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The 3GHz MacPro

The testing website barefeats.com kindly ran a hash benchmark for me (see below), the same algorithm used in IntegrityChecker. The results (which I consider quite indicative of the “true” performance of the machine for tasks involving lots of CPU and memory) show about a 44% advantage of the MacPro 3.0GHz quad-core vs the PowerMac G5 Quad. See also diglloyd PowerMac G5 Quad and MacBook Pro Experience Report.

Power Mac G5 Quad MacPro 3GHz
llcG5:~ lloyd$ /ic test-speed
IntegrityChecker(tm) Version 1.0.2
(c)2003-2006 diglloyd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Test size = 32MB
Testing...
Chunk Size K  MB/sec
1    97.9
2   101.6
4   103.5
8   104.6
16   105.1
32   105.3
64   105.4
128   105.5
256   105.4
Best chunk size: 256K
This computer has 4 processing units.
Testing using 4 threads simultaneously...
thread 0: 103.9...105.3
thread 1: 102.3...105.2
thread 2: 101.1...105.3
thread 3: 101.4...105.6
Aggregate rate: 421MB/sec
llcG5:~ lloyd$ /ic test-speed
IntegrityChecker(tm) Version 1.0.2
(c)2003-2006 diglloyd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Test size = 32MB
Testing...
Chunk Size K  MB/sec
1   142.3
2   148.0
4   151.2
8   152.8
16   153.7
32   154.0
64   154.6
128   154.8
256   154.8
Best chunk size: 256K
This computer has 4 processing units.
Testing using 4 threads simultaneously...
thread 0: 153.6...154.1
thread 1: 153.6...154.2
thread 2: 153.5...154.1
thread 3: 153.7...154.2
Aggregate rate: 617MB/sec

These results indicate that for tasks that are CPU and memory intensive, the MacPro 3GHz has a 46% performance (throughput) advantage over the 2.5GHz PowerMac G5 Quad.

Scaling the 3GHz down to 2.5GHz would yield roughly 514 MB/sec, or 22% performance gain at the same clock speed as the PowerMac G5 Quad. But high-end users will opt for the 3GHz (or faster future models), so the 46% number is of more relevance.

The cost of MacPro memory is still a major burden in owning a MacPro, at least if you need 4GB or more. My advice remains unchanged—wait for 3-6 months for the price of memory to come down, the CPU speed to go up, and any “version 1.0” bugs in the MacPro to be worked out.

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