Low End Mac Benchmarks

Quadra 650

Dan Knight - 1998.11.03 - Tip Jar

The Quadra 650 uses a 33 MHz 68040 CPU, making it the second-fastest Quadra ever. Drive is a 250 MB Apple-branded Quantum ProDrive LPS formatted with Apple HD SC Setup 7.3.5.

The drive was tested with Norton and optimized before benchmarking.

Remember that benchmarks are arbitrary. They measure certain types of performance that may or may not reflect the way you work.

Speedometer 3.06

The system was tested on 3 November 1998 using System 7.5.5 with all inessential extensions off. Computer attached to a 14" color monitor and tested in 8-bit video mode (other modes caused Speedometer to crash). Results are relative to a Mac SE or Classic, which rates 1.0. Numbers rounded off to two decimal places.

The first set of numbers compares performance at different cache settings.

cache   CPU  graphics  disk   math 
 32KB  21.63   24.15   4.86   137.5
 64KB  21.90   24.30   4.89   137.6
128KB  21.90   24.45   4.91   137.4
256KB  21.90   23.72   5.62   137.4

The cache setting should have little influence on non-disk tests, which these numbers bear out. With this particular setup, cache size makes no appreciable difference.

Speedometer 4.02

The system was tested on 3 November 1998 under System 7.5.5 with all inessential extensions off. Computer attached to a 14" color monitor and tested in 8-bit video mode. Results are relative to a Quadra 605, which rates 1.0. Numbers rounded off to two decimal places.

These numbers compare performance at different cache settings.

cache  CPU  graphics  disk    math
 32KB  1.19   n/a     1.89   19.98
 64KB  1.19   1.34    1.89   20.01
128KB  1.19   n/a     1.91   20.01
256KB  1.19   1.32    2.16   20.02

The cache setting should have little influence on non-disk tests, which these numbers bear out. As above, with this particular setup, cache size makes no appreciable difference, except that the disk score is a bit higher with a 256 KB cache.

Surprisingly, although Mac fans have long believed IDE hard drives were inferior to SCSI drives, the Quadra 630 (the first desktop Mac with an IDE drive) offers virtually identical performance under MacBench 4.

Hard Drive and Memory Speed

The newest addition to our benchmark suite is TimeDrive 1.3 (available here), which measures drive throughput. This can test a floppy, Zip, hard drive, or RAM Disk. TimeDrive is fairly primitive; the benefit of that is being able to run it on very old Macs.

The Quantum TM1280S is a competent performer and probably faster than the original drive in the Quadra 650. We also tested our default external drive, a Quantum Fireball ST2.1S. Finally, to measure how fast the computer accesses memory, we also tested ramBunctious, a great little shareware RAM Disk program. (Numbers are KB/sec.)

drive              write     read 
Quantum TM1280S    2,954K   3,932K
Quantum ST2.1S     3,145K   5,242K
ramBunctious      15,728K  15,728K

Tests with other Macs show the ST2.1S runs faster then 4 Mbps, so the 3,145K write ceiling seems to be a limit on the Quadra 605's SCSI throughput. The 5,242K read speed is the best we've seen on a Mac without fast SCSI - the spec tops out at 5,120K.

Since we normally run Mac OS 8.1 on this Quadra, we also ran TimeDrive under OS 8.1.

drive              write     read 
Quantum TM1280S    3,145K   4,306K
Quantum ST2.1S     3,145K   4,493K
ramBunctious      15,728K  15,728K

Both read and write speeds were higher for the TM1280S. The 3,145K seems to be a maximum write speed, since both drives reach it consistently.

The ramBunctious benchmark demonstrates that a RAM Disk is five times faster than the SCSI bus for writes and three times faster on reads.

Go to the Quadra 650 profile.

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