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Sunday, October 27, 2002

by David Engstrom

Several days ago we posted our review of the Sonnet Harmoni upgrade cards. This review included extensive performance results of the upgrade cards when installed in a iMac G3/233 running OS 10.2. Below we post results from the same cards, installed in the same machine, but this time running OS 9.2.2. Many of the people with the original iMacs, we are sure, are still running some version of OS 9 ... or earlier. The results below should give you an idea of what kind of performance boost you should see if you choose to purchase and install a Harmoni upgrade.

We also threw in results from other Macintosh computers in the same megahertz range as the upgrades. This will give you an idea of how a Harmoni upgraded machine will compare with other machines that are clocked similarly.

Under OS 9 the Harmoni upgrades turned in from just a shade under double, to two and a quarter times the performance of a stock G3/233 MHz iMac, when working on processor intensive tasks.

"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 Blue & White G3/350 MHz Power Mac, which is set to 100%. For all scores higher numbers are better.

Finder Tests

The test above copies a folder containing thousands of files. This type of copying requires more processing overhead than a single, large file duplication. However a faster processor won't make much of a difference if the bottleneck is on the drive performance level.


Processor performance is less of a factor here and the drive performance is more important. Interestingly the two sets of results above, hard drive performance when carrying out copy functions, were somewhat different when the machine was running OS X and the same tests were carried out.

AppleWorks 6 Tests

The graphics sub-system and processor influence the scores above. The drive is not a factor

The machines with a small L2 cache are hurt in this test. If you work in mainly smaller documents you will note see this kind of performance difference

Quake III Tests
These scores are relative.

At 'fastest' setting the processor plays a bigger role (the Harmoni G3/600 achieved 20.4 fps)

Most, if not all, the processing is being done by the graphics card in this test. The speed difference more or less disappears in machines that have the same graphics card.

Photoshop 6 & Other Data Crunching Tests


The test suite above takes special advantage of the G4 processor


This is pure, raw data crunching. Program does not take advantage of the G4


This is a combination of both processor and graphics card performance

Encoding/Decoding Tests

Another Multimedia program that really takes full advantage of the G4

Another App tuned to the G4's capabilities. However CD drive speed is also a factor in some cases