The quick answer to your question is yes and no. In some instances
the 1.6 ghz G5 is faster then the Dual G4. In other instances it is
not. It all depends on the software that is being run.
If the program is written to take advantage of the dual processors
then the dual G4 is going to out shine the single processor 1.6 ghz
G5. If it is not then the G5 will win.
There are a number of bench mark tests which illustrate this. The
first puts the machines through the paces on 7 Final Cut Pro 4.0
renders. The G5 1.6 finished in 1123 seconds while the Dual G4 only
took 966 secons. Incidently the fastest of all the machines they
tested was the 2.0 ghz dual G5 which finished in 514 seconds.
The full write up on this test can be seen here:
The graph with this data on it can be found here:
In the above example the G4 won because Final Cut Pro is a program
designed to take advantage of the dual processors.
Mac View Zone discusses this issue in their peformance test of the two
machines. They found that...
"In basic processing the G5 Power Mac will be faster, and because of
its better graphics card it will also perform better in some games.
However in applications that can take advantage of dual processors,
the G4 will outshine the faster clocked G5."
"Also, because of its better processor caching scheme, the G4 shows
better performance in the Excel and Word tests above."
In their tests using word and excel macros they found that the G5 was
23% slower on the Excel macro and 13% slower on the Word Macro.
(A macro is a simple script which executes a number of comands in
order as fast as the program/computer will allow it. For example you
could write a macro that would take data in a standard Excel table and
format it in a variety of different ways. Macros are used in this
instance as a way of standardize operation between the two machines.
Excel and word refer to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.)
Using a Photoshop macro the G5 was found to be 13% slower then the
dual G4. During normal processor operation the G5 was found to be 22%
FASTER then the G4s. However, when the same test was run allowing the
G4 to use both processors the G4 outstripped the G5 by 54%.
The final two tests they ran were Gaming and Interface. The G5 was
found to be 12% faster in the gaming test (although this can likely be
attributed to the graphics card in the G5 more then the processors
themselves). During the interface test, which is basically a test of
using the computer itself, accessing files, menus, etc, the Dual G4
was 3% faster.
The bottem line is it really depends on what you are planning to do
with the machine. If the intent is to use it as a gaming machine then
the G5 might be a better bet in terms of speed. However, for any real
processor taxing programs, such as photoshop, video editing, office
programs, etc the dual g4 is still a better and faster machine.
For a point by point side by side comparison of the two machines check out
Hope this answers your question. If you have any further questions
please don't hessitate to ask.
dual g4 vs G5
1.25 g4 vs 1.6 G5
Request for Answer Clarification by
01 May 2004 12:11 PDT
That helps and thanks for the links. I'll be using the computer to run
Digidesign Protools 6 LE with Digi 002R hardware. Their website
recommends use of a dual processor machine over a single processor,
claiming performance is enhanced. They use the word 'improved', not
the word 'optimized', which leaves doubt as to how much the software
is specifically using the dual power. Could you check that out for me?
I promise that'll be all!