All Macs In-Depth Tests
Disk Cache and Mac OS 9 - The Performance Equation
Every time Apple comes out with a new release of the Mac OS we like to test performance at various disk cache settings. The disk cache is set in the Memory control panel. Testing was done using MacBench 5.0 on a PowerBook G3/266 with 128MB of RAM and Mac OS 9 installed. MacBench profiles popular software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Word 6.0 and QuarkXpress among a variety of others and applies these profiles to the various subsystems being tested. Click Here for more information on MacBench. We set the 128k disk cache scores at 100% to provide you with a base for comparison. Higher scores indicate better performance.

MacBench 5.0 Scores


Note: The results above would seem to indicate that 2MB and not Apple's default of 4MB provides the best balance between performance and RAM usage. MacSpeedZone welcomes your comments on these results.

Stopwatch Tests

The results below measure the percentage of time taken to relaunch the specified application. During a relaunch certain information is taken from the Disk Cache rather from the drive accelerating relaunch time. Results represent the performance improvement over a base 128K disk cache which receives a 100% score. In this case, Shorter bars indicate better performance.

The following two tests used a 60MB folder containing over 1,100 items



The results above closely parallel our findings with OS 8.6. It is interesting to note that in both cases, disk cache sizes above 1MB tend to slow the "Empty Trash" function. If you have an explanation we would be interested in hearing from you. Visit our Discussion Board and post your thoughts.