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My informal MacBook iTunes rip speed tests - Page 2

post #41 of 122
CBC radio!

Good choice
post #42 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by ciparis
...and I played the X-Men 3 trailer in 1080P, zoomed to fit width (it was too large otherwise).

CPUs were evenly loaded, and ranged between 25-50% usage while all this was going on. No frame drops were visible.

Cool. You can see the actual fps through the info window.

Your results are perhaps a little better than those on a dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac, where the CPU usage in 1080p decoding is generally between 90-110%, while yours is 50-100% (for a total of 200%). Of course there are some factors to consider, like the new GPU which is really decent and the trailer in question (not all exactly the same size).

The X1600 in the new iMac can decode h.264, but I am not sure if this applies to 1080p format. So, to see if Apple provides appropriate drivers for that, I would suggest to play a 720p trailer, having always an eye on CPU monitor. If CPU usage is suspiciously low (but I cannot tell how much), then probably the hardware 720p decoding is enabled.
post #43 of 122
Unkie Steve said on Tueday that OS X 's shipped apps, iLife and iWork are all Universal, so iTunes must be Universal. I imagine, though, that iTunes, as it's probably the least processor-intensive app in iLife, was the last one made Universal. It probably ended up being rushed.

Steve wouldn't allow something like that to slip on such important products as the iMac / MacBook Pro ... I imagine we're going to have a patch soon. I mean, a lot of switchers will come from the Intel switch - this is just a too important part of Apple's history for something like that to fall through Steve's watch.

Remember that this is a very new technology for Macs - it will get better as time passes.


(First post )
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PowerMac G4 Sawtooth (retired)
iPod shuffle, 512 MB
iPod 5G (...eventually)

I'm stuck using a PC right now. Dx
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post #44 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by webmail
Yup, agreed iTunes under OS X intel is either not native or has another problem it's not the same.

iTunes is a universal binary as of 1/10/06. It was mentioned that all of the iLife '06 apps were universal and they were shipping Tuesday.
post #45 of 122
hmmm...

There seem to be a few people not reading this thread properly.

The 4.5 x ripping speed quoted at the beginning of the thread was an anomaly. iTunes is universal binary, and apparently there's nothing wrong with it. The MacBooks actually rip at around 20x (go back and read the thread again, paying particular attention to Xool's posts), presumably the iMacs are a bit faster.
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post #46 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by ciparis
Okay, I currently have some Google Maps mashups open in Safari (we're doing real-estate searches), with iTunes streaming CBC Radio 3, and I played the X-Men 3 trailer in 1080P, zoomed to fit width (it was too large otherwise).

CPUs were evenly loaded, and ranged between 25-50% usage while all this was going on. No frame drops were visible. Scrubbing was smooth. I don't have QT Pro.

Can you play 2 HD trailers at the same time?
post #47 of 122
I have a question to the person who has the new Intel iMac. Can you maybe run it through some applications like Garageband or Photoshop - anything that will raise the processor up to near its maximum for at least a couple of minutes. I am VERY curious about how loud the fan is. I currently have a revision A iMac G5 in a music studio and it is unusable really because the fans are always running so loud that it sounds almost like a vacuum cleaner. I've taken it to the Apple Store and they've run tests, etc. and apparently it is within the spec of the machine to have the fans running at 4400rpm with a processor heat score of 144 degrees F. You would be doing a huge favor if you could run some tests of this nature! Thanks a lot!
post #48 of 122
Correct about people not reading this forum properly! The results in the initial post have been shown to be false!

What I suspect may have happened is that the original version of iTunes on the show floor was the PPC codebase compiled as a Universal Binary (and thus not optimised for Intel). For something as CPU-intensive as ripping, Apple would have maintained a separate Intel library, and it wasn't until day two that they released a version with this ripping code merged into the Intel part of the Universal build.

Just a guess, but seems feasible from Xool's results (before and after).
post #49 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Well, I don't know about MacBook Pro, but my now 3 years old Sony VAIO with a P4 2.4Ghz and 768MB or RAM, using iTunes, rips CDs at 14x.

So it definitely isn't the chip, as others have pointed out too.

iTunes on a P4 is actually quite a bit quicker than iTunes on the Pentium M. I'd expect the gap to narrow on the Core though and most likely surpass it.

It's also important to run the tests with the CPU running at full power. I'd guess the 4.5x speed was because the CPU was throttled back to low power mode. I've a 1.8Ghz Dothan based Windows laptop that only gets about 6-7x speed encoding when it's on battery and about 14x on power. For comparison, a G5 1.8 gets about 16-18x.

I'd expect the Core to match the G5 and since there's 2 of them and a big cache, beat the G5 at the same clock.
post #50 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Frogmella
What I suspect may have happened is that the original version of iTunes on the show floor was the PPC codebase compiled as a Universal Binary (and thus not optimised for Intel).

I wouldn't have thought so. iTunes has been a Universal Binary since 10.4.3
post #51 of 122
It is possible to force universal binaries to run their PPC code through Rosetta on Intel macs. Someone could have ticked the "run in Rosetta" box to check performance. We'll never know for sure why Xool's first test was so out of whack.
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post #52 of 122
Check out this folks. It has Photoshop tests under Rosetta. You may be surprised by the results. But I would wait for more detailed benchmarks.
post #53 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
Check out this folks. It has Photoshop tests under Rosetta. You may be surprised by the results. But I would wait for more detailed benchmarks.

Wow. That would be impressive if Rosetta will benchmark across the board like that. From my reckoning, it means the 1.83Ghz iMac was faster running Photoshop through Rosetta than on the previous G5 natively. Which seems a little too good to be true.

More benchmarks needed.
post #54 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Wow. That would be impressive if Rosetta will benchmark across the board like that. From my reckoning, it means the 1.83Ghz iMac was faster running Photoshop through Rosetta than on the previous G5 natively. Which seems a little too good to be true.

More benchmarks needed.

Well, that IS what Apple's claiming - that the iMac is 200% as fast, and that Rosetta runs 60-80% as fast as native - so Rosetta apps should run a minimum of 120% the speed of - well - whatever it is Apple is comparing these numbers to
post #55 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Gee4orce
Well, that IS what Apple's claiming - that the iMac is 200% as fast, and that Rosetta runs 60-80% as fast as native - so Rosetta apps should run a minimum of 120% the speed of - well - whatever it is Apple is comparing these numbers to

Well that's an overly simplistic way of looking at it. Apple's claim of around 200% performance is strictly from a SPECint and SPECfp perspective. Those benchmarks are synthetic, but reflect general purpose integer and floating point performance. These are areas where the G4 and the G5 have trailed the Intel based processors a little bit lately.

Bear in mind that SPEC is optimized for multiprocessors, so automatically the dual-core nature of the Core Duo gives it a leg up over the single G5 in the previous iMac.

Where the G4 and the G5 did well, and why Photoshop was still very much viable on the PowerPC was with vector performance. Specifically, with Altivec instructions. Altivec was much more elegant and much faster than Intel's equivalent, SSE, and I do not expect Rosetta emulation of Altivec to be nearly as fast as real Altivec hardware.

So what does that necessarily mean? For something like application startup, I would expect it to be a wash. App launching doesn't use altivec, so you won't see much of a slowdown there. where you will see a significant slowdown is when you start to apply altivec optimized filters in Photoshop.
post #56 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Gee4orce
Well, that IS what Apple's claiming - that the iMac is 200% as fast, and that Rosetta runs 60-80% as fast as native - so Rosetta apps should run a minimum of 120% the speed of - well - whatever it is Apple is comparing these numbers to

Well, dual processors with at least partly multiprocessor-optimised programms like Photoshop alone should speed up things (how optimised for multiple processors Rosetta is, is another question, but I guess it is).

For me, it would make more sense to compare dual-core Pentium M (aka Core Duo) with a dual-core G5.

That would be step one, step two is marvelling at the possibility to have dual-processors in both the iMac and Powerbook (or MacBook Pro if you prefer).
post #57 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
iTunes on a P4 is actually quite a bit quicker than iTunes on the Pentium M. I'd expect the gap to narrow on the Core though and most likely surpass it.

My guess is that the P4 with the SSE3 instructions and a better FPU gives it superior performance.

Merom in 2H '06 will inherit both the SSE3 instructions and probably the better FPU. Core at the moment is the extension of the P-M, Merom is the evil lovechild of the P-M and the P4.
post #58 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by noirdesir
For me, it would make more sense to compare dual-core Pentium M (aka Core Duo) with a dual-core G5.

Sure. But for people wondering if Photoshop on the iMac/MacBook will run as quickly as their old iMac/Powerbook, the answer would seem positive from that one benchmark.

If there's a few more benchmarks in saying Photoshop is running as quickly as that under Rosetta, many people who do fine with laptops and iMacs will be quite happy to upgrade before native Photoshop.
post #59 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Electric Monk
My guess is that the P4 with the SSE3 instructions and a better FPU gives it superior performance.

Merom in 2H '06 will inherit both the SSE3 instructions and probably the better FPU. Core at the moment is the extension of the P-M, Merom is the evil lovechild of the P-M and the P4.

Wrong. Yonah (the Core Duo) supports SSE3 instructions right now.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core

Merom will introduce a more advanced 4 issue core with 64-bit support.
post #60 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
Cool. You can see the actual fps through the info window.

Your results are perhaps a little better than those on a dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac, where the CPU usage in 1080p decoding is generally between 90-110%, while yours is 50-100% (for a total of 200%). Of course there are some factors to consider, like the new GPU which is really decent and the trailer in question (not all exactly the same size).

The X1600 in the new iMac can decode h.264, but I am not sure if this applies to 1080p format. So, to see if Apple provides appropriate drivers for that, I would suggest to play a 720p trailer, having always an eye on CPU monitor. If CPU usage is suspiciously low (but I cannot tell how much), then probably the hardware 720p decoding is enabled.

Mind you, that the new qtime update also optimized the h.264 performance.

Before I won't be able to play a 720p on my pbook G4 1.5GHz, now, it plays without a frame drop.
post #61 of 122
I picked up a mini-DVI cable today and hooked up my Gateway 21" widescreen display. This image (crappy cellphone cam -- sorry) is showing the iMac doing spanning, with both displays set to 1680 * 1050 (native for each).

post #62 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by laughingman
Well that's an overly simplistic way of looking at it. Apple's claim of around 200% performance is strictly from a SPECint and SPECfp perspective. Those benchmarks are synthetic, but reflect general purpose integer and floating point performance. These are areas where the G4 and the G5 have trailed the Intel based processors a little bit lately.

Bear in mind that SPEC is optimized for multiprocessors, so automatically the dual-core nature of the Core Duo gives it a leg up over the single G5 in the previous iMac.

Where the G4 and the G5 did well, and why Photoshop was still very much viable on the PowerPC was with vector performance. Specifically, with Altivec instructions. Altivec was much more elegant and much faster than Intel's equivalent, SSE, and I do not expect Rosetta emulation of Altivec to be nearly as fast as real Altivec hardware.

So what does that necessarily mean? For something like application startup, I would expect it to be a wash. App launching doesn't use altivec, so you won't see much of a slowdown there. where you will see a significant slowdown is when you start to apply altivec optimized filters in Photoshop.

SPEC is not a synthetic benchmark. Among other things, it includes some ray tracing and a round of GNUChess.
post #63 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
I went back to Macworld today and performed more scientific tests with the new MacBook. I'll post more details later tonight but I'll post my revised iTunes times now.

I brought the same track I used with my G5 to MacWorld and re-encoded it using iTunes. It was read off the HD from the iTunes library and all other apps were closed.

Today the MacBook ripped at 20x which is far better than I expected.

I'm not sure what impacted the previous test and it might have been related to the source file, but this time it was fairly controlled and I'd stand by these results. Again for comparison, an existing G4 PowerBook ripped at 12.5x and my Rev A G5 tower ripped at 25x.

I'll post more tonight regarding Video transcoding performance using QuickTime Player and H264 iPod content.

I want numbers of ripping speeds from CDs not from the HD.

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Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
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64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

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post #64 of 122
Quote:
Bear in mind that SPEC is optimized for multiprocessors,

Only the SPECint_rate2000 is a test of multiple processors. The standard SPECint2000 is not.
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post #65 of 122
Xool, when are you going to have a chance to post your results?

I'm very curious
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post #66 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Flounder
Xool, when are you going to have a chance to post your results?

I'm very curious

Almost done. The writeup sort of got out of hand, but I'll post it tonight! Made for a good opportunity to use Pages and Keynote too.
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post #67 of 122
Meh. It looks like my iMac has a bad DVD drive. It can read CDs fine, but it can't mount DVDs. Tried both of the supplied system discs plus a movie DVD, and none mount (all work fine in a powerbook). I'll probably have to take it in. I'll just have them swap out the machine if I do.
post #68 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
Only the SPECint_rate2000 is a test of multiple processors. The standard SPECint2000 is not.

Oddly, Apple quoted the speed increase with regard to running SPEC*_rate2000 on the previous generation over the new one. That explains some of the dramatic figure as running the multithreaded versions on a single core CPU will be slower than running the normal tests. As usual with Apple's benchmarks, there's a slight of hand trick going on.
post #69 of 122
Thread Starter 
Below is a draft report. The final MacBook Pro Performance Analysis can be found on craigtheguru.com.
-----------
MacBook Pro Performance Analysis
Draft Report - My final analysis is on craigtheguru.com.

Introduction
On the last day of Macworld I revisited the prototype MacBooks and performed a series performance tests. I conducted four tests with the MacBook and previous G4/G5 systems, including encoding audio and video and playback of HD video. The goal was to evaluate MacBook Pro system performance and compare the new system to previous Macs.

Test Systems
Four systems were tested to provide results for a broad range of Macs, including various generations of Mac laptops and desktops. Each system was running off its AC power adapter and used the "Better Performance" power management setting. Only the primary display was active and it was set to its native resolution. Exact specifications for each test system and their introduction dates are as follows:
  • MacBook Pro Core Duo 1.83 GHz, 2 GB DDR2, ATI X1600 Mobility 128 MB @ 1440x900 - Jan. 2006 Preproduction
  • PowerBook G4 15" 1.67 GHz, 1.5 GB DDR, ATI 9700 Mobility 64 MB @ 1280x854 - Jan. 2005
  • PowerMac G5 Dual 2 GHz, 2.5 GB DDR, ATI 9800 Pro 128 MB @ 1680x1050 - Jul. 2003
  • PowerBook G4 Titanium 500 MHz, 768 MB SDRAM, ATI Rage 128 Mobile 8 MB @ 1152x768 - Jan. 2001
Methods
To best judge the performance of the new MacBooks I conducted four media-related tests on each system: audio encoding using iTunes, video encoding using QuickTime Player, and HD video playback using QuickTime Player for 720p and 1080p content. These tests stress various aspects of each system, including the CPU and graphics cards. All test files resided on the machines internal hard disk and other applications were closed unless otherwise noted. Each test system had the latest versions of iTunes, QuickTime, and MacOS X installed, versions 6.0.3, 7.0.4, and 10.4.4 respectively.

The iTunes encoding test converted audio using the "Convert Selection to AAC..." feature and reports the encoding speed as displayed in iTunes 6.0.2. The source file was a 16 minute, unprotected AAC file of "It's A Fast Driving Rave Up With The Dandy Warhols Sixteen Minutes" by The Dandy Warhols. The source file is 160 kbps and was previously ripped from the CD "Dandy's Rule OK?" using iTunes 4.0.1 and QuickTime 6.3. The output format is iTunes AAC default settings at 128 kbps.

The QuickTime encoding test converted video to iPod format using the "Export..." feature in QuickTime Player 7.0.4. A stopwatch was used to measure the time taken to encode each video. Then, the videos length was divided by this encoding time to produce the encoding speed. For example, if a 60 second video clip was encoded in 30 seconds the encoding speed is 2x because 60 divided by 30 is 2. The source file is Apples latest Intel iMac ad and was downloaded from the Apple.com website. The clip duration is 35.66 seconds at 640x360 resolution playing at 23.98 fps and is encoded in H.264 format with AAC audio. The filename is "intel20060110_h.640.mov". The output format is QuickTime players "Movie to iPod (320x240)" default settings which uses H.264 and AAC codecs.

The QuickTime playback tests played HD video in QuickTime Player at both actual and fullscreen window sizes. Both 720p and 1080p versions of the King Kong movie trailer were used. These files were downloaded from Apples QuickTime Movie Trailer website. The files were loaded from the internal Hard Drive and no downloading or buffering was needed during testing. QuickTimes "Movie Info" window was open to record the Playing FPS and an average value was recorded for the clip. If the clip played seamlessly the Activity Monitor was used to monitor QuickTimes CPU usage via the "% CPU" column.

Results


As you can see, the new MacBook Pro encoded audio 33% faster than the previous PowerBook, at 20x compared to 15x. Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro is still 20% slower than the original PowerMac G5, which encoded audio at 25x, and more powerful G5 quad systems are now available.

The new MacBook Pro proved to be far more adept at encoding video, at rate of 1.3x. The MacBook Pro is 160% faster than the previous PowerBook, which encoded video at 0.5x. The MacBook Pro encodes video only 24% slower than the G5 system, which encoded video at 1.7x.



When playing fullscreen 1080p video the MacBook Pro never dropped a frame, unlike the PowerBook G4 which played at 8 fps. The PowerMac G5 system also maintained the full framerate of 23.98 fps but used more system resources. The MacBook Pro used 80% of total CPU resources whereas the PowerMac used 110%. (Since these are both dual processor systems, the total CPU resources for these systems tops at 200%, 100% for each processor.) The MacBook Pro is playing the video back with far less effort than the PowerMac G5 and may not even need the second processor core, unlike the PowerMac which is leveraging both processors. The Titanium PowerBook G4 never had a chance.



When playing fullscreen 720p video most systems performed well. Neither the MacBook Pro nor the PowerMac G5 dropped frames. While the PowerBook G4s playback was consistent, it did occasionally drop a frame. Like the 1080p tests, the MacBook Pro bested the other systems, using the least system resources to display the video.

Analysis and Conclusion
The new MacBook Pro performed admirably in all tests and surprisingly well in the video playback tests. While the Core Duo processor used in the MacBooks is very different than previous G4 and G5 processors, that did not seem to hinder it. In addition to dual processors, the MacBook features a fast ATI X1600 graphics chip and both of these are responsible for the new systems improved performance.

While these tests paint a glamorous picture of the MacBook Pro, this analysis could be improved in many ways. Firstly it would be beneficial to include iMac G5 and iMac Core Duo systems as well as cutting edge PowerMac G5s and PCs. This would round out the analysis and provide deeper comparisons. Repeated trials for existing tests and additional tests would improve accuracy. A more precise and less subjective methodology for testing video framerates would also be preferred. The results of this analysis also lead to new questions, such as would an upgraded graphics card improve the PowerMac G5s performance?

The overall results of this analysis indicate that Apples new MacBook Pro is an improved machine in many ways. While some areas are yet to be examined, it is safe to say that the new MacBook is Apples fastest laptop yet.

-----
Edit: Updated images and added link to the final analysis on craigtheguru.com.
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post #70 of 122
I suppose that answers the question about h.264 decode assistance in the drivers for the X1600. Any chance you can do an encoding test with a different codec? I want to see if the MBP has encoding assisted by the graphics card too.

Huge boost over the old Powerbooks anyway.
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post #71 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by ciparis
I picked up a mini-DVI cable today and hooked up my Gateway 21" widescreen display. This image (crappy cellphone cam -- sorry) is showing the iMac doing spanning, with both displays set to 1680 * 1050 (native for each).


Hi. I want to do same thing with my Apple Cinema display.

Do you notice worst performance (video performance) with the two displays active? Like expose and dashboard? is it slowed down?

What about watching a 1080p movie? Does it hurt its performance at all with two displays splitting the VRAM? Enjoy your setup! looks great.

Thanks
*Powerbook G4 12" - 1.5 GHZ
*iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ (Mid 2007), *Apple 20-inch Cinema Display (Aluminium)
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*Powerbook G4 12" - 1.5 GHZ
*iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ (Mid 2007), *Apple 20-inch Cinema Display (Aluminium)
*iPhone 4S, Airport Extreme (2011) *MacBook Air 11-inch (Late 2010)
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post #72 of 122
Expose and Dashboard are silky smooth so far across both monitors

I haven't played any HD videos since I hooked up the second monitor. I'll post if I find anything that runs me out of video ram and makes things choppy.
post #73 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Introduction
On the last day of Macworld I revisited the prototype MacBooks and performed a series performance tests. I conducted four tests with the MacBook and previous G4/G5 systems, including encoding audio and video and playback of HD video. The goal was to evaluate MacBook Pro system performance and compare the new system to previous Macs.

Hi Xool. Thanks for all your effort writing this up. Very thorough.

Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Test Systems
...
PowerBook G4 Titanium 500 MHz, 768 MB SDRAM, ATI Rage 128 Mobile 8 MB @ 1152x768 - Jan. 2001

My system specs exactly. Looks like I'll get a nice performance boost when I eventually upgrade.
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post #74 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
MacBook Pro Performance Analysis

Awesome Xool! Thank you so much for the details.
post #75 of 122
Thanks for your hard work, Xool.
post #76 of 122


Thank you Xool.

And THANK YOU INTEL
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post #77 of 122
Thanks Xool. Thorough test.

Anders: Thanks Anders for Thanking Intel.
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post #78 of 122
Impressive test! Especially since iTunes is Altivec aware.. Some people really underestimate this!
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post #79 of 122
Thread Starter 
You're welcome everyone! I posted the final MacBook Performance Analsysis on my site and even submitted it to Digg. If you're a digger help the story make the front page!
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post #80 of 122
I just converted a 1-hour MP3 file to AAC and it was running at a constant 18.0x on my iMac 17" Duo Core (only 512MB RAM). This was happening while I was compiling some stuff, and with a few other apps open too.

Someone asked about video performance over dual monitors. I have the 17" with a 21" CRT running at 1600x1200 attached through a Mini-DVI adapter. I have yet to see any drag/dropped frames/etc. when doing exposé/dashboard. I used to have the same monitor plugged into my PB 17" 1.5GHz w/ 1GB RAM, and you definitely noticed dropped frames when you did exposé/dashboard on it. So definitely better video performance.

-Percy
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