This article's author decided to stage a benchmarking showdown
between a P3/733, a G3/450, a G4/533, and a 1.2 GHz Athlon using
Debian 2.2. Plenty of charts and tables to argue over on a Sunday
afternoon for all our hardware hackers. Mr. Carlson also included a
guide to contributing to the results.
"I'm frustrated with the lack of hard benchmarks to
allow comparison between x86 and Apple hardware. Most published Mac
benchmarks want to talk about Photoshop filters, media encoding,
and so on. The Power Mac G4 page says the 733 MHz G4 is up to 57%
faster than a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4---with the footnote "*Based on a
suite of performance tests using Adobe Photoshop 6.0." Apple's G4
page talks about supercomputing. And those are good and useful
numbers if that's what you care about doing.
I don't do supercomputing. I don't do Photoshop. My media
processing is limited to MP3 playback, and one MP3 encoding tool
(with very particular parameters). My two time sink games are
Diablo 2 and Counter-Strike, which aren't 3D floating point
I care a lot more about integer code. Stuff like web browsers,
mail readers, editors---heck, anything with a lot of cycles going
into the interface. And I'm a hacker too, so I care about shells,
compilers, interpreters, emulators, network servers, and so on.
I don't have a good way of measuring UI performance, especially
across platforms. But I do have a number of big "rebuild
everything" compile tasks that I want to be fast. Almost all of
them are hosted on Linux, which is good because Linux runs on most
hardware I run into. While these tasks are no substitute for a
broad, principled benchmark like SPEC CPU2000, they do exercise
many different features and can serve as a rough proxy for integer
performance. And besides, I already had my tasks ready and packaged
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