[OS X TeX] What kind of operation is TeXing? (concerning hardware)

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Thu Feb 3 20:19:43 CET 2005

On 3 feb 2005, at 20:07, Claus Gerhardt wrote:

> Memory is certainly the man bottleneck and from my experiences I would 
> recommend that get the maximum amount possible, i.e., 1GB, already 
> factory configured - Apple has reduced the memory prices recently.
> I don't think that the relatively slow hard drive will be noticeable; 
> it might be, if you would use Flashmode, but then a custom format 
> might advisable. At the moment I am using one myself, since the 
> chapter I am working at is a bit oversized, more than 70 pages, and 
> having a custom format gives a small speed boost, which might be more 
> dramatic, in case of a slow hard drive.

If you know someone with a PowerBook G4 who uses TeX, you can probably 
witness the speed of TeX on the Mac mini: same hard-drive, same CPU (on 
some models). I mention this, because I guess that at the moment there 
are more powerbooks and iBook G4 out there than Mac mini's. From 
personal experience, I can tell you that 1.25 GHz with 1 GB of memory 
is perfectly acceptable. After the first run all files that you use are 
in the disk cache anyway, which takes the drive is out of the equation. 
Increasing the amount of memory increases the size of your disk cache, 
and reduces the impact of a slower drive. Now, if you asked about video 
editing, the story would be different.


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