Thinking of switching--back to a PC . . .

Discussion in 'Switch Stories' started by macktheknife, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. macktheknife macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    Note: I'm posting this thread in the "Switch Stories" forum because it is part of my own switch story.

    I became a switcher in January of 2002 when I eBay'ed my P3 800 MHz Dell Inspiron laptop and bought a 550 MHz TiBook. I still use PCs on a regular basis at work (a junky P2 400 MHz Compaq beige box) and home (a recently self-built Athlon 1800 XP PC). I have generally been happy with my decision to switch. OS X is a generally stable OS, the tight hardware-software integration makes "Plug and Play" a standard reality on Macs, and the TiBook's design is second to none.

    So why am I thinking of switching back?

    To me, it has boiled down to performance and price. I can't deny that my old Dell laptop was faster than my TiBook in almost every respect: start up, processing, etc. That my self-built computer blows away my TiBook goes without saying, but I cannot deny (to my disappointment) that my junky Compaq at work outperforms my TiBook in my tasks as well. Jaguar improved my TiBook's performance, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I have tried to clean out my Mac's useless startup files, etc., but no significant improvement in performance either. I am not a computer genius, but I am not a clueless dummy either--I've built my own computer and I am a Sun Certified Java Programmer. Yes, I am fully aware of the "Megahertz Myth," but I think Apple and Mac fanatics have carried this arguement too far.

    In the past few days, I've been looking online to look at alternative PC laptops that would be as light as my TiBook and still have acceptable performance. Here is a sample of what I have found:

    Sony VAIO PCG-GRZ660 Notebook (2.4 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 40 GB Hard Drive)

    Gateway 450 Series Notebook (1.8 GHz-M Pentium 4, 256 MB RAM, 30GB hard drive)

    Inspiron 600m Notebook

    Inspiron 8500 Notebook This one is a bit on the heavy and expensive side, but I've included it for comparative purpose.

    Now none of these computers have specs that are 100% similar to the current TiBook models. Some have bigger/smaller screens, more/less RAM, bigger/smaller video card, etc. The current 15-inch TiBook models range from $2,299.00 to $2,799.00. The PC laptop models I have looked at are cheaper, and their processor speeds range anywhere from 1.3 GHz to 2.4 GHz.

    If we assume that the PC models are faster (and I know that they are, Megahertz Myth or not), then anyone buying an Apple PowerBook is basically paying a premium for OS X and the design.

    At this point, I'm not 100% sure I want to do this when I buy my new laptop this summer. I use many different flavors of Windows and PCs, and a few quirks aside, I really don't feel that OS X is all that much better than Windows, not to mention that the latter feels much faster. I use both OS'es on a regular basis, so this forms my observation. There's a 60% chance that I will stick with a TiBook, and a 40% that I will go back. Thus, while it is likely that I will stick with Apple, there is a strong chance that I will not.

    I am looking for Macusers who use both OS X and Windows on a regular basis to weigh in on this. The experiences and observations of recent switchers are welcomed too. I like my TiBook, and I want to give Apple a chance at my money. However, I cannot deny that I am less than 100% satisfied with my Apple experience and that I am having second thoughts about my switch.
  2. Grokgod macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2002
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    Refrain from a serious error.

    I can certainly understand all your gripes and needs. I have found myself in this postion many times.

    For background, I work with universities and various people that use Pcheeses predominately.
    they always hate them and wish for soemthing else but balk at the prices and fears of MAC's

    I call them Pcheese's because of all the holes.

    SO , i do use both systems and have experience is fixing and working with both extensively.

    I had a tower that I was finally able to happily, sell! in my attempt to go all MAC , as soon as the PM's improve in the cost/performance ratio.

    Here are my AB and C's.

    I am an artist and have NEVER been more productive and contented with a computer than with my 800 Ti book.

    Is it slower than a Pcheese, yes it is.
    Do I care? Yes! Will i switch NO!
    I cannot think of returning to WIndows after working on so many cheap units that people use to check their emails.

    I fix computers, parttime.

    I find Windows fast but sad and ugly.
    All the time that i saved by not having to fix it with drivers has been translated to actual contented productive work!

    I hate the HOT and HEated, wind blowing, fan churning INTEL's and AMD's painful to even boot!

    Often I am forced to use Pcheese's and it is always a poor experience and reaffirms my faith in APPLE and the need to support them in a world where computers are of such import!

    I think that what you need a new AluBook.
    Your on a 500 Ti and I can understand your frustration with that unit and gulp at the thought of having to work on that CPU from the dark ages, not that 800 is all that, compared to a 2.4 that can sling WINDOWS against the crash wall in a millisecond.

    I think that since you already have a tower of cheese. Your best bet is to feel the experience of a newer Alubook or 1 gig Tibook.

    Under NO conditions are you too switchback!
    You will regret it,.. save your pennies and get a new PowerBook!
  3. foniks2020 macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2002
    Speed != Performance

    I don't know what kind of work you do but for me speed does NOT equal performance. Consistency and effective utilities do.

    I've found in my experience with both XP/2000 and OS X that it isn't the speed or the commercial software which determine how much work I can get done. Commercial software typically gives you what you expect and the hardware speed is relative to 3 months ago.... could you really get THAT MUCH more work done 3 months from now with the latest hardware? Maybe if you are rendering video or editing very large graphics, otherwise you the human are probably the bottleneck.

    Even when typing, unless you are copying something hand-written, you most likely take a few seconds at a time to compose before typing. Much slower than the slowest PC (Win or Mac). If you can type so damn fast and always know what you're going to type then how did you ever suffer through the last ten years?

    So to go back to consistency and utilities:

    My mac is really really great about networking... plug it into the network and blam, you're on. walk into a Starbucks and whizz-bang you're wireless... no worries, no problems, no hassle.

    My mac never has a virus, and doesn't even have to run nightly freakin' antivirus checks... once a week will do for me just fine thank you (mostly out of curiousity). It also has a real firewall that just works and won't block 'essential' services to the OS but will provide perfect security for my system.

    My mac has a real shell which i can find an unlimited amount of support for if I choose to use UNIX for doing maintenance or remote administation, etc.

    My mac has an awesome battery time and when I put it to sleep to conserve it wakes up instantly... doesn't take 5 minutes to 'log in' again like XP does.

    My mac supports many methods of scripting and development out of the box. No special installs no reconfiguring... just start coding.

    My mac can share information securely via several methods. It can also share info to the public if I so choose. Each method of sharing is explicit and behaves the way it is supposed to and there is very little configuration involved to get basic functionality.

    My mac recognizes the printer every time, no having to do the Add/Remove printer dance... and as long as a driver is available it will recognize any printer which is plugged in every time and use it every time. I can't tell you how many times I had to mess with the settings on an XP box to get it to recognize and actually print to the printer... in fact it ends up that XP needed 'two' printers, one to pretend was working and the other to actually send the print jobs to.

    My mac makes PDF files out of any document from any program, flawlessly or close enough. So very useful for saving information in a perfect format.

    This has been a small sample of the things my Mac can do. I'll simply say that Windows doesn't do these things anywhere near as reliably or effectively.

    The end result is that with my mac I can ALWAYS just sit down and start working and when I'm done I have a product I can print or share immediately.

    On Windows boxes I have regularly had to begin a work session by playing with control panels, various settings and checking to see if my network was really working and if not why, then often I'd have to restart or the system would crash in the middle of something... and finally when I had a final product I would foten have to take a zip disk to kinkos to get it on to paper or to e-mail it to someone because my system wasn't playing nice... for whatever reason.

    So to summarize, it really has never been the speed of the CPU that keeps me from getting work done, I got it done with 100 mhz, I can get it done with 1 ghz. It has always been the utilities that I count on to transisition the work work from me to the next person in line that takes the most time... that and blue screens ;-p though Apple hasn't always had the most stable OS either.

    So I'd advise you to think about the peripheral activities which directly impact how much work you get done and do your comparison there. Speed != Performance.
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I recently used a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 with 1.25GB RAM at work every day for about a month. It replaced a 400 MHz Pentium III. I have a dual G4/800 MHz with 1.5GB RAM at home.

    I am constantly impressed with the responsiveness of WinXP on one of these fast machines, although MS' intellisense gets in the way and slows things way down from time to time. I see Apple as having a long way to go to make the GUI part of their operating system fast.

    In day to day use of similar products, the Mac versions don't get in my way--they just work. Inconsistency is still a problem with Windows. I am still finding applications on Windows where I don't know what the shortcut keystrokes are for copy and paste. Is copy control-del, shift-del, or control-c? That's one of the reasons I started to use a GUI anyway.

    Operationally, I sometimes need to move a Zip drive or other portable device from one machine to another. Windows wants me to call an administrator to validate that I can add such a device, even if I've used it previously and unplugged it. Mac OS X lets it work.

    Yes, my machine is slower, but I get more done, more quickly.
  5. maradong macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2003
    You certainly got something why you want to switch back, and all those points of your article seem clear to me.
    But let me just add, that when you use an x86 archi use linux instead of windows, its much " snappier" faster, better looking and so on. After some time of messing up with the system , not knowing exactly how to do what you want to do, you will certainly like it.
    my 0.02$
  6. macktheknife thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    I think most of the opinions I've read are pretty fair. It is indeed easier to adjust network settings on OS X (I'm reminded of this everytime I plug my TiBook into our office's all-Windows network while my co-workers' laptops can't even get the Internet) and hardware recognition on OS X is second to none.

    While it is indeed true that Apple's support for open source software makes running Apache, etc. on OS X a snap, it is hardly difficult to install and run Apache, PHP, MySQL, Java (SDK and J2EE), etc. on a PC. I've installed them all easily on my PC at home, so I know it's not very difficult.

    I typically have many programs running while I work (both on a PC and a Mac): Excel for spreadsheet modeling or Word for word processing, an Internet browser (Safari on OS X and IE on Windows), and an Internet chat program. Running all three programs brings my TiBook to its knees (metaphorically speaking) and the fan suddenly kicks in with its humming whirl. It's been much better with Jaguar, but it's still a recurring issue. Add iTunes to this mix when I want to listen to some music and multitasking slows to a crawl. Let's not even bring up OS X's glacially slow Help menus. :rolleyes: I can do all this on my PC at work (the junky Compaq box) and open a few more programs (Acrobat and Lotus Notes) without any noticeable slowdown. Yes, indeed, performance does not necessarily equal speed, but it is an important facet.

    I suppose if one's line of work requires Unix or Linux then OS X is the way to go. I'm a finance consultant and economics researcher who mainly uses Excel and VBA for modeling and JBuilder for some programming on the side. Thus, I mainly live and work in a Windows world.

    I see both sides of the arguement. I really do. I know that OS X has many great features that simplifies computing and that my TiBook's design (the look, the features, etc.) generally make my computing experience pleasant. I have tried many things to improve my TiBooks's speed (repair disk permissions, clean up useless startup files, etc.). However, I cannot deny that work is much slower on my TiBook, and that I find myself being more deliberate in opening programs to avoid any significant slowdowns.

    Thanks for all the input. :)
  7. maxvamp macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2002
    Somewhere out there
    Hmmm How much??!!

    I am a switcher of two years, and believe it or not, I have a TiBook exactly like yours, and I to also use Office, and other things all at once on the TiBook. Also, like you, I have a home grown PC, a AMD 2600 WAAAAYYYYYYY overclocked.

    I would be curious to find out how much memory you have in your TiBook, as the only time I have seen what you describe is when I have run out of memory. The OSX swap file shows no mercy, and your machine drops to crawl when the memory is all gone.
    When I upgraded memory, I found with OSX that my system performs much like a Athlon 1.2 I use at work, and better yet, I have a PowerMac, that, as far as productivity, remains as productive as the 2600++++ .

    I am not suggesting that the Macs can keep up in pure hardware muscle, but I constantly find XP getting in the way. If it isn't software updates every week or so ( or more ) it is the very legitimate fear that if I install a new app on Windows, will something break. A recent example of this is that I tried Roxio 6 on my PC, and now, when I reboot, if I have a movie DVD in my FireWire connected DVR-105 Pioneer burner, the system basically blue screens. Uninstalling Roxio did not help.

    The biggest reason I switched, is that I was tired of the fears of installing apps, and MS updates that broke things. Only now is old application compatability becoming an issue. If you decide to go back, remeber that the criteria should not be speed of the machines, but the productivity of your work. In your Laptop's case, I would say you might have a resource issue with the TiBook.

    BTW: On my macs, I write code, and work with video via FCP and DVD Studio, I cannot afford to have apps and projects stop working for nebulus reasons. I

  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.

    I would suggest to you one thing to up your performance: a 5400 rpm disk drive with high volume read capabilities. I think it will change your opinion of your PB immensely.

    There are many things that affect Mac OS X performance, but mainly it's the lovely liquid effects and virtual memory. We can't fix the liquid effects, but a faster hard drive will improve performance quite a lot.
  9. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Hey there
    I use both a tibook (1st gen) 500 MHz, 512 MB ram, and an HP Omnibook xe3, 700 MHZ (I think). I need both, because I troubleshoot both pc's and macs at work. The pc is running Win2000 and linux. Although my pc laptop is a very nice machine, my tibook is my main machine, because it is easier to use. Hands down, it beats my pc in networking. I go from building to building, so this is important to me,because the ip ranges are different in each building. We have a lot of airports where I work, so, with built in wireless, it makes life easier.

    If your not happy with the mac, maybe a ram boost will help. Even with 512MB, sometime I think it can use a little more.

    I have played with newer versions of the tibook, and they are really nice. They are definately faster, and since you are thinking of switching, maybe getting a newer, used tibook.

    Oh, if you get a pc, laptop, try to get an HP, Omnibook, if they make them. They are very nice machines, with decent battery life.

    BTW, I was a pc person before I started working in a primarily mac using school district. After working on both, I think the mac is much better.
  10. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    i'm facing a similar situation as well. i got a 667 TiBook (Rev. C) with 768MB RAM when they were just released at the beginning of last year, and now i have to sell the TiBook cause i need the cash, and it's getting a bit old...

    i'm thinking of getting a desktop PC just for the meantime, until i can get a new TiBook, and also just so i can play Enter The Matrix!!:D

    i also have a Celeron 1.1GHz running WinXP, and although it's my brother's i use it occasionally, mostly for non-Mac games - C&C Generals, Freelancer etc. but when it comes to doing work on a PC (i'm a design, multimedia student) it's nowhere near as enjoyable and i find that the PC turns what i love into a rather boring task. i love my TiBook, OS X is just so much nicer to use. if i didn't have the cash problems i would gladly hold onto my TiBook, and wait for a while until probably a 1.5GHz PowerBook is released.

    but at the moment, especially considering the current world economic situation, it just seems like Apple value for money isn't there anymore. i mean, the PowerBooks were never a real bargain, but i guess this has to do with the ageing of the G4. as soon as Apple gets new processors in the PowerMacs and PowerBooks the situation of value for money will probably pick up.

    so i too am switching back to PC... and hopefully i will return when Apple fixes the PowerBooks and PowerMacs.:)
  11. macktheknife thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    Thanks for the replies from everyone. :) While I could probably swap the hard drive and/or add more RAM (I currently have 512 MB), I think I would be falling into the sunk cost fallacy. I've spent more than $2,700 on my TiBook, and I am not inclined to spend more money on the computer as it would be more economical to get a new machine.

    I have weighed both sides of the arguement, and after doing some more research into this issue, I am now leaning towards a PC. :( I think the arguement that Windows is buggier is certainly valid: I have enough experience with registry problems and corrupted dll files, not to mention the infamous Blue Screen of Death. Hardware compatibility is also another concern for those who use Windows, since you never know if Windows will recognize your mouse.

    Nonetheless, I think many of these arguements have been carried too far by many Mac users. Windows XP is far from perfect, but it does a good job generally with recognizing hardware and avoiding crashes (I use it extensively at work and home). The price and speed differentials are also factors I have considered.

    I have read a few favorable reviews on Intel's new Centrino processor for mobile devices and laptops, and I am intrigued. You can read one such review here.

    Don't worry just yet: I'm still waiting to see the specs for the next 15 inch TiBook, so I might ditch this reverse switch fancy yet. :)
  12. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Go to an Apple store or reseller of some sort and use all the apps on it you want. As far as I have seen nearly any of the new Apple products show very little if any slow down when using multiple programs no matter how many.

    I am currenty using Toast (burning a DVD), Safari, Mail, Apple Works, iTunes, and just a bit ago I was running Quake III Arena on top of all of it. Guess what my frame rates in Quake were down a wopping 4FPS. Oh and the big thing nothing crashed nothing hanged and the DVD finished and went to verify while all this happened. Yes I'm on a Dual/GHz/DDR PowerMac but this has been a very similar experience with all the new macs I have tried of late. I've tried a lot of them. I've visited the Apple company store, an Apple store in San Francisco, my local reseller, and a CompUSA all within the last month.

    Try before you buy. I think you will be surprised with the new hardware. Also remember the Macs you are testing at the local store have no RAM to speak of. Max out whatever you buy OSX will thank you and it doesn't cost much if you do it yourself.
  13. Apple][Forever macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2002
    it's nice to see a LEVELHEADED discussion about this topic, folks.

    Anyway, mack- I own an iBook 700, and my g/f owns a TiBook 500. My iBook has 640MB and hers has 768. I run Photoshop, Safari, Word, iChat, Mail, and iTunes concurrently all the time on both machines and notice no slowdowns. I realize that PCs ARE DEFINITELY FASTER (I just built one for a family member) but what you describe as your regular activities should definitely not bring a TiBook down. Before you plunk down a bunch of cash, check this:

    1. Did you just upgrade to 10.2 from 10.1, or did you do a reinstall? Try doing a reinstall from the CD, and let it move your user folder over. You don't have to reformat.

    2. Run the standard crapola- fix disk permissions, fsck, etc.

    3. Use a progam like MacJanitor to do the daily/weekly/monthly cleanup routines (since it's a notebook, I'm guessing it's not left on at night).

    4. Open up Terminal and type top. Look at the number of pageouts. Are you getting a lot of them? Might need more memory (but 512 should be enough for what you're doing).

    I fix a lot of machines... PCs are damn frustrating. I spent a couple hours last week trying to get 3 different printers to work on the same XP machine... turns out one of the printer drivers overwrote the standard Microsoft USB printing drivers, so I had to install them in a certain order for them all to work, and put one of them on the parallel port. Of course, none of this was documented.

    When I do consulting, people ask me what I personally use, and they're surprised, especially when I just rolled the Dells in their office that they asked for.
  14. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    These are all great suggestions and the bit about the pages outs reminded me of the memory leak caused by HP printer drivers. Make sure you have upgraded to the very latest HP drivers.
  15. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    great discussion

    I think there is a major point that is only dicussed subtly whenever any of the Mac vs. PC topics is every brought up.

    It all comes down to your environment. Just like Mr. Smith said in the Matrix, Humans are the only species on the face of the earth (not entirely true Beavers do this too) that change their environment or migrate or both to suit their needs/wants.

    Many of us co-exist in a dual platform world, it comes down to what environment you prefer to work, play, educate, explore (as in MS windows explorer), or find (out about: as in Finder) in.

    You are the one whom ultimately chooses!
  16. DuhMacDude macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2003
    Dude, just wait a while longer and buy a new TiBook later this year... Apple's going to come out with dual processor g4 notebooks, so its going to be much faster! Also, power pc 970 desktops are coming out a lil' later than summer as well as 10.3 panther, which is said to increase system performance by a lot.
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)

    Like wow man if I we were all to wait for all these rumors we none of us would have macs and very likely most of the rumors you have listed are just that just rumors.

    You can not compare what might be with what is. If you need a computer now you have to compare to what you can get now.
  18. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    My question is why do you think a Powerbook 1Ghz won't be any faster and more responsive then your 550Mhz TiBook? It is running at double the clock speed. You already have a couple of PC's why not just upgrade the old 550 with a new 1Ghz if you want better performance, but like OSX and the design. Besides the resale on your 550 will still be good, better then a 1 to 2 year old plastic PC laptop would be. Everyone dismisses Apple's Mhz myth theory as false, but then they come back and try to say, "No reason to upgrade a 1Ghz G4 is not any faster then a 550Mhz G4" I don't get it.
  19. ryme4reson macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2002
    Cupertino CA
  20. cathjock macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2002
    while i have occasionally experienced frustration with my 500 mhz tibook, i am a faithful mac user.

    I switched from a pc in 2001 (i had used macs from 1990 to 1998). i was tired of always having my computer crash on me, having to install drivers, the slow speeds, and the overall unpleasant and unproductive experience of using a pc. so i went out and bought a tibook.

    for the most part i have been satisfied. the os crashes rarely (i did have a problem a few months ago in which a broken top ram chip caused a crash whenever the os had to use this extra memory). i have found apples to be superior in every single area, including speed. this is how i look at it: my computer was announced in january of 2001 as the top of the line apple laptop. in order to accurately compare its performance, you must use a top of the line windows laptop that was announced in january 2001 (or close to it). one day, I decided to run a test- my 500 mhz 512mb ram tibook against a friend's 1.4 ghz 512 mb ram windows laptop. i loaded the same picture onto both computers and ran photoshop filters, using a stopwatch to compare times. my computer was 75% faster in every single test.

    While my tibook is "slow" compared to today's windows laptops, i would still stick with my tibook if given the choice of switching to a new windows laptop. windows is plagued by soooo many horrible flaws that it is not worth switching purely for a little extra speed. windows is not a good operating system- i have to use it every day, and every day i have problems from unresponsive networks, files misterously disappearing, and the computer deleting the hard drive while i'm working to the os telling me that i cannot start up my computer because a driver is missing. pcs are designed horribly- they are too big and bulky, they do not circulate air within the machine properly (which probably contributes to the computer crashing), and they are not truly portable, and if they are portable then it is at the sacrifice of an optical drive, usb, firewire, ethernet, wifi, pc card slot, etc. Tech support is not very good at any windows company.

    i could go on and on

    but the moral of this story is- while apples may not be faster, they are better in every other area.

    (though we should look foward to the 970 processor improving the mhz, or should i say ghz, gap)

    so stick with it!!!!
  21. cathjock macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2002
    "I have read a few favorable reviews on Intel's new Centrino processor for mobile devices and laptops, and I am intrigued. You can read one such review here."


    do you realize what the centrino processor is?

    its a low power/low speed pentium + a WiFi card

    wow! this sounds familiar

    thats because its basically and ibook- its what mac has been doing for the past 3+ years with laptops.

    apple's version of the centrino processor:

    g4 or g3/powersaving features of os 9 or 10.2/high capacity battery + airport card

    your paying extra money for a name when you buy the centrino processor. intel is copying apple (again). the only thing special about the centrino is that they are putting their slow processor and the WiFi card onto the motherboard together, instead of having a removable card like apple's (apple's strategy is better- it allows for upgrades where as with the centrino your stuck with the same 802.11b card for as long as you have the computer.)

    don't buy a centrino. its a waste of money.
  22. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    While I agree that the Centrino chip is hugely overhypedwhen has Intel ever copied Apple in the past? I think you are confusing Intel with Microsoft or somehow merging them into the same company.

    I have always been a Mac user but being a very computer literate person I am forced to repair friends and families PCs. This has caused me to learn more about them and I don't totally hate the hardware. I don't think Intel is evil and I don't think they should be put in the same boat as Microsuck.

    I think what Intel has finally done with the Centrino is admitted that the MHz hype is just that hype. They don't advertise the speed of the centrinos because the clock rate is down. They did this to save power but the chip is much more efficient so it is actually more powerful then the previous mobile P4s.
  23. macktheknife thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    The Centrino processor is based on a new architecture for mobile devices that uses less power and clock speed while achieving the same degree of performance of many Pentium 4 Mobile processors (the laptop version of the P4). Many websites--Tom's Hardware, Anandtech, and CNET--have reviewed the Centrino favorably. Given the economies of scale Intel is bound to achieve, the prices of the Centrino processors will probably decline rapidly going forward.

    Also, I believe your assertion that "apple's strategy is better- it allows for upgrades where as with the centrino your stuck with the same 802.11b card for as long as you have the computer" is incorrect. Apple laptops that are only "Airport Ready" can only use standard 802.11b cards. Apple laptops that are "Airport Extreme Ready" (currently only the 12 and 17 inch TiBooks) can only use the new 802.11g cards.

    The "Megahertz Myth" first got public attention when AMD began branding its Athlon chips with a figure (ex: "Athlon XP 1800") to demonstrate the comparable speed of its chips despite having a lower clockspeed. I think that the speed of Macs and PCs were comparable back in the mid-90s and that the Megahertz Myth held true then. However, in the past several years, Intel has basically sped ahead of the crowd, leaving AMD behind and Apple scrambling to put dual processors in its high-end machines. I think many Apple partisans have carried the Megahertz Myth a bit too far too, as some of these informal benchmarks suggest (here and here).

    I have also considered the new 1 GHz TiBooks, weighing them against some of the PC offers I had listed in my first post. I do not know whether the 1 GHz TiBooks will achieve the same level of speed as the 2.1 GHz P4M or 1.6 GHz Centrinos, but I am doing some research to get a rough idea. Also, the 1 GHz TiBook would not necessarily be twice as fast as my current 550 MHz TiBook--that would be a subset of the Megahertz Myth. As for the operating system, OS X is generally easier to manage than XP, but there are some issues (see Arstechnica's review here).

    I generally like OS X--I really do. I am just trying to make an educated and informed decision based on my needs. I am more than happy to pay top dollar for better performance, but after using my TiBook for the past +1 year, I am simply wondering if the "Apple premium" is worth it.

    Thanks for the comments. :)
  24. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001

    The "Megahertz Myth" is a myth it self, it can compensate 15% of the diference but you have to realize that all of us now about Apple lack of speed. We are togather in that boat.

    Now, all depends of what you are gonna do with your computer. Let me tell you I have 2 powerbooks G3 500 and they run so fine until I see the new ones. You have to realise when is the computer or when is you that need the speed because you wiil always are gonna feel frustrated and jumping from one platform to another if you do not really know what you want to achive with your computer.

    For example, I just was fooling around with iMovie 3 and iDVD 3 and I'm shock, even doing it in a dual 500Mhz G4. I know more speed would rock, I can not afford it now but it won't make my life more productive any way, may be 0.05%, my talent and ability using the machine and the software is the key.

    So, I can not recomend you to still under a Mac platform, I do can say there are lots of good things around here that can not be found in the PC word, of course depending of what you are doing with your machine.

    In my experiene I would like to have a PC for certaing things, it is not a sin you know but may be what you are looking for is the flexibility of booth worlds and that is it!

    Now, I just do not want to have a PC as my primary computer, those systems are too desorganize and messi. I'm even having some hard time switching to OSX that should be better than clasic but OS 9.2.2 is under my control and certain applications are not under OSX yet.

    To finish, it is not a hardware problem as you may think it is. The "what are you gonna do with" is a fundamental quastion to be asked.
  25. MacFan25 macrumors 68000


    Jan 5, 2003
    This is an interesting discussion. Here's what I think. Macs are expensive. They sometimes aren't as fast as PCs. But, OS X is definitley more stable than Windows. When it comes down to buying a PC or a Mac, it just depends on what you are using your computer for.

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