Things I've noticed after 1 month w/my PB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by TheMonarch, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    I got a 17" 1.67 GHz PB!!! Its so awsome!!! but there are many things I've noticed that I feel are strange (technically I'm a "switcher", but I've been using macs ever since I could remember but never owned one).

    #1: I noticed that OSX has some weird RAM usage. For example, dashboard, lets say I'm using a sticky, EVERY instance of a sticky uses ~7MB of memory. 7!!! Its text! Why would a tiny simple note need 7MB?! On top of that, its virtual memory is ~214MB!!! WTF? For a tiny note? The calculator takes 5MB! and 214MB virtual mem! (On windows the calculator is only 2.5MB and ~765k virtual mem and it does more than the dashboard calculator. I dont get it. It almost seems like a waste of memory to me, but whatever (I have 1.5 GB of ram), and I love dashboard.

    #2: My new PB has this weird headphone symptom where >sometimes< it still thinks headphones are still plugged in even thogh I took them out, thus no sound comes out of the speakers. It seems to be half a hardware issue and half software, because if I plug in the headphones half way, the sound comes back. But if i close the PB, then open it up again, it works. I don't know why, but it does. If it starts doing it EVERY single time, I will send it back, so its not too big of a deal, but bothersome. I was wondering if this is common.

    #3: For those of you that use the Air traffic control widget. I've noticed that when it reports a signal less than 50 (which Im assuming is half) the airport status icon on the menu bar still reports full stength. Im wondering if its supposed to be like that? Whats going on?

    #4: Is there anyway I can adjust a server timeout myself? If for whatever reason a server dissconnects, my PB will just sit there and wait for a looooong time, until I finally get a dissconnect dialog. Sometimes I just force a restart because I'd rather not wait.

    #5: I've also noticed that even if my PB is just idling, its CPU usage is well past 20%. What could it possibly be doing?

    I love my new PB, but I wish I knew why all of this happens. Thanks in advance
  2. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005

    I asked my Apple store why I was getting 30% signal strength but had 4 bars. They said it was based on through-put now.

  3. zen.state macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    welcome to mac ownership :)

    about the ram concerns.. you have 1.5 GB ram so its totally normal for something like that to use as much as 7mb or more even. i'm pretty sure its a unix thing (or is it something apple brought to their unix? anyway..) to speed things up by making sure an app has all the ram it needs and more. stops the cpu from having to go back for more.
  4. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Congrats :) I love my PB... wish it was as new as yours!

    * RAM usage in OS X is a complicated thing. It's a great virtual memory system, but the numbers you see aren't necessarily what the app is really using. Virtual memory especially isn't REALLY being used generally... I know this because the total VRAM used by all my apps well exceeds the space on my HD :D

    * Test with other brands of headphones. I've never heard of that issue with PBs, but I've heard that the shape of the plug in some brands can cause some weirdness with iPods. If other brands are fine, then getting your port replaced may not help. Instead, consider putting a dab of dry glue or something on your headphones' jack to hold it out a tiny bit.

    * I know what's taking up 15% CPU in my case... Activity Monitor itself :D That doesn't mean it needs that much, but some apps will take what they can get. Suggestion: run Folding@Home and put 100% of your PCU to good use saving lives with science :) There are various Mac teams, even--including the local MR team:
  5. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I also have a question.

    I purchased my laptop in Feb. The hard drive on this thing is kinda loud do you or any of had this problem. The noise is on the left side of the laptop, which I guess is where the hard drive is. I had apple replace my old pismo PB hard drive about 3 years ago, so I was wondering if I could get them to replace it with a different hard drive. I mean $2,400 dollars and I would expect it to be silent. I thought they put in a hard drive with liquid bearings but it doesn't sound as if it does...

  6. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    My friends brand new G5 iMac has this exact same problem
  7. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004

    That's odd. My powerbook's harddrive is virtually silent. The only time you can here it is when you're in a really silent room and you're sitting close to the powerbook. The only annoying thing about it is that every now and then when the head parks (i read here that is what is happening) it makes this weird sound as if somebody drops a marble from a small height. Besides that the harddrive is very silent indeed.
  8. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    That happened to me to a while ago back in the good old days of panther. I would also sometimes after i plug in head phones and i plug in speakers, i would get static and would have to restart/put to sleep - then wake it up... weird but it only happened a few times, and of course when i brought it to apple it didn't happen
  9. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    Actually my HD used to make that marble dropping sound however it went away. Now I get the constant noise from the HD. Does anyone know where the HD is located on the 17" PB?? This noise is getting to be annoying...

  10. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    It should be on the front left-hand corner of your computer as you face it. It should definitely not be that loud -- this could be a sign that the HD is about to fail. Definitely get it fixed!

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