Click for Mac Memory Upgrades!
Click for Mac Memory Upgrades!

A Click shows your site support to my Sponsors

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)
3D Game Performance Tests
Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps Tests  |  Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design
Game Performance Tests

This page lists test results in popular 3D games like Call of Duty, Halo, Unreal Tournament 2004, Splinter Cell, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Doom3 and Quake3. All tests used the same Quicksilver system (640MB RAM) with retail ATI 9800 Pro card. (Since this is a CPU review and not a video card review, high resolutions were not used. For Video card reviews w/game tests at high resolutions, FSAA, etc. - see the Video articles page, graphics card section.)
All of the upgrades more than doubled 3D Game performance compared to the stock CPU. (Often tripled+.) These game tests also showed it takes a much higher clock speed 7447A to better the performance of a 1.2GHz 7457 w/L3 cache (and in some game tests the 7457 was faster than even a 1.8GHz 7447A w/o L3 cache.)

    Notes: (repeated on all test pages)
  • The 1.7GHz 7447A actually runs at appx 1.73GHz in 133MHz bus Macs like the Digital Audio and Quicksilver (QS model used for tests here)
  • For all the Dual 1.7GHz Upgrade tests CPU Director's DFS (Dynamic Frequency Switching) was enabled. It was not enabled for the other upgrade's tests.

I created a separate page on CPU Director 2.1 with screenshots and more info. It worked well (notice the 1.73GHz results vs the 1.8GHz w/DFS disabled) and was responsive (changes speeds quickly).

Call of Duty 1.5c MP Timedemo:
COD is still one of my alltime favorite games on the Mac. I used the MP timedemo at both low quality (minimum) settings/640x480 and max quality settings at 1024x768.

Mac call of duty fps

The 7457 w/L3 cache does very well considering it's clock speed.

HALO 1.5.2 Tests:
I used Halo v1.5.2 (latest to date). 640x480 low quality tests used no shaders and game detail settings at minimum. 1024x768 HQ tests had shadows on, speculor on, details high, max settings in game, Pixel+Vertex shaders selected, Detail objects, but no FSAA. Average framerates using the builtin timedemo test were:

Halo tests no FSAA
Unreal Tournament 2004 Tests:
I used Santaduck's UT2004 benchmark utility to automate running tests with the latest (to date) Mac UT2004. Average framerates at 640x480/Min quality and 1024x768/max quality settings were:

UT2004 Min settings

UT2004 Max settings


Splinter Cell 1.0 Benchmarks:
I used the Mac benchmark script linked on our Mac Splinter Cell FPS db entry page. Splinter Cell does not support FSAA. 640x480 model high quality settings were used.

    SHADOWLEVEL High, SHADOWRESOLUTION High, EFFECTSQUALITY VeryHigh, SHADOWMODE Projector

Here's a graph of the Average framerates of each CPU using the same 9800 Pro graphics card. The CPU Upgrades literally tripled performance compared to the original Quicksilver's G4/733 CPU.

Mac splinter cell tests

As you can see, all of the upgrades made a hug difference (most more than tripled performance).

Doom 3 Tests:
Doom 3's system requirements are probably the steepest ever for a Mac game (high end G5 recommended) and framerates even on the fastest Macs are still well below that of a fast PC unfortunately. Regardless, I was still curious how it would run on the Quicksilver with the CPU upgrades with the Minimum Quality settings at 640x480 mode. (I'd never run Doom3 in Min. quality mode before - it actually looked better than I thought.) The default minimum quality settings were used, shadows off but special effects enabled. (No Doom3 config tweaks were used.)

Doom3 tests

I played the game for about an hour with the Dual 7447A/1.2GHz at these settings. It was playable in general but during firefights the framerate took a big nosedive. The 7457 fared a bit better as did the faster clocked 7447A's.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Tests:
I used the RTCW Multiplayer demo sent by a reader (Tzunami) some years back. (You can download the demo using the button in the sidebar at http://ultimatedataserver.de.vu/. With RTCW v1.41, you have to change the "59" in the demo filename to "60".) I ran tests at both minimum quality settings/640x480 and with High Quality (max) settings at 1024x768. Audio was enabled.

RTCW MP Demo Tests


Quake 3 Tests:
(Yes, Quake3 is very old but there's still a lot of mods for it and it plays well even on older Macs.) Tests were done with the last Quake3 version (G4 v1.32). I used the "High Quality" settings at 1024x768, with all game options on and no config file tweaks. For the dual CPU tests, r_smp was set to "1" (to use both CPUs). As with most Mac game tests, audio (sound) was enabled, although music volume was set to 0.

Quake3 tests

FYI: Framerates with "r_smp 0" (using one CPU) with the 1.2GHz 7447A were 103.7 FPS and 123.4 FPS with the 1.2GHz 7457.


Game Tests Bottom Line:
All of these upgrades made a big difference in game performance compared to the stock G4/733 CPU (which was too slow for many games to be tolerable at all). And I wish all Mac games showed the gains from dual CPUs that Quake3 does. Unfortunately that's not the case as you can see in the results, although the duals did score a tiny bit better than a single of the same speed/type. The single 1.8GHz for the money would be the best price/performance value though. The dual 1.2GHz 7457 w/L3 was very close to the much faster clocked 7447A's as L3 is a big benefit for 3d games that move a lot of data over the (relatively slow) older Mac bus.

Other Sources of Game Performance Comparisons:

  • The Video card reviews page lists articles and reviews with comparisons of many previous Mac 3D video cards.

  • The Systems page includes reviews of various G5/G4/G3 systems. Usually those reviews also include game performance tests.

  • The searchable Mac Game Framerates database has thousands of entries of Mac 3D game framerate reports using games like Doom3, UT, Splinter Cell, Quake3, etc., as well as other benchmarks. Systems range from 603e models to Apple's latest G5s. You can limit searches by game title, video card, CPU speed, Mac model (or any combination). This database can be a good tool to see what effect CPU speed and video card have on game performance.

The next page comments on installation of Powerlogix CPU upgrade. Or you may use the links below to jump to a specific page.


Index of PL 7447/7457 CPU Upgrades Review Pages

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

- or -
Back to WWW.XLR8YOURMAC.COM


Copyright © 2005.

No part of this sites content or images are to be reproduced or distributed in any form without written permission.
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.

Users of the web site must read and are bound by the terms and conditions of use.