QuickBits Palm Accelerator Review

Program Requirements:
Device:
Palm III, IIIc, IIIx, IIIe, IIIxe, V, Vx, VII, VIIx,
m100, IBM WorkPad, Handspring Visor, Sony CLIÉ and other PalmOS 3.0 or greater
compatible handhelds.

When I first obtained 2bit Software’s ‘QuickBits Palm
Accelerator’, I immediately wanted to tweak my Palm Vx to its MAX to see just
how far it would go, and was able to achieve a QuickBits Index score of 682,
and a PocketMark score of 308 (with the aid of Tornado V and AfterBurner). If
you’d like to try topping these scores – take your best shot…if you’re successful,
please feel free to drop me an e-mail with a screen dump. Please note that this review is intended for advanced users whose
primary interest is in performance specs.

In this review, I will
focus on tweaking the Palm Vx to its MAX without using the overclocking features
of  AfterBurner – the
results are quite interesting. Here are the programs
that you will need in order to perform these tests for yourself: 1)
QuickBits 2) Tornado V 3) AfterBurner 4) PocketMark (requires ‘Mathlib’) 5) HackMaster

 

SYSTEM SETUP:

Palm Vx (original build, no DRAM prob.)
Modified OS 3.3 ROM image with the aid of ‘EditROM’
FlashPro installed – ROM space maxed out with 824K of data
7,450K RAM used, 614K RAM free, all hacks and TSRs disabled

Unless specified otherwise, QuickBits
is fully installed; AfterBurner has the following items checked: 0-ws Core, Fast
Mpx, Fast Page, Adjust Ticks, Grey=off, Accel=Always, Slow=Never, LClk/2=Never,
LCD/n disabled, no overclocking; Tornado V is set globally to ‘x2’

THE TESTS:

1) QuickBits, AfterBurner & Tornado V fully DISABLED: QuickBits Index = 124;
PalmMark = 115

2) QuickBits
ENABLED, AfterBurner & Tornado V DISABLED: QuickBits Index = 384; PalmMark
= 176

3) QuickBits
& Tornado V ENABLED, AfterBurner DISABLED: QuickBits Index = 417; PalmMark
= 192

4) QuickBits
& AfterBurner ENABLED, Tornado V DISABLED: QuickBits Index = 403; PalmMark
= 185

5) QuickBits
& AfterBurner (*** with LCD/n=3 ***) ENABLED, Tornado V DISABLED: QuickBits
Index = 420; PalmMark = 189

6) QuickBits
& AfterBurner (*** with LCD/n=7 ***) ENABLED, Tornado V DISABLED: QuickBits
Index = 424; PalmMark = 192 (NOTE: THIS IS AN UNUSABLE SETTING AS SCREEN IS
ALMOST BLACK)

7) QuickBits, AfterBurner & Tornado V ENABLED: QuickBits Index = 403; PalmMark
= 185

8) QuickBits, AfterBurner (*** with
LCD/n=3 ***) & Tornado V ENABLED: QuickBits Index = 419; PalmMark = 189
(NOTE: TORNADO V ENABLED/DISABLED SETTING HAS NO AFFECT ON RESULT)

9) QuickBits, AfterBurner (*** with LCD/n=7 ***) & Tornado V ENABLED:
QuickBits Index = 424, PalmMark = 191 (NOTE: THIS IS AN UNUSABLE SETTING AS
SCREEN IS ALMOST BLACK); (NOTE 2: TORNADO V ENABLED/DISABLED SETTING HAS NO
AFFECT ON RESULT)

10)
AfterBurner ENABLED, QuickBits & Tornado V DISABLED: QuickBits Index = 131;
PalmMark = 155

11) Tornado
V ENABLED, QuickBits & AfterBurner DISABLED: QuickBits Index = 153; PalmMark
= 161

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12)
AfterBurner ENABLED (*** with LCD/n=3 ***), QuickBits & Tornado V DISABLED:
QuickBits Index = 153; PalmMark = 159

13)
AfterBurner ENABLED (*** with LCD/n=7 ***), QuickBits & Tornado V DISABLED:
QuickBits Index = 154; PalmMark = 160 (NOTE: THIS IS AN UNUSABLE SETTING UNLESS
AS SCREEN IS ALMOST BLACK)

Here’s a fast look at some of the other
screens you will see in QuickBits:



Now, this next part gets really
interesting. I wanted to figure out why QuickBits had such an edge over Tornado
V and AfterBurner, so I ran a few more tests. Take a look at the five separate
PocketMark scores for all three programs when activated alone (note: ignore the
‘PalmMark’ score, which simply represents the weighted average of the top three
scores):



It looks like Tornado V has cleaned up in
all the benchmarks but one – ‘MemMarks’. It should also be noted that
AfterBurner beat out QuickBits in every benchmark as well, with the exception
of MemMarks. MemMarks however, is where QuickBits made the competition look
like it was playing in the sandbox. Its score was 120% greater than the best
offering, which ultimately resulted in an overall PalmMark of 176. Let’s now
take a look at QuickBits’ version of the MemMark benchmark – ‘MemSet’:



Hmm…it turns out that that QuickBits’
MemSet score is EXACTLY 120% greater than the best offering again. We now have
collaborative evidence that the ‘Mem’ tests are where QuickBits really excels.

I then tried disabling everything but
‘MemSet speedup’ in the QuickBits configuration screen and re-ran the test.
QuickBit’s MemSet score dropped to 3.69 – this seems to indicate that the ‘Mem’
function is co-dependent (as I would imagine would be the case with Tornado V
and AfterBurner in their own rights).

Another thing worth noting is that Tornado
V and AfterBurner consistently score higher in the ‘WinSaveBits’ benchmark than
QuickBits:



Perhaps this is one reason why we notice
complimentary benefits when running TornadoV and/or AfterBurner in conjunction
with QuickBits.

CONCLUSIONS:

– Test #2 vs. test #s 10-13
clearly shows that QuickBits DOMINATES when running by itself (vs. Tornado V or
AfterBurner running by themselves). The QuickBits Index for test #2 is
193% larger than test #10, and 151% larger than test #11. The
PalmMark for test #2 is 13.5% larger than test #10, and 9.3%
larger than test #11.

– Test #s 3-9 demonstrate that
Tornado V & AfterBurner, both individually and dualistically, compliment
QuickBits when installed.

– Test #3 vs. test #7
indicates that, under our default testing conditions, AfterBurner actually
NULLIFIES Tornado Vs performance improvements when installed. We know that
Tornado V is not the problem because the results for test #7 are
identical to test #4. Even when ALL of AfterBurner’s settings were
disabled/set to Palm defaults, it still caused slowdowns when enabled in
HackMaster.

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– With QuickBits fully installed, you will
immediately notice major performance improvements when performing simple tasks
that involve screen ‘re-draws’ – such as scrolling through lists or ‘flipping
pages’ – I would venture to say that on average, the performance is roughly 4x
what it normally would be. If Tornado V is installed by itself, you will see a
2x performance improvement; if you enable QuickBits as well, your performance
jumps to 4x+; and, if you overclock with AfterBurner, well, you’re off the
charts. If you have a lot hacks on your device like me (28), scroll through the
list – this is a good place to perform tests, as you will here the audible
‘tick’ variations as well.

– The true horsepower of these speed-up
utilities really becomes evident the moment you start loading your unit down
with heavy-duty applications and such as: ‘PalmTheme’, ‘Backdrop’, QuickSheet,
intensive Hacks, etc.

– If you’re wondering why Neal Bridges’
‘Benchmark’ utility was not used during these tests, it is because it is not
engineered to measure the type of performance modifications/improvements that
QuickBits delivers. I used PocketMark instead to collaborate QuickBits’
benchmarks, and to keep it honest.

– If you’re wondering why I use OS 3.3,
it’s not because I don’t have access to OS 3.5, I just prefer it because it is
1) faster, 2) requires less ROM (freeing up more for FlashPro), 3) beam
restrictions can be overridden, and 4) it is compatible with more third-party
software (especially those old ‘gems’). As for my ROM image, I modified it to
eliminate programs that I do not need, thus freeing up even more ROM for
FlashPro.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

One thing is for sure – QuickBits is not a
‘2-bit’ piece of software. The performance boost it delivers is nothing short
of impressive, and the robust benchmarking tables it incorporates makes it fun
to use. It can do things AfterBurner and Tornado V cannot, and will
dramatically improve the speed of your device without any overclocking. If you
want maximum performance, and don’t mind overclocking your unit, get
AfterBurner as well. If you want top-notch performance and do not need to seriously overclock
your unit, get Tornado V to compliment QuickBits. This program is
30-day trial-ware, after which it can be purchased for $14.95. One final note:
these tests were performed on a Palm Vx – your results may vary depending on
the device that you use, and the software you have installed.

 

Price:

$14.95

Pros:
Fastest (non-overclocking) speed-up utility available
Robust benchmark tabulation schemes
Works in conjunction with other speed-up/overclocking utilities

Cons:
Price


If you liked this story, be sure to read our other stories:


 

Product Information

Price:$14.95
Manufacturer:2bit Software
Pros:
  • Fastest (non-overclocking) speed-up utility available
  • Robust benchmark tabulation schemes
  • Works in conjunction with other speed-up/overclocking utilities
Cons:
  • Price
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