Power Mac G5 Dual 2GHz vs. Dell Precision 650 Dual 3.2GHz Xeon

“When Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced the Apple Power Mac G5 this summer as the fastest personal computer any company had built to date, we took it with a grain of salt. After all, Apple had made that boast in the past, and those claims did not tend to hold up when independent third parties (such as ourselves) ran tests on current, real-world applications (not the synthetic benchmark tests Apple cited),” Troy Dreier reports for PC Magazine.

“Well, we’ll take that salt with a side of fries. After testing a loaded ($4,349 direct, after we opted for more RAM and upgraded graphics) dual 2.0-GHz Power Mac G5 on a range of high-end content creation applications and comparing the results with a similarly configured (and priced) Dell Precision 650 Workstation running dual 3.2-GHz Xeon processors, we see that indeed the G5 is generally as fast as the best Intel-based workstations currently available,” Dreier reports.

“Unfortunately, the G5 also ships with the standard unremarkable keyboard and one-button mouse, which look and feel more out of date with each main system update,” Dreier opines.

“Apple has succeeded in boosting its Power Mac line, taking Apple users into high-performance computing. And by outperforming top-specked Windows machines on some tests, Apple has proved that megahertz isn’t everything. The new flagship Mac will more than satisfy power-hungry graphics, video, and business users and may even win Apple some users from the Windows/Intel camp,” Dreier writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: PC Mag had to resort to comparing the Power Mac G5 to a workstation class Dell with twin Xeon processors. No Pentium need apply. As usual, they forget to mention the benefits of Mac OS X vs. Windows. For some unknown reason, they give the Power Mac G5 just 4 stars out of 5. Wonder why?


  1. I was playing around with a new PowerMac G5 1.6 GHz at my campus store…and I was impressed. This thing is gorgeous…and fast. That 64-bit processor really makes a difference. If I wasn’t such a notebook guy I’d for sure have a G5…but Im happy with my TITANIUM PB.
    I can’t wait for the G5 to be stuffed into the PB platform.
    I find it quite funny that the new G5’s only close competition is a Dual Xeon 3.2 GHz WORKSTATION PC…and the G5 still beats it. Go Apple!!!

  2. The new keyboard is great–same layout and key size as any keyboard, plus media keys, yet nicely compact–but it really ought to match the metallic look. The mouse… on a pro machine? Apple could do something much more innovative and unique than a conventional two-button scroll-mouse, doing the same thing better while still being simple and elegant. So do it! And make it the default on pro machines.

    But do keep the one-button option too. That ALSO has real benefits.

  3. Why do people constantly carp on insignificant things like the mouse? Geez, who the hell cares!!! There are plenty of third party vendors out there with 2-5 mouse buttons.

  4. All the wintel junkies complained about apple not providing the details for its tests (when they did provide many details), but then PC Mag provides very little details on its test. For photoshop, they did some “Apply Filters” test without identifying the filters. Are they ones anyone uses?

    Also, they pull the apple RAM game. They load up 2GB from Apple’s site ($1050) when you can get the same memory at Other World Computing for $700 (minus some ebay value on the built-in 512 stick, maybe 100?). They should have compared the stock dual G5 to a similarly priced dell xeon. My guess is that would have shown the apple with better price/perf.

  5. Also, I don’t know where they got that pricing from on the Dell. I just priced one out at their website, it was a dual 3.06, not 3.2, it had a 120 gig hard drive, not a 160 serial ata, I put in the cheapest available graphics card, no monitor, no extended warranty. Put in a recordable DVD, used 2GB (two sticks not four, like the apple), etc. Tried to make it comparable. Don’t know if it had firewire. Not 802.11g ready. That machine was 5500. Am I missing something?

  6. I do agree that the Keyboard is out of place with this system, and hopefully just a temporary one. It’s like shipping a G4 Imac with a beige keyboard, it just doesnt look right.

  7. Well,

    salmost eemed to read an article from a Mac magazine.
    Apocalypse must be approaching. Now there is little doubt about that.

    bob, for Apple to do that there is a much simpler thing to do. Stop shipping ANY mouse, add a 40$ mouse-voucher and let users get whatever they want.

  8. Why ship a mouse or keyboard at all with the PowerMac? Apple doesn’t bother to include a monitor, so theoretically you need to buy one of those. What’s another $138 for the new bluetooth mouse and keyboard. It would make virtually no difference in the purchase price anyway.

  9. Complain about the mouse and keyboard, not give details about which filters they used, or much of any other details either, fudged a bit(!?) on the pricing, etc. The phrase “like pulling teeth” comes to mind, or getting the Fonz to say he’s sorry!

  10. The only reason i can understand they would give the G5 a 4/5 stars is because of the price, included software (compared to windoz), and the one button mouse of death. 😀

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