BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

Apple's G5 Power Mac versus
Pentium 4, Dual Xeon, and Dual Athlon

Updated September 27th, 2004 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

February 18th, 2005 -- Check out our NEWEST TEST PAGE comparing the Dual Xeon 3.4GHz, Dual Opteron 252 (2.6GHz), Athlon FX55 (2.6GHz), and G5/2.5GHz Power Mac.

This is article is technically obsolete but we're leaving it up in case you are interested.







The G5 is touted by Apple is the "World's Fastest Personal Computer." Though we haven't fully tested the Dual Xeon 3.06, we were able to post the Cinebench 2003 results for it. It edged out the fastest G5.

What's interesting is the fact that the dual processor G5/2.5GHz blows away dual processor Xeon 2.4GHz. In other words, here's two dual processor machines running at about the same clock speed. Yet, the G5 wins. That gives Mac fanatics something to cheer about.

PC fanatics can cheer about the fact that there are PCs running at over 3GHz. In fact, we should have full test results on a Dual 3.06 Xeon and Dual 2.5GHz Opteron within two weeks.


The Dual Athlon 2600+ (2.1GHz) system had 1GB of DDR memory and ran Windows XP Professional.

The Dual 2Ghz Opteron system had 2GB of PC3200 DDR (cas 2) memory and ran Windows XP Professional. (We hope to test this once a 64 bit version of Windows has is available and fully supports our test software.)

The Opteron system was provided for testing by XiComputer.

The Dual 2.4GHz Xeon system had 2GB of PC2100 DDR (cas 2) memory and ran Windows XP Professional. (Hyper-threading was enabled.)

The 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 system had 2GB of 400MHz PC3200 DDR memory and ran Windows XP Professional. (Hyper-threading was enabled.)

Many thanks to Peter Ashford of ACCS for letting us play with his Pentium 4 and Xeon systems. Show your support for Peter by visiting his web site to check out his company's products and services.

Special thanks also, to John Moreland and the San Diego Supercomputer Center for putting me in touch with Peter and letting us use the Visualization Lab for some of our testing.

Both the Pentium and Xeon had hyper-threading turned on. It's an interesting and effective feature. When running Cinebench 2003 render, the application "thought" the Xeon had four processors. And the 3D render speeds with hyper-threading enabled were as much as 23% faster than when it was disabled.

Though the G5 supports multi-threading, it does NOT support hyper-threading.

The Apple Power Mac G5 models were borrowed for testing from ProMax, a diigital video integrator for Macs and PCs. They were running Mac OS X (10.3.5). The Dual 2GHz and 2.5GHz G5 each had 2GB of PC3200 DDR (400MHz) memory.

Photoshop 7.01 had the G5 optimized plugin

For more on the test applications used, go to our "HOW WE TEST" page.

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2003-2004 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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