Permanent magnet exited synchronous machines always show three significant portions of their losses: Iron losses within the magnetic circuit, power losses within the stator winding and finally eddy current losses within the permanent magnets. In particular, surface mounted magnets are directly exposed to asynchronous components of the air-gap field caused by either higher harmonic waves or higher time harmonics. Analytical calculation of the eddy current losses within the permanent magnets for both linear as well as cylindrical arrangements describe fundamental characteristics in dependence on only few significant parameters. These results serve as reference results for detailed numerical calculations using the finite element method, too. The finite element analyses with various formulations of the shape functions show the significant influence of the higher order elements on the accuracy of the eddy current losses. Additionally, the effects of a various pole coverage can be obtained from the results of the numerical calculations. Therefore, a clear summary of the significant parameters influencing the eddy current losses within the permanent magnets for both linear as well as cylindrical arrangements will be established.