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How can devote more resources to a specific application?

Posted on 2004-10-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I am running Pro Tools on a mac G4 1gHz powerbook with 768 megs of ram.  It doesnt quite run as smoothly as I would expect... how can I tweak it to make it run more smoothly?  Its a 12 inch powerbook that I have connected to a 23 inch cinema display.  When the display is connected, I noticed that the screen redraws itself less smoothly.. can this be most of the noticed performance difference?

Also, I used to run pro tools on a g4 867 Mhz with 640 megs of ram (also a powerbook).  It actually seemed to run faster on the slower computer because it wasnt hooked up to a large monitor.  I cant imagine that anything other than video memory is used to handle the cinema display.  I did some testing on the faster pb without the monitor and it did seem to run a little faster....  Whether the display is affecting it or not, it does seem like there should be something I could do to assign the application higher priority while its running.  When I run "top" from the unix command line, it seems that not all my available physical memory is being used and that a million processes run that Im not using.  Is there anything I could other than buying a dual G5 (which I am scheming for continually)?

Question by:meuedyn
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Expert Comment

ID: 12397379
Give this free application a try if you want to modify the priority of Tech Tool.  
What are you running in Tech Tool? Is the scan you are running reading/writing lots of data on the hard drive? If that is the case it is likely that the hard drive in the Powerbook is not as fast as the hard drive in your desktop.  Hard drives in Notebook computers typically aren't as fast as hard drives in desktop computers.  What is the processor utilization on your Powerbook without Tech Tool running?

Author Comment

ID: 12397441
Actually, I only have a powerbook.. and yes the drive is a little slow (4200).  The problems have more to do with the way the interface operates.  The app I am using is actually "Digidesign Pro Tools 6.2.3" rather than tech tool.  Regardless, some sort of priority tweaking with the unix command "nice"  might do it.. your link is to an app that just runs nice in the background.. I wouldnt know what processes to blow up or reduce in priority and what to keep high in the list.. is it safe to just mess with it and arrive at a better situation via trial and error?  would reboot fix anything that I messed up using this app?

Expert Comment

ID: 12400233
If you simply change the priority of applications it should not hurt anything.  Any problems caused by changing the process priorities will be fixed by a reboot.  

Accepted Solution

idarmadi earned 375 total points
ID: 12407588

One trick that you can do to make it 'draw faster' is to reduce the color.  Go to System Preference -> Display and set the 'color' to 'thousand' instead of million.  (Unless you're doing digital imaging, you can live with 'thousand' color).  You can even go down to 256 if you can live with it.

What happened is that your powerbook 'video card' and vram (video ram) are designed just for your tiny 12" screen.  If you add a 23" screen... it can work, but slow as it have to move 'millions' of data back and forth your system and the monitor.  It will be faster if it just move 'thousands' of data back and forth.

Good luck.

Expert Comment

ID: 12411622
Are you mirroring the screens?  you get lower percieved resolution on the 23" but faster redraw

Also, if you are using a DVI adapter, is it the Apple one?

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