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Review: Newer Tech's iMAXpowr G4/433 CPU Upgrade
G4 CPU Upgrade for iMac 233 - 333MHz models
By Mike
Published: 7/19/2000
MacBench 5.0 and Memory Benchmark Test Results
Intro | Benchmarks | Appl/Game Tests | Software Controls | Installation | Specs/Design | Summary
Benchmark Tests

Benchmark tests were run with MacBench 5.0 as it is the accepted Mac standard (although ZDnet recently noted it's been obsoleted and removed from their site, to be replaced in the future with a new Mac benchmark). I've also included results of memory bandwidth tests using Newer Tech's GaugePro.

Remember the most important results are on the next page of the review which covers real world applications and game performance. This is where the "rubber meets the road" so to speak. Benchmarks have their place, but actual applications performance is what really matters. As you'll see in the Photoshop 5.5 test results, until benchmarks like MacBench take advantage of Altivec, they are not an indicator of what the G4 is  potentially capable of. However, MacBench CPU scores seem to be a pretty accurate gauge of G4 performance in applications that don't use Altivec instructions.

Be aware that Macbench Graphics scores will vary depending on graphics mode and the installed video card. In Macbench 5.0 a 1000 score is the baseline based on performance with an Apple Beige G3/300 running millions colors, 1152x870, so consider this when evaluating any scores at lower resolutions and color depths.


MacBench 5.0 Tests: The graph below compares my rev A iMac before and after the upgrade.

  • The original iMac rev A G3/233 system
  • The same iMac system with the Newer Tech iMAXpowr G4/433 upgrade

Other than the CPU module and cache control software, everything else was identical (OS version, extensions, etc.).

MacBench 5.0 Results

Macbench scores before and after G4 upgrade

My MacBench CPU score was slightly lower than Newer's 1380 noted in their press release. I did see one 1300+ score, but the final testing in my system (with GameWizard Extensions, OS 9.04 update, etc.) showed the scores above.

Notes: Some explanation of the MacBench scores and test system components.

  • Disk Scores: The iMac's 4GB hard drive is a very slow model compared to the current crop of modern IDE drives. The 4GB iMac drive was also literally full after installing all my applications and games for this review which also tends to affect performance (the outer tracks are always fastest, and fill first). I'll soon be upgrading the drive to use a 60GB Maxtor (under $250 if you shop carefully) or an IBM 45GB 75GXP drive. Even with the iMac's ATA/3 controller, I expect performance with a modern drive to be noticeably faster than the original equipment drive.

  • Graphics Scores: MacBench's tests cannot use the Game Wizard voodoo2 card in my iMac (it has no 2D capability). My iMac is a rev A model with the ATI RageII graphics chip, which is slower than later (rev B-D) iMacs with the RagePro chip and about half as fast in 2D graphics as the current iMac 350 and 400mhz models' VR128 chip. (See the iMac DV SE review for Macbench scores from that system.)


Memory Bandwidth Tests:

I used Newer Tech's freeware Gauge Pro to test Memory Bandwidth before and after the iMAXpowr G4 upgrade. I was surprised to see GaugePro's results improve by about 50% after the upgrade. OS 9.04 is said to have some Altivec support in the memory manager.

Gauge Pro results with iMac G4 upgrade

Note G4 CPU Stepping (CPU Version) is 2.9
(Latest shipping rev as of review date)

Now the same test on the identical iMac with the original G3/233 CPU:

GuagePro results - stock iMac G3 233 rev A


These 'pure' benchmarks are interesting, but not directly related to performance in most real world applications as shown on the next page of the review.


Index of Newer Tech iMAXpowr G4 433MHz Review

Intro | Benchmarks | Appl/Game Tests | Software Controls | Installation | Specs/Design | Summary

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