Low End Mac Benchmarks

PowerBook 540, 540C

Dan Knight - 2000.10.10 - Tip Jar

The PowerBook 540 and 540C use a 33 MHz 68LC040 CPU, so performance should be roughly comparable to the Quadra 650, except for math performance - since the 68LC040 lacks the FPU built into the full 68040 processor. Drives are the stock 160 and 320 MB Apple drives.

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

Speedometer 4.02

The 540 was tested on 10 October 2000 under System 7.5.5 with a normal complement of extensions and control panels. Video was set to the 6-bit default. The 540C was tested on 12 October 2000 under System 7.5.5 with extensions off. Video was set to 8-bits. Results are relative to a Quadra 605, which rates 1.0. Numbers rounded off to two decimal places.

PowerBook 540

cache  CPU  graphics  disk   math
 32KB  1.17   0.64    0.84   5.60
 64KB  1.17   0.64    0.84   5.60
128KB  1.17   0.64    0.80   5.60
256KB  1.17   0.64    0.79   5.59

PowerBook 540C

cache  CPU  graphics  disk   math
 32KB  1.18   0.74    0.92   6.25
 64KB  1.18   0.75    0.92   6.25
128KB  1.18   0.75    0.91   6.25
256KB  1.18   0.74    0.91   6.25

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. However, the 320 MB drive is faster than the 160 MB drive.

I'm guessing the 6-bit video requires more overhead than the more traditional 8-bit video (4-bit video usually has the same problem vs. 8-bit video), giving the 540C a small but noticable advantage over the grayscale 540.

I'm at a loss to explain the improved math scores of the 540C, since both PowerBooks run the same CPU at the same speed.

By way of comparison, the Quadra 650 scores 1.19 on the CPU benchmark and 20.01 on the math benchmark. That floating point unit can make a real difference!

Go to the PowerBook 540 or 540C>

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