by Mark H. Anbinder, News Editor <email@example.com>
Director of Technical Services, Baka Industries Inc.
Power Macs beat Pentium PCs, according to a study conducted by Ingram Laboratories in April. The results of the independent testing are, naturally, being trumpeted by Apple. Ingram, whose unbiased tests are well-respected in the industry, pitted Power Macintosh 6100/60, 7100/66, and 8100/80 computers against comparably equipped Compaq Deskpro Pentium/60 and Pentium/66 units, and a Compaq Presario 486SX/25 (for kicks, we assume).
Using a series of 25 tests incorporating four applications (Adobe Photoshop, Aldus Freehand, Frame Technology's FrameMaker, and Fractal Design Painter) available on both platforms, Ingram found that the Power Macs outperformed the corresponding Pentium systems by average amounts ranging from 24 percent (for the Power Mac 6100/60 over a 60 MHz Pentium system) to 54 percent (for the 8100/80 over the 66 MHz Pentium system). The Power Mac 6100/60 even beat the 66 MHz Pentium system by an average of 5 percent. The 25 tests included such every-day tasks as opening files, scrolling, and spell checking.
Ingram attempted to ensure that both Macintosh and Windows machines were comparably configured, since configuration can affect performance.
Apple points to these test results, and pricing research done by International Data Corp., to illustrate that Power Macs offer significant price and performance advantages over Pentium-based and other mainstream personal computers. Features such as SCSI, networking hardware and software, and 16-bit audio, which are included on the Power Macintoshes and typically add hundreds of dollars to the cost of Intel-based computers, were not considered as factors. Had they been, the price/performance ratios would have leaned towards Macintosh even more.
Ingram noted that computers based on Pentium processors faster than 66 MHz, and PowerPC processors faster than 80 MHz, were not available at the time of testing. The company plans to test faster systems as they become available. They also noted that extremely limited availability of 66 MHz Pentium systems meant they could not obtain pricing from vendors other than Compaq.
Apple's Ian Diery, executive vice president and general manager of Apple's Personal Computer Division, says that "these results give DOS and Windows users even more reason to consider switching to Macintosh." Although performance of DOS and Windows applications running in emulation under SoftWindows on a Power Mac will not approach the levels that would be seen on Pentium boxes (or even fast 486 machines), we agree that, when using comparable productivity applications on one platform or the other, Power Macs win hands down.