decent performance from G4 Macs?

Ron Chen ron_chen_123 at
Sat Apr 13 19:39:29 EDT 2002

--- Mark Hahn <hahn at> wrote:
> I'm doing some benchmarks to evaluate whether
> current Macs would make suitable nodes for a serial
> farm (lots of nodes, preferably fast CPU and dram,
> but no serious interconnect.)

Physics or bioscience code?

> I've tried a variety of real codes and benchmarks,
> but can't seem to get something like a Mac G4/800 
> with PC133 to perform anywhere close to even a
> P4/1.7/i845/PC133.
> I'm using either the gcc 2.95 that comes with OSX or
> a recent 3.1 snapshot (which is MUCH better, but
> still bad).

What compiler are you using for the P4? 
> is it just that the performance Apple brags about is
> strictly in-cache, and/or when doing something ah
> specialized like single-precision SIMD
>(altivec/velocity engine)?

Apple has some libraries that take advantage of the
Altivec instructions.

> is anyone using Macs in clusters, and what kind of
> performance
> are you observing?

AFAIK, there are several people using MacOS X in
clusters, the SGE (Sun Grid Engine) project has a port
for Mac OS X.

May be you should ask for the experience in setting up
Mac OS X compute farms. SGE is specifically written
for that environment.

SGE home:

SGE Open source site:

Search for "Mac OS" in the mailing list Archive.


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