Margin Note: Benchmark sparring; Intel's reaction to the G5

Margin Note: Benchmark sparring; Intel's reaction to the G5

Apple's public designation of the Power Macintosh G5 as the "world's fastest personal computer" accompanied by a set of stellar benchmarks for the new machines, seems to have evoked the investigative spirit in a number of interested parties. Among them - the full gamut of major processor manufacturers including Intel, AMD and Motorola; media outlets of all sizes; and most importantly, those with actual access to the still publicly unavailable machines.

We contacted Intel to find out what they thought of Apple's benchmarks, and the industry's reaction. Naturally, the company had no official comments of the own at the time, noting that they had no G5 machines to test, and were merely reading through the crossfire with the rest of us.

They later referred us to an analyst with the Gartner Group, Martin Reynolds, who we naturally expected would be highly skeptical of Apple's claims and present some Intel backing. Hours later, a Gartner report written by Reynolds was issued, containing this statement:

"These models certainly equal Intel's advanced 875 platform and should allow Apple to go until 2005 without a major platform refresh."

The "875" platform to which Reynolds refers, is the chipset backing Intel's current line of top-end Pentium 4 offerings. It sports an 800 MHz frontside bus - compared to the G5's 1 GHz - with support for dual-channel DDR400 RAM.

It is unclear to us whether this means Intel is admitting Apple may have a superior platform -- at least for now.

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