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  • snookie - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    The article is very good but surprisingly makes the same mistake as so many other reviews which is to test with only 512MB of ram. The intel imac is a much better machine with more ram and it doesn't make sense to test it with the minimum amount. Also Universal apps are coming fast and furious on a daily basis. I've got 1.5 GB of ram in mine and lots of the little apps I use everyday are already UB and are nice and fast as is the OS and iLife apps. It won't be long before Windows runs on these as well as Linux with Red Hat promising support. Check out Bare Feats for some pretty nice benchmarks including games. Yes, Quake 4 will actually run at a decent speed as well as COD 2.
    http://www.barefeats.com/imcd.html">http://www.barefeats.com/imcd.html
    Reply
  • csoto - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    Your only complaints stem from poor choice of models/configuraitons. The 20" unit will provide the added resolution, and BTO options allow up to 2GB on the Core Duo and 2.5GB on the G5 (although a 2GB soDIMM is listed at >$1K!). This is like me complaining that my mini van doesn't have a navigation system, because I was too cheap to buy the model that came with it :)

    Also, your assertion that the Core Duo is a "public beta" is absurd. You had zero problems running applications. Word from those around me that are testing Core Duos is that for most applications, you don't even notice Rosetta. Pro Apps users would complain, but they're never early adopters, because their apps always lag at least a few months behind the latest platform (remember the "multiprocessor plug-in" that allowed Photoshop to limp along for so long before a "MP-native" version was released?). This is a solid platform transition, likely exceeding the fairly solid (albeit far more daunting for the day) transition from 680x0 to PPC.

    Now if only VMWare would ship Workstation for Mac OS X, then I could ditch the Dell...

    Charles
    Reply
  • Furen - Sunday, February 05, 2006 - link

    He says he already had an iMac so in order to compare the two I'm guessing he bought the closest-matching one possible. I would hardly do to have an 20" iMac compared with a 17" one in power consumption or running at a different native resolution. I do agree that the RAM limits the system insanely but he went for default specs rather you start improving all the draw backs each system has.

    The reason why he says this is like a public beta is not because Rosetta sucks or anything of the sort but because there are almost no universal binaries besides those shipped by Apple. Apple chose to bring these systems forwards (at first they had said the systems would come out mid '06, I believe) without having enough of a software base and that's a pretty big drawback.
    Reply
  • jepapac - Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - link

    I was just wondering if the graphics adapter on the iMac is upgradeable since it is using pciexpress. Does anyone know? Reply
  • aliasfox - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    I'm guessing its actually the laptop X1600 in the iMac, soldered onto the motherboard. Unfortunate, yes, but given the primary audience that the iMac is targeted at, I'm not surprised.

    Your average home user would rather buy a new $600-1000 box instead of dropping ~$500 for more RAM, a bigger hard drive, new graphics, and a faster processor.
    Reply
  • Eug - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I'm guessing its actually the laptop X1600 in the iMac

    Why? Previous iMacs used desktop GPU parts.
    Reply
  • aliasfox - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    I read somewhere that the 9600 in the second generation iMac G5 was a laptop part, and I therefore assumed that since Apple used the same GPUs in the iMac that it used in PowerBooks (GeForce FX5200, Radeon 9600, X1600), it was sourcing the same parts for both lines.

    Also, I've never read about an integrated 9600 or FX5200 as a desktop part. I might be mistaken though.
    Reply
  • nizzki - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Any idea which compilers apple has used for their apps? For example, for the PPC apps I assume apple uses the IBM compiler heavily optimized for PPC instead of GCC.
    If that is the case, with the intel compiler for osx is in beta, the current somewhat lackluster performance of the core duo might be skewed in PPC's favor. This would be further exacerbated if Apple used GCC to compile the macintel apps, since it is unlikely to be heavily optimized for the core duo architecture.
    Reply
  • Commodus - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Just a heads-up, Anand: the Core Duo iMac is the first iMac model to support desktop spanning, not just mirroring. So if you want, you can hook up even a 23" Cinema Display and get a huge amount of extra workspace. I'd probably only do that with a 20" iMac and the 256 MB video memory option, though. Reply
  • ingoldsby - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Perhaps it's just me, but the non native apps I run seem to run at about the same speed as they natively ran on my G5. While the universal binaries run much faster.

    I would love to see this comparison revisited with a realistic amount of memory in the machine (ie. 1gb+) instead of limiting the machine to 512mb.
    Reply
  • Illissius - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Compared to native applications, obviously, it's less than ideal; on the other hand, compared to, say, PearPC, it's pretty amazing. (I don't have any data and haven't tried it myself, but from what I've heard I'd suspect it runs at 5%-ish performance; compared to that, 30-70% is a minor miracle.)
    I know it won't interest the end user any whether it could've been even worse, but wanted to point it out, nonetheless ;).
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I wonder how it compares in game- oh, right, Mac. Hehehe ;) Reply
  • DrZoidberg - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    there is one very popular game on mac.

    World of warcraft....could anandtech pls include a benchie comparing mac with intel core duo vs g5 in wow? It would be interesting to see if apple switching to intel means macs are better at games (or not).
    Reply
  • fitten - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Is the Universal Binary out for WoW yet? Reply
  • Cusqueno - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I have a 20" iMac Core Duo and with the default 512 RAM it was bad performance. About 5-10 fps in IronForge and 20-25 elsewhere. When I upgraded to 2 GB RAM it has improved greatly, maybe 10 - 20 in IF and 30 - 40 on the road. I guess this is due to Rosetta using lots of RAM.

    As of last night, there was no Universal binary. But today is patch/reboot day so might be pushed when I get off work. It is supposed to be included with version 1.9.3 according to the WoW forums.
    Reply
  • fitten - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    That's pretty awesome considering that you're running WoW in emulation (Rosetta). Reply
  • vortmax - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Seeing that Rosetta is needed for all MS and Adobe apps. and since using Rosetta seems to take lots of memory, it would be nice to see how it runs with 1gb. Also, some benchmarks from Photoshop would be nice :)

    Thanks Anand!
    Reply
  • Lifted - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    "... but those are the ones we want to measure anyways so they have to be there." Reply
  • Eug - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Does turning off one core turn off half the cache?

    ie. Is it really Yonah Core Solo, or is it Yonah Celeron M?
    Reply
  • maconlysource - Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - link

    Where did you get the toolbar single proc- dual proc utility.
    I installed the developer pkg on my Intel iMac but can't find it?
    Can you email me it?

    Thanks.

    Pete.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Turning off one core leaves the full 2MB of cache for the other core to use since it is a shared L2.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Eug - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Turning off one core leaves the full 2MB of cache for the other core to use since it is a shared L2.

    Take care,
    Anand

    Cool thanks.

    P.S. I have read elsewhere that the new iMac Core Duo uses less than half of the CPU's processing power to play back H.264 Hi-Def 1920x1080 video at a full 24 fps. If true, that's great, because my iMac 2.0 chokes on that. It plays back relatively smoothly, but only at about 12-15 fps.

    That bodes well for a future single-core Yonah Mac mini.

    Then again, probably not, considering that I suspect the iMac Core Duo does so well on H.264 playback because of its Radeon X1600. I'd doubt the Mac mini would get anything close to that any time soon.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Max CPU utilization (across both CPUs) when playing a 1080p stream scaled to fit the screen is about 60%, but it usually hovers below 50%. I am not sure whether or not the X1600's H.264 decode acceleration is taken advantage of (I doubt it), I'm trying to find out now. Also remember that on the PC side, the X1600 will only accelerate up to 720p.

    Take care,
    Anand

    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I just confirmed with ATI, the X1600's H.264 decode acceleration is currently not supported under OS X. ATI is working with Apple on trying to get the support built in, but currently it isn't there.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Eug - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I just confirmed with ATI, the X1600's H.264 decode acceleration is currently not supported under OS X. ATI is working with Apple on trying to get the support built in, but currently it isn't there.

    Thanks again for the info. That's actually good news in a way. Things are looking up for that single-core Yonah Mac mini HTPC.
    Reply
  • andrep74 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Isn't performance/Watt a function of the CPU, not the platform? Reply
  • Kyteland - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    That picture of Jobs doesn't say "PC vs Intel" it says "PowerPC vs Intel". Jobs is just standing in the way. He's comparing the old mac to the new mac. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    You could think about it that way - but in the end, the buyer is interested on the total energy consumption/heat production (as this is what he pays for, and what he must get rid of).
    Have you heard of the Toyota D4D engine? It has a record of 2.4 liter (less than a gallon) diesel fuel used per a hundred kilometers (60 miles). However, the same engine on a Land Cruiser 4x4 all options will get you much less (four times less maybe).
    It doesn't worths talking about performance per watt at the processor level, it is better at the platform level.
    Reply
  • BUBKA - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Were these benches done with a USB 2.0 device plugged in? Reply
  • Furen - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I was under the impression that Intel was blaming Microsoft for that, so that would not apply to OSX, though if the driver works perfectly for every platform except Napa I'd guess its a hardware problem that MS will fix in software (which is well enough as long as it works). The power consumption difference is probably less than 10W anyway. It matters on a notebook but hardly matters with a desktop.

    Reply
  • ohnnyj - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I have already preorded one (did so on the day they were announced), but now I am having serious doubts about keeping the order (does not ship until the 15th). The only thing that really worries me is if Apple will release new MacBooks when Intel releases the Conroe processor. I would think by that time (fall?) they would have most of the programs ported (i.e. Photoshop) and then an even better processor to run it with. I have been waiting so long for a laptop,...decisions, decisions. Reply
  • Furen - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I would say you should tough it out for a bit. Like Anand said, this is basically a Public Beta test. Kind of sucks that Apple brought out a 32bit version of the OS considering that it could've been x86-64 native if Apple had waited for a couple of quarters. Then again, it makes no difference if the OS is not 64 bits yet, since a 64 bit version would be able to run 32 bit apps anyway. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I wonder if Rosetta itself doesn't take advantage of multi-thread... Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Wait, doesn't X1600 use H.264 decoding on hardware?? Reply
  • smitty3268 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    It does if the drivers are set up to use it properly. Given that Windows users only got this about a month ago I'd say it probably isn't doing that yet on Macs. Could be, though. Reply

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