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Speed Links

Storage Speed


12/9/03 -- Many of you who bought 15" AlumBooks wanted an illustrated "how to" in case you wanted to replace your factory drive with the 7200rpm Hitachi 7K60. Here's a guide posted on XLR8YourMac.

5/31/02 -- MacWorld compared four ATA-133 RAID PCI cards. (Pssst! They are all manufactured by Acard. However, the warranty, price, and support varied. The SIIG card got the highest rating with its 5 year warranty and lowest price.)

5/19/03 -- About a month ago, Storage Review tested the Western Digital 250GB 7200rpm (WD2500JB) drive against four other top Ultra ATA drives. We plan to test the same 5 drives on a Power Mac using both Ultra ATA-133 and FireWire 800 controllers. We will also do dual drive striped arrays with pairs.

02/13/03 -- Many of you have asked about Serial ATA controllers with 150MB/s theoretical speed. Tom's Hardware had a chance to compare the speed of a Seagate ATA V drive using various Serial ATA controllers and a "parallel" Ultra ATA-100 controller. There was virtually no difference in performance (43MB/s with both). But I think the drive was going as fast as it could go. In other words, the bottleneck in single ATA drive performance is the drive, not the interface.

12/04/02 -- My tests showed USB 2.0 to be slower than FireWire. But what about on a Windows PC? TechTV has tested USB 2.0 against FireWire on a Windows PC and concluded the same thing: USB 2.0 is slower.

6/4/02 -- An interesting speed test was done on various sizes of Compact Flash Cards. Pay close attention to read speeds. Those are speeds with a FireWire (IEEE 1394) Flash Card Reader like the Lexar. You won't get anywhere near those speeds with a direct USB connection or USB reader.

5/31/02 -- MacWorld compared four ATA-133 RAID PCI cards. (Pssst! They are all manufactured by Acard. However, the warranty, price, and support varied. The SIIG card got the highest rating with its 5 year warranty and lowest price.)

2/21/02 -- Storage Review has test results on the IBM 120GXP compared to the WD1200JB and others.

12/24/01 -- The "Rev 2" 36GB 15,000rpm Seagate Cheetah (ST336752LW) is now the world's fastest single hard drive. clocked it at 61MB/sec sustained transfer rate. (The fastest drive previously tested was the 18GB Cheetah X-15 which clocked 42MB/sec.) This "second generation" 15K drive supports Ultra320 and Fibre Channel. has them at a good price. (Search on "ST336752LW" or "ST336753LW")

10/14/2000 -- PowerBooks need faster, bigger drives. Mike Breeden tests two of them.

6/30/2000 -- At the PC Expo, Castlewood was sporting a new 5.7GB removable Orb drive with 15MB/sec xfer speed.

6/28/2000 -- George Cole of OWC tested a Blue & White G3/500 with Dual 40GB Maxtors connected to a TurboMax/33 in a striped array as well as a Dual 45GB IBM 75GXP's connected to a TurboMax66.

6/26/2000 -- Barney Buoy tested a G4/400 Yikes with dual IBM 75GXP's in a striped array using the Acard.

6/3/2000 -- So you are thinking about getting another hard drive. Should you get SCSI or FireWire? Before you decide, read this article at MacSpeedzone.

6/3/2000 -- I love the "pocket" FireWire drive from VST. But did you know that Quadmation has a FireWire compact drive with no fan in 20GB and 34GB sizes? Meanwhile, here's a recent review of the newest VST Full Height FireWire drives.

5/31/2000 -- Accelerate Your Mac has posted results from the new IBM 75GXP Ultra ATA drive.

5/17/2000 -- Based on WinBench99, IBM 75GXP Ultra ATA/66+ drive is the fastest ATA drive ever. The 30 Gig is a bargain at $200 ( and You better believe I want to test a pair of them in a striped array!

4/19/2000 -- Storage Review tests the new Quantum Fireball Plus LM to see if its faster than the Maxtor 40 Gig.

3/6/2000 -- Will dual Ultra ATA drives run twice as fast if configured as a striped array? The short answer is, "No, not unless you use dual ATA/66 controllers, one for each drive."

3/3/2000 -- How fast is the hot new 40 Gig Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 7200 RPM drive using an ATA/66 controller? XLR8YourMac recorded a sustained write rate of 28.6 megabytes per second using ATTO's benchmark. That's disappointing considering the fact that my "pet" 20 Gig Seagate Barracuda Ultra ATA running in ATA/33 mode clocked a sustained 26.6 megabytes per second. Further evidence that it's the platter/head speed, not interface speed, that limits the current crop of Ultra ATA drives.

Will my Ultra ATA drive run faster in a FireWire/IDE case? No. It will only slow it down, according to XLR8YourMac.

2/20/2000 -- Where do I get a Macintosh compatible ATA/66 controller?

2/18/2000 -- Four way G4/400MHz Shootout: PM 7500/G4/400 vs Beige DT G4/400 vs Yikes G4/400 vs Sawtooth G4/400.

12/13/99 -- How fast can an Ultra160 SCSI controller run a drive array? MacInTouch has posted some performance figures for Adaptec's Ultra160 SCSI controller (PCI). Though they achieved an impressive 80+mb/sec, it was with a 4 drive RAID array (or 20MB/sec per drive). Now go add up the total cost of 4 Cheetahs at $370 each connected to a $555 Ultra160 controller. A mere $2035. Yow!

MacVille has a review of the SuperDrive 2X.

Which Orb drive should you get, the USB or SCSI version? MacSoldiers have a review of the $199 SCSI Orb 2 gig removable drive. Macintouch has a chart showing the speed difference between the SCSI Orb and USB Orb. And don't forget my Fast Narrow SCSI Orb vs Narrow SCSI Orb review. Bottom line. The SCSI version is a lot faster than the USB version.

MacWorld has a mini-review of the VST FireWire drive. (ahhh)







Refurbished Macs? Think Small.

Order the Bose QuietComfort 2 Headphones through Sharper Image and Bare Feats gets a 10% commission.

Network & Modem Speed
6/30/2000 -- OrangeMicro will be showing a USB 2.0 card at NY MacWorld Expo.

4/17/2000 -- Did you know that FireWire can be used for a network? Did you know it is faster than 100BaseT? Go to the UniBrain site for info on their shipping FireBoard400!

12/11/99 -- How fast is AirPort compared to Ethernet? It's significantly slower than using cables via a 10BaseT hub.

Here's a report on the speed gain of DSL versus 56K modem courtesy of MacSpeedZone.

Has Bare Feats helped you? Say "thanks"... with a donation.

Printing Speed

3/13/2000 -- Which is faster, the Epson 860 or the Deskjet 970? Read the fifth paragraph in this Macworld review of two Epson printers.

Macintouch has some great performance data comparing the Epson 900 and HP 895Cse inkjet printers. Visit my SpeedTest page for a comparison between the Epson 900 and HP 970Cse.

Software Speed

6/3/2000 -- Here's a tip to speed up Sherlock indexing.

6/3/2000 -- Did you know that font smoothing slows you down as much as 30% in Photoshop and at least 10% in other applications?

6/1/2000 -- Which of the newest Browsers is fastest? Communicator? Exploder? iCab? See the answer at MacSpeedZone.

4/22/2000 -- If you are having problems with Quark XPress going into "molasses" mode, you might want to read this article from Creative Mac.

MacNN has a review of StartupDoubler.

Mac Versus PC

6/1/2000 -- How does Virtual PC 3.0 on a G3/400 compare a real Intel Pentium II 400MHz?

5/19/2000 -- HINT benchmark showing G4/400 with AltiVec activated beats a Pentium III 600.

3/11/2000 -- Which plays Windows games faster, Virtual PC or SoftWindows? If you believe FWB, SoftWindows is faster. Bare Feats hopes to run some comparison speed tests of its own real soon now.

3/10/2000 -- Which is faster, Apple's PowerBook G3/500 or Sony's Vaio PCG-F490 650MHz? Duh. Let me guess...

3/2/2000 -- Are Intel laptops better than the new model of iBook?

10/13/99 -- There's a site you should visit. It compares Windows OS and Apps to the same on the Macintosh.

10/2/99 -- Everything Mac has an interesting chart comparing Quake 2 running on Mac OS 8.6, OS X, and Virtual PC, all three with Voodoo2 board.

9/29/99 -- Is Virtual PC 3.0 significantly faster than version 2.1? Not according to WinBench 99 and WinTune 98 tests done by Brindley Network Consulting.

How about the Silicon Graphics 500MHz Pentium III going up against a 400MHz G3 Yosemite? Publish has a very interesting article with graphs highlighting their relative Photoshop performance plus a table with complete test results.

Ian Bruce created a few graphs based on NewMedia's review of Mac OS X Server. It shows Mac OS X Server outperforming the Sun Solaris by 3 times, and NT by more than 7 times.

XLR8YourMac has an excellent comparison of PC's vs G3's and Macs vs Macs doing Photoshop. Did you know that a 533MHz G3 is 40% faster than a 500MHz Pentium III?

MacIntouch: "Pentium III versus G3 -- Photoshop."
"Pentium II versus G3 -- Photoshop."
PC Magazine:
"Pentium II versus G3 -- Photoshop, Quake*, FileMaker & MS Word."
PC Magazine:
"Pentium III versus G3 -- Photoshop, Quake*, FileMaker & MS Word."
(* At first it looked like the G3 was edged out by the Pentiums on the Quake test, but the test was not fairly done. The G3 was running the RAVE version and the Pentium was running the less graphics intensive SOFTWARE version.)

Sven Negrassus' MacInfo site some great speed results. One chart that especially fascinated me was the one comparing Power Macs running Virtual PC & SoftWindows with Pentiums running Native Windows. (Click on EMULATION button.) He used WinBench '97 as the measuring stick. Bad news. If WinBench can be considered representative of real world performance, a G3/300 running Virtual PC 2.0 is only as fast as a Pentium 90MHz. Pooh.

So you have a Windows machine that you wish had the "Mac OS look and feel"? Check this out: Gemulator from Emulators, Inc. It emulates the Mac on a PC!!!!

Other Speed Sites

Accelerate Your Mac -- News, Reviews, Tips for Mac Performance Nuts

Mac Speed Zone -- Lotza Mac comparison charts

Architosh -- Performance discussions and graphs for architects who use Macs

Mac Daniel -- upgrade ideas on older Macs

MacInfo -- Speed site from Germany

Sharkey Extreme -- Windows PC performance testing of CPU's, motherboards, and graphics cards

Anandtech -- Windows PC performance testing of CPU's, motherboards, and graphics cards

Tom's Hardware -- Windows PC performance testing of CPU's, motherboards, and graphics cards

Hot Hardware -- Windows PC performance testing of CPU's, motherboards, and graphics cards

Storage Review -- Compares various hard drives using Wintel systems

Bandwith Place -- test your internet connection speed







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