64-Bit Takes Off

Athlon 64 vs. Apple G5 Systems: Not Even Close (chart)

Apple Power Macs did well on Photoshop, but the 64-bit AMD-based systems won handily on most tests.

System Processor Graphics memory Hard-drive setup Time (in seconds) required to run test Frames per second
Premiere 6 Photoshop 7.0.1 Word Quake III
Render QuickTime 50MB image 150MB image Search and replace Auto summarize 1024 by 768 1600 by 1200
Apple Power Mac G5 Two 2-GHz PowerPC G5s 128MB Standard 4 72 18 51 16 12 294 207
Apple Power Mac G5 1.8-GHz PowerPC G5 128MB Standard 5 84 27 76 19 14 147 141
Alienware Aurora 2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX-51 128MB Standard 4 37 21 60 8 6 335 257
Alienware Aurora 2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX-51 256MB RAID 3 33 21 62 5 6 338 261
Falcon Northwest Mach V 2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX-51 256MB RAID 3 33 20 60 5 6 337 246
Voodoo Fury 2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX-51 256MB RAID 3 33 21 62 5 6 336 248
Polywell Polystation Two 2-GHz Opteron Model 246s 128MB Standard 3 30 17 47 9 6 250 199
ABS Awesome 5100 2-GHz Athlon 64 3200+ 128MB RAID 4 40 23 68 6 7 261 224
Alienware Area 51 3.2-GHz Pentium 4 256MB RAID 4 46 24 69 7 7 307 254
How We Test: In Adobe Premiere we timed the rendering of our workspace and timed the export of a 959-frame movie at 720 by 480 resolution and 30 frames per second into the QuickTime format. In Adobe Photoshop we timed the operation of ten filters on a 50MB image file and a 150MB file. In Microsoft Word we timed a search-and-replace of one word in a 1437-page document, and the execution of the auto summarize function on a 210-page document. We ran Quake III version 1.32's included "timedemo four" using high quality settings at two resolutions, and recorded the average frame rate. All machines were tested with 1GB of RAM and the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card; the Mac version of the graphics card has a maximum of 128MB of RAM, while the high end for PCs is 256MB. Most of the PCs used dual, RAID-striped hard drives; the Apple systems did not. We retested the Alienware Aurora with the 128MB Radeon 9800 Pro card and without RAID for more-direct comparison with the G5 systems. Tests on PCs performed by the PC World Test Center; tests on Apple systems performed by the Macworld Test Center. All rights reserved. Chart Notes: In Quake III, higher is better; elsewhere, lower is better. Best scores in bold.

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