All Macs In-Depth Tests

The Performance Edge: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet, Or Slower Than Molasses In A Juneau Winter? - Virtual PC Performance On The New G4 Tower Macintoshes

Monday, April 1, 2002

Well it actually falls somewhere between these two extremes. For the test results below we ran Virtual PC 5.0 with Windows 2000 on each of the new Tower machines. We gave VPC 300 MB of memory to play with, and let it show us what it could do. Virtual PC is one of the most demanding applications you can run on your Mac. By emulating Intel hardware, VPC allows you to run various operating systems on your Mac .... most notably, Windows operating systems. This, by extension, allows you to run actual Windows programs.

Macworld, in a recent review, described VPC performance running on a Power Mac G4/867 as about the same as a BM ThinkPad 600X, with a 500MHz Pentium III processor. If that is true, then the ThinkPad 600X must be a real slouch. Actually in processor intensive tasks, running VPC was not too bad. The machine running the straight Mac OS turned in from 4 to 5 times the performance of the same machine running VPC. Scrolling, however was a different matter. The machine running VPC was only 13-15% as fast as the same machine running the Mac OS. To me scrolling in VPC reminding me of using my first Mac, a Performa 6300 with a 603e PPC processor, running at 100 MHz (shudder!)

Overall, if you average all the scores we have where we can compare the two operating systems directly, the Machine running VPC turned in about 22% of the performance of the same machine when running either Mac OS X or 9. Not too bad considering, but not too much fun either. If you need to run light duty Windows applications you should find VPC perfectly adequate. I did my Taxes last year on VPC running Windows 98, using a Windows Intuit program, and the performance was perfectly fine for doing something like that.

But if you need to run any kind of Windows program that requires constant, significant processing power, on a regular basis, do yourself a favor and get a real PC ... put it in the corner where you don't have to look at it. If you want to run PC games? ... Say hello to Juno!

Two things you'll note in the results below

1) Though VPC does run on two processors during some of the tests on the Dual processor machine, it does not really use those processors well. It leaves a lot of the processing capability of the machine on the table.

2) The 800 MHz machine is again disproportionately hurt in many of the test scores below because of its lack of a backside cache (L3)

VPC is a great program. It has grown increasingly sophisticated and polished over the years. While not as seamless as Classic it is getting there. Connectix needs to continue to work on performance .... especially scrolling performance, which makes the program seem slower than it really is.

Difference and similarities in processor and memory systems of each machine


  Power Mac G4/800 Power Mac G4/933 Power Mac Dual G4/1GHz

Check prices at:

 

External Resources

Processors G4/800 G4/933 2 x G4/1000
L2 Cache 256k @ 800 MHz 256k @ 933 MHz 256k @ 1 GHz
L3 Cache None 2 MB @ 233 MHz DDR 2 MB @ 250 MHz DDR
Memory 768 MB PC 133 768 MB PC 133 1 GB PC 133
Graphics Card ATI RADEON 7500 with 32MB DDR SDRAM NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64MB of DDR SDRAM NVIDIA GeForce4 MX with 64MB of DDR SDRAM
Drive 40 GB @ 7200 rpm 60 GB @ 7200 rpm 80 GB @ 7200 rpm
Operating System 10.1.2 10.1.2 10.1.2
Price $1,599 $2,299 $2,999

Additional Resources




"Real World" Tests

All of the tests below were timed with a stopwatch. The times were then converted to percentages relative to the Power Mac Dual G4/1000, which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better. You will find , below the graphic,the actual times in seconds, the amount of processing power usage and, if dual processors are present, when the application was using both of them or only one (dual vs single).

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 56.65 sec ... G4/933: 61.63 sec... G4/800: 68.72 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 40% single ... G4/933: 70% ... G4/800: 90%

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 5.52 sec ... G4/933: 7.24 sec... G4/800: 7.37 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 50% single ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100%

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 279.47 sec ... G4/933: 293.13 sec... G4/800: 377.14 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 30% dual ... G4/933: 70% ... G4/800: 80%

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 630.17 sec ... G4/933: 657.20 sec... G4/800: 823.65 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 45% dual ... G4/933: 98% ... G4/800: 100%

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 132.88 sec... G4/933: 158.40 sec... G4/800: 241.74 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 30.51 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 55% single ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 25%, dual

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 15.41 sec... G4/933: 18.56 sec... G4/800: 39.85 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 3.27 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 50% single ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 35%, dual

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 75.55 sec ... G4/933: 73.02 sec... G4/800: 91.93 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 15% dual ... G4/933: 30% ... G4/800: 45%

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 17.75 sec ... G4/933: 17.66 sec... G4/800: 21.91 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 25% dual ... G4/933: 50% ... G4/800: 60%

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 56.50 sec... G4/933: 56.21 sec... G4/800: 58.34 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 8.36 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 15% dual ... G4/933: 45% ... G4/800: 65% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 10% dual

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 126.66 sec... G4/933: 126 sec... G4/800: 147.95 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): 37.02 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 55% single ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): N/A

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 22.70 sec... G4/933: 21.64 sec... G4/800: 36.86 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): 6.33 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 50% single ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): N/A

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 124.67 sec... G4/933: 117.33 sec... G4/800: 163.73 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): 16.02 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 50% dual ... G4/933: 55% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): N/A

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 169.31 sec... G4/933: 174.13 sec... G4/800: 267 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): 54.02 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 50% single ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): N/A

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 24.6 sec... G4/933: 25.71 sec... G4/800: 39.81 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): 10.41 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 50% dual ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 95% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): N/A

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 83.67 sec... G4/933: 84.34 sec... G4/800: 97.46 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): 10.56 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 40% dual ... G4/933: 80% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS 9): N/A

Actual Times: Dual G4/1GHz: 53.70 sec... G4/933: 52.97 sec... G4/800: 65.90 sec ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): 27.80 sec
Processor Usage: Dual G4/1GHz: 60% dual ... G4/933: 100% ... G4/800: 100% ... Dual G4/1GHz (Stock OS X): N/A