Now we know that PM G4 sells are stuck at a very low level, the following test results won't have much incidence. It will however make the ones switching to PC wait for the next generation of Power Macs.
The first benchmarks were done during March 2003 on a preview model running at 1.4 GHz. OS was an alpha version 7B5 and 7B8 of Panther, optimised for 64 bits processor, but the applications tested were only using 32 bits.
Photoshop : PPC 970 mono 1.4 is 87% faster than a Dual 1.42 GHz Final Cut Pro : PPC 970 mono 1.4 is 112% faster than a Dual 1.42 GHz Alias|Wavefront Maya Render : PPC 970 mono 1.4 is 254% faster than a Dual 1.42 GHz.
The second series of benchmarks were done on the same computers that will be sold. There is however a doubt on the presence of the up-market dual 2.0 GHz as the availability of these chips isn't sure. It seems Apple will surely be able to sell Mono 1.4 GHz, Dual 1.6 and Dual 1.8.
The result is that the G4 compared to the PPC 970 is now a secretary computer.
A few explanations to the results:
- The Altivec shows a 80% increase of performances with the 970. This is not due to the chip itself, but to the high speed access between processor and central memory. The Mach 64 motherboard is highly optimised for the use of DDR-SDRAM.
- There is no performance loss when the PPC 970 executes some 32 bits apps.
- The motherboard optimization almost allows dual processors to reach double performance. In fact it's about 90% efficiency gained with the second processor, compared to 50% for the G4.
Looking closely to these results we understand why Apple didn't need to wait for a 64 bits OS to launch the PPC 970. We'll take advantage of a 50% gain of performance between he up-market Pro G4 and the first PPC 970. We can imagine the difference with the top level PPC 970. It will be the best evolution ever between two Mac generations.
Mac fans, our wait will be rewarded. The fight is over and Apple will soon rule the world!
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