Speed comparison...?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by preyingmantis, May 27, 2004.

  1. preyingmantis macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2003
    I've got a 700 MHz G3 iMac and I'm thinking about upgrading to the 1.5 GHz 15" Powerbook, and I was wondering what kind of speed increases I could reasonably expect. Would the Powerbook be twice as fast than the iMac (since it's about double the MHz)? More/less than double as fast?

    I work a lot with Photoshop and the iMac is starting to show its age there. Now, I know a lot of that has to do with the graphics card, but at least some of it has to do with the processor speed, right? And what about programs that don't rely so heavily on the graphics card?

    Any links which show comparisons or any first-hand anecdotes would be much appreciated. Thanks :)
  2. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    just put a LOT of RAM in there.
    Like the maximum number, or even more if at all possible. Honestly, its all about th RAM ;)
  3. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    Look Here

    its the highest score G3/700 imac vs. the highest score 1.5ghz pb

    the powerbook scores just under 5.5 gigaflops! thats quite impressive for a laptop.
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Having photoshop perform well has next to nothing to do with your video card. It's all about moving large amounts of data round as fast as possible. For this reason RAM (to store data, can be accessed far quicker than HDD), CPU (to process data/filters), BUS (a faster BUS speed means data can move around quicker inside your system), and HDD (faster drives will of course be able to be read from/wrote to quicker) are the most important factors.
  5. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    I have a 400 MHz G3 Pismo powerbook, and I just bought a 1.33 GHz 15" powerbook. Here is a rough comparison of the speeds:

    | Pismo | New PB
    Start Up | 92s | 54s
    Shut Down | 11s | 12s
    Launch Word | 11s | 7s
    Launch Dreamweaver | 17s | 7s
    Safari Render CNN Front Page | 5s | 4s
    Animate Local Radar Loop from | 51s | 45s
    National Weather Service (Safari)

    They are both running 10.3.4 (I just updated). The pismo has a 40 GB 7200 rpm HD that has 2 GB of space left, and 384 MB of RAM. The new powerbook has a 60 GB 4200 rpm with 35 GB left, and 768 MB RAM.

    Four or five seconds to launch or render this or that doesn't sound like a lot, but this computer definitely feels a lot faster than the pismo. Probably not twice as fast, but noticeably faster.
  6. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    Your 1.33 ghz takes 54 seconds to start up? That sure seems like a lot...my Pismo 500 MHZ can do it in about a minute. Are you sure that is accurate? It just seems like a lot of time. or it could just be the G4 processor
  7. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    Actually, I think it has more to do with the hard drive. I measured the 54 seconds twice - the first time about 2 weeks ago (when I had 10.3.3), and again today after I updated to 10.3.4. It is consistant with what BareFeats found, too, with the 1.5 GHz version (http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html).

    Maybe the surprising thing is just how long it takes my pismo to start? A minute and a half seems like a long time. I can shut down and restart my AlPB faster than the pismo can just start.
  8. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    maybe your hd is faster. have you upgraded the hd on it? even new laptops come with slow drives.
  9. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    34s to start up. :rolleyes:

    anyways, listen to Ubergeek, RAM helps alot.. though i did just bump my processor by 75%, photoshop does take less time to launch and run filters
  10. preyingmantis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2003
    Thanks, this is all very helpful :)

    So assuming I go with the Powerbook, I'll upgrade to the 512 RAM 1 DIMM and then probably buy another 512 DIMM from someone else. Even though it would cost a lot more, would it make sense to upgrade even further and try for 2 GB of RAM? How much of a difference would the extra RAM past 1 GB make?

  11. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    I went from an iBook G3 600 to the new 1.5Ghz G4 PB and all I can say is... wow!

    First off, I must second the person above who said the increased video card will only make a slight difference to you in day to day findings. I am pretty sure the 700Mhz iBook has a 16MB VRAM video card. Since OSX and Quartz Extreme shuffles some of the window drawing off to the video card, and your card is the bare minimum for it (I think), you will notice a difference in window speeds, etc. Photoshop is intensive in 3 main areas, however. They are RAM, CPU / Bus Speed, and Hard drive speed.

    In these 3 areas you are going to not only more ram, but FASTER ram. You are going from a 4200rpm hard drive to the 5400rpm hard drive (make sure you BTO for it), which Barefeats has shown to have a noticable increase in speed, and finallly you are doubling the CPU speed, increasing the bus speed from 133 to 167, and going to a processor that has ALTIVEC.

    All of these things together will make a BIG difference in Photoshop performance. I noticed it for sure.

    On top of that, having the 4x Superdrive rocks, and getting the ATI 9700 video card with lots of VRAM is great for games. I am currently playing Call of Duty, Jedi Academy, and Halo.

    Go for the upgrade dude, you won't regret it at all.

    One final note, going from 1024 x 768 to 1280 x 854 resolution is HUGE in Photoshop. That extra couple of hundred pixels means all of your pallettes are in a good spot and you aren't moving them around all the time. I am not sure what your iMac has for screen res, but the jump for me was great!

    Go for 1GB RAM, 128MB VRAM, 5400rpm HD, Superdrive... enjoy!


  12. Wyrm macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    Toekeeyoe, Japan
    I went from 512MB to 1GB and could REALLY notice the difference... if you run top (or anything else to see memory) you can see the amount of memory usage. Unfortunately Apple rapes you for additional memory, so almost any other vendor is better (www.memoryx.com is where I bought mine; they sell the Samsung memory that Apple uses and they ship to Japan - much cheaper than Apple). If you use lots of Apps (Photoshop for example is a big memory pig, as is Virtual PC) then you will notice a difference going to 2GB (you notice the difference as soon as virtual memory is swapped).. but 1GB is almost 4-5 times the price of 512MB - so only if money is no object. I'm pretty happy at 1GB, but I wouldn't consider myself a POWER user. I think your battery life suffers too, I don't have any experience with the 1GB Sodimms, but they consume more power.


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