MacBook Pro display-model performance issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ucdr2003, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. ucdr2003 macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2005
    I am looking to buy a new laptop for business and personal use, and was planning to buy the MacBook Pro 2.0GHz. I visited my local Apple Store today to try it out, and was absolutely shocked at the poor performance of the machines on display. Specifically, animated text in PowerPoint was incredibly slow when rendering in the slideshow, in many cases causing the computer to "hang" for 30+ seconds. When typing in both PowerPoint and Word, text lagged by a second or two. Is this kind of performance normal for the MBP? I experienced the same performance level on 4, freshly restarted MBP display models, plus an Intel iMac, which was slightly better, but not by much.

    The Apple Store reps assured me that this issue was due to some kind of security software, and said that the software caches "everything users do" to ensure a clean system wipe at restart. They also said that this software doesnt appear in Activity Monitor.

    Activity monitor was showing PowerPoint using 607MB of virtual memory, and another process (that I don't remember and have never seen before) using 1.2GB of virtual memory.

    I would really like to buy the MacBook, as I have been an Apple user for some time, but PowerPoint is somewhat mission-critical for me.

    Thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated.

  2. taylorpohlman macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2006
    This is not the case with my MacBook Pro (1GB memory, 2Ghzduocore). I run all Office software, typically have excel, powerpoint entourage and word open simultaneously, along with safari, Palm desktop, etc. The virtual memory for Powerpoint doesn't sound surprising - mine can be as large as 1 GB (remember Rosetta uses lots of memory to run PPC apps), but performance is good. Other stuff will also use lots of virtual memory (Java around 1GB, for instance) although it may be inactive. I'd look in Activity monitor to see how much real memory is being occupied, and what the CPU utilization is. I wouldn't get an intel mac with less than 1GB, 2GB probably better until they get more native apps.

    I can tell you, however, that I'm experiencing no performance problems with Powerpoint or other MS apps - they run a bit faster than on my old 1GHZ powerbook 17inch, and I just ran a slide show with good performance - note that there is a pause when a new function starts up (few seconds) but then no problems after that. Whatever is running on those Macs along with Powerpoint at the Apple store must be the problem. One thing to check is if they are doing heavy network access/file copies - that could have some effect, otherwise, something is wrong, 'cause I'm not seeing the problem.

  3. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2006
    So did you reboot to a clean system and retry those things?
  4. ucdr2003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2005
    Tried doing that a few times. Rebooting didn't have any effect, though I had no way of disabling the store's security software, if it in fact exists.

    FYI, here's what I used as a demo/test in PowerPoint:
    1. Create new presentation
    2. Apply the first listed slide design scheme from the formatting palette.
    3. In the main text box, create 3 lines of "test test test test" text.
    4. Add "Flip" entrance effect as a custom animation.
    5. Run the slide show.

    Tried this on my PowerMac and on a friend's iBook 1.42GHz and both ran it without a problem. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with an Intel Mac.
  5. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    When I visited the Charlotte Apple Store last week they did in fact have some weird monitoring program running on the MBPs. I can't recall the name but the icon has a bears head on it. If you were to double click on the 'Macintosh HD' on the desktop the bear icon appeared over it and then the Finder window appeared. Sorry I can't be more helpful but it I don't think they were lying to you.
  6. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2006
    Hmm...well, based on what people have said in this forum, it's shouldn't be a problem on customer machines...I think I saw a review that said it was about the same speed as a 1GHz G4 PowerBook....

    I expect that trying to keep display model machines going is quite a pain in the ass...I didn't even know they had such a's kind of neat actually.
  7. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    Is powerpoint running under rosetta? That sounds like the kind of issue caused by rosetta running out of RAM.
  8. jacobj macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Have you thought about getting keynote and saving the presentations as PowerPoint files. I have never had a problem doing this and, in fact frequently edit work powerpoint files in keynote. I just prefer the UI and therefore leave PP alone unless needed.

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