Computer booting instantenously?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by srobert, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. srobert macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2002
    I was just wondering if that was possible. I'm really no teckie so I haven't got the slightest idea why a computer takes time to boot. Is it theorically possible to design a coumputer instantly? Like, just press the power button and BAM! you got a working desktop. I'm not talking about waking the computer from sleep here.

    Gaming consoles boot somewhat faster and they're more and more complex and alike computers. What makes a gaming console boot that fast? Lack of complex process'?

    Anyone care to educate me?
  2. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    A computer booting is loading all of the data off of the Hard Disk and into RAM. Since RAM is not lost at sleep, waking from sleep is much faster because it only has to load operating system from RAM. Information stored in RAM is lost when the computer powers down, so it must be reloaded off the Hard Disk in order to boot up. If the RAM were built using high-speed solid state memory instead (extremely expensive, and still nowhere near as fast as 1996 RAM was), it would not lose the data on shut-down, and a computer could then cold boot as fast as it wakes up from sleep.
  3. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2002
    Then, as RAM speed increases, booting speed increases?

    Don't the G5 have faster ram than G4 used to?
  4. sparky76 macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2003
    There are Windows mchines with the OS in ROM which boot instantly. The down side is that the OS is much harder to update (which is increasingly important to avoid viruses).
  5. doctorhook macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2003
    Venice, CA
    MRAM would be the right stuff

    Thanks to nanotechnology, IBM will be bringing out MRAM memory chips which do maintain information after shutdown and hopefully the Apple/IBM partnership will make Apple the first manufacturer to be able offer machines with this advanced feature.
  6. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    Not necessarily. Loading the OS from disk would be slower than the RAM.

    The reason game consoles boot so quickly, is that they do not have to support a very interactive user interface.

    Think of all the things you can do on a PC, but can't do on a console. Printing, wireless, faxing, copying files over the network, installing programs, saving data, downloading things from the internet, and instant messaging are some of the things a computer has to support.
  7. Mr. MacPhisto macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2003

    Not really. Even with extremely high speed RAM there is always something that drags a computer down. In this case it would be the hard drive. The RAM is forced to wait on the HD while it loads data into memory. The same goes for the processor, which is slowed by the RAM and the HD because both function slower than it does - so you always lose clock cycles. Faster RAM does improve this - as does cache (L1, L2, and L3) and the Serial ATA drives of the G5 also improve this as well - as does the front side bus speed which always for faster transfer across the board.
  8. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    Get a Mac Classic 2 with Mac OS 6.0 and you won't have to wait.
  9. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Yep...fact is unless you go Ultra 320 SCSI, and even then, the system is STILL slowed down by hard drives.

    Most people's PATA drives max around 40-60MB/s of sustained read--that is nothing compared to the 3,200MB/s that common ddr400 is getting these days.

    SATA's aren't dramatically faster, and hardly hit their max "burst" of 150MB/s. If they did, there would be no need for Raid would there :)

    Nonetheless the Hypertransport ATTEMPTS to speed everything through--but again, the HD is slow, slowing the data send to ram...and thus the cpu.

    Most boards now lock the PCI bus to prevent the overclocking of the FSB (and thus memory bandwidth) from interfere with your HD's and PCI cards than run through the Southbridge.

    Intel i believe has a completely different channel for its IDE devices.
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    8-bit systems rarely had to wait longer than 5 seconds to boot because the operating system was in ROM. Of course, if you needed to use diskette drives with the machine, it took another minute or so to access the D.O.S. from the diskette.

    I see the day coming when there will be secure memory to hold the operating system out of the way of a virus' reach and you'll be able to put your data in your wallet for use in any computer.

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