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Animations WAAAY smoother in Snow Leopard?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but I picked up my copy of Snow Leopard today and I know it is supposed to be faster, but sheesh!

My animations like the dock items magnifying, windows genie shrinking, etc are just WAY WAY smoother. I don't know how to really explain it because it wasn't like it was really slow before, but they are just much smoother. Finder windows also seem to just POP onto the screen much faster than before.

This is a 2007 Santa Rosa Macbook Pro, 2.4 Ghz 15.4" model with 2GB Ram and an 8600GT.

Has anyone else noticed this? I suppose my Leopard install could have just been running poorly for whatever reason.

I did not do a clean install, this is just popping in the Snow Leopard disc and upgrading my existing system. The install took approx 1 hour, maybe 1 hour 15 min.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miykael View Post

I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but I picked up my copy of Snow Leopard today and I know it is supposed to be faster, but sheesh!

My animations like the dock items magnifying, windows genie shrinking, etc are just WAY WAY smoother. I don't know how to really explain it because it wasn't like it was really slow before, but they are just much smoother. Finder windows also seem to just POP onto the screen much faster than before.

This is a 2007 Santa Rosa Macbook Pro, 2.4 Ghz 15.4" model with 2GB Ram and an 8600GT.

Has anyone else noticed this? I suppose my Leopard install could have just been running poorly for whatever reason.

I did not do a clean install, this is just popping in the Snow Leopard disc and upgrading my existing system. The install took approx 1 hour, maybe 1 hour 15 min.

This is my experience as well and with the same machine (except 4GB). So far I'm very happy. Have you noticed how quickly it comes out of sleep when you open the laptop? My display is on before I get it fully opened and it connects to my home network in roughly 4 seconds.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miykael View Post

I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but I picked up my copy of Snow Leopard today and I know it is supposed to be faster, but sheesh!

My animations like the dock items magnifying, windows genie shrinking, etc are just WAY WAY smoother. I don't know how to really explain it because it wasn't like it was really slow before, but they are just much smoother. Finder windows also seem to just POP onto the screen much faster than before.

This is a 2007 Santa Rosa Macbook Pro, 2.4 Ghz 15.4" model with 2GB Ram and an 8600GT.

Has anyone else noticed this? I suppose my Leopard install could have just been running poorly for whatever reason.

I did not do a clean install, this is just popping in the Snow Leopard disc and upgrading my existing system. The install took approx 1 hour, maybe 1 hour 15 min.

What version of OpenGL does it say it's running? You do also benefit from OpenCL.
post #4 of 15
Animations are definitely smoother, but there are still some graphics bugs when switching apps. Sometimes I see an image I viewed in Preview 3 minutes ago briefly in the Safari "Top Sites" area when I go into it... stuff like that.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Where can I check my Open GL version?

I didn't see anything in System profiler.
post #6 of 15
I didn't notice the animations being any smoother as I turn them off anyway and accelerate sheet roll outs. There are definitely some nice speed improvements like mounting large disk images is fast as well as viewing folders with lots of files. In Leopard, I tested a folder with 20,000 files and it took 8 seconds to view. In Snow Leopard it takes under 2 seconds.

Icon generation is faster but I still got a delay on the Utilities folder.

Quicktime X definitely uses less CPU. A HD H264 movie I played in Leopard used 20% CPU vs 10% in SL. This will matter if they include Blu-Ray in their laptops.

H264 encoding doesn't seem to be any faster though.

The size reporting is a bit off-putting. My 4GB Ram is reported as 3.75GB. My hard drive space is correctly reported as being higher. This is one area where users will have to watch because Apple are reporting that SL will give you back 7GB of space. It may only look like you are getting back that much because my 90GB free space showed up as 97GB in SL.

They changed the notation so all the GB sizes go up by 1.0737. My Ram should have stayed the same though.

When you upgrade to SL, be sure to note your old free space, then divide the new value by 1.0737 and note the difference. Don't compare the new one to the old one directly.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The size reporting is a bit off-putting. My 4GB Ram is reported as 3.75GB.

Presumably you have integrated graphics such as the 9400M? The missing 256 MB RAM will be that that is allocated to graphics memory. A good move by Apple IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

This is one area where users will have to watch because Apple are reporting that SL will give you back 7GB of space. It may only look like you are getting back that much because my 90GB free space showed up as 97GB in SL.

They changed the notation so all the GB sizes go up by 1.0737. My Ram should have stayed the same though.

When you upgrade to SL, be sure to note your old free space, then divide the new value by 1.0737 and note the difference. Don't compare the new one to the old one directly.

Say what? This is very significant news. They are now using "real" GB? Whereas before they used GiB but said they were GB.

Presumably this means that all of your files look like they've got bigger?
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Presumably you have integrated graphics such as the 9400M? The missing 256 MB RAM will be that that is allocated to graphics memory. A good move by Apple IMHO.

Ah, I hadn't thought of that. That is a good change. A note somewhere in the Activity Monitor would have been nice though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Say what? This is very significant news. They are now using "real" GB? Whereas before they used GiB but said they were GB.

Presumably this means that all of your files look like they've got bigger?

Yes, all the files appear bigger. In the Get Info box, the size is reported to be the same as the size in brackets. So in Leopard you see:

26.3MB (27,582,018)

in SL, you see:

27.6MB (27,582,018)

List views etc all show file sizes larger than in Leopard.

Disk Utility shows the proper size of the drives so you get 250GB instead of 233GB in Leopard.

Oddly itunes still uses the old sizes of files so itunes lists files smaller than the Finder. It might not cause too much confusion though and might be fixed in a newer version of itunes.

Overall, I like the move. They should never have used the notation of 1 million = 1024^2 bytes in the first place.

A lot of reviewers are pointing out they have gotten over 7GB back after installing SL. They might actually not have gotten any space back after they account for the new notation.

A couple of other notes, Stacks animation is way smoother, same with coverflow. They changed stacks so that it doesn't do the icon shuffle animation when it reveals, it just scales up, which is how it's so much smoother and being able to go through hierarchies is handy although the navigation elements move so it's not very efficient.

Maya's vector renderer is listed as being the wrong architecture, which doesn't happen in Leopard.

I'm going to try running some benchmarks.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

A lot of reviewers are pointing out they have gotten over 7GB back after installing SL. They might actually not have gotten any space back after they account for the new notation.

A lot of people claim they have reclaimed disk space ranging from 10 GB to 20 GB. Even if you take the new notation into account, it's still much more than 7 GB Apple claimed.
post #10 of 15
I didn't really see much disk space reclaimed -- but then I used Monolingual on Leopard, and I think that probably accounts for why. Not that disk space is really that big of a deal to me -- I have my iTunes library on a 1TB external FireWire 800 drive. The performance from that drive has been very good under SL so far.

Even on this 2007 1st-Gen Aluminum iMac, things seem a bit snappier. I don't notice much better animation, but then, this Mac has the Radeon 2400, which from my understanding doesn't get any benefit from OpenCL. There are a few other lags -- but I'm thinking it's due to some legacy software running in the background. I'm thinking about doing a "clean sweep" and unencumbered install of SL when I don't have as many deadlines in the near future.
post #11 of 15
I installed as an upgrade, it didn't feel any snappier (mind you, I used it for a very short time). So I decided to do a clean install and notice a HUGE difference. I highly recommend a clean install, it feels so snappy that I can push back a hardware upgrade for a year or so. It wasn't bad or anything, I do have a C2D (about 3 years old) but was thinking for video editing (minor stuff, ie baby). iMovie works like a dream. This was definitely worth $35!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Overall, I like the move. They should never have used the notation of 1 million = 1024^2 bytes in the first place.

Exactly!

The problem could be solved by using the proper KiB, MiB, GiB etc. notation when talking about powers of 1024.

I am dumbfounded that not a single tech reporter has talked about this change in Snow Leopard, because whilst it's a good move, it's only a good move if you make the user aware of the change, and only if you're consistant across the OS. Your example that iTunes still uses the "wrong" definition of MB/GB is not acceptable IMHO and will lead to confusion. Another issue is that Windows also uses the wrong definition. So you transfer a load of files to a Windows machine and you're left scratching your head as to what went wrong: you're sure you copied all the files, but you can't have because Windows says there's not enough data.
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post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miykael View Post

I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but I picked up my copy of Snow Leopard today and I know it is supposed to be faster, but sheesh!

I did my update Friday afternoon and have to say I'm very pleased with the improvements. A lot of people have discounted the significance of this upgrade but for me it is more than worth the money. In my case it was a bigger upgrade than many because I went with the box set. That upgraded iLife for me and installed iWorks new. I'm not sure about the value of iWork but do like the iLife upgrade. In fact I'm wondering if keeping Apeture around makes sense.
Quote:
My animations like the dock items magnifying, windows genie shrinking, etc are just WAY WAY smoother. I don't know how to really explain it because it wasn't like it was really slow before, but they are just much smoother. Finder windows also seem to just POP onto the screen much faster than before.

I think the word you are looking for is fluid. Running the cursor along the dock reminds me of the surf down at the lake. It is very wave like.
Quote:

This is a 2007 Santa Rosa Macbook Pro, 2.4 Ghz 15.4" model with 2GB Ram and an 8600GT.

Mine is a similar 2008 model. Very impressive and it will extend the machines life.
Quote:
Has anyone else noticed this? I suppose my Leopard install could have just been running poorly for whatever reason.

It is all real. I have noticed glitches but for the most part we are talking the snappy. I do mean snappy too, it is fast enough to impact your usage of the machine.
Quote:

I did not do a clean install, this is just popping in the Snow Leopard disc and upgrading my existing system. The install took approx 1 hour, maybe 1 hour 15 min.

Nice! I think my basic SL install took about that long but by the time I was done with every thing else it must have been a good four hours. Each install needed a run of update and then I updated other software.


Dave
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

A lot of people claim they have reclaimed disk space ranging from 10 GB to 20 GB. Even if you take the new notation into account, it's still much more than 7 GB Apple claimed.

It's maybe due to what RoboNerd said. I ran Monolingual on Leopard to free up space a while ago and I deleted the printer drivers manually. I think I freed up about 3-5GB of space. When I installed Snow Leopard, I didn't see much change at all but the people with standard Leopard installs probably will.

Still some people won't realize the notation change and will think of the savings as much more than they are. It works out quite well for the marketing I suppose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboNerd

I don't notice much better animation, but then, this Mac has the Radeon 2400, which from my understanding doesn't get any benefit from OpenCL.

The Radeon 2400 is supported for OpenCL - at least according to AMD.

The benchmarks I checked in SL seem to be pretty even. XBench is showing a big drop in OpenGL performance but I don't trust that app much. Cinebench shows pretty much identical CPU multi-threading scores and OpenGL scores.

I was expecting a little more from a 90% reworking of the system to be honest. With SSE optimization and OpenCL, you'd have though they could have put something in to heavily accelerate the core frameworks at least. I guess it's better being snappy and stable first though and they can push it further as they get to grips with a finalized OpenCL spec.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The Radeon 2400 is supported for OpenCL - at least according to AMD.

The benchmarks I checked in SL seem to be pretty even. XBench is showing a big drop in OpenGL performance but I don't trust that app much. Cinebench shows pretty much identical CPU multi-threading scores and OpenGL scores.

I was expecting a little more from a 90% reworking of the system to be honest. With SSE optimization and OpenCL, you'd have though they could have put something in to heavily accelerate the core frameworks at least. I guess it's better being snappy and stable first though and they can push it further as they get to grips with a finalized OpenCL spec.

I bought the 5-license pack, since I have three Macs (two aluminum iMacs and this early 2009 white MacBook I'm using now). The two iMacs have the nice tweaks and a bit of a performance boost, but this MacBook has something else -- kind of hard to put a finger on. It just seems a bit more polished in the animations and graphics. This MacBook has the Nvidia 9400M, which does get OpenCL support... so perhaps what I'm seeing is the hardware performing the transforms and not a software algorithm? I'm not sure what the current/previous method of rendering is/were so I can't really speak for certain. However, it's definitely noticeable -- but probably only because I have used Leopard since November of 2007, so I'm very familiar with its behaviors.

I must say that the new Exposé polish has my thumbs-up. The labels underneath the thumbnails really help on a 13.3" display, especially when you're trying to figure out which Finder window is the one you want. Instead of using several different methods of switching between apps, Exposé now has the tools in place to use it exclusively, rather than it + fumbling around the dock.
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