All Macs In-Depth Tests
The Performance Edge: Quicksilver 867 MHz vs Dual 800 MHz - A Performance Report

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Thursday, September 27, 2001

We have looked at the performance of the Quicksilver 733 compared to the 867, and looked at the performance of all three machines (the 733, 867 and dual 800), when using a Blue & White G3/350 Power Mac as the base score. Below we look at just the 867 MHz Quicksilver performance when compared to the dual processor 800 MHz machine. You should note that we were running OS 9.2 on both machines and that only two of our tests are dual processor savvy. The Photoshop Altivec test and the RayTracing test of CineBench 2000, are able to take advantage of dual G4 processors. You can see the potential that a dual processor setup has over the single processor by looking at the RayTracing results. Unfortunately there are very few programs under 9.2 that will utilize an extra processor if it is present.

To truly take advantage of dual processors you will need to migrate to OS X, as your applications migrate to the new operating system. OS X is supposed to have dual processor support built into the operating system. According to Apple, any Carbon or Cocoa application should be able to utilize this support to spawn concurrent actions through the OS, to multiple processors. We plan to do testing on this, this weekend, and should have results posted early next week.

Note: This is our initial look at the performance of the new Quicksilver towers. We will be running more tests and hope to have a full review of all the new Power Macs in the next few weeks.

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"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 the dual processor 800 MHz Power Mac which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better.

Finder Tests

The test above copies a folder containing thousands of files. It appears that the 867 machine runs somewhat slower that the other two Quicksilver machines when reading and writing this kind of data.

Pretty similar scores here ... within the margin of error

AppleWorks 6 Tests

The extra processor speed pushes the 867 ahead here.

The dual 800 does a good job of keeping up with the 867 despite the former's slower clock speed.

Quake III Tests
These scores are relative.

At 'fastest' setting the processor plays a bigger role

When most, if not all, the processing is being done by the graphics card, the speed difference more or less disappears. Both machines have the same graphics card. The difference in scores is within the margin of error.

Photoshop 6 & Other Data Crunching Tests

This result is within the margin of error.

Apparently we have picked several Photoshop operations that take advantage of dual processors. Not all do, as you'll see in the results below. The gap above is even wider if you take into consideration the difference in clock speed.

This is pure, raw data crunching. Program does not utilize dual processors.

But this one does. If adjusted for clock speed the dual processor machine would be almost twice as fast.

This is a combination of both processor and graphics card performance ... no advantage to dual processors here.

Encoding/Decoding Tests

Again heavy duty crunching going on here. QuickTime 5 apparently cannot take advantage of dual processor under OS 9.2. We'll see next week if the case if different when running OS X.

Again this is within the margin of error. So the 800 machine does a good job of keeping up


The both have the same SuperDrive

Have no idea why the 867 is faster here. Perhaps the 800 MHz has to load extra code because of the dual processors.