Will a PowerBook cut it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by lupine, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. lupine macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've just ordered a new PowerBook 17" with all the trimmings (upgraded video and hard drive, 1Gb RAM), but now that I'm making the switch, I'm still a little concerned with the performance of this machine.

    The primary purpose for the machine is for real-time video processing as part of my Masters of Engineering. I need to be able to read a video stream in from some external source, do loads of number crunching on the data, and spit out an answer. I've gone for a laptop since I'll be moving between the hospital and uni while testing this system, and I don't want to lug my desktop around like I've been doing last year.

    My biggest fear is that this system won't have the same grunt as my current system: an AMD Athlon XP 2400+, 1Gb RAM, Radeon 9700. With the current implementation, we get around 10-15fps from a PAL firewire camera, which is more than enough for this task.

    I know that you can't really compare these two systems, but I'd like to know if they're in the same ballpark. I know I'll have to spend a bit of time learning Quicktime and a bunch of other things (it's currently written using DirectShow filters and a simlpe C# GUI), but the core of the algorithm works on raw bytes, and I do have a whole year to make this work. But as long as the system has enough guts to run the algorithms, this shouldn't be a problem.

    I've also been a little scared about the rumors concerning new PowerBooks at Macworld, but I don't really care as long as this will do the job for me (though I'll probably be a bit upset if they drop the prices or make a big performance increase).

    So, if somebody can tell me my new PowerBook will run rings around my current desktop, I'd be most happy. And while I doubt most people here don't have any experience in this area, any links to documentation or good books on this sort of area would be greatly appreciated! And thanks for reading my first posts here!
  2. Sir_Giggles macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2003
    What software are you running. IF the software program takes advantage of the Velocity Engine, and doesnt thrash the HD, then it should be faster than an Athlon 2400.
  3. lupine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    It's software I'm writing myself as part of my masters. The Windows implementation uses DirectShow (which is nearly identical to Quicktime in most respects). The end result of this year should be a Quicktime component or two and a little application which ties together the component and the system-provided Quicktime components, and draws a pretty little GUI.

    I haven't read much into the Velocity Engine yet, but I'll definitely have to look into it.

    Thanks for the reply -- I feel better already.
  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    It should be fine. That PowerBook is a pretty fast machine. Using Xcode, and if you optimize your code correctly, you should be in good shape.
  5. Mertzen macrumors 6502


    Sep 25, 2004
    If you need portable mac power you got the best you can get .. but any of the G5 offerings will of course be faster ..

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