BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

How do the QuickSilver G4 Towers do against the previous models?

Originally posted July 31st, 2001
Updated August 4th with G4/733 (no L3) numbers
Updated August 17th and 31st and Sept 17th with Dual G4/800 numbers

rob ART morgan, Bare Feats Mad Scientist
with a little help from his friends

I know. You want to know how all the NEW G4's compare to the OLD G4's. I'm not yet on Apple's "A List" for early review machines. So you'll have to wait until they are available in sufficient quantities for me to get my sticky hands on them.

This page is to help those of you trying to make tough buying decisions. I've received email from various loyal readers who have ordered and received one or more of the new QuickSilver machines. They volunteered to run some tests so I can post the results for the rest of you. I call them "remote Bare Feats scientists."

The test results are limited to applications they either already own or that are available as demos. When I get to test the new QuickSilvers myself, I'll included results from more expensive applications such as Final Cut Pro 2.0, LightWave 6.5, etc.




The G4/800MP is impressive, if you are using software that's MP aware. However, if I average all the test results, including some I haven't posted yet, it's overall about 25% faster than the G4/867 or G4/533MP. But when you consider it's only 26% more costly when similarly equipped, it's not a bad deal.

Many readers have indicated angst whether to buy the 800MP or 867. Unless you are doing 3D model rendering, you'll need a stopwatch to tell the difference. I chose the 800MP because it has the most speed potential with new OS X aware and MP aware software coming down the pike (like Quake 3 Arena OS X and Photoshop OS X). If $3600 is too much to pay, buy the 800MP stripped for $2670. (See Small Dog or Apple Store for Build-To-Order options.)

The new G4/733 withOUT L3 cache was only slightly slower than the "old" G4/733 WITH L3 cache. I'd say it is a great buy at $1695, especially if you don't need a SuperDrive or 7200 rpm hard drive. Then again, you can get a G4/867 for $1999 from Small Dog.



Remember the "17" rating the G4 dual 800 got above? Did you know in a recent test, a single 1.7GHz Xeon only gets a "16" rating. Of course, a dual 1.7GHz Xeon gets a "28" rating. Read about the Xeon on

I've posted a special page on Quake 3 Arena 1.30 running on a G4/800MP with GeForce3 and OS X 10.1. It includes a comparison with the Pentium 1.6GHz.

MacSpeedZone has a comparison between the G4/733, G4/867 and G4/800MP. Note that their Quake 3 time is for the old version under OS 9. For OS 10.1 and new 1.30 version of Quake 3, see my special page.



When ordering products from Apple Store USA, please click THIS TEXT LINK or any Apple display ad as your "portal" to the online store. In so doing, you help to support Bare Feats.

Small Dog Electronics also does "build-to-order" on new Power Macs and doesn't charge you state sales tax. You can get a stripped G4/800MP for as little as $2699. They have G4/867's for as little as $1999 and G4/533MP's for $1949.

Need big, fast, second drive? I like the new 80G 7200 rpm Seagate Barracuda ATA IV. It clocked 41MB/sec sustained read and write on the 800MP. Check for very low pricing.