How Does The DUAL G4/533 Compare To The Single G4/533 and Other G4's? -- PART 2

Post Date: February 9th, 2001
rob ART morgan, chief test pilot

Fun and Games...


Performance Analysis

Another web site described the Dual 533 as "the fastest Mac shipping." That's going to be true for a few weeks until the G4/733's start to trickle out of the factory... maybe. (Read my "guess-timation" article for how I think the Single 733 will do against Dual 533's.)

Photoshop and Cinema 4D ran at nose bleed speed on the DUAL G4/533 as expected, but since Quake 3 version 1.17 is NOT Multi-Processor aware, it ran about the same speed as the Single G4/533. Watch this page because, in the near future, I hope to test the "MP aware" build of Quake 3 1.27 beta or the "MP aware" OS X version.

Should you spend $300 extra for two 533's instead of one? YES! Should you wait to pay $700 to $1000 more for the Single 733? Only if you gotta have that DVD burner. Of course, if you really had self control, you would wait until this summer and buy a Dual 733 with a GeForce3. But then if we all did that, summer would never come for Apple.


Related Tests

Which is faster, the GeForce2 MX or the Radeon?


Where To Buy

For Build-To-Order G4 Power Macs, go to the Apple Online Store. I recommend ordering with minimum RAM, smallest hard drive, fastest graphics card, and maximum G4 speed. Why? Because Apple charges way too much for RAM and hard drives. You can do much better price wise (and speed wise) getting those upgrades from third parties.

Small Dog Electronics offers NEW and refurbished G4 Power Macs. They even do Build-To-Order. They also have new and refurbished DVI and ADC versions of the Apple Studio displays.

Check also at Outpost.COM for great prices on NEW G4 Power Macs with FREE overnight shipping.

If you are looking to buy a PCI or AGP "retail" version of the Radeon graphics card, BUY.COM has it for $189 BEFORE REBATE. Net cost to you: $159! (Go to BUY.COM and do a search on "radeon")


Test Specs & Procedures

Apple G4/466 Power Mac with 384MB of RAM, Rage 128 Pro graphics, 30GB Maxtor hard drive.
Apple G4/466 Power Mac with 384MB of RAM, GeForce2 MX graphics, 40GB Maxtor hard drive.
Apple G4/500 Power Mac with 512MB of RAM, Radeon graphics, 45GB IBM hard drive.
Apple G4/500 Dual CPU Power Mac with 256MB of RAM, RAGE 128 Pro graphics, 40GB IBM hard drive.
Apple G4/533 Power Mac with 384MB of RAM, GeForce2 MX graphics, 40GB IBM hard drive.
Apple DUAL G4/533 Power Mac with 384MB of RAM, GeForce2 MX graphics, 60GB IBM hard drive.

The ATI Radeon 32M AGP graphics card (retail version) was tested in both the G4/466 and G4/533.
3Dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI card was tested in the G4/500 (using 1.13 version of drivers).

For some of the tests, I include results from one or more PENTIUM desktops:
HP Pavilion 9795C with 1.4GHz Pentium 4, 128MB of 600MHz RDRAM.
Sony VAIO desktop PCVRX250DS with 1GHz Pentium 3, 128MB of 133MHz RAM, GeForce2 MX and 133Mhx bus speed. (This Sony is interesting when you notice the similarities to the new G4 Power Macs. This model also includes a 60GB ATA/66 hard drive, 16X DVD, 8X CD-RW, 2 PCI slots, 3 USB, V.90 modem, and 10/100BaseT Ethernet all for $2099.)

Photoshop 5.5 was given 100MB of application size. The test file was a 10 MB Photoshop photo. I play back an ACTION file with 20 some odd filters, rotations, resizing, etc., plus several "undo's." It does all these actions nonstop. (Some bench marks using multiple filters UNDO every action. That's not real world. No artist undoes every action. Anyway, I use a stopwatch to time it. (A DEMO version of Photoshop is available from Adobe if you want to test your own machine.)

Maxon Cinema 4D 6.1 is a 3D modeling application. I used the "scene0.c4d" document from their Cinebench 2000 benchmark application and set the screen to 1024 x 768 x millions. I invoked RENDER (Shift + R). It keeps track of the rendering time to the nearest whole second. This is a cool test because when you run it on a dual processor G4, you can see how each cpu does part of the rendering. (A DEMO version of Cinema 4D is available on their website as well as a copy of Cinebench 2000.)

Casady & Greene's SoundJam MP Plus 2.5.2 was used to convert a 2.5 minute music selection into MP3 using default settings. With a stop watch, I timed it to the nearest tenth of a second. (A DEMO version is available from their website.)

I used the 2.01 version of Apple's iMovie. I ran the "render titles" function as a test since it's so CPU intensive. I typed in a two line title ("My Great Movie by rob ART mog") using default settings. Then drag/dropped it in the "story line." I used a stopwatch to time how long it took to render the 188 frames. (You can download a copy of iMovie 2.01 from Apple's web site for $49.)

For 3D GAMING, Id Software's
Quake III Arena (Build 117) was used at three TEST SETTINGS:

"Normal", 800x600, 32 bit
"High Quality," 1024x768, 32 bit
"Maximum"* 1024x768, 32 bit.

* ("Maximum" is my term for "High Quality" with Geometric Detail set to HIGH and Texture Detail set to Maximum),

(In the past I've displayed 640x480 with minimum textures and 1280x1024 with maximum textures. Although the results were interesting, I believe they are meaningless since most gamers don't play the game with those settings.)

TEST METHOD: When the main screen appears, I press "~" and enter "timedemo 1" (return) and "~" once more. Then I click on DEMOS and run Demo1. Once it finishes and returns to the main screen, I press "~" once more to get the frames per second readout.




Some pages are translated into FRENCH by MacGeneration.

LINKS to SPEED tests on other web sites


DOWNLOADS that add more SPEED


Rob Art Morgan
Publisher &
Chief Test Pilot   




© 2001 Rob Art Morgan.
Gotta Question? Comment? Want to advertise?