In this corner, from the Land of the Setting Sun of CA, we
have the gorgeous, easy-to-use, "I'm an incredibly-expensive
cheese-grater" Power Mac G5. And in this corner, the "Hide me under
your desk before I scare small children" utilitarian black box from
Austin, the Dell Precision 470. Which will whip through progress bars
so fast your hair blows off? Let's find out.
Mac Design Pro has a comparison
of a 3.6G Dell Xeon versus Apple's flagship 2.5G dual G5 running Adobe
After Effects. Dell wins the smackdown hands-down, though the Mac holds
its own. If you want to recreate the contest, it'll cost you — got
burning a hole in your pocket? Even if you do, you might want to wait:
Apple's line is long overdue for a major update (3G was promised for
nearly a year ago), and the Xeon should also get a speed bump; both are
expected this summer.
Can audio users learn something from a graphics benchmark? Absolutely,
if for no other reason that real-world audio benchmarking is nearly
impossible; at least a graphics battery gives a somewhat fair
number-crunching test. (Apple infamously cooked up a bogus benchmark in
Logic and Cubase for its G5 unveiling, demonstrating, um, 'real-world'
performance for the next time you need to run a few dozen reverbs at
But I wouldn't sweat the details. I've tested Ableton Live, Logic Pro
7, Cubase SX3, and other apps on a dual-2.5G G5, and I can safely brand
the combination "pretty freakin' fast." And I'm someone who can
normally bring any CPU to its knees. High-end PC? Ditto. So basically
at this point, it's not chip performance we're waiting for: it's faster
laptops, and cheaper high-end desktops.