updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu October 5, 2006
Mac Pro crowned fastest PC
Apple's quad-core Xeon-based Mac Pro set new records in the UK's first independent speed test of Apple's high-end system, according to PC Pro. Tests revealed that CPU-intensive tasks are "fabulously fast" as long as the running application can use all four cores. Testers immediately abandoned Mac OS X to install Microsoft Windows XP via Apple's Boot Camp beta software. "The results, in terms of pure performance, [speak] volumes for the ability of Intel's new processors - and Apple's ability to build systems around them." The Mac achieved record-breaking speeds in the multiple-applications test -- where testers run demanding software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and a music decoder simultaneously -- keeping all four cores constantly busy. "The result was almost three times faster than the reference Pentium D-based computer that PC Pro's [lab] test scores are based on."
A 3D Studio Max 3D-render test revealed similar results with an average frame-render time of 34 seconds, obliterating the fastest machines previously tested -- which took roughly 60 seconds to perform the same operation. Apple's top-end model was used to test the Mac's performance, boasting two 3GHz Xeon 5160 processors and 4GB of memory. The test machine also included an Nvidia Quadro FX4500 workstation graphics card and 1.75TB of storage.