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Mac OS X G5 performance compared to Linux on x86

There has been much coverage of the performance comparison posted by Johan De Gelas at Anandtech.

The aim of the article is supposedly to compare the G5 processor to a few x86 processors (Xeon & Opteron). However, the chosen operating systems seem a bit strange. On the x86 hardware, linux was chosen, but on powerpc hardware, Mac OS X was chosen.

Personally, if I was aiming to benchmark the chip, I would have used linux on powerpc to remove as many variables as possible from the comparison.

Given the amount of effort spent tuning apache and mysql for performance on linux, it doesn’t surprise me that it doesn’t perform so well on Mac OS X. I still remember how painful it was to get them to compile on the early betas, let alone run quickly.

The theories expressed as to why the performance is so bad on Mac OS X are quite off the mark.

Fortunate result of all of this is that Apple may spend some time investigating how the performance of apache and mysql could be improved. Although speculation has them heading off for x86 as the answer. Monday will be interesting.