All Macs In-Depth Tests

The Performance Edge: More Extensive Performance Numbers On The Dual G4 Gigahertz Machine When Running OS X

Thursday, February 21, 2002

We are following up our our first look at the performance of the new Power Mac Dual G4/1 GHz machine, with a more detailed look. This time we add in the single processor G4/867 from the last generation Power Mac to the mix. We also expand the number and variety of test we have run. We will be running performance testing on all the new Towers, and should be able to give you a good comparative picture in a couple of weeks. The tests below were run on top of OS 10.1. Early next week we will be posting extensive performance numbers when running Mac OS 9.x, including Photoshop and gaming results.

Difference and similarities in processor and memory systems of each machine

Additional Resources

Check prices at:



  Power Mac G4/867 Power Mac Dual G4/800 Power Mac Dual G4/1GHz
Processors 1 x G4/867 2 x G4/800 2 x G4/1000
L2 Cache 256k @ 867 MHz 256k @ 800 MHz 256k @ 1 GHz
L3 Cache 2 MB @ 217 MHz 2 MB @ 200 MHz 2 MB @ 250 MHz DDR
Memory 768 MB PC 133 768 MB PC 133 1 GB PC 133
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 32MB of SDRAM NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with TwinView and 64MB of SDRAM NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64MB of DDR SDRAM
Drive 60 GB @ 7200 rpm 80 GB @ 7200 rpm 80 GB @ 7200 rpm
Operating System 10.1 10.1 10.1.2
Price $2,499 $3,499 $2,999

"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 were timed with a stopwatch. The times are then converted to percentages relative to the Power Mac G4/867, which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better.

Drive Tests


Drive activity is not a processor intensive task. So here it is the speed of the drive and its support system,that for the most part determines performance. The first test above copies a folder that has a little over 1,000 files in it. We are guessing, but perhaps the better performance for the dual processor machines it due to the fact that the drive has two L2 & L3 caches to play with (each processor has 2 MB of L3 cache and 256K of L2). In the second test, which is working on a single file, and presumably a continuous data stream, the caches perhaps are not as relevant to performance.

This test creates and destroys 1,000 windows. During this test only 60% of the Gigahertz machine's dual processors were doing any any work.


Number Crunching & Rendering Tests

Again here only 50% of the Gigahertz machines processing capability is being utilized. Given the clock speed difference, this is about the performance difference you would expect between these two machines

This is the only single application test we run that takes up as much processing bandwidth as you throw at it.. The Fractal program has been highly tuned to take advantage of the G4 and is precisely the type of work that the G4 was made for.

Encoding/Decoding Tests

Unfortunately this function of QuickTime does not take advantage of dual processors ... and it shows


However this function does! Converting QuickTime movies to DV allows you to import them into iMovie

Again this is the kind of performance split you would expect from the faster machine.. see StuffIt