All Macs In-Depth Tests
Performance Focus: Macintosh Hardware & Software - A Resource
Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Below you will find a list of links that have been culled from around the Net relating to Macintosh hardware and software product's performance. Like our 'Hub' pages , this one is intended as a one stop launching point. New news links will be added to the top of each area. If you have a news item relating to Mac product performane, mail it to us and we will add it.

Macintosh Related Books

Performance Products

Many of these products can be purchased at Small Dog Electronics

Resources At MacSpeedZone

Macintosh Chips & Wintel Chips

Currently shipping machine performance

Gigahertz Zone - The Best Power Mac Information From Around The Net!

iMac Zone - The Best iMac Information From Around The Net!

iBook Zone - The Best iBook Information From Around The Net!

Upgrade Zone: Your Center For Information About Macintosh Processor Upgrades

Resources At MacReviewZone

Resources at Apple

Other Information Resources

Mailing Lists & Discussion Forums

How Fast Is The IBM 180GXP On An ATA-133 Interface? And How Does The WD1800JB And Others Compare? - Recently I published results the new IBM Deskstar 180GXP 180GB drive running in a FireWire case. But I know you are dying to know how it performs on an ATA-133 interface. So I tested it on the Sonnet Tempo ATA-133 card

Wiebetech Breaks Through The Capacity And Power Barriers for FireWire Drives - The WiebeTech bus powered 180+ GB FireWire bus powered solutions provide a new level of performance, capacity, and convenience to PowerBook and iBook users as well as Power Mac and iMac users who want the freedom from power cords and capacity restrictions

Does A 52X** CD Burner Burn 6.5 Times Faster Than An 8X burner? - CD burner speeds are up to 48X**. Like you, I've been wondering how fast they really burn. I decided to "build" my own FireWire 48X burner using a generic case and a Buslink 48X (Lite-On LTR-48125W) CD-RW. (Why Lite-On? Because it was rated second fastest by PCWorld and because it had a fast 80ms average access time.)

Is a 5400rpm ATA-133 drive a lot slower than a 7200rpm ATA-100 drive? - I was intrigued by the 5400rpm Maxtor DiamondMax D540X-4G not only for its large capacity (160GB) but the fact that is runs at 5400rpm yet has an ATA-133 interface. Kinky. I decided to compare its performance to an IBM Deskstar 120GXP 120GB 7200rpm ATA-100 drive

Three New FireWire RAID Boxes - Three new FireWire RAID storage products got my attention: The Miglia MediaBank, Wiebetech RAID, and Granite Digital FireVue Hot-Swap RAID system. The idea is to put two drives in one box to create a compact, all-in-one dual drive striped or mirrored RAID

Netscape 7.0 vs iCab 2.8.1 For Mac OS Classic Speed Shootout  - Speed - wise, Netscape 7.0 for OS 8/9 is now in a virtual dead heat with both the speedy iCab, and the Netscape 7.0 OS X build

OS X Odyssey 160 - Netscape 7.0 and Mozilla 1.1; Which Is Faster?  - Netscape and Mozilla both released new final versions of their respective browsers in late August -- Netscape 7.0 and Mozilla 1.1. When I tested the Netscape 7 Public Preview 1 against Mozilla 1.0 and five other browsers back in May, the Netscape product had a significant edge in speed over the others, and I was interested to see if Mozilla had caught up, or if Netscape had retained or extended its advantage.

How to overclock your Cube  - The overclocked CPU (stock 450->550) works well with: OS X 10.1 OS X 10.1.2 Server OS X 10.2

FireWire RAID Revisited or "Why You Need Dual Channel FireWire"  - The RAID function in OS X's Disk Utility will work with FireWire drives, not just Ultra ATA and SCSI. I decided to create a striped array (RAID 0) using the two new Granite Digital Hot Swap FireWire case kits and a pair of IBM Deskstar 120GXP's

Mac OS X Shareware of the Month: Speed Download - Speed Download comes highly recommended from this editor, who is constantly downloading lots of things on a very inefficient connection. With Speed Download, I just turn on the que and go on to doing other things, either at my PowerBook or away from it

Toshiba's New "GAX" 2.5 Inch Drive Features 5400RPM and 16MB Buffer. Does It Beat Up On The IBM 40GNX? - I was beginning to wonder if the Toshiba MK4019GAX drive (5400rpm, 16MB buffer, 9.5mm thin) was for real. Especially when it disappeared from their website a few weeks ago. Well it's back and ready to ship. Now that I have a test unit, the big questions is, "How does it compare to the IBM Travelstar 40GNX (5400rpm, 8MB buffer, 9.5mm thin)?" And how does it compare to the two other fastest notebook drives before these two new ones appeared?

Hard-drive advances keep coming  - Next to semiconductors that keep screaming more and more gigahertz, there's a quieter catalyst for ever more powerful and shrinking high-tech gadgets: hard drives. Hard drives now come in packages almost as small as a quarter. IBM Corp.'s 1-gigabyte Microdrive holds the equivalent of 700 floppy disks in a half-ounce, one-inch package. And credit-card sized hard drives in laptops can now hold 20 GB of data

PCI technology given GHz boost  - PCI Express is the next evolution of PCI technology, which allows internal components of a PC, such as the microprocessor, to communicate with devices (such as graphics cards) attached through expansion slots. PCI-X is a bus technology used within computers to allow chips to exchange data at faster speeds than current PCI technology allows.

Ultra-Fast FireWire Card in the Works - Company officials revealed to NewsFactor that the new round of financing will help spur development of a FireWire controller that can handle speeds of up to 800 megabits per second -- double the current FireWire transfer speed

Server 5.5 Benchmarks Galore - Filemaker posted the demo of Server 5.5 (OS9, OSX & Win2K) on their servers, so I've geeked out and added a couple dozen new benchmarks and commentary to the site. Bottom line? Version 5.5 reclaims the speed that was lost with version 5.

USB 2.0 and Firewire - Killing some Myths - While I was at MacWorld SF, I picked up a Cutie Combo hard drive case. This tiny aluminum case, barely larger than the notebook drive you put in it, has both a Firewire (400Mbps) connection and a USB 2.0 (480Mbps) connection. A month earlier, I had purchased an Orange Micro Firewire/USB2.0 combo PCI card that I've been running in my Mac. With these two parts, I felt it was time to test the reality of Firewire and USB 2. Here are the results

Is Wiebetech's FireWire Drive Dock The Missing Piece In Your FireWire Arsenal? - the FireWire Drive Dock, which uses the "Oxford 911" chip set, is every bit as fast as the regular FireWire case kits

Do FireWire Drives Run Faster or Slower On OS X? And Do Third Party FireWire Drivers Help? - At first I didn't notice it but now that I'm testing mostly in OS X, the FireWire drive speeds seem to have dropped compared to OS 9 testing. A closer study produced some interesting data including some insights on whether third party drivers help with either OS

Western Digital Blows Away The Competition With Their Special Edition WD1200JB ("Jumbo Buffer") ATA-100 Drive - Western Digital's newest 120GB 7200rpm ATA-100 Special Edition drive, the Caviar WD1200JB (JB=Jumbo Buffer = 8MB). So here it is... fasten your seat belts and extinguish all smoking materials....

802.11a 5 Times Faster Than 11b - 802.11a has a maximum stated throughput of 54M bps (vs. 11M bps for 802.11b), and products based on the specification are more secure and far easier to set up and manage than the first batch of 802.11b devices. In our tests of 802.11a-based access points and network cards from SMC Networks Worldwide and Proxim Inc., it took no more than 15 minutes to set up an 802.11a network

Apple's FireWire to Go Wireless at 5 GHz - The new standard will allow enabled devices to communicate at a new ultra-fast 5 GHz frequency, resulting in 54 Megabits per second transfer-rates over a wireless connection.

How Fast Is The NEW IBM 48GB Travelstar 2.5 Inch Drive In A NEW Oxford 911 FireWire Case? - I've been champing at the bit to try the new 2.5 inch 48GB 5400 rpm IBM Travelstar with fluid dynamic bearings. I especially wanted to see how fast it goes one of the new Oxford 911 2.5 inch FireWire drive enclosures from FWDepot or Trans International. And, how close does this newest, fastest 2.5 inch ATA-5 drive in the newest, fastest FireWire drive enclosure compare to the speed of the newest, fastest 3.5 inch ATA/100 drive in the newest fastest FireWire drive enclosure?


How Fast Is The New Acard ATA-100+ RAID PCI Card? - Finally, we now have ATA/100 cards for the Mac. Acard will be showing two models at the New York MacWorld Expo 2001 (booth 2224). I asked to test the Hardware RAID version or what I like to call the "AHARD 100."

New EZQuest Cobra FireWire Drive Has Speed To Burn Even Without The Oxford 911 Chip Set - The folks at EZQuest are claiming speed to match the Granite Digital and OWC Mercury Elite FireWire drive enclosures without using the Oxford 911 chip set. Is it hype or reality? I decided to see for myself using some new "real world" drive speed tests

Now There Are Two FireWire Drive Enclosures Using The "Oxford 911" Chip Set. Which one is fastest? - For the last four months, Granite Digital was the ONLY FireWire enclosure/bridge board maker to use the new FAST Oxford 911 chip set. Now Other World Computing is shipping the Mercury Elite which boasts the same chip set. "Is it just as fast as the Granite enclosure?" Let's find out.

FWDepot's New "Titanium" Portable FireWire Drive Takes On VST's "IceCube" and Granite Digital's "Iceberg." - FWDepot has a nifty new silver FireWire enclosure for 2.5 inch drives. It's not really made of titanium but it matches the color of the Titanium G4 PowerBook very closely. Not only does the BTVN 2.5X Silver Enclosure snap together (no screw drivers needed) but you can "roll your own" 20GB FireWire drive for $285. Now do I have your attention?

How Fast Is The New 16X Que! Fire CD-RW? - It seems every time QPS announces a new CD burner, two weeks later they offer a rebate and announce a faster one

Granite Digital's Bridge Board Breaks The 30MB/sec Barrier For Single FireWire Drives! - I've been very disappointed with the speed of FireWire drives up until now. But there's a new gunslinger in town. Granite Digital showed up with MacWorld Expo with their FireWire enclosure featuring a FireWire-to-IDE bridge board with the new Oxford 911 chip set

Which is faster, the GeForce2 MX or the Radeon? - they were showing off a G4/466 from the campus bookstore with a GeForce2 MX. Aha! Then Thursday, I received an email from a staff member of Mac Made Easy of Honolulu. "We have a G4/466 in our demo room with a RAGE 128 Pro." Oooo! (And I had an AGP Radeon eval card. Heh, heh, heh.)

How much speed does a PowerBook Wallstreet gain from a hard drive upgrade? - This should be quite a revelation to many of you. There's more to performance than a faster CPU. Your computer spends an inordinate amount of time reading from and writing to the hard drive

Is a 12X FireWire CD-RW really 50% faster than an 8X CD-RW? - The QPS Que! Fire 12X CD-RW external drive is shipping for Macintosh. Is it worth paying $350 for a 12X when you can get an 8X for $240? Is it really that much faster?

Make Your FireWire Drives Shoot Flames - Although you can expect faster FireWire drives to be introduced in the near future, you don't have to wait a second longer. Thanks the new FireRAID software from SmartDisk/VST, you can create a striped array (RAID level 0) with two or more FireWire drives. You can also create a mirrored array (RAID level 1)

Is A FireWire Orb Drive Faster Than A SCSI Orb Drive? - Castlewood has yet to release their FireWire version but ADS Technologies has taken the IDE version of the Orb and stuck it in their FireWire enclosure. (Castlewood even advertises it on their web site.) Also, both Orange Micro and Ratoc have released SCSI to FireWire converters that they claim work with the SCSI Orb drive. So let's see how all these compare...

Is the Maxtor DiamondMax 80 as fast as the IBM Deskstar 75GXP? - Turns out that the drive is set at the factory to do "write and then read" verification the first 10 times you cycle power on the drive. After the reader cycled the power 10 times on his drive, his write times jumped from 12MB/sec to 29MB/sec

Flash Card Reader "BattleBots" - USB versus FireWire - No, this isn't really BattleBots. It's a face-off between USB and FireWire Flash Card readers

The Halloween Release of 1.39 Firmware Makes The Acard AHARD RAID 66 card a "demon" of an ATA controller

The Battle Of The Thin, Portable FireWire Drives - if there's anything more convenient than a hot-swappable FireWire drive, it's a FireWire drive that you can carry in your POCKET!

The Newest Ultra Portable FireWire Drive from SmartDisk/VST sports more speed and an optional USB interface

Want 100+ MB/sec sustained read and write speed? Try 3 Cheetah 15K drives and a 39160 controller!

Test Results for the Newest, Fastest Drives. (Ultra 160 vs Ultra ATA vs FireWire) - Constant improvements in hardware and firmware make this a moving target but here's the latest on the fastest of each kind including SCSI (Ultra160), IDE (Ultra ATA/66), and FireWire.

Three NEW FireWire Drives Read 80% Faster

Dual Drive Ultra160 SCSI Array Hits 87MB/sec! - I've been claiming that an Ultra ATA RAID can go just as fast as an Ultra160 RAID. I've just been proven wrong

Sonnet's Tempo Ultra ATA PCI card jumps into a crowded field with a little surprise - Sonnet's $99 Tempo card?" I wasn't too excited at first about redoing the test graphs for a card that I understood to be YAAiD ("yet another Acard in disguise"). But when I used it to set up a striped array on a Sawtooth, its WRITE speed surprised me's PCI Firewire Card Performance Tests in S900: - This page lists results of tests with a PCI Firewire card (3 external ports, 1 internal port) against my Rocketfire Firewire/USB combo card in my S900

What's the fastest Ultra ATA drive under $200? - I saw some impressive numbers posted by other sites for the newest Deskstar 75GXP drive from IBM. I had to see if I could get the same numbers and if it was the new Ultra ATA champ

Does it matter what FireWire card I buy? Are all FireWire drives the same speed? Bare Feats has the hose ready

Test results on two new storage products - The new Acard HARDWARE IDE RAID that works with a flip of a switch. The new 15,000 rpm Seagate Cheetah

What's the fastest Ultra ATA drive under $250? - It's an exciting time for Ultra ATA drive consumers. It seems a new model comes out every week. Here the latest comparison between the newest, fastest models

iCab Beats Opera as Fastest Low-end Browser - I found Opera's claims to be "the fastest Internet browser" far-fetched at best. Opera was wanting, particularly in speed -- even with images turned off. It was slow, lethargic, unresponsive. In fact, it felt as if I was driving a Porsche, equipped with a 1982 Toyota sedan engine

Is Final Cut Pro 2.0 Significantly Faster Than 1.2.5? - Apple has advertised that Final Cut Pro 2.0 is up to 70% faster than Final Cut Pro 1.0 (or 1.2.5) when used with QuickTime 5.0. But what if I use FCP 1.2.5 with QT 5.0? In other words, is the increase in speed due strictly to the QuickTime update?

Discontinued WordPerfect '97 Still Leaves Word '98 Eating Its Dust - I have continued to use WordPerfect 3.5 even though Corel officially stopped selling it a year ago (July '99). Tech support ceased as of October '99. I just thought you'd like to know how it compares in performance to the two most popular "currently shipping" Macintosh word-processing products

Nisus Writer 5.1.3 Challenges WordPerfect 3.5.4 For "Fastest Word Processing" Honors - A comparison of Nisus Writer, Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and AppleWorks using a 250 page (194,202 word) document.

Unofficial Bench Test Results Of The Macintosh Emulators - While bench testing does not necessarily determine the best Mac emulator for your needs, it does give you an indication of the speed to expect from whatever Mac emulator you are thinking about using

Can a web cache improve network throughput? - Despite the steady increase in Internet connectivity speeds, users are still seeking ways to get more out of their existing network connections. When multiple users are sharing the same connection, the performance crunch can be even more severe. One solution that many network administrators pursue is the addition of a Web cache server. Web cache servers come in all shapes and sizes, but can they really make a difference on your network?

Browser Performance Tips - I've recently done some research into web browser performance, and have a couple of tips that are worth passing along

Virtual PC and AltiVec - Will the Velocity Engine of the G4s boost the performance of Virtual PC? An answer from one of Connectix's engineers.

SPEC CPU95 Results for many machines running all kinds of chips and software

Speedy Starter-Uppers - Bare Feats conducts a comparison between Casady & Greene's Speed Startup and Marc Moini's Startup Doubler

Review of Speed Startup which is a utility from Casady & Greene that purports to cut the amount of time your Mac takes to boot

Making the Web a Faster Place - 20 tips for making Web pages load faster

Mac Java Runtime v2.1 vs v2.0 - CaffeineMark Performance Comparisons

Special Report on the various options for running Windows 95 on the Mac

Benchmarks for the 7.6 OS Update

Charts with the performance results from using different hard drive formatting software