I finally had a chance to play with a Mac IIci last weekend and have
a few observations to report.
Stepping Out II -- cursor is invisible.
TMON 2.8.2 -- unreliable. Bombs every time if use option-pwr-on
or cmd-pwr-on when running MultiFinder (Programmer's FKey
does not appear to be the problem -- mini-de* is ok)
You might wonder why I felt the need to run my own benchmarks rather than just
accept the results shown in the various magazines. The answer is simple:
(a) their benchmarks frequently make no sense at all & (b) it is not
clear what their benchmarks are testing. The following benchmark results
make (almost) perfect sense and I (pretty much) know what they are testing.
Noah Price of Apple confirmed my suspicions that the IIci is running two
wait states and that the SE/30 etc. runs one wait state.
Cynical bastards might note that the more wait states that a
machine has the more impressive a cache board becomes. This makes the
cache more desirable and perhaps a better money making opportunity for Apple.
Four of the benchmark routines consist of variations on a 4096 point
complex Fast Fourier Transform:
FFT-SP-FPU : single precision floating point (32 bits), uses FPU
FFT-DP-FPU : double precision (64 bits), uses FPU
FFT-SP-SW : single precision, uses software (not SANE)
FFT-DP-SANE : double precision, uses Apple's SANE package.
The first two test the machine's ability to perform numerically intensive
tasks. The 2nd slings around twice as much data as the first and will thus
be more affected by memory latency. Both are highly optimized for the 882
and take maximum advantage of concurency. These results should be highly
predictive of the performance of very well written floating point limited
The third benchmark tests the machine's integer performance (in spite of
the fact that it is performing floating point operations). The SW is again
highly optimized and keeps memory references to an absolute minimum. Thus
this benchmark should be predictive of the performance of well written
non-floating point limited applications.
The fourth benchmark tests the efficiency of Apple's SANE package.
*****NOTE***** It was discovered during the testing that TMON somehow
slows SANE down by a factor of two!!! I have a dim memory of someone
mentioning this on the net a while ago.
WHEN RUNNING BENCHMARKS INVOLVING SANE, MAKE SURE TMON IS NOT LOADED!!!!
A fifth benchmark was designed to be more sensitive to memory latency that the
others. It is designated 'MEMORY' in the following results section.
These benchmarks do not test display oriented operations or disk access.
Time in seconds on the base IIci (internal video disabled)
FFT-SP-FPU : 0.88 +/- 0.02
FFT-DP-FPU : 0.99 +/- 0.02
FFT-SP-SW : 7.10 +/- 0.02
FFT-DP-SANE : 39.47 +/- 0.02
MEMORY : 2.77 +/- 0.02
The numbers in the following table are 'xx' in the sentence:
"The Mac IIci is xx% faster than the yy when running the zz benchmark."
FFT-SP-FPU FFT-DP-FPU FFT-SP-SW FFT-DP-SANE MEMORY
IIci/bw1 2 2 4 4 6
IIci/color8 10 19 44 33 53
Mac II 178 167 75 82 81
Mac SE/30 56 55 50 57 48
Mac SE 5776 38901 631 863 628
Thus: The Mac IIci is 50% faster than the SE/30 when running the FFT-SP-SW
The numbers were calculated according to the following formula:
(<time for yy>/<time for IIci>)*100 - 100
Thus 0% faster is the same speed and 100% faster is twice as fast.
Note: the numbers for the short tests are the average of 10 runs and
the others utilized 5 runs except the SE at 1 run. The IIci had
about 3 times as much variability in run timing compared to the
All machines: no INITs, no TMON.
Mac IIci: 4 meg memory, system 6.0.4, NuBus video except
IIci/bw1 -- internal monitor driver at 1 bit/pixel
IIci/color8 -- internal monitor driver at 8 bits/pixel
Mac II,SE/30: -- 5 meg memory, system 6.0.3
Mac SE -- 1 meg memory, system 4.2, big screen + INIT
The benchmarks utilized the graphing and data analysis application Igor.
I can provide details of their operation if anyone is interested.
Larry Hutchinson, Tektronix, Inc. PO Box 500, MS 50-383, Beaverton, OR 97077