.8GHz PowerPC G5
250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
512MB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200)
Mac OS X
AppleWorks
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
56k V.92 internal modem
No Monitor
$2874

Dell Dimension XPS:
3.2GHz Pentium 4
200GB Ultra ATA - 7200rpm
DVD+RW/DVD+R/CD-RW
512MB DDR400 SDRAM
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Microsoft® Plus!
Microsoft® Works Suite 2003
ATI Radeon 9800 pro
No Monitor
$3062

Apple is selling the faster system for a lesser price than a similarly configured Dell (and yet this doesn't even factor in bundled software!)

Re: Worth noting
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:42 UTC

G5s and other chips that can do SMP achieve that capability through a trade-off. The Intel developers who did the P4 accepted the other side of the bargain, better single chip performance in exchange for not being able to dual chip. That's a valid design choice but don't expect a similarly priced single CPU system to be chosen over a better performing dual CPU setup merely because 'chip for chip' the single chip is better. The dual system will be better overall and will get bought.

Pardon me, though, if I believe Intel's docs over your assertion that P4 speeds are rising rapidly. They're supposed to get a .2Ghz in the next six months and another .2Ghz speed bump the six months after. That's a .4Ghz bump in a year. IBM says they'll do 2.5x that and bump a full 1Ghz in the next 12 months. You have to come to the conclusion that IBM is lying and overstating their progress or Intel is lying and understating it to maintain your position.

I'll believe Intel at their word because they've been generaly good about hitting their roadmap targets and not going ahead or behind them but IBM's progress statements have been a bit off on the PPC 970. They promised us a 1.8Ghz chip at this time and delivered a 2Ghz chip. At that rate, in 12 months we're not going to get 3.6Ghz P4 v 3.0Ghz PPC970 but 3.6Ghz P4 v. 3.3Ghz PPC970. What a calamity... for Intel.

As for 10.3, I'm pretty comfortable with 10.2 right now and am likely to stick. If I didn't need 10.2 for one application I desired, I would have stuck with 10.1 and hopped to 10.3. You know, my corporate Windows clients do the exact same thing, upgrading every other MS OS upgrade cycle. Apple chose an early release strategy and those of us who wanted to go along for the ride paid the $ price for it. But a lot of mac users are still on OS 8-9 and haven't jumped into the OS X pool. I expect that the G5 introduction with G4s becoming very cheap will lead a lot of people to come into the 10.3 cycle and they'll upgrade again around 10.5 or 10.6. It's the nature of the beast. As long as they can run their apps, they're happy and OS X is getting to the point where you don't have to get every upgrade to have a very good computing experience right where you are.

But what's keeping MS from shipping *its* next OS? They've been on a new OS every two years cycle since forever. Now they're taking longer. If Apple's to be criticized for innovating too frequently (wow, what a slam) isn't MS vulnerable to the opposite charge, leaving its users stuck in the mud? You can't get their new technologies at any price. They're all being saved up for Longhorn.

Re: OS Upgrades
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:44 UTC

Microsoft Windows XP Pro: Full price: $299
Microsoft Windows XP Pro Upgrapde: $199
http://shop.microsoft.com/Referral/Productinfo.asp ?siteID=10798

MacOS X 10.3/2/1 Full price: $129
http://www.apple.com/macosx/

Microsoft Windows XP Pro (5 Users): $1315.60
MacOS X 10.3/2/1 (5 Users): $199

If you bought Windows XP ($299), and then can upgrapde to Longhorn for $199, you paid $498. If you bought MacOS X 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4, you paid $516. Pretty similar, and that's assuming you only have to pay $199 for Longhorn. In the meantime, Apple users enjoy continued advance, while Windows stagnates for 4+ years.

Do the same with a family licence of 5. Buy Windows XP for $1315.60, then upgrade for $875.60: $2191.20 (over 4 years, for 5 people: $109.56/user/year).

Buy MacOS 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 (5 User Licence): $796 (over 4 years, for 5 people: $39.80/user/year).

Using http://shopper.cnet.com I found a copy of Windows XP Pro for $207, and an upgrade for Windows XP Pro for $177. I found a copy of MacOS X 10.2 for $98.

If these prices hold over to the newer Operating Systems these companies release, then Windows would cost $384 (23% savings), and MacOS X would cost $196 (24% savings). If you bought every point upgrade Apple released it would cost $392.

Re: Dual Athlon
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 18:51 UTC

How is a dual Athlon going to "trounce" a G5 when the 970's beat a dual Xeon, which will trounce a dual Athalon?

Dell vs. G5 pricing
by Bascule on Sat 5th Jul 2003 19:21 UTC

Hmmm... I think this is a bit more fair comparison:

Dell Dimension 8300:
Pentium 4 3.2GHz w 800MHz FSB
512MB Dual Channel DDR400 RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro w 128MB RAM
200GB Ultra100 7200RPM HDD
16X DVD-ROM
4x DVD+RW/+R Drive w/CD-RW
56K PCI Data/Fax Modem
XP Home
WordPerfect Productivity Pack
15" LCD (free with system)

Total: $2,587

Apple PowerMac G5:
1.8GHz PowerPC G5
250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
512MB Dual Channel DDR400 RAM
Mac OS X
AppleWorks
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
56k V.92 internal modem
No Monitor

Total: $2874

Then there's this for Dell on the low end:

Dimension 2350
Pentium 4 2.2GHz
128MB DDR RAM
40GB HD
48x CD-ROM
48x CD-RW
56k Modem
Altec Lansing Speakers
XP Home
WordPerfect Productivity Pack
15" LCD

Total: $498 (see slickdeals.net)

Such a wonder...
by Getulio Brasil on Sat 5th Jul 2003 19:25 UTC

Athlon is clock per clock faster than P4...
What is the great buzz about that?
I remember to have used G3 when Mac people told me that G3 was 2 times faster then a Pentium III using the same clock. Then, I've compared MPW (in a G3 400MHz) with G77 (in a Celeron 300MHz(!)) and the permormance in all the tests I've made were similar.
Propaganda... It makes this world such a mess!

Dell vs. Apple
by JLS on Sat 5th Jul 2003 20:41 UTC

You realy can't compare Dell vs. Apple. They are two vastly different system. Dell specializes in economy systems while Apple certainly does not.

Its like comparing Hyundai vs. Mercedes, of course you can get a pretty nice hyundai with all the features of an entry-level Mercedes for much much less, but the difference is in the quality, aesthetics, and target market.

As an owner of 2 Dells, a Dimension desktop and a Lattitude Laptop, which we refer to here as the "mistakes," I can once again reaffirm that you get what you pay for. Dells are cheaper, and they are junk, I would never buy one again.

Dell vs. G5 pricing
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 22:08 UTC

Bascule,

The two machines you compared aren't even closely matched...

Re: Dell vs. Apple
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 22:11 UTC

You realy can't compare Dell vs. Apple. They are two vastly different system. Dell specializes in economy systems while Apple certainly does not.

"You realy can't compare Dell vs. Apple. They are two vastly different system. Dell specializes in economy systems while Apple certainly does not."

Sure you can compare the two. Dell sells economy systems as does Apple. Apple is sometimes slightly more, sometimes the same, sometimes slightly less, sometimes significantly less when the two companies hardware and software are compared the exact same or as close as possible. The comparison that Bascule made just wasn't compared with equal hardware.


Re: Such a wonder...
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 22:12 UTC

"I remember to have used G3 when Mac people told me that G3 was 2 times faster then a Pentium III using the same clock."

At the time of their introduction that was correct.

A more fair comparison
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 22:13 UTC

price cimparison between similarly configured high-end single-processor systems:

Apple PowerMac G5:
1.8GHz PowerPC G5
250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
512MB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200)
Mac OS X
AppleWorks
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
56k V.92 internal modem
No Monitor
$2874

Dell Dimension XPS:
3.2GHz Pentium 4
200GB Ultra ATA - 7200rpm
DVD+RW/DVD+R/CD-RW
512MB DDR400 SDRAM
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional w/ Microsoft® Plus!
Microsoft® Works Suite 2003
ATI Radeon 9800 pro
No Monitor
$3062

Apple is selling the faster system for a lesser price than a similarly configured Dell (and yet this doesn't even factor in bundled software!)

Vindication indeed
by Anonymous on Sat 5th Jul 2003 23:50 UTC

Apple claims 15.7 for the Dual 2GHz G5, and the 3GHz P4 getting an 8.07. NASA gives the Dual 2GHz G5 498MFLOPS and the 2.66GHz P4 255MFLOPS.

If you use your math skills: 15.7 / 8.07 about equals 498 / 255. So therefore we can draw the conclusion that they have similar results.

Now, NASA only used a 2.66MHz P4 while Apple used a 3GHz P4. Although remember NASA's figure that the P4 had 0.096 MFLOPS/MHz? Give the P4 333 more MHz, and you find it has about 286.968 MFLOPS. NASA also suggests a 20% performance increase can be expected with compilers that take advantage of the G5.

Although, even without this increase Apple's benchmark and NASA's benchmarks are very close. Which would lead one to draw the conclusion that Apple's benchmarks were in fact valid.

Re: A more fair comparison
by Bascule on Sun 6th Jul 2003 01:11 UTC

And how is that a more fair comparison than the one I pasted?

Apple is not selling comparable systems cheaper than Dell is

RE: Overlooked
by Anonymous on Sun 6th Jul 2003 04:59 UTC

"The thing that everyone else seems to have overlooked (the PC freeks or so concerned about loosing the pissing contest) is the fact that Nasa is looking at using G5s. That says a lot in my book."

You clearly have not worked in a research government research facility. That decision says nothing. NASA also uses many other architectures. So there happens to be some people in NASA who want to use G5's. There are also many people in NASA that want to use XEONs, Athlons, Itaniums, etc.

More importantly, the benchmarks didn't look into clustering tests which is what most government research facilities are interested in. I think this whole NASA document is not as relevant as some Apple fans think.

Also, what give NASA? You can't afford to buy a new Intel chip for your benchmarks?

And yes, this post was written from my 17 in. Powerbook which I believe is the best laptop in the world. I hope to see a G5 in the next Powerbook!!! Or maybe a G6 ;)

What it really comes down to...
by Anonymous on Sun 6th Jul 2003 05:20 UTC

Perhaps the G5 is a bit faster, perhaps it's the Intel or a comparable AMD. What really matters is that OSX is spiffy and I feel it would behoove the general population, ubergeek or not, to support alternatives to the Wintel juggernaut.

Re:Re: overlooked
by Anonymous on Sun 6th Jul 2003 05:44 UTC

"The thing that everyone else seems to have overlooked (the PC freeks or so concerned about loosing the pissing contest) is the fact that Nasa is looking at using G5s. That says a lot in my book."

This basically suggests that you misunderstand research institutions. Researchers are basically independent agents not employees. They usually have great discretion in purchasing decisions. In any large university you will see a wide array of architectures and OSes deepnding on individual preferences.

MFLOPS/MHz? pur-lease.
by Minkwe on Sun 6th Jul 2003 15:11 UTC

MFLOPS = (million floating point operations) / second
MHz = (million cycles) / second

MFLOPS / MHz = (million floating point operations) / (million cycles)
=> (floating point operations) / cycle

So this unit is deliberately chosen to disfavor the P4 since it measures only number of operations per cycle and and is not a measure of speed or how fast. To measure speed it has to be per second .

We all know that the P4 has more cycles per second than the G5, this benchmark is the other extreme of the MHz myth. More floating point operations per cycle does not mean much without considering the number of cycles per second.


A computer that does 10 ops per cycle, and 1 cycle in 10 seconds only does 1 op per second.

Another computer that does 1 op per cycle and does 10 cycles in 1 second, would do 10 ops per second.

Which is faster? I'm sure you don't need a research institution to tell you that.

Nasa claims that you should compare them only on the ops/cycle metric. And some G5 zealots here tend to agree. What a disgrace to common sense.

Such a wonder... (2)
by Getulio Brasil on Sun 6th Jul 2003 17:37 UTC

"At the time of their introduction that was correct."
How can this lead be eroded so fast???
I repeat: I've compared a 400MHz G3 with a 300MHz Celeron (should be slower than PIII) and there was practically no difference.
How can somebody justify a two-fold advantage if it turns to be a 25% disadvantage (to a lower end version of the processor that should be losing the match)?
It is another planet.
That's why I don't believe an inch about what Aple says when they make propaganda for their processors.

I live in Brazil, a country in which each coin you spend for the operations you need are measured because we simply do not have money to waste. We would love to have Macs really competing price/performance with Intel and AMD because we also would win in the process.
Now, in the real world...Try to guess the market share of Macs here. It is even less then in US or Europe... It is too expensive.