Why would a 1.33 iBook Geekbench faster than a 1.33 Powerbook?

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 5, 2011
807
141
There was a topic about the 12" iBook vs the 12" Powerbook on here a couple weeks ago that rekindled my interest in the Powerbook, so I bought one. It's in excellent physical condition. 1.33GHz processor, 120gb HDD, RAM is maxed out at 1.25GB.

Now I wasn't expecting speed but this thing is really slow, even compared to the iBook. I installed Geekbench 2.2.0 on both machines and the iBook turned in 701-783 points. The Powerbook meanwhile benched at 454, then 661 (fluke?), then 490. I thought it might be a heatsink issue so I spent today taking it apart and redid the thermal paste. That made a noticeable difference in the temp and fan speed but the Geekbench still came back in the 400s. Both machines were plugged in, with all apps quit, and I started the tests with the machines cool.

The only big difference I can think of is that the iBook is running Tiger and the Powerbook is running Leopard. Would Leopard really cause such a performance hit as to take away ~40% of the speed? The only other difference is the RAM but I don't think that extra 256MB would make that big a difference in a processor test right? So if Leopard is the issue, is there any reason NOT to downgrade to Tiger?
 

Project Alice

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
781
435
Post Falls, ID
There was a topic about the 12" iBook vs the 12" Powerbook on here a couple weeks ago that rekindled my interest in the Powerbook, so I bought one. It's in excellent physical condition. 1.33GHz processor, 120gb HDD, RAM is maxed out at 1.25GB.

Now I wasn't expecting speed but this thing is really slow, even compared to the iBook. I installed Geekbench 2.2.0 on both machines and the iBook turned in 701-783 points. The Powerbook meanwhile benched at 454, then 661 (fluke?), then 490. I thought it might be a heatsink issue so I spent today taking it apart and redid the thermal paste. That made a noticeable difference in the temp and fan speed but the Geekbench still came back in the 400s. Both machines were plugged in, with all apps quit, and I started the tests with the machines cool.

The only big difference I can think of is that the iBook is running Tiger and the Powerbook is running Leopard. Would Leopard really cause such a performance hit as to take away ~40% of the speed? The only other difference is the RAM but I don't think that extra 256MB would make that big a difference in a processor test right? So if Leopard is the issue, is there any reason NOT to downgrade to Tiger?
That is super weird. I usually get the same benchmarks, if not higher in Leopard than I do Tiger. I am curious about this, I want to test this out myself. I have both of these machines as well.

The only thing I could think of is a failing hard drive or faulty RAM.
 

Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,191
2,656
Lincolnshire, UK
Is this a new install of Leopard? Bear in mind that immediately after an install Spotlight will be indexing the HDD, also Software Update on default settings will be downloading all updates in the background.

It may just be a 'bad' install - I've experienced a few of those on Leopard, worst was a 1.5Ghz 12" Powerbook that was returning a Geekbench in the 200s - a new install brought it back to where it should be.

Yes, there will a surprising difference in benchmarks between Tiger and Leopard - as I noted here.

My own 1.33 12" scores 642 whilst my 1.33 12" iBook scores 645 - both are on Leopard, PB has 768Mb RAM whilst the iBook has 1Gb.
However, when it had Tiger, the Powerbook scored 804 (Geekbench 2.1.2 used throughout) so expect differences.

Benchmarks can be misleading and a low score can put a downer on your expectations - I've also found in some cases higher scoring machines feeling slower than lower scoring ones.
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 5, 2011
807
141
Is this a new install of Leopard? Bear in mind that immediately after an install Spotlight will be indexing the HDD, also Software Update on default settings will be downloading all updates in the background.
The laptop had a fresh Leopard install when I bought it. Its been a few days though so the updates are done and it should be done indexing. I'll try reinstalling Leopard on my own on the chance that something got messed up with the last install.
 

Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,191
2,656
Lincolnshire, UK
The laptop had a fresh Leopard install when I bought it. Its been a few days though so the updates are done and it should be done indexing. I'll try reinstalling Leopard on my own on the chance that something got messed up with the last install.
I used to have particular trouble with a torrent aquired "slimmed down" Leopard disk image...