Mac fan and inventor Greg Mills thinks it’s time for a new way to measure computer performance. With all the hoopla over the “myth of megahertz,” he thinks it’s time to start using “Virtual Megahertz.” Mills believes this would correct current discrepancies with a comparison based upon real world computing testing.
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. However, the disparity in chip speed doesn’t necessarily translate into better performance for Wintel machines as the latest Macs are faster than higher-megahertz PCs when it comes to such tasks as compression and running multimedia software. Hence, the “myth of MHz.” Read our three-part series (
) for details.
“The way the Virtual Megahertz bench mark is determined is that if an 800 MHz Intel chip does a task that takes it 20 seconds, but the Mac pulls it off the same exact task in 10 seconds, you can say that the Mac is running at 1600 Virtual Megahertz,” Mills told MacCentral. “This is only fair and makes real comparisons possible. If the Intel chip takes 15 seconds to the PowerPC chip’s 10 seconds the Mac is running at 150 percent of the Intel chip’s rated speed or has a Virtual Megahertz of 1.5 times that of the Wintel chip.”
Mills’ Virtual Megahertz benchmark is determined by the following formula:
Intel Chip’s time to complete a task, in seconds, divided by the PPC chip’s time to complete the same task, in seconds, times the Intel chip’s MHz rating equals the Virtual Megahertz of the PPC chip for that task.
(I/P) x M = VM
I = Intel Chips time in seconds to do the specific task
P= PPC Chips time in seconds to do the specific task
M= Megahertz rating of the Intel Chip
VM= Virtual Megahertz Rating of the PPC Chip for that task
“The other analogy I like is that Intel chips count words of data while the PPC chip counts sentences of data,” Mills said.
Mills is currently vice president of research and development for Spraytex. He’s been issued eight U.S. Patents and is a former product manager for Homax Products. Mills is a former California general contractor, a former owner of Acoustiman Service in Orange County, CA, and has consulted for Behr Process. His education is from John Brown, Calvary Bible College and Orange Coast College. If you find his idea of Virtual Megahertz intriguing, you may also wish to check out his PatentCafe.com article on ”
The Many Advantages of Virtual Prototypes.”