PowerBook Iinternet Speeds Compared to PC

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Evil Wolf, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Evil Wolf macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2004
    Hello everyone!

    First let me say that I currently am and have been a PC user. However, I am now and have always loved the design and quality of the Apple products in general.

    Here is my problem - I very much need to buy a laptop now. It will be my first. In a few months I also have to buy a new desktop too. I would love to get either the iBook or the Powerbook, and then later the iMac. However, I am a HUGE internet hound and a HUGE downloader of massive files and such. I currently have a cable 3mb down/1mb up connection, but I routinely get up into the 500KB/s stable downloads, which is well above the supposed cap i have. I used Speedguide.net's recommended Win XP internet speed tweaks.

    To me the Apple hardware products are far superior in design, looks, and durability. Unfortunately I do not want to take a hit in the area of internet surfing and download speeds. I have heard that Apple computers are not as fast in the internet/downloading arena as are comparable PCs. Mine is a 3-year old Pentium 4 with integrated 10/100 base internet and Motorola SB4200 cable modem.

    Basically, I love the Apple products, but will suffer thru another damned PC if I cant keep my current speeds. So does anyone know if what I heard might be true? Speed tests in stores like CompUSA arent accurate since their cable connection has a much higher cap than mine and because quite a few computers are hogging their conection.

    Any info would be appreciated!
  2. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2004
    Cadillac, MI
    I find that my Macs are much faster online than my PC. I would say you should be fine in terms of download speed - I doubt you'll lose any.
  3. Darwin macrumors 65816


    Jun 2, 2003
    round the corner
    Its fine for me too, not much difference in download speeds between the two computers
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    is the "speed of the internet" a function of the computer at all? i mean, beyond a certain computing level, i'd thought the bottleneck is the internet connection speed, not the computer..? :confused:
  5. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    it is indeed the Connection speed, but there are lot of factors to play with... RAM and how many applications you're running at the same time, processor speed shouldn't be an issue unless you compare a 233MHz iMac with a 2.4 GHz P4, but still I don't think it would be a problem... if you do a test under the same conditions

    Fresh booted computers (Mac & PC), there shouldn't be a difference ...
    I remember someone told me once

    -"Hey I got 11Mbps internet connection with the new laptop I bought yesterday"

    -Really what's the ISP?

    -I'm not sure, they will send me the papers soon, I got a box and they told me I can connect my laptop at 11Mbps at home, isn't that great?"

    Ohhh, poor guy, he spent 1300 EUR in a P4, 3 Kg, with a PCMCIA card and win xp home plus 1 year internet connection at 768 Kbps :rolleyes:
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Same here. I thought it depended on the type of ethernet card you had and possibly the RAM, but other than that, it didn't depend on the system. I once had a P133MHz and an Athlon 1.3GHz, and they both download at the same speed. I saw no increase in "download performance" with the new system.
  7. volfreak macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    My test today

    I just ran a few tests with internet sites that guage your download speeds. here's what I got:

    2981 kilobits per second (PCPitStop.com)
    2.7 megabits per second (BandwidthPlace.coM)
    2471.2 k/s (CNET)

    I have a D-Link wireless access point with cable modem. I don't know what my max speeds are for the connectivity. I'm running 10.3.5 on an Al 15" powerbook, 1.5Ghz G4, 1GB RAM and using the latest release of the Apple Wireless software on an internal Airport Extreme card.

    So, i don't see that you will 'lose' anything. I find my networking to be faster than our PCs in the office environment.

    I hope this helps.
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    If you find that your speeds aren't acceptable, or even if they are ;), you can try Speed Download. It opens more connections to a server and you can get some crazy speeds on it.
  9. volfreak macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Other end plays in it as well

    Of course these are a given, but not a lot of people think about them:

    In addition to what everyone else has mentioned, the performance you're going to see is also greatly dependent on the networking and server at the other end. If that server is not dishing out the data/files/pages quick enough, that will also show in the d/l speed. Though it has absolutely nothing to do with the normal/max speeds one might usually see.

    In addition, depending on the bandwidth of your ISP, the more users that hop on could have an impact on speeds as well. High-traffic times may see slower speeds.

  10. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    The various tweak guides on the net are for users who are looking to eak out another .5 of a KB/s on their system. I've yet to see a major performance gain with any guide on the net.
    Speed wise your biggest bottleneck is going to be the software you use. Apple's hardware is going to be as fast as anyone else's because at the end of the day its simply just another computer under that pretty exterior. (With one exception and that is hard drive speed. You'd be amazed at how a hard drive can effect performance of a download esp when you are trying to do other work on your system while downloading. Thrashing a hard drive while downloading will effect performance. That is why getting a 4200RPM drive for your system is not a good idea. Stick with 5400 or if you want to be leet upgrade to a 7200RPM drive. They are available for laptops now and from what I hear Apple stores will upgrade the system for you. (You can't buy them preinstalled. :( )

    OS X's core is based on BSD which is a Unix variant. You can be assured that Unix and its various *nix friends have known about the net and been on it well before Gates and co "innovated" it. ;)
    The entire nature of *nix is based around TCP/IP the core of the net experience. So I can say with little doubt that OS X is going to be a solid platform for net use including downloads. But like anything there are most likely tweaks available for OS X that can nab you just a bit more speed. I would suggest googling OS X internet performance tweaks, getting your command line skills up to par, and if you have an Apple store in relative close prox to you might want to take a trip in and talk with them. These are geeks after all. They will know how to lay the smackdown on your computer and the best way to optimize its performance.
    Beyond the OS though your second biggest bottleneck is going to be your clients you use to download and use the net. Since IE is not longer available for the Mac, this is a good thing, your two biggest options are Safari and FireFox. I can't speak for Safari since I don't own a Mac yet but Firefox's rendering speed is DAMN fast. I've heard the two are pretty much equal in that regard. As for bit torrents and the like. Plenty of clients are out there and other P2P networks are supported on OS X. All in all I wouldn't worry.
  11. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Yes and no. DSL doesn't have the shared bandwidth problem that Cable has. Cable is a party line type setup. Typically most ISP's aren't going to have a problem on their end. Most are directly connected via fibre to one of the main net trunks. Now if you are going with some crappy mom and pop ISP who is running a 56K service out of their basement then sure.
  12. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    I have not seen any diffrence is internet/download speeds much, althou i find macs a bit faster when i have more then one thing is open (e.g itunes, burrning a CD and surfing the net).
  13. Evil Wolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2004
    I very much have to disagree with some here on the Speedguide.net tutorials. They absolutely increased my speed by about 150KB/s-200KB/s. No kidding! I know what my sopeed was b4 I did the tweaks and I know what is after. I saw it 3 times after various reformats. I'm not at all ignorant on PC's. Their tutorials involve lots of Windows registry additions, deletions, changes, etc and quite a few settings adjustments in other areas of Windows. Believe me it makes a big difference. Sometimes u have to tone down the tweaks so u dont go so fast that u get packet loss.

    I guess Ill have to get a powerbook to test out here next to my PC, but since I want the PB so much I really hope its as fast as my tweaked out PC.

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