intel mobile processors: My experience with XP

AdmiralAK

Simply Daemonic
I've had friends of mine that have bought Wintel laptops and they have those ugly stickers on them - what is the purpose anyway? So that you dont forget the specs and the 1 year warranty? ;)
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
So is this a fact then? PC laptops are better? If so, by what I've seen, Mac laptops must be REALLY bad! Because that 'lovely' Centrino I borrowed for a week was a joke, it cost a fortune and I thought it was a complete waste of money. I find it incredible that in the 21st Century, we still have machines that are so bad, my old PowerBook 520 was better... I think.


As for benchmarks etc. etc. I learned that such benchmarks are meaningless a long time ago, the REAL benchmarks of note are how long it takes to start up, to load a wordprocesssor, to print a document, to encode a movie, to import a MP3 etc. etc. The rest are just numbers which are appealing to the engineer in me, but are worthless in the real world when it comes to getting a job done.
 

Viro

Registered
Uhm... in what way was the Centrino bad?

The benchmark that I mentioned was in Matlab. Have a look here to see if it is "real" enough. Those other tests you talk about are quite dependent on the software used, but you will find that there is no way that the G4, with its limited FSB (corrected on the latest dual-core G4s btw) can rival the Centrino.
 

Lycander

Registered
Viro said:
The only downside of the Intel line of processors is that it's x86 and there is no good vector unit.
Last time I checked, there is no vector unit for SSE(2). They just pair up 2 64-bit FPU registers to make a 128-bit register and rename it. The FPU itself issues the instructions. What makes it really suck is the penalty for state changing.

I was foolish enough to write assembly code that state changed in every iteration of the loop. So what ever bonus I gained from SIMD was shot.

I never got around to messing with Altivec in assembly. Would have been interesting. A real vector unit, heh.
 

Viro

Registered
The state change doesn't matter so much, since SSE deals with floating points too. It used to be an issue with MMX but it's much less of a problem with SSE. Also, I thought that SSE wasn't aliased onto the FPU registers like MMX and 3DNow? That should negate a lot of the (performance) problems associated with state changing. Been so long since I did any x86 assembly :).
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
Viro said:
Uhm... in what way was the Centrino bad?
I said before, it was nasty. I mean the laptop of course, not the chip, but it drained the battery like there was no tommorrow, I remember my PowerBook 520 being none to great with battery life, but this hunk of junk was a joke, it felt like I was always having to recharge it. It was so hot, you could cook eggs on it, it actually blew hot air out in my face! If that's what a 21st Century laptop is like, I'm glad I ditched the idea back in '97 and turned my uses to palmtops. As I said, my partner and I gave serious consideration to iBooks, but if they are as bad as that, forget it. I don't know if the problem was the hardware (HP I think?!? I was too unmoved to notice) or that lousy excuse of an OS (sorry I'll never have a good word to say about Microsoft's Windows OSes, something which can crash just opening a window is not worth spit) but the experience was dreadfull, and do you know what I was doing? JUST IMPORTING A CD COLLECTION INTO iTUNES FOR MY SISTER AND SOME LIGHT WORDPROCESSING.

Pure garbage, and that's MY experience of laptop computing in the Intel world. :)
 

powermac

iMac Dual 2.0 17'
Well, I got a new Powerbook today, and love it. The IBM Thinkpad was not a bad computer. The battery life was well welcome, and the keyboard was really comfortable to type on. Additionally, IBM adds features to the laptop that make sense and make up for the lack of technology within XP.
Although the interface did respond quickly, the video memory was only 16megs. I find that very inadequate for a new system. And the I/O ports are not up to modern standards. The computer had 256Mb of ram, and multi-tasking was a struggle.
I could have lived with that laptop if I had to, I certainly think Tiger is a sweet OS. Xp was not bad, it is much more clumsy to navigate the system, especially from some one who is not that experienced with XP.
In short, I am in the saddle again with my new PB. :D :D
 

Qion

Uber Nothing
I've used a couple Windows laptops, including one of those Thinkpads powermac is talking about. These really aren't bad laptops, despite being ugly as sin and having those retarded stickers on the cases. It's the OS that makes them "bad". I took one my friend's newer PC laptops w/ XP on it, and used it for about a week with Windows. I hated the thing. Windows was just so problematic and unintuitive. So, I installed my favorite distro of Linux on it (Slax KB Edition), and the thing was beautiful. No problems, fast, clean. (Oh, and I took those stickers off) It's Windows that makes these things bad.

Also, I agree with fjdouse. I don't really care about how much faster a PC laptop is compared to a Powerbook. If the Powerbook was running at half the processor and 1/4 the actual speed of a comparable Centrino, I'd take the PB. It's the OS and design that matters to me.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Then it's a good thing that we'll get the speed of those notebooks _WITH_ Mac OS X, eh? Talking of my next PowerBook exactly...
 

powermac

iMac Dual 2.0 17'
I agree, the IBM was fast in some areas of operations and slow in others. Multi-tasking was the most problematic I experienced. I noticed that many windows machines, especially those that rely on the system resources for the video, have that weird drawing window problem. For example, the outline of the window (Browser) would draw first, and the background (wallpaper) would be seen yet, and then the window would draw completely. This would happen often, especially if multi-tasking. Of course with 16mg of video ram, one would expect it. My office computer does the same thing.

IBM was ugly, but a functional computer. The PowerBook is so much better designed, and pleasing to work on. IBM added many nice features, for example IBM ACCESS button. You can perform many functions with that utility, including setting up a profile based upon what you want (home, work, etc). The system restore is on the hard-drive, which makes reinstalling windows easier. The I/O ports were the most disappointing. No firewire port, one USB on the left side, and one in the middle back. A old LPT port for a printer, and a VGA and S video out.

Well I had my windows experience, and you could clearly see M$ copy OSX in some areas. In the end, my PB may not be as fast, as a new Intel, nor the battery life may not be as good, certainly, the Tiger is hands down a better OS. It is pleasurable to use, functions smoothly, and reliable.
 
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