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PowerMac G4 and scientific applications: only inefficient compilers?

PowerMac G4 and scientific applications: only inefficient compilers? – Macitynet.it logomacitynet1200wide 1

Apple is focusing heavily on the development of applications for Mac OS X in the scientific field, thanks to the ease of porting software born on Unix but without help from Motorola will not be able to take advantage of the capabilities of RISC compared to the old X86 processors. These are the conclusions of SPEC 2000 tests – Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation: the Motorola @ 1 GHz PowerPC G4 compared with the Intel Pentium @ 1 GHz is far lower for scientific applications even if the computing capacities with its 32 registers are higher than the x86 processor which registers has only 8.

It is obvious that targeted tests can tip the scale for one or the other processor, but for the test, medium-level compilers were used that did not aim to show the capabilities with a series of benchmarks but with real applications for the scientific field. According to the author of the tests, the main push for the G4 processor to be exploited to the fullest could be in the development by Motorola, which owns Metrowerk, of compiling efficient verters as well as in a better performance of Pro Fortran 7.0 for OS X by Absoft, also used for comparison tests.

The small positive news: despite a "small" nominal difference of only 133 MHz more (+ 15.5%) between the G4 @ 866 MHz and the G4 @ 1 GHz, the values ​​of the new processor are decidedly important: a gain of 27% in performance thanks to the efficiency of the 2 MB cache. Which bodes well for the next G5 which will hopefully be equipped with an Altivec double precision unit …

For fans of numbers and tests here is the link to refer to.

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