PowerBook slowww....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by xgsrpg, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. xgsrpg macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2004
    I bought a PowerBook 15" towards the end of July this year. I absolutely love everything about it (the design, the OS...) but one thing has really been bugging me: the G4. I do lots of iDVD/iMovie stuff, and it's very slow (not counting the iDVD multiplexing problem). Also, I am a programmer, and compiling anything that's something using gcc takes forever.... My P4 2.26 PC beat the PowerBook terribly in compiling Gentoo Linux. It took at least 3 times as much time on the PB. I know that's what I should be expecting of the G4, but that's my problem. I am stuck on whether I should sell this PB and get myself a G5 (I found some good deals for 2.0's on eBay and I already have a Dell 18" LCD). I go to my father's house 2 days a week, and my PB was nice to be able to bring it back and forth. But like I said the speed is killing me! Should I just sell this PB and get a G5 and buy a cheap PC laptop, wait for a new PB revision, or what? I don't know what to do!!! I find myself using my Windows PC more and more as I get frustrated with the PB.......
  2. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    How much memory do you have? That might be holding things up, also you may want to de-fragment the HD after large movie projects. Also visit the General Mac Discussion forum they have some good user tips like how to repair permissions and empty caches etc...
  3. xgsrpg thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2004
    I have 1 stick of 512MB. I just did a clean install of Panther two days ago due to iDVD problems (see my multiplexing + burning thread). I am pretty sure that it is just slow because of the G4. I don't often use the HD page file, and all the things that are slow on are CPU intensive. I just don't know whether I should sell my PB and get a G5... the 8x SuperDrive and CPU(s) look so appealing, but I don't want to lose that PowerBook portability.
  4. vashim66 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    Same here

    I'm having the same issues, my 1.25GHz Pbook seems like its so slow already after about a year. Not sure if I should sell it now while the resale price is still relatively high and get myself a powermac g5. It's especially noticable when trying to run today's games. I used the portability in school, but now that I've graduated, it usually stays on the desk or only goes as far as the couch.

    RAM and harddrive upgrades can only go so far when you're limited by a slow processor and graphics card. Also, I just used a 2.0 dual G5 at the apple store and id say its easily more than 3-4x faster
  5. xgsrpg thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2004
    I'm really considering getting rid of my PB and swapping it for a G5, allthough I will really miss it.

    I don't know how Apple can still have a G4 in it and sell it for $2300+. The price should be at least dropped by $500, if not $700. But the thing is it's the only choice besides iBook if you want to use OS X or you want the excellent design. Either find a way to get a G5 into the PB or get IBM to make a decent mobile chip, I don't care. The G4 has to go.
  6. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    guys, if you're going to be doing a lot of idvd stuff, and imovie stuff, you'd better upgrade that ram.....512 ain't enough.......you need a minimum of 1 gig, if i were you i'd have 1.5 or 2 gig of ram. the G4 processor it's great. Of course G5 would be rocking, but the G4 is just as good. just add up some more Ram cuz it's like dragging a very powerfull car with normal tires, you need GOOD drag tires to get good grip and have a full performance.

    so Add ram (OS X loves RAM :D)
  7. xgsrpg thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2004
    Yeah, I'm planning to if I decide to keep my PB, that's why I ordered it with 1 stick of 512MB. I see a very nice deal on a 2.0 G5 + Cinema display on eBay The G4 processor is seriously outdated for its time. Sure, it has AltiVec, but a 167MHz FSB? That is very outdated when G5s have 600MHz+ FSBs and x86s are at 500 and 800. For many applications the low FSB is a big bottleneck for performance.
  8. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    You need to up the RAM. I spend a lot of time in iDVD and iMovie and FCE and my computer is plenty fast. Much faster than my desktop. But I have 2 gigs of memory, so my advice is to up the RAM. You will see a difference. For what its worth, the only thing that slows down our computers is the FSB. There isn't anything inherently wrong with the G4, it is actually a quite decent processor, esp. for mobile computing. At least that is my two cents.
  9. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2003
    Thunder Bay, ON
    iDVD is also a very slow encoder. I'd suggest demoing Main Concept's Mpeg encoder, it has great quality and on my 1.25ghz Powerbook it can encode an hour of DV to mpeg2 in about 100 minutes (though I hear on dual G5s it's faster than real-time).

    Also for iMovie to work real well you need more ram, with 2GB I can run it with a dozen or so other programs all at once flawlessly (with the stock 512MB I'd get beached by just switching between apps).
  10. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    This is just more proof that Apple needs to seriously update the Powerbook line, They can give all the benchmarks they want and you can add all the memory you want the fact is that until they upgrade the processor its still gonna be way to slow for the average notebook user.
  11. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    well let's just wait for the G5 processor, in the mean time i've read that there will be a dual g4 thing......i don't really remember what it is.............but it's suppossed to increase speed.

    anyways....i'm really happy with my powerbook. it's great!...i have 768 ram....i'll try to add 1gig stick in a few month or so...........when the prices go down. 1.5 gig would rock!
  12. Lincoln macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2003
    More ram

    I second the suggestion that you add more ram. I had wne from 512MB to 1GB and I was surprised at how much faster the Powerbook was. But what is more apparent is that when you push OSX it takes everything in its stride (as long as you have the memory).
  13. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    RAM made little if any diff. for me

    I have a pretty much maxed out powerbook, and I ordered it with one stick of 512mb, then bought another one. I noticed little if any performance boost in iDVD and iMovie, I noticed no difference anywhere. Only once have I been able to get Activity Monitor to show that it is even using over 512mb of the RAM. My 2 cents.
  14. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Get more memory up to say 1GB, and you will notice the difference. However if you don't need a laptop then upgrading to a G5 desktop will improve performance even more. I have got 1GB in my powerbook and I use Photoshop, FCE as well as iDVD. I don't find it slow at all. Yes rendering takes some time, but this is where for me OSX comes into its own. On a windows PC checking my mail while Windows was burning a DVD was one sure fire way of creating a nice sliver coaster, with Macs, the multi tasking is much more robust.
  15. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    ive got the new powerbook 1.5ghz superdrive and it flies.... it handles the apps your talking about just great...like its been said....ram ram ram
  16. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    London, England
    as well as ram, as mentioned above try repearing permissions etc. download ssystem optimiser x. it will do it all for you. that seems to sort out speed issues for me. i will get back when i find the link!!!
  17. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    RAM doesn't increase performance

    If you are only running one application at a time, and you have 512 megabytes of RAM in your computer, chances are you are correct about your computer being slow. With iDVD and iMovie stuff, I doubt you need to have more than 512 MB RAM...more RAM will only help you if your computer is running OS X on 128 or 256 MB RAM or if you like to run a million programs at once...

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