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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:29 PM   #1
Woodcrest64
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PPC better than Intel for PPC apps?

My wife is using an old program report card program from 2000 designed around the PPC architecture on her 2011 intel Macbook Pro. On both a Core 2 Duo Mac Mini running Snow Leopard and her 2011 Intel i7 Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard through VM fusion the program is EXTREMELY slow. Hitting back space to delete a word can take forever at times. The processor usage hits 90% or higher all the time.

I have made two separate bids on two Apple G4 iBooks running Tiger. I'm just wondering if buying a PPC base laptop is going to get better results vs running the program on an intel machine.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:43 PM   #2
Jessica Lares
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I have the Skyrocket too!

And yes, running the apps natively vs in an emulator is going to be much, much, much better. Make sure the hard drive is in good shape as it makes all the difference.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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I have the Skyrocket too!

And yes, running the apps natively vs in an emulator is going to be much, much, much better. Make sure the hard drive is in good shape as it makes all the difference.
not unless the emulator is running better than native. I would imagine any modern 10.6 capable mac is loads faster emulating ppc via rosetta than a g4 ibook running ppc natively
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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not unless the emulator is running better than native. I would imagine any modern 10.6 capable mac is loads faster emulating ppc via rosetta than a g4 ibook running ppc natively
Yes I think the newer Intel processors will be faster even with Rosetta than a native PowerPC, even at release they were not as slow emulating as you might expect and they have improved very dramatically since then. Against an older Core Solo or even CoreDuo though PowerPC would definately be better.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:32 AM   #5
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How much ram is in the machine?

If you're running Snow Leopard in a VM, you will need enough RAM to hold both copies of OS X before you even consider running applications.

If you're running with 4gb of RAM or less, it will probably be slow.

A modern intel CPU with Fusion should be able to run non-3d applications almost as fast as natively - if you have enough RAM.


As far as rosetta goes - I've run Diablo 2 in rosetta on my mac mini without issue. I didn't even realize it was a PPC only app (i installed from CD i bought for my PC - it had both OS9 and Windows versions on it)


The way rosetta works, it caches translated instructions so performance isn't horrible...
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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The Mac mini running snow leopard as its main OS has 2gb of ram. The MacBook pro from 2011 running snow leopard via vm fusion has 4gb of memory .

I'm not sure why the Mini with a core 2 duo with snow leopard and 2gb is running an old PPC app from 2000 soooooo slowly. It's pretty much unbearable at times. Like I said the processor hits 90% on both machines.


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How much ram is in the machine?

If you're running Snow Leopard in a VM, you will need enough RAM to hold both copies of OS X before you even consider running applications.

If you're running with 4gb of RAM or less, it will probably be slow.

A modern intel CPU with Fusion should be able to run non-3d applications almost as fast as natively - if you have enough RAM.


As far as rosetta goes - I've run Diablo 2 in rosetta on my mac mini without issue. I didn't even realize it was a PPC only app (i installed from CD i bought for my PC - it had both OS9 and Windows versions on it)


The way rosetta works, it caches translated instructions so performance isn't horrible...
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 09:36 AM   #7
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Yes I think the newer Intel processors will be faster even with Rosetta than a native PowerPC, even at release they were not as slow emulating as you might expect and they have improved very dramatically since then. Against an older Core Solo or even CoreDuo though PowerPC would definately be better.
So I found out the PPC app was written back in 2000 for OS8 using File Maker I think.

I changed VM Fusion to use 1 core out of the 4 on the processor and only 1gb of memory instead of the 2gb out of 4gb on the macbook. It does seem snappier but I will need my wife to verify that.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:18 PM   #8
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MacOS 8 runs incredibly fast on most G3's or newer. The only problem I could think of you having would be how the app runs through emulation. And many apps aren't nearly as good through emulation as they are natively. Get something that can boot MacOS 9 natively (MacOS 9 is newer but is much, much more compatible with MacOS 8) so that you are able to run the app more quickly. In fact, a PowerPC emulating MacOS 8 through Classic Environment might be even slower than your MBP. Later iBooks cannot boot MacOS 9 natively, only older ones. You will likely have better performance if you get a machine that can boot MacOS 9 natively for a cheaper price.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:14 AM   #9
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I wasn't aware that Fusion can run PPC applications on an Intel Mac... it simply translates the x86 calls and turns them into PPC ones. Are you referring to Rosetta on Intel?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:18 AM   #10
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I wasn't aware that Fusion can run PPC applications on an Intel Mac... it simply translates the x86 calls and turns them into PPC ones. Are you referring to Rosetta on Intel?
I was running Snow Leopard in VM Fusion. SL supports PPC apps via Rosetta I believe. I wish Lion and ML had Rosetta.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:57 AM   #11
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I was running Snow Leopard in VM Fusion. SL supports PPC apps via Rosetta I believe. I wish Lion and ML had Rosetta.
Ah OK, I guess Rosetta would then take an affinity for single-core performance/clock speed.

If it's never been on an Intel Mac you can be nearly totally sure it's not able to take advantage of more than one CPU core.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:43 AM   #12
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My G5 tower runs PPC applications much fast than my old 13" C2D MBP ever did. I am yet to find an app which would run better in Rosetta than native.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 09:06 AM   #13
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have you considered trying sheepshaver?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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have you considered trying sheepshaver?
Sheepshaver? Do tell me
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:04 PM   #15
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it's an os9 emulator. i've found it very effective for really, really old software.

but i do agree with above - some of those apps should be zipping along via rosetta in a parallels environment.
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