OS X 'Best for Audio'

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Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2001, 00:18
Category: Archive

Okay, folks, get ready for a new G4 performance shootout: this one shows a G4 running OS X trouncing LINUX-based PCs running audio.

Okay, folks, get ready for a new G4 performance shootout: this one shows a G4 running OS X trouncing LINUX-based PCs running audio.

Macworld UK got the scoop on a report by Karl MacMillan, Michael Droettboom and Ichiro Fujinaga of the Peabody Institute entitled “Audio latency measurements of desktop operating systems.” The report shows similar latency performance without system load. Increase system load, however — by loading multiple applications — and OS X’s latency doesn’t change at all, while its closest rival, a LINUX-based PIII, nearly doubles.

In layman’s terms, latency is a measure of the lag between when you play something and when you hear it while recording music, or in gaming, the delay between when a sound effect should occur and when it actually occurs.

And, by the way, is this test rigged? Well, yes — in favor of the PC! A single-processor G4/400 with built-in sound was able to best a DUAL-processor Pentium III with a pro audio card! Thanks to optimization of USB and FireWire support, incidentally, external devices should also fare extremely well under this OS.

This is tremendous news for those of us eagerly anticipating OS X coming into prime time for music and audio, as well as gamers. A primary concern of developers had been that audio performance would be poor under OS X. This test demonstrates that Apple has been receptive to their concerns and given them even more than they asked for.

Special thanks to reader Brian Monroney for tipping us off to Macworld UK’s article!

Now I want to see Phil Schiller do a shoot-out between a Mac and a PC running Logic Audio!

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