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Accelerate Your Mac! - the source for performance news and reviews
The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews
Review: Powerlogix's 7447A & 7457 CPU Upgrades
(Single and Dual CPU - 1.2GHz to 1.8GHz)

Tests in Quicksilver G4/733
By Mike
Published: 7/1/2005
Updated: 8/9/2005 (for 1.7/1.8GHz results)
= Links to Review Topics Pages =
Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps Tests | Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design
Introduction
This review covers 5 Powerlogix G4 CPU upgrades:

  • Dual G4/1.8GHz (7447A w/512KB L2 per CPU, no L3)
  • Dual G4/1.7GHz (7447A w/512KB L2 per CPU, no L3)
    (the 1.7 runs at appx 1.73GHz in a 133MHz bus Mac)
  • Single G4/1.8GHz (7447A w/512KB L2, no L3)
  • Dual G4/1.2GHz (7457 w/512KB L2 and 2MB L3 per CPU)
  • Dual G4/1.2GHz (7447A w/512KB L2 per CPU, no L3)

Prices change frequently so I'm not going to try and keep up with them here - for current pricing (and other models including a single 2GHz 7447A and models for the Cube), see OWC's Powerlogix G4 CPU upgrades pages.

Unlike other brands of upgrades based on these CPUs, the PL models have an on-board temperature sensor (reads the board/PS temperature) and (depending on speeds/bus mulitipliers used) support for Dynamic Frequency Switching which if enabled automatically reduces CPU speeds during idle and low load periods for reduced power use and heat. (I think DFS would be a big plus for a Cube upgrade.) See the page here on CPU Director 2.1 Features for more details on that. I originally didn't think I'd care for DFS but it worked surprisingly well and was responsive with little apparent effect on performance in apps and game tests. (Compare 1.7GHz (w/DFS enabled) results here with the 1.8GHz model which had DFS disabled for all the tests.)

I know Powerlogix has a rocky past history but these upgrades ran well in this system and I used them for almost 2 months total, including a 24-hour, 100% CPU load stress test. (For warranty and 30-day MBG, info see the Specs page.)

As usual I have pages with comparison tests of benchmarks, common apps and 3D games showing stock Quicksilver G4/733 performance vs. all 5 of the CPU upgrades. (Same machine/system, OS, video card, etc. used for all tests.) As you'll see from the test results, the upgrades made a huge difference in performance and going back to the stock CPU was almost painful...
For full details on the base system's hardware and software, see the system details listing below.

Review Table of Contents:

  1. Benchmark Performance: Includes Altivec Fractal demo, CineBench 2003, XBench test results.

  2. Applications Performance: Tests with QT 7.0.1 H.264 Playback performance, H.264 conversion tests, iTunes 4.80 MP3/Lossless encoding, multitasking, iPhoto 5.0.2 export, Photoshop 7 (21 filter tests), and File compression.

  3. Games Performance: Tests with Call of Duty, Halo, Unreal Tournament 2004, Splinter Cell, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Doom3 and Quake3.

  4. Installation: Comments on installing the upgrade, what's included, deep sleep tests, system and OS compatibility. Also includes comments on heat and noise.

  5. Specs/Design: Details of the upgrade's CPU, Cache and Fan.

  6. CPU Director 2.1 Features: Screenshots and info on power management, thermal reporting, etc.

Test System Details:

  • Apple "Quicksilver" Tower
  • OS X 10.4.1 (Tiger) w/all updates as of 6/26/2005
  • G4 733MHz CPU w/256KB L2 cache (no L3)
  • 133MHz (SDR) bus w/640MB RAM
  • Hitachi 250GB SerialATA Hard Drive
  • Firmtek SerialATA PCI card (2 port)
  • OEM DVD ROM drive
  • Retail ATI 9800 AGP 128MB graphics card
  • Airport active for all tests

Display used was a Sony FW900 CRT. The hard drive was not optimized. Although later software updates are now available, I didn't apply them to ensure the same versions of -everything- was used with the 2nd batch of upgrades as used with the first batch from June 2005.


You can follow my preferred path through the review by continuing to the next page, or use the links below to jump to a specific page.

Index of PL 7447A/7457 CPU Upgrades Review Pages

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

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