Dual G4 running OS X and "Cocoa-ized" Quake III Arena breaks the 100 FPS barrier!

Post Date: January 12th, 2001
Corrections on January 14th and 15th.
rob ART morgan, chief test pilot

I'm sitting in the audience listening to Steve Jobs announce the newly revised G4 Power Macs with the nVidia GeForce2 MX card as standard equipment. As everyone around me cheers and applauds, I'm thinking, "I feel a new speed test coming on!!!"

As Steve sang the praises of OS X, I'm thinking, "Oh God, please make the game developers dream that they were sent to Hell because they didn't Velocity-ize and Cocoa-ize their applications."

So as I'm sitting in the briefing room getting an update from the folks at ATI, one of them mentions, "We have a dual G4/500 with a Radeon right outside the door running OS X. It's got the OS X version of Quake III Arena with MP awareness. And right next to it is a Pentium 3 933MHz with a GeForce2 MX card. Wanna test them while you're here?" I nearly wet my trousers!!!

Not only did I get to test those two machines but I was able to run the same tests on the 733MHz model and the dual G4/533 in the Apple booth, both with GeForce2 MX cards!

And that's not all. I tested the PCI version of the Radeon side by side with the Voodoo5 on a G4/450 for all you with Graphite Yikes, Blue'n'Whites, and Beige Boxes.

Before you view the charts below, I hope you empty your bladder first.





*** FLASH! This is old news. Jump to a more recent test where the Dual 800 G4 running OS X.1 gets Quake3 Arena 1.30 beta running at 184 frames per second! ***


Performance Analysis

Wow! OS X rules! Finally the Mac is going to be able to crank out some decent frame rates! And I understand that there are more optimizations coming for the Radeon OS X drivers as well as OS X itself that will make Quake III run even faster. (Get your own copy of the OS X version of Quake III by downloading it from the Omni Group's site. OS X beta contains the beta version of the Radeon drivers.)

In the 1024 x 768 "High Quality" test, the OS X version of Quake III and the Radeon didn't fair as well against the new G4 Power Macs. ATI feels confident that the released version of their drivers will give a much different result.

So which GRAPHICS CARD do you order with your new BTO G4 PowerMac? For test results comparing the Radeon and GeForce2 MX in the same G4/466, go to THIS PAGE.

I'm disappointed that that not all versions of the newest G4 Power Mac are available in dual processor configuration. I understand Apple's reasons but I'm still disappointed. If I needed to buy one today, I'd choose the dual 533MHz model over the single 733MHz model. Why? Because of applications like Photoshop, Cinema 4D, and Quake III Arena (OS X version) that fully use both processors. And I expect there to be more MP aware applications when the effort to convert 1200+ applications to OS X reaches critical mass this summer.

I noticed in Apple's tech document 58759 that the 666 and 733MHz models have 256K on-chip L2 cache running at full processor speed as well as the 1MB L3 cache running at 3:1 ratio.

Which ever model you buy, it will probably be extinct in 6 months. Count on it.


Where To Buy

Visit the Apple Online Store.

Small Dog Electronics offers new and refurbished G4 Power Macs.






LINKS to SPEED tests on other web sites


DOWNLOADS that add more SPEED


Rob Art Morgan
Publisher &
Chief Test Pilot



© 2001 Rob Art Morgan.
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