Benchmark Duel: Mac vs. PC, Round II
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Photoshop Benchmarks
Next, we tested the three machines using Photoshop 7. Since Apple is fond of using Photoshop as a benchmark in numerous "Megahertz Don't Matter" demos, we wanted to check for ourselves to see which platform is actually faster using Photoshop actions that invoke a variety of effects. We discovered that perhaps Apple is half-right -- megahertz might not matter too much, but gigahertz certainly do.

1. This first Photoshop 7 benchmark begins with an image at 640 x 480 (as with all these Photoshop tests). The action sequence went as follows: resize image 200 percent, Gaussian Blur, Craquelure, Emboss, Sharpen More, Despeckle and Ink Outlines.

2. The next benchmark involves layer styles and transformation. Beginning with the same image, it converts the background to a layer, applies bevel and emboss and satin, rotates the canvas 360 degrees in 90 degree increments and then performs a horizontal and vertical flip of the layer.
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3. The next test goes into filter effects. In Photoshop, various filters offer radically differing performance. The Gaussian Blur, for example, can take great advantage of the dual processors, while something like Colored Pencil can't. This test resizes the image 500 percent and then applies the following filters: Ink Outlines, Glowing Edges, Tiles, Bas Relief, Lighting Effects, Difference Clouds, Mosaic, Pinch, Colored Pencil, Gaussian Blur and Curves.

4. The last test consists of a huge string of effects, transformations, text manipulation and adjustments. It goes like this: Convert background to layer; resize image 500 percent; apply Inner Glow; apply Gradient Overlay; make four different adjustment layers (Curves, Gradient Map, Selective Color and Color Balance); make text; set antialias; warp text (arc); warp text (flag); rasterize text; set selection; duplicate; scale 411 percent; save alpha; select inverse; and fill with solid color.

As you see, the dual Athlon is still the fastest PC we've tested, but the single Intel P4 2.53 GHz machine runs a close second, and even beats the dual Athlon on some of the tests. And, as expected, the Mac dual 1GHz G4 could not even come close to keeping up with these two PCs. Even though the P4 machine has only a single processor, it was easy for it to leave the dual-processor Mac far behind.

Charlie White, your humble storytellerCharlie White has been writing about new media and digital video since it was the laughingstock of the television industry. A technology journalist and columnist for the past eight years, White is also an Emmy-winning producer, video editor and shot-calling PBS TV director with 28 years broadcast experience. Talk back -- Send Chazz a note at [email protected].

Editor's Note: For more Mac vs. PC testing and commentary, see the following articles:
Mac vs. PC III: Mac Slaughtered Again
After Effects Showdown: Mac vs. PC

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