The Battle of the 10X G3/500's:
Sonnet versus PowerLogix

Posted 10/27/99
© 1999 Rob Art Morgan, editor of BARE FEATS


It would seem with the advent of the G4, that G3 upgrades would be old news. Try telling that to the upgrade makers. They are banking on the fact that some buyers can't afford a G4 upgrade so they are offering blazingly fast G3/500's. What's unique is the fact that they can run at 10 times the bus speed rated (10 times 50MHz equals 500MHz), hence the "10X" moniker.

I pitted two of these G3/500's against each other. The only significant difference in performance is shown in these two graphs:

The Sonnet is running backside cache at 250MHz. The PowerLogix cache is running at 200MHz. Both beat the G4.


The G4 beats up on both G3's, but the Sonnet is faster than the PowerLogix, again, thanks to faster backside cache.


For a complete read out on G3/500 performance, see my "Deuce Coupe versus BMW" page. Again, the two board posted virtually identical results except for the two tests shown above.


Conclusion: The Sonnet G3/500 daughtercard was impressive in speed and stability. In 1994 we were told that 250MHz was the limit of a 7500. It boggles the mind.

The PowerLogix not only had a slower cache but was a bit unstable running certain applications. I'm reserving judgement until I have an opportunity to test another board or test this board on another system.



Test Configurations & Procedures



10X G3/500 daughterboard
10X G3/500 daughterboard

Bus Speed



1 MB at 2:1 (200MHz)
1MB at 5:2 (200MHZ)
1MB at 2:1 (250MHZ)


256 MB (8ns)
160 MB (60ns)
160 MB (60ns)



...PowerLogix for the use of the 10X G3/500 upgrade

...Sonnet Technology for the use of the 10X G4/500 upgrade

...Metacreations for the use of Bryce 3D


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© 1999 Rob Art Morgan, editor of BARE FEATS
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