The tests measured the performance
of a 1.25Ghz Mac mini compared to a 1.8Ghz dual-G5.
Both servers were running Mac OS X 10.3.7 and
the Apache 2.0.50 web server under iTools.
The Mac mini had been outfitted with an extra 256MB of memory,
otherwise the system was a stock release from Apple. The dual-G5
also had 512MB of memory and a 140GB disk - also a readily available
stock Apple configuration for about $2145.
The measurement strategy was not to try to wring the last vestiges
of performance out of each machine, but rather to produce a benchmark
that everyone should be able to achieve. There were no special
configurations or system tuning. Although it would have improved
measurement results, no web page caching was employed. Instead
the 100 Mbps network was generally quiescent. The Ethernet interfaces
to full-duplex. A modest amount of processor performance was
still available, even while the tests were ongoing, to support
normal system maintenance, ISP overhead, or other necessary activity
common to an operational web server.
The Apache Bench (ab) application was used to generate and measure
a synthetic HTTP traffic profile. The offered test client population
was increased by using 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and, finally, 32 simultaneous
threads to make one million requests for a 2K file. The one million
requests make up for any system anomalies. The increasing number
of simultaneous requests was able to fully measure the performance
of each machine; as 16 and 32 simultaneous clients were measured,
the results peaked and then asymptotically declined.
The results are composed of the number of measured hits per
second, the kilobytes per second of data transferred, and
the number of simultaneous client threads, making a combined
total of one million requests.
The Mac mini topped out at 1239 hits per second, yielding
2502 Kbytes/sec of data served, while the dual-G5 held up
2174 hits per second, yielding 4387 Kbytes/sec. It is probable
that other testers will be able to produce improved hits
per second from both machines, however most day-to-day installations
will orbit around these performance levels.
While these figures aren't at the top end of the generally
available ISP-class web server performance curve by any
means, the economics of the Mac mini are such that for
the first time ever there is a competitive Macintosh server
able to handle more than 1000 hits per second yielding
20Mbits of data at a price that meets or beats much of
the industry - and it all comes in an Apple package with
their traditional emphasis on quality, style and Mac OS
X's UI. A great little server for the rest of us!