Real World Macbook Responsiveness

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Accollon, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Accollon macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2006
    What is the real world speed/reponsiveness like on a Macbook? I currently have a PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz - 1.5 GB RAM - and feel as though my machine is not responsiveness enough for me. I use it in a business environment and just find it too slow. I do push the machine as in having a lot of programs running. Typical Day.

    • Virtual Desktop Running - 2 desktops - Run RDP in full screen in one and use all OS X apps in the other
    • RPD full screen to my Windows Box
    • iChat
    • Microsoft Word
    • Mail
    • Safari
    • Quicksilver
    • Growl
    • Omni Outliner - Kinkless KGTD
    • iCal
    • Devonthink
    • Journaler
    • Multiple Widgets

    I multitask a lot and the point of my computer setup is to be able to input and output information quickly - hence usage of quicksilver and KGTD to improve workflow. The speed issue I have is doing the key combo for Quicksilver and then waiting a few seconds for it to launch, and then a couple more to actually have it be active, I switch to dashboard and wait ten seconds. Switching between programs can stall for a while. The waiting is starting to get really frustrating.

    I am planning on getting a MacBook once they are updated in the near future - with all the issues I have heard about I figure i will wait till Rev. B comes out. I will take it up to 2 GB of memory and would like to use Paralles to run Windows XP instead of RDP to a machine.

    For those of you that are currently using a MacBook do you think I will be happy with the upgarde? Any other suggestions to make it faster - 7200 RPM hard drive instead of 5400?
  2. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    It's hard to say. I can easily push my MacBook Pro through the RAM ceiling with several heavy apps and make it sluggish even with 2GB of RAM. I think you can do that even if you have a Mac Pro and 8GB of RAM, but it will require more effort of course.

    Safari, Photoshop and Netbeans tends to be the worst memory hogs of the apps I use.

    Word (especially since it has to run through Rosetta) and Safari will probably be some of the worst of the apps you mention. Safari isn't necessarily a memory hog if you keep your surfing contained in a few tabs, but I often get enthusiastic with my surfing and end up with 10 or more tabs and 10 or more additional windows.

    If you get a MacBook you're going to need 2GB since your pattern of usage is accustomed to 1.5GB on the less RAM hungry G4 laptop.
  3. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    Beds, UK
    I think a Macbook maxed out would suit your needs fairly well. Better than what you're getting now to some extent.
  4. mouthster macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2005

    I have a Powerbook 1.5ghz and I've found installing my operating system on a FW800 external drive has helped. When your multi-tasking between several programs your using a lot of virtual memory which creates disk swapping. I think in your case of usage the bottleneck is more the harddrive, then the CPU. I don't think the Macbook would be the magic bullet in your case.
  5. Accollon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2006
    I am in the process of clearing up some hard drives I have at home this weekend and will try booting off a firewire drive to see if does any better.

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