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PowerMac - Anyone else waiting? - Page 6

post #201 of 633
Oh goody,
I can barely contain my enthusiasm that Apple is upgrading the iPods.

For once I hope TS is completely wrong

All we need is another nifty 'lil gadget side tracking a serious pro workstation again.

I doubt that anything else major would find it's way to us before March
now. Grrrrrr!
post #202 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree
Oh goody,
I can barely contain my enthusiasm that Apple is upgrading the iPods.

For once I hope TS is completely wrong

All we need is another nifty 'lil gadget side tracking a serious pro workstation again.

I doubt that anything else major would find it's way to us before March
now. Grrrrrr!

Yeah, one more week is gonna kill ya... ;^p
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post #203 of 633
Having the flu takes all the joy out of using your sick leave
post #204 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree
Oh goody,
I can barely contain my enthusiasm that Apple is upgrading the iPods.

For once I hope TS is completely wrong

All we need is another nifty 'lil gadget side tracking a serious pro workstation again.

I doubt that anything else major would find it's way to us before March
now. Grrrrrr!

Chin up mate, Apples stock is up because of those darling Walkmans®. The way you are talking you would think Apple also makes computers or something. \
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post #205 of 633
Apple Store UK is down for update !!!!!

Fingers and toes crossed guys

David
post #206 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by illustratorDavid
Apple Store UK is down for update !!!!!

Fingers and toes crossed guys

David

Looks like it's the new iPod Mini . . . .
post #207 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by dumpster_d
Looks like it's the new iPod Mini . . . .

Do you think if Apple split up it's iPod division into a seperate company the stock worth would be something like this;

Apple iPod 80.00
Apple Computers 5.00

Makes you wonder....
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post #208 of 633
They are too tightly correlated to say that. The iPod definitely helps the mac computer market out so much that I doubt it would even ben near 5.... more like 20-30.

 

 

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post #209 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by Relic

Apple iPod 80.00
Apple Computers 5.00

Makes you wonder....

yeah, I know. i've got this sick feeling that we'll see anotehr iPod update before the next Powermac update.
post #210 of 633
Hi

I think were probably going to be waiting for the Quark offer to finish on 13th March before we see an update now.

On uk applestore the shipping time has gone back down to 24hours, the imac is still 4 days.

So considering the imac is not included in the Quark offer i expect that we will see an imac update before the powermac.

Wasn't the amazon leak of the Tiger release somewhere around 13th March - maybe we will see Tiger coming out with a powermac or maybe a free Tiger update if you buy a mac after 13th March.

David

www.davidjennings.co.uk
post #211 of 633
I don't know what to think any more or what to expect.

I'm sure they are working on something, but what?

Apparently the iPod consumer gadget division is keeping Apple viable,
but for how long?

Will the halo effect bring in enough new customers to make it worth the effort to continue the quest for cutting edge performance or will they
decide that average is fine for mom and pop as long as they don't have to fight Windows?

When the entire computer division still only captures less than 5% of
the market, how much of that market share really goes to pro users?

And how does Apple define professional?

I would love to know what gear Pixar is using if that level is what they really consider professional.

Hopefully Pixar engineers are also making enough fuss for the rest of us to benefit in the next lineup of professional desktop workstations.

I'm sick of waiting, but the longer it takes, the more we can look forward
to a leap frog event.

ribbit
post #212 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree
I don't know what to think any more or what to expect.

I'm sure they are working on something, but what?

Apparently the iPod consumer gadget division is keeping Apple viable,
but for how long?

Will the halo effect bring in enough new customers to make it worth the effort to continue the quest for cutting edge performance or will they
decide that average is fine for mom and pop as long as they don't have to fight Windows?

When the entire computer division still only captures less than 5% of
the market, how much of that market share really goes to pro users?

And how does Apple define professional?

I would love to know what gear Pixar is using if that level is what they really consider professional.

Hopefully Pixar engineers are also making enough fuss for the rest of us to benefit in the next lineup of professional desktop workstations.

I'm sick of waiting, but the longer it takes, the more we can look forward
to a leap frog event.
ribbit

Pixar only has a few Powermacs; their workstation needs are still predominantly SGI and Unix, with Linux used for the rendering farm

"Pixar's new RenderFarm, used to create the digital images for each frame of animation in its movies, will consist of 1024 Intel Xeon processors inside of eight new RackSaver BladeRack supercomputing clusters running Pixar's own RenderMan software. The RenderFarm features 2TBs (two terabytes) of memory and 60TBs (terabytes) of disk space. Each Intel Xeon processor at 2.80GHz is about five times faster than the older RISC-based processors in Pixar's outgoing RenderFarm. Pixar is using the system for its film, "The Incredibles," scheduled for a 2004 release."

Apple is not considerd a viable player in the professional 3D workstation area. Linux is the new market dominant force for this.
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post #213 of 633
This certainly supports the idea of a dual core PowerPC workstation
having the capability of running dual operating systems.

I could understand a great desire for an Apple desktop workstation
capable of running both OSX and LINUX, but would Apple be willing to fully support a dual OS machine?

The mind boggles
post #214 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree
This certainly supports the idea of a dual core PowerPC workstation
having the capability of running dual operating systems.

I could understand a great desire for an Apple desktop workstation
capable of running both OSX and LINUX, but would Apple be willing to fully support a dual OS machine?

The mind boggles

I've been running Linux in a dual boot configuration on a Mac for 6 years now. Many flavors are available, including BSD types like NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. All run great on Apple hardware. Remember Apple has a free OS called Darwin (BSD) in which OSX is based on. My Mac Mini for instance runs Yellow Dog Linux exclusively.
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post #215 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by FallenFromTheTree
I don't know what to think any more or what to expect.

When the entire computer division still only captures less than 5% of
the market, how much of that market share really goes to pro users?

And how does Apple define professional?

Please don't fall into the trap like marketing people do. Do you know what market share is? Market share is amount of units sold PER QUARTER compared with PCs. Our market share will NEVER be high as dells except for maybe a quarter or two. Why is this? For one mac units last 4 times as long. I see people running 4 year old macs productively all the time. How often do you see a 4 year old dell still running!? You don't ever. Market share is a very bad phrase, don't fall into the trap.

Apple sells approximately 200k-250k powermacs a quarter. If you want to consider that their only professional line, there is your number to work with.

But please, use real marketshare next time, which is amount of users using the platform vs. amount of users using the other platform.

 

 

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post #216 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by Relic
Pixar only has a few Powermacs; their workstation needs are still predominantly SGI and Unix, with Linux used for the rendering farm

"Pixar's new RenderFarm, used to create the digital images for each frame of animation in its movies, will consist of 1024 Intel Xeon processors inside of eight new RackSaver BladeRack supercomputing clusters running Pixar's own RenderMan software. The RenderFarm features 2TBs (two terabytes) of memory and 60TBs (terabytes) of disk space. Each Intel Xeon processor at 2.80GHz is about five times faster than the older RISC-based processors in Pixar's outgoing RenderFarm. Pixar is using the system for its film, "The Incredibles," scheduled for a 2004 release."

Apple is not considerd a viable player in the professional 3D workstation area. Linux is the new market dominant force for this.

Uh, in a word, wrong...

The folks listed below work for Pixar as IT gurus...

The slides that made up Gabe Benveniste & Bethany Hanson's talk at O'Reilly's 2003 Mac OS X Conference.

These slides show that in 2003 there were 375 Mac desktops, 100 Mac laptops, 500 Linux workstations & 125 Windows desktops...

It also specifiies that the 500 Linux workstations were 'likely to become Mac OS X boxes in the future'...

So, seems pretty clear to me that Pixar is very bullish on Apple hardware!
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post #217 of 633
Yah it sounded odd to me that Pixar didn't use apple hardware. I swore about 18 months ago I heard apple state that pixar had almost completely switched to apple hardware from linux rendering farms using xeons.

I just didn't want to look up the proof

Originally I believe pixar was almost all mac, so that data up above your post must be a little out dated.

 

 

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post #218 of 633
Thanks for the Pixar references.

You make a valid point about the market share disinfo spin.
My 1998 300 MHz G3 Tower is just now nearing retirement
even though it still runs flawlessly with some software limitations.

If Apple continues to maintain this kind of quality control,
I'm sure my new tower will stay productive for many years.
post #219 of 633
That's pretty old, but I guess some people like to squeeze every bit of life out of their systems.
Personally I think when your CPU power has been doubled its time to upgrade.
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post #220 of 633
That would be fine if my income increased as quickly as technology.

Actually, my daughter can't wait to get my G3 to replace her 3 year old
Sony Vaio RX550. <">
post #221 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
Apple sells approximately 200k-250k powermacs a quarter. If you want to consider that their only professional line, there is your number to work with.
[/B]

Actually, they're below 200k, and they recently said that they don't believe it will ever get above 200k.
post #222 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Actually, they're below 200k, and they recently said that they don't believe it will ever get above 200k.

On a related note: [this was linked to from the AI home page, but I've copied it here for convenience].

Analyst: 11% of Windows iPod users to buy a Mac
Feb 24 - 12:00 pm EST In a research note released to clients on Thursday and obtained by AppleInsider, Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf raised his target price on Apple Computer to $104 a share. The analyst reiterated his assumption that 11% of Windows users owning iPods will purchase a Mac, and notes that sales at the iTunes Music Store have accelerated to a $450 million annual run rate. "The increase in music sales in combination with a decrease in peripheral sales in our revised model raises Apple's overall gross profits because music sales are much more profitable than peripheral sales," Wolf said. In addition to raising its Apple price target from $83 to $104, the firm also raised its earnings per share estimates from $1.85 to $2.00 in fiscal 2005, and from $2.25 to $2.50 in 2006. Needham maintains a 'Buy' rating on AAPL.


I didn't know that quarterly sales of iPods are now at 860K! If 80% of iPod users are on Win32 and 11% of them buy a mac [last year, the iPod attributed switch rate was 6%]--that's about +75k Mac/quarter.

That sales boost on hardware would definitely be nice--and with the Macs "Staying Power", that increases the units-in-field nicely.
post #223 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Actually, they're below 200k, and they recently said that they don't believe it will ever get above 200k.

LOL.. No kidding. It's no wonder why either. If they don't start making it true to it's name (PowerMac) they probably wont. I don't think I'll be buying one again. Not unless they start making one that can compete with the high end offerings from their PC competitors. I've had three PowerMacs, and I don't think I'll be buying a 4th at this rate.
Most PowerMac users I new bought an AMD PC after the independent G5 speed comparisons came out.

Apples keynote on the G5 was probably one of the most purposely misconstrued, and dishonorable representations of ones self I've ever seen. It was shameful. I found it hard to believe they would stoop to that level. A few friends told me that the keynote alone lost them as a Mac user.
I do hold out hopes, but from what most people think that Apple intends on for the next PowerMac upgrades it doesn't look good. They should have some success with the new OS, and I expect sales will be great for most Macs because of it's popularity, but the machine (powermac) itself will probably still be a second rate pro machine after it's updated, and sales for the PowerMac will probably keep falling because of it.
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post #224 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
LOL.. No kidding. It's no wonder why either. If they don't start making it true to it's name (PowerMac) they probably wont. I don't think I'll be buying one again. Not unless they start making one that can compete with the high end offerings from their PC competitors. I've had three PowerMacs, and I don't think I'll be buying a 4th at this rate.
Most PowerMac users I new bought an AMD PC after the independent G5 speed comparisons came out.

Apples keynote on the G5 was probably one of the most purposely misconstrued, and dishonorable representations of ones self I've ever seen. It was shameful. I found it hard to believe they would stoop to that level. A few friends told me that the keynote alone lost them as a Mac user.
I do hold out hopes, but from what most people think that Apple intends on for the next PowerMac upgrades it doesn't look good. They should have some success with the new OS, and I expect sales will be great for most Macs because of it's popularity, but the machine (powermac) itself will probably still be a second rate pro machine after it's updated, and sales for the PowerMac will probably keep falling because of it.

I'm sorry to say I completely agree with you.
As is stands, Apple had better damn well absolutely stun me with their next Powermac, or I'm buying a mac mini, a nice LCD, and then piece together a killer linux box.
It's really gotten that bad. I used to be really excited that apple could push the market (yeah yeah, I know it's all about IBM's supply) but the point still remains: Apple is (almost) always playing second fiddle in the hardware game. The marketing value of Apple being able to (truthfully) say that "We have the fastest desktop in the world" is very important. The OS is unparalleled, this is true, but you have to have the hardware to go with it. These two together would be a killer combination. Apple might make a living off of the low-end switchers for a while, but they can't make the mistake of losing their high-end customers as well.
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post #225 of 633
I agree with onlooker about the "power" argument... however I DO NOT agree with the g5 keynote.

There was nothing misleading in that keynote. All the tests they presented during that keynote are 100% correct. Floating point integer tests smoked the current line up of amd and intel chips. DNETC will prove that even today.

You're beginning to sound like a broken record, powermacs aren't powerful enough... their cpu speeds are comparible if not faster than current x86 chips! Do your own benchmarking instead of relying on others to do it for you. And do real software independent benchmarking... That means, no photoshop, no cinema, no maya. Just PURE RAW CALCULATING / CPU INSTRUCTION EXECUTION benchmarking. That means programs like DNETC, GCC, etc. You will plainly see that the 970 family is more often faster than almost any other chip on the x86 side.

So you'll say, well that isn't real world. You're right its not. And developers are 100% to blame for that... I am one I know how it goes, programmers don't really care when porting to make it 5 ticks of a second faster unless there is money in that. But after benchmarking you will plainly see that saying powermacs aren't fast enough, is plainly false.

They are plenty fast, just need better funding and more time for development (software).

Most people do not need a powermac, why? Because they are TOO MUCH POWER for them to justify. I never once maxed out my dual 2.0 g5 unless I was benching or rendering. There is something to be said for that. So why pay that much money on a machine when you don't need that much power and can get away with using iMac power? (Of course people don't know this until after they buy the machines... but this is my experience).

 

 

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post #226 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
Most people do not need a powermac, why? Because they are TOO MUCH POWER for them to justify.

I don't think that's it. They are too expensive to justify.
post #227 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by emig647

There was nothing misleading in that keynote. All the tests they presented during that keynote are 100% correct. Floating point integer tests smoked the current line up of amd and intel chips. DNETC will prove that even today.


"There was nothing misleading in that keynote"

There surely was. They compiled things for the PC using GCC instead of their usual intel compiler that they are normally compiled with. Apple said (lied) it was to be fair to the PC, but they new that when compiled with their usual intel compiler the test showed the process to be faster on the intel machine.
As was shown later in independent tests all over the internet.
"SPEC FAQ, SPECfp2000 contains 10 Fortran programs, and 4 C programs. In other words, SPECfp is mostly Fortran, and NAGWare is the Fortran compiler, so therefore it is most likely NAGWare that is the bad compiler for Intel, not GCC.)" from lower article. My bad.

"All the tests they presented during that keynote are 100% correct."

Yes, they were correct, but they were purposely obscured by Apple. That's why it was misleading. I don't forget when someone's honor has fallen until they make a mens to restore the honor they have lost.
This is just one of the various summaries of how many ways apple was misleading in those tests
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post #228 of 633
This reminds me of an old friend with his extremely fast 1966 Porche 911S. It was an unbelievable machine when it was running properly,
but keeping it that way was extremely time consuming and expensive.

One of these days I'd like to see a more meaningful test that compares
the overall extended reliability of a machine running CPU intensive programs for weeks on end without failure.

This is where I feel Apple would prove it's worth.

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post #229 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
"There was nothing misleading in that keynote"

There surely was. They compiled things for the PC using GCC instead of their usual intel compiler that they are normally compiled with. Apple said (lied) it was to be fair to the PC, but they new that when compiled with their usual intel compiler the test showed the process to be faster on the intel machine.
As was shown later in independent tests all over the internet.
"SPEC FAQ, SPECfp2000 contains 10 Fortran programs, and 4 C programs. In other words, SPECfp is mostly Fortran, and NAGWare is the Fortran compiler, so therefore it is most likely NAGWare that is the bad compiler for Intel, not GCC.)" from lower article. My bad.

"All the tests they presented during that keynote are 100% correct."

Yes, they were correct, but they were purposely obscured by Apple. That's why it was misleading. I don't forget when someone's honor has fallen until they make a mens to restore the honor they have lost.
This is just one of the various summaries of how many ways apple was misleading in those tests

If you want to split hairs (by not using the exact same compiler ie gcc) than compare intels compiler with ibm's 64bit compiler... you will surely see the ibm compiler is nearly 2 times as fast comparing a dual 2.5 and a p4 3.6 (I haven't ever owned a xeon so I can't speak for them).

EDIT

In floating point calculations

 

 

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post #230 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by benzene
It's really gotten that bad. I used to be really excited that apple could push the market (yeah yeah, I know it's all about IBM's supply)

I don't think it really is about IBM's supply. The disappointment I sometimes feel with the PowerMac line is the lack of additional features like:

- Another internal hard drive bay
- Hardware RAID on the mobo for drives 2 & 3 (see above)
- Additional built-in FireWire channels (not ports, channels)
- More advanced ethernet (Jumbo Packet support)
- More aggressive GPU options, and prices
- PCI-E
- A quad CPU workstation model

I'd rather see a couple of these options offered than a speed bump to 3 GHz. But still, I'd rather create on a Mac than a Windows machine any day.
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post #231 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by - J B 7 2 -

- A quad CPU workstation model

I'd

That's really expensive from most manufacturers. Like $2,500 just for the board. It's more than double the price of a dual. I think an Xserve w/4 processors is something that only Pixar, and the rest could afford. But I think a Xserve blade sounds cooler if your going to go that route.
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post #232 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by - J B 7 2 -
- Another internal hard drive bay
- Hardware RAID on the mobo for drives 2 & 3 (see above)
- More aggressive GPU options, and prices

I'd settle for any two of these three [assuming that it could boot from the hardware raid drives 1+2].
post #233 of 633
Most of us would be perfectly content if Apple would at least allow
for these upgrade options in their top of the line workstation.

The technology is already there, so it's more a matter of connectivity
to enable the user to expand as needed.

How difficult can it be for them to make these connectivity options available in a $3000 aluminum box?

We can only speculate how long it will be before Apple configures
a tower with a pair of dual core 970MP or Power 5 processors giving us the "Precious" QuadraMac.

A 3rd HD bay would be nice, but I would rather see better connectivity
support for external storage if space is too much of a premium.

PCI-e is a must, until Apple figures out a way to take advantage of CELL based GPU's.

My personal favorite would be a new audio interface card taking full advantage of 64 bit technology enabling Apple to leave ProTools
and their friggin $7000 HD requirements in the dust.

It's a nice wish list, but how many of these improvements can we realistically expect in the next revision?
post #234 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
"There was nothing misleading in that keynote"

There surely was. They compiled things for the PC using GCC instead of their usual intel compiler that they are normally compiled with. Apple said (lied) it was to be fair to the PC, but they new that when compiled with their usual intel compiler the test showed the process to be faster on the intel machine.
As was shown later in independent tests all over the internet.
"SPEC FAQ, SPECfp2000 contains 10 Fortran programs, and 4 C programs. In other words, SPECfp is mostly Fortran, and NAGWare is the Fortran compiler, so therefore it is most likely NAGWare that is the bad compiler for Intel, not GCC.)" from lower article. My bad.

"All the tests they presented during that keynote are 100% correct."

Yes, they were correct, but they were purposely obscured by Apple. That's why it was misleading. I don't forget when someone's honor has fallen until they make a mens to restore the honor they have lost.
This is just one of the various summaries of how many ways apple was misleading in those tests

This was argued endlessly on many boards, but what the heck, I checked out the website you linked to. I stopped reading when I got to his statement that hyperthreading was disabled delibrately to hedge results in PPC's favor. Even Intel admits that for Spec testing, disabling hyperthreading IMPROVES Spec scores. And no, I'm not about to search down the link to Intel's site that mentions this, but I did read it and it was on Intel's website.

As far as hedging tests, they all do it. For the most part comparing Spec test results between different architectures is difficult at best and down right useless at worst. Spec should be used by engineers comparing the results between similar cpu architectures for analysis of design changes. Compilers have WAY TOO much effect on the results to infer which architecture is better or worse, or CPU will perform better in real world apps.

Anyway, that is my humble opinion.
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Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #235 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by rickag
I stopped reading when I got to his statement that hyperthreading was disabled delibrately to hedge results in PPC's favor.

You shouldn't have stopped reading. Maybe then you would understand the level of deceit used in the tests. That was just one example page, and the first I found on the subject. The author admittedly wasn't aware of what all the tests were, but to be fair reported everything changed in the tests. Also there are results on that page that show the differences in performance after things were change back to normal. I don't think there was one test that the G5 actually came out on top in.
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post #236 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
...
I don't think there was one test that the G5 actually came out on top in.

Blast? Yes, I know, most people don't run Blast at home. But still one for the home team.

I don't want to get into a rehash of this old topic. Yes, Apple skewed test results. This article blew much of it way out of proportion and a lot of Mac zealots reacted very poorly in responding to this article.
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post #237 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
LOL.. No kidding. It's no wonder why either. If they don't start making it true to it's name (PowerMac) they probably wont. I don't think I'll be buying one again. Not unless they start making one that can compete with the high end offerings from their PC competitors. I've had three PowerMacs, and I don't think I'll be buying a 4th at this rate.

Most PowerMac users I new bought an AMD PC after the independent G5 speed comparisons came out.


Ok, forgive me if I have to laugh at this.

You say you've had three PowerMacs. Presuming that at least one or two of them were in the G3 or G4 range you're telling me that you were happier with the old 133-167 mhz front side buses than you are with the current 900mhz-1.25ghz ones?

I'm not about to start comparing high end Mac's and PC's because there's too much to factor in for both sides to make a valid comparison that will satisfy everyone, but I will say that the G5 was a quantum leap forward in hardware architecture for the PowerMac compared to earlier versions and I can't quite comprehend how you were happy with old PowerMac performance, but are disappointed by the current G5's.
post #238 of 633
Ravenpen.

Onlooker is heavy into 3D and he's right. If you want the fastest 3D then right now PCs are going to win hands down. Apple could ameliorate this situation by actively promoting ATI and Nvidia's higher end cards and helping with driver development. Maybe that'll happen with Tiger..who knows.

My particular needs for a Powermac G5 would be Audio and Video so I'm not in the same boat. The G5 kicks enough butt there to keep me happy.
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post #239 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Ravenpen.

Onlooker is heavy into 3D and he's right. If you want the fastest 3D then right now PCs are going to win hands down. Apple could ameliorate this situation by actively promoting ATI and Nvidia's higher end cards and helping with driver development. Maybe that'll happen with Tiger..who knows.

My particular needs for a Powermac G5 would be Audio and Video so I'm not in the same boat. The G5 kicks enough butt there to keep me happy.

Hmurchison,

I'm not disagreeing that PC's certainly have definite speed advantages over Mac's in certain areas, 3D being one of them.

The part of Onlooker's post that confused me was his satisfaction with the performance of his three previous PowerMacs, I can only assume he was satisfied since he kept buying them, but his disappointment with the current G5's.

As I said in my previous post, PC's and Mac's have certain strengths and weaknesses in performance when compared to one another and there's no one test that will satisfy everyone.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if Onlooker is disappointed with PowerMac performance in comparison to PC's then that is understandable, but if his disappointment is with the performance of current PowerMacs to previous ones, then that I don't understand and from the way his post was worded that certainly seemed to be one of the things he was complaining about.

P.S. I also do Video work and am waiting patiently for the next rev. G5's to upgrade my 867 G4 Quicksilver, though to be honest the 867 still does a damn fine job with FCP and DVDSP.
post #240 of 633
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
You shouldn't have stopped reading. Maybe then you would understand the level of deceit used in the tests.

Not really.

You assume that gcc for the Mac is as optimized for the hardware as ICC is for x86. And you'd be horribly wrong. All the benchmarks that show "normality" demonstrate is that a wildly well-optimized compiler will beat a poorly optimized compiler. But most applications are compiled with MS' compiler, not Intel's, so it's not necessarily a real-world test to use ICC.

On top of that, at the time Apple ran the tests, gcc was better optimized for x86 than for PPC, by a margin, simply because people had been working on the problem.

Nevertheless, what Apple effectively did was take the compiler out of the equation by using the same one for both platforms. This is standard practice for benchmarking: You compare Premiere on both platforms. You don't compare Premiere to FCP. Why should compilers be any different?

If you want to use ICC for the Intel side, you'd have to use something comparably optimized for the PPC on the Mac side to have a fair comparison.
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