All Macs In-Depth Tests
Disk Cache and System 8.6 - Is More Always Better?

The graphs below represent a performance comparison between different Disk Cache settings. 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 OS version 8.6 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

Note: MacBench probably makes greater use of the disk cache than most most applications. These results therefore in all likelihood give an accurate assessment of the benefits of the disk cache but also an exaggerated one in as far as general computer use is concerned. It would appear from these scores that there is little benefit from setting the disk cache above 1MB and diminishing returns above 512K. I would treat these results as indicative rather than definitive. 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 thus speeding performance. Results represent the performance improvement over a base 128K Disk Cache which receives 100%. Shorter bars equal better performance.


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