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Apple Hardware VP Defends Benchmarks 1081

Posted by pudge
from the i-blame-florida dept.
Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing at Apple, in a phone interview today, defended Apple's performance claims for its upcoming Power Mac G5, after they came under fire in the wake of yesterday's announcement. Read on for the details.
Joswiak went over the points in turn, but first said that they set out from the beginning to do a fair and even comparison, which is why they used an independent lab and provided full disclosure of the methods used in the tests, which would be "a silly way to do things" if Apple were intending to be deceptive.

He said Veritest used gcc for both platforms, instead of Intel's compiler, simply because the benchmarks measure two things at the same time: compiler, and hardware. To test the hardware alone, you must normalize the compiler out of the equation -- using the same version and similar settings -- and, if anything, Joswiak said, gcc has been available on the Intel platform for a lot longer and is more optimized for Intel than for PowerPC.

He conceded readily that the Dell numbers would be higher with the Intel compiler, but that the Apple numbers could be higher with a different compiler too.

Joswiak added that in the Intel modifications for the tests, they chose the option that provided higher scores for the Intel machine, not lower. The scores were higher under Linux than under Windows, and in the rate test, the scores were higher with hyperthreading disabled than enabled. He also said they would be happy to do the tests on Windows and with hyperthreading enabled, if people wanted it, as it would only make the G5 look better.

In the G5 modifications, they were made because shipping systems will have those options available. For example, memory read bypass was turned on, for even though it is not on by default in the tested prototypes, it will be on by default for the shipping systems. Software-based prefetching was turned off and a high-performance malloc was used because those options will be available on the shipping systems (Joswiak did not know whether this malloc, which is faster but less memory efficient, will be the default in the shipping systems).

As to not using SSE2, Joswiak said they enabled the correct flags for it, as documented on the gcc web site, so that SSE2 was enabled (the Veritest report lists the options used for each test, which appears to include the appropriate flags).

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Apple Hardware VP Defends Benchmarks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:17PM (#6289568)
    Fuck those $750 PCs, I'm getting me a $3000 Mac.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:19PM (#6289581)
    He's a Corporate Drone(tm) justifying Marketing Speak and Glossy Lit numbers.

    Doesn't everyone realize that this is a black and white issue?

    Corporate Drones == Lies
    Populist Raving == Truth

    Always always always. Doesn't matter what the numbers mean. They threw in that one graph with the single processor machine slower than the Intel just to throw off the hounds. But it didn't work.
  • by Capital_Z (682911) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:20PM (#6289590)
    /. had better get with it! We're talking about G5s now and the G4 chip icon is still up in the story post.

    The G4 is so last month.

  • Re:Honesty (Score:0, Funny)

    by TobyWong (168498) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:21PM (#6289613)
    If I shit in a bucket and carefully label and document everything does that make it a bucket of gold?

    Flawed logic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:23PM (#6289627)
    My PC is a piece of crap, I got what I paid for. Now that the 3 year mark is approaching (I buy a new machine every 3 years, or so), I think I am just going to drop the money for the mid-range G5 tower. I really don't care if the Mac is slower and more expensive than a PC, I have the money to spend, and I want a nice box.

    Fuck all you poor, dirty, Lunix PC hippies... welcome to the real world.

    Steve Jobs owns your ass.
  • by killerc (462845) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:25PM (#6289640) Homepage
    ...Steve Wozniak...how many *os**iaks does Apple have on the payroll?
  • Re:Honesty (Score:0, Funny)

    by TobyWong (168498) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:26PM (#6289654)
    Mac threads are funny... if your post doesn't say "love" and "mac" in the same sentence you get modded down.

    Well get moddin fanbois!

  • Re:Honesty (Score:5, Funny)

    by switcha (551514) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:27PM (#6289664)
    If I shit in a bucket and carefully label and document everything does that make it a bucket of gold?

    No. It makes it a container containing homo sapien fecal matter, deposited on June 24 at 16:21 after a lunch of onion rings and a Rodeo cheesburger from the Burger King establishment.

    And to top it off, you now have to deal with a shit in a bucket.

  • by mrseigen (518390) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:28PM (#6289672) Homepage Journal
    And that's not to mention the benefits for OSS compilers. Imagine the kind of resources and funding processor companies would dump into open source compiler projects if they were going to be the basis for their benchmark scores instead of their closed source proprietary compilers.

    "So, Bob's been looking at those Intel diagrams for quite some time now."

    "Yeah, I wonder if it's anything to do with his new assistants and Porsche."

    Even the OSS community has a price. ;)
  • by bc8o8 (683988) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:30PM (#6289700)
    if a software company didn't lie about its benchmarks?!
  • by damiam (409504) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:38PM (#6289763)
    Will there VPs yelling at PR to get a press release out before an attack story scrolls off the front page?

    Probably not, since they'll know there's a 50/50 chance it'll be back up on the front page in a day or two anyway.

  • by SweetAndSourJesus (555410) <JesusAndTheRobot AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:40PM (#6289776)
    Don't read Mac threads.

    Unless you enjoy telling us all how pissed off they make you.

    Because, you know, we really care.

  • Joswiak (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jon Abbott (723) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:40PM (#6289785) Homepage
    Every time I hear the name "Joswiak", I keep thinking the guy is some hybrid between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak -- some kind of mutant creature straight out of the R&D Labs at Apple. :^)
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:42PM (#6289806)
    > Vote, you fools!

    Are you _sure_ those are the people you want voting?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:52PM (#6289873)
    Dude, the G4 is so last Sunday!
  • by faust2097 (137829) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:54PM (#6289879)
    Somehow this shifty Apple exec ignored the boldest claim of the bunch:
    Misleading Prices

    Both Apple and Dell are guilty of using misleading prices. For example, Apple gives the price of the low-end G5 as "$1999", and the high-end G5 as "$2999". In other words, they have subtracted $1 from a $3000 computer to make it seem cheaper, which is absolutely ridiculous. This demonstrates that both Apple and Dell are willing to mislead people when stating their prices.

    What do you have to say now mister Joswiak if that is in fact your real name?
  • by NSParadox (135116) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @06:59PM (#6289915)
    I guess that could be summed up as "benchmarking is totally useless for anything because everything depends on something else". I disagree, but I don't think we're going to get anywhere. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @07:06PM (#6289966)
    "The slashdot crowd is the cream of the crop when it comes to nerds"

    Get over yourself.
  • by dhovis (303725) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @07:12PM (#6290002)
    Oh, yeah. Steve probably said "hey, vendors, come on over and do a little demo. Yeah, it'll be a duel, but don't worry about recompiling for the G5 (which is supposed to be trivial). We'll just see what happens."


    Look -- they spent every last minute they could optimizing the builds they used for the demo - don't doubt it for a minute. On the other hand, every last minute probably wasn't all that long, and the demos did kick ass.

    Actually, my favorite was the Mathematica guy who commented (IIRC) "We tried to come up with an example to show how being able to use more than 4GB of memory was helpful, but we couldn't come up with an example that didn't crash the Xeon"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @07:26PM (#6290082)
    if I can't play any fucking games on it. Maybe if they got some god damn software it wouldn't be a worthless piece of over-priced shit. Let's face it, do you need a G5 to check your fucking email you bitch?!?! Because you're not doing anything else with it. You want pretty colors? Bring it by my place and I'll fucking spray paint the damn thing for you. Hell, I'll throw in a botanical scent for free.
  • by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @07:46PM (#6290229) Homepage Journal
    I was thinking...

    Greg = 2 Steve

    Greg (2 Steve) = 2 Greg

    Greg (2 Steve) - 2 (2 Steve) = 2 Greg - 2 (2 Steve)

    2 Steve (Greg - 2 Steve) = (Greg - 2 Steve) (Greg + 2 Steve)

    2 Steve = Greg + 2 Steve

    2 Steve = Greg + Greg

    2 Steve = 2 Greg

    Steve = Greg

  • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @07:49PM (#6290246) Homepage Journal
    I'm gonna be modded as a troll on this one, but I gotta do it, because it will happen to me :)

    ::bangs head on keyboard for giving moderator ideas::

    ::Slashdot story: Tom's Hardware benchmarks the G5, and compares it to dual Xeons, dual Opterons, and (I guess), the P4::

    Me: "Woohoo...I'll finally found out which is better" ::clicks link::

    "Page 1: We have tested all these systems, and you will soon see our results." ::scroll down through ads, click next::

    "Page 2: These tables show the systems we have tested on" ::scroll down, next::

    "Page 3: Tables, cont.." ::yells out profanities, looks on table of contents, chooses "benchmark results"::

    "Page 45: And now, let us take a look how the G5 stands against the current x86 and AMD64 processors" ::AAAAAAAAHHHHHH...can't stand it anymore, clicks on conclusion::

    "Page 666: And thus, we conclude that the G5 is better in some ways and worse in others" ::NOOOOOOO...Now I'll never know!!!::

  • by DataPath (1111) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @08:03PM (#6290339)
    There are 3 kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, and benchmarks.

    I think Apple will have validity (in the performance arena) when AMD or Intel start publishing benchmarks against APPLE's systems.
  • Re:Curious (Score:5, Funny)

    by tbmaddux (145207) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @08:20PM (#6290448) Homepage Journal
    (he had read the arguments and already compiled his responses :-)
    Cheater! Dirty cheater, I say!!

    What, did he use GCC to compile them?! Filth!!! DIE!

  • Re:Honesty (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sokie (60732) <jesse@ed g e factor.com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @09:07PM (#6290763)
    If my Mac emits smoke and kernel panics at the same time, I know I can get resolution to both problems by calling Apple.

    I imagine that in that case, there is really only one problem to be solved. :)
  • by kevin@ank.com (87560) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @09:40PM (#6290944) Homepage
    "Mac Heads" term is racist and inflamatory. We prefer the term "The imminent owners of the Fastest 64-bit Personal Computer in the World"

    To be pendantic you should also note that they are 'imminent owners of the slowest 64-bit Personal Computer in the World', with the understanding that it is the only 64-bit Personal Computer in the World (at least until the AMD chips start showing up on PC's.)

    I do think that it is cool that Apple gets to claim the crown for a while, even if only for a couple of months. On the other hand, how important 64-bit computing will be for the PC market remains to be seen.

  • Great job! (Score:3, Funny)

    by watchful.babbler (621535) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @09:53PM (#6291013) Homepage Journal
    Nice to see y'all going out there and getting the news -- although I do believe this to be one of the signs of the Cyber-Apocalypse.

    Just so you know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @11:17PM (#6291481)
    Your UID is "iLeader". There isn't much room for doubt that some version of the Mac is going to be the fastest version that you use.
  • by steeviant (677315) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:40AM (#6291775)
    Except that if Apple did move to AMD/Intel, they'd have to dump all the classic and carbon apps, and become a new OS with no support. The same awesome strategy that saw BeOS achieve such mammoth success.

    What an awesome way to bring in a bunch of new users- chuck away all the old ones. OS X could join the glorious ranks of MS/intel competitors like DR-DOS, PC Geos, OS/2 and BeOS!

    Plus they'd be inundated with whingeing users wanting to know why their windows only scanner doesn't work with OS X when they're using a PC,

    Plus! with the tremendous advantage of having to support every piece of shit network card and graphics chipset under the sun, they'd be able to take advantage of the same legendary performance and stability offered by Wintel PCs today.

    Your genius is wasted on Slashdot, go and apply for a job as a CEO at a multi-millon dollar company today!

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