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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - mac 1.4 ghz vs. windows 3 ghz


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Nagger Pumper

 
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i'm still a noob at macs, but why ezactly are macs so fast for their ghz? for example my 1.4 ghz mac opens up programs such as aol, itunes ect. much faster than my 3 ghz windows. How is that?
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MacHeadCase
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Maybe because Mac OS X is less of a hindrance? That's why, I think, Apple wants to keep total control on the hardware and software: everything goes together smoothly.
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Nagger Pumper

 
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surely there is more to it than that
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Very simply put, the Mac OS has a much more efficient use of processor and RAM. It just doesn't have the many software bottlenecks that Windows does.
This is why older systems can still run the latest OS rather smoothly. An iMac G3 from 1999 can still run OS X 10.4 rather effectively. How well would a Dell from the same period run Windows Vista (if it could at all)?

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Well put, DB. That's what I meant earlier.
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Another thing that might be causing some of it is the XP system is probably all messed up with Spyware and process's running in the background slowing it way down.
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This is true as well.

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Nagger Pumper

 
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you guys know everything
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But it's also because the 1.4 GHz processor in the Mac is a powerpc one and the pc has an Intel processor. The number of GHz in each of these two different types are not comparable. You have to look at benchmarks for comparison. (The GHz measure for different processors of the same company are sometimes not comparable either!)
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so which would you say is more important, ghz or ram?
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Recent performance tests I have read suggest a rough equivalence between the new Core 2 Duo GHz rating and that of an PPC G5 chip. The Core 2 Duo is generally stated by Intel to be about 40% faster per GHz than the Pentium that you likely have in your Intel PC, and so the logic suggests that your 1.4 GHz Mac is roughly equivalent to a (1.4 GHz + 0.40 * 1.4 GHz) = 1.96 GHz Pentium, So, your Pentium PC is still the faster part in more or less equivalent GHz, but it is a lot faster than the 1.4 GHz number suggests when you stack that up against a 3.0 GHz number for the Pentium. However, that gets us part way to the performance difference you are seeing.

Next, as has been pointed out above, Mac OS X is simply more efficient, and less bogged down with anti spyware stuff, so there is less drag on the response of the system from the OS itself. That leaves more CPU for the applications themselves to take advantage of.

Finally, and this likely key, programs like iTunes in particular have been extensively optimized for the PPC chips. I really noticed this when I got my Mac. iTunes on my 2.3 GHz PowerMac just flies relative to iTunes on my older 3.0 GHz Pentium PC. Using my "40% faster" number from above, my 2.3 GHz PowerMac is roughly equivalent to a 3.2 GHz Pentium, so it is a little faster in equivalent GHz, but that is not nearly enough to explain the radical difference in speed. That is wholly the result of optimization in iTunes.

By the way, the same is true of hefty monsters like Photoshop, where many filters run nearly 2x as fast on my 2.3 GHz PowerMac as they did on my 3.0 GHz Pentium.

Apple, and many of the software vendors out there, have done a WONDERFUL job in letting the PPC chips reach their full potential.

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Nagger Pumper, it is really not an either/or. Essentially, you need both to get the best performance. However, if you can only get ONE, get the RAM. Insufficient RAM will bog down even the fastest processor. Sufficient RAM will allow the processor to run at its full potential. This may not be enough though. For example, even a well equipped Mini may not be up to heavy duty video editing. For some tasks, you just have to have both!

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It's more your Windows machine is slow, rather than your Mac is any faster.

Hard drive speed has more of an effect on opening applications - the CPU speed has little impact.

Ghz is not an important factor in processor speed. A 1.8Ghz AMD Sempron will be slower than a 1.8Ghz Athlon 64. The 1.8Ghz Athlon 64 will be about the same speed as a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz and a 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo will beat them all!
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here is a great video that will explain and show why a 1.4ghz mac whips a 3ghz windows machine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3WnXaWjQYE


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There are lots of factors that affect the performance of your computer and the raw CPU speed in Ghz is only a tiny factor.

When you say your Windows machine is 3ghz. What processor is it? A Pentium 4? If so, which model. A 3ghz P4 is going to be a poorer performer than an AMD64 running at 2ghz in most tasks, even within Windows.

Also how much RAM does the machine have and what is the HDD speed in each machine? When it comes to launching apps, RAM and HDD speed as well has FSB speed probably play a more important role than the CPU speed.

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