View Full Version : Apple uses LW to benchmark new systems - Find it hard to believe.

04-27-2005, 08:12 PM

I find it hard to believe a 2.7ghz is that much faster than the pc's.
I saw real world tests of 2.5's and the xeon 3.2 ghz was almost 30% faster.
Now lw is renowned for being optimised for pc only, newtek uses boxx as offical system. This erks me alot.

04-28-2005, 12:46 AM
Well, i think this particular benchmark is carefully chosen to be fast with Mac.

When I quickly browsed through LW-benchmarks (http://www.blanos.com/benchmark/) the only benchmark where Mac was faster was Raytrace. And the margin was small. All the others seemed to run faster on PC, in Tracer radiosity-benchmark the gap was huge.

In those tests were 2,5GHz dual G5 and Dual Xeon 3,6GHz - so if you run that Raytrace-benchmark with dual 2,7GHz G5 it probably is that much faster than Xeon, although in other benchmarks the difference is small to none (except that Tracer Radiosity, if there hasn't been any other changes than clockspeed in G5)...

04-28-2005, 01:54 AM
Who cares, its a benchmark. At the moment i have a demosystem with a dual 3.4 GHz Xeon system, but for my kinda work its a bit dissapointing. Its fast for animations, but for my printresolution work the dual 2.5GHz G5 is faster and can render at higher resolutions; and not to forget its 20% cheaper. So it depends on your kind of work, and if you want to buy a new system try to get a testsystem for a week or more. Thats the only reliable real world test.

Darth Mole
04-28-2005, 02:19 AM
And if you have FPrime, they're kind of moot anyway...

However, I do agree that they're misleading. Apple is always very carefuly to choose flattering benchmarks. And in the real world, it's all pointless. If I have a long render, I don't sit there and time it - I go to bed or do something else. One badly optimised scene, one texture map too big, one wrong plug-in and your times can vary wildly. I really don't see why we worry about it so much.

I'm confident a dual 2.7 will be exactly 28% faster than my dual 2.0, but that's nowhere near enough speed to warrant upgrading. Annoyingly. I'm waiting for at least a 50% increase - and even that's only a dual 3GHz. Where's my dual core?

Captain Obvious
04-28-2005, 03:48 AM
I find it very believable. The gap between Macs and x86 computers when it comes to LW rendering isn't big, for the most part. I would actually be surprised if they weren't able to produce a scene where a Mac renders quite a bit faster than a "comparable" PC. Can't really be that hard. Just find something the PC is bad at and make a scene that consists only of that. That's what every OEM and chip maker does.

It's still just an official benchmark, and should thusly be taken with a truckload of salt, obviously. Of course Apple choose only the benchmarks that make their computers look better.

Where's my dual core?
I wouldn't be surprised if the PowerMac sees another upgrade before the year's end. Possibly WWDC, but that seems a bit TOO soon. They did leak some CHUD tools that more or less confirmed the existance of dual dual-core Macs.

Darth Mole
04-28-2005, 04:58 AM
Yeah, I was suprised about this current speed-bump, because all the evidence points to dual-core chips coming sooner rather than later.

It's been suggested that Apple might invent a new 'Pro' product line, which kind of makes sense. They can have the desktop G5 range as an affordable middle-tier option, and then bung all the high-end architecture (graphics cards etc) in the Pro line. Maybe with dual HDs, and even more RAM slots?

And while WWDC is coming (June 6-10), where better to announce these than at SIGGRAPH? (July 31st onwards)

Here's a mental exercise for you: what would your (realistic) Pro-level Mac spec consist of?

04-28-2005, 05:17 AM
Here's a mental exercise for you: what would your (realistic) Pro-level Mac spec consist of?

Ha! a realistic option would be:

Dual core, G5's, at 2.7 or 3.0 Ghz (or more) at least 2 Gig. ram standard, upgradable to 8 GB (really, at this point, more than 8 GB is not really neccesary) 2x 400GB in Raid mode. (mirror or stripe, you should choose) PCI-Xpress, Hypertransport 2, and a PRO graphics card like the Quadro cards, or nForce professional chipsets, or ATI-FireGL cards. The Ultra 6800 is a very good card as well (I use it now) Dual layer-DVD or maybe a Blueray drive.

All this should not cost more than: Let's say 5000$ ?

A less realistic option:

Sell it with a 3 button mouse. :rolleyes:

Other stuff that would be handy:

Increase te box size with 50% and put more drivebays in it (up to 4?)
Make a very good cooling system! I'm sorry to say, but when my dual 2.0 is rendering, it's a windtunnel. It's silent when browsing, listening to iTunes, mailing, etc. But when you kick in, it makes noise. Lot's of them. But I think it has also something to do with the 6800 ultra wich makes it all a bit hotter in there.

Think that's about it.

04-28-2005, 08:36 AM
According to the notes section, the scene that Apple used to compare LW rendering speed was this one:

Content/Classic Content/Scenes/_Features/Radiosity/Skull_Head_Newest.lws

... and unless it's stated otherwise, I'd assume that they used the settings saved in the scene...


Darth Mole
04-28-2005, 01:58 PM
For anyone interested, this is a comprehesnive, hugely complex but quite interesting review of Tiger.


Of major note, the guy talks about kernel operations that are specifically designed for dual core chips (fine-grained locking, whatever that is). So it's clearly now only a matter of time before we get dual-core CPUs. Hopefully, in batches of at least two!

04-28-2005, 09:34 PM
And in the real world, it's all pointless. If I have a long render, I don't sit there and time it - I go to bed or do something else.

yeah, or do something else, which as we all know is not only possible on a G5, but usually a G5 is whistling and tapping its toe anyway unless you're hitting it with a few demanding tasks.

For me the G5 capacity for huge amounts of work done at the same time is almost the bigger story than raw megahertz numbers.

I've had screamernet going round the clock for weeks on end, during which time, did anything else I wanted to, including more LW developing or FCP...and maybe the fans revved up a couple of times.


04-29-2005, 03:36 AM
yes, I agree full 100%

I have 2 LW's rendering in the back, both processors hitting 100%, and I can STILL go and do anything. From Photoshop, to FCP, to ...

I agree, the Both LW's will not be using the full 100% of the processors anymore, but it's the "feeling" that you get. You don't notice a difference in handling and speed because the app your using get's all the speed it needs instantly!

I think not only the dual G5 setup but also OS X gets 50% of the credits about this one!

RAM is important though.. You don't want to try this with 512.

05-06-2005, 10:58 AM
Here are some more G5 benchmarks, this time for VectorWorks...

Apple G5: Smokes Intel Competition (http://www.architosh.com/features/2004/g5-interview/2004-interv-g5nem-1.phtml)


BTW: My G5 (DP 2GHz) is currently rendering full bore on both processors as part of my LWSN render farm (http://DreamLight.com/insights/10/welcome.html), while I'm still working in other applications. I can barely tell that the machine is even doing anything else while I continue to work... :D

05-06-2005, 01:11 PM
I just rendered this scene file on my new 2.7 gig machine with 2.5 gigs of ram. It took it 1:17. Funny that Apple state's it's 117% faster than the Dell.