All Macs In-Depth Tests
The Performance Edge: How Does A 20% Clock-Speed mprovement Turn Into A 40% Performance Improvement? - The iBook G3/500 vs The iBook G3/600
Sunday, December 2, 2001

On the surface of things, it would appear that there is very little difference between the previous 500 MHz iBooks and the current crop of 600 MHz ones. They are basically the same. Same form factor, same graphics card, same optical drives, same memory amount & memory sub-system. Sure there is a modest speed bump of 100 MHz, to the same G3 processor found in both iBook generations. This should, however, yield about a 20% performance improvement. Then why in many of our test results below are we seeing close to a 30% - 40% performance gain? The answer, we believe, can be laid at the feet of one more change Apple made. In the place of the 66 MHz System Bus (read "pathway") between the processor and main memory, there is now a 100 MHz one. This allows data to pass more quickly between main memory, the processor and other memory sub-systems. This is true on all the new iBooks, with the exception of the low-end CD only model, which has the old 500 MHz processor and a 66 MHz bus.

It also appears that the drives in these new iBooks are not only more spacious, but also perform better.

iBook Buyer's Guide ......... PowerBook Buyer's Guide

"Real World" Tests

The tests below are from our suite of real world application tests. These tests feature a diverse selection of applications commonly used by the Mac community. The test suite was designed to render an accurate and well rounded picture of a machine's performance. All of the tests below (with the exception of the Quake III & CineBench 2000 tests) were timed with a stopwatch. The times were then converted to percentages relative to the previous iBook G3/500, which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better.

Finder Tests


Seems that hard drive performance is somewhat improved. The top score is probably helped more by the faster processor speed

AppleWorks 6 Tests

Again the faster processor speed and speedier bus is the factor here

Quake III Tests
These scores are relative.

At 'fastest' setting the processor plays a bigger role. Both machines have the same graphics card

Most, if not all, of the processing is taking place in the graphics sub-system

Photoshop 6 & Other Data Crunching Tests


Again almost a 40% speed improvement from a 20% clock rate increase

All Photoshop filter tests are run completely in RAM, so the drive is not a factor

This is pure, raw data crunching

This is a processor intensive task

This is a combination of both processor and graphics card performance

Encoding/Decoding Tests

Heavy duty crunching going on here


The DVD/CD-RW drive in both iBooks burns CDs at 4X - not the fastest in the world