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Speed Comparison

Tue Jan 18, 2000 - 6:38 PM EST - By James Hromadka

OS Speed

OS Speed

So by now everyone is singing the virtues of USB, but how fast is the PalmOS 3.1h that comes with the Visor?  To find out, I used two programs that test the speed of your Palm-compatible -- BenchMark and PocketMark.  All of the tests below were done with no hacks turned on.

According to the Benchmark FAQ, it performs a CPU and memory-intensive Fibonacci calculation to test speed and bus bandwidth utilization.  Below are the ratings of some of the current Palm-compatibles.
Benchmark Rating
Palm III 91%
Palm IIIx/V 100%
Palm Vx 122%
Visor DX 158%
TRGPro 161%

PocketMark is a similar tool for comparing the speed of the various Palm-compatibles.  PocketMark performs three tests: the first test, IntMark, is done using an algorithm to find perfect numbers, so it is a very CPU-intensive task with little memory impact.  The second test (MemMark) performs copies to/from a buffer (array), evaluating the RAM speed.  The last test (FloatMark) performs floating point calculations using NewFloatMgr routines.  The overall number is the PalmMarks in the far-right column.  Here are the results taken from the author’s website and from emails in varous user groups:
PalmMarks (overall)
Palm III 88 70 86 85
Palm IIIx/V 100 100 100 100
Palm Vx 116 113 113 115
Visor DX 129 101 132 125
TRGPro 100 111 100 102

It looks like Handspring optimized the PalmOS code very well in the Visor.  Looking at the BenchMark results, the TRGPro edged out the Visor because of the TRGPro’s better performance in memory-intensive procedures.  In the PocketMark overall results, however, the Visor surpasses even the Palm Vx, which has a faster processor and Palm OS 3.3.


The Handspring Visor is fast -- both in synchronizing and in PalmOS speed.  The PalmOS performance overall surpasses other Palm-compatibles, and the USB really flies during a HotSync™.


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