November 14, 2001
I would like to share with your readers the considerable improvement in file
sharing copy speed that I measured between OS 9 and OS X.
For the measurement of file sharing copy speed I used the following setup:
1 Power Mac G4 DP 800, running alternatively on OS 9.2 and OS X10.1
1 iMac 500, running on OS 9.2
1 Power Mac G4 733 running alternatively on OS 9.2 and OS X 10.0.4
An Ethernet Level 5 crossover cable.
First I connected the PMG4 800 and the iMac with the Ethernet crossover
cable, and setup TCPIP manually in each.
Then I started file sharing and enabled TCP/IP connection.
I chose a video file of 461 MB in size.
First to have as reference I did a duplicate in the PMG4 800's hard disk,
and it took 35 seconds, which means 13.2 MB/sec of copy speed.
Then I connected from the iMac con the PMG4 via the Chooser, mounted the
volume and copied the file, with everything else identical.
The Apple System Profiler showed the Networking running at 100BaseT in both
With Mac OS 9 file sharing, the time was 3 minutes 32 seconds (2.3 MB/sec)
But with the Mac OS X file sharing the time improved to ONLY 55 SECONDS!
(8.4 MB/sec), more than three times the speed!
When I replaced the iMac with a PMG4 733, the Apple system profiler showed
both machines connected in Gigabit mode.
The Mac OS 9 file sharing copy time did not improve at all
The Mac OS X file sharing copy time improved to 41 seconds ! (11.2 MB/sec).
For small workgroups with no centralized file servers but with ever
increasing file sizes from ubiquitous high resolution scanners, and for
digital video editors that wish to share source material in a workgroup, the
speed advantage of Mac OS X file sharing is a considerable benefit of
Apple's astounding new OS.
Maxim Software SA
When we commissioned the G3 asip server into our network 2-3 years ago, we
performed similar speed tests, with one large file, and also a sample mix of
100mb's of large and small files (a typical collect for output style job
with scans, fonts and quark docs)
300mhz G3 to G3 on 100bt, and with ethernet cards set to half duplex (this
is a known issue with mac ethernet) and running 8.6 with asip 6.1 on the
server, and 8.6 for client to client xfers we were getting 10-12 mb/sec ON
i would suggest that there are other issues on your os9 installation to
consider, not the least of which is the networking hardware. crossover
cables can have interference if the pairs are not matched correctly, leading
to crosstalk and high error rates. run a diagnostic over the link and see if
there are any errors and re-transmits, a switch or hub is my preferred
method of connecting workstations, and gives you much better visual feedback
on what is happening.
The speed you list for gigabit ethernet sounds way too slow, and would
suggest other issues if you are able to duplicate files on the local HD at
13.2 mb/sec you should be able to get close to double that bandwidth for
only single access to the HD ie 20-25mb/sec at least (ie instead of reading
AND writing on the same platter) gigabit theoretically would be looking
closer to 100mb/sec but you would obviously need faster HD subsystems on the
server end to deliver at those speeds, and this is not going to improve
times on clients, but allow more clients to connect at their maximum speed
at one time.
I would suggest that the speeds you are talking about are really pretty
unimpressive, considering where the mac was under 8.6, on 300mhz G3's both
client to client and client to server under tcp/ip appleshare.
you may want to make sure you are using tcp/ip appleshare, not appletalk
appleshare, and that your ethernet cards are forced to half duplex (using
apple ethernet duplexer utility)