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Upgrade. Upgrade. Upgrade

July 23, 1998
by Alex Zavatone

As Director users, it goes without saying that most of us develop crossplatform. With the multi-thousand dollar demand of having more than 1 machine, the price/performance factor of the machines we have play a large role in running our operations. In recent history, there have been new advances on the mac side of things with the G3 macs and then G3 and other upgrade cards for poor souls like me who often feel left behind the times.

So here's the question? Upgrade or buy a new mac? Recently, Pat and I have had the opportunity to upgrade our 8500's to more powerful machines. Pat, being the adventurous one, selected a newer G3 upgrade while I played it safe with a 233MHz 604e. This in turn meant that Brian Gray could get my 150MHz chip to upgrade his 8500 from a 120. Now, we've got a good range of machines to test performance on and test we did. I've been keeping track of machine speeds for quite some time through a program called speedometer. The new version of speedometer has performance numbers that don't go up to the power PC machines but the records included have a very complete pre-ppc performance history.

Well for your viewing pleasure, I have compiled Speedometer performance numbers for a 6100/60 601, 8500/150 604, 8500/233 604e, 8500/250 G3 and a desktop 266 G3. These numbers were run on a non-native version of Speedometer and the performance units are the amount of times faster than a mac classic the operation is performed. This means that native ppc numbers would be faster still. The point of the chart however is to compare the relative performance of each machine so that you can see how to get the most bang for your buck when purchasing a new machine or an upgrade card for your current investment. Add up the performance and the cost and see which choice is makes the best solution for you. For an explanation of the tests performed, download Speedometer and read the docs.

Upgrade cards and prices are also listed below:
233/604e At time of purchase = $319 from
250/G3 At time of purchase = $850 from

What is also available but not tested are G3 upgrades for 6100's, 7500's, 7100's and 8100's.

Performance numbers and chart follow: '

A Director user since 1987, Alex (Zav) Zavatone has worked on the engineering teams for both Director and Shockwave, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Recent investigations find him developing foundation classes for Director with asynchronous process management and other life threatening activities. In its early days, he had something to do with this Internet thing known as "DOUG". A noted ne'erdowell, slacker and laggard, Mr. Zavatone is nonetheless is trusted by children, small animals and the elderly. In his spare time, Mr. Zavatone rehabilitates lame desert trout.

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