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Speed Tests and Comparisons

Note This page is quite out of date now, and awaiting update with newer machines!

One of the most contentious and long-running discussions in the world of computers is the old "My computer is faster than your computer" argument. Whilst a lot of variables come into play when testing computers, this page has been created in order to give a rough indication of 'real world' speed tests.

I've specifically avoiding using industry benchmarks, such as Dhrystone and Whetstone tests etc, as these can often give misleading results, especially when manufacturers may optimise their hardware to 'cheat' at particular well known testing protocols.

If you would like me to perform any specific additional tests, then please let me know and I can add the results to the table below.

Description of test carried outAcorn Risc Kinetic Risc PCCastle IyonixWindowsXP PCApple iMacApple PowerBook
Power up machine from initial switch on to logon prompt.28.7s35.3s from power-up to desktop[1]31.7s1m 8.28s1m 52.53s
Time from entering username/password to reaching a useable desktop environment.25.2s11s18.8s33.09s
Time to shutdown the machine, having quit all applications.<1s<1s11.09s10s11.76s

Graphics comparisons

A quick look at various photo manipulation and graphics speed comparisons.

Example image

As a quick comparison of graphical processing speed, I've performed the following tests on a 600MHz XScale powered Iyonix, a 233MHz Kinetic powered Risc PC and a 1GHz G4 powered Apple Mac. All timings are in seconds.

I used Photodesk Olympic edition on RISC OS and GraphicConverter on Mac OS X.

You can click on the thumbnail image in order to view the original (2048x1536) JPEG image.

Description of test carried outRisc PCIyonixApple PowerBook
Load 669,276 byte JPEG image6.162.511.83
Rotate image by 23° anti-clockwise13.149.092.14
Unsharpen mask using a radius of 12 pixels, 200% contrast boost and a threshold of 2%181.2074.9120.66
Scale to 200 pixels wide (ie. create thumbnail you see here)3.522.264.46

If you would like to see any other machines tested then please contact me.

Machines used for testing

Acorn Risc PC
This is one of the last generation of Acorn computers running RISC OS. The machine under test was a RPC 700 model which has been upgraded to a 233MHz Kinetic processor and has 192MB of RAM fitted. It is installed with RISC OS Select 4.37

Castle Iyonix PC
This is the latest generation of computers running RISC OS. The machine under test was a top-end machine with a 600MHz xScale processor and 512MHz of RAM. It has an nVidia GEForce graphics card and 120GB hard drive.
For more information, visit

Windows PC
The machine under test was a 2.6GHz P4 machine fitted with 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive and running the latest version of WindowsXP home edition with all current updates.
For more information, visit

Apple iMac
This machine is a 17" iMac running OS X Panther, again with all the latest updates installed. It is powered by a 1GHz G4 processor, has 512MB RAM and an 80GB hard drive.
For more information, visit

Apple PowerBook
This machine is a 15" Titanium PowerBook running OS X Panther, again with all the latest updates installed. It is powered by a 500MHz G4 processor, has 384MB RAM and an 20GB hard drive.
For more information, visit

Iyonix power-up - As RISC OS 5 currently doesn't have multi-user capability, the time taken is from power-on to a working desktop environment. This includes an approx. 13s of hardware delay on initial power-on. I'm not sure at present what causes this.

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 Last edit: 10th Apr 2016 at 4:57pm (2967 days ago)

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