More Evidence for Slowness of X

mindbend

Registered
This is not a troll, bait or flame, but I'm sure I'll get some flack anyway.

My position has been and continues to be that X overall is a sloth. I continue to buy X software because I love the interface and features and hope that one day the hardware and software will mesh into a beautifully smooth experience. My point is that it simply is not here yet (on my machines--G4 450, iMac 400 DV).

Evidence:

1. Finder resize totally sucks (yeah, I know, how often do you resize a window, blah blah blah). All I know is that it's slow and I find it annoying so I hate it and find it unacceptable.
2. Omniweb/Explorer totally kill the browsing experience even on a cable modem. It's a joke. Really. Explorer runs better under Classic. WTF!
3. Painter 7. Yeah, thanks for Carbonized app, now if you could just make it run in real time so I don't have to take coffee breaks to wait for the mouse to catch up.
4. Illustrator 10. Again, thanks for Carbonizing, but mother of god is this thing slow. It is barely usable in a professional environment. Shame.
5. Giants:Citizen Kabuto. I'm running a freaking Radeon on the G4 450 and still have to turn down most of the settings to run smoothly. This is insanity.
6. Could some scientist please explain why iTunes can't even crank out 30 fps on a G4 consistently?

I refuse to accept that I wil have to drop $2500 to buy a new machine to run X as fast as OS 9 runs now. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

I am still one of Apple's biggest fans from way back, but I have to be critical on this speed thing, especially since we're now going backwards. Some things are faster, like Firewire mounting and file transfers and some network activity, but all the important stuff that I do daily to make a living is slowed down under X. Argh!

What's amazing, is that even with all these speed issues, I love using X. It's just so clean, crisp and well thought out. Some day...
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
1. Finder resize totally sucks (yeah, I know, how often do you resize a window, blah blah blah). All I know is that it's slow and I find it annoying so I hate it and find it unacceptable.

Yup. It's quite slow.

2. Omniweb/Explorer totally kill the browsing experience even on a cable modem. It's a joke. Really. Explorer runs better under Classic. WTF!

Hmm... the browsing experience is not only fine, it *rocks* for me. So I guess this must be a 'personal opinion' thing and is not an objective point of view. Even less an 'evidence'. :)

4. Illustrator 10. Again, thanks for Carbonizing, but mother of god is this thing slow. It is barely usable in a professional environment. Shame.

Shame on Apple? I don't think so. Btw. it's running fine here and we'll use it for production. Maybe your computer's too old. Didn't it have its time? Try to use Windows XP with Office XP and Illustrator 10 for Windows on a similarly old PC. Flaming? No, I just want to state that *it just is like that* with the computer industry. Not just Apple.

6. Could some scientist please explain why iTunes can't even crank out 30 fps on a G4 consistently?

Scientists have other things to do than staring at funky pictures while listening to punk music (or whatever your preference is). Although while I think about this, I guess many scientists actually *do* look at quite funky pictures while listening to punk music. :) But maybe this just isn't that important. At least for me. I've got work to accomplish.

I refuse to accept that I wil have to drop $2500 to buy a new machine to run X as fast as OS 9 runs now. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

You do again what others did. You compare apples with oranges. While OS 9 may feel faster in use today, OS X actually works faster and through the process of *not* stalling half of the time and *not* crashing at the usual 'Hey, that's *MY* memory space...' it actually lets you accomplish work much faster. Operating systems should make users productive. OS X does that very well. Of course, this doesn't have to be true for you.

What's amazing, is that even with all these speed issues, I love using X. It's just so clean, crisp and well thought out. Some day...

Which, I guess, underlines my points. And I say: Today. I couldn't live with OS 9 any more. Because now that I've started living crash-free (operating system, not apps), I just don't WANT to start losing so much time any more.
 

serpicolugnut

OS X Supreme Being
If it's too slow for you....

1) Don't use it. OS 9 worked well for many years. It still works well for those who don't mind the occassional hard crash/freeze...

2) Get a dual800

3) Wait awhile and realize that the OS has surpassed your hardware. Continue to use OS 9 until hardware that runs X more to your acceptable level is released. The G5 is rumored to be here in January...

I've got three machines, G4/400, PB G4/500, and a dual800G4. Obviously , the dual800 is the fastest, but I would not consider the other two machines to be slow under X. Is X slower than OS 9? At some things (Window resizing, IE), yes. But some things go much faster on all machines under OS X.

Examples? Well, Quake III frame rates are 20% higher under OS X than 9. Also, Lightwave 7.0b renders much faster under X than 9. Freehand 10 redraws the screen much faster under X as well...

And for the record - on a dual 800

iTunes caps at about 29fps full screen, Illustrator 10 runs great (can't wait for my copy to ship next week!), and OmniWeb 4.1sp10 runs quite fast (even on the TiBook). Haven't played Giants, but Star Voyager, QuakeIII, Alice, and Oni all rock under OS X.

How much RAM do you have? I have noticed that my TiBook gets the SCUD more often than the other machines, due to it only having 384MB of RAM (the others have 896MB and 1GB).
 

edX

mac shaman
Just curious, but how much ram do you have? Since i went from 128 to 512 on my imacDV 400 and osx went 10.1/9.2.1 speed has not been a real issue. With the low cost of memory these days it is a shame not to boost your performance in this simple manner. For about $50-$80 you can get 512+ and install it in about 20 minutes or less. As for the web,discounting problems on the server side, Omni, i-cab, and usually opera, fly from page to page while netscape 6.2 still isn't as fast as communicator I will admit. Who cares how fast ie is or not!! This doesn't sound like apple's fault. There is little doubt in my mind that some developers have got the hang of osx better than others. (note - I am very familiar w/ all these browsers because I use each regularly for different purposes - none does everything on the web to my satisfaction yet). Browser window resizing is much faster and easier in osx.1 than it ever was in 9x with any of the osx browsers. Opening folders with large numbers of files in them is far faster in osx. I'm really not sure where you get the speed problem unless you are still running in 10.0.4/9.1 which were terrible for speed and why i didn't switch full time untill the upgrades.(running 9.2.1 should help improve speed even with 10.0.4 - it did for me) You also might try going to macupdate.com and picking up OptmizerX which helps with prebinding optimization of third party apps - just like when you install apple system software and have to wait for the system to optimize the install. I have found it helps with some apps and certainly doesn't hurt any. BTw my itunes handles 128 kps no problem w/dsl. there are one or two stations that seem to hang but most play flawlessly. perhaps its your connection speed or the choice of stations. But really, more memory seems key in all this.
 

wyvern

Guest
OK I would have to agree to the Giants bitch. I am on a dual g4 800 with gf3 and giants plays HORRIBLY slowly. wtf is up with that??
 

Lazarus18

In debt medical student
I think you guys are discounting a lot of the valid points here. I've been using X exclusively since 10.0.4, and it hasn't been really fast. But I converted from the PC right at the end of 8.6 (got 9 in the second week I owned my mac) and never really fell head over heels in love with the MacOS... until X.

So like mindbend I will continue to use it for the sheer joy of the OS, but let's admit that there are speed hurdles still. My old PC with 1/14 the RAM and a processor only 100Mhz faster (which theoretically means it's much slower than my G4) still does some things much faster than my Mac. Web browsing comes to mind readily.

I don't think saying that the hardware is behind the times is valid. My machine is still more advanced than iMacs being sold with X installed, so Apple is making the claim that X should run on them, and so by extension it should run even better on mine.

I just have to hope that Apple doesn't think 10.1 is sufficient in the speed department and continues to push the envelope on that issue. It's good, and very usable, but there is still room to improve.
 

mindbend

Registered
As usual, people conjure up humorous excuses for "solutions" to the speed issue. My favorite is the old "Just use OS 9, then [dumbass]" as though I'm some sort of complete idiot who never bothered to take a rational analysis of all the options and never realized 9 existed. Duh. Of course I'm using 9 when I need to.

My second favorite is "Buy a DP 800". Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that. As I stated in my first post, I feel cheated in having to buy a machine of that caliber simply to catch up to OS 9 levels. Money is not the issue. If I thought it would be worthwhile, I'd have one already. I'm waiting until at least MWSF for a major G4 boost. If I don't see at least DP 1gig then I'm holding out for G5s.

I fully understand that my machine is getting long in the tooth and that a newer, more modern OS is more demanding as a tradeoff for its benefits. I just was expecting a little more zip on a G4. As for OS X productivity vs OS 9, I will not dispute that people can be more productive in X. I am still more productive in 9 overall. 9 does not crash for me, so stability isn't an issue. Programs with similar demands simply work faster in 9, therefore so do I. Classic is great, but too many critical limitations require me to boot to true 9.

RAM--1 gig on the G4, 512 on the iMac. Plenty to go around. Clean installs on both. It ain't the memory. Carbonized apps are simply too slow on a G4 450 with pooploads of RAM for my taste. That's all I'm saying. People running better machines should have better experiences. Those who find the performance satisfying, I have to admit I'm amazed that they aren't at least a wee bit disappointed. I mean, the first time you drag that vector around in AI10 and see how slow it is, don't you just get that sinking feeling? It can't be just me.

I'm glad to hear the success stories though. Quake rates sound good as does overall performance on the bigger machines. I still find it hard to believe, important or not, that iTunes maxes out at 29fps on a dp800. It doesn't matter that it's useless eye candy, it's a prestige thing. It's like the days of the old screen savers when you'd look at your buddy's PC and be pissed that his were smoother than yours.

wyvern, I believe, was also disgruntled by his "Giants" rates. Finally, someone else willing to be critical!

All in good fun. ;)
 

serpicolugnut

OS X Supreme Being
I think there are three factors that can contribute to one feeling that their machine is too slow...

1) Memory. With it being as cheap as it is, it shouldn't really be that big of an isssue. Personally, I'd like to see Apple up the minimum to 256 on consumer machines, and 512 on pro machines, because in reality under OS X, 512MB is the minimum you would want to use with pro software.

2) Applications. Ed hit the nail on the head when he said that some developers have gotten the hang of OS X better than others. For instance, id Software hasn't had a whole lot of trouble optimizing their games (and quake engine) for OSX, to the point that it's outpacing every other platform. If Giants is as slow as you claim it to be, I'd fire of an email to the developer and request a fix, or demand they take the game back. Another example would be browsers. IE is acceptable in the speed department, but so far, the sneaky peeks of OmniWeb 4.1 are proving to be much much faster. iCab and Opera seem to be the fastest right now.

3) Perception. If you focus on all the things that OS X does do slower than 9, you're gonna frustrate yourself. If you can't get stuff done faster in 9 than X, go back to 9. Personally, I find that even though Window resizes aren't as fast as 9, with all the extras in X, I find myself more productive even using Classic apps. The one thing I don't miss at all is when launching an application you are stuck and can't do anything else. It may be only for a few seconds at most, but in those few seconds I can check my email or check a web under X.

So mindbend, if you haven't already maxxed out your RAM, that would be my first suggestion.
 

simX

Unofficial Mac Genius
I'd like to chime in here. (If you don't want to read this big long post, please at least read the last paragraph.

I have a G4 cube 450 MH.. oh, well you can look at my specs in my signature. Nevertheless, I have to say that Finder window resizing and even window resizing in general is definitely slower than OS 9. However, since it is live resizing, I don't have to resize, let up the mouse, see if it's good, and then resize again. So actually, window resizing is probably faster than in OS 9.. like others have said, it is all in the perception.

OK. About the browsers. NO WAY IN HELL is OmniWeb faster than IE. At least on my computer. OmniWeb is so horribly slow.. especially when it's loading a webpage, it doesn't respond to me clicking on other links in the middle of the load, and often waits until the page is finished loading (which often takes a long time) and THEN responds to my link click. Often, too, I click on a link in OW, and the hand pointer turns into the regular mouse pointer, and it doesn't seem like OW registers the click. So I move my mouse off the link and back on it, and it changes to the hand pointer -- I click again, and again it turns back to a mouse pointer but doesn't seem to respond to my click. Only after 15 seconds or so I see that the link has been clicked and it is loading the page. OW is NOT faster than IE at all. IE is very acceptable, though. I only wish I could use OW, because I love the banner/javascript popup blocking features. Hopefully after I backup my comp on my iPod (;)) and erase and reinstall OS X, it'll be faster. But seriously, right now it's not acceptable.

I dunno about Giants or Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force (I want the expansion pack!), but Oni in OS X (using OG's application) is slower than the Classic version. And running the Classic version is slower than running it in OS 9 natively. But that's really the only carbonized (the application is Cocoa, I think) application I can base my comparison on, since I don't have many other 3D intensive games, besides Myst III: Exile, which works beautifully I might add. So I think games will probably be, generally, faster in OS X, as some people have said here.

Last thing, I promise. This is a biggy, though. Because of OS X's pre-emptive multitasking, no application can hog the processor. This is important because, no application can hog the processor! Many applications in OS 9 would do that, even if you didn't notice it. Had you ever, in OS 9, put something big to copy in the Finder in the background and then switched to a web browser, browsed for 10 minutes, and then went back to the Finder and found that it had barely copied anything? That's probably because the browser was hogging the computer, and as a result, the copying didn't get much done. This is an extreme case, but highlights this point: for better or for worse, applications cannot hog the processor, which means each application will probably get a slightly increased level of sluggishness because of this lack of control .
 

edX

mac shaman
for Simx -
I was just wondering if you are continuing to check out the latest versions of opera, omniweb & i-cab? Their older releases were very slow and couldn't do anything. Now they are starting to speed by netscape/mozilla and ie as well as pick up functionality with every new release. Like I said before, none are perfect yet, but they all avoid me putting more money in Bill Gates or aol's pockets. If you think you're not supporting microsoft and the pc conglomerate when you use ie for free, think again!! (same with aol when you use netscape) We gripe about apple not being up to snuff, about developers not giving us enough attention and about how pc users are blind to the truth. Why help perpetuate this by supporting the very surce of the problems. Bill Gates will own the world until we stop giving him our share of it!!! these other browsers may not be perfect (YET!) but i would rather help them develop a product that really rocks on a mac than to give in to instant gratification and become just another wheel in the machine. If there is something that doesn't work on one of the new browsers, write em. Unlike some others, they will actually listen and probably even send a personal response from a developer, not some customer dis-service rep who only knows what's on their screen. oh well, this turned into a rant so I will end here. Just hate to see anybody knock the new browsers if they haven't kept up with updates. I know i knocked em at first but now I'm sold.:cool:
 

Lazarus18

In debt medical student
I have OW sneaky peak for 4.1 and it is still hideously slow when compared to IE (or Mozilla, which is my middle of the road choice for speed vs. selling out). I love OW, but it is SLOW. I don't know how people keep claiming OW is speedy.

Actually I do have some clue. My guess is that it is the only ap open. Not sure on the technical side, but I was under the impression that preemptive multitasking meant you could keep a ton of aps open and only the active ones would use processor power. But I notice that if I only have a browser open and nothing else the browser is faster. This effect seems more dramatic to me with OW than it does with IE.
 

Dradts

Official Mac User
I've seen Windows XP run on a Pentium 300 MHz and 256 MB RAM, and it wuz pretty, pretty fast!
MacOS X can't catch up wit Windows XP's speed. It even can't catch up wit Windows 2000/ME/98/... speed.
All programs on X run pretty slow. E. If I want to play Tony Hawks, I have to quit all other programs before i start playing, otherwise the other programs will slow it down to much. If I want to watch the iTunes Visualizer, I have to do the same thing, otherwise it will be stuck at like 5 to 10 frames/sec.
Well, ok, OS X looks pretty good, and its stable as hell, but it still lacks in performance.

By the way, Im also on a cable modem, as mindbend is, and browsing the net wit OS X's browsers is not very satisfying. Its always kinda slow.

Anyways, I'll stay wit MacOS for the rest of my life, because it has just the best GUI on the world. Hopefully, it will soon also be as fast as other operating systems already are.
 

SCrossman

MacTech
Originally posted by simX

This is important because, no application can hog the processor! Many applications in OS 9 would do that, even if you didn't notice it.
. [/B]

What simX said about OS 9 hits the nail on the head. Many apps written for OS 9 or its earlier siblings could easily hog the CPU, leaving all other running processes waiting.
When I go to my iMac, still running OS 9.2.1 for testing purposes, I get frustrated when I try to do something and the OS doesn't respond because it is essentially locked out. OS X has spoiled me with it preemptive multitasking. How many times have you been locked out of a process in OS 9? Too many times for me.
iTunes might have been reniced, so putting 40fps full screen visuals would not leave other processes running in the background starving for CPU time. But how many other things can you do when iTunes is doing its visuals?
 

.dev.lqd

Angry Member
It's been my feeling that a lot of application developers still haven't gotten the hang of coding for OSX yet- which is understandable, because it's an enormous paradigm shift (speaking of cooperative to preemptive).

I know a lot of things I do in X are slower to happen than in OS9- but I'm usually doing a lot of them at once. I start five applications and then let them sit there- I look forward to doing this with production tools like photoshop and illustrator. Apps are slow to start- but (at least in my cases) most have been using few resources once they're open and inactive.

It will be very very interesting to see how FCP 2.5 turns out- it will be the first large scale application to be rolled out for OS X by apple- so one would hope that at least the maker of the OS knows how to make a program scream on it.

I'm also only running with 256M right now on my DP500- I'm hoping that when I upgraded to two pairs of 512's that I'll see a significant performance boost. I can- at least- say that I'm definitely more productive in osx. I can usually do 5-10 things at the same time without much- if any- performance hit. The applications stay responsive. Classic still has its various problems- but I can reboot OS9 as much as I want without interupting any of my native applications. I frequently am transferring large video files over my DSL connection to machines on campus- so being able to let fetch or a screen'ed ftp process sit in the background and chunk away- even if I log out- is an enormous boost in my productivity. I tend to think of performence as just eye candy. I'm more concerned with how quickly I can get things done in an OS, so it becomes a matter of productivity. The three-paned view of the finder lets me search and traverse HUGE tree structures from the keyboard very, very quickly. I tend to have lots of small clips organized (*ahem*) into any number of different projects and folders- so finding them used to be quite a task in OS9.

The speed doesnt bother me so much- as long as I don't have to reboot and open all my applications again. I go for nearly a week at a time with OSX. OS9 had me measuring uptime in days (if not hours).
 

simX

Unofficial Mac Genius
SCrossman: Thanks for backing me up here! :) I really think this is the real "problem" with OS X, for better or for worse.

As to if I use the latest version of OW, yes, I use OW 4.1sp10. The link click response is horrible. Absolutely horrible. I'm sorry to say it, but like Lazarus18 said, it is still hideously slow compared to IE, so I'm going to stick with IE for now. Netscape 6.2 is damned slow, too, but I haven't tried out Opera 5.0b2 or iCab in OS X at all. Maybe I should give them a spin.
 

genghiscohen

Membrum virile
Point number one - Get More RAM! I went from 128MB in my slot-loading iMac back in March, to 320MB in April, to 768MB in August. The more the merrier!
Point number two - For many of the functions that matter to me, OS X is FAST! I refer specifically to upload and download speeds, Usenet newsgroup access speeds, generally any internet connectivity function.
I agree that OW is slooow responding to link clicks. But now that its page loading has been speeded up, the attractive appearance and the availability of Services have me using it about equally with Mozilla.
 

mindbend

Registered
So I get Illustrator 10 up and running in X, I'm very excited--native AI!!

And then I try the new live distortion tools on a simple box. Holy lord of sloth is this thing slow. Dare I say, unusable.

So I reboot to 9.2.1 and give it a go, thinking it'll still be pretty slow, much like Acrobat 5 is (Adobe should be shot for releasing that piece of junk to the Mac market). Anyway, AI10 totally smokes in 9.2.1! I don't mean like 10% faster, I mean like 500% faster plus. It's not even close.

This is the root of my entire point when starting this thread:
I can live with somebody telling me that I should expect a 10%-15% performance hit as a tradeoff for all the cool advantages of X. But so far, as I've listed many times, we're not talking about 10-15%, we're talking like many times slower, in the hundreds of percent slower range.

I don't care what the techno babble is for why this is the case, all I know is that the same damn program is glacially slower in THE NEWER OS!

Again, I repeat, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! I'm literally yelling, teehee.

If anyone can get anything resembling work done on anything less than a DP800, call me impressed. I refuse to drop that kind of cash to simply catch up to OS 9 speeds.

As someone pointed out, for me Final Cut Carbonized (or Cocoaized or whatever) should tell us all. If that program doesn't scream on Apple's own machines with their own flagship software, then we're all in trouble. If it is as good as I'm hoping, then all the other developers need to go back to the drawing board and do it right.
 

Chris

Registered
Originally posted by wyvern
OK I would have to agree to the Giants bitch. I am on a dual g4 800 with gf3 and giants plays HORRIBLY slowly. wtf is up with that??
Giants is a very demanding game. Even my friend's 1.2 ghz Athlon with a GeForce 3 gets choppy in it sometimes. And mhz for mhz, PCs are faster at the floating-point math computations that are used in 3D games, so this says a lot.
 

pbrice

Member
Sorry to hear about your problems, mindbend. I have few complaints with OS X as it stands now, but I'm not that muchh of a power user. But I imagine a lot of people who are powerusers and professionals out there are feeling the same.

I think Apple will optimize their code as time gows on (someone specifically mentioned the increase from 10.0 to 10.1) as will other developers. I'd bet a good deal of money on the fact that none of Adobe's first runs on OS X will be as fast as anything they have for OS 9. They really need to re-educate, re-analyze, & re-develop everything that they have been doing for the past Xnumber of years - not that this helps you any ; ) I truly believe that the products that thy're putting outt now and going to put out are simply first ports just to get them in the game - just like the original 10.0 was.

I think this same problem is going to be evident across the board, until the proverbial 12 o'clock that Steve spoke of previously. Maybe even after, but a lot of things will be fixed before.

I also think that the other problem is that OS X is the future of the Mac OS, and is therefore written for it. And the future of the Mac is faster processors, better BUS speeds, more RAM. Sure, OSX and its third-party apps will run on owr existing systems, but OS X isn't going to REALLY shine on any of our current hardware (DP 800 included). OS X is going to REALLY shine when all the code is finally optimized, thrid party developers have had a chance to work passed all their problems of moving to a new platform, and Apple moves on to better hardware. G5 with Hypertransport, anyone?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Originally posted by mindbend
As usual, people conjure up humorous excuses for "solutions" to the speed issue.

Yes, that's bad. I didn't do that, I wonder why you didn't answer my post.

I feel cheated in having to buy a machine of that caliber simply to catch up to OS 9 levels.

You're just ignoring facts. Accept that Mac OS X is *not* just another update to Mac OS 9. You may say you know, but you seem to ignore that. 'simply to catch up to OS 9 levels' is a strange thing to say. If what you mean is Finder speed, I totally agree with you. If you mean applications: Blame the developers of those. If you mean calculating speed: You're simply wrong.
 
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