[OS X TeX] speed of typesetting on a MacBook?

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Wed Jan 11 13:24:09 EST 2006

On Jan 11, 2006, at 10:06 , Gary L. Gray wrote:

> I am *very* interested in getting one of these new MacBook Pros if  
> Steve Jobs' claims of its speed are true. He claims that the 1.83  
> GHz MacBook is 4 times faster than the current 1.67 GHz PowerBook.  
> Given that I have 1.5 GHz PowerBook, will I see the sort of speed  
> increases claimed by Jobs when typesetting TeX or will it only  
> scale with clock speed, that is, it will only be 1.83/1.67 times  
> faster?

That's a very difficult question to answer (hence the YMMV  
disclaimers the automobile industry uses when claiming 150mpg for  
their hummers).

The clock speed is a marketing gimmick.  It may give you some  
information on performance, but there is much more involved:
   internal chip architecture (e.g., instruction pipeline depth)
   memory speed
   buss speeds
   disk speeds
   OS tuning
   blah blah blah

The dual core chip gives you multiple (2) processors, with some speed  
and other advantages because they are on the same chip, but it  
doesn't double the performance of a single 'do loop'.

Running a TeX compile will likely not need more than one processor,  
but the fact that you have more than one will let other things go on  
while compiling.

The TeX compile will more likely measure differences in disk and  
memory bandwidth, and details of the chip architectures.

> Thank you for helping me make my decision. :-)

Anything we can do to simplify your life :-}.  Once you get it, let  
us know what the difference is ;-}



Justin C. Walker, Curmudgeon-At-Large
Institute for General Semantics
Men are from Earth.
Women are from Earth.
    Deal with it.

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