Imagine for a moment that you are a computer. What do you do on a day in, day out basis? Well, in the abstract, you read some data in from disk, you apply various algorithms and transformations to it, and you display something on screen related to the work you have just done. On occasion, the user inputs something that causes you to execute more algorithms and transformations, and you then update the screen and potentially write some data back to disk. You repeat this cycle over and over again until finally the user turns you off for the day, allowing you some well earned rest.
With the above in mind, If I WAS a computer and I wanted to optimize my day to day operations, I would clearly focus on a few of my major subsystems: disk, CPU and video.
Now you are not a computer and neither am I. However, we are both likely to be users of computers, and as such we have an interest in optimizing (read “speeding up”!) their operations. To that end, I decided to take a run at optimizing my Power Macintosh 7300/200, to see just how fast it could be made to go, within the bounds of reason… It is after all a 1997 machine.
The small series of posts that follow this one will detail the process of, and the outcome of, the following upgrades:
1. Video: addition of an ATI Radeon 7000 video card
2. CPU: addition of a Sonnet Crescendo G3/400 CPU replacement
3. Disk: addition of a Sonnet Tempo ATA 66 IDE controller
I will reveal in advance that the net result of the above upgrades was quite impressive, but not as impressive in some areas as I might have thought going into this process. Read on to learn more!