Brace yourself: Mac OS X on PowerPC 970 benchmarks

MacBidouelle is reporting inital rumored benchmarks of Mac OS X running on a PowerPC 970. A rough French translation performed by MacBidouelle and slightly cleaned up by MacDailyNews follows. Brace yourself:

“By reading these benchmarks you’ll understand that we couldn’t publish them before. Now we know that PM G4 [sales] are stuck at a very low level, the following test results won’t have much [negative impact]…”

“The first benchmarks were done during March 2003 on a preview model running at 1.4 GHz. OS was an alpha version 7B5 and 7B8 of [Mac OS X] Panther, optimised for 64 bits processor, but the applications tested were only using 32 bits.
– Photoshop: PPC 970 mono 1.4 is 87% faster than a Dual 1.42 GHz
– Final Cut Pro : PPC 970 mono 1.4 is 112% faster than a Dual 1.42 GHz
– Alias|Wavefront Maya Render : PPC 970 mono 1.4 is 254% faster than a Dual 1.42 GHz.
The second series of benchmarks were done on the same computers that will be sold. There is however a doubt [about] the presence of the [top-of-the-line] dual 2.0 GHz, as the availability of these chips isn’t sure. It seems Apple will surely be able to sell Mono 1.4 GHz, Dual 1.6 and Dual 1.8 [machines]. The result is that the G4 compared to the PPC 970 is now a secretary computer.”

“A few explanations [of] the results:
– The Altivec shows a 80% increase of performances with the 970. This is not due to the chip itself, but to the high speed access between processor and central memory. The Mach 64 motherboard is highly optimised for the use of DDR-SDRAM.
– There is no performance loss when the PPC 970 executes some 32 bits apps.- The motherboard optimization almost allows dual processors to reach double performance. In fact it’s about 90% efficiency gained with the second processor, compared to 50% for the G4.”

“Looking closely to these results we understand why Apple [wouldn’t] need to wait for a 64 bits OS to launch the PPC 970. [Mac users will stand to] take advantage of a 50% gain of performance between [the top-of-the-line] Pro G4 and the first PPC 970. We can imagine the difference with the top level PPC 970. It will be the best evolution ever between two Mac generations.”

“Mac fans, our wait will be rewarded. The fight is over and Apple will soon rule the world!”

Full article, in French and English, with graphs here. Be patient, the article has been slashdotted and their server looks to be besieged with traffic.


  1. “I think that’s due to the strong performance of the iTunes Music Store, not PPC 970 benchmark rumors”

    The news on the music store came out before the market opened today. That resulted in a point or 2 increase. The benchmark news broke around 3:00, check the stock and pull up a 1 day graph.

  2. Microsoft – No new/innovative OS in sight. Mostly bug fixes and security plugs, as seen in their Windows Server 2003.
    Intel – No new/innovative CPU in sight. Incremental speed increases. Modifications of older designs making them faster than the newer ones, so now “clock speed doesn’t matter.” [Really?!]
    Dell, HP, etc. – Just more of the same. Only as good as the sum of its parts – MS + Intel.

    Apple – OS approaching a major update – 64bit and further advancing GUI and advanced technology compatibility, while the existing OS still has features, stability, and GUI that MS is desperately to match.
    Apple – FREE media software with quality and an ease of use that isn’t available at all, at any price, on the MS platform.
    Apple – The world’s first legal Music-via-Internet store. It has over 1 million downloads from just this tiny 5% of the market.
    IBM – Producing a 64bit chip that is significantly faster than a dual older processor system of the same clock speed.

    Microsoft and Intel, both, have been too stagnant for far too long. They are at a point where any attempt at an evolutionary step will seem feeble.

    It wasn’t until Apple’s Music Store (integrated with an easy to use iTunes) that it got the attention of the general public; it was something they really needed. This forced them to compare their computer with the one that could do all of that.

    The future is clearly with Apple.

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