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1000MHz Power Mac Bonanza

Originally posted 04/12/03 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

I overheard a converstion the other day in the local Apple store. A young man was trying to decide between the PowerBook G4/1000 and a Power Mac G4/1250. I butted in to explain why his Digital Video projects would render faster (both in foreground and background) on dual cpu Power Mac. But the graphs below do a better job of explaining.

I decided to compare various Macs running at 1000MHz (1GHz) clock speed. It shows you the effect of dual processors, as well as OS and subsystem efficiencies.







If you are considering using a single processor G4 (like the 17" PowerBook and single 1GHz Power Mac), take a look at the Cinema 4D XL graph and the Photoshop "MP" (Multi-processor) graph. What you see happening there applies to many other MP aware apps including iMovie, iTunes, Final Cut Pro, and iDVD. Two CPU's are better than one.

However, if you ONLY use NOT-MP optimized apps like FileMaker Pro, Bryce, MS Office and MS Explorer, then having a second CPU will seem of no great advantage, as illustrated in the Photoshop "SP" graph and the Bryce 5 graph. However, if you run those applications in parallel, Mac OS X smart enough to use both CPU's, like in a previous test session where I ran a Bryce render and FileMaker script simultaneously (see graph below).

In other words, it's never a liability to have two processors. And if the rumors are true, the "Panther" release of OS X will drive that point home even harder.

The only advantage of single processor G4 Macs is LOWER PRICE (as in the case of the iMac G4 and low end Power Mac) and LOWER POWER CONSUMPTION (as in the case of the PowerBook G4).

Class dismissed.



(For details on each real world test, read "HOW I TEST.")


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