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Apple MacBook Pro 'Fastest Windows XP Notebook'? 360

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dear-apple-we-need-new-laptops-xoxo dept.
rgraham writes "The Register has a great opening line in a recent article, "Want the fastest Windows XP Core Duo notebook? Then buy a Mac. According to benchmarks carried out by website GearLog, Apple's MacBook Pro running Windows XP is a better Adobe Photoshop rig than any other Core Duo laptop on the market." GearLog ran the same tests that were run by PC Magazine with the Mac coming out on top."
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Apple MacBook Pro 'Fastest Windows XP Notebook'?

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  • by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:16PM (#14981816) Homepage Journal
    Now all I want to know is which is faster: Photoshop on XP or OSX?
    -nB
    • Find out next year (Score:5, Informative)

      by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:20PM (#14981854) Homepage Journal
      Now all I want to know is which is faster: Photoshop on XP or OSX?

      That will have to wait until next year, sine Adobe has stated that the Intel version of Photoshop for MacOS X won't be available until next year.
      • by man2525 (600111)
        Adobe does not want to make a MacIntel version of Photoshop CS2. They want to release Photoshop CS3 as a Universal Binary. They are trying hard to have a release by the end of this year, but they need to move their development environment from Metrowerks Code Warrior to Apple XCode.
    • Better yet, with the same processor and memory, why is one computer significantly faster than the other? This makes me wonder if Apple and Adobe have some sort of back room deal to slow down Adobe apps on non-Apple hardware.
      *dons tinfoil hat*
      • by bunratty (545641) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:43PM (#14982075)
        Differences in cache size, cache speed, disk access time, and disk throughput, among other things, would cause two computers with exactly the same CPU, RAM, and bus to run at different speeds. This is part of the MHz myth -- there's more to how fast a computer is than the speed of its individual parts.
    • Ah, now that will be interesting; not that I'm a Photoshop guy, but I've long argued that OS X is a HEAVY OS. I know it's not a fair comparision, but Ubuntu is MUCH faster (even running Gnome) on my 800Mhz iBook than OS X. While I never plan on installing Windows on a new Mac (I am waiting to see what they come out with to replace the iBook) I will dual boot OS X and Linux first thing. Anyone who has run Linux, with Mac-on-linux at the same time will know what I mean.
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:34PM (#14982007) Journal
        Some parts of OS X are much slower than others. System calls are quite expensive (roughly 10x the cost on a conventional UNIX system), for example. The slowest part of the system I have found is the VM subsystem, which absolutely crawls. I wrote some fairly I/O intensive code with a number of back ends. The aio back end is about half the speed on OS X as on FreeBSD on similar hardware. The mmap backend is an order of magnitude slower on OS X than the aio back end, while they are both about the same speed on FreeBSD. This means that anything that causes page faults is going to slow the system down to a painful speed, which is why Mac users always recommend that you buy a lot of RAM.
        • by ivoras (455934)
          This is actually a nice indication of a (now not so) subtle shift in the industry. Ten years ago a company that produced a unix-like OS with so much lag in a core system would be loughed down and burn. Now, people don't even notice (for the most part). You can make a system with wicked clever algorithms, and still it wouldn't matter because what people are drawn to are pretty colors of the hardware and the UI.
          • by rsborg (111459)
            You can make a system with wicked clever algorithms, and still it wouldn't matter because what people are drawn to are pretty colors of the hardware and the UI.

            Isn't it a bit deceptive to label "Good UI" as "pretty colors"? It's been proven that the OSX UI guidelines, look and feel, is MUCH better than both Windows and especially Linux.

            It doesn't matter a damn that a computer or program is 50% faster, as most of the time the process waits on user input... it's making the users more productive and happy tha

          • It's not pretty colors, it's total utility. That rarely correlates with raw speed or cleverness of the algorithm. My guess is that most slow bits in the system were conscious choices where the benefits outweighed the costs. I'm sure there's a thousand things they could improve, still, but overall it's the most productive system I've worked on.

            And don't hate it just because it's beautiful :)

            Cheers.
        • by pammon (831694) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:50PM (#14983154)
          Some parts of OS X are much slower than others. System calls are quite expensive (roughly 10x the cost on a conventional UNIX system), for example

          I'm not disputing this, but I'd like to provide some context so people aren't left with the impression that "Apple's programmers are st00pid n00bs." There's at least three decisions that negatively impact OS X's system call performance, but that provide wins in other areas.

          1) Mach/FreeBSD system call disambiguation. OS X has to support both Mach and FreeBSD system calls through the same trap interface. Determining which you have isn't cheap, but the win is apparent - how many Mach messages per second does your conventional UNIX benchmark at? Features don't come for free. This is fixed overhead which will be especially apparent with "fast" system calls.

          2) 4/4 memory split. A system call requires a context switch to and from the kernel's own address space. I'm not sure about other UNIX flavors, but Linux in particular (usually) maps the kernel's address space into each process with a 3/1 split, which is faster but has an obvious downside - 25% less address space for the process and 75% less for the kernel!

          3) Dynamic library binding. OS X is unusual in that every library is always dynamically bound, which adds overhead for every call, but gives you all the benefits of non-static libraries (code sharing, security, etc.) Benchmarks often don't take this into account.

          The slowest part of the system I have found is the VM subsystem, which absolutely crawls. I wrote some fairly I/O intensive code with a number of back ends.

          There's a few things I've found that impact OS X's I/O negatively:

          1) Spotlight wants to index any file you opened for writing and then closed. That's obviously going to incur a cost.

          2) Unified buffer cache - cacheing reads in the VM system. For a linear read of a huge file, this only hurts; it can be turned off on a per descriptor basis, but code compiled naively for OS X won't have bothered to do that.

          3) Bugs. There seems to be a bug where a program doing linear I/O can monopolize the I/O system, which improves performance for that process but decreases apparent responsiveness.

          • Is there a similar switch to turn off VM caching on a per descriptor basis in linux? Right now I have an ugly script for some things which sets "swapiness" to a very low value, does all of the job (right now I just use this for updatedb), and then sets swapiness back. If I code could do this on a descriptor level that would rock (think extracting a large tar, etc.).
          • 1, How is supporting Mach and FreeBSD system calls an advantage? Apps should not be making direct system calls and instead invoke the appropriate c library wrapper. This doesn't seem like a feature, it sounds like a bad design decision. What was the reasoning by basing OSX on Mach in the first place? What is the justification for this excessive, per system call overhead?

            How many Mach messages per second does my conventional UNIX benchmark at? None. It can't. Does this preclude me from doing anything I need
            • by pammon (831694) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @06:31PM (#14984031)
              How is supporting Mach and FreeBSD system calls an advantage?

              There's a lot of historical decisions of dubious validity in retrospect, but there's also an excellent technical defense that can be made for Mach. In short, Mach is really cool. Mach IPC makes signals, sockets, pipes, shared memory, SysV IPC, etc. look positively clumsy. What's FreeBSD's answer to the Mach Inteface Generator? CORBA?

              So OS X gets a lot of mileage out of Mach messaging - AppleEvents, distributed notifications, run loops, etc. If OS X processes seem good at talking to one another - think VoiceOver, Spotlight, the window server, iLife's media sharing, even copy and paste - it's due in part to the fast, flexible IPC mechanisms enabled by Mach.

              The 4/4 memory split only applies to 32 bit environments. Haven't the G3/G4/G5 been 64 bit?

              In principle, yes; in practice, OS X has a 32 bit kernel even on 64 bit machines, not least of all for driver binary compatibility. You want to know the win here - take a look at the binary compatibility driver story on 64 bit Linux or 64 bit Windows. Apple allows 64 bit processes on Tiger without breaking everyone's hardware.

              (Incidentally, only the G5 is 64 bit.)

              Are you suggesting that FreeBSD, Linux, Windows, or any other modern operating system doesn't use dynamic libraries?

              Yes. Benchmarks typically compare statically linked libraries on Linux (because they're faster) to dynamically linked binaries on OS X (because that's all Apple ships).

              Yes, there is an advantage to not using the buffer cache in some cases, something you can do in linux with the O_DIRECT filedescriptor flag

              Thanks, I wasn't familiar with that flag on Linux. From googling, it looks like it does somewhat different things [iu.edu], in particular, not speeding up sequential file access.

              In any case, I'll certainly agree that there Linux-specific filesystem optimizations; I was just commenting on a technique I found to give a substantial boost to OS X programs with sequential access patterns.

      • FWIW, Ubunto is slower on my Powerbook than 10.4.5. Could be due to the age of the hardware, tho. It's a six year old laptop.
        • Really? I have quite the opposite experience. While Ubuntu takes all week to boot, once it's running it feels faster than OS X. Scrolling a web page, for example, seems faster, and I can play larger and more complex videos using VideoLAN under Ubuntu than I can under OS X.

          Nevertheless, I still triple-boot that system: Ubuntu for almost everything, OS X when I want to use iTunes, QuickTime, etc, and Mac OS 9 for old games.
          • Like I said, could be the hardware. It's a Pismo, so it has an ATI Rage 128 Mobility with AGP 2x. According to a friend who's much more Linux savvy than am I, Linux direct rendering support sucks for this card, whereas 10.4.5 has no problems with it. Safari flies under Tiger, but Firefox is a bit slow under Ubuntu.
    • by communikatsiglobale (963182) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @05:07PM (#14983343)
      Gentlemen, Wa wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa OSX wa! Wa wa, wa wa wa XP. Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa. Wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa wa! Wa wa OSX wa XP wa wa wa? Wa! Wa wa wa wa wa wa. Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa, wa: 1 Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa. 2 Wa wa XP wa wa wa. Wa wa wa wa wa? 3 Wa wa wa wa wa wa? Wa. Wa wa, 4 Wa wa wa wa? IMHO wa wa wa wa wa OSX wa wa wa wa wa. Wa wa? Wa wa wa wa wa wa XP, wa wa wa wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa wa.
  • AMD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:16PM (#14981819) Homepage
    It would be nice if they tested AMD notebooks.
    • Re:AMD (Score:5, Informative)

      by jonnythan (79727) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:26PM (#14981922) Homepage
      AMD doesn't make any dual-core notebook chips...
      • Re:AMD (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eightyford (893696)
        AMD doesn't make any dual-core notebook chips...

        That doesn't make comparisons impossible. Who cares how many cores there is. People want speed.
    • Re:AMD (Score:3, Informative)

      by loony (37622)
      Not really - AMD doesn't have dual core laptops out yet and even if you look at just one core, the Intel Core architecture beats anything AMD has right now hands down...

      Peter.
  • fastest in one test (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:18PM (#14981827)
    Fastest WinXP notebook for the Photoshop test. It doesn't look like it fared so well in the Windows Media encode test.
    • by MustardMan (52102) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:21PM (#14981873)
      Am I the only one who feels a little dirty reading about encoding windows media on windows xp running on apple hardware? It just feels so wrong.
      • Well, creating .asf or .wmv files would make anyone want to shower repeatedly.

        I'm just waiting for the .asf/.wmv support groups* to start popping up.

        And please mods, realize that suggesting a support group for a file format is indeed a joke.
    • Fastest WinXP notebook for the Photoshop test. It doesn't look like it fared so well in the Windows Media encode test.

      I would be curious to know what aspects caused the slow down. Maybe the lack of a properly supported (by the OS, as opposed to Microsoft) graphics card.
      • Does the Windows Media Encoder now offload part of the task to the graphics card? I know that the WMV9 renderer can take advantage of a GPU during playback, but I don't know if it can for encoding.
      • The graphics card isn't involved in media encoding. Well, there ARE schemes that involve it, but it's not normal. Of course, if they were actually displaying the clip while they encoded it, that could possibly do it - but that's a silly thing to do unless you're doing a very short clip and you want to see what the compression artifacting looks like as-you-go.
    • I was disappointed when I saw it was a one-application benchmark, and moreso that it's Photoshop. For years I tried to determine how fast Macs really were, and all I could find were Photoshop benchmarks... a program which I have never used.

      Anyways, now that Macs and PCs are the same hardware, running a hardware comparo test seems pointless to me. CPU-bound apps will be the same on both, other than when one manufacturer gets the jump on another in shipping the latest Intel processor or third party graphi

      • Ultimately, a Windows vs. Mac CPU benchmark on the same hardware would amount to a comparison of the code generated by the respective compilers.

        Don't know how fast the code generated by the Visual C++ compiler is, but I've read that the proprietary Intel compiler generates much faster code than gcc, which (I think) is the default compiler for OS/X apps these days. Does that bode poorly for the Mac in any benchmark wars?
  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:18PM (#14981832) Homepage
    Why did it had to be Microsoft confirming that Steve Jobs was correct that the Intel Mac was a lot faster than the PPC Mac?
    • What would MS have had to do with anything? Intel, perhaps, but what processors Macs are using is hardly relavent to the goings-on of Microsoft. Consider:

      "Your decision to use Intel's chips instead of PowerPC chips was a wise one" - MS
      "Your decision to use our chips instead of PowerPC chips was a wise one" - Intel

      Microsoft is indifferent to Apple's architecture - MS has always coded for x86 chips, and most likely always will (you know, computer-always, meaning till that big thing that's so big it shoul

      • "Your decision to use Intel's chips instead of PowerPC chips was a wise one" - MS

        "Your decision to use our chips instead of PowerPC chips was a wise one" - Intel


        "Don't the door hit you on the way out" - IBM
  • by tpgp (48001) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:19PM (#14981846) Homepage
    Fastest at running certain photoshop plugins :-/

    Still - yet another reason to not dismiss windows-on-mac-hardware efforts.
  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:21PM (#14981871)
    Now that the Mac is showing off it's quality hardware and such, as the Intel models become commonplace, I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of commercial offerings for dual boot between Mac and Windows.

    There's an opportunity for business to finally transition to a quality hardware platform/OS, and I hope someone steps up to the plate to make a formal solution in this area (not that I don't appreciate the current hacks offered).

    -- Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net]
    • Why a commerical offering? I mean, there's already a freeware one. How much extra beyond a Mac and XP is a person going to pay? And all you'd really be doing is providing support to people who try it. Doesn't sound like a great business plan to me.
      • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:36PM (#14982019) Journal
        Why would you pay for an ipod when you can build your own MP3 player with a altoids can and some electronics parts. Geez Doesn't sounds like a a great buisness plan to me.

        Thats really not a fair comparison I know. But people will pay a premium for a preconfigured system with good support. Hell I quit building my own machines are work because I just have the time to support them, and just order from dell (work for a university grant, so dell sees us as the university which means we get top tier support)
      • Why a commerical offering? I mean, there's already a freeware one.

        Because lots of people -- namely, many Windows and Mac users -- are scared of free software. They're expecting some kind of "catch" (time-expiring demos, nagware, spyware, etc.) so they stay away because it's free.

        Put it in a nice, glossy box on a shelf at Best Buy and only then will they consider it. It's sad, but true (and part of the reason so many are still skeptical about Free [libre] Software).

  • Why photoshop? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:21PM (#14981874)
    Because photoshop is one of the few applications out there that is actually designed to take advantage of multiple CPUs by splitting up the work.
    • Personally I'd have gone for premiere if it is indeed multithreaded as I seem to remember. It's even more demanding, but more importantly, it will exercise more of the system and will have longer run times which will help smooth out the results.
    • Because photoshop is one of the few applications out there that is actually designed to take advantage of multiple CPUs by splitting up the work.

      Mac benchmarks have always been Photoshop-centric, going back for years. (decades?) Long before Macs were dual core, anyways.

      In reality, using a single application to benchmark is ridiculous. I think they do it because the Photoshop product is historically tied to the Mac, and the Mac version is always carefully optimized for it.

    • CAD, video encoding, video compositing, 3D rendering also can efficiently use multiple CPUs. A person using a computer for any one of those tasks is more likely than a typical photoshop user to stress their computer.
  • by Enrique1218 (603187) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:30PM (#14981957) Journal
    I have been shopping around for a notebook for a family member. I found that Lenovo and Apple have the highest price dual core. Dell is of course the lowest. But looking at the specs, the lower price ones tend to have GMA or ATI Hypermemory GPU, slower memory, and are pretty bulky. Apple does put in the best stuff available at the launch. I would even venture to guess that the Macbooks are gaming quality.
  • by saschasegan (963148) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:31PM (#14981963)
    Just wanted to preemptively strike out and mention that the Reg "sexed up our dossier" a little, to use a British reference.

    Over here at PC Mag/Gearlog (it's the same thing - Gearlog is the blog of PC Mag) we like to say that our tests show Apple makes a "fast" Windows machine, not "the fastest." As somebody else pointed out, while the MacBook squeaked out a win on the Photoshop test, it came in behind other Core Duo laptops on the Windows Media Encoder test. But the news in my mind isn't a one-second difference in this or that. It's that Apple's machines run Windows comparably to the best designed-for-Windows machines. That bodes very well for folks who want to have the best of both worlds by running both OSes natively.

    We couldn't run 3DMark, Sysmark, etc. because of the missing video drivers - wouldn't have been fair. The Photoshop and Windows Media tests were the only ones of our standard benchmark suite we thought would generate results that made any proper sense, because they hit processor/disk/RAM rather than video.

    Also, for the AMD fanboys, we haven't tested any AMD dual core notebooks yet, so we didn't have the data to compare those.

    If you haven't already, read our original story: http://gearlog.com/blogs/gearlog/archive/2006/03/2 1/8212.aspx [gearlog.com]

    • "But the news in my mind isn't a one-second difference in this or that. It's that Apple's machines run Windows comparably to the best designed-for-Windows machines."

      Hmm...what exactly do think is different between an Intel box designed to run OSX and one designed to run WinXP? I really don't see how the OS has much sway here. After all, you can run Linux on an Intel box (desinged to run WinXP) and it works hot shit. OSX is based on BSD as I understand it, so why should it be any different?
      • by saschasegan (963148) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @03:03PM (#14982245)
        Apple has a tendency to heavily customize their machines, and one of their selling points is a tight coupling between hardware and software (namely, OS X.) So we wanted to make sure there was nothing in the Macs that would have prevented XP from running to the limits of the performance of the hardware, and to prove that a dual-boot solution could be both viable and desirable. I'll personally wait for the video drivers to call it "desirable," but we're safely within the realm of viable.

        Running these benchmarks also allowed a direct comparison between Apple hardware and other manufacturers' that always used to be cloaked a little by the difference in OSes. Now of course you can argue that the driver situation may have affected our results, but I hope this will be only the first of many data points. It's a start.

  • Why should the MacBook be any faster then any other DuoCore notebook out there. They use the same CPU, memory technology, hard drive technology, etc, etc, etc. Either the original article is biased or people just are not aware of how similar the MacBook is to any other PC notebook running the DuoCore CPU.

    Can anyone name one reason (not "because its an Apple") as to why the technology in the MacBook should run faster then in an equivalently equiped PC? And I don't believe EFI has anything to do with it ei
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Funny)

      by hahiss (696716) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:46PM (#14982094) Homepage
      Dude, its because the Apple has speed holes
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:51PM (#14982135)

      Why should the MacBook be any faster then any other DuoCore notebook out there.

      Because each laptop uses slightly different hardware. They use different brands, with different specs, and in different configurations. For any given test, one will win. If you read the article you'd know Macbook Pros scored about the same as the best other Duo Core notebooks out there. Sure they took first in a given photoshop test, but not by a really significant margin. They did worse in some other tests. There are no conspiracies here.

      People willfully misinterpreting this test should be ashamed of the FUD they are spreading. This does not prove MacBooks are the "fastest" laptop. It proves they are (aside from the non-existant video drivers) as good as anything else out there for running Windows. This is good news for people who plan to dual boot. This is a good sign for those interested in emulating/VMing Windows. It is just trivia to anyone else.

  • Currently (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Upaut (670171) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:53PM (#14982149) Homepage Journal
    The solution of many problems, by having a Windows partition on ones Macbook, does have a few issues that will both effect preformance, and ones comfort. With the GPU not having any drivers yet, the CPU is doing all the work. So slower animations, more heat (massive amounts) being generated, and an inability to play any games. Now, I am still glad that I have this partition, so I can use a lkot of "Windows only" software my work/school wants me to be able to run, but until the graphics chip is running, I don't think most benchmarkes will be really reliable. That and while running Windows, until a driver is written, I really recomend that you don't have the machine in your lap, unless its a really cold day...

    Other issues that are less important are:
    *Trackpad does not work
    *That little camera doesn't work
  • Adoption (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Truman Starr (949802)
    Ok, I am all for the Mac - my first 'puter was a II-GS back when I was 6 or so. But I haven't been following the hardware "jam XP into a Mac" soap opera like some have, so I'm not sure of the complexity of getting both OSes to share one living space (Talk about "The Odd Couple").

    I am, interested, however, in hearing about it as it pertains to adoption by non-techies. I read /. but I've never had a dual-boot system myself. I have a Powerbook, an Ubuntu box, and my company thinkpad, so I've never needed

  • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @03:05PM (#14982261) Homepage
    It's been widely noted that the basic hardware in the MacBook pro is nearly identical to that in the Acer model mentioned in TFA; see http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/ faq/technical_performance_2.html [everymac.com] for a rundown. So it's no wonder the run-time is the same.

    The appropriate conclusion here is "Macbook Pro runs XP as fast as the fastest PC with the same CPU and chipset", to which I would say, duh!
  • Photoshop Test (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chowhound (136628) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @03:05PM (#14982269) Homepage
    I've always felt the photoshop tests were an absurd measure of a computer's speed. I run Photoshop CS1 on my G4/400 1GB at home. The only time I ran into a problem was attempting to work on a backlit movie poster for a theatre - 3x5 foot by 300 dpi, with layers, effects & filters. But that is an absurdly huge file. As a designer for 10 years, I never encountered a file that big.

    The point is that today's computers are overpowered. The now-deprecated Quad 2.7 G5 is vastly more powerful than any Photoshop jockey needs. Unless you're rastering 3D shiz or crunching a full length DVD-quality movie (neither of which requires Photoshop) it's just gonna be an issue for most users.
    • "I've always felt the photoshop tests were an absurd measure of a computer's speed."

      It's a lot harder to benchmark "real world" use.
    • Re:Photoshop Test (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MacBoy (30701)
      I completely agree.
      Photoshop used to be a great benchmark, because computers used to be sllllooowwwwww. Remember when Photoshop power users could drop a few thousand on a fancy DSP card for their Mac? In fact a couple of Macs (the Centris 660Av and the Quadra 810AV ca. 1992 or so) came equipped with a 25/33 MHz DSP on-board to handle certain realtime stuff, like softmodem. Adobe didn't waste any time supporting this DSP to accelerate Photoshop, with a pretty sizable improvement. The point is, people used to
  • Why a laptop? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cloudmaster (10662) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @03:41PM (#14982538) Homepage Journal
    So I'm curious, why does Photoshop being faster on one laptop than another mean anything? Surely if you care about all-out photoshop performance, you'll have a desktop machine with a real power supply to drive real processors, room for real memory, and a real display? This laptop's slower for almost everything else, and not appropriate for the onething it's faster at.

    Yay benchmarks. :( I'd be more imperssed if they laid the laptops out on a table at a college library and timed which one got stolen fastest. That'd test the *real* value of each laptop...
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @05:35PM (#14983593) Homepage
    One should also note that the machines they compared didn't even have the same hardware. The Mac is a dual-core 2.16 GHz machine while the PCs were 2.0 GHz. Not to mention discrepancies with hard drive speeds, video cards (including the non-existant XP drivers on the Mac), etc. It's just not a good comparison by any stretch of the imagination.

    A more valid comparison would be SPEC tests between the MacBook and other machines. What you'd likely see is, given the same hardware, they perform exactly the same -- which is the point.

    As someone pointed out, most geeks would be interested in a box that runs both XP and Mac OS equally well. Apple is in a big transition year: with Vista delayed and the switch to Intel, they finally have means to court a massive number of geeks to their platform. Some random people claiming the MacBook is somehow "faster" than PCs with different hardware damages this. Geeks will look at the specs and know it's not a valid comparison. Mac fans just need to sit tight and let the benchmarks speak for themselves.
    • by n8_f (85799)
      And yet the Apple was 37% faster on the Photoshop test against 3 of the laptops. That is much better than the 8% advantage it has in processor speed. And with the crappy drivers, it has one hand tied behind its back. I am very skeptical of that result, but it is possible that further tests will bear these results out.

      A more valid comparison would be SPEC tests between the MacBook and other machines. What you'd likely see is, given the same hardware, they perform exactly the same -- which is the point.

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