Another 12" PowerBook question

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by skymaXimus, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. skymaXimus macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    Could someone please explain to me why my G4 450 Sawtooth tower out performs my new 12" PowerBook? The 450 doesn?t have near as much video memory or processor power, but it boots up in about 1/3 of the time it takes the PowerBook and they're neck and neck using PhotoShop7. What's up?
    (They both have 256mb of memory)
  2. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Three things:
    (a) The tower has an L3 cache
    (b) The tower has a much faster hard drive (notebook drives are slow and power-saving)
    (c) The tower has much more RAM.
  3. skymaXimus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    They both have the same amount of RAM
    I didn't think L3 cache made that much of a difference
    And that stinks
  4. timbloom macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2002
    a 450 G4 does not have a lvl3 cache..

    the hard drive will make a big difference.
    and the 867 in the powerbook is a low power processor.

    You need a better way to benchmark.
    Because your powerbook does have a faster bus speed, faster ram speed, a later generation g4, with more altivec integer units.. and so on.
  5. KingArthur macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    Marion, Ohio
    Are they both using the same OS and OS version? Have you installed any enhancing programs/extensions on your tower? Are the preferences in your PowerBook set to boot classic off the bat or anything else that may impede performance? Is your tower defragmented with something like Norton Utilities?
    There is a good chance the slow-up with booting is just a matter of settings and the much slower HardDisk. Is your HD in your tower partitioned? That speeds performance up considerably. Your tower also has AGP 4X which to my knowlege, laptops don't posess. That speeds up your graphics considerably. Notebooks also are renown for having slower graphics processors b/c they drain on the battery so much. Make sure your powerbook was plugged in the entire time you did your tests and also that you defragment the hard drive for most efficient use of space.
  6. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2003
    Western Hemisphere
    I read in another MacRumors post from someone who was also unhappy with his 12PB speed that his power saving options were set to conserve power 'no matter what'. Even if it was plugged in.

    So check your settings in Power Saver control panel. Make sure that your HD isn't sleeping all the time and you're getting the 'real' performance out of your machine instead of constantly using the 'conserve power' mode all day every day.

  7. TheMightyG macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2002
    All of the currently shipping powerbooks use AGP 4X. and the Nvidia 420Go in the 12" should be at least as good as the Radeon class card that shipped with the 450Mhz tower.
    Can't really offer any other suggestions other than what has already been posted.
  8. skymaXimus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003

    Both using OS 10.2.4
    Both are using the same enhancing programs
    Neither one of them have classic running or anything else that would impede performance
    No defrag's or partitioning and the powerbook is set to the highest performance setting

    Its not that its slow, I just thought for sure the 867 would out perform the three year old 450. I was suprised when it didn't.
  9. Tommy! macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2001
    I just got a new 12" last night (I call it a Yao Ming computer) with 640 megs of ram and air extreme... It outperforms my FP iMac 700 with 256 considerably, but not immensely... Launching AIM is a little faster and Safari is a lot faster... It seems to take the same amount of time to boot up, and I still need to do the important test of seeing how fast the MP3 encoder in itunes goes. Will hard drive speed affect that? Oh well, just posting my comparisons
  10. KingArthur macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    Marion, Ohio
    For encoding, harddrive speeds matter a little, but not noticibly. One of the biggest reasons that HD speed in a PowerBook may affect the performance is that OSX uses a lot of RAM and automatically uses the HD for virtual memory. The more memory intensive the application and the more applications that are open, the slower the performance b/c the computer keeps having to use the slow HD for RAM (sort of). Virtual memory (VM) isn't actually using the HD as RAM, but rather, it saves stuff from the RAM to the HD to free up space in the RAM, and then has to reload the info from the HD as soon as it is needed. The OS automatically uses a little VM, but not a noticable amount b/c most of it has to be loaded into the RAM. When RAM space starts getting low, the OS starts taking stuff that hasn't been used recently from applications and puts it into the VM. I just had to clarify that VM doesn't actually use the HD as RAM so I avoid corrections from others.
    Although the tower mentioned doesn't actually have L3 cache, L3 cache does make a big performance boost in programs that use repetitive code b/c the L3 cache operates at 1/2 processor speed whereas DDR memory only operates at twice the bus speed (which is 133Mhz). It made even a bigger difference before DDR memory considering you would have a (or two) 800Mhz G4, 256k L2 cache running at 800Mhz, 1 MB DDR RAM (L3 cache) running at 400Mhz, and a whole bunch of PC133 RAM.
    I am just watching for how Intel's application of DDRII is going to work out. RAM running at 4x the system bus speed (133x4=533Mhz effective speed) might be nice. Then again, we all know how it is rarely used at its maximum effective speed. I just want to see the actual bus leave the 133Mhz speed! Let's get a 266Mhz bus or something and some HDs and such that utilize it. I know that they will have to work backward compatibility into it and upgrade the ATA technology, but they have been using the same stuff for years! It is time that we stopped focusing only on the processor speed and actually get the rest of the computer caught-up for well-rounded performance!
  11. celaurie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2003
    Scotland, UK.
  12. KingArthur macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2001
    Marion, Ohio

    Sorry, I was on a soap-box and I just had to vent. Just getting tired of everything slowing the system up except the processor.

    I think it is time for me to go to ArsTechnica and humble my knowledge;)
  13. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    there a couple of things to factor in here. your powermac has way more l2 cache. not sure about the speed of the hard drive, but the powerbook has a faster ide bus. powerbook ahs faster processor, faster ram and faster graphics. if you havent already, why dont you send us results from xbench from both your computers and we can look at them, also look at xbenchs stats of your computers online and see what other people had. you may have some settings wron.

  14. macphoria macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2002
    This topic brings up similar observation I made on other computers. I recently tested old 300Mhz G3 iMac with slightly less than 200Mb Ram and 700Mhz G3 iBook with 640Mb RAM.

    My test, among other things, involved rendering movies and running number of movies simultaneously. Rendering in After Effects seemed to favor iBook slightly. But when running number of large movies simultaneously, iMac was far superior.

    For example, when I opened 3 movies and looped them (640x480, 30fps, Sorenson 3) they started skipping frames on both computers. But on iMac, it was visibly less than on iBook. Even when I played just one movie, iMac did so much better than iBook.

    My initial thought was the hard drive speed difference, but it just didn't make sense that iBook with more than twice the processor speed would perform slower.

    Maybe this observation could help the discussion here. Any other thoughts on this?
  15. skymaXimus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    Here are my xbench results for my 12"
    I'm at home right now so I can't run the bench on the G4 450 which is at work, but I'll post those results tomorrow afternoon.
    Thanks for all the sudgestions and help.

    Attached Files:

  16. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    well damn, i got about a 52, guess ill have to look into repairing permissions and trying. anybody else want to show me their scores, i just want to see the final not everything.

  17. skymaXimus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    I don't feel so bad w/ my 72 score anymore. If you got a 12" post your scores.
  18. iChan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland.
    xbench result

    I got an xBench result of 75.33... not bad
  19. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2003
    VA, USA
    Mine is 74.25. 12" AL, 640 MG, AE, Combo, 30 GB.
  20. skymaXimus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    I upgraded to 10.2.4 last night and dropped over two points off my overall score :confused:
  21. Megaquad macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2001
    I think looking at overall xbench score is VERY VERY bad way of measuring performance. There are lots of tests in xbench, you must see what is causing slowdown.. probably HD or something.
    Your PowerMac boots up faster because it has faster HD and I don't know about photoshop performance but try some other things like iTunes encoding or this flash test I am sure Powerbook will be faster.

    Edit: Is your PowerMac perhaps dual processor?
  22. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    i fixed, couple of settings were set wrong, im getting a nice 72.

  23. skymaXimus thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2003
    No, its not a DP.

    I ran xbench on the Sawtooth this afternoon and the PowerBook blew it away in all but 2 or 3 categories. I'm happy about this, but if this is the case then why does it loose in photoshop?

    here's a link to the comparison between the two machiens.
  24. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    I just see the performance decrease a bad thing that is unavoidable
    when dealing with laptops. THey will always be slower than their
    similar, and even older, desktop counter-parts.

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