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Office \'04 benchmarks under Rosetta

updated 05:05 pm EDT, Fri April 21, 2006

Office \'04 benchmarks

MacTech today released an extensive benchmark study of Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac running on Apple's latest Intel Macs, in an attempt to see how well Office applications perform under Rosetta. The large suite of over 1,000 tests was performed comparing the PowerBook G4, MacBook Pro, and Intel-based iMac. "In this case, we wanted to help people decide if they should wait, or could they proceed with their Intel-based Mac purchases," Neil Ticktin said, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief at MacTech Magazine. The results are, in general, that Office 2004 under Rosetta works "well enough" to "very well," and in some cases, it's "even faster than on the PowerPC machine."

The study tested the four major Office applications -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage -- in addition to a suite of general graphics tests. Of the four major titles, PowerPoint ran slowest under Rosetta, while Entourage actually performed in almost every aspect, with the exception of launching the application.

Another unexpected difference in speed came when testers discovered that the Intel iMac repeatedly outperformed the MacBook Pro, despite the fact that the iMac had less memory installed and featured the same front side bus speed.

"The iMac has some pretty serious sub-systems [designed] to make it a screaming machine."

Since the tests were selected specifically to provide a real-world view of what Microsoft Office 2004 is like to run, MacTech eliminated tests that were too fast to create statistically significant results, or that had unperceivable differences.

"What was interesting is that even on those tests that were slow, they were still acceptable," MacTech wrote. "How often do users insert large JPEGs in a single sitting? And, when they do, does it matter when that something takes 10 seconds more?"

The tests concluded that Office users needn't anxiously wait for Universal Binary versions to appear on the market from Microsoft, and that for most tasks Office runs adequately under Rosetta.

"Mac users wishing to dive into Intel-based Macs now can rest assured in knowing they can move forward and be patient for the Universal version."

by MacNN Staff




  1. torifile

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Office is a POS

    There's a reason Office works "very well" on the Core Duo: it's a piece of S***. I use Office EVERYDAY and I'm amazed at how the little tasks like *scrolling* through a document or changing the font of a *word* makes my machine churn. I'm shocked. It's a piece of junk in terms of optimization. Functionally, it can't be matched but I *hate* using it because it sucks.

  1. n1954679

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Office 04

    I switched 6 months ago and the most important thing for me was that office on the mac was perfectly compatable with office for windows. I love my Ibook and I have been really happy with office 04. It's certainly not a POS. I am planning on getting an intel mac later in the year and knowing that office will work well under rosetta is really important.

  1. runcoberry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    office not a pos

    I have the first icebook, 500 mhz, and ~650 ram. Office 2004 runs better than the ClarisWorks that i've kept on my machine.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Saying Office 2004 runs better than ClarisWorks is not really saying all that much. Having been discontinued by 1998, ClarisWorks is really more of a museum piece than anything else. Not to mention, as far as I know, there is no way to run it on intel Macs for the moment. But it was quite useful in it's day.

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS Office is what

    it is... It's the standard office program suite. If you are (for example) a novelist or freelance writer, you can use anything you want, as long as you can provide your work to the "editor" in a useable format. But if you work in a group environment where Windows and Office are standard, you don't have much of a choice. So I'm thankful that the Mac Business Unit at MS has created a version of Office that is exceptionally compatible with the Windows version, and significantly more elegant and enjoyable to use. At least when I'm working at my home office, I can use my Mac with Office 2004, instead pulling out my Windows XP laptop.

    And Excel is a great tool; most users just scratch the surface of what it can do. Plus Entourage, while similar to Outlook on the Windows side, is much better. In fact, I think it is the best email client program available on any platform.

    Because they are part of Microsoft, I don't think the Mac BU gets the credit they deserve from the Mac user community. If a separate company had released Office 2004, it (and they) would be receiving much more praise for an excellent product. The Office "compatible" suites out there are often fine products, but they are not actually fully compatible when you get passed the basic features.

  1. zubro

    Joined: Dec 1969



    stop b*tching, use iWork! ;o) (ok, no xl(yet), but does a great job for the rest!)

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