Mac OS X vs. Win XP - snappiness

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by badhorsie777, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. badhorsie777 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    #1
    Hello all. I'm a long-time reader, rare-poster. I am a frustrated (to say the VERY least) pc "lifer" who is dying to get into his first Mac.

    That said, I've been very disheartened about the apparent speed discrepencies between the newest pentiums and newest macs. While out today, I must have looked at about 30-40 computers at several retail stores (best buy, circuit city, gateway cow-store)... I got my hands on the newest, fastest things out there for the windows world, and not only was EVERY XP box at least the same speed (perceived) as the dual 1.25 I lust over at the apple store several times a month, but WAYYYYYY slower than my Win2K box I run right now (compaq $500 amd 700 mhz from about 3 years ago.)

    Before you tune me out, though, I was RAISED on computers, starting with a commodore 64 which I learned BASIC on. I understand processes, memory hogging things, and all the variables that make a store-computer bog down, and these didn't have much background stuff happening. Just running things like the browser, media player, etc. take like1-2 seconds to open up, let alone get going on the p4 3 ghz computers! Every app I use except photoshop is almost instantaneous on my win2k machine. The GUI's on both sides of this fence could use some fat-trimming, but it is NOT the discrepancy I pictured after reading so many "Apple needs to be faster" threads...

    This whole thread is basically to say that for the 90% of computer users who "hang out" on their computer like I do - playing music, browsing, word processing, gaming, etc. and don't ever benchmark their computers, the computing experience is much more enjoyable, and (surprise to me) JUST AS FAST IF NOT FASTER on the macs out there. It puts a lot of concern I had about switching to rest. Comments from any users who use both?
     
  2. pdham macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #2
    I also feel you are correct. Now about the store computers feeling slower, I have experienced the same thing. My opinion, and it is based on no real evidence, is that the computer store comps are used and played with and basically messed up everyday by tens of people. So if you take good care of your win2k machine at home, it doesnt surprise me that it feels faster. Just my 2 cents
     
  3. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Speed

    I have a 1.6 GHz PC with 512 MB of RAM and my 1 GHz iMac next to it. The PC is a bit faster. A first-time user to both might not even notice the difference but because I spend a considerable amount of time at that desk, I notice the slight difference. I also have XP on my PC. Because it is so graphics-intensive, so I'm told, it's a bit slower than Windows 2000. My friend switched his to "Classic" mode (sounds familiar, eh?) and found it to be faster.

    Squire

    Note: For what it's worth, everything I do on my PC or Mac happens almost instantly. Very little waiting. Must be the Internet connection.
     
  4. andrewlandry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    also store computers rarely have beefed up RAM etc. - can make a big difference.

    there are certain thing that PCs seem to handle faster and certain things that Macs feel faster on. for instance, i had insanely better results with my 500Mhz iBook than with a 1.2Ghz equivalent Athlon desktop. The PC clicked and popped with three virtual instruments up and my iBook could have around 12 with no problems and almost no latency. but i understand that certain rendering things go faster on the fastest PCs - weird.

    yeah, i definitely would not call the fastest powermacs slow - i think people are just frustrated that the speeds don't seem to be increasing as often as on the PC side. i think this may change if Apple starts using IBM processors - they seem to be a capeable company these days. i just got my dual-gig, so i won't have to worry about it for a few years anyway and i'm sure it will all be sorted out by then :)
     
  5. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
  6. The Shadow macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    Speed is a sales gimmick

    My brother runs a 1.6 GHZ PC on either NT4 or Win2000 at his workplace, and an old CRT G3 iMac 500MHz at home with only 256 RAM. He fools around with all sorst of databases and writes queries and so forth for some massive State Government system.

    Last week he sent me an email about how for an experiment he ran some query on the PC at work, and it took about 30 seconds. Took it home and ran the same thing on an old PC 600 at home running Win98 and it took about 6 seconds. Then ran it on his iMac and it took 3 seconds.

    He couldn't believe it.

    I use a new Dell 1.2 GHz laptop at work with 522 MB RAM running a proprietary version of Windows 2000, and at home I use a PowerMac 533 with 512 RAM and a new 20" LCD. The Mac is just a nicer experience and I would never use a PC for personal use.

    But from an objective standpoint, my G4 533 is definitely at least as fast as the Dell. Usability and stability have always been far more important to me than speed anyway, as they should be to most users, and Jaguar is lighyears ahead on both counts.

    Unless you're a high end PRO user, doing alot video or image rendering and the like, speed really is a con. It really is just a marketing gimmic, it is merely a spin on inbuilt obselence. How to get suckers to upgrade when they don't need to.

    It was always notable to me that during 1994 to 1997 when Apple had a speed advantage, PC professionals weren't recommending PC users make the switch were they? Yet as soon as PC got the speed advantage, we started reading so called comparisons in the PC mags, with the bottom line always, the Apple is slower, so why would you by it? When the 970s come out at the end of this year, and the 980s the year after and Apple again regains the speed advantage, will these writers recommend Apple? Of course not!

    Why, speed is a con. When it ceases to be useful, they'll use another con.
     
  7. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #7
    store computers are slower for many reasons. most of the time they have all those demos running in the background and trust me, they do slow down the computer, i would know. many times disk permissions, prebinding, and disk repair and not done regularly. on windows displays i find most of the time they can get slower over time with the registry building up andsometimes just crash. as for mac and pc speeds ill explain my opinion. i have a dual 1.25 and a 2ghz p4 pc. i do not notice a speed difference between my mac and pc. my powermac beats my p4 in startup, they both start up very fast. the p4 may look and feel faster but i am always at my mac. when i browse the web on my p4 i get pop ups out of the wazoo. with safari i get no pop ups. my powermac has a more friendly feel to it. i have itunes open, mail open, i chat open and safari and its no nice. such a nice enviroment to work in. my pc is just for games, other than that i dont like working on it. windows xp is very stable for me, never crashes or freezes up, but its just not fun to work on. everything just works better on my mac. there is pretty much ONE big reason i love macs over windows. when windows crashes, you gotta format, install windows, and install all your software again, patch all the updates and it takes forever. if my powermac hoses i get my cd out, hold the c key down, and reinstall os x. if i need to back up some stuff i can boot off a firewire drive or a bootable cd and grab some stuff then start over, its so easy. i have used macs since i was 4 and i dont plan on me changing anytime soon. if all these 970 rumors are true i think apple will have some good times ahead.

    iJon
     
  8. Gidman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    New York, the City so nice they named it twice
    #8
    XP V. X

    I work in a small office where we cannot afford to have onsite tech supervision. I recently bought a 12" PB and brought it in to use exclusively (I am about to leave.) My PC was running 98 second edition ( a really crappy OS in my opinion.) In the last few months the OS 98 started getting more and more unstable. A few computers around the office were replaced with XP machines and they are as slow as pigs. Its unbelievable how long it takes just to open up Outlook. In summary, my PB is much faster than the office machines around here. I know they aren't top of the line 3 Ghz Pentiums but they are standard office machines for a small office.

    Another thing I have noticed between the two platforms is that it may take longer after restart to open programs, once you have opened them once they pop-up much quicker. Don't know why, must be the fairies living inside this hot aluminium case.

    I will say, however that my computer is much much slower on startup. Is this omething I have done to it? If so, can I fix it? I am running OSX the latest version, I have maxed out the RAM on my machine and really haven't added much to the OS. Any ideas why it takes like seriously 3 minutes to start up or restart?

    Gid
     
  9. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #9
    windows 2000 and windows 98 seem faster to me than windows xp

    xp looks better though so it's really up to what the individual user wants in their experience...i think the pretty look of xp will bog down any computer out today that is on the consumer market
     
  10. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #10
    It depends what machine X and XP are running on. My iBook running Jaguar is less snappy than the latest WinTel machine running XP. But the latest PowerBooks or PowerMacs will be blazin' running X (based on my experience with X on PowerMacs).
     
  11. badhorsie777 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    #11
    guitargeek :

    You are a Steve Vai fan.


    That is all.

    ----------------------------------------------------------
    It's nice to know someone else gets it besides my tiny little world of shred-head buddies.:D

    -badhorsie777
     
  12. yzedf macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #12
    Re: XP V. X

    Outlook on any IMAP connection with all the newest updates (OS and Office) is slow. That is due to the crappiness that is Outlook. It has needed a re-write for quite some time. Problem is, many companies still use Win98 (my company has 1 win2k box, 1 XP server, 1 NT 4.0 server, and the rest are win98 desktop machines), and M$ can't sell another version of Office that would only work on Win XP. Too many idiots would buy the wrong thing (similar to OS 9 versus OS X a while back).

    As to PC speeds... most stores sell P4 2.6GHz with 128 or 256MB of RAM, junky on board video, and 5400rpm hdd's. 512MB with a real 32 / 64MB AGP vid card and a nice 7200rpm hdd would make a HUGE difference. Same as with the Mac.

    iJon: I am sure you are smart enough to not use IE for windows... there are a multitude of browsers (Mozilla 1.3 being my current choice) that have pop-up suppression. :rolleyes:
     
  13. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #13
    Amen. (yes a large quote and no reply... I wanted you to read iJon's twice)
     
  14. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #14
    Re: Re: XP V. X

    i didnt like mozilla, never have. ie is nice, fast, zippy, compatible with everything and it makes one less thing i have to install on my pc. unlike my mac, i dont fill up my pc with stuff because i like to keep it in tip top condition so it wont crash on me.

    iJon
     
  15. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #15
    Re: Re: Re: XP V. X

    Have you tried using the very latest Mozilla? I use it at work instead of IE. Then again I'm a huge fan of tabbed browsing.
     
  16. aethier macrumors 6502a

    aethier

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #16
    I am as much as un apple fan, as you can be, but i think that some of you are slightly indenial in regards to the "godly" ppc 970, in early test, the amd athlon 64 or whatever there 64 bit chip is, is already faster, i do not think that the 970 will do that much for apple, it may just draw people since it is a brand new 64 bit chip in the new apples...

    Jus tsome food for thought for the next time you are in praise the 970 mode...

    aethier
     
  17. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #17
    Re: Re: Re: Re: XP V. X

    it kind of goes back to my other posts. i dont work on my pc, im just on the web very little on my pc, so it really doesnt matter.

    iJon
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #18
    The slowest component in any computer system is the human being operating it. It doesn't matter how many gigaflops a computer can process if the operator needs to spend ten minutes trying to figure out how to make it do something.

    This in a nutshell is the argument for quality human engineering, something Apple has always grasped far better then Microsoft. Once you become accustomed to the conventions of the OSX interface, every time you have to go back to Windows, you'll be offended by its needless complexity and pointless UI fru-fru. Then you will wonder how you ever thought that raw processing speed was ever much of an issue.
     
  19. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #19
    It's the same in linux. I'm pretty sure it's because unix/linux cache something somewhere. I don't really know for sure, though.
     
  20. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a

    DHagan4755

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #20
    Let's get real here.

    On PCs, the biggest speed impediment is Windows. Windows is just such a pain to install and manage, especially after the registry has built up a ton of junk and starts to bog the down the speed.

    With regards to the 970, from all available information, the low-end 970 PowerMac will be more than twice as fast as the high-end dual G4 Apple tower currently offers. Food for thought. Imagine if they continue to offer dual processors when the 970 comes out! Imagine getting a PowerMac 970 that is $1,500 and is twice as fast as the current $3,000 model. And then imagine what the high-end PowerMac will be like speedwise with dual 970 processors!
     
  21. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #21
    Several important points:

    The PPC 970 will almost surely beat the Athlon 64 in floating point and vector code. It can even match or beat the Opteron on those dimensions, and the Athlon 64 has only half the memory bandwidth of the Opteron (which will really hurt it for fp and vector code).

    Based on the SPECint2000 scores available for 970 and Opteron, it seems plausible (but not certain) that the Athlon 64 might edge out the 970 on integer code. The problem is that SPEC is highly compiler dependent, and all the SPEC scores quoted for Opteron and Pentium 4 are using the Intel Reference Compiler (which makes a BIG difference, but is NOT the compiler that is actually used in the real world - Microsoft Visual C++ is). If the compiler IBM used for the "estimated" 970 SPEC scores is as highly optimized as the Intel Ref Compiler, then I would guess that Athlon 64 will be faster on integer. But if the SPEC scores are using, for example, GCC, then the 970 will probably be faster (because its performance will be understated, or the Athlon 64's performance will be overstated...whichever way you want to look at it).

    The 970 is far superior for multiprocessing than Pentium 4 or Athlon 64. You can't even do it with P4...I don't know whether AMD will allow MP with Athlon 64 (it would steal sales from the Opteron 2xx series), but at the end of the day the problem is that those are both very hot, very power hungry chips, and you need a much larger power supply and a lot of fans and cooling equipment if you want to manufacture an MP machine with an 80+ watt chip in a standard desktop case. Which is one reason why it is so rare to see DP Windows machines - it can be done, but it takes extra engineering. The 970, in comparison, runs at a "cool" 42 watts, i.e. you can power two 970s for the cost of one P4 or A-64.

    Overall, I would expect that the 970 will be faster for some things while the Athlon 64 will be faster for others (just as the Opteron appears to be faster than the P4 for some tasks, and slower for others). However, I would expect that the fastest (presumably dual) 970 machine will easily outpace the fastest P4 machine or the fastest Athlon 64 (unless they allow MP), although the P4 will probably still win in some disciplines (e.g. some types of single threaded 32-bit integer code). But overall not be as fast.

    HOWEVER, the MOST IMPORTANT POINT is this:

    The 970 will be MUCH FASTER than the current 7455. It's already 2-4 times faster than the 1.4 Ghz 7455 in terms of SPECint and SPECfp scores (although this has to be taken with the cavaet that we don't know that the 970 and 7455 were tested with the same compilers...presumably they were not). There will be a LARGE performance boost over the 7455 the day that the 970 comes out, and the gap will only grow as software is recompiled for the 970 and so forth. Regardless of whether or not it "beats" the Athlon 64 or the P4, it will at least be COMPETITIVE with them, which is much more than can be said of the current 7455. So that is why many people here are excited about the 970, and rightly so!
     
  22. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    #22
    Re: Mac OS X vs. Win XP - snappiness

    I use an iBook 500 (with a horribly choked 66 mhz memory bus) and 10.2.5. But unfortunately I am sometimes forced to use a Celeron 466 (my gf's), a PIII 733, and a P4 1.3 (latter are in the school's computer labs). Also, they recently upgraded to the latest and greatest P4 3.06 machines.

    Celeron 466 w/Win 2k: Definitely does not feel as "fast" as the iBook (note that the Celeron is also limited to a 66 mhz memory bus). No real surprise there.

    PIII 733 w/Win 2k: Feels a bit "faster" than the iBook. No surprise - it's a faster processor and (more importantly) has twice the memory bandwidth (133 mhz bus).

    P4 1.3 Ghz w/Win 2k: Feels faster than both the PIII and the iBook. Again no surprise - it has a quad-pumped 100 mhz bus with 6 times the peak theoretical bandwidth of the iBook's memory bus!

    Now here is the shock:

    P4 3.06 Ghz w/WinXP (note the change in OS): Does NOT feel much faster than our old P4 1.3 Ghz machines running Win 2k were. I was shocked by this. So I decided to run a couple benchmarks - specifically, I scrolled through a 10 page Word document in Office XP that I had just written and was pretty heavy on equations. This took 40 seconds, which I though was a pretty long time. So I went home and tried it on my iBook - sure enough, on the iBook using Office v.X it took 10 seconds to scroll through the same document! I cannot believe this, because honestly the brand new P4 is so much faster than the iBook on every important dimension (faster processor, faster front side bus, faster graphics card), and I had always thought that Office v.X was the worst optimized version of Office I had used since Word 6. But I guess that in some respects Office XP is even MORE sluggish than Office v.X...I was honestly astounded.
     
  23. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #23
    That's exactly why I haven't upgraded my current P4 (1.5 Ghz). I was thinking about it a while ago, but after using my dad's 2.53 machine, I realized there wasn't really a reason to. I'm running only linux, so my computer is already just as fast as my dad's. If I upgrade the memory from this mediocre 256 MB i've got, then I'll be doing good.

    The jump from a 500 Mhz PC to a 1500 Mhz Pc was astouding. The jump from 1500 to 2500 was barely noticeable. I think it mostly has to do with Intel's huge emphasis on clock speed and nothing else...
     
  24. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #24
    Re: Mac OS X vs. Win XP - snappiness

    dont forget that you have broken in your computer, and trust me computer hard drives are broken in. those comps have prolly just been booted and had the OS installed recently.

    i agree on that macs are faster then the current pcs. i remember a year ago i was playing on a 2.0 ghz comp, at that time the fastest, with 60 gig hdd and 512mb ram. and it still took 7 seconds to say open WMP
     

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