All Macs In-Depth Tests
Speed Doubler 8 vs. Mac OS 8.6 Head-to-Head

A while back we benchmarked Speed Doubler 8 running on top of Mac OS 8. The results were quite impressive. We have had a couple of OS revisions since then and decided to see how SD 8 stacked up against Mac OS 8.6. The results were surprising and, in some cases, puzzling. Our original tests were run on a 9500/200 running OS 8. For this round of tests we used the same 9500 but souped up with a 400MHz G3 upgrade card from XLR8. For our tests we created two extension sets. The 8.6 set consisted of all OS control panels/extensions plus those required by the G3 card. The Speed Doubler set was the same as the 8.6 set with the addition of the Speed Doubler extension and control panel. For all tests the disk cache was set to 2MB and virtual memory was turned on. Virtual memory was set 1MB over our installed 96MB. Below you will find our test results along with descriptions for each. Scores represent the time to complete a given task and are set relative to OS 8.6 which received a score of 100. Shorter bars are better.

For the first two tests a 574 page AppleWorks document was used. For the scroll test, we clocked the time to scroll from the first page to the last. For the find/replace test, we clocked the time to replace all occurrences of the word "the" (12,900 in case you were wondering) with the word "macbench."



For the network copy tests we used a 10-baseT AppleTalk network connection to our G3/266 PowerBook. The 9500 and PowerBook were the only two machines on the network. For the folder test, we copied a 60MB folder containing over 1,100 items and clocked the time. For the QuickTime file we used the 25MB Star Wars trailer. We ran each test twice and averaged the scores.

For these last two tests we used the 60MB folder from the test above.



Conclusions: It would appear Apple has done an admirable job of closing the performance gaps Speed Doubler 8 was intended to fill. Indeed it has surpassed SD8 when it comes to duplicating files/folders! The one department where SD 8 still shines is when copying a large number of files over a network. For those of you doing regular network backups this can be a real time saver. There are other advantages to Speed Doubler 8 that still make it an attractive package, scheduled copying/file synchronization and hot key application launching to name a few. Those of you running 8.6 without Speed Doubler 8 can rest assured that you are not missing out on a significant performance gain.

Speed Doubler 8 vs. Mac OS 8.6 - Round II

After our first round of tests, we received a few suggestions/requests for emulation tests and MacBench results. For the bulk of the tests we used MacBench 5.0 from Ziff Davis which returns scores relative to a beige G3/300 which is assigned a score of 1,000. Click Here for more information on MacBench. For the emulation tests we ran Speedometer 4.02 which offers a 68k emulation mode for benchmarking. For both Mac Bench and Speedometer higher numbers and longer bars are better... The MacBench disk score confirms that 8.6 does in fact have an edge on Speed Doubler 8 although our "real world" tests showed a larger gap. What do you make of these scores and the real world ones above? Do Speed Doubler's other features make it worth the $55 Price tag? Voice your thought on our Discussion Board