Monday, August 13, 2001
This is our first look at the performance of
the new Quicksilver Power Macs announced at Macworld NY in
July. Below we compare the new 733 MHz machine to some of
the currently selling Macs, and a few machines from the last
round of PowerMacs. In most of the tests below, the single
processor 533 MHz from the previous family of Power Macs,
turned in better scores than the new 733 MHz machine. In many
of the other tests they were evenly matched.
Other than the MHz difference what divides these
two machines? They both have G4 processors. They both have
the NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics cards with 32MB of SDRAM in
4x AGP slot. Both have Ultra ATA/66 drives. The drive on the
new machine rotates somewhat slower, but other than that they
are quite similar - the bus speed is the same and they both
take the same speed RAM.
The difference between these two machines is,
that the new 733 MHz Mac has a 256K on chip cache running
at full processor speed...and that is it. The, now discontinued,
533 MHz machine has a full MB of backside cache running at
half the processor speed. The other difference is that the
533 MHz machine was running System 9.1 and the 733 MHz, System
9.2 - although I don't believe that this would effect performance
much We plan to test this assumption soon.
The 733 MHz Power Mac is Apple's 'budget' professional
machine and items were cut to get it in at a price of $1,700
- $500 less than the old 533 MHz machine when it was in production.
The 733 MHz machine is fine for those that aren't in the most
demanding situations. For those that are, you might want to
see if you can get a bargain on one of the discontinued
733 MHz models or even the dual processor 533 MHz from the
last generation. The next step up from the current Quicksilver
733 MHz is the 867 MHz Power Mac. It not only has the on chip
cache but also two full MB of Backside cache. However this
machine will leave your wallet $800 lighter.
Note: This is our first look at the performance
of the new Quicksilver towers. We will be running more tests
and hope to have a full review of all the new Power Macs in
the next few weeks.
"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 are then
converted to percentages relative to the Blue & White
G3/350 which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers
AppleWorks 6 Tests
Quake III Tests
These scores are relative.
Photoshop 6 & Other Data Crunching Tests