Processor setting: Highest or Automatic?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by johnnyjibbs, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Just wondering... When I was creating a complex tune on GarageBand at one point it choked and I got a "Hard drive too slow" message. Then I got a "Switch CPU to Highest Setting in Energy Saver Preferences."

    I've now got my PowerBook running on "Highest" while I'm plugged in to the mains. I have actually noticed an improvement in performace right across the board, even down to smoother expose, genie effect and dock magnification, etc. (Now completely silk :)).

    My question then: does leaving the processor speed on "Highest" do any long term damage to my computer?
     
  2. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Processor

    Nope, just runs hotter and depletes battery quicker (not a problem because you are plugged in). I have my 17" pbook on highest when plugged in, reduced when not. My 500mhz iBook was configured the same way, and there was zero long term issues.
     
  3. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #3
    No. I've had mine on highest on my powerbook for the last 3 years and its fine.
     
  4. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    #4
    it wont do damage to your computer.

    sometimes people make the analogy of a CPU to a car's engine (in terms of speed and workload, and sometimes even mileage.) Processors do not 'wear out' with heavy use or anything like that. In fact, you could run your processor at 100% from the day you got it, and you would never do any 'damage' to it.

    Those settings limit the horsepower of the cpu only to help conserve battery life. on the 'limited' setting, your processer runs a bit slower, but consumes quite a bit less power. Put it on 'reduced' setting for battery power, and 'highest' for your plug-in, and you wont have any problems. (unless you want to use Garageband on battery power, then you can just fix your settings to all highest.) automatic setting is pretty much useless, because its just between the two. it would be obvious to most of us that it would reduce the cpu power on battery time, but crank it up on a power adapter, but this isnt the case. the automatic is just good at neither really.
     
  5. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Great, thanks!

    The fan's just kicked in, even though I'm not really running many programs, so that's just the only side effect I guess but these PowerBooks seem built to last, so no problems!
     
  6. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    I always kept it on Automatic because I was under the impression that it ran on high for heavy photoshop work, etc, and then reduced during web-surfing times, etc. But, as you say, it doesn't seem to work like this. I like the performance much better on Highest!

    BTW, the fan's now stopped again, so it's not really that bad! Overall, this is a very quiet machine anyway...
     
  7. johnnowak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Location:
    New York, New York
    #7
    I have a 25% increase in CPU power when running in "highest" under Reaktor (audio software).
     
  8. markjones05 macrumors 6502a

    markjones05

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    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #9
    Yeah, desktops wouldn't benefit from this at all.
     
  10. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    hmmm...

    Desktops either always run at highest settings or they can't be configured this way. But since they are always plugged in, there is no real reason to.
    Back to the car analogy, processors have no moving parts (for all intents and purposes) so the only part you COULD wear out might be the fan, but that is highly unlikely.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #11
    Exactly. There should never be a reason to want to run your desktop machine at anything other than 'highest performance' since it's always plugged in. In fact this option should only show on laptops. There are a couple of 'laptop-only' features, and this is one of them. Another would be the preferences for the trackpad. Since desktops use mice, you won't see the trackpad preference settings in your 'mouse' preference pane.
     

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