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Technology (Apple) Businesses Apple Technology

Friday Apple Quickies 78

Posted by pudge
from the he-shoots-he-scores dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Steve Jobs' $78 million Apple income tops Fortune magazine's list of CEOs whose companies lagged behind the S&P 500 performance last year. The number 'reflects the value of five million restricted shares Jobs got this year in exchange for 27.5 million underwater options.'" markomarko writes "Well, despite Charlie White making all us Mac users eat crow over his comparison of render times between a dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac and a Dell 3.06 GHz P4, it seems that that Dave Nagel has given us a reason to take another look at the Mac. His article shows how After Effects render speeds can be doubled with the Mac, by using both CPUs."
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Friday Apple Quickies

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  • $31.7 salary
    74.7% behind

    Watching Linux grab up your market share?
    priceless.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... on my Quad Processor Xeon? Can I do this trick to improve my performance, or is it just for mAcs?
  • by Squidgee (565373) <squidgeeOO1@hotmail . c om> on Friday April 18, 2003 @10:13AM (#5759005)
    Adobe is technically screwing over the Mac.

    By releasing a product which uses 1/2 of the Mac's power, they've crippled it. It would be similar to capping that 3ghz pentium to 1.5ghz, in which cause the Mac would (Guess what) slaughter the PC.

    Yea, Adobe's a real good Mac software maker.

  • Frustrating (Score:5, Informative)

    by Niles_Stonne (105949) on Friday April 18, 2003 @10:42AM (#5759194) Homepage
    Reading the "Mac vs. PC III: Mac Slaughtered Again" article was an exercise in frustration, particularly when the other link states how to nearly double rendering performance. The writing in the article just generally pissed me off.

    Anyway, perhaps it's time to send a nicely worded e-mail to Mr. Charlie White. A real benchmark may be impressive, considering a 3.06Ghz Dell system was only 2 times faster than the 1.25Ghz G4 in the best case - a Mhz/Mhz comparison should put it closer to 2.4 times faster.

    By doing a little analysis of their data, we get the following table:


    Test Name (Mac Time in Seconds/Dell Time in Seconds) = Time Ratio
    1. After Effects: Simple Animation (14/7) = 2.0
    2. After Effects: Video Composite (85/54) = 1.57
    3. After Effects: Data Project (227/125) = 1.82
    4. After Effects: Gambler (43/29) = 1.48
    5. After Effects: Source Shapes (426/254) = 1.68
    6. After Effects: Virtual Set (495/264) = 1.88
    1. Photoshop: Layer styles & transformation (7.1/4.5) = 1.58
    2. Photoshop: Filter Effects (62/35.1) = 1.77
    3. Photoshop: Manipulations and adjustments (4.5/3.4) = 1.32

    Average Time Ratio: 1.68


    That means that On Average The Mac, running at 1.25Ghz only took 1.68 times longer to do the same task.

    The "How to Double your After Effects Performance" article averages almost exactly a 2x speed increase, taking on average 49.2% of the time on the "long tests". Taking this into account, we can look at the two longest tests, factor in the speed increase, and look at the "final" performance:


    5. After Effects: Source Shapes (209.65/254) = 0.83
    6. After Effects: Virtual Set (243.61/264) = 0.92


    If we go through the same calculation for _all_ of the calculations, we get the Mac BEATING the Dell, taking only 83% of the time that the Dell took. If we take the Photoshop calculations out of the average, it is still at only 86% of the time the Dell took.

    Note that these are all calculated values, and as such may vary significantly from actual values, also that I used the improvement on the "long" test for everything, and did not use the improvement on the short test at all - I imagine that the two systems would end up nearly even in a real test.

    Apparently all of my tables were lame when I had them formatted, thanks lameness filter!

    • A real benchmark may be impressive, considering a 3.06Ghz Dell system was only 2 times faster than the 1.25Ghz G4 in the best case - a Mhz/Mhz comparison should put it closer to 2.4 times faster.

      Nope. Read the article closer next time, because your entire reply is just wrong. It was a dual 1.25 GHz G4. And 3.06 / 2*1.25 = 1.224. So your elaborately compiled list of result ratios just reinforces White's claims -- they're all greater than 1.224, making the Mac, indeed, more poorly performing than the P4.

      • Re:Frustrating (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Niles_Stonne (105949) on Friday April 18, 2003 @11:43AM (#5759582) Homepage
        Read both of the articles, you will see that After Effects only uses one processor - hence the ability to "double your performance" using the dual processor "tip" from the second article. My calculation is correct, given that the second processor is roughly equivalent to a brick as far as After Effects is concerned in it's standard configuration.

        The entire point of my post was to extrapolate from given data what the data may have looked like if White's testing had used the dual processor tip, instead of just using a single 1.25Ghz G4 vs a 3.06Ghz Intel.

      • Re:Frustrating (Score:5, Informative)

        by Llywelyn (531070) on Friday April 18, 2003 @12:18PM (#5759844) Homepage
        Do you know *anything* about SMP?

        1) If the mac was only using one processor, then while a dual system is still faster (OS tasks can be sent to the other processor, other apps have more of a pipeline to be scheduled in, &c) it is nowhere near the point of using all of its processors.

        2) Two single processors have advantages and disadvantages when compared to one faster processor. Some of the advantages include that it will feel more responsive and will actually be faster when performing lots of smaller or a mixed group of CPU based tasks. When performing a single large tasks (such as what AE tends to do without this hack), each one independently, the dual processor system suffers greatly.

        Dual processor machines are just completely different beasts--adding their MHz and comparing them that way is a very poor way of scaling them per MHz against a single processor system, since it is completely and totally nonrepresentative of how the systems work.
      • So your elaborately compiled list of result ratios just reinforces White's claims

        don't you mean: "So your elaborately compiled list of result ratios just reinforces my claims"

        nice try at saving face, Mr. White, but you need a refresher course in the math subject area. I must admit I am amused to think of all the PC apologists who inisted that After Effects, and therefore your article's testing, was using both processors on that dual G4.

        My simplification of Charlie White's article:
        A single 1.25 GHz
      • Nope. Read the article closer next time

        Naturally you mean other people should read more closely, rather than you, who obviously can't be bothered.

    • This just in: Dual proc Mac's might be faster than single proc PC's!

      If we could, how about a fair comparison: Mac G4 dual 1.42 GHz versus dual P4 3.06 GHz. Dual versus dual, or dumb down the Mac, single versus single.

      News at 11.
      • Re:Frustrating (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gropo (445879)

        If we could, how about a fair comparison: Mac G4 dual 1.42 GHz versus dual P4 3.06 GHz. Dual versus dual, or dumb down the Mac, single versus single.

        Better still, let's compare a cluster of G4's versus a cluster of Pentium 4's... Taking in to account OS X's native Multilink Multihoming capabilities and freedom from the shackles of the PCI bus.

        Or, we could just compare prices, in that two 1.25 Ghz G4's from Apple cost roughly the same as a single 3.06 Ghz P4 from Dell... Any idea what two 3Ghz Xeons w

        • Any idea what two 3Ghz Xeons would cost?

          I spec'ed out a dual Xeon based on the "Ultimate" PowerMac, and it came to just under $5,000 without Bluetooth. Re-spec'ing it to a CD-RW drive (from a DVD+RW), 1.5 GB (from 2 GB) RAM, 80 GB (from 120 GB) hard disk, and a cheaper 32 MB video card (from 128 MB) would bring it to the neighborhood of Apple's $3,800 "Ultimate" package. Apple certainly has reason to be concerned at the top end.

          • Wow, you're my hero. After I did the same to the "Ultimate" Mac, and removed Bluetooth and Modem (but still with 120 GB HD), it cost $2,920.00. Sorry, PCs are just too expensive.
            • After I did the same to the "Ultimate" Mac, and removed Bluetooth and Modem (but still with 120 GB HD), it cost $2,920.00.

              Yes, but now you don't have the option to spend the $1000 you saved in raw CPU speed, if that's what you really need. Lack of options at the high end is the "worry" I'm talking about.

          • Alright, let's try and squeeze as much PowerPC in to your $5000 ballpark figure as possible:

            Xserve Dual 1.33 base model - $2699 USD

            Xserve Dual 1.33 base model - $2699 USD

            Total: $5398 USD

            Accumulative peak theoretical FLOPS: 38 GigaFLOPS


            And against this, a Dual Xeon 3.06Ghz workstation, within the $5000 price range would give you an estimated:

            Accumulative peak theoretical FLOPS: 12.24 GigaFLOPS

            My figure regarding the Xeon's peak performance is based on the only data I could readily find [216.239.57.100] - from a
    • Re:Frustrating (Score:2, Insightful)

      by yomegaman (516565)
      That's nice that a 3 GHz G4 would whup a 3 GHz P4, but who cares? There's no such part. I agree that clock speed isn't everything, but Intel processors still whip any G4 that actually exists. Sure, you can go dual, but you could also go dual Intel with the same trick and we're right back where we started.
    • Don't forget that the DP1.25Ghz PowerMac is now old news--the DP1.42Ghz new PowerMac provides a nice boost over the old 1.25.

      Time for some new benchmarks.
      • and it's cheaper too.

        but it's still a pair of overclocked G4s on a fairly creaky motherboard - those massive L3 caches are there to try give the poor old G4 some fast access to memory - those Altivec units have been starved for years.
        • Those 1.42Ghz G4s are not overclocked. See this thread [infopop.net] for details. Basically, they're 1.4Ghz stamped chips from Moto (or IBM, or whoever makes them), and 20Mhz is not overclocking. In fact, the 1.42Ghz claim is just a byproduct of the bus multiplier: 167Mhz bus*8.5 Multiplier=1419.5Mhz on the processor.
          • why don't Moto advertise these same chips as being capable of such speeds, and why are there such radical cooling solutions in the Apple MDD case design?
            • I don't work for motorolla so I don't know what went into their marketing decision (though I'll note again that motorolla rates them as 1.4Ghz chips, which might just be rounding down). I'd guess that there is a rather large cooling solution in the towers because there are TWO CHIPS to cool.
  • by markomarko (665913) on Friday April 18, 2003 @04:14PM (#5761611)
    The last thing I wanted to achieve with my posting was another shouting match over the validity of Charlie White's benchmarks. If some more of you had bothered to read the second article, you would realize that this isn't a software "hack", it's a technique that employs adobe software included with the After Effects production bundle, and that it does, in real world terms, double render speeds on many After Effects tasks. Charlie and Dave were both good enough to reply to my inquiries about their tests, and the relationship between them. Seems Charlie is planning another test soon, using the "render farm" technique on both the Mac and the P4, but with the latest hardware. And yes, the technique provided by Dave did come after Charlie's article. Two things I'm disappointed with: One, that adobe didn't recognize that the benchmarks they published didn't make full use of both processors in the mac, when they have software that will do so. Charlie wasn't aware of this trick, and that's fine, but I would have expected Adobe to know more about their own software. Two, (yes I'm saying it again)the number of slashdotters that don't actually read the articles they comment on. To Charlie and Dave: I publicly apologize if my invitation to revisit the results has resulted in a mass of e-mail you don't need, or otherwise inconvenienced you. To Charlie in particular: I in no way meant to slander your test. I just wanted to show that the dual 1.25 is actually capable of much better performance with both processors being used to their full potential.
  • Oh yeah, (Score:2, Funny)

    by markomarko (665913)
    And mod me down to (-1 obviously impaired) for thinking a hardware comparison between Apples and P4's would be commented on sanely.
  • by nuckin futs (574289) on Friday April 18, 2003 @09:16PM (#5763102)
    Speed is not the reason why some people use Macs. They use it because of the OS and bundled apps. Having a nice looking computer,complete with dual processors and altivec to speed things up is just a bonus.
  • What are restricted shares and underwater options, anyway?

    For that matter, what are diluted shares (the ones mentioned in Apple's quarterly results)?

    • restricted shares - you don't have full control over them. Example, in a trust fund, so you can't sell them, or owned by your ex-wife, but you have voting rights over them.

      Underwater options - An option is the right (option) to buy stock at a future date for a particular price (the strike price), which is unrelated to the open market (stock exchange) price. The executive has the incentive to make sure the stock price rises, because the difference between the stock price and the strike price is pure prof

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