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First Third Party Benchmarks From PC Magazine Back Up Apple's G5 Speed Claims

First Third Party Benchmarks From PC Magazine Back Up Apple's G5 Speed Claims

by , 8:00 AM EDT, September 22nd, 2003

Yes, Apple's Power Mac G5 is really fast, but aside from tests coming from Apple, we haven't seen many comparisons to other "really fast" computers on the market. Well, how does a dual 3.06GHz Xeon Dell workstation sound? An article at PC Magazine has compared the dual 2.0GHz G5 to just such a machine. The results are good, with PC Magazine saying that in a range of tests, the G5 was anywhere from nearly as fast to much faster than the Xeon system. From PC Magazine:

When Apple's Steve Jobs introduced the Apple Power Mac G5 this summer as the fastest personal computer any company had built to date, we took it with a grain of salt. After all, Apple had made that boast in the past, and those claims did not tend to hold up when independent third parties (such as ourselves) ran tests on current, real-world applications (not the synthetic benchmark tests Apple cited).

Well, we'll take that salt with a side of fries. After testing a loaded ($4,349 direct, after we opted for more RAM and upgraded graphics) dual 2.0-GHz Power Mac G5 on a range of high-end content creation applications and comparing the results with a similarly configured (and priced) Dell Precision 650 Workstation running dual 3.06-GHz Xeon processors, we see that indeed the G5 is generally as fast as the best Intel-based workstations currently available ( see performance table ).

The key improvement to the new line of Power Macs is the PowerPC G5 processor, developed jointly by Apple and IBM. The G5 architecture is much stronger in accessing memory and handling computing-intensive tasks without repeated, time-consuming trips to the hard drive.


On our cross-platform application tests, the G5 was the clear winner on tests using Adobe Acrobat and Sorenson Squeeze (a video compression tool). The Dell entry bested the G5 under Adobe Photoshop 7 and NewTek Lightwave 3D, a 3-D modeling application.

The article is presented on three pages, including pages for How We Tested, and Performance Subtests. For the raw numbers, check out the Performance Subtests page. As noted above, some of the tests show the PC as the faster of the two, while some show the G5 as the fastest.

When Steve Jobs introduced the G5, calling it the world's fastest personal computer, he said that it was some 20% faster than the fastest desktop PC available at the time in floating point calculations, and some 10% slower than the same computer in integer calculations. That is, more or less, in keeping with the results offered up by PC magazine.

You can read the full article at PC Magazine's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Isn't this interesting? There was so much controversy over Apple's claims, and here we have a third party PC magazine largely backing up those claims. It's going to be even more interesting to see how the PC fanatics react to this.

One thing is certain, and that is that the G5 is fast. More importantly, it seems as if the market place is accepting the new platform, despite the fact that it has a generally higher price tag than the G4 Power Mac models it replaces. Will it be enough to help Apple reverse its market share losses of the last year or two? Time will tell, but signs point to Yes.

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