Pitting Dual Processors Against Single Processors - A Performance Review Of XLR8's Single & Dual Processor Upgrades

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

As the results below show, there aren't a lot of applications, so far, that take advantage of dual processors. This should change as more applications get rewritten for OS X - which has multi-processor support built into the OS. The tests below were carried out using XLR8's dual processor G4/500 and single G4z/500 cards. To simulate the full range of XLR8's G4 ZIF processor upgrades we clocked down the processors in steps, and, in the case of the single processor MACh Velocity MPe results, removed one of the processors from the dual carrier card.

It is clear that the G4 does make a big difference on applications that can take advantage of it, such as certain functions of QuickTime, SoundJam and Photoshop, and that dual processors can potentially cut rendering time almost in half. The combination of both the G4 and dual processing should provide a potent force, as we move forward with both Mac OS X and dual or quad processor machines and upgrades.

All card configurations worked without a hitch when installed in our Beige G3/266, though the use of the dual processor card requires you to disconnect the floppy drive

See also our full review of the XLR8 MACh Velocity MPe 66 G4/500/250/1MB and information & reviews of other ZIF based upgrades


"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 our base Blue & White G3/350 machine which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better. Absolute scores for most tests can be found below this section.

**Please note: The Power Mac G4/533 is a single processor machine

ZoneBench 2000 Processor Score

 

Finder Tests

 

AppleWorks 6 Tests

 

Quake III Tests
These scores are relative. Actual frame rates for all machines below this section.

 

 

Photoshop 6 & Other Data Crunching Tests

 

 

 

 

 

Encoding/Decoding Tests

 

 

 

 


Actual Scores - In Seconds except for the Quake and CineBench 2000 scores

Machine

Finder Copy
(Folder)

Finder Copy
(Large File)

AppleWorks 6.0.4
Scroll

AppleWorks 6.0.4
Search & Replace

Analog Code Analysis

Quake III
Fastest Setting

Quake III
High Quality Setting

Power Mac G3/266
(Test machine)

34.66

28.13 94.64 22.70 63.54 15.5 FPS 2.2 FPS
Stock B&W G3/350 20.73 24.59 68.45

17.69

49.94 37.6 FPS 19.4 FPS
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Dual G4/400/200/1MB 32.81 27.86 90.91

13.93

43.42 20.8 2.4
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Single G4/400/200/1MB 32.5 27.88 88.36 13.17 42.73 21.6 2.4
MAChSpeed G4z 400/200/1MB 32.3 27.38 86.95 13.13 42.03 21.8 2.5
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Dual G4/500/250/1MB 32.62 27.37 72 11.34 35.33 22.7 2.5
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Single G4/500/250/1MB 32.22 27.63 82.26 10.95 35.01 24 2.5
MAChSpeed G4z 500/250/1MB 32.24 27.58 88.17 10.71 34.39 24.3 2.5
Power Mac G4/533 Single Processor 16.17 9.28 37.01 9.41 30.76 75.9 68.7
Machine

CineBench 2000
Ray | Shade

SoundJam 2.5.2
MP3 Encode

QuickTime 4.1.2
Encode
(Sorenson 2X CD)

StuffIt 6
Decompression

Photoshop 6.0
Launch

Photoshop 6.0
AltiVec Filters

Photoshop 6.0
Non-AltiVec Filters

Power Mac G3/266
(Test machine)
3.41 | 2.5 122.55 1406.30 31.37 18.95 129.91 350.77
Stock B&W G3/350 4.58 | 3.88 92.63 1,046.23 21.89 12.81 99.41 258.76
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Dual G4/400/200/1MB 9.22 | 3.46 44.77 447.02

22.17

18.77 52.76 232.43
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Single G4/400/200/1MB 5.25 | 3.6 56.49 438.81 21.47 14.55 61.89 220.55
MAChSpeed G4z 400/200/1MB 5.29 | 3.65 55.62 423.29 21.54 15.06 61.31 220.69
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Dual G4/500/250/1MB 11.4 | 4.02 37.48 379.23 18.58 14.77 48 189
MACh Velocity MPe 66 Single G4/500/250/1MB 6.54 | 4.2 45.92 368.49 15.99 13.41 53.68 181.42
MAChSpeed G4z 500/250/1MB 6.59 | 4.30 45.11 354.99 18.34 13.11 53.03 178.34
Power Mac G4/533 Single Processor 5.99 | 7.42 41.62 277.81 12.8 8.05 38.77 166.33

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