sluggish or doomed? my new G4 ibook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by blamMo, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. blamMo macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2004
    bought a new iBook G4 on friday (800mhz, 680MB ram, 30GB HDD, dvd/cd-rw) and finally had time to sit down with it last night. to my unpleasant suprise, it seemed to be rather sluggish from the offset. windows seems to 'hesitate' in opening, and it simply didn't respond as well as i had expected it to. i thought little of it at first, thought maybe it was just me being used to a PC interface. i continued setting up my machine. after i'd installed my software, i noticed that the overall performace in my programs (mostly audio editting and similar, i.e. pro tools, reaktor, etc) was only slightly better than that of the blueberry clamshell i'd bought this machine to replace, and obviously slower than the no-bells-or-whistles 700mhz PC laptop i use aswell. :confused:

    there's also a few cosmetic problems with the machine which had me worried from the point of opening the box... the casing is slightly warped on the keyboard/trackpad surface, and the battery casing rattles a bit.

    has anyone else seen problems of this nature with their machines?
  2. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    For the performance issue, I would run some of the benchmark programs and see if its on par with other peoples tests.

    As for the cosmetic issues, I would return immediately and get a replacement if you are not happy.
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Welcome to Apple & Moto's slow G4 world, anyone who says a G4 is fast or even in the same league as current Intels,AMDs has smoked to much crack, is a little crazy or is making money off of stale hardware. Fact is G4 was fine years ago today its last place. im using a 1.47 G4 which is about the same as a 2.0 P4. This why we get labled cryers,whiners,babies and everything else because we are suppose to covet this old primitive and slow chip and be happy with what Apple spoon feeds us. SORRY not ME.! I would take it back if possible and wait for Apple to get current. This is why Apples sales figure or moving towards 1% new market.
  4. blamMo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2004
    benchmarks... never thought of that.
    cosmetics i don't worry about (especially considering that where i bought the thing they can't really take it back... long story made short, always ask this before you buy from a place... not sure if this is an apple thing or what, but it's not completely the place i bought it from's fault either... anywho...). i just want to know it's working as it should...

    now the stupid question (gross apologies in advance...): where's a good benchmark program at...? (never benched a mac before... )

    merci bien :D
  5. briankonar macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2004
    XBench, then compare your results to those of other's with similar specs.
  6. blamMo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2004
    whicked. i'll update on the results when i get 'em.

  7. kylebragggger macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2004
    I'm having the exact same problem with my G4 iBook. It's basically less than 1 month old and its super sluggish and unresponsive. Apps take a long time to load, the graphics are sluggish and sometimes choppy and there have been a lot of graphical glitches within the gui happening, like folders with no name underneath or the menu bar icon area showing the spinning rainbow wait cursor the entire time I've been logged in and the clock not updating. I'm quite fed up and actually have made tentative arrangements to sell this thing to someone else who wants it for school. For intensive webdesign and graphics tasks it seems, unfortunately, that this system can't handle it. Odd, yes. But thats what I'm experiencing -- a very unresponsive system.

  8. Squareball macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2004
    Palo Alto, CA
    I had a similar problem. I got my g4 ibook and installed the 512mb ram my self. Well I ran it for a day and it was SOOOO SLOOW! Slower than my previous g3 800mhz ibook. So I did xbench and guess what I found out.... the ram I installed wasn't seated right. It was showing only 256mb ram. So I opened it back up and reseated the ram and now it runs very smooth.
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Basically the machines are sluggish if...

    1. Too little RAM - sounds like you have enough.
    2. Not enough free HD space
    3. Catalog/file system problems -- run fsck & Disk First Aid (until clean pass)
    4. etc.
  10. diamond geezer macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2004
    You may have faulty RAM or Hard Drive.

    Use the Apple Hardware test on DVD 1 (boot holding down option key) to test the memory.
  11. Digitalzoom macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2004
    Gloucester, UK
    I have a new 1Ghz G4 iBook with 768MB of Ram - nothing wrong with the iBook as such but it is slow, no doubt about it - I have plenty of memory etc.
    I use to have a 800mhz G3, 640MB Ram - I sold it because it was too sluggish.
    When I compare it to my 2 year old Dell inspiron - it sucks.
    Even on my dual 2Ghz G5 I had when they first came out - OS X was sluggish compared to a Win XP PC.
    I'm not Mac bashing - I love Apple - but using a G4 CPU with a 133 or 167mhz bus is sad considering the competiton.
    My Mate purchased a 2.6Ghz Celeron - I always considered the celeron to be crap - but its much quicker than any Mac laptop I've seen - it more responsive than my Dual 2Ghz G5 & cost £399 with a Screen.
    I'm not sure what the problem is when it comes to a G5 - it should really fly but it doesn't.
    I use my Mac & PC for Photos and webdesign.
    Finder is soooo Sloww at displaying pictures in thumbnail view compared to any half decent PC.
    Dreamweaver & Fireworks is also very slow compared to the Windows version.
    That being said I'm now looking to get a new Dual G5 3Ghz or whatever comes out at WWDC.
    Avoid the iBook & Powerbook if you can - they look good but have very little under the hood.
  12. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    This is sad and hard to believe. My Dual G5 is WAY FASTER than the Celeron 2.4 machine i had from work and my Pentium M T40 ThinkPad. No comparison. It's also a signficant difference btwn my 1ghz PowerBook. No sluggishness on that or my bf's ibook G4 800. There has to be something wrong.

    Check RAM, repair disk permissions (esp after installing software).

  13. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    i use both G5 dual and P4(HP) dual systems at school and have found performance to be far better on a G5 than on the P4 systems running the latest version of Windows NT. I find it hard to believe that a 1ghz G4 or 800mhz G4 is really as unresponsive as you guys are making it sound. I have a 933 desktop and it runs fine. It's no speed demon, but it never lags or shows me any beachballs. Maybe the L3 cache is making the difference?

    Anyways, I'd do a permissions repair, that typically solves speed issues. Also try running the chron scripts using a freeware tool via www.MacUpdate.coom or if you don't leave your notebook on all the time (which i doubt you would) it probably will never run the scripts itself (automatically set to run around 3 in the morning i think). Or take it back because it should NOT be that slow, then again an iBook is a less than ideal machine for audio production...but i digress.
  14. tace macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    I agree that the G4 800 is not the speediest chip out there, to put it mildly. But once you start using a Windoze machine, it inevitably becomes slow and sluggish after a while. Thanks in part to the wonderful OS. The MCSEs at work get around this by reinstalling their machine every 3-6 months.

    I personally prefer to use my iBook for work rather than my 9 month old Athlon. Infact, if only I had 2 apps available in Mac OS X, I could totally ditch my WinXP box.
  15. csubear macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2003
    here is a tip i would like to pass on to all book owners. i used to have a 900 Mhz G3 ibook, and yes start up was very slow. This is not because of the processor, but more the 4200 rpm harddrive. SO. never turn you book off. if you are going some where put it to sleep.

    OS X stores all its nib file cahced in RAM after you open an app. (nib file are basicly the whole user interface). So if you keep you computer on, almost all the programs you use most often will be cahced in main memory.

    OR put a 7200 rmp drive in there. Then you will be fine.

    So to recap. Its not the G4 holding you back (please stop bashing it) its your very slow harddrive. And not turning off your computer will fix most if not all of your problems.

    O and for every one who keeps on bashing the G4, because it is old techonlogy. You should look at intel. They are getting rid of their (crappy, high power, long pipeline) P4 arch, In favor of the p3 arch. The P3 arch is just an extension of the P2, and the P2 is just an extension of teh P-Pro, which if memory servers is way way way older than both the G3, and the G4.
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    That is odd, although I've noticed that the very slow hard drive on the iBooks (helped along a bit by the slow system bus) makes them feel rather slower than you'd expect them to. A lot of RAM helps, as does the upgrade to a faster hard drive (one of the reasons the 12" PB is such a good buy.

    Still, a modern iBook should feel capable, so maybe there is something wrong if it doesn't, and XBench (not to mention running the Apple-supplied diagnostics) should give you an idea.

    It's not going to be as fast as a mobile Pentium (those are quire snappy per clock), but it should feel comfortable. Heck, the 450MHz PCI G4s where I work run just fine with enough RAM and 10.3.

    Incidentally, if a DPG5 is feeling slow for you Digitalzoom, there really must be something wrong. I have a DP2.0, and it's never felt anything but snappy. Certainly bests the 2.8GHz P4 with XP Pro I have to fiddle with at work; heck, even the dual 1.0GHz G4 tower I work on can give that thing a run for its money most of the time.

    Don't be unrealistic, though; the G4 is a nice chip. In most cases, it's faster than a P4 clock for clock, generally around 10-30%. Fast-ish P4 machines are, obviously, considerably faster than a G4 due to the much higher clocks, and that's why Motorola's inablility to scale clock speeds was such an issue. The G5 is at least as fast as the G4 clock-for-clock, generally faster--sometimes much faster, which is why even a single 2.0G5 (which is what's really compeating with a single-processor Wintel box in single threded applications) is still quite competitive with a 3GHz P4. Intel's new mobile chips have a significantly better architecture than the dead-end desktop P4s, and run very fast per clock, which is why Wintel laptops have the current speed advantage by a relatively wide margin in most situations. I'd still get an iBook or Powerbook without blinking, but they're just not as fast.
  17. lenb macrumors member

    May 11, 2004
    Leicester, UK
    Never satisfied

    For a long time I have been a RiscOs user (don't laugh) and also a user of Psion computers (i said don't laugh). Both of these offer quick boot up and very few problems of crashing etc. I have always had a dislike of Windoze but had to buy a laptop with XP because it did a job I needed. It is true that they gradually slow down as time goes on. Both RiscOs and Psion have suffered from the small user base and therefore the lack of easily available programs and continued development ........ Now I am the proud owner of an 800mhz ibook (windoze has gone) and you know what ....... it's a good machine so don't knock it. Is it really that important to have a computer that does such and such in a nanno second, are we really that short of time that we haven't time to wait for a few seconds .......... even 30 seconds?
    Look at the positives of owning a Mac, there are plenty of them. My ibook goes to sleep and wakes up again without crashind (my Xp laptop didn't), the battery lasts for nearly 5 hours (close to my Psion that gives nearly 8 hours, and much better than my Xp laptop that could manage a poor 2hrs).

    Lenb ....... so far well impressed with my mac
  18. bryanc macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2003
    Fredericton, NB Canada
    I concur with the consensus here: if your new iBook is performing as badly as you say, there's something wrong with it. RAM is often limiting (always get as much as you can into your portables), and the harddrives in portables are slow, but your machine should be more responsive than you describe.

    Now, it is also true that for many applications, an ageing G4 is not quite as fast as a current pentium or celeron, but it shouldn't feel sluggish. I'm using a 667 MHz TiBook, and it still out performs most pentiums for many things (things that take advantage of Altivec, like DNA sequence alignments, which I do a lot of). I'm also constantly running 7 or 8 applications on this system and I never shut it down (of course, it never crashes either), so when I do start a process that takes a while to complete, I don't have to twiddle my thumbs and wait for it to finish (or hold my breath in fear of the BSOD like I used to with my wintel boxes), I just expose' over to some other app and carry on. So even when my old G4 *is* a bit slower than some current pentiums, OS X lets me carry on working so it never slows me down.

    Someday G5 powerbooks will come out and I'll have to start thinking of excuses to buy a faster machine, but meanwhile, my relatively pokey G4 is faster than I need.

  19. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I have a 1 Ghz G4 PB 12" and there's just absolutely no way to accurately describe it as "sluggish" or "slow." The performance is great, in fact. If a 1 Ghz G4 laptop seems slow to you, we either have very different standards, or there is something wrong with your computer.

    As Brian said above, it's just hard to believe what some of you are saying. I also essentially *never* get beach balls or lag.

    It's statements like "My Mate purchased a 2.6Ghz Celeron - I always considered the celeron to be crap - but its much quicker than any Mac laptop I've seen - it more responsive than my Dual 2Ghz G5" that make me skeptical. Um... no, and such statements undermine the credibility of the whole debate.

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