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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > PowerMac G5 or PC Desktop---NEED help!!! Thanks..

PowerMac G5 or PC Desktop---NEED help!!! Thanks..
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momotaro-mac
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Oct 24, 2003, 08:56 AM
 
Hi guys, I've been reading mac nn daily for awhile but never thought of posting anything until now..

Here is my problem. Im a product design student and Im in love with macs. Im currently self learning maya on pc but i really hope i can move to a new mac as my main computer. Using pcs are just...Dont really want to say anything about it.

Im torn here, can some one spare some advice about this matter?
Should I get a powermac g5 or a self assembled pc desktop.
I sure would like to be using mac osx - especially panther, as my main OS.

Thanks alot.
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PoisonTooth
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:04 AM
 
I'm selling ALL of my Windows machines (T40 laptop & a custom-built high-end WinXP box) for a PB and a dual G5.

I think that pretty much tells you where I stand on your decision.
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:13 AM
 
Thanx for the reply. Appreciate it. Really hoping to make the buy at a good time. And as soon as I have the money...haha...

I dont really mind even though the opteron and fx-51 beat the G5 at certain benchmarks. After all its also the OS im after. Not just the hardware. Plus Opterons and FXs are just as expensive and at certain configurations, even more expensive.

Also looking forward to a G5 powerbook and new displays...
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frownyfrank
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:13 AM
 
Well, PCs are cheaper, and that could be an important factor for a student. Don't take take food out of your mouth (or perhaps beer out of your bong?) to pay for a Mac if you can't afford it. G5s in particular aren't the cheapest game in town.

Certainly Maya would love as much horsepower as you can give it, but what about a (dual) G4? For the price of a dual G5, you could probably get a dual G4 plus a monitor or two, and software, etc. Keep an eye out at Dealmac perhaps.

But if money isn't the issue, then what are we even talking about? Go get a Mac!
     
tony21
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:24 AM
 
Im going to school for Industrial Design as well, Last summer I bought a G5 1.6 and a 20' display for school. I love the machine it looks great, very very fast, however, VPC does not work on it and the facts are that most of the industry standerd software is still PC based... ex. CAD and solid works, Rihno ect... If I could do it again i would buy a cheaper mac imac, or powerbook, and also buy a Build it your self pc. I think this is a must in our field. Good luck with Design!
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:31 AM
 
Thanks alot frank(if that is your real name)

Well...I'm not too keen about buying any g4's at the moment. Especially at a time of transition like this.

Money...well its not to say i will have to pay thru my nose to get a g5 but I can manage i believe. Because on the PC side I am considering an athlon 64. That would be alittle steep too.

But I cant afford to change computers alot...so one buy has to last pretty long for me.

Buying a G5 would be ok, but a display...will have to be considered.
Hope the rumors that prices on the upcoming new displays are true. I really hope the introduced the 30" baby and make the 20" the smallest and reduce the price tag on it. a 20" would be mega sufficient for me.

Tried a 1.8 G5 512MB at the apple store on a 23" CD playing Unreal 2003....sweet...

Thanx alot for the opinion. Appreciate it..
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momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:39 AM
 
Cool...have you majored in anything yet?

It would help to know what a person in the same field does with his mac.

About VPC..well lets hope the come up with a version that can run on g5s soon...about autocad.. it can run on my 1.2 768mb Dell laptop so i think that covers it pretty well.

Learning maya on my 12" display dell is a pain in the @#$%. Need bigger displays....

How about waiting for the next revision of g5s? DO you think they will be updated in January?

Has anyone here used VPC before? Hows the performance...thx.

Thanx tony
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Oct 24, 2003, 10:42 AM
 
Remember that as a student you qualify for an Apple education discount, something you won't see if you build your own PC.

-Jerry C.
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 24, 2003, 01:02 PM
 
Oh yeah....thanx for reminding me
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misnomer
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Oct 24, 2003, 01:18 PM
 
While a Mac is great for many things unfortunately Maya isn't one of them. For whatever reason Maya has always been unusually slow on Dual G4's compared to even single processor PCs.

Based on this post, that trend seems to have continued on to the Dual G5:
maya and G5... dissapointed.

One ray of hope is that maybe G5 optimization will bring the three to four hundred percent improvement needed for the Mac to be competitive, but Alias's track record on the Mac isn't so hot. It took them forever to release an update that even made it dual processor aware, and they've never corrected the oddly lackluster PPC performance (it's performance vs x86 is much worse than in any other mainstream 3D app).
     
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Oct 24, 2003, 06:01 PM
 
I'm a dual platform user and have taken classes in Rhino, 3D Studio Max and Maya. I love my mac and use it 90% of the time.

However

If your primary use for the machine is going to be Maya plus some of the other two apps, which do not run on OS X, then I, regrettably, would have to recommend a PC box running Win XP Pro if your budget is limited. Virtual PC performance with 3ds Max, I'm willing to bet, will be nothing to write home about.

You should be able to build an awfully nice PC for about $1500. Once you have some more money, you can add a mac to the mix.
     
i_wolf
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Oct 24, 2003, 06:42 PM
 
I had to register to make a few points.....
Go with the G5. Ignore the pcworld bench's. The opteron , P4 and likely P5 are all detroyed by the G5 in raw computational power. As more and more apps are optimized for G5 the performance delta will improve substantially. Currently the Opteron and G5 at a given speed are neck and neck. However the Opteron can take advantage of very optimzed code already for 32 bit mode. i.e. Intels compilers generate great SSE2 optimizations that it likes and also it has absolutely no probs with athlon code...since its essentially an athlon with bits and piece bolted on like the 64 bit extensions and memory controller. Internally they are very similar in design. On the other hand the G5 is a radical departure from the G4 and compiler support is extremely young at the moment. However speed increases are coming at a phenominal rate. Expect to see the G5 destroy the Opteron and P4 at relative clock speeds when G5 compiled code is run in 32 bit mode. (cant compare 64 bit mode yet because no 64 bit OS X!)
Already the makers of cinebench have watched the performance skyrocket to nearly 500 points by a simple recompile and small optimizations. WIth full optimizations which they believe is possible they reckon that it can go much much higher. Incidentally there are advanced computational features in the G5 at the moment that really are going untouched and when optimzed for the G5 will scream past all the others.... how about the fact that it can have 215 instructions in flight.... the Athlon and P4 can do nothing like this. Had we not seen that dumb pcworld "bench" no one would be doubting the power of the G5.
For CAD and 3d work the G5 will scream. Maya 5.5 is reported to be in development (according to talk within the Apple Developer Connection).... apparantly 5.5 maya will contain a lot of G5 optimizations and the makers are very happy with progress so far. They reckon that the G5 will double the equivalent P4 or Opteron performance. Something to look forware to.
That is not to say that on todays apps the G5 is not potent... it is "only" neck and neck with the Opteron in questionable benchmarks. Throw Panther in to the mix... new compilers... think about thefact that so much potential of the chip (not talking 64 bit here) is going unused and well (which in all honesty A64 cannot claim)... and well yes the G5 is the fastest by a long shot.
Incidentally i have not touched properly on the UNIX based OS X. If you are serious about CAD and 3d work... you should definately be thinking Unix OS. Whether you get Opteron or G5 make sure you whip a unix based os on your system.
Maya was badly coded for the original G4 fact. The current version does not make any advantage of the G5. Incidentally for the G5 altivec unit to be effective since it doesn't like G4 altivec compiled code as much as recompiled altivec code with the newest GCC. This would explain why MAYA is so slow relatively. It is running completely unoptimzed code, which in the first palce is widely reputed to be badly coded since it doesn't make full use of Altivec.
Furthermore, the actual coding of this app could be called into question. However a ray of hope. Within the ADC there is talk that MAYA could make 400 to 500 percent increases in speed with a recompile with the latest IBM compiler or GCC and with optimzations used. Remember the PC version has HUGE optimizations for SSE2 and the like. Just porting the code across direct and recompiling does not necessarily mean that it will run as well on a similar spec machine. Anyway apple are working with the MAYA team on 5.5 (i think its this verios... can anyone coloberate? )and will take advantage of dual systems properly.. something that the current version of MAYA doesn't do properly, and it will be optimized for the G5 and run using the latest compilers.
Put it this way, some of the most powerful processors in 3d graphics and in workstations are the Power 4. The G5 (PPC970) is the little brother WITH enhanced altivec.
Look at the luxology benchmarks these are quite indicative of real world bench's... their 3d engine and modelling tool is twice to three times faster than p4.
Don't worry the G5 will definately be your system of choice for 3d.
Incidentally Apple now have a system that with optimzation can potentially yield nearly twice what optimized x86 machines (INCLUDING the opteron) can do. Fact. ( i haven't been brain washed by apple i have run some real world tests or preliminary G5 optimized apps against my dual Opteron 2GHz). Apple are looking to expand more back into the realm of 3d design again.. do not be surprised as more and more apps are optimized.
Incidentally Microsoft are likely to release a new version of Virtua PC inthe coming months. A g5 optimized version of virtua PC would really run well on a G5.
Incidentally Autodesk are reliably rumored tobe heavily in development of AUTOCAD for OS X. Obviously this would probably scream faster than the PC version due to new compilers , optimized OS etc....
Its a very exciting time to get a mac. Performance is getting better and better. Good luck
     
olePigeon
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Oct 24, 2003, 06:58 PM
 
If you're doing product design, G5 all the way.

However, if you can put it off for a little bit, I would suggest waiting for the Rev B G5s (if that's possible.)
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frownyfrank
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Oct 25, 2003, 04:13 AM
 
And to add to the incredibliy lucid arguments already posted, developer support often hinges on market share. YOU could be the difference between a real AutoCAD port or not.

It's kind of like voting, isn't it. Don't throw your vote away on a PC!
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 05:52 AM
 
Market share...

I guess developers are pretty aware of the hardware apple has and what they can do with it.

Thanx for all the comments and opinions guys. Really appreciate it.

And it does make sense that Maya is probably just a bad code for the G5. A recompiled and tweaked version for OSX and the G5 would be awesome!

A pc would be cool to toggle between work and play but...I dont think i'll be playing that many games...and usually good games will usually make it to mac...just a matter of time..I can wait haha..

So talking about G5, which of the 3 models should I get?

I can afford a dual 2.0, even my mom who is computer crazy thinks i shouldnt get one that expensive. Im trying to go 50/50 with my parents here including display.

What about revision B? Think they will introduce a dual processor mid range model? And how will a powerbook G5 be compared to a powermac g5? I know its not even out yet but how does a power mac g4 and powerbook g4 compare?
I can only afford one system here and I am not studying in my own country. I go back every few mths...so I might need to carry the mac around.

Will a G5 powerbook be sufficient when the time comes?

I think I can wait for it to be released since I havent started my computer based modules yet. I have 2 semesters of theory and practical.


Thanx
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momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 05:53 AM
 
sorry about the G5 dual 2.0, I meant I cant afford one, not can...sorry
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ourisman
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Oct 25, 2003, 07:31 AM
 
What about revision B? Think they will introduce a dual processor mid range model? And how will a powerbook G5 be compared to a powermac g5?

My hunch is that at MacWorld San Francisco in early January, Steve Jobs will announce a new lineup... and that a dual 2.0 will be the mid-point of the lineup and cost what the current 1.8 single now costs.

I think a PB G5 would be more expensive than a comparably fast tower ... and you could only get a single CPU version.
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 08:10 AM
 
Humm...thats what i had in mind too..hope it will come true.

Still...has anyone heard anything abt the new displays?

And how about graphic cards on the G5...dont think i can afford a radeon 9800pro plus i feel the 9800pro custom built option is above the market price for a 9800pro.

and what is the difference between Cl2 and Cl3r Ram...

And how much will it take to upgrade Ram on the G5

Thxx
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scottiB
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Oct 25, 2003, 08:56 AM
 
Originally posted by tony21:
Im going to school for Industrial Design as well, Last summer I bought a G5 1.6 and a 20' display for school. I love the machine it looks great, very very fast, however, VPC does not work on it and the facts are that most of the industry standerd software is still PC based... ex. CAD and solid works, Rihno ect... If I could do it again i would buy a cheaper mac imac, or powerbook, and also buy a Build it your self pc. I think this is a must in our field. Good luck with Design!
Exactly.

I'm friends with industrial designers from Nike, GM, and WETA-Digital: all have main PC boxes at home and supplement them with Mac laptops. The software's not there, really, for the Mac.

Anyway, while Maya's sexy, it's not really an CAID program: learn DesignTools (hopefully your school as a lab with it).
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Oct 25, 2003, 09:28 AM
 
As a film school student who has to work with Maya, XSI, 3dsmax, Lightwave and all that stuff, I am pretty much in the same situation. High-end 3D software just isn't that wide-spread on the Mac.

But, despite this obvious drawback, I will stick with my Macs and eventually buy a G5 some time soon.

Reasons:
- Pixar's and Alias' support of the Mac platform plus the release of the G5 will eventually change the software availability situation for the industry.
- As the tutor for the some of the machines at our school - most are PC-based - I can't think of anything nicer than a Mac. (It's fun that the only PC-hater in our semester is there to administrate the PCs. Know your enemies.)
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momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 10:30 AM
 
Yeah...Mac is just a 3d modelling and animation software not CAD. But I will still be using it plus the likes of AutoCAD and 3dsmax.

Its good to hear some advice from people who are more experienced in such matters.

I totally agree that the software selection for CAD and 3d on pc are way more comprehensive. But at the same time, Im also trying to get a mac as a personal thing. Not just for school.

I do video editing as past time and Im now picking up photography from a friend who is experienced. I would like to try and experiment with music editing.

So basically I need one machine for all these too.

Another reason(call it foolish) is, as a person who actually loves design, a generic pc box wouldnt be friendly to my room's design hehhe...I think even high end mod cases for pc are over done and they look cheap.

Im not saying that I;ve totally decided on a mac. I;ll keep my options open since I definitely will wait till next year and see how things go. New revisions of G5s, and software availability.

If software support is bad up til when my computer modules start, then maybe i have will no choice but to get a pc.

Also I really do want OSX...and to use it on a 20" is bliss...

Just say software support suck for CAD, maybe then I'll get a pc only for doing CAD stuff for say...$1000? or abit less.

How does that sound? I mean I dont need a p4 3.0 with the latest and fastest GPU to do CAD right?

Opinions pls...thx
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momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 10:42 AM
 
Oh yah...need it for Photoshop, Freehand, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver too..

Read the PCWorld benchmarks...the G5 was good at photoshop but not by much...also it wasnt substantially faster than the 3Ghz Pentium 4 and almost the same as AMD's 64-bit fellas.

Why is this? Is Apple fixing their benchmarks or is it Pcworld?
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TobyX
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Oct 25, 2003, 12:57 PM
 
Oh... and: If you do video editing, the Mac is the ONLY reasonable thing to do these days (+ Final Cut Pro 4). Premiere just isn't that high-end (and priced equally) and Avid sucks in both handling and price (although I don't really know what exact setup we have). Plus it doesn't work at most times.

Toby
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ourisman
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Oct 25, 2003, 01:48 PM
 
<quote>And how about graphic cards on the G5...dont think i can afford a radeon 9800pro plus i feel the 9800pro custom built option is above the market price for a 9800pro.</quote>

One of the disadvantages of the 9800 is that it comes with a fan whose speed is not software controlled. Folks have complained some about the extra NOISE. I have a 9600 and a 20" Cinema display and have been very pleased with the combination.
     
ourisman
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Oct 25, 2003, 01:49 PM
 
And how about graphic cards on the G5...dont think i can afford a radeon 9800pro plus i feel the 9800pro custom built option is above the market price for a 9800pro.
One of the disadvantages of the 9800 is that it comes with a fan whose speed is not software controlled. Folks have complained some about the extra NOISE. I have a 9600 and a 20" Cinema display and have been very pleased with the combination.
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 03:58 PM
 
Wow!

G5 users are really particular about sound huh?

Haha...no reason not to i guess since Jonathan Ive promised that it would be 2-3 times more quiet than the g4.

I guess you're right. 5200Fx is horrible i think...a 9600 would be within my budget. Plus I wont feel bad when it comes to replacing the graphic card. Having to change the 9800pro would be argh...after all that money spent!
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momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 25, 2003, 04:00 PM
 
I would really love to have a quiet system anyway so nothing can stand between me and my music...

but the are various threads here at macnn talking about problems with the G5s fan making lotsa noise.

Comments...is it a disease suffered by g5s?

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rhogue islander
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Oct 25, 2003, 05:21 PM
 
No, the G5 is *extremely* quiet. It is, without a doubt, the quietest box I've bought or built so far. The only time it gets loud is if you boot it in 'firewire target disc mode' or run the extended hardware test. This is because the fan speeds are software controlled under OS X, which is not running under these conditions.

The FW800 G4's are also very quiet.
     
wily
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Oct 25, 2003, 05:30 PM
 
The G5 is whisper quiet.

In target-mode, it roars...but other than that, the G5 is "George Winston" to my G4's "Metallica."
     
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Oct 25, 2003, 05:35 PM
 
Originally posted by momotaro-mac:
I would really love to have a quiet system anyway so nothing can stand between me and my music...

but the are various threads here at macnn talking about problems with the G5s fan making lotsa noise.

Comments...is it a disease suffered by g5s?

I suspect the actual number of G5 fan issues are uncommon at best. I've got a dual 2.0, and it's one of the quietist computers I've used since my (fanless) Apple ][+ (my first Mac was a Quadra 605 with a whinny little fan).
     
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Oct 25, 2003, 07:32 PM
 
Originally posted by i_wolf:
Maya 5.5 is reported to be in development (according to talk within the Apple Developer Connection).... apparantly 5.5 maya will contain a lot of G5 optimizations and the makers are very happy with progress so far. They reckon that the G5 will double the equivalent P4 or Opteron performance. Something to look forware to.
I'd love to be proven wrong by a link to support this, but realistically I know you're completely making it all up. I see it quite frequently and I can't imagine why people feel it's necessary to exaggerate/lie to pump up the G5; it's sweet enough on its own. But just to be clear you're claiming Alias has stated somewhere that they've optimized for the G5 and managed something in the order of an 700 to 800% improvement in performance over the current release...?
     
blackwind
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Oct 25, 2003, 11:51 PM
 
Originally posted by momotaro-mac:
Oh yah...need it for Photoshop, Freehand, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver too..

Read the PCWorld benchmarks...the G5 was good at photoshop but not by much...also it wasnt substantially faster than the 3Ghz Pentium 4 and almost the same as AMD's 64-bit fellas.

Why is this? Is Apple fixing their benchmarks or is it Pcworld?
Ultimately, one must look to more than just one source for benchmarks. After all, having second, third, and more opinions can only lead to an informed purchasing decision.

----------------------------------------

If you wish, here is additional (long) list of benchmarks from various sources, listed from fastest to slowest in each test:

Cinebench 2003 Rendering (single-processor)
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 384
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 310
2-GHz G5: 288
2-GHz Opteron: 281
1-GHz G4: 96

Cinebench 2003 (Cinema 4D Shading)
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 369
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 338
2-GHz Opteron: 338
2-GHz G5: 277
1-GHz G4: 120

Mathematica 5 (c't magazine test)
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 553 s
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 678 s
2-GHz G5: 1021 s
1-GHz G4: 2023 s

FileMaker 5.5 (c't magazine test)
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 46 s
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 62 s
2-GHz G5: 82 s
1-GHz G4: 147 s

MP3 encoding (c't magazine test)
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 89 s
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 91 s
2-GHz G5: 98 s
1-GHz G4: 284 s

MPEG-4 transcoding (c't magazine test)
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 39 s
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 41 s
2-GHz G5: 42 s
1-GHz G4: 85 s

PS7Bench (Normalized to 1-GHz Athlon, Ars Technica)):
Dual 2-GHz G5: 555
Dual 3.06-GHz Xeon: 490
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 427
2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX: 416
2-GHz G5 (estimate): 401
2-GHz Opteron (estimate): 369
Dual 1.25-GHz G4 (OS 9): 337
1.6-GHz G5: 321

MATLAB 6.5 (LU+FFT+ODE+Sparse, Macintouch):
2-GHz Opteron (estimate): 2.21 s
2-GHz G5: 2.38 s
3.2-GHz Pentium 4 (estimate): 2.40 s
1.8-GHz Opteron: 2.46 s
2-GHz Pentium 4: 3.84 s

AMBER 7 (Molecular Dynamics, somewhere...):
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 45.56 s
2-GHz G5: 49.59 s
2-GHz Opteron (estimate): 55.28 s
1.4-GHz Opteron: 78.97 s
400-MHz G4: 245.16 s

ARC 2D L (Single-Precision Fluid Dynamics, 100 iterations, Ars Technica):
2-GHz G5: 0.23 s
2-GHz Opteron (estimate): 0.26 s
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 0.28 s
1.6-GHz Opteron: 0.33 s

ARC 2D XXL (Double-Precision Fluid Dynamics, 100 iterations, Ars Technica):
3.2-GHz Pentium 4: 10.37 s
2-GHz G5: 11.66 s
2-GHz Opteron (estimate): 14.38 s
1.6-GHz Opteron: 17.98 s

ATLAS (Average of dMM, dLU, dLLt, dUtU; Matrix Order 3500, Ars Technica):
Dual 2-GHz G5: 7061 Mflops
Dual 2-GHz Opteron (estimate): 5766 Mflops
Dual 1.6-GHz Opteron: 4613 Mflops

JET 3D (Computational Fluid Dynamics, Ars Technica for updated G5 numbers):
2-GHz G5 (xlc/xlf): 787 Mflops
2-GHz G5 (gcc/Absoft): 254 Mflops
2.66-GHz Pentium 4: 255 Mflops

----------------------------------------

As for people boosting of the G5's performance, I really have no clue why they would do such a thing.

In floating-point performance, a 2-GHz G5 is about a match for a 2-GHz Opteron or a 2.8-GHz Pentium 4. In integer performance, the G5 is only average, but the G5 has excellent SIMD performance to counter that weakness.

Furthermore, the Dual 2-GHz G5 costs about the same as comparable hardware (Dual 1.8-GHz Opteron from BOXX or a Dual 2.66-GHz Xeon from Dell), which makes the Dual G5 a competitive machine. This is the first time Apple has released a competitive machine in years. There is no need to lie about the G5's performance. The numbers will tell all...

Edit: Note that many of my sources are attributed to Ars Technica. Actually, Ars Technica was the source for links to various third-party websites. If necessary, I can provide links to the various websites. (It would just take a very long time, and I am fairly busy right now... well, after I am done with this break...)
( Last edited by blackwind; Oct 26, 2003 at 12:02 AM. )
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 26, 2003, 12:47 AM
 
WOah...what a long list...

I just woke up..now I'm totally awake..haha

Seriously thanx for the results. I will do research on other benchmarks too.

So what is your opinion anyway, it shows that the G5 is faster in some things and slower in the the rest but what would your call be?
G5 or no G5?

How about optimizations in those benchmarks?

Did apple turn off optimizations for the G5 and other processors during their benchmarks to make things fair?

No way Im touching a P4 at this time of transition. The next powerful step on a pc would be an athlon fx or a dual 2Ghz opteron...but they are WAY too expensive. Plus benchmarks shows that the Fx version of AMD's 64 and the cheaper 400 dollar version 64 is separated only by a small difference. Maybe that's why AMD never gave out the standard 64 to testers and gave them only the FX.

Anyone can explain more abt program optimizations for the G5? How much will it change things?

Plus with the 90nm chips from IBM that might be in the Revision B G5s, will there be any improvements? I mean ofcourse they will crank up clockspeeds but I will still get a mid-range model say. Hopefully the dual 2.0 will drop down to the $2,399 range. But will a 90nm dual 2.0 be any different from the current 130nm except for heat reduction? Besides that, anything else?

( Last edited by momotaro-mac; Oct 26, 2003 at 12:55 AM. )
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Oct 26, 2003, 11:26 AM
 
Keep in mind that the majority of the benchmarks we've seen so far have been with Jaguar, not Panther. While for a lot of apps I wouldn't expect a significant change, I know that a lot of people are reporting much faster OpenGL (something I believe Maya will depend on) as well as faster loading times.
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Oct 26, 2003, 03:40 PM
 
Optimizations are key. especially to a design like the G5.
its radically new. Compiler support which generates machine code, is very young and has plenty of room for improvement. Most of the apps listed above, were and are completely unoptimized for the G5. The athlon 64 and Opteron are lucky in a way because code is already optimized for them so they are running at their peak. Rememer that the Opteron is essentially a tweaked athlon xp with x86-64 registers, SSE2 and ondie memory controller. the actualy internal pathways of the chip are very much the same as the athlon xp. It even shares much of its FPU design (which is very powerful) with the athlon xp. Hence software already can make use of it. Also it fully implements SSE2, which means its already getting a boost from P4 optimized code. Indeed running, 32 bit mode, the best compiler for the athlon 64 is probably the Intel C compiler!
On the other hand, most of these apps are old, and do not in any way tap the potential of the G5. For example most of the PPC code out there at the moment was ported from the PC. Also, most of the PPC code that is out there at the moment does not take advantage of the powerful parallelism capabilities of the G5.... 215 intructions in flight versus 15 on G4..... So in all honesty a lot of its potential is completely untapped. Furthermore, the compilers as already mentioned are extremely young, and will only start to tap the potential over time. I would imagine that those Spec int and Spec FPU scores could potentially improve significantly as compilers improve.... Look how long it took intel to come out with a decent compiler for its P4..... and even now the ICC produces code taht runs nearly 20% faster than the best GCC produces. The G5 has huge room to grow, and the fact thta even now, it runs neck and neck with Opteron in a few benches says something.
We all saw the demo's from luxology and mathematic at the WWDC when G5 was launched. While a lot of people will question the validity... it still does prove that with a little optimization the G5 has the potential to smoke a 3Ghz Xeon running similarily optimized code by the margin of 2 to 3 times. I genuinely believe it could do this with the opteron as well.
I reckon now that manufacturers can see the potential that the G5 has then its market share in 3d apps will greatly improve. Lightwave , Maya and others are bound to come out with a G5 optimized app.
The G5 is faster on some and slightly slower on other apps at the moment.... but all things are not fair. A lot of these tests don't even stack up presently. That cinebench test... well go to the cinebench test page. They have dramatically improved that score with a few G5 optimizations. While not as fast as the leading Xeon 3GHz.... cinebench have acknowledged that there is HUGE room for improvement with more optimizations.
I would really question the CT magasine test. Especially on the mp3 encoding test. they didn't even use the same MP3 encoder on both platforms.... how fair is that. Even on the pc a choice in encoder will determine my encode speeds with LAME being nearly 3 times slower than any of the others. Again , as far as im aware there are absolutely no mp3 encoding apps at the moment that have any optimizations, nor are there any that have been recompiled for better performance under G5.
Finally with regard to Mathematic 5.... i really gotta question CT magasine test. On stage the CEO of mathematica demoed a same spec G5 versus a Dual Xeon 3GHZ.... He ran a standard benchmark test. the G5 walloped the Xeon in the order of nearly 300%. This demo was run under the guidance of ceo of mathematic. He himself said that it was in the order of 3 times faster nearly. Do not buy that CT rubbish.
Look at the app that was used for MP4 transcoding.... notice the version used... i rest my case...
Finally most of the apps that have so far been compiled were using apples XCode using GCC3.3
IBM have recently released a new compiler which takes advantage of the internal parallelism of the cpu, the double fpu's and double int's.
notice the score increase here

JET 3D (Computational Fluid Dynamics, Ars Technica for updated G5 numbers):
2-GHz G5 (xlc/xlf): 787 Mflops
2-GHz G5 (gcc/Absoft): 254 Mflops

When recompiled.
The Benchmarks were already slated and shredded in the arstechnica forums as rubbish by both pc users and mac users. From an objective point of view.... the G5 is completely untapped can could be expected to wallop any competeing x86 architecture by a significant margin as compilers improve (especially now IBM has releasedtheir latest) and as more code uses specific function calls to the G5 processor, and as apple add more and more support to the first proper OS taht takes any real advantage of the G5 Panther.
Incidentally none of the tests were run on Panther.
i rest my case.
     
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Oct 26, 2003, 05:04 PM
 
That list doesn't show the CineBench multiprocessor render score which shows the dual G5 doing pretty well at a 515 score. Maxon clams the are further tweaking it and expect to even improve performance more. Most of the computers that can top that score are more expensive AFAIK. I think it just illustrated the current state of PowerMac's in that they can be competitive at a price point. They will be better at some things and worse at others. The best thing that can be said about the G5 is that it is more than competitive currently and if it scales as well as predicated it will be very impressive.

Not all that many people are boasting, I would just say they are extremely happy (myself included)

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Oct 26, 2003, 06:18 PM
 
Originally posted by momotaro-mac:
I would really love to have a quiet system anyway so nothing can stand between me and my music...

but the are various threads here at macnn talking about problems with the G5s fan making lotsa noise.

Comments...is it a disease suffered by g5s?

I just bought a dual G5. I've avoided towers for years because I'm sensitive to noise. My previous three machines were an iMac DV (no fans), a Cube (no fans) and a flat-panel iMac (only one fan that runs intermittently).

The G5 is fantastically quiet considering the power. It does have fans running at all times but they run at such slow speeds that all you hear is a light hum. With music or a TV on you'll forget it's there. The only time I notice it is when the hard disc is searching - that's how quiet the fans are. I suppose if you run it at full bore it will get louder, but it'll still be quester than the competition.

The stories you've read are anomalies. It's definitely a quiet machine.
     
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Oct 26, 2003, 11:53 PM
 
i dont think that apple need to speed up the G5 more to remain competitive. It does that now on old legacy PPC code. What they need to start to do is make more and more optimizations in software , release better optimized compilers... releasing the IBM one for a start would be a good example. The IBM compiler is known to generate 70% faster code than the GCC one when properly used.
I think a lot of tests should be re run with the lates versions of software on all platforms in the coming month or two. The real time demos that apple showed at the developers conference was very impressive. Veritest were there as unbiased spectators. On average when apps were optimized for Intel Xeon 3.06 duals, and optimized for G5.... the G5 was more than twice as fast on the majority of software that relied on brute CPU horsepower... some it had an advantage of 3 times faster. The potential is there. It just pisses me off that a few bench's are run that are very fundamentally flawed and people start taking them as gospel. Adobe premier running on one processor running in classic mode on a badly ported old PPC app, being pit up against the latest version on windows running in multithreaded environement. I mean where do i start to find the flaws. The truth be told... apples demo was actually quite fair, because we saw it being done in real life. The photo shop bench was a work script.... as in it was n't particular filters specially chosen being run after another. A professional document was made using the exact same filters and operations that the original user had used to make it. It was over twice as fast as the Xeon, and still it wasn't as optimized as the Xeon version is..... it was only using a G5 plugin. The same goes for the other real world apps being shown.
I own a dual Opteron 246 2Ghz, i bought it a few weeks ago from alienware. It only shipped about a week or so ago. I run photoshop regularily on both systems. A g5 in work and opteron at home. Even atthis early stage, i can honestly say that the G5 smokes my Opteron by a considerable margin. I dont know where these guys got their figures from but ... something aint right. Hell it even loads up my images twice as fast... my pc is running striped RAID 0, the mac is using a stanard Serial ata 160 drive. Why did they test using Premiere.... using final cut pro 4, you can do the same test in well under half the time thus beating the opteron and x86 again.
I also quote from cinebench web page
"CINEBENCH 2003 G5 is a technology study. MAXON has optimized crucial parts of the render engine for the G5 with the support of Apple, which now reaches speed increases of approximately 20%. Further improvements are expected once an optimized compiler with G5 support is available, which shall produce efficient and reliable G5 code.
We expect new compilers and tools to be released during the first quarter of 2004, allowing us to deliver production quality G5-optimization for CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D."
If you check in their forums very little optimization was done to achieve this improvment. the majority of speed improvement came from a recompile with the latest GCC.
Even still the latest version isliterally neck and neck with the Opteron and still the developers reckon that the score should rise much much higher. In recent tests the processor has well passed the 500 mark.
Currently the G5 in its current form has absolutely no contest as far as im concerned. I am very impressed.
     
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Oct 27, 2003, 01:53 PM
 
Went to the apple store today to ask about students discounts. Apparently here and singapore student discounts are only available from the online store. How about in the states? They also said that newer batches are already available with panther pre loaded.

I think I will wait till new year comes and see how revision b will be like. Although apple does not give out info abt their releases and specs to their resellers, the shop owner believes the midrange will be a dual processor...lets hope will be true...then I will be getting that one for sure. Hopefully they wont have 3 different bus speeds too. I mean...they could have enabled the 1.6 and 1.8 to run on a 1Ghz bus anyway right?

Hopefully the revision bs will have better graphics processors as the standard option. An Fx5200 is quite ridiculous in a machine that costs 1,999 or 2,399. Its only like 200 singaporean dollars man..they could have atleast made the 9600pro a standard issue and made the 9800pro standard for the top of the line system.
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Oct 27, 2003, 02:35 PM
 
I recently ordered two FX 5200's to put in some PC systems I've built to sell.

Their performance is pretty sad. I had an orignal geforce ddr card and a geforce2 mx that outran them in quake 3 by 10%. I am sending them back.

I got two geforce4 ti4200's to replace them. They are better than 100% faster (73fps vs 152 fps, 1024x768 high quality) in quake 3.

I wouldn't get anything less than a 9600 pro in a G5.
     
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Oct 27, 2003, 03:38 PM
 
incidentally according to apple, ok maybe take somewhat with grain of salt but not completely..... Photoshop has now been optimized for G5 in CS edition. Although this will be early optimizations because of early compilers etc...
Anyway according to apple the app itself is now G5 optimized and apple claim that it is offereing twice the performance to what the G5 plugin achieved with the older version of photoshop.
By the way... anyone else with PHotoshop 7 notice that the plugin really makes bugger all difference. Maybe on one or two filters but appart from that nada. I wonder how many of those fanboy sites that were threatened by G5 and tried to perverse the tests to show their pc's in a nice light will retest after all the scandal. I wonder how many will test like against like, same config, with latest apps. But heck none of them want to see their new almighty opteron 2GHz being beaten by double the score with the latest Photoshop CS.
Will they retest with their Cinebench scores when the G5 optimized version is out and is on a level playing field against the x86 optimized edition that AMD and Intel thrive on.
Will they retest with the new LIghtwave.... an app that is widely know to be extremely heavily optimized for SSE2 at present. Will they test the new G5 edition that is due.
Undoubtedly since the G5 is currently extremely competitive it will destroy the comp in this app as well.
things are getting very interesting.
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 28, 2003, 09:25 AM
 
Thanx to all posters and their views
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Oct 28, 2003, 11:30 AM
 
momotaro:

Actually, the processor bus changing with CPU speed is inherent to the design of the G5 (PowerPC 970). The bus is set at a multiplier of the CPU speed. Right now, it's at 1/2 speed (after you factor in the DDR of the processor bus). It can be set to 1/3 or 1/4 if the CPU gets too fast for 1/2 to be feasible.

That's one of the advantages Apple has been trying to push: the G5 has monster bandwidth in relation to CPU speed, and it promises to get better. A 2.5 GHz G5 (a rumoured top-end speed for the second-revision G5s) could have a processor bus of 1.25 GHz. That's a lot of headroom.
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Oct 29, 2003, 02:41 PM
 
If you'll be using Maya just buy a PC...maybe someday Alias will fix Maya for the Mac but for now its sluggish and troublesome...G5 or no G5.

Its just doesn't have the same feel..not to mention you can only use Complete and not Unlimited.
     
momotaro-mac  (op)
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Oct 29, 2003, 10:44 PM
 
Gotcha, I know they only have maya complete...

I think I've more or else decided on a g5. Not to mention just maya, I have other apps I want to use too(If you scroll up to the thread abit..)Im also not a pro in maya. Im still learning. I dont think I will find the performance a big deal for now. Once I get better maybe yes. But by that time alias might have already fixed the problem. Plus unlimited for osx will have to be out sooner or later. Im not a pro yet so it will take a awhile before I get to that stage. So its more of a long term thing. Another reason is because of the osx and the cinema display. I know ppl would say get a pc and get a huge display for it...but some how the feel of using CRTs or a samsung LCD is not there. Currently my ibook is like my bedtime machine for me to surf and chat in bed before I sleep because its too slow to serve any serious purpose. Both my machines are 12 inchers...and Im fed up with 12" machines. They are only good if you have another bigger machine at home, but spending full hours on a 12" is just crazy....(no offense to other ibook owners/12"PB owners).
But I think most have desktops macs too apart from their ibooks and 12" PBs.
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