Powerbook Lags!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kanpachi, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. kanpachi macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    Is it just me, or do PBs lag on performance in general? I am using GarageBand to make music, and when I drag loop files into the playing area, it's pretty slow and choppy. Aside from this, when I try to resize a window, the motion is choppy as well. Is this normal? I have no other applications running. My setup is:

    1.5GHz PowerPC G4
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    80GB Hard Drive
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (64 MB DDR)

    I find myself hesitant to even do any music work on the PB anymore. The general feel of it is that I am operating in a choppy environment, as opposed to my PC (3.0Ghz HT/512MB/Intel Generic Video Card). I understand that there are some performance sacrifices when using a laptop, but it shouldn't be this significant in my opinion, especially since it's an Apple. :(
  2. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    Sorry if you have tried already, but just to be sure, have you checked Activity Monitor (in your Utilities folder) to see if some process is using an inordinate amount of processor time?
  3. AmnesiacOpera macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2004
    You also may want to check to make sure Processor Performance is set to Highest and not Reduced (When your PB is not plugged in, it defaults to Reduced to save battery power). To do this open up the Energy Saver preferences and click on Options and make sure "Processer Performance" is set to Highest.
  4. F/reW/re macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2001
    Resizing windows with much infromation is slow and choppy nomather what Mac you got. I got a G5 Dual 2.5 with 2GB ram and it's still choppy.
    Welcome to the Mac-world, "we" prefer visuals before performance... :(
  5. kanpachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the responses. I will try checking activity monitor and upping the processor setting to Highest. It's a bit disconcerting to hear that the Mac was designed purely for visuals rather than performance (even with a 2.5GHz dual processor and 2GB RAM, it's still slow when resizing windows?!) :eek:. I remember I saw DJ Sasha using a PowerBook to mix while he's on stage -- I would think that the operation would be smooth if that were the case? I thought that Macs were the ultimate multimedia machines for art and music. Oh well, do you think adding RAM would help?

    Thank you in advance.
  6. F/reW/re macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2001
    Don't get me wrong, Mac is a great and it's ten times better at multitasking!
    For graphics (Photoshop etc) I prefer Mac over Windows, but when it comes to Flash Windows is best. (Macromedia's fault making the OSX version so crappy!)

    I guess GarageBand needs some tweaking... Using my computer with Motion and non compressed film with audio it's supersmooth!

    I can live with windows resizing slow.. i dont do that all that much anyway. On Windows I would use much more time on making everything work than I use on resizing OSX Finderwindows, hihi
  7. kanpachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    So you're saying that the issue is with the GarageBand software? That's good news at least. I guess I'll have to invest in a program like Ableton Live -- hopefully that will work better. Thanks for your help!
  8. doowrehs macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2004
    Do go with Ableton Live if you can afford it (or even if you can't!). It really is a fantastic program for making and playing music - much better than Garageband in my humble... Garageband always seems like a CPU hog on whatever machine I've used, even more so than "pro" level stuff like Logic!
  9. zimtheinvader macrumors regular


    Jan 10, 2005
    the capitol
    Live!! +ext 7200 HDD +512mb+ more ram!

    all of Apple's "freebie" apps are poor performers, (intentional? maybe they are just not optimized to one machine in especial like the pro ones? I used to run iDvd on a G5 2Ghz (dual) and it used to freeze it! iMovie was actually MORE responive on my old G4 800!! As opposed to DVDSP/FCPHD which were each significantly faster and bulletproof-stability wise by comparison.

    Ableton live is an excellent performer, and (though I hate it personally) Logic is optimized for the G4. Soundtrack is a nice loop program as well, or Cubase SE if you're into the whole multi-tracking/midi thing is very snappy.

    A 7200rpm external drive which you could put your audio samples/recordings on would also probably give you a significant performance boost. Just to note, all of Live 4 (best loop program!! :) !)'s manipulations are done in real-time so it is not particularly lightweight on your cpu, ram ect. but w/ a new PB you should be fine. (A nice fast external drive and ram boost to 1GB+will help though!)

    I've not experienced that window-resize lag, even with a dozen apps open and I'm on a G4 800 (256L2 cache) 32mb video, 1024mb pc100... Maybe more ram is the answer?
  10. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    Mine doesn't slow at all. In fact it doesn't get choppy in any situations, i've never slowed it down..... well except on huge projects in motion. :rolleyes:

    I run Doom 3 at 1920 x 1200 (High, Everything on including FSAA) and i dont get any slow down.

    This is a very solid machine.... and i'm not sure why yours is going choppy......
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    My take on it is that 512 MB is just enough for the operating system and a couple of small applications--web browsing, mail, word processing. I have 768 MB in my PowerBook and it's not always enough to be smooth but it works. I would imagine if you see someone with money doing a demo, they're got the machine filled with RAM.

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