12" Powerbook = lame

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mymemory, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    Guys, I stoped for first time at the Apple store in NY today. It is a very nice store, is actually wonderfull.

    But, I was testing the 12" Powerbook and the thing ws slow as hell. There wan not any difference between that powerbook and my Pismo G3 500. The only good thing is that it was hooked up to a 23" flat screen and the video ram was good and working fine.

    But the computer had %12 MB of ram and the 1GHz Processor and the applications opened very slowly, everything took its time to work fine.

    I was thinking in getting it to work Final Cut Pro but there was not that big difference. I rather upgrade my Pismo and that is it.

    Actually I saw 2 Pismos at the store today.
  2. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    that machine also probably had the stock 256MB of RAM. I have a 12" PB, and did okay with the stock RAM for two months, and it has sped up now that I've added an additional 512MB :)
  3. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Apologies for the messy formatting. Here are Xbench 1.1.3 results for my 1GHz 12" PowerBook, with 768MB RAM, running OS X 10.3.2. Energy Saving settings were set to Maximum performance, and the system was running from AC power. Can you post Xbench 1.1.3 scores for your Pismo to compare?

    I'd be willing to bet the 12" PowerBook you used in the store was running something in the background, or its configuration had been messed around with. I'd be interested to see your Pismo Xbench results as a comparison.

    Results 89.09
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.1.3
    System Version 10.3.2 (7D24)
    Physical RAM 768 MB
    Model PowerBook6,2
    Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.00 GHz
    L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    L2 Cache 512K @ 1.00 GHz
    Bus Frequency 133 MHz
    Video Card GeForce FX Go5200 32MB
    Drive Type Hitachi IC25N040ATMR04-0
    CPU Test 95.84
    GCD Loop 103.67 4.05 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 62.33 225.41 Mflop/sec
    AltiVec Basic 122.53 3.56 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 121.19 1.88 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 99.32 3.98 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 76.89
    Computation 54.98 742.16 Kops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 127.87 1.61 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 98.64
    System 102.84
    Allocate 507.52 331.06 Kalloc/sec
    Fill 109.97 875.36 MB/sec
    Copy 55.22 276.12 MB/sec
    Stream 94.77
    Copy 97.23 710.73 MB/sec [altivec]
    Scale 98.29 725.34 MB/sec [altivec]
    Add 94.13 602.42 MB/sec [altivec]
    Triad 89.90 549.27 MB/sec [altivec]
    Quartz Graphics Test 116.35
    Line 101.62 2.59 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 114.91 8.08 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 113.62 2.62 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 105.83 1.15 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 161.83 2.64 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 91.50
    Spinning Squares 91.50 64.03 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 138.91
    Elements 138.91 44.68 refresh/sec
    Disk Test 54.74
    Sequential 60.15
    Uncached Write 43.91 18.31 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 55.73 22.82 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 141.15 22.34 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 53.46 21.60 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 50.23
    Uncached Write 47.88 0.72 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 49.17 11.09 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 49.78 0.33 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 54.56 11.23 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  4. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    ill tell you right now that store demos are terrible to judge by, too many people mess with them and they have too many computers for the employees to keep them in tip top condition.

  5. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    If you equate the Pismo to an iBook 500, then I can assure you the 12" PowerBook is miles faster.
  6. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    My 1GHz 12" got a 99.58 on xBench last time I ran it. I've got 768 MB RAM. That's faster than many TiBooks.
  7. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    The new PowerBooks definitely have some muscle. My 15" scores in the high 120's consistently which is higher than some dual PowerMac G4s I've seen. I bet if I put my Lombard G3 PowerBook through XBench it'd barely crawl through with 15-20 and that is just a step down from a Pismo, which is the last revision before the G4s game out.
  8. ericsoup macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2004
    Also looking to buy

    I'm torn between the 12" and 15" PowerBooks. I currently have an iBook and love the 12" form factor. I live in NYC and carry it all over the place so size is a serious factor. But I will be using it for video editing and graphics work, so the functionality is a serious factor too. I have and Apple LCD that I can hook it up to, so the screen real estate isn't really a problem. I dislike that it has 32 instead of 64mb video RAM. But if you soup it up with the bigger drive and airport card, the price difference between the 12 and 15 gets much smaller. What I really want is the 15" machine in the 12" form factor. :confused:

    I'm looking for anyone's expereinces, good or bad, specifically dealing with video editing on the 12" PB, and any other issues that should be considered that I have not considered. Thanks.
  9. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    The 12" could be good for you. Seriously, the 250 MHz difference isn't going to be a massive gap and you don't need a 64 meg Radeon 9600 unless you are looking to play games on it. You said you really need/want the smaller footprint of the 12" and have an external screen you could use when you need the extra space, so it sound like the best compromise. Just get the 12", load it with RAM, and add an external HD and you'll have one nice mobile setup.
  10. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Hmmm I wonder where the difference comes from. Was it the same version of Xbench as I ran? Same version of OS X?
  11. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    Did you have any background applications running while doing the tests? That can make a difference.
  12. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Re: Also looking to buy

    Also don't forget that in addition to the screen size and video RAM difference between the 12" and 15", you should also consider:

    - The 15" has FireWire 800, the 12" only FireWire 400
    - The 15" has a PC Card slot for future expansion, the 12" doesn't
    - The 15" has a gigabit ethernet controller, the 12" only has a 100Mbit controller
    - The 15" has a maximum official RAM capacity of 2GB, the 12" has only a max official capacity of 1.25GB.
    - The 15" includes an S-Video adapter, it is an option on the 12"
    - Even accounting for differences in VRAM size, the Radeon 9600 in the 15" is a much faster graphics chip than the nVidia GeForceFX 5200 in the 12"
    - A 5400rpm drive is available from Apple as an option on the 15", but not on the 12" (not sure how much difference the HDD speed makes in real life anyway).

    Just a few other things to consider. In many respects, the 15" and 17" PowerBooks are closely related, whereas the 12" PowerBook seems to be more closely related to a G4 iBook underneath its aluminium skin. How important those things are to you, I'm not sure. With video editing, I would guess that perhaps having the option of FW800 for fast external drive access, and having the possibility of a maximum of 2GB RAM, versus 1.25GB might be prominent.
  13. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I'm running xBench 1.1.3, and OS 10.3.2. Try running all the cron maintainence scripts and logging out, then run xBench.
  14. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    I have the 12" 1GHz and it's a super machine. It was ok with 256MB RAM but it really flies now I have 768!

    I use FCE 1 and it works very well with it (even with 256MB RAM I have to say). I can't wait to get the upgrade for the real-time effects!

    It must be noted that I used to have Jaguar and I have 'upgrade-installed' Panther with no problems whatsoever. I like to keep my Mac tidy though. It screams with 10.3.2.

    I have never used the 15 or 17" PowerBooks, and would expect them to be faster, but I don't think the difference is that bad. And the interface is as snappy as a G5 I used in the store.

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