TechTV Labs will pit Apple’s Quicksilver G4 867MHz desktop against a comparable Windows machine this Friday. Details can be found at the Techlive.com Web site. A complete story will appear on the Web site following the face-off.
Meanwhile, a TechTV article by James Hamilton notes that while Wintel machines may dominate the computing world, that doesn’t mean they’re better than Apple’s systems.
“There are many reasons for Wintel’s iron grip on the computing world, including past licensing agreements and business pacts, but one of the key issues that has plagued Apple is the benchmark for computing power,” Hamilton writes. “Apple’s microprocessors, which are made by IBM and Motorola, have almost always lagged behind Intel’s chips in terms of raw CPU speed measured in megahertz.”
But the disparity in chip speed doesn’t necessarily translate into better performance for Wintel machines, he explains. In fact, the latest Macs are faster than the higher-megahertz PCs when it comes to such tasks as compression and running multimedia software, due to Apple’s chip architecture, Hamilton says.
Alas, as he points out, your average consumer probably doesn’t understand this. Eric Ross, an analyst with Thomas Weisel partners, told TechTV that the megahertz benchmark has hurt Apple’s sales and kept the company from gaining market share.
“It’s very easy for a consumer to understand,” Ross said. “To the uneducated consumer that sounds like, ‘Oh, [the Pentium’s] twice as fast,’ when it’s really not at all.”
For more on the “myth of MHz” read our three-part series ( 1, 2, 3 ).