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SPEED -- Laptops vs Desktops.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
In a recent UK Mac Mag (forget which one) I saw an interesting comparison of speed on some kinda system benchmark test.

Basically, every powermac from the 466 on up scored better than even the 667 PowerBook G4. (466 PM was only negligibly faster than 667 PB)

I know there are trade offs from desktop to laptop, but I was under the impression that Apple machines were somewhat less comprimised in this regard (since they have tended to use chips that weren't specifically neutered respective to their desktop counterparts.)

I've only ever used the first 400 TiBook on two occasions -- on which I found it horribly slow. The Chicklet iBook 600, by contrast, I found very nice (tho it is a newer machine).

So, any anecdotes out there from people who've used both? If the scores were the result of a suite of tests, the Laptops surely lost a lot of points on video and hard disk performance, but that much? Wow!
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post #2 of 14
My G4/500 DP is slower in OS 9 (read: non-dual processor aware applications) than my Ti PB 667. Both with 512 MB RAM, the desktop with a Radeon AGP 32 MB DDR graphics card.

It is most noticeable in Red Faction.

However, in OS X, things swing in favor of the desktop. I suspect mostly due to the dual processors, but I don't know for sure.

Regardless, the systems feel pretty similar most of the time (except, inexplicably, in Giants. There, the laptop gets terrible framerates no matter what resolution and the desktop gets ok framerates at any resolution 1280 x 1024).

Admittedly not very scientific, but oh well. Take it for what it's worth.

-Ender
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-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #3 of 14
I don't know about G4s, but my friends 600MHz iMac feels only a tiny bit faster than my 500MHz iBook.
post #4 of 14
The new PowerBooks use the 7440 (?) and the desktops use the 7450 chip. The PowerBook G4 chip does not have the L3 cache of the desktop models making it noticeably slower.
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I know but the bechmark scores suggest that the latest powerbook is still slower than even the lowest end 133Mhz bus powermac. I thought it was interesting to note that even Apple laptops seem to be quite a few months behind their desktop counterparts.
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post #6 of 14
Basically, it all comes down to these factors:

-Processor Type (G3, G4, revision)
-Cache (Backside, or onchip and how much)
-Bus Speed (66, 100, or 133MHz)
-HD speed (5400rpm, or 7200rpm)
-etc... etc...

Processor speed is by no means the be all end all way of comparing computers. :cool:
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post #7 of 14
I find it is mostly the hard drive speed that makes laptops slower. I have worked on a pismo at 400 mhz and a tower at 400 mhz, same ram, everything. The tower was faster simply because it has a faster HD. I think most of Apples old laptops had a like 4200 rpm drive or somthing? that would make a huge difference.
post #8 of 14
[quote]Originally posted by Joe Cool:
<strong> I think most of Apples old laptops had a like 4200 rpm drive or somthing? that would make a huge difference.</strong><hr></blockquote>

That would be correct.
post #9 of 14
I was thinking of picking up an iBook with an external 7200rpm external firewire drive for when I'm at home and want the faster speed. Would this indeed help performance ? i.e. Would it in fact be faster than the internal 4200rpm drive?

Other concerns would be:
- could I boot off the external drive (for playing games or the like)
- would this configuration be as fast as having an internal 7200rpm drive (hypothetically speaking since none would fit).
post #10 of 14
I don't think it makes a huge difference in every day stuff. If you're moving huge amounts of data around, like with digital video, then yes.

I think you have to look at the access time for the drive as a better indicator. Two drives with identical 8 ns access times, but one with a 4200 and the other with a 5400 rpm speed probably aren't going to feel all that different.
post #11 of 14
[quote]Originally posted by rrabu:
<strong>I was thinking of picking up an iBook with an external 7200rpm external firewire drive for when I'm at home and want the faster speed. Would this indeed help performance ? i.e. Would it in fact be faster than the internal 4200rpm drive?

Other concerns would be:
- could I boot off the external drive (for playing games or the like)
- would this configuration be as fast as having an internal 7200rpm drive (hypothetically speaking since none would fit).</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't run OS X off of it for the most part, but I've got an external 60GB 7200rpm HD and when I do use it for the OS it does seem a lot faster.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
What was the video card in the 466 PM ??? Compared to the radeon M ? Yet even today's high end notebook video chipsets are probably only the equivalent of 12-18 month old budget desktop cards -- due to much slower/lower bandwidth video memory.

That and the HDD. I didn't check whether they reviewed a 30GB (4200RPM) PB or a 48GB (5400rpm) PB. It would probably make a difference in overall speed.

What other factors could there be? Do PowerBooks have power saving features that might reduce performance (that the reviewers forgot to disable etc...)

466 to 667 is big jump. I think you call the graphics and memory systems about equal. 200Mhz is a lot of extra cycles to make up on HDD rotation alone, I would think. What about the procs? How many pipeline stages for the PM 466 versus the PB 677 CPU's? And the cache systems?

I was just thinking about it. I'm not griping, you have to give up something to get a small portable package, for sure. I'm just interested in what would contribute to the performance differences. Do you think the wintel side is doing any better? I remember when windows laptops were abysmally slow compared to wintel desktops. At that time PowerBooks were clearly the fastest laptops you could buy (probably from the Walstreet to the intro of Pismo) But now? Any experiences?
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post #13 of 14
Well, the Apple laptops are certainly faster than the wintel laptops after the first 2.5 hours on battery... at which time most wintels will be out of battery power or on the second battery. I love being able to get 4+ hours on a single charge.

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #14 of 14
[quote]Originally posted by Ender:
<strong>Well, the Apple laptops are certainly faster than the wintel laptops after the first 2.5 hours on battery... at which time most wintels will be out of battery power or on the second battery. I love being able to get 4+ hours on a single charge.

-Ender</strong><hr></blockquote>

That's pretty good... I usually get about 3 hrs. on my Ti 500.
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