I finally had a chance to play with a Mac IIci last weekend and have

a few observations to report.

Incompatibilities:

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)

Benchmarks:

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

applications.

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.

Results:

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."

Machine

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

benchmark.

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

other machines.

Conditions:

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

UUCP: [uunet|ucbvax|decvax|hplabs]!tektronix!tekgvs!larryh