Apple Mac Pro Quad-core Xeon easily beats Power Mac G5 Quad

“The standard configuration of the Mac Pro outperforms its PowerPC-based G5 predecessors by a wide margin, helping to justify Apple’s 2005 decision to switch to processors from Intel. What’s more, the system powered by two dual-core 2.66GHz Xeon chips narrowly missed becoming the first machine to ever record a Speedmark score of over 300,” James Galbraith reports for Macworld.

Galbraith reports, “We’ve ordered Mac Pros in a few different configurations and will test them as they arrive. The first machine to come in was the standard configuration—the $2,499 Dual-Core Mac Pro with two 2.66GHz Xeon processors, 1GB of Fully-Buffered DDR2 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, a 16X SuperDrive with double-layer support, and an Nvidia GeForce 7300GT graphics card. This out-of-the-box Mac Pro configuration earned the highest Speedmark score ever recorded in our tests.”

Benchmarks here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Island Girl” for the heads up.]

Related MacDailyNews article:
Benchmark duel: Apple Mac Pro vs. Power Mac G5 – August 10, 2006


  1. When G5 was released, Intel came out with pentium D, later, the Core Duo and then, Core 2 Duo, so XEON is beating a processor from a 3rd generation ago. The only upgrade it has received was from single core to dual core, but XEON only beat G5 for a small difference, I am quite sure that if G5 get to 3Ghz, not even the XEON 3.2Ghz will beat then. The problem is that IBM does not push their processor speed to much.

    Other issue is that Apple only change to intel not because faster processor, but for Performance per watt and also to increase their market share making the Mac “PC compatible”. It is like a “Trojan Horse”, once the PC user tastes the superior OS in Mac, they will never go back to windows.

  2. Apple changed from the G5 because they couldn’t get it into a laptop and Apple’s laptop performance was lagging. Also, heat was an issue. Surely you’ve heard of the problems from the G4 wind tunnels and the G5 fans taking off? There were some problems with the higher-speed G4s and G5 and IBM was doing NOTHING about it. They said in public that Apple wasn’t important, so Apple made the change to Intel.

  3. I would not trust any benchmark test for the Mac Pro that is not compiled to run as a native Intel app. Isn’t there some LinPack equivalent test suite that can be compiled on the Mac Pro. It does come with gcc. We need a Rosetta free comparison.

    just my $0.02

  4. Okay, so let’s summarize.

    The mid-2006 Mac Pro is slightly faster than the late-2005 PowerMac G5. The biggest differences were in test which were more dependent on the GPU and disk speed than the CPU.

    Don’t get me wrong–The Mac Pro is a great machine. So is the PowerMac G5 Quad. This isn’t that radical a shift, though, in my mind. I think that’s one reason that the Mac crowd isn’t overwhelmed with the Mac Pro. It’s about as fast. There’s none of this 2x, 3x, 5x as fast stuff. It’s about the same…

  5. So what if the speed gains aren’t huge. It’s still cheaper and offers much more expansion. I understand why some people are in love with the G5 but it has no future and we must move on. My MacPro is enroute and now I have a machine just as powerful as the G5 Quad, room to expand, and an extra several hundred dollars in my pocket. Seems like a no brainer to me!

  6. There’s none of this 2x, 3x, 5x as fast stuff. It’s about the same…


    First of all, the test is comparing the high end machine from the previous generation with the mid-range machine from the current generation. For more impressive results, they should’ve compared the G5 to the 3.0 XEON and you’d have your 2X faster. (Apart from Rosetta apps of couse.)

    Secondly, the 3x to 5x jumps were because the new mini’s, MB and MBP’s were replacing the G4 chip which was two generations old. The quad G5, was still relatively new.

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