RAM Disk Benchmarks, Classic Mac OS

2001: 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.

These tests are performed with ramBunctious, a great little shareware RAM Disk program that is faster than Apple’s RAM Disk. They should indicate the memory bandwidth of the computer. (Numbers are KB/sec.)

computer         write     read  
Classic II       2,419K   2,368K 
Quadra 605      15,728K  15,728K 
Quadra 650      15,728K  15,728K 
Quadra 950      15,728K  15,728K 

By way of comparison, here are benchmark results for hard drives on three of the same Macs:

computer      hard drive         write     read
Classic II    Quantum LP40S        629K   1,005K
Classic II    Quantum ST2.1S     1,165K   1,367K
Quadra 605    Quantum LPS240S    2,246K   2,246K
Quadra 605    Quantum ST2.1S     3,932K   3,932K
Quadra 650    Quantum TM1280S    2,954K   3,932K
Quadra 650    Quantum ST2.1S     3,145K   5,242K

Using results from the very fast (in its day) Quantum Fireball ST2.1S:

  • ramBunctious writes on the Classic II are over twice as fast, reads 73% faster
  • ramBunctious writes and reads on the Quadra 605 are four times as fast
  • ramBunctious writes on the Quadra 650 are five times as fast, reads three times as fast

The Quadra ramBunctious results are remarkably consistent for the Quadras, all based on Motorola’s 68040 CPU – 15,728 KB/sec. The Quadra 650 and 950 were designed as pro computers vs. the Classic II and Quadra 605, which are consumer models, and the difference shows especially in the Quadra 650 hard disk read scores.

But they pale compared to ramBunctious, which is 3-5x as fast. RAM Disks are fast indeed!

Go to our benchmarks index

Keywords: #ramdisk #macramdisk #rambunctious