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  1. #1
    moro
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    linux user thinking about switching
    Hi all.
    I went to COMPUSA to have a look at the Powerbook G4 and I am seriously thinking about buying one. I have been a linux user for the last 6 years and I found linux quite stable and useful for my work: I am a physicist doing long and large Monte Carlo simulations. In my office you can find two Xeon servers and a P4 2.8 running the whole day long.
    Now I need a laptop. Mainly to carry it along and for presentations. I know a laptop is not the best place to run simulations, but I would like to now "how fast" are my simulations going to be in a G4 powerbook. As a possible benchmark, in my research group we have been monitorizing the performance of every group computer for a while using some of our codes and other physic codes. The results can be found in:

    http://gisc.uc3m.es/index.php?option...d=15&Itemid=40

    I would like to know if you guys out there can help to figure out "how fast" do my simulations run in a G4 powerbook and test some of the benchmarks in your own machine (at zero risk). To this end you need a FORTRAN compiler, that's all. Yes, I know is not the "state-of-the-art" benchmark, but it's real life comparison.

    I am not trying to start a PC vs. MAC war once again, but just convince myself that a G4 is a good purchase for me.

    So, please, come on, help me to decide!!

  2. #2

    MacAddikt's Avatar
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    Welcome to Mac-Forums!

    there is no raw data about the speeds, but this test might serve helpful

  3. #3
    moro
    Guest
    Thanks for answering.
    I have been browsing the net for the last week and I do know about all possible web pages in which cross-platform benchmarks exist (including the G5 polemic benchmark). Those benchmarks didn't help me though, since what I want is to know whether I would be able to run my simulations for presentations in a powerbook G4.

    Any help with the benchmark?

    Thanks

  4. #4

    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    it sounds like you are looking for a few volunteers to run a few speed time using your simulations . The first thought that came to me was this. Not knowing how long a general run takes, I was wondering if , you could burn a test case on a CDROM (your executable and your test data). Then you can go to either an Apple store or the CompUSA , and ask if you can run your simulations. They may let you do this since, you are interesting in purchasing one.

  5. #5
    moro
    Guest
    Hi.

    yep. Maybe I'm asking too much.

    By the way, I went to Compusa with my cdrom and programs before posting here. Unfortunately the powerbook did not have any fortran compiler on it, so I couldn't test my programs. I tried other c progrmas, but could make them work. As I said i'm not a mac user, so I don't have much experience in working with them. This is why I am relying on the Mac community.

    Each program takes around 30-40 secs to finish in a Pentium III machine.

    I will appreciate any real test... ;-)

  6. #6

    Murlyn's Avatar
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    Most of us are mac users and not users of the *nix underneath Mac OS X. Some of us mess around with it a bit, like me for instance, setting up a web server, etc etc. I think you need to find other *nix people that have switched to the Mac and they would probably know what you want and need and wouldnt have a problem doing it. Each and every single one of us have hopefully optimized our system for what we use.. Im a web developer.. so I have optimized Apache/PHP/MySQL on my powerbook.. and if I figured out how to run your tests they wouldnt have the same results as someone who optimized their system for what you do.. Mine would be a lot slower.. now if you wanted to test web apps.. then my system is the way to go!

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    moro
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Murlyn
    Most of us are mac users and not users of the *nix underneath Mac OS X. Some of us mess around with it a bit, like me for instance, setting up a web server, etc etc. I think you need to find other *nix people that have switched to the Mac and they would probably know what you want and need and wouldnt have a problem doing it.
    Precisely! This is why I am posting here! Thanks for explaining me things that I knew in the first place.

    umm. if Murlyn is right, that is, most mac os x users don't use the unix underneath, what is that unix bla, bla, bla and jargon that appears in apple.com page regarding the mac os x? Why intel is writing c and fortran compilers for the Mac OS X? Why are so many people porting programs in Unix to Mac OS X? Why is there something like "fink"?

    I cannot believe that there is not anybody out there that has ever compiled a c/fortran program on the Mac OS X terminal...

    If Murlyn is correct and nobody uses the unix in Mac OS X, I'm afraid I will never switch to Mac. Which is, by the way, the point of the following document in apple page:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/unix/

    Thus, apple is doing something just great (merging the MAC GUI and unix) and users don't mind.
    One important thing I will balance when switching to MAC is the community. If there is no people using the unix underneath, good for them, but not for me, since I believed the following comment in apple documentation was right:

    Mac OS X version 10.3 Panther combines a robust and open UNIX-based foundation with the richness and usability of the Macintosh interface, bringing UNIX technology to the mass market. Apple has made open source and standards a key part of its strategy and delivers an operating system built on a powerful UNIX-based foundation that is innovative and easy to use.

  8. #8

    Murlyn's Avatar
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    Woah woah woah! You interpreted what I said completely wrong. I said MOST of us and by most I mean most of us here at mac-forums are gui users, but some of us do use the terminal, and way before I became a mac user. I use it for ssh, for ftp at times, for configuring my web server, for configuring other web servers that I administer, etc etc. There are a whole lot more mac os x users out there then those that frequent these boards.. we're a very very very very very very small minority.

    Go over to afp548.com and you'll find a lot of *nix people gone Mac gui, Darwin terminal people.. What I am saying is that you as an architect you went to a lawyer forum to ask questions about architecture.

    I most definitely did not say "nobody uses the unix in Mac OS X" you're putting words in my mouth.. or in my bits.. or

    I have used make make install etc etc to install *nix programs on my mac, but why in the world am I going to install specific compilers just so I can test out your app for benchmarks etc.. and optimize my system so I can give you good benchmarks? We do have programmers here, we have cinematographers, we have students, we have a lot of switchers and we help them with their problems, with their questions, to help the transition go a bit smoother for them since we have the knowledge that they do not. I do not have the knowledge to help you in your pursuit.. maybe.. just maybe there is someone here that does and they'll speak up and help you, but you're asking people to optimize their system for your application so you can have benchmarks.. that's asking a lot! It's not asking as much of those people that already have their system optimized for your app. After optimizing our system for you.. then we need to go back and reoptimize it for what we do.. when in reality you know best about what you do and you are the person that needs to be doing these benchmarks because you need to SEE the benchmarks.. go somewhere that you can download the correct compilers, ask a friend to borrow his machine, and then you optimize it and you test your apps.

    There are swarms of *nix users coming to mac so please do not say I said things that I did not say. If you read my 3rd sentence in my first post and you'll see that I said you need to find *nix users that have switched to mac and not pc users that have switched to mac or classic mac users that have switched to os x. And again there might be some *nix users that have switched that come to these forums, but what I have seen is that it is mostly pc users that have switched that frequent these forums and again.. that does not mean that there are no *nix users that switched because they do not frequent these forums. In my experience *nix users have no need for a forum like this one because they do not have the switcher problems that pc users have. Just like you will seldom find people here that do not have problems with something.. why? because they are not searching for answers if they do not have a problem.. and we're here to give answers.. or try to help them find answers.

    Good luck and Cheers!

  9. #9

    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by moro
    Precisely! This is why I am posting here! Thanks for explaining me things that I knew in the first place.

    umm. if Murlyn is right, that is, most mac os x users don't use the unix underneath, what is that unix bla, bla, bla and jargon that appears in apple.com page regarding the mac os x? Why intel is writing c and fortran compilers for the Mac OS X? Why are so many people porting programs in Unix to Mac OS X? Why is there something like "fink"?

    I cannot believe that there is not anybody out there that has ever compiled a c/fortran program on the Mac OS X terminal...

    If Murlyn is correct and nobody uses the unix in Mac OS X, I'm afraid I will never switch to Mac. Which is, by the way, the point of the following document in apple page:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/unix/

    Thus, apple is doing something just great (merging the MAC GUI and unix) and users don't mind.
    One important thing I will balance when switching to MAC is the community. If there is no people using the unix underneath, good for them, but not for me, since I believed the following comment in apple documentation was right:
    Your statements are to genreal. There are a few developers here on theis board. They just have not checked in as of yet. Myself and Murlyn were offering some help. I have written and compiled many C and fortran programs. Just not on my poerbook. I use it mainly for accounting, movie editting and the likes. They is what Murlyn was saying. By profession I am a Unix Administrator, so I am comfortable with the Unix under pinnings. I just don't work it at home,

    What I am seeing here is still you are looking for volunteers to load, compile and run your code. What you want are individual that have a development environment created on the desktop (i.e. compilers installed). I don't think any one, at least not me. Will load software on their system that they don't use.

    If the individual has the compiler already loaded, then I believe they will be willing to help you. For me I don't have the three hundred megas bits of disk space to load the compiler (Apple develeopment option). As I said that is just me.

    MacAddikt develops code, he may want to help you. What I was suggesting about the CDROM, was to have your compiled executable and a your data. It looks like the problem is getting a compiled excutable to test with.

  10. #10

    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    Also gatorparrot is another individual that is very knowledge about the Mac OS X environment. He passes through here from time to time.

  11. #11

    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    Moro, please note I am not trying to be critical here. If I have come across that way, i am sorry.

    Most of the members of this forum are recant switchers themselves. So that is why some may not be using the Unix under pinnings, but are getting use to the new Mac OS X environment.

  12. #12

    Murlyn's Avatar
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    Ditto! he says it so much better than I!

  13. #13
    moro
    Guest
    Hi all.
    In the end I find someone who performed my "real-life" benchmarks. Here are the results. For comparison, I have included some PC running linux:

    MC is a Monte Carlo simulation
    MDBNCH is a Molecular dynamics simulation
    Times are in seconds. Thus, the smaller, the best.

    Computer: PowerMac G5 2.0 GHz
    Compiler: xlf (IBM)
    Results: 1.514s (mdbnch) and 6.957s (MC)

    Computer: PowerMac G4 1.0 GHz
    COmpiler: xlf (IBM)
    Results: 3.780s (mdbnch) and 12.34s (MC)

    Computer: Pentium IV 2.8 GHz
    Compiler: g77 (GNU)
    Results: 2.031 (mdbnch) and 4.342 (MC)

    Computer: Pentium III 2.0 GHz
    Compiler: g77 (GNU)
    Results: 4.11s (mdbnch) and 11.24 (MC)

    Computer: Centrino 1.5 GHz
    compiler: g77 (GNU)
    Results: 2.9s (mdbnch) and 6.8 (MC)

    Thus, buying a brand new powermac g4 is like buying a pentium III of 2001 in my case
    Macs could be great, but not for me...

  14. #14

    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    Just remember in the case of the G5 you are on running at 32bits. Maybe you want to try it again next year. Apple should have a 64 bit OS soon and that will really make a big difference.

  15. #15

    rman's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by moro
    Hi all.
    In the end I find someone who performed my "real-life" benchmarks. Here are the results. For comparison, I have included some PC running linux:

    MC is a Monte Carlos simulation
    MDBNCH is a Molecular dynamics simulation
    Times are in seconds. Thus, the smaller, the best.

    Computer: PowerMac G5 2.0 GHz
    Compiler: xlf (IBM)
    Results: 1.514s (mdbnch) and 6.957s (MC)

    Computer: Pentium IV 2.8 GHz
    Compiler: g77 (GNU)
    Results: 2.031 (mdbnch) and 4.342 (MC)
    .
    This is interesting the result from these two machines.

    I thought you wanted a laptop for demos.

    Just a small question has your code be optimized as much as possible? I know that tighter code runs better.

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