From Mac news site MacMinute: “Bare Feats has published a performance comparison of all three Power Mac G5 models. “It looks like the Dual G5 2GHz has the best bang for the buck,” the site reports. “The average speed advantage over the G5 1.8GHz is 45%. Yet it only costs 25% more (factory standard configuration).””
Dual 2GHz G5 ‘best bang for the buck’
2003-09-02 Apple 59 Comments
I never for a moment considered the lower two, I’m an SMP addict. It truely makes a difference if your O.S. is aware. I first tried SMP with the BP6 dual Celeron mobo a few years ago and then ran Win NT 4 (later 2K), Linux Mandrake, and BeOS back then – my god I never wanted to go back to UP. It makes a difference with responsiveness, just keep tossing tasks at it and click on something – yum.
All that aside, considering how thread-heavy Mac OS X and its applications are SMP simply makes sense, more so then with say Linux. I’m curious if they used the G5 photoshop plugin, given the scores I doubt it. Each CPU gets its own bus, no Intel style shared bus crap – I love it! I hadn’t actively used a Mac since I accidently killed my Bondi Blue iMac, and that was two years ago. Since the release of the G5 I’m saving my penny’s…..its the perfect machine for me, I’ll buy a second Serial ATA HD and run Linux on it aside Mac OS X, a SMP 64-bit Linux box and Mac OS X? I’m so there! 😀 The games I love and play are ported to Mac OS X, tho I’m not as much of a gamer as I used to be. Still, Age of Mythology, Civ III, Unreal Tournament 2K3, Quake 3, Doom III once it ships, etc. I still own a decent amount of Mac software too, so cool. I plan on buying from TerraSoft even tho I don’t plan on using Yellow Dog Linux, they were the only PPC distro I could get to work on my iMac years ago and the support they provided was top knotch. I always try to support those I respect, but my G5 will run Gentoo. 🙂
The architecture of the thing is stunning, they actively attacked the bus bottlenecks as much as possible – and thats the biggest weakness in modern PC’s. How do you wanna bet a $3K G5 will stomp on a $15K Sun Blade 2000? 😀 (though I’m sure thare are tasks that would excell on the Sun, I bet their a minority – and no, I’m not bashing Sun)
Please enlighten me. Isn’t IBM’s POWER 5 supposed to introduce hyperthreading?
Yepper, sure is….but the G5 is based on the Power4
The Power 5 is a dual-core CPU that supports simultaneous multi-threading. This is much better than Intel’s hyperthreading which supports simultaneous multi-threading on a single-core CPU. As was mentioned though, the G5 is based on the Power 4 which does not have SMT. The Power 4 is a dual-core CPU but in designing the G5, IBM removed the second core. Rumours are that the successor to the G5 will have dual-core technology.
I know that. I was wondering just because of Christopher X’s mention of never going back to UP. I heard that the G6 will be based on the POWER 5, and vaguely recalled something about the POWER 5 going to have hyperthreading. Not that we’ll see G6’s for at least two years, but hey, it’s fun to dream.
Does anyone know the ECC ram situation? As I understand, the G5 (or motherboard) doesn’t yet support it, which makes me wonder about that new supercomputer they’re building. Are they working to support it, or is there some reason why they shouldn’t?
The preformance improvements when running 10.3 beta build 7B49 is pretty impressive too. Things are just getting better and better.
man, I knew how kick ass DP would be the first day I covered them in my operating systems class.
you want a good perspective of how nice it is, map out the proccess scheduler in diffrent algorithms with UP then do them in DP….talk about yum.
The xbench Panther numbers seem impressive. If these are due to 64-bit G5 optimizations and if they are for real then you might want to switch from G4 MP to G5 UP.
yeah, nice name change there bucko. we know who you are MR. “just keeps getting better and better”
… “Honey, can we afford $3,000?”… “For what?, A Dual G5 Power Mac”… “No, I’m not crazy!”. Damn!
The dual G5 always struck me as an very good deal. $3000 is a nice price for a premium high-end machine. The default config needs to come with a better graphics card, though.
Remember, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. 🙂
Same here but with SCSI.
/me hugs his ultra320 card and 36Gigs drive.
is it steve jobs?
nobody ever compares it against a dual opteron system.
It looks like something was not right in test configurations or someone reported made up results. Can you seriously expect someone to believe that move from 1.8 to 2.0 can result in improvement of 29 seconds for the test (instead if 51)? Looks like someone didn’t set up the systems the same way, and so 1.8 and 1.6 boxes suck in most tests.
>>they actively attacked the bus bottlenecks as much as possible – and thats the biggest weakness in modern PC’s.
I respectfully disagree…the biggest bottlneck in modern PCs is hard disk speed. Hard disk access times are the biggest drag on any modern system. Hard disks can’t even come close to supplying data as fast as a processor could theoretically handle it. It’s time to move to solid-state data storage, but we probably won’t see a lot of that for about ten years, it’s just too expensive right now.
And when we finally do see a diskless solid-state data storage solution on a mainstream desktop workstation, how much you wanna bet it’s gonna be from Apple? 🙂
umm…I assume you have never taken a course is OS architecture.
adding the second CPU makes an interactive system like an end user desktop OS respond much better under load.
the 45% was not due to the increased speed as much as the increased number of CPUs.
I bet he ment:
“biggest fixable bottleneck in modern PCs”
Sorry guys, I’m Steve, but not Steve Jobs, pity cause he’s a top bloke…I haven’t changed my name either (debman thinks I’m someone I’m not me thinks) 🙂
There is still plenty of room for optimisation still – OS improvements, better compilers etc.
Even so, the performance improvements aren’t bad 🙂
These days there is really no perceived performance difference between SCSI and SATA. Years ago there was a speed, quality perception and lower CPU utilisation, however, today, the drive you have for your SCSI is most likely just an IDE/SATA one with a retrofitted SCSI dongle and maybe a slightly bigger cache.
One thing I would love to see is SATA 10,000rpm hard drives and CDROM/DVD/RW/R/etc drives so that IDE can finally be put out of its missery.
With the IBM compilers, I think the G5s can get even better numbers:
“Looks like someone didn’t set up the systems the same way, and so 1.8 and 1.6 boxes suck in most tests.”
Test after test after test has shown that the 1.6G5 is not that great. When if ever will you believe it.
Re: Christopher X
Actually, the bus situation has gotten much better over the last few years. On PCs, its quickly escalated from 1.2GB/sec to 2.1, then 4.2, and now 6.4GB/sec in the newest Canterwood P4s and Opterons. The G5 is just getting with the times. The G5 bus architecture is nice, but its only marginally (if at all) faster than whats available in x86-land.
Its not at all a crooked test. The 1.8 is a single CPU system. The 2.0 is a dual CPU system. The increase isn’t at all surprising.
Take a look at the previews of the 10.3 benchmarks. The scores increased about 40%! The OS has almost zero effect in CPU-heavy benchmarks. Thus, those huge performance increases could only come about if there are either huge improvements in the 10.3 scheduler, or (more likely) 10.2.7 is running some less-than optimal mode on the G5. Maybe switching between some compatibility mode or something.
Oh, so those 1.6 and 1.8 are single-CPU ones? I didn’t notice that. Now it all makes sense.
By the way, does Apple offer lower-clock dual models or if you want dual, you must go with 2ghz one?
And you have the “making up”…
If only my bank balance was healther, (and it ran Halflife 2).
Ah well true, HD’s are the bigger bottleneck – but even if speeds doubled it wouldn’t fully do away with it. However number two, the bus, is being fixed. Solid state would rock rock rock, ugh – but when? Didn’t the first hard disk come out in the 50s?
True, PC’s are being improved too and the G4 was horrid. But is the Canterwood even out yet? Nonetheless the G5 is a huge improvement, and dual independant buses are nice.
I own a 36 gig SCSI HD and a ultra260 controller, the imrovement in many areas is very noticable, but only in corner cases. Serial ATA carries some SCSI technologies, doesn’t it? IDE isn’t all that bad anymore.
I don’t wanna miss the cable length of SCSI…
‘One thing I would love to see is SATA 10,000rpm hard drives and CDROM/DVD/RW/R/etc drives so that IDE can finally be put out of its missery.’
10,000 rpm SATA150 Seagate 40GB hardrives are readily available in Australia (~AUD 250). SATA optical drives can’t be far off – within 12 months at most.
Power 5 is a dual-core CPU that supports simultaneous multi-threading. This is much better than Intel’s hyperthreading which supports simultaneous multi-threading on a single-core CPU.
G5 is based on the Power 4 which does not have SMT. The Power 4 is a dual-core CPU but in designing the G5, IBM removed the second core.
If IBM removed the dual core on the G5 how can it be better then Intel … it’s almost the same … except in price and board chipsets. (Xeon is really bad-slow)
But, if you don’t like Intel SMP buy the dual AMD chipset !! It freakinin amazing with ECC DDR and a 64 bit SCSI card !
(I am getting in one SCSI 160LVD PCI(X) 64 bit = not expensive these days after the release of scsi 320)
What’s the point in buying a Mac when you can get a better PC for half the price???
I answer this one alot, but it bares repeating…the O.S.! If it was merely different hardware that might be something, but its much more then that. Apple controls both the hardware and the o.s. thus, like Sun, a Mac feels very “complete” and “just works.” Naturally. Mac users, in general, are rabbid about their favorite o.s. and prices aside aren’t about to switch. Keep in mind that the top of the line G5 is comparable or cheaper then a Dell dual Xeon, and much cheaper and faster then a Sun Blade 2000. Finally, Macs hold their value longer and are useful well past their prime. My g/f has a beige G3 that she isn’t about to replace anytime soon, she has no need – it just works and it runs her apps just dandy. The thing was released in 98. Thats very common. Considering how long the average Mac user seems to hold onto their Macs its a wonder how Apple sells as many as they do…
Oh, and one last thing – keep in mind the things 64-bit! Opteron aside (not consumer grade, is it?) there is no PC equivilant. The thing qualifies as a workstation, it can take on Sun machines more then four times its price.
“I respectfully disagree…the biggest bottlneck in modern PCs is hard disk speed. Hard disk access times are the biggest drag on any modern system. Hard disks can’t even come close to supplying data as fast as a processor could theoretically handle it. ”
However, now that you can have 1 Gig or more of RAM, there is no need for the data you are working on to be on the drive. Unless you are doing something very heavy (audio mixing with a _lot_ of tracks) the data can all be in RAM.
Virtual memory in the sense of using a hard drive as an extension of RAM should hardly ever be necessary on modern hardware.
“Finally, Macs hold their value longer and are useful well past their prime. My g/f has a beige G3 that she isn’t about to replace anytime soon, she has no need – it just works and it runs her apps just dandy. The thing was released in 98. Thats very common. Considering how long the average Mac user seems to hold onto their Macs its a wonder how Apple sells as many as they do…”
Considering how expensive computers are, they damn well ought to last. If I buy a piece of hi fi equipment or a camera costing $1500 I expect it to be still working and usable 20 years later.
A computer ought to last for at least ten years. It is quite amazing how the computer industry has managed to con people into buying a new computer every 3 or 4 years.
(Posting from a ten year old Amiga, but so heavily upgraded that it doesn’t really count – only the motherboard is original.)
Nice try, geek boy. No matter how much alleged “value” your high-end machine gives the company, we have a strict spending cap for each employee’s computer purchases.
So be happy we are spending twice as much on you vs. the rest of our company’s employees just so you can have your 1.8Ghz G5 and your precious little geekboy ego doesn’t get crushed.
If it weren’t for a few people here, we would have phased out all Apple contracts long ago. Why deal with a single vendor and pay a price premium? It’s just common sense to avoid such contracts. Always have a second source.
Never mind, I see who I am talking to. Another dumb geek boy with the stars in his eyes and no future. I’ll make sure we offshore the Mac jobs next quarter. I really hate dealing with fanatics that don’t know how to control expenditures.
I heartfully agree. Its a shame that computers have become so, both a blessing and a curse, commodity. Sure, competition keeps prices low – and thats a good thing – as well as intercompetition, but quality typically also seems low. I don’t know of too many PCs that actually last longer then three years before *something* dies. You have an Amiga, surely you understand – I’ve understood that such machines, like a Mac or a Sun or an SGI or whatever else, last. PCs? Ugh…as expensive as computers are they should last, but they don’t unless you really stretch it – like it sounds like you have with your Amiga. What model and mods have you?
yeap, PCs just don’t last.
Reminds me of the stats that google have for mean time between failure for their commodity PC boxes they use as servers.
It is amazing the differences in the tests. You can still get a 1.25 DP G4 from Apple at a great price and it beats the 1.6 G% in every test, I think. Until Apple gets some more models out and spreads things out, the 2.0 DP G5 is the only one worth the money.
How is this unique to Macs? PCs last as long as Macs do. Expect for gaming, I do all surfing/writing/etc on a 366 MHz Celeron with 384 RAM, W2K. If you don’t have CPU-intensive stuff, this is perfect. Hardware lasting is not unique to Apple. People buy new PCs because they *can* — which wasn’t exactly the case with Apple in the past.
the last few years. On PCs, its quickly escalated from 1.2GB/sec to 2.1, then 4.2, and now 6.4GB/sec in the newest Canterwood P4s and Opterons. The G5 is just getting with the times. The G5 bus architecture is nice, but its only marginally (if at all) faster than whats available in x86-land.
My understanding was that the G5 essentially had two buses (one in each direction – and no I am not confusing this with the two buses present on the MP system) so it could send and receive a theoretical max of 8GB/s simultaneously whereas the buses you mentioned were a total throughput for sending and receiving (due to a single bus). Wouldn’t this make the G5 have twice the memory bandwidth?
Ok, I looked it up on Ars and it looks like my understanding was correct but that each bus is 4GB/s theoretical max (giving the total of 8 mentioned earlier).
Still, that’s 25% faster than the 6.4 available on PCs right now. And since when is 25% not significant?
no, hardware lasting is not unheard of in the PC world, but it is rare. My Abit BP6 is likely still humming along, for whomever now owns it. Eugenia I believe has the same mobo. But I’d be willing to bet that Macs are statisticlly more likely to last then your average PC.
Why..? All components are the same, except for the main board + CPU. **ALL** same componemts in Macs and PCs. How you make a longer living for Macs out of that is beyond me. I even start buying all those 486 + 586 machines from ebay again to make Linux floppy routers out of them. They run 24/7 for month…
It’s not just the hardware lasting.
It’s the integration of the drivers into the OS.
It’s the value added to Apple being the ONLY SOURCE of the hardware and the software. You simply have to try something like Apple’s Airport. They wrote the software for both the wireless Airport station and the OS code, the client. It works smoothly and easily.
This Single Source company saves your Time and Money.
My experience with PC hardware tells another story.
No vendor takes responsibility to make sure it Works.
Microsoft doesn’t, nor do Dell, Hp, or Gateway.
I have an HP laptop, with an AMD processor.
The processor is great, but the OS ( Win ME ) is crap.
I have a hard time justifying giving Microsoft More Money so they can give me another substandard product.
I installed the microsoft update of drivers for my machine,
it crashed daily. I had to reinstall from the original system disks to recover.
The HP fan went, had to send it back 3 times to get it fixed properly.
Now, the hard drive is making noise, the sound of emminent failure.
My experience with Apple is much better, no failures to date. I will only buy from Apple now.
well, if all hardware were built the same, I could get an ECS Mobo that lasted as long as my asus mobo. unfortunatly, there are big diffrences in the quality of the interconnections, tranzistors, capasitors, and sockets used on mobos.
a $300 PC will not have the same construction quality of its parts that a $1500 PC will, though the $1500 PC will probably have more parts of the same quality in it that the Apple does, I am sure some parts are still skimped on a bit, otherwise, the OEM could not be as competative.
Logically you can’t prove that Macs have the same life expectancy as PC’s by bringing up the components used unless you address every part of the manufacturing and quality process (for instance, it would be possible that Apple uses the same components but tests them better so theirs have lower defect rates).
However I agree that the argument that Macs are used longer needs to be dropped. There is no real proof to support it. And what is it really intended to demonstrate?
High resale value just shows that Apple is missing a huge market where profits could still be made (the low end). How is that a good thing?
well, the amount of a program that is placed in memory depends on the memory manager in the OS.
an OS normaly does not bring all parts of a program into the memory, so even having 10 GBs of memory will not improove speed more than the hardrive will allow. there will always be swaping out to the hardrive, though having a gig of memory does reduce it to its maximum amount.
your argument for buying cheap 586 machines on eBay is flawed because you admit that you’ll be turning them into something else using Linux.
a three year old PC with a newer version of Windows the machine would crawl along, but if all you need is a glorified typewriter to surf and whatnot, suit yourself.
my three year old Mac gets faster with every new release of its OS (so far) and that’s basically why we say Macs have a longer life-expectancy.
I will disagree with you there. most people who buy computers buy a computer between $700 and $1500.
those low end configurations you see on TV are crap. they are very under powered and do not come with a monitor in many cases or CD-RWs. they are used as ploys to get people to call up then sold up to the midrange modle of the month (the midrange that Apple sells in is where the largest profit margins are)
ever notice, when you walk into Best Buy or CompUSA that there are rarly any PCs for sale that are less than $1000 unless they are on clearence?
do any of you the maximum amount of RAM on a true 64bit computer?
I do. It’s 16EB (exabytes). To put that into perspective, 1EB = 1,000,000,000GB
I’m afraid it’ll be quite some time before we’ll have an OS that’ll be able to deal with that efficiently.
On mainframes this is already a reality though I doubt there are any programs out there that are 64bit aware.
Anyhow, that ought to eliminate all your stinking bottlenecks!
You people should quit arguing about Mac vs. PC. I mean, there are technical matters and GUI aspects that can be argued, but these ongoing party line arguments are so tiring.
1) People buy Macs because they like them. That’s all there is to it. I won’t use the faulty car argument, but think of it as people liking and buying some unique looking furniture, not because it’s higher quality than other furniture, but because they just like it.
2) Be glad there is diversity in computing.
3) Stop the TCO arguments and others that are so subjective that they add nothing to the discussion. I’m a Mac user first, but have a 2.6 P Dell that runs XP like lightning and am more than satisfied. It’s great.
4) Give companies credit for the good stuff they do have. Apple has put together an out of box experience, especially for home users, that is hard to beat, with the iLife apps, etc. It’s a pleasure to use a Mac in this way – why not give credit where credit is due?
5) These constant arguments about PC vs. Mac benchmarks are so partisan – give it a rest. With the G5, the only thing that matters is how it runs OS X. That is all. It is the only thing that has any meaning.
For IT, corporations, etc., Apple has a long way to go before they can do anything of significance in those areas.
If both sides would attempt to be objective instead of partisan, we all might actually learn something, rather than repeat our own slogan over and over again.
Bad example on Apple Airport or at least the extreme one. A more buggy release is hard to find. It was definitely not working smoothly and easily. True it was a new standard that really was no standard but the problem of keeping the connection up to the basestation was a problem that was being ignored for a long time and blaimed on the user before they actually released an update late in the game. Add to that the trouble of adding the crypto key to a third party base station. No not the best example. It is true that a singular source have advantages but they can also miss and have a want to add solutions that don’t work 100% with other hardware. An example is the monitor cabling. A very nice idea but when it’s not even added across the board so that a 12″ powerbook can not be connected without costly solutions then something has gone wrong.
very good Jay,
I only disagree with your changing the faulty car argument with a furniture analogy.
It’s not that simple.
I enjoy being partisan!
You sound so moderate now. I had to save one of your comments from a recent Apple-thread because it wasn’t exactly out for understatement, here it is again for your reading pleasure:
RE: The real world…
By Jay (IP: —.dsl.sntc01.pacbell.net) – Posted on 2003-08-19 04:07:54
“The question is how many people who live in the real world can actually afford a G5?”
Haha … sounds like you’re poor. Sucks to be you.
LOL Anonymous, that’s a different Jay. I’m on Road Runner, not pacbell.
three (3) coherent HyperTransport links, providing up to 19.2 GB/s peak bandwidth per processor
I can only say you’re on drugs………I don’t see many 15krpm IDE drives running in a Raid 1+0 config, with 128MB cache on the controller.
Cheap yes, but equal to SCSI? Not in this lifetime.