“According to most of the folks who have actually benchmarked Rosetta, it’s speed hit is… in the 50% range, give or take a few, and sometimes worse,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Mac Night Owl. “Now I haven’t actually attempted to confirm these published results, but they are sufficiently widespread and come from enough authoritative sources to accept at face value. It means that your spanking new MacBook Pro with a 2GHz Intel Core Duo processor, acts more like a computer with a 1GHz duo core processor when you uses Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. This may sound disappointing, but it really shouldn’t be.”
“Just what kind of Mac are you replacing? Forgetting the various differences between the PowerPC and Intel chips, if your computer was rated at less than 1GHz, you’re still getting a speed boost on your emulated software. And it’s just a stop gap. You can rest assured that both Office and Photoshop will go Universal some time in the next year. Other applications are being updated nearly every single day. Sure, the sooner the better, but I can’t see typing in Word any faster than I do now, so I wouldn’t consider emulation a significant turnoff unless I was working on lots of large documents with embedded documents,” Steinberg writes.
“There are things you can do to enhance Rosetta performance, however, and the first is to max out RAM. According to Transitive, its technology typically exacts a 50% memory overhead on an emulated application. In the real world, if Photoshop, for example, needs 128MB of RAM to run efficiently, add another 64MB for Rosetta to do its thing. When you factor in the requirements of Mac OS X for Intel, and any other applications you might run simultaneously, you can see that a 512MB MacIntel is apt to bog down in virtual memory land before long,” Steinberg writes. “Also don’t forget one thing that commentators have largely ignored, and that is that Rosetta is at version 1.0 for all practical purposes. Over time, it’s quite possible that Apple and Transitive will find ways to make it run faster, and don’t be surprised if one of the main features of Mac OS 10.5 Leopard is a 10 to 20% performance boost for PowerPC emulation.”
Full article here.
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Increasing RAM improves Mac OS X’s ‘Rosetta’ performance? – January 25, 2006