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Mac vs. PC IV

Mac gets beaten again, but it's a closer race this time

Looking at the results table below, youll notice that the Mac G5s performance is quite similar to that of our fastest computer, the Dell Precision Workstation 470. In the After Effects tests, although the G5 is only half as fast as the 470 in test 1, it rallies with test 2, coming to within a few percentage points of the 470s performance. The Mac gets beaten in test 3 and 4, but rallies back to win its only test in our entire benchmark series, test 5 thats the one called Source Shapes, and uses vector-based elements, all animated together into a composite. In a score of 2:26, the Mac beats out the 470 by 20 seconds. Taking a look at all the rest of the benchmark scores, the Mac is beaten consistently by the PC. If you look to the left of the Dell Precision Workstation 470 scores, youll notice that the ABS dual Intel Xeon 3.4 GHz machine also beats the Mac G5 on all of the tests except one as well. Keep in mind, the 3.4GHz Xeon chip is the second-fastest Xeon chip in Intels line, and all of the Intel Xeon chips are due for a speed bump in the second quarter of this year (2005). By the way, if youd like more information about the benchmarks we used, take a look at this story for the full description of each test along with QuickTime movies of each one. If youd like to try the Maxon CINEbench tests for yourself, which are available in specially optimized versions for PCs or the Mac G5, they can be downloaded from this site: http://www.maxon.net/jumps/cinebench.html.

Results in minutes: seconds
Boldface indicates winner
Apple Mac G5, Dual 2GHz, 3GB DDR 400 SD RAM

Alienware Roswell 3200 Extreme, Dual Intel Xeon 3.06, 2GB PC2100 ECC DDR RAM

Boxx Technologies 3DBOXX R4.2, Dual AMD Opteron 248 (2.21GHz), 2GB 333 ECC DDR RAM

ABS Dual Intel Xeon 3.4GHz, 2GB 400 MHz DDR2 ECC RAM Dell Precision Workstation 470 Dual Intel Xeon 3.6GHz, 2GB DDR2 RAM ($4,426 -- current price) Apple Mac G5, Dual 2.5GHz, 4GB DDR 400 SD RAM ($4449)
1. After Effects : Simple Animation :07 :05 :03 :03 :03 :06
2. After Effects : Video Composite :55 :49 :46 :41 :37 :42
3. After Effects : Data Project 1:56 1:30 1:23 1:19 1:16 1:21
4. After Effects : Gambler :30 :24 :21 :20 :19 :23
5. After Effects : Source Shapes 3:46 3:02 2:58 2:49 2:46 2:26
6. After Effects : Virtual Set 3:44 2:26 2:19 2:03 1:58 2:49
Maxon CINEbench 2003 Rendering Time (lower is better) 51.2 sec. 40.8 sec. 45.3 sec. 41.1 sec. 39.2 sec. 45.3 sec.
Maxon CINEbench 2003 Rendering (CB-CPU score -- higher is better) 514 646 581 641 672 581
TotalBenchmark comp 1 105 sec. 125 sec. not tested 87 sec. 83 sec. (tie) 83 sec. (tie)
TotalBenchmark comp 2 1626 sec. 1441 sec. not tested 1011 sec. 960 sec. 1277 sec.
Hard Disk Speed Not tested Read: 49MB/sec.
Write: 50MB/sec.
Read: 121MB/sec.
Write: 88MB/sec.
Read: 123MB/sec.
Write: 121MB/sec.
Read: 130MB/sec.
Write: 133MB/sec.
Read: 55MB/sec.
Write: 56MB/sec.

Summing up, even though Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised a 3GHz Mac by summer, 2004, that obviously didnt materialize. In fact, the only way Apple was able to enable a 2.5GHz chip to operate without melting down was to create an unusual liquid cooling mechanism, along with a group of fans that are, frankly, too loud for my taste. As Apple rakes in the cash for its smash-hit iPod line of personal music players, its G5 development has practically paused for over a year now. At the same time, PCs and their corresponding processors and chipsets continue to improve, albeit at a slower pace than in years past. Still, the PC shows itself to be a faster computer than the Mac in our benchmark tests. Stay tuned to Digital Media Net for tests of the next group of Intel Xeon chips, coming up next quarter.

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Related Keywords:Apple Power Mac G5 2.5GHz, liquid cooling system, PC, benchmark tests, Adobe After Effects, Mac versus PC, Mac vs. PC, Dell Precision Workstation 470


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