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MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 09:02 AM
Here is something I can't believe: people say that Macs are slow. My 1.33 GHz G4 PowerBook is faster than most, if not all, PCs I've used. My brother's 2.4 GHz P4, for instance, is excrutiatingly slow - and it's got 512 MB RAM. Our 933 MHz PIII is disproportionately slower than the G4. Now, I'll concede that games run slower on the Mac... FAR slower... but I chalk it up to poor porting and lack of DX9.

But when it comes to using everyday programs, launching applications, using the OS in general, and programs such as Photoshop GoLive, the Mac is incredibly faster. So I'm curious why people say Macs are slow, and what they use to back that up. People seem to complain that Apple laptops are too slow, but it doesn't seem that way to me.

Mike LaRiviere

FriarCrazy
Aug 3, 2004, 09:07 AM
Agreed. I can't imagine why anyone would say that macs are slow. On my PB I can go into the applications folder, select EVERY application and open them all at once without it crashing (try it, it makes the dock go NUTS). Everything I do on my mac is zippy, I never find myself waiting more than a few seconds for an app to load. Even mac gaming isnt THAT slow.

JeDiBoYTJ
Aug 3, 2004, 09:26 AM
simple reason... they only look at the numbers.

"pfft... your mac is only a 1.0ghz? ha! my PC is a 2.0ghz P4, much faster than yours" when in reality, its not.

its just ignorance. 95% of the people who hate macs have never used one, or just used one at school.

Solafaa
Aug 3, 2004, 09:28 AM
simple reason... they only look at the numbers.

"pfft... your mac is only a 1.0ghz? ha! my PC is a 2.0ghz P4, much faster than yours" when in reality, its not.

its just ignorance. 95% of the people who hate macs have never used one, or just used one at school.

Yup, i agree 100%.

sigamy
Aug 3, 2004, 09:32 AM
Mike,

You didn't mention how much RAM you have on your PB. Mac OS X loves RAM. I think that the people who say Macs are slow are only using a Mac for a few seconds in CompUSA. Those machines have the base RAM--sometimes still just 128mb if they are previous generation machines. You are also right about gaming. Much better on the PC.

Most of the people on these forums are power users and have upgrade their RAM and now see excellent performance even compared to much higher clock speed PCs.

There used to be a general rule that G4s could complete with a Pentium that was twice the G4s clock speed. So a 500Mhz G4 could stay up to speed with a 1Ghz Pentium. I'm not sure if this is still true but I'd also add RAM into that mix and say that while Macs love and need RAM, PCs need a bit more RAM (probably not 2x) to be as usable as a Mac.

I agree with you, once you have enough RAM for OS X, Macs blow away PCs for general use apps.

garybUK
Aug 3, 2004, 09:42 AM
It depends what you class as fast, and there are sooo many permiatations of pc's out there that no one can say which is faster.

Spec's aren't everything, yeah you may have the same specs as a dull on paper but use a fast motherboard / ram / cpu etc. and you can have a pc that screams.

I love my DP 1.8ghz G5 and i have found most things are a lot faster than on my XP2800+ machine and something not quite as fast. The G5 really excells at number crunching e.g. Seti & Adobe Photoshop Transforms etc.. I have also noticed from using my mac a lot recently and only just building a pc again (for VB.NET/SQL needed for work) that the mac handles media soooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than Windows XP its not even funny!

jemeinc
Aug 3, 2004, 09:53 AM
The first expression I get from switchers is that their PC's are "much snappier" whatever that means... I haven't used a PC in so long I can't relate... I do agree with alot of the other views that MHZ myth is the main reason for this perception... I just feel that all computers currently being manufactured right now are already pretty frickin fast... How much faster can they get ?... I suppose much- but I'm NEVER sitting around waiting for my computer to process a task before I can proceed.. Macs are plenty fast for me...

cslewis
Aug 3, 2004, 10:02 AM
Those Windows people who say Macs are slower are WRONG. A mhz to mhz comparison is not accurate. They are not on the same scale. The architecture is completely different- the PowerPC is a RISC chip, the Intel/AMDs are CISC- the comparisons don't match up. A 700 mhz PowerPC chip is roughly equivalent to a 1.4 to 1.7 ghz chip. :D

700 mhz = 700 million bytes
1.7 ghz= 1 Billion 700 million bytes
From mac to PC add 1 ghz
Emac .......................................... 2.25 ghz
Powermac G4............................2.5/2.6 ghz
Powermac G5............................ dual 3.5 ghz
imac.............................................2.5ghz
ibook............................................2.2ghz
powerbook...................................2.33 ghz

Timelessblur
Aug 3, 2004, 10:05 AM
there is one reason why people call macs slow and you can blame intel for it. Intel force it on everyone that Clock speed means all. I am some who likes AMD chips and I keep here from my friends who think my computer is a lot slower then theirs because it CPU is only clock at 2 GHZ and theres is a 2.7-3.0 GHZ chip. Yet my computer is faster because that 2ghz chip of mine is an AMD 64 3000+. Also most people on PC as well as macs know jack about computers and what all the numbers mean. The people who know a lot about PC are more like to respect macs becasue they know what the numbers mean on the ram and what not. Most macs are running on pc2700 Ram which is a faster than the ram that are in the lower end PC made out there.

Trust me there are blind and ingornet Maccie out there who refuse to see the advatage of using a Windows computer over a Mac or refuse to admint that macs are using more and more standarzided parts.

jsw
Aug 3, 2004, 10:14 AM
When people don't understand the speed-isn't-everything argument, I use an analogy like this one:

Supppose you have a pickup truck with a big engine in it. A fast pickup.

Suppose you have an 18-wheeler as well. A big, slow tractor trailer.

Which one is faster? The pickup.

Now, suppose you're moving the contents of yor house cross country. You need to use one or the other. Now which one is faster?

The Gx chips move more with each cycle. Hence, they get more work done, given the right jobs.

Bruce Lee, PhD
Aug 3, 2004, 10:26 AM
Here is something I can't believe: people say that Macs are slow. My 1.33 GHz G4 PowerBook is faster than most, if not all, PCs I've used. My brother's 2.4 GHz P4, for instance, is excrutiatingly slow - and it's got 512 MB RAM. Our 933 MHz PIII is disproportionately slower than the G4. Now, I'll concede that games run slower on the Mac... FAR slower... but I chalk it up to poor porting and lack of DX9.

But when it comes to using everyday programs, launching applications, using the OS in general, and programs such as Photoshop GoLive, the Mac is incredibly faster. So I'm curious why people say Macs are slow, and what they use to back that up. People seem to complain that Apple laptops are too slow, but it doesn't seem that way to me.

Mike LaRiviere

well, I just paid out the wazoo for the 15" g4 1.5 powerbook. i love it, but when i run my own c code for signal processing research, it's a simple fact that the code, even using altivec where possible, will run more slowly on this computer than a fast PC laptop. this is probably not so true on a fast g5 desktop machine vs. a fast PC desktop, but it's certainly true for laptops.

however, for day-to-day use, the powerbook seems quite snappy. since i bought it for the environment and the GUI, not raw speed, i got what i wanted. if i really need speed, i can get a linux box to run the simulations. i'll still do coding on the mac.

but anyway, when i say my powerbook is slow, that's because it is slow for cpu-intensive work.

jared_kipe
Aug 3, 2004, 10:29 AM
And when they use the schools they are old ass. My old high school got a bunch of quicksilver and MDDs but they all ran OS9. Probably because the IT guys don't care or know about OSX so they run 9 just to keep things working on the network with the least hassle. So the kids go in there and see the old crappy mac os and don't care for the computers at all. I say this knowing full well and good I wouldn't have switched without osx. period.

johnbro23
Aug 3, 2004, 10:32 AM
On my PB I can go into the applications folder, select EVERY application and open them all at once without it crashing (try it, it makes the dock go NUTS).

Yea I just did that... pretty amazing. Haha, and guess what App was the last one to load? Microsoft Internet Explorer. It took like twice as long as the other apps.

It took probably 15 seconds on my 1.25 GHz eMac with 756 memory.

FredAkbar
Aug 3, 2004, 10:33 AM
700 mhz = 700 million bytes
1.7 ghz= 1 Billion 700 million bytes
Sorry to be nitpicky, but FYI those aren't bytes, they're hertz (a measure of frequency).

Anyway...I agree with the whole "megahertz myth" thing and that Macs are generally faster per Mhz.

JeDiBoYTJ, it was good to see you say "just used one at school" because I'm in high school and we have an "iMac lab" full of old blueberry and indigo iMacs running OS 8.6 or 9, they're always crashing and freezing and stuff...no wonder all the kids at my school hate Macs :rolleyes:. I try to explain that "the Macs at school suck" (if I had a dollar for every time I've used that phrase...), meaning that new Macs don't, but probably only half of them bother to understand.

FredAkbar
Aug 3, 2004, 10:35 AM
On my PB I can go into the applications folder, select EVERY application and open them all at once without it crashing (try it, it makes the dock go NUTS).
Hehe, I did that once...on my old blueberry 400 MHz G3 with 256 MB of RAM...it took hours...of course I had 3rd-party apps like Limewire which take forever (don't worry I don't use Limewire anymore).

cslewis
Aug 3, 2004, 10:37 AM
And when they use the schools they are old ass. My old high school got a bunch of quicksilver and MDDs but they all ran OS9. Probably because the IT guys don't care or know about OSX so they run 9 just to keep things working on the network with the least hassle. So the kids go in there and see the old crappy mac os and don't care for the computers at all. I say this knowing full well and good I wouldn't have switched without osx. period.

How it was at my school- but we are switching to OS X this year (finally). Our school is a museum of mac technology- we run Macintosh SE's with System 5 through to PowerMac G5's and Panther. :rolleyes:

bluebull
Aug 3, 2004, 10:39 AM
I agree for the most part, except that OSX can be less "snappy" as Windows, which is true. For example, when resizing a window in OSX, it has to catch up to the curser, but on Windows, it stays on it. Now, this barely makes a difference of half a second, but it is noticable. On the other hand, OSX does not make you defragment the hard drive.

As for pure processing speed, I think G5's are faster at most tasks than PC's, but personally I don't think the ability to render an image 10 seconds faster than another computer is that big of a deal. What's important is that it gets the job done, and that's really where OSX shines.

cslewis
Aug 3, 2004, 10:40 AM
Sorry to be nitpicky, but FYI those aren't bytes, they're hertz (a measure of frequency).

Thanks for pointing that out. :p

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 10:55 AM
To answer someone's earlier question, my PB has 768 MB RAM. My brother's computer has 512 MB (DDR 2700, maybe 2100 I believe), and our old Dell has 256 MB. But here's the thing. I build what I thought would be a screaming machine: 3.0 GHz P4 Prescott HT, 512 MB PC3200 RAM, Asus P4P800 motherboard, GeForceFX 5950 Ultra, SATA HD, overclocked... I thought it would be pretty fast, but it gave me many problems that vastly outweighed the speed. The games didn't run as fast as they should have; after turning off overclocking, things were negligibly more stable. I got so sick of the computer that I just sold the parts on eBay one day. I'd have to say that the Mac runs faster than that machine.

Now, I'm wondering if the operating system is to blame. I've been thinking about how OS X differs from Windows, and I've come to a few conclusions. XP seems to require slighly less or about the same amount of RAM as OS X; 512 seems to be good for XP, while both 640 and 768 have worked well for me in OS X (I haven't tried 512). But about the OS itself: OS X seems to "cover up" the underlying processes, kernel, etc. better than Windows XP does. To explain what I mean, I'll use an analogy: the OSs used in cell phones, game consoles, and pocket/palm PDAs are extremely functional, yet display only pertinent information; navigation, use, and speed are the most important aspects. Now, OS X seems to me to be much like those OSs, except that the user can find great functionality that may not be immediatly obvious. XP, on the other hand, seems to sacrifice these good aspects for immediate functionality; that is, advanced features seem more accessible, and the OS seems to make less of an attempt to cover up its inards.

It's difficult to explain. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about / feel the same way?

Mike LaRiviere

JeDiBoYTJ
Aug 3, 2004, 11:46 AM
JeDiBoYTJ, it was good to see you say "just used one at school" because I'm in high school and we have an "iMac lab" full of old blueberry and indigo iMacs running OS 8.6 or 9, they're always crashing and freezing and stuff...no wonder all the kids at my school hate Macs :rolleyes:. I try to explain that "the Macs at school suck" (if I had a dollar for every time I've used that phrase...), meaning that new Macs don't, but probably only half of them bother to understand.


thats one of the reasons why I used to dislike macs, because I only used the old colored iMacs, and really hated it. then one day our school ordered a bunch of new iMac G4's with OS 10.1 loaded on. they upgraded to 10.2, and gave them out to classes. I sat down at it and played around (restrictions have not been turned on yet, so I had full access). I swear, I was on it for hours that day (I had the same class twice). and ever sence that day I played with that iMac, ive loved Apple. a LOT of other people in that class also switched because of that. :D

cslewis
Aug 3, 2004, 12:03 PM
Thats the reason why all of my PC friends hate macs. :rolleyes:

Ryan1524
Aug 3, 2004, 12:31 PM
heheh. i just tried opening all my apps, and it opened about 50 apps in about 5 minutes. and they're still on while i'm posting this. i'm a PBG4 15" 1.5G (loaded) with 1GB of RAM. if i had tried this on a PC, i'm pretty sure it would've crashed long time ago. :D

The Cheat
Aug 3, 2004, 12:32 PM
While I love my 12" Powerbook (1GHz, 512MB) and now use it more than my Athlon 2000+ PC - the PC just blows the powerbook out of the water in terms of sheer responsiveness, boot time, etc. I know it is kind of unfair to compare the two, but I don't have a desktop Mac to compare it to.

I obviously prefer the Powerbook for its usability, and its easily fast enough for anything I do - but after using it for a while, then going to my PC to play a game of Battlefield Vietnam or something, I am always surprised with how much more responsive the GUI is on my Windows box. One thing that really bothers me about the Powerbook (and all Macs I've used) is just how terribly it scrolls web pages and deals with java. On my PC I can whip end to end on webpages full of graphics and java crap that my Powerbook chugs through at a snails pace. Its the minor things like this that bug me about Macs - something hopefully that will be resolved in upcoming OS updates.

yellow
Aug 3, 2004, 01:01 PM
Apple explains the Megahertz Myth (as applied to G4 chips) (http://www.esm.psu.edu/Faculty/Gray/graphics/movies/mhz_myth_320f.mov)

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 01:25 PM
That's pretty interesting, yellow. I've also heard something about greater instructions per cycle in the PowerPC architecture?

Mike LaRiviere

Mav451
Aug 3, 2004, 01:33 PM
To answer someone's earlier question, my PB has 768 MB RAM. My brother's computer has 512 MB (DDR 2700, maybe 2100 I believe), and our old Dell has 256 MB. But here's the thing. I build what I thought would be a screaming machine: 3.0 GHz P4 Prescott HT, 512 MB PC3200 RAM, Asus P4P800 motherboard, GeForceFX 5950 Ultra, SATA HD, overclocked... I thought it would be pretty fast, but it gave me many problems that vastly outweighed the speed. The games didn't run as fast as they should have; after turning off overclocking, things were negligibly more stable. I got so sick of the computer that I just sold the parts on eBay one day. I'd have to say that the Mac runs faster than that machine.

Now, I'm wondering if the operating system is to blame. I've been thinking about how OS X differs from Windows, and I've come to a few conclusions. XP seems to require slighly less or about the same amount of RAM as OS X; 512 seems to be good for XP, while both 640 and 768 have worked well for me in OS X (I haven't tried 512). But about the OS itself: OS X seems to "cover up" the underlying processes, kernel, etc. better than Windows XP does. To explain what I mean, I'll use an analogy: the OSs used in cell phones, game consoles, and pocket/palm PDAs are extremely functional, yet display only pertinent information; navigation, use, and speed are the most important aspects. Now, OS X seems to me to be much like those OSs, except that the user can find great functionality that may not be immediatly obvious. XP, on the other hand, seems to sacrifice these good aspects for immediate functionality; that is, advanced features seem more accessible, and the OS seems to make less of an attempt to cover up its inards.

It's difficult to explain. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about / feel the same way?

Mike LaRiviere

Mike: Enthusiasts (including myself) mostly still recommend the 875/P4 800fsb combo to the prescott. One, the Prescott is actually slower at the same clockspeeds (3.0C vs. 3.0E, 2.8C vs. 2.8E is even more apparent). Two, the Prescott runs ALOT hotter. Intel has a throttling (clocking down) mechanism when it overheats--maybe one reason you feel XP is slow.

Third, again, megahertz myth + Intel. I'd take my AMD setup anyday. My Athlon XP-Mobile running @ 2.53Ghz easily outguns a 2.53 Pentium 4, much less even a 3.0 or 3.2Ghz P4. That is the TRUE benefit of AMD. Unlocked multipliers :)

Its unfortunate you had a bad experience with your PC. I think that whenever you first build, you should consider the mature platform and not the cutting edge (and then not expect bugs--there will be many). This is why I still recommend nForce2 to anyone beginning to build b/c it has had an entire year to fully mature. I've built 3 boxes with the Asus A7N8X (2600+, 2500+ to 3200+, and my setup of course) and they have nary a problem.

*on XP handling RAM--yeah, I think since it can run with only 256MB, having 512MB or 1024 doesn't help AS MUCH overall compared to OSX. Of course, having 1024MB for Photoshop or Doom 3, those are obvious, but these are software-SPECIFIC situations (not overall OS responsiveness).

One thing I know is that I should get more RAM--my iBook absolutely chokes if it runs QT/Camino + iTunes at the same time.

Timelessblur
Aug 3, 2004, 01:51 PM
I will not get over how Apple refuse to consider looking at AMD chips for comparing to.

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 01:51 PM
Mav, you make some good points. It wasn't until after I'd purchased the Prescott that I read about how it was hotter and slower than the previous design. Further, I should have read more about AMD chips. For some reason, although I knew about the "megahertz myth" to a degree, I still went with the higher clock speed. Interestingly, the first homebuilt I made worked pretty well - it was a 2.4 without HT, GeForceFX 5600 I believe, lesser motherboard but similar overall. This one, however, gave me a lot of problems.

As to my brother's computer, I'm going to have to reinstall the OS, because I know that it should be running a lot faster than it currently does. Don't get me wrong - I do like Windows and the x86 architecture, and for gaming it can't be beat. But some combination of the Mac OS and the PowerPC architecture make the computer run faster than the Windows computers I use.

Mike LaRiviere

MacsRgr8
Aug 3, 2004, 02:12 PM
I agree for the most part, except that OSX can be less "snappy" as Windows, which is true. For example, when resizing a window in OSX, it has to catch up to the curser, but on Windows, it stays on it. Now, this barely makes a difference of half a second < snip > .

This is unfortunately what many people see as "perceived speed". And they tend to find it hard to forget.

If the ignorant buyer walks up to a brand new iMac (or even a Dual G5 for that matter!), opens Explorer (yep, ignorant :D ), and starts to resize the window, you'll hear him call out something like "what the heck? this is slow!" And you'll be needing a very good salesman to explain that window resizing is NOT a way to measure speed..... This salesman will be defending the Mac's speed instead of showing its beauty.
I tell you, I have heard this happen a couple of time in stores. Pretty frustrating.

And, ofcourse, games.. games.. games.

MrSugar
Aug 3, 2004, 02:22 PM
This is unfortunately what many people see as "perceived speed". And they tend to find it hard to forget.

If the ignorant buyer walks up to a brand new iMac (or even a Dual G5 for that matter!), opens Explorer (yep, ignorant :D ), and starts to resize the window, you'll hear him call out something like "what the heck? this is slow!" And you'll be needing a very good salesman to explain that window resizing is NOT a way to measure speed..... This salesman will be defending the Mac's speed instead of showing its beauty.
I tell you, I have heard this happen a couple of time in stores. Pretty frustrating.

And, ofcourse, games.. games.. games.

So why isn't is as snappy? I notice with my G5 it's very very quick but it isn't as snappy as my old 2700+. Mac is worth it, but I would be curious to know why OSX can't be as quick as windows in certain things...

edesignuk
Aug 3, 2004, 02:25 PM
My 1.33 GHz G4 PowerBook is faster than most, if not all, PCs I've used. My brother's 2.4 GHz P4, for instance, is excrutiatingly slow - and it's got 512 MB RAM.That 2.4GHz P4 must be so full of ***** running in the background (spyware, adware). A 2.4GHz P4 pisses all over a 1.33GHz G4 in raw speed. Of course, that's no good if you like OS X.

MacsRgr8
Aug 3, 2004, 02:34 PM
So why isn't is as snappy? I notice with my G5 it's very very quick but it isn't as snappy as my old 2700+. Mac is worth it, but I would be curious to know why OSX can't be as quick as windows in certain things...

Heavy eye-candy: Anti-aliassing, on screen PDF etc.
Real time indexing.... it all takes time.

Beauty comes with a penalty: speed. Well... "snappiness".
Faster searching comes with a penalty.. Less "snappy" opening of new (especially remote) directories...

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 02:40 PM
EDesignUK, of course there's no spyware/malware running in the background. I don't allow any computer in my house to have that kind of junk, and I install updates and run numerous checks on an almost weekly basis. Believe me, I lock down these computers like a fortress. And when something comes up, I run a number of all-out checks.

I do believe there is something wrong with the registry. But believe me, the Mac is faster than his PC. With regard to slow window resizing, I think those of us who know Macs concur that a) it is poorly-written code and b) it is a task assigned to the CPU which should be assigned to the GPU. This is the only aspect of the GUI that lags compared to Windows. If Windows did any of the bells-and-whistles things that OS X does, it would quickly choke systems with the same clock speed.

Another comparison: my recent 800 MHz iBook was much faster than my 900 MHz Duron Compaq laptop from a few years ago. The Compaq could barely run XP with its "pretty" settings turned on. A system comparable to the 800 MHz iBook would be the year-old Toshiba Satellite with a 2 GHz Celeron.

Mike LaRiviere

friarbayliff
Aug 3, 2004, 02:43 PM
True, you have to remember that the responsiveness of the GUI is superficial and doesn't determine the speed of the computer. OSX has far more going on in terms of eye-candy and refinement than windows does - therefore, PCs tend to have percieved speed, but not real speed

Bruce Lee, PhD
Aug 3, 2004, 03:23 PM
So why isn't is as snappy? I notice with my G5 it's very very quick but it isn't as snappy as my old 2700+. Mac is worth it, but I would be curious to know why OSX can't be as quick as windows in certain things...

i think some of it is the eye candy. but it was my understanding that the pokey GUI is also in some sense the dark side of a nice multitasking OS. i'd defer to someone who knows more, but i think it boils down to the fact that since BSD has good time-slicing (which wasn't designed with GUI in mind) it's difficult to monopolize the CPU enough to get real-time responsiveness in the GUI. thus you end up with wierd hacks like increasing the keyboard repeat rate improving GUI snappiness, since this forces the machine to spend more time in the relevant tasks.

do any kernel folks know the details or truth of this?

Mav451
Aug 3, 2004, 03:24 PM
I don't think Apple will be changing that aspect at all...perhaps its more of a unique GUI element, if you will.

With Windows you usually are running the classic interface (even more "snappy" if you are running something old like a Pentium II, in comparison to the bubbly "Fisher Price" theme); OSX on the other hand comes with a beautiful GUI. Of course, I still don't use my iBook for much longer than once or twice a week, so maybe the same theming "bug" i had on my PC isn't hitting me yet on the Mac.

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 03:26 PM
What's this keyboard repeat rate hack? I had heard of it, but I didn't realize that it affected anything other than the typing rate, i.e., holding down a key and seeing how fast it would repeat. Some explanation? This sounds cool.

Mike LaRiviere

Mav451
Aug 3, 2004, 03:27 PM
True, you have to remember that the responsiveness of the GUI is superficial and doesn't determine the speed of the computer. OSX has far more going on in terms of eye-candy and refinement than windows does - therefore, PCs tend to have percieved speed, but not real speed

Well speed can be interpreted in a whole lot of ways:

1)Opening of applications?
2)The speed of the application when it is actually running?
3)GUI responsiveness (minimzing, resizing, moving)?

In that way, the first two are less dependent on your OS, and more on your hardware. I mean, 5400RPM drive vs. 7200? Or 256MB RAM compared to 1Gig of RAM? Those two factors heavily impact the first two.

edesignuk
Aug 3, 2004, 03:31 PM
Another comparison: my recent 800 MHz iBook was much faster than my 900 MHz Duron Compaq laptop from a few years ago. The Compaq could barely run XP with its "pretty" settings turned on. A system comparable to the 800 MHz iBook would be the year-old Toshiba Satellite with a 2 GHz Celeron.
Duron & Celeron CPU's are cheap crap (especially Celerons!!). I'd expect anything to wipe the floor with them!

Mav451
Aug 3, 2004, 03:34 PM
EDesignUK, of course there's no spyware/malware running in the background. I don't allow any computer in my house to have that kind of junk, and I install updates and run numerous checks on an almost weekly basis. Believe me, I lock down these computers like a fortress. And when something comes up, I run a number of all-out checks.

I do believe there is something wrong with the registry. But believe me, the Mac is faster than his PC. With regard to slow window resizing, I think those of us who know Macs concur that a) it is poorly-written code and b) it is a task assigned to the CPU which should be assigned to the GPU. This is the only aspect of the GUI that lags compared to Windows. If Windows did any of the bells-and-whistles things that OS X does, it would quickly choke systems with the same clock speed.

Another comparison: my recent 800 MHz iBook was much faster than my 900 MHz Duron Compaq laptop from a few years ago. The Compaq could barely run XP with its "pretty" settings turned on. A system comparable to the 800 MHz iBook would be the year-old Toshiba Satellite with a 2 GHz Celeron.

Mike LaRiviere

If you compare the systems, RAM vs. RAM, I think the Duron would be faster. I had a 800 Thunderbird (+/- a 950 Duron) with only 128MB of RAM and I ran Windows 98 on that for 3 years. I can guarantee you that it is easily 4-5 times more multitaskable than my 800 iBook. That means have 3-4 windows of IE open (no Firefox back then haha), Divx movie playing, CD-burning, and some (ahem) network bandwidth intensive apps haha. My iBook already chokes on running a SINGLE Divx movie running from the CD-ROM! Once I open iTunes and Camino, the grinding begins :) A little disappointing, but I do realize the i have a g3, not a g4 :(

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 3, 2004, 03:43 PM
EDesignUK and Mav, I'll address your assertions point-by-point. EDesignUK, I agree with you that the Duron is not a good processor. My PIII 933 is much faster than the Duron 900. However, the Celeron 2.0 I used was fine for what I needed - basic applications, and it ran Counter-Strike well. They're "not good" in that they have low amonts of cache, but for basic computing, they're fine. And they are not unwarranted for use in comparison to the iBook 800 MHz.

Mav, you are using a G3, as you conceded. Using the G4, I found the iBook to be immeasurably faster than the Compaq Duron. Further, you're using Jaguar, which I found to be excrutiatingly slow compared to Panther - you might dismiss my claim by showing me benchmarks, but believe me, Panther feels much faster, as any Jaguar-to-Panther upgrader will tell you.

EDesignUK, you further said that the 2.4 P4 kills the 1.33 G4 in raw speed. Well, if you're talking about cycles per second, you're right, it's exactly 1.07 GHz faster. Factor in pipeline architecture and instructions per cycle, and the speed winner will surprise you. The AMD folks are on the right track, and the benchmarks back them up. When it's possible to accurately benchmark a PowerPC against an x86 - and each currently uses a different version of the benchmarked program - then we can compare benchmarks. But for now, we'll watch as AMD trounces comparably-spec'ed Intels.

Mike LaRiviere

MrSugar
Aug 3, 2004, 03:51 PM
I have to side with edesignuk, a 2.4 whipes the floor of a 1.33 ghz Powerbook. While the powerbook is in no means slow, I have used very fast wintel computers, the are quick. My G5 is quicker, but they were still very fast.

It's not worth giving up OSX for but a 2.4 P4 will most definitely run faster than a 1.33 ghz G4.

MrSugar
Aug 3, 2004, 03:53 PM
EDesignUK and Mav, I'll address your assertions point-by-point. EDesignUK, I agree with you that the Duron is not a good processor. My PIII 933 is much faster than the Duron 900. However, the Celeron 2.0 I used was fine for what I needed - basic applications, and it ran Counter-Strike well. They're "not good" in that they have low amonts of cache, but for basic computing, they're fine. And they are not unwarranted for use in comparison to the iBook 800 MHz.

Mav, you are using a G3, as you conceded. Using the G4, I found the iBook to be immeasurably faster than the Compaq Duron. Further, you're using Jaguar, which I found to be excrutiatingly slow compared to Panther - you might dismiss my claim by showing me benchmarks, but believe me, Panther feels much faster, as any Jaguar-to-Panther upgrader will tell you.

EDesignUK, you further said that the 2.4 P4 kills the 1.33 G4 in raw speed. Well, if you're talking about cycles per second, you're right, it's exactly 1.07 GHz faster. Factor in pipeline architecture and instructions per cycle, and the speed winner will surprise you. The AMD folks are on the right track, and the benchmarks back them up. When it's possible to accurately benchmark a PowerPC against an x86 - and each currently uses a different version of the benchmarked program - then we can compare benchmarks. But for now, we'll watch as AMD trounces comparably-spec'ed Intels.

Mike LaRiviere

Not to start anything, but I really would like to see any sort of benchmark out there that shows a 1.33 G4 running faster than a 2.4 P4. I really don't think they exist. Maybe in certain programs, but not overall. It was my understanding that there were benchmark programs that showed accurate levels of speed, perhaps not though.. I would be curious to know.

rueyeet
Aug 3, 2004, 03:54 PM
"Perceived speed"....

I'm not one of those who has dropped the cash for the extra RAM for my PowerBook, so yes, I notice that the interface is just a little bit less responsive than Win 2k Pro on the P4 I use at work. The resizing thing in particular is annoying because it's such a no-brainer thing in Windows, and yet on the Mac you've got to position the window and then size it, instead of just dragging out whichever side or corner is convenient.

But that's more than balanced out when someone sends a message on Outlook with a large attachment, and Outlook has to stop and think about it interminably before loading the message text in the preview pane. Or when I copy a table from Access and open Excel to paste it in, and Excel takes for-freaking-ever to open because the copied table is apparently hogging memory (yes, I know you can export from Access to Excel, but the results aren't formatted as well as for a copy/paste), and...well. I could go on and on with the constant little "gotchas" of where Windows and its approved apps completely negate whatever "snappiness" my completely stock Powerbook lacks.

Upshot? I don't care about a bitty little barely perceptible difference in interface speed, as long as I don't voluntarily have to spend any more time with Windows than I have to.

edesignuk
Aug 3, 2004, 04:09 PM
-MikeLaRiviere

I'm not an Intel fanboy, and I agree that AMD clock for clock are faster than Intel. But, that 2.4Ghz P4 should still wipe the floor with a 1.33Ghz G4 in the vast majority of tasks. Then again as I said before, it all depends on how well you get on with the OS and can navigate, this will play a big part in the speed you "feel" you a getting.

TDM21
Aug 3, 2004, 04:38 PM
Just to throw my 2 cents into this conversation, but would measuring a computer's "power" in flops not be a really good comparison between wintel and mac?

Mav451
Aug 3, 2004, 04:59 PM
Flops is as bad, if not worse than the Megahertz Myth. Whenever, I want a laugh (well geeky laugh haha), I go to this hilarious site:

http://forgetcomputers.com/~jdroz/pages/09.html

Its kinda scary how far they take it, and how much the guy actually believes it!

Apple 933 MHz G4 Power PC 13,400 (January '02)
AMD dual 246 Opteron 13,667 (Aug '03)

G4 = 2 Opterons? I don't think so.
We're talking about 167 bus vs. 1600 HyperTransport here.

BornAgainMac
Aug 3, 2004, 04:59 PM
"Ghz".

As a Mac user, I hate that word. I try not to mention it when I talk to my Windows friends when going over specs on my Mac. If they ask, I show them the dock effects and they get distracted and forget they asked me. :)

Timelessblur
Aug 3, 2004, 06:55 PM
Things that are loaded full of BS and miss infomation in the computer world

1. Mhz means all
2. FSB speeds that tell you are utter crap. 800mhz is marking it has a 4x mulitpler on it and they are easily be pushed.
Even on P4 mobo if you look in the bios the FSB is 200mzh. The 800 mhz number comes from other location around there that can be messed with. (I dont remeber exaclyt where it is in the BIOS. On my AMD chip FSB is currently overclock to 220 Mhz putting my chip at 2.2Ghz. I do know there is on place in the BIOS that I can change a number that is around 800mhz and I can see how you can call it FSB but still 200 Mhz is the real FSB.

CPU clock speed is FSB time a mulitpler. My AMD 64 has a 10x mulitpler so a 200mhz FSB puts my chip at 2.2 Ghz. a lot of penitums have a 17.5x mulitpler on them so they go even higher. (hence the reason I think the 2.5Ghz G5s are overclock 2Ghz G5 because there reported FSB speeds are even higher than 800 mzh)

The Cheat
Aug 3, 2004, 07:34 PM
(hence the reason I think the 2.5Ghz G5s are overclock 2Ghz G5 because there reported FSB speeds are even higher than 800 mzh)

The 1.8GHz and 2GHz G5's already have FSB speeds above 800MHz. All G5's run a bus speed that is half that of the core (in other words they all have a 2x multiplier). Therefore the new 2.5GHz model has a FSB of 1.25GHz. It's no mystery.

sigamy
Aug 3, 2004, 07:44 PM
I am always surprised with how much more responsive the GUI is on my Windows box. One thing that really bothers me about the Powerbook (and all Macs I've used) is just how terribly it scrolls web pages and deals with java. On my PC I can whip end to end on webpages full of graphics and java crap that my Powerbook chugs through at a snails pace. Its the minor things like this that bug me about Macs - something hopefully that will be resolved in upcoming OS updates.

This is what is so funny about this debate...I have the exact opposite point of view.

Timelessblur
Aug 3, 2004, 08:12 PM
The 1.8GHz and 2GHz G5's already have FSB speeds above 800MHz. All G5's run a bus speed that is half that of the core (in other words they all have a 2x multiplier). Therefore the new 2.5GHz model has a FSB of 1.25GHz. It's no mystery.


no that 1.25 Ghz has a muliplaer to get there from 200mhz. Like intel say there FSB is 800mzh. No there is a 4x multiplier to get there.

MrSugar
Aug 4, 2004, 07:43 AM
This is what is so funny about this debate...I have the exact opposite point of view.

Really? I have to agree with the original post, windows does chomp through Javascript and Images on webpages... while my powerbook doesn't nearly as well.

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 4, 2004, 08:53 AM
I know Flash animations display very slowly on Safari, but I think this may be the fault of the program - either Safari or Flash - and not the fault of the CPU. But for everyone who says that Apples are slower than their Pentium counterparts, I must ask why Virginia Tech and the Army are using the PowerPC and not the Pentium, Itanium, Xeon, Athlon, or Opteron in their supercomputers. These are some of the fastest supercomputers in the world... you can't argue with that.

Mike LaRiviere

SolidGun
Aug 4, 2004, 11:22 AM
To answer someone's earlier question, my PB has 768 MB RAM. My brother's computer has 512 MB (DDR 2700, maybe 2100 I believe), and our old Dell has 256 MB. But here's the thing. I build what I thought would be a screaming machine: 3.0 GHz P4 Prescott HT, 512 MB PC3200 RAM, Asus P4P800 motherboard, GeForceFX 5950 Ultra, SATA HD, overclocked...
Mike LaRiviere

There could be so many issues with why it isn't running as fast as expected, but the operating system is not the issue. I wouldn't blame the poor performance on Win XP first and look elsewhere. I know that I just recently turned to Mac OS, but I don't see anything wrong with them coexisting in my life. Since you sold it for parts, it may no longer be an issue to you, but I would say the next computer you build you may have better luck, but don't hate Windows if your perfromance isn't what you want it to be.

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 4, 2004, 11:36 AM
SolidGun, I miscommunicated my grievance. I like Windows XP, too. It's a great OS, just different from OS X. What I meant when I said that there was a problem with the operating system was that the this specific operating system's registry most likely had many problems, resulting from use. Therefore, while I don't like the idea of the registry, I'm not saying I dislike Windows. I'm saying that there is a problem with my brother's specific operating system and its registry, and I meant the same about my PC.

Mike LaRiviere

cslewis
Aug 4, 2004, 11:47 AM
No one seems to care how fast apples are...

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL :D

cslewis
Aug 4, 2004, 11:49 AM
They're coming back....

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL&t=my&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

SolidGun
Aug 4, 2004, 01:56 PM
SolidGun, I miscommunicated my grievance. I like Windows XP, too. It's a great OS, just different from OS X. What I meant when I said that there was a problem with the operating system was that the this specific operating system's registry most likely had many problems, resulting from use. Therefore, while I don't like the idea of the registry, I'm not saying I dislike Windows. I'm saying that there is a problem with my brother's specific operating system and its registry, and I meant the same about my PC.
Mike LaRiviere

Okay, I made a mistake posting my previous post as well. I thought I had read to the end but that was only page 1 and I hadn't noticed anything until now. So if you did post anything else after and I said something to contradict that as well, that's my fault.
Yeah, the registry bothers me as well and I find myself restroring my PC often (thank god for Ghost). I love Mac OS X for many(numerous) improvements and future improvements to come with Cocoa apps, but I think LongHorn may copycat some of Mac OS X improvements.
Now that I know Mac OS, it would be really difficult for me to choose one over the other. Ignorance was bliss at one point..... :(

NusuniAdmin
Aug 4, 2004, 02:04 PM
simple reason... they only look at the numbers.

"pfft... your mac is only a 1.0ghz? ha! my PC is a 2.0ghz P4, much faster than yours" when in reality, its not.

its just ignorance. 95% of the people who hate macs have never used one, or just used one at school.

or used old performas

7on
Aug 4, 2004, 02:21 PM
Mike,

You didn't mention how much RAM you have on your PB. Mac OS X loves RAM. I think that the people who say Macs are slow are only using a Mac for a few seconds in CompUSA. Those machines have the base RAM--sometimes still just 128mb if they are previous generation machines. You are also right about gaming. Much better on the PC.

Most of the people on these forums are power users and have upgrade their RAM and now see excellent performance even compared to much higher clock speed PCs.

There used to be a general rule that G4s could complete with a Pentium that was twice the G4s clock speed. So a 500Mhz G4 could stay up to speed with a 1Ghz Pentium. I'm not sure if this is still true but I'd also add RAM into that mix and say that while Macs love and need RAM, PCs need a bit more RAM (probably not 2x) to be as usable as a Mac.

I agree with you, once you have enough RAM for OS X, Macs blow away PCs for general use apps.

Also I've read that many Stores unplug the fans on the Mac models. I'd think over time it's have ill-effects on the processor - maybe slowing down and/or kernel panics.

On a side note, opening all my apps in my Applications folder, iMovie opened last.

Bruce Lee, PhD
Aug 4, 2004, 04:11 PM
What's this keyboard repeat rate hack? I had heard of it, but I didn't realize that it affected anything other than the typing rate, i.e., holding down a key and seeing how fast it would repeat. Some explanation? This sounds cool.

Mike LaRiviere

this was something i came across on macosxhints, i think. the idea is that if you want the GUI to be more responsive, you set the keyboard repeat rate faster. thus some UI task needs to poll for keyboard input more frequently, so it gets allocated more CPU time overall. i.e. telling a process to do more work results in the system giving it higher priority. the net effect is that the whole gui becomes more responsive since the task has higher priority and thus the system is less likely to be in another task when you move the mouse or hit a key or whatever. sorry this explanation is vague, but i don't know the details of the kernel or the GUI tasks. i'd really be curious to know if this trick is for real. it does seem plausible, although i tried it and noticed no difference. on my powerbook the GUI pretty reasonable already though.

in any case, this sort of thing would only be expected to decrease latency. i.e. perhaps the dock would start to come up more quickly. but it wouldn't speed up the genie effect, for example.

MikeLaRiviere
Aug 4, 2004, 04:20 PM
That's interesting. Off-topic, but the database guy in my IT department pointed out another neat trick that of which I'm sure many are already aware: hold down the shift key while minimizing/de-minimizing a window, or during Expose effects... pretty cool. However, I'm not sure of its purpose, other than to show off the GUI.

Mike LaRiviere

cslewis
Aug 4, 2004, 06:04 PM
coool :p