Digit Magazine & MWJ Offer In-Depth Looks At G5

Two pieces on the G5 were published this week that we wanted to draw to your attention. The first is from Digit Magazine, part of the Macworld/IDG publishing stable, and was written by MacCentralis Jim Dalrymple. That piece is titled "Apple G5: in-depth analysis," and includes information and comments from a variety of sources. In particular, we found some comments from Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research to be particularly interesting. He is quoted saying some very positive things about the Mac platform in general, and the G5 in particular. From the article:

"The G5 is a real milestone for Apple in terms of price and performance," Jupiter Research analyst, Michael Gartenberg, told Digit. "Clearly what matters most are the real world application tests and Apple is doing quite well. The G5 is going to serve them well in their traditional markets and it may even get them some converts."

[...]

"Apple is fighting three myths: one is that you pay a huge price premium; the second is that there is no software; and the third is that they are tremendously proprietary," said Gartenberg. "The truth is, none of those things are accurate -- Apple is price competitive relative to their competitors; there is plenty of software for the tasks most individuals need to do and beyond; and Apple supports far more open standards than any other competing operating system. You combine that with a product like the G5 and you have to believe that lots of people are going to start taking a look at this -- if they can overcome their Apple prejudice."

There is literally a lot more in the full article covering a broad look at issues relating to the G5.

The second article we want to turn your attention to is from our old friend Matt Deatherage of MWJ (MacWeekJournal). We donit always agree with Mr. Deatherage, but he has penned a very in-depth look at the G5 from a technical standpoint, including a very thorough analysis of the Great Processor Benchmark Debate of i03. From that article:

If the PowerPC G5 was nothing more than a 64-bit extension of the PowerPC family, that would be cool. If it also ran at 2GHz to catch up to where the G4 should have been by now, thatid be even better. But in fact, thereis much more under the hood. Every microprocessor is divided internally into separate functional units. The PowerPC G4, for example, has a load and store unit to get data out of the caches and memory, a floating-point arithmetic unit, a vector
unit, and four integer arithmetic units -- three simple ones and one that can also multiply and divide.

The PowerPC G5 has two load and store units and two floating-point units, so right off the bat the chip can process twice as many floating-point instructions or memory accesses at once than its predecessor. The PowerPC G5 also offers a square root computation in hardware, saving dozens of cycles for that common computation. It has only two integer units instead of the G4is four, but theyire both capable of performing multiplication operations, and one of them can divide as well. In the G4, all integer multiply and divide instructions had to be routed to the single "complex" integer unit that could perform the tasks, so if you had a loop with a multiply instruction in it, there wasnit much parallelism going on anyway.

So far, the PowerPC G5 has 64-bit power, a faster clock rate, and more powerful functional units. It can execute more instructions at once, faster, and on larger quantities of data than any of its predecessors. But even thatis not all. Unfortunately, to enter the land of maximum G5 performance, Apple must abandon a PowerPC G4 marketing point.

There are many pages more in the full article, and we recommend it as a good read. MWJ and its daily companion, MDJ (MacDailyJournal), are only available via subscription. We are told that anyone currently signing up for a free-trial of MWJ will get this issue, allowing you to check out the article in full if you are not already a subscriber. You can get more information on MWJ at the publicationis site. Subscriptions for MWJ are priced at US$10 per month.