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Accelerate Your Mac! - the source for performance news and reviews
The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews
Review: Giga Designs G4/800 and 1GHz CPU Upgrades
By Mike
Published: 1/24/2003
Benchmark Test Results
Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps Tests | Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design
Benchmark Tests

Benchmark tests were run with Altivec Fractal Carbon demo 1.1.3 and CineBench 2000. (Latest versions as of this review date.). I didn't use Xbench this time around due to complaints about its repeatability. (I didn't check for this in the current 1.0b7 version. I reboot between all tests to ensure as clean/consistent a cache/memory state as possible.) Of course benchmarks are far less important than real-world applications and game tests, but many want to see them regardless. (The Apps tests page has results of tests with iMovie2, iTunes3 (OS X), Photoshop 7.0 and MPEG4 movie conversion. The game tests page includes results with popular 3D games like Quake3, Unreal Tournament, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein.)

The graphs include tests of a Mirror Drive Door (MDD) Dual 1GHz G4 system, my Digital Audio G4/533 Dual, the DA system w/Powerlogix dual 1GHz upgrade, and the DA system with the Giga Designs G4/800 (7451 with no L3 cache), the 1GHz Giga Designs model (7455 CPU w/2MB L3 cache), the Giga 1GHz model set to 800MHz (to compare 800MHz w/L3, although it's not a perfect comparison since the 800MHz G4 w/o L3 cache is a 7451 CPU.)

Fractal FPU Benchmark:
I used the freeware Altivec Fractal (Carbon) demo v1.1.3 program (available here) to compare FPU performance of the original Dual G4/533 system, with the Dual G4/1GHz Powerlogix upgrade, and a G4 Dual 1GHz Mirrored Drive Door (MDD) System. Default settings were used. (Note: MegaFlops/sec = Millions of Floating Point Operations per Second.)

Fractal Demo Results

Note: As I mentiond in the previous review, for some reason the first run (autorun) of the Fractal test with the Series 133 reported a low score (appx 2240 - less than a retest with only one CPU enabled). I saw this twice, even though both CPUs were detected and repeating the test showed scores many times higher. I also some some odd (extreme) variations when first running this benchmark with the Giga Designs L3 cache equipped upgrade. This is basically a FPU test, and L3 cache doesn't have any significant effect on the scores really.

CineBench 2000 v1.0 Results:
Since probably less than 1/2 of 1% of Mac users own Maxon's Cinema4D application, I use the freely available CineBench2000 benchmark. (Which does more than just a simple render of a scene - it also does shaded and wireframe model spins, shaded and wireframe "fly-throughs" of a scene to show graphics card and cpu performance, not just rendering times.) For more info see For a full explaination of the benchmark and how to read the results, see this page.

All tests were run at the recommended 1024x768, millions color mode. Longer bars are faster.

CineBench 2000 Results

You can see the rendering test scores benefited from using both CPUs (Cinema's engine uses both for rendering)

You can search for other Mac system/CPU/Video card CineBench 2000 results at my Mac Game/Video card performance database. If you download CineBench 2000, please enter your results.

The next page has results from real world applications. Or you may use the links below to jump to a specific page.
( For comparisons to other CPU Card upgrades and systems see the site list of CPU Card Reviews and Systems page.)

Index of Giga Designs CPU Upgrade Review Pages

Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps Tests | Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design

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