Speedmark is Macworld Lab’s standard test tool for benchmarking new and upgraded systems running Mac OS X. It uses real-world applications and everyday tasks. It is a general-purpose suite that includes tasks everyone from a high-end user to a new user performs every day.
Macworld Lab follows a detailed script to perform the 17 tasks. Each task is performed three times. We compare the results to a 2.13GHz MacBook with 2GB RAM (Mid 2009), which is assigned a score of 100. We then take the geometric mean of the normalized scores.
Apple’s latest Mac OS X operating system, 10.6, focuses more on refinements rather than features. But the new OS does boast some new technologies meant to help your Intel Mac take better advantage of its central and graphics processing units. Unfortunately, in order to make these refinements and improvements, Apple made the decision to pull the plug on Power-PC equipped Macs, offering no support for any pre-Intel hardware.
Here’s a list of the tests that make up Speedmark:
Mac OS X Finder
- Duplicate 1GB file
- Compress 2GB folder
- Uncompress 2GB file archive
- Open 500 page Word document
- Convert 28 AAC files to MP3 from hard drive
- Import two-minute clip from camera archive
- Share two-minute movie to iTunes for mobile devices
- Import 150 photos from hard drive
- WorldBench 6 Multiple Page Loading Test on Windows 7
Call of Duty 4
- Timedemo run at 1024-by-768 with 4X anti-aliasing
- CPU test
- Convert DV file to MPEG-2 for DVD
Adobe Photoshop CS4
- Actions script run on a 50MB file
- Encode one chapter from DVD to H.264
- Evaluate Notebook test
- Import 150 photos and build thumbnails and previews
While Speedmark gives an excellent indication of real-world performance, it is not our only benchmark. We will continue to develop tests and publish results in a variety of applications appropriate for the hardware under review. Your suggestions are always welcome.