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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > ..why do they keep claiming pc laptops are so fast ?

..why do they keep claiming pc laptops are so fast ?
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eddiecatflap
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Feb 14, 2004, 08:53 AM
 
..at work my brother was given a dell inspiron D800 , they claimed it was a fast laptop and was sota

..well



..it's a load of rubbish as far as he's concerned , the build quality is shockingly bad ( it actually creaks ) , it's got all the grace and style of a house brick and it's slower than treacle , oh and don't get me started on xp..

..thank god he has his 17" pbg4 as 'backup'
     
Keiretsu
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Feb 14, 2004, 12:51 PM
 
Originally posted by eddiecatflap:
..at work my brother was given a dell inspiron D800 , they claimed it was a fast laptop and was sota
Actually they are called Latitude (Inspiron is the consumer series that is even cheaper) and they suck like hell ... the last (not yet silver) C-series was still acceptable (rugged build, acceptable keyboard) but the silver ones are definitively a step in the wond direction!


..well



..it's a load of rubbish as far as he's concerned , the build quality is shockingly bad ( it actually creaks ) , it's got all the grace and style of a house brick and it's slower than treacle , oh and don't get me started on xp..

..thank god he has his 17" pbg4 as 'backup'
Sell the D800 on eBay and get a PB15"
     
Dr Reducto
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Feb 14, 2004, 02:56 PM
 
My mom works for HP, and she got a tricked out Centrino laptop for $900 with a 15.4" screen, retail: $1500. Its build quality is okay, and is pretty powerful, but I do agree that Dells are POS. Have you ever taken apart any of their latest revision mid-towers? The placement of the HDD's is so inconvenient, and could be damaging if you had a "hot" HDD like a 10k SATA drive. Also, my friend got a Dell with a 9800 Pro, because he wanted to be "1337", and the Dell cases are not the optimal enclosures for something that hot. He runs it without the side on most of the time, but I call that a retarded solution.
     
ngrundy
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Feb 14, 2004, 09:44 PM
 
Originally posted by Dr Reducto:
He runs it without the side on most of the time, but I call that a retarded solution.
Which nine times out of ten is worse as removing the case side kills any form of airflow that is in the case.
1Ghz Powerbook
40gb/1x512mb/combo/T68i
FireRAID 1 Host Independant Hotswap RAID 1 (80gb)
     
jstein
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Feb 15, 2004, 02:46 PM
 
Let's be honest from a consumer standpoint, pc's are usually purchase by your average computer user. Someone who wants to have a computer in the house, for your basic needs. Maybe a parent buying their child their first pc etc etc... With that being the case, they are only going to be concerned with two things up front price and speed. Come on now look at these guys selling computers at Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, etc etc They can not tell you the difference between RAM and REM. So they the only they are going to push from a selling point is the speed and the price of the computer as well. Do not get me wrong they are some great PC's out there and there prices are alot higher than your typical PC on the market. This whole speed push is a marketing tool to hook the buyer into purchasing a PC. Much like the whole if you purchase an Apple PC, your software options will be limited and you will have compatibility issues with anyone us a Windows blah blah
     
mchang
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Feb 15, 2004, 05:25 PM
 
There is no doubt that in the laptop world, the Intel machines are faster. But as a mac enthusiast, one still has to remain sensible.

* are x86 laptops faster? yep.
* are x86 laptops cheaper? yep.
* are x86 laptops wholly more ugly and less attractive? yep.
* do I like using os x instead of windows? yep.

The last two really make more of a difference, for me, on the laptop front. My PB 12 is just such a nice brick of a machine. It runs everything I need it to run, and does its job day in and day out, looking good at the same time.

But am I delusional to think that my Matlab simulations will run as fast on this thing, or any G4-based laptop than a 1.6ghz Centrino (D600/600m, say, from Dell)? Nope. Those x86 machines will eat this thing alive. But hey, that's why I have desktop machines.

If you want cheap, portable, and fast, get an x86 machine. Be prepared to troubleshoot when windows "just doesn't work". Or, if you want some elegance, and appreciate true thought and not mass-produced everyday stuff, get a powerbook.

My$0.02.
     
pete
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Feb 15, 2004, 05:34 PM
 
for most people, speed is no longer really an issue. Of course for some tasks, we need as much power as we can get, but for most, the speed of the current hardware is more than enough. I think what really really set the mac powerbooks apart is the smooth integration of hardware and the macos x,the way everything feels so right. It's hard to objectively say what it is, but it's easy to feel it when you sit down with an XP machine after using panther. And of course it's not just the OS, but the hardware beats everything else out there. Hands down. I mean, the quality, attention to detail, fit and finish is unsurpassed and makes pc laptops look awful in comparison.

Every time I sit down with my alubook, I smile and marvel over what a great computer it is and then when I use Panther, I smile because of its sleekness. It's just so nice. Simple really, but hard to explain to somebody who is used to something much rougher and has learned to live with it.

Anyway....
     
bamchum
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Feb 15, 2004, 05:56 PM
 
Come on. Speed matters. Not just for people who are compressing video but for ordinary things.

For example, compare the responsiveness of the interface on a PowerMac G5 to any PowerBook G4. I've got an Aluminum 15" 1.25Ghz and the difference is like night and day. Scrolling large windows of files is still too sluggish on the PBs.

I'd never go over to a PC and I love this machine. But a little more speed (or a lot!) would not be unwelcome.
     
masugu
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Feb 15, 2004, 07:23 PM
 
Yeah...The Centrino laptops are pretty speedy. However, the battery life is really great. I must admit that. Compared to my Ti PB 1GHz. I have a small ThinkPad for work. Great keyboard and ultra light. Rugged as well- whichis what you want for a work / travel laptop. If APple ever wants to get serious as a road warrior notebook (and I am not saying Apple wants to) it must build a more travel-worthy NB. Hell, some folks would certainly pay more for one...

Wow, so the G5s really rip through OSX THAT much faster? I must get one soon. AFter the next speed bump. I want to do more video editing. Imagine render time is much, much faster on iMovie???
     
pete
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Feb 15, 2004, 09:25 PM
 
Of course it would be nice to have a G5 in these powerbooks, but I think it will take a long time before they are going to be comfortable to use because of the heat generated. To me, there are so many things that make using a laptop comfortable and pleasant, heat being one of them. Silence another. I feel that portable computing is still for convenience rather than super power. Ideally for me, if I could afford it, I'd want a dual G5 at home and a small powerbook 12" for moving around and an easy way to sync them. Can't afford two systems now though...

before the G5 was released, the powerbooks were considered desktop replacement by most people. That was not too long ago...
     
Squozen
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Feb 17, 2004, 12:55 AM
 
..why do they keep claiming pc laptops are so fast ?
What the hell else do they have going for them?
     
bamchum
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Feb 18, 2004, 09:47 AM
 
I know that when I'm encoding an AIFF file into 128kbps AAC off of my hard drive using iTunes, I get a maximum of about 15-16x speed. This is on a 1.25Ghz Aluminum PB.

I'd be interested to hear what a 3Ghz Pentium 4 can do.
     
ivi
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Feb 18, 2004, 02:00 PM
 
Ok evey time I see this it makes me wonder, what do you really think? Why do you keep comparing your powerbooks to Dell laptops? Dells are made of cheap parts and plastic and shite compare to any other laptop, whether its apple or PC? Why don't you compare apple laptops to IBM for example? There are two reasons really why I most of the time prefer using my t40p to my ghz Ti, these are Speed and Practicality. I don't need to take my watch off or be really carefull so I don't break hinges again. The only reason to go for apple now is IMO intuitive OSX and some nice apps like iTunes and Developer tools. You have to admit that high end pc laptops are good and fast and you don't have to stick with windows, noone forces you.And to that question about 1.25 ghz powebook vs 3ghz P4, I don't know about encoding AES speeds, but most of the time it will blow 1.25 ghz G4 away.I don't bash powerbooks, they are nice, but you have to be realistic and do unbiased comparison of a similar class machines, stop comparing macs to dells.
( Last edited by ivi; Feb 18, 2004 at 02:07 PM. )
     
pete
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Feb 18, 2004, 02:19 PM
 
I agree that the IBM thinkpads are great machines. And compared to the tibooks, they are extremely durable and scratch resistant. It amazes me how that black rubbery coating can be so resistant! But the new albooks are, in my opinion, extremely durable too and more elegant than the thinkpads. That, together with macos x, makes them a better choice for me. If macos x could run on a thinkpad, I might reconsider, but it doesn't.

I also agree that we shouldn't compare apple powerbooks to dell. I think the only two companies that are worthy competitors right now are IBM and Sony. HP, Compaq, even Toshiba have really gone downhill. Siemens used to make great, very upgradable laptops (the siemens mobile 800 for example) , but since the merger with Fujitsu it's gone downhill too.
     
Allenzi35
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Feb 18, 2004, 06:31 PM
 
Originally posted by eddiecatflap:
, the build quality is shockingly bad ( it actually creaks )
So is and does my Ti 1GHz.
     
jstein
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Feb 19, 2004, 11:48 PM
 
Selling personal computers often has as much to do with marketing as it does technology. Intel realized this a few years ago when they made some architectural decisions with the Pentium 4 core that would allow them to clock up to higher speeds rather readily. Having the faster processors in terms of clock speed allowed them to push megahertz (and subsequently gigahertz) as the definitive measurement of a computer's performance.

Raw CPU speed is indeed easier to grasp than heady concepts such as bandwidth, latency, or pipeline depth. Intel's ubiquitous slogan Intel Inside meant that you were getting the fastest PC, according to the advertising hype.

Realizing that speed sells, Intel architected the Pentium 4 so that it would scale massively. Intel is cranking out 3GHz CPUs even though the word processing application has yet to be written that needs that kind of processing speed.
     
   
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