Real World Macbook Responsiveness

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Accollon, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Accollon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #1
    What is the real world speed/reponsiveness like on a Macbook? I currently have a PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz - 1.5 GB RAM - and feel as though my machine is not responsiveness enough for me. I use it in a business environment and just find it too slow. I do push the machine as in having a lot of programs running. Typical Day.

    • Virtual Desktop Running - 2 desktops - Run RDP in full screen in one and use all OS X apps in the other
    • RPD full screen to my Windows Box
    • iChat
    • Microsoft Word
    • Mail
    • Safari
    • Quicksilver
    • Growl
    • Omni Outliner - Kinkless KGTD
    • iCal
    • Devonthink
    • Journaler
    • Multiple Widgets

    I multitask a lot and the point of my computer setup is to be able to input and output information quickly - hence usage of quicksilver and KGTD to improve workflow. The speed issue I have is doing the key combo for Quicksilver and then waiting a few seconds for it to launch, and then a couple more to actually have it be active, I switch to dashboard and wait ten seconds. Switching between programs can stall for a while. The waiting is starting to get really frustrating.

    I am planning on getting a MacBook once they are updated in the near future - with all the issues I have heard about I figure i will wait till Rev. B comes out. I will take it up to 2 GB of memory and would like to use Paralles to run Windows XP instead of RDP to a machine.

    For those of you that are currently using a MacBook do you think I will be happy with the upgarde? Any other suggestions to make it faster - 7200 RPM hard drive instead of 5400?
     
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #2
    It's hard to say. I can easily push my MacBook Pro through the RAM ceiling with several heavy apps and make it sluggish even with 2GB of RAM. I think you can do that even if you have a Mac Pro and 8GB of RAM, but it will require more effort of course.

    Safari, Photoshop and Netbeans tends to be the worst memory hogs of the apps I use.

    Word (especially since it has to run through Rosetta) and Safari will probably be some of the worst of the apps you mention. Safari isn't necessarily a memory hog if you keep your surfing contained in a few tabs, but I often get enthusiastic with my surfing and end up with 10 or more tabs and 10 or more additional windows.

    If you get a MacBook you're going to need 2GB since your pattern of usage is accustomed to 1.5GB on the less RAM hungry G4 laptop.
     
  3. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #3
    I think a Macbook maxed out would suit your needs fairly well. Better than what you're getting now to some extent.
     
  4. mouthster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #4

    I have a Powerbook 1.5ghz and I've found installing my operating system on a FW800 external drive has helped. When your multi-tasking between several programs your using a lot of virtual memory which creates disk swapping. I think in your case of usage the bottleneck is more the harddrive, then the CPU. I don't think the Macbook would be the magic bullet in your case.
     
  5. Accollon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #5
    I am in the process of clearing up some hard drives I have at home this weekend and will try booting off a firewire drive to see if does any better.
     

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