Current PB Performance Issue...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by $MacUser$, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Hello there,

    A few months back I purchase a top of the range powerbook with 1GB ram and everything else maxed out. It is a very nice machine...especially the software and aesthetics. However, recently I am beginning to question the performance.

    I haven't had any hiccups until just recently. I purchased an astrophysics program that accuratly models the night sky (and everything in it) on a particular date and time. I noticed that the computer is a bit sluggish when rendering the sky. Also, when you want to pan around in the view (ie: look at other parts of the sky) the computer really lags when rerendering the image.

    This has kind of thrown me for a loop, because for what I paid for this computer I would have expected it to run this program no problem. It could be an issue with the way the program is written, but I doubt it. I do only have one GB of ram, and this is an intensive program, so perhaps maxing out the ram would help?? I have entertained the idea of selling this PBook in favor of a new iMac, but I just cant sacrifice the portability.

    Any ideas?
  2. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    You may want to check Activity Monitor while running this program in order to get a feel for the level of resources it's really using.

    Obviously, if it's taking up over a gig of memory, then getting better performance should be as easy as adding more RAM. Otherwise it may just be too much for the processor and GPU to handle.

    If the latter is true, my advice would be to wait until the Intel PowerBooks come out. They will undoubtedly be capable of some serious heavy lifting.
  3. Gokhan macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2003

    yeah the computer will choke with intensive tasks its stil a g4 dont forget maybe more ram would help but the differnce will be minimal so its a g5 if u want top end performance or upgrade the hd to a 7200rpm drive to notice a good improvement also the graphics card is maybe a weak point as well !!

    good luck
  4. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Hm, I've got absolutely no performance issues with my 15" pb with 1.5 gigs of ram. And I'm doing quite a lot of intensive stuff using it as my primary machine working as a graphic designer and enjoying the occasional gaming. Is your particular program running fullscreen or in a window and can you perhaps lower its resolution a little bit or the detail level or something like that?
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    It's probably because the program was written for PCs and wasn't optimized for PPC. It works, but it isn't optimized, so it'll run faster on a PC. Its not that PowerBooks aren't generally fast computers (although I realize that compared to PC laptops today, they're a bit slower ;) ), as PBs are generally quite fast for most tasks. And if what I said was true, even buying a faster Mac (an iMac) will not make it work ultra super-duper fast.

    That won't be a problem when Macs go Intel, but for you at this current time, you're fooked. Sorry. :eek:
  6. neocell macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    Do you have the CPU setting in System Preferences>Energy Saver>Options>Processor Performance set to Highest? This would help if it's currently set to Automatic or Reduced
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I think that I would try installing another 1GB of RAM- it should help your PowerBook perform better/smoother all around.

    That, and/or slapping in a 7,200rpm HDD for faster load and save times.
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    This really should be the first step.

    Performance Monitor should be able to show you if the bottleneck is CPU, disk, or memory related, and you can upgrade accordingly from there. Everyone's advice to "upgrade this, upgrade that" is good, but unless you plan on upgrading EVERYTHING in your PB, you might as well upgrade what's actually causing the issue first.

    My guess is CPU. You pan around your screen and it's going to have to recompute where all of the billions of stars will be from your new perspective, no?

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