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Mac OS X Tip: Optimize Your Processor Performance for Audio/Video

If you’re using a Power Mac G5 or a newer PowerBook or iBook you should check out a setting that could affect the performance of your CPU and your audio or video software. Apple introduced a Processor Performance Setting in the Energy Saver menu that is set by default to “Automatic.” This allows a notebook or desktop computer to save energy. When it is turned on, the microprocessor’s voltage, bus speed, and clock speed are adjusted to answer the current demands on the system. The advantage of this design is a longer battery life on portable computers and fewer running fans on desktop computers because of lower operating temperatures.

However, when you’re using professional audio or video applications or other programs that use the microprocessor intensively, the Automatic option in Energy Saver may not provide the best microprocessor performance. If you know you are going to be placing a significant demand on the microprocessor, change your Energy Saver setting to “Highest.”

Automatic processor performance was introduced in the following computers:

PowerBook G4 (12-inch DVI)
PowerBook G4 (15-inch FW 800)
PowerBook G4 (17-inch 1.33 GHz)
Power Mac G5
iBook G4

To adjust Processor Performance Setting:

1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
2. From the View menu, choose Energy Saver.
3. Click Options, then choose an option from the Processor Performance pop-up menu.

Automatic–The microprocessor will change speeds based on current demands.
Highest–The microprocessor will run at the highest speed.
Reduced–The microprocessor will run at a reduced speed.

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