Umax SuperMac J700 Benchmarks

The Umax SuperMac J700 was the first Power Mac clone that I benchmarked. My J700 shipped with a 180 MHz 604e CPU, and has 104 MB of memory and a Quantum Fireball 2110 hard drive installed. It shipped standard with an ixMicro Twin Turbo 128 video card, which I replaced with an ixMicro Ultimate Rez 3D card.

Umax SuperMac J700The drive was not 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 1998.11.26 using Mac OS 8.1 with all inessential extensions off. Computer was attached to a 17″ color monitor and tested in 8-bit video mode at 640 x 480 resolution. Results are relative to an 8 MHz Mac SE or Classic, which rates 1.0. Numbers are rounded off to two decimal places.

The first set of numbers compares performance at different cache settings. These results are without graphic acceleration.

 cache    CPU graphics disk    math 
 96 KB   87.6   15.8   6.19   377.6
128 KB   83.4   16.6   6.35   377.9
256 KB   83.4   16.8   6.40   378.2

The cache setting should have little influence on non-disk tests, which these numbers bear out. With this particular setup, cache size makes only a small difference in disk performance.

Since Speedometer 3 is completely written in 68K code (it predates the PowerPC), I also tested it with Speed Doubler 8, which claims to have better 68K emulation than Apple provides.

test      CPU  graphics disk   math 
w/o SD    83.4   16.8   6.40  378.2
with SD  159.3   16.8   6.46  490.6

This bears out the claim by Connectix that Speed Doubler has better 68K emulation than Apple – the CPU score almost doubles with Speed Doubler 8 and the math score improves by about 30%.

Finally, I ran comparisons with two different video cards, both with and without video acceleration. (base = no acceleration, Twin = Twin Turbo, TT/SD = Twin Turbo plus Speed Douber, and Ult. = Ultimate Rez 3D)

test     CPU  graphics  disk   math 
base    83.4    16.8   6.40   378.2
Twin    87.6    55.7   6.12   377.0
TT/SD  159.3    70.3   6.22   494.5
Ult.    83.4    58.1   6.07   377.6

Except for disk results, the combination of an accelerated video card and Speed Doubler 8 is a winning combination when running 68K programs.

Speedometer 4.02

The system was tested on 1998.11.26 under Mac OS 8.1 with all inessential extensions off. Computer was attached to a 17″ color monitor and tested in 8-bit video mode at 640 x 480 resolution. Results are relative to a 25 MHz Quadra 605, which rates 1.0. Numbers are rounded off to one or two decimal places.

Because Power Macs don’t support 1-, 2-, or 4-bit video, Speedometer 4 was unable to test the graphics.

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

cache    CPU  graphics disk    math
 96 KB  11.96   n/a    2.40   532.7
128 KB  11.99   n/a    2.39   533.1
256 KB  11.93   n/a    2.49   533.2

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 significant difference, except that the disk score is a bit higher with a 256 KB cache.

Testing with Speed Doubler verified that Speedometer 4 has PowerPC code: Speed Doubler 8 didn’t make any difference on benchmark results.

MacBench 3

The system was tested on 1998.11.26 under Mac OS 8.1 with all inessential extensions off. Computer was attached to a 17″ color monitor and tested in 8-bit video mode at 640 x 480 resolution. The disk cache was set to 256 KB for all tests. Results are relative to a Power Mac 6100/60, which rates 10. Numbers are rounded off to two decimal places.

test        CPU     math    disk graphics
VM off     44.75   42.47   13.86   20.95
VM 105 MB  43.91   42.17   13.62   18.20
VM 128 MB  41.74   42.52   13.46   18.48
VM 208 MB  41.77   41.94   13.53   18.62

There are several claims about virtual memory (VM). One is that setting VM to 1 MB more than physical RAM (in this case, I have 104 MB installed) provides the best balance of speed and efficient memory use. Others claim the best results come when VM is set to a multiple of 32 MB. Still others claim that setting VM to double installed RAM is best. I tested all of these configurations.

These figures show that there is a small (2-7%) reduction in CPU performance with virtual memory enabled and no significant change in math performance. Although some claim disk performance improves when VM is used, these tests do not bear out that claim.

The great suprise is the 12-15% reduction in graphics performance when VM is running.

All this should be weighed against the biggest advantage of using VM in a Power Mac: It reduces the amount of RAM most programs need to operate, leaving more free memory.

Overall, VM set to 1 MB over installed RAM (105 MB in this case) gave slightly  better CPU and hard drive results than 128 MB or 208 MB, 128 MB gave the best math score, and 208 MB the best graphics results. In all cases, the difference was 5% or less, which is not a big deal.

All this should be weighed against the great advantage of VM in a Power Mac: It reduces the amount of RAM most programs need to operate.

Finally, I ran comparisons with two different video cards, both with and without video acceleration. (base = no acceleration, Twin = Twin Turbo, and Ult. = Ultimate Rez 3D)

test     CPU    math    disk  graphics
base    44.75   42.47   13.86    20.95
Twin    44.39   42.22   13.24   136.04
Ult.     n/a     n/a     n/a    167.31

The graphic acceleration didn’t really change CPU, math, and disk scores, so I didn’t repeat them for the second video card. Overall, the Twin Turbo benchmarks 6.5 times faster and the Ultimate Rez 8 times faster than running either card with acceleration disabled.

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