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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2009
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    USB 2.0 Slow on PowerBook G4
    I recently resurrected my G4 Aluminum (replaced battery, Apple re-imaged to 10.5.5 in-store; 1.33 GHz 2 GB RAM).

    I would like to use the laptop to shoot tethered with my Nikon D300. I am using a free app named Sofortbild to facilitate this.

    When I take a picture on the camera (connected to the G4 via USB) it takes a REALLY long time to transfer the file. Like 30-60 seconds. Clearly not useful for real time shooting.

    I did check the profiler to make sure I'm using 2.0. Also, I watched the transfer in Activity Monitor and it seemed to have a very sporadic transfer "pattern", where nothing would be written for a few seconds, then a lot would go across, etc. I don't believe it's the cabling, because I tried it on a PC and the transfer speeds were closer to a couple of seconds.

    I set it all up again on my new generation iMac, and the speeds were also acceptable. Even though both are using USB 2.0, the iMac clearly outperforms the G4. However, I'm not sure why the G4 is working so slowly.

    Is this just the way things are or are there other things I can do to imprive the transfer rate?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Sur3Mac's Avatar
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    That's probably because the G4 has 1.1 USB ports.
    Unless you get some add-on hardware like a generic USB 2.0 PCMCIA card, or use firewire, I think you'll have to get used to it working a bit slower than the iMac.

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sur3Mac View Post
    That's probably because the G4 has 1.1 USB ports.
    Unless you get some add-on hardware like a generic USB 2.0 PCMCIA card, or use firewire, I think you'll have to get used to it working a bit slower than the iMac.
    Not quite true as 1.33GHz G4's actually have 2 x USB2 ports. Still the advise to use Firewire is good as USB, even USB2 is not that great on Macs. Firewire is much, much faster.

  4. #4

    cuhnool's Avatar
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    Jun 02, 2008
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    MacBook 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo | 1GB RAM | OS X 10.6.3 | 250GB External HD | 8GB iPod Touch 1st Gen 3.1.3
    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Not quite true as 1.33GHz G4's actually have 2 x USB2 ports. Still the advise to use Firewire is good as USB, even USB2 is not that great on Macs. Firewire is much, much faster.
    Firewire's speed flows at a constant rate, correct?

  5. #5

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuhnool View Post
    Firewire's speed flows at a constant rate, correct?
    USB has a *peak* speed of 480Mb/s. FW400, being controller based, has a consistent throughput of 400Mb/s. In effect, FW ends up being faster overall. With FW800, it's no contest.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

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