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MAXpowr PB ModuleRating
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Review:Newer Tech's PowerBook G3 466MHz CPU Upgrade
First Shipping CPU Upgrade for PowerBook Wallstreet & Lombard models
By Mike
Published: 8/30/2000
*Real World* Performance Tests
Intro | Benchmarks | Appl/Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design | Summary
Applications and Game Performance

This page lists test results in common Mac applications like Photoshop 5.5, Infini-D and iMovie 1.02. Since the Wallstreet's RageLT graphics chip is too slow for modern 3D games, I've only included results with Quake 1 in software mode. (Wallstreet2/Lombard models have the faster RageProLT chip, which has better performance, 8MB of video RAM (vs 4MB for my Wallstreet) but still fill-rate limited compared to the far more advanced Rage128 Mobility chip used in the new Powerbook firewire models.)

As always, a clean reboot was performed before running each test. All results on this page used the application's (or game's) built-in timing function whenever possible to eliminate human error variations possible when starting and stopping a timer/stopwatch. (iMovie tests required a stopwatch however, as it has no built-in timing feature when exporting files.)

Sample files provided with the applications and the publicly available PSBench 21 filter action script were used so that readers could easily compare their results to mine.


Photoshop 5.5 Tests:

The table below shows the results of PSBench (21 filter test) series between the original Wallstreet G3/250 and with the MAXpowr G3/466 CPU Upgrade. The total time to complete the 21 filters is shown. PSBench settings are 1024x768, millions colors, VM off, Interpolation set to bicubic (better) and Photoshop should be allocated enough RAM (120MB for this review) to avoid any swap file activity from the 10MB test image filter actions.

PS5Bench Test
(10MB Image File)

PB Wallstreet
w/MAXpowr G3/466

466MHz CPU Speed
1MB Cache at 233MHz
66MHz Bus
512MB RAM
ATI RageLT (4MB)
PB Wallstreet
(Original CPU)

250MHz CPU Speed
1MB Cache at 125MHz
83MHz Bus
512MB RAM
ATI RageLT (4MB)

Gain

Rotate 90

0.8

1.2

1.5x

Rotate 9

3.1

4.8

1.5x

Rotate .9

2.9

4.5

1.6x

Gaussian Blur 1

1.6

2.1

1.3x

Gaussian Blur 3.7

3.7

5.1

1.4x

Gaussian Blur 85

4.7

6.6

1.4x

Unsharp 50/1/0

1.9

2.7

1.4x

Unsharp 50/3/7/0

4.1

5.8

1.4x

Unsharp 50/10/5

4.2

5.8

1.4x

Despeckle

2.4

3.9

1.6x

RGB-CMYK

4.4

8.1

1.8x

Reduce Size 60%

1.2

2

1.7x

Lens Flare

4.3

7

1.6x

Color Halftone

3.6

5.9 

1.6x

NTSC Colors

3.8

6.7

1.8x

Accented Edges

9.7

17.8

1.8x

Pointillize

13.4

24.7

1.8x

Water Color

20.1

37

1.8x

Polar Coordinates

5.3

8.9

1.7x

Radial Blur

32.4

56.6

1.7x

Lighting Effects

8.1

14.7

1.8x

PS5Bench Index

135.7 Sec.

231.9 Sec.

1.7x

System

PB Wallstreet
w/MAXpowr G3/466

466MHz CPU Speed
1MB Cache at 233MHz
66MHz Bus
512MB RAM
ATI RageLT (4MB)
PB Wallstreet
(Original CPU)

250MHz CPU Speed
1MB Cache at 125MHz
83MHz Bus
512MB RAM
ATI RageLT (4MB)

Gain

Note: A PowerBook G3/500 (Firewire) model took 124.6 seconds for this test (OS 9.04, VM off, same PS RAM allocation, 256MB RAM). For more comparisons of Photoshop performance, see the Systems page and and previous G4/G3 CPU upgrade reviews.

Load/Save Comparisons: I also timed how long it took to launch Photoshop 5.5, load the 10MB PSbench.tif file and save it as a Photoshop file (PSD format).

Photoshop Load/Save Tests
(all times in seconds)
Test
PB G3/250
PB G3/466
Launch
PShop 5.5
6.5
5.2
Load 10MB
TIF File
2.5
2.1
SaveAs
PSD File
2.4
2.3


iMovie 1.02 Tests

I used the iMovie tutorial project as a test for performance, simply assembling all the clips back-to-back (no transitions). This way it's easier for the reader to duplicate my test (since transitions would introduce an almost infinite number of possible variations). I exported the file using the CDROM medium size option, recording the time it took to complete the movie. Had the PCCard slots been working, I would have also tested for DV capture/printing to the camera, but either the card cage or the controller chip is bad in my Wallstreet, as no Firewire PCcard will work (nor will the DVD decoder card). (This happened shortly after upgrading the hard drive, after using a firewire PCcard to copy over files and had nothing to do with the CPU upgrade.)

The graph below shows times to complete the export to a 'CDROM medium size' movie with the Wallstreet PB G3/250 before and after the MAXpowr G3/466 (233MHz cache) CPU upgrade.

iMovie Test Results

As you can see the CPU upgrade nearly cut times in half. I didn't include results with the PowerBook G3/500 as the only system I had access to was one with a nearly full disk. The times on that system were hard to believe, taking over 16 minutes to complete the exact same export. I can only guess the state of the hard drive (80% full and fragmented) was a primary factor. The Wallstreet's 20GB IBM drive is much faster and had very little fragmentation and over 60% free space (plus a 2MB cache). I still found the times on the PB G3/500 hard to believe, even after witnessing the tests personally.



Infini-D 4.01 Tests

I used the same 'Chapter 7 completed' tutorial scene file from my past reviews. Rendering quality was set to Ray Trace, medium anti-aliasing, shadows on, patch detail low. I didn't change the default QT movie output file options.

The graph below shows times to complete the 150 frame movie (10.6MB) rendering with an PB G3/500 Firewire (G3/500MHz with 200MHz cache) previously reviewed (running OS 9.0) compared to my Wallstreet PB G3/250 before and after the MAXpowr G3/466 (233MHz cache) CPU upgrade (running OS 9.04. Infini-D was allocated 40MB of RAM for the tests.

Infini-D 4.01 results


The only reason I can guess for the PB G3/500 being slightly slower was the fact it had USB and Firewire extensions enabled (these extensions are not used/needed with the Wallstreet since it has no onboard USB or Firewire ports).



Game Performance Tests:

Unlike my other CPU reviews, I only tested in Quake1 (software mode) since the Wallstreet's RageLT graphics chip is just too slow to be a 3D gaming machine. Although Quake1 is not nearly as demanding on graphics chips as current 3D games like Quake3, Rave Quake was just too slow to be playable. As shown in the PowerBook Firewire review game tests, the Rage128 Mobility is a giant leap forward in 3D/gaming performance. I still love this wallstreet however, and it has been a solid workhorse as far as serious applications for over two years, and will be for some time to come.

For curiosity sake, here's the Quake 1 (v1.09/50MB allocated) software mode timedemo 1 results at 640x480 before and after the upgrade.

  • PB G3/250: 18.6 FPS
  • PB G3/466: 25.7 FPS


The next page includes comments and photos on installation. Or you may use the links below to jump to a specific page.

Index of MAXpowr PB G3 CPU Upgrade Review

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

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