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Next iMacs to get redesigned? (Page 4)
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May 2, 2007, 08:28 AM
 
Hi Simon,

Thanks for answering the questions.... it saved me trawling around trying to find out what Santa Rosa was.

If I was Steve Jobs, I wouldn't put a new iMac or mini out right now for a 10% performance increase. If leopard was on the market, that would be a different matter. Existing Mac customers tend to wait until new stuff is released, so you will always have the longest time before something else replaces what you have. Non mac customers have a huge amount to gain by buying an iMac with Tiger today, rather than waiting for replacement.

I really cannot wait for October... I'll definately be buying Leopard, and recommend that my friends buy the newer iMac.

My switch count has just doubled, by the way... Now up from one switcher to two (from friends and family). When Leopard is released I will step up the evangelism.
     
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May 2, 2007, 09:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by dale
If I was Steve Jobs, I wouldn't put a new iMac or mini out right nowfor a 10% performance increase. If leopard was on the market, that would be a different matter.
Let's just be glad you're not Steve Jobs.


Originally Posted by dale View Post
Developing iMac's costs a lot of money, and I'm sure apple does not want to be caught up in Intels relentless development cycles, constantly trying to keep ahead of the competition. The iMac, is possibly the worlds most beautiful computer - an elegant balance of design brilliance and technical capability. Nothing comes close. My iMac is now 15 months old, and I can still wow my friends with it today. I'm not sure apple needs an update until October. Chin or not, nothing comes close!
Once the basic iMac design is finished, it's not a huge jump to follow many of Intel's innovations. Intel's designs are often built for relatively easy implementation and upgrades. This is especially true with laptop chipsets, which are used in the iMac.

Indeed, I think the iMac's true innovations are in its form factor, not in its technical specifications. Significant iMac form factor changes don't come with every Intel CPU and chipset update.

We're hoping for a new form factor with the iMac, but this has little to do with Santa Rosa. If there is no form factor change, the upgrade to Santa Rosa is almost just a drop-in replacement in many respects.

P.S. I think one of the main reasons for the Mac switching to x86 was to take advantage of this fast upgrade cycle. PowerPC's improvements came far too slowly for computer line trying to keep up with the competition.
     
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May 2, 2007, 10:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by dale View Post
All,

Sorry if you feel I have been living in some sort of bubble for the last few months, maybe I have. This whole Santa Roas thing has got me thinking... I have two questions:

1.) What extra performance increase does santa rosa offer over the current chips?
2.) What extra performance increase is this likely to bestow upon the imac
3.) Will the performance increase only be noticed when doing intensive work like video editting, or will the performance increase be seen in other things like email?

If the answers are in the region of:
1.) 20%
2.) 10%
3.) Video 10%, email negligable

then apple will wait until October, rather than June. I'm sure the leopard OS announcements in June will be enormous, and apple will want it to stand on its own (well, stand with the iPhone). When they release Leopard in October, then you might see a new iMac to run it on, just in time for Christmas. Afterall, iPhone stories will be run to death by then, and the press will need a new apple hardware fix to keep their reporters busy.

Developing iMac's costs a lot of money, and I'm sure apple does not want to be caught up in Intels relentless development cycles, constantly trying to keep ahead of the competition. The iMac, is possibly the worlds most beautiful computer - an elegant balance of design brilliance and technical capability. Nothing comes close. My iMac is now 15 months old, and I can still wow my friends with it today. I'm not sure apple needs an update until October. Chin or not, nothing comes close!

For the tech-heads, the Mac is still the only computer capable of running OSX, Linux and Windows. If you really want to run OSX, you have one choice - Buy a Mac. There is no hardware competition out there, so it doesn't really matter if you don't have the latest and greatest hardware, you can only buy what is available. If a buyer makes the decision to buy a PC rather than a Mac, because its got Santa Rosa, surely the mac wasn't right for them in the first place. Such a person does not focus on what they can do with a computer, only that it has the latest bits.

Sorry for the rant (I used to be a techie, and now I have seen the light)
I think if Apple does not do something before the IPhone comes it going to leave a lot of people wondering
just where Apple stands with its computer line. The Way I understand things SR motherboard also brings to the table the ability of a faster CPU (if I am wrong on this point Sorry). If Apple did not bring out a total redesigned IMac but a Santa Rosa IMac with a 2.4GHz CPU then waited the Penryn processors (which by the way come in a 3.33GHz version, to cool) then I think that would be ok. However if they are just going to till October then should just wait for Penryn also.
     
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May 2, 2007, 11:33 AM
 
The SR chipset will initially not enable significantly faster CPUs. Due to the bus multiplier all you'll see is 2.33->2.4 GHz and 2.16->2.2 GHz. You'll hardly notice that increase. In late 2007 when Merom XE is expected you should see a significant CPU speed increase.
     
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May 2, 2007, 11:42 AM
 
From Wikipedia:
Merom XE is a laptop CPU designed for ultra-high end laptops. It will be released in two models, the X7900 and the X7800. These will feature an 800 MHz FSB. The X7800 will be clocked at 2.6 GHz and will cost around $795. The X7900 will be clocked at 2.8 GHz, but its cost is unknown, but expect it to be more than 1000 dollars per CPU in packs of 1000.
on the price all I have to say is: Ouch!!
     
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May 2, 2007, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by ESavage View Post
on the price all I have to say is: Ouch!!
How much costs the fastest Merom Apple is using in the iMac today? I guess less than the figures above.
     
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May 2, 2007, 06:11 PM
 
The 2.6 and 2.8Ghz Merom (XE) parts come with a higher TDP too... I can't see Apple using them in the iMac. I think we're going to have to wait for mobile Penryn in early 2008 for a significant clockspeed bump for the iMac.

It seems like the chip manufacturing process these days has matured to the point where the final clockrate isn't much better than the launch clockrate (except in cases where the manufacturers intentionally launch low [because they're already ahead of the competition in performance and want to maintain some 'free' margin]).
     
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May 3, 2007, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Pierre B. View Post
How much costs the fastest Merom Apple is using in the iMac today? I guess less than the figures above.
The 2.33 GHz T7600 costs $637 (1k lots) although Apple will get them for less. Even the 2.6 GHz XE will cost quite a lot more. While the XE won't fit the MBP due to the thermal design it would easily fit an iMac (although that might come with extra fan noise or case heat). The real problem with putting the XE in the iMac is that economically it makes even less sense than Merom. The easiest way to get more performance out of the iMac at a much lower price point would be to use Conroe. Again, it's a question of the thermal design. Obviously Apple preferred a silent but more expensive design.
( Last edited by Simon; May 3, 2007 at 04:26 AM. )
     
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May 3, 2007, 05:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by dale View Post
All,

Sorry if you feel I have been living in some sort of bubble for the last few months, maybe I have. This whole Santa Roas thing has got me thinking... I have two questions:

1.) What extra performance increase does santa rosa offer over the current chips?
Small improvements, due to a faster FSB, but that's a minor detail. The most important improvement is being able to use more than 4 gigs of RAM - that's why a lot of people are waiting for it. Including 802.11n (Draft 2.0) in the chipset should also drop prices
     
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May 3, 2007, 12:55 PM
 
The flash memory will also improve OS/app launch/resume times and marginally improve battery life if used as a write-cache for the hard drive.
     
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May 3, 2007, 07:33 PM
 
Asus has announced a bunch of Santa Rosa notebooks. The key quote:
All models come with a 2-year warranty and should be hitting distributors within the next few weeks.
One would hope Apple would do the same. Save WWDC for Leopard and the iPhone.
     
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May 3, 2007, 08:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Asus has announced a bunch of Santa Rosa notebooks. The key quote:

One would hope Apple would do the same. Save WWDC for Leopard and the iPhone.
Dell just added two more... SSDs and HHDs are being offered on a lot of them, I wonder if Macs will have to wait until Leopard to take full advantage of Robson and HHDs.
     
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May 5, 2007, 04:21 AM
 
Or they may ship with a special OS X 10.4.10 (with the Robson/HHD support from Leopard added in as a stopgap).

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May 5, 2007, 09:56 AM
 
I still miss the old iMac G4 design with the arm that connects the LCD to the base. That was one sexy ass computer design. I am hoping the next gen of iMacs are re-designed. This current design is getting old and honestly isn't that amazing.
     
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May 5, 2007, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by gio.vanni View Post
I still miss the old iMac G4 design with the arm that connects the LCD to the base. That was one sexy ass computer design. I am hoping the next gen of iMacs are re-designed. This current design is getting old and honestly isn't that amazing.
I totally agree, height adjustments needed for the display.
     
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May 5, 2007, 08:58 PM
 
I'm currently using an 800 MHz 17" iMac running 10.3.9. Purchased late 2002, and still going strong (albeit pretty slow in iMovie !)

I'm ready to upgrade. I want to start my next batch of home movies in the latest iLife ['07 by the time I purchase - and I'm currently using '04] and also need a high end Windows machine to run VMWare Server for Wintel infrastructure modelling (Active Directory DCs, SQL servers, IIS boxes....). The fact that I can now get an iMac that can do all of this is awesome. Apple moving to Intel was a great thing for me.

I'm just waiting for Apple to release something worth spending my money on. I've managed to last this long on the G4, and want to get just as long out of my next machine. Therefore I will buy at the top end of the iMac range (24", max RAM, top GPU...) but won't do this just to have Apple release a new machine straight afterwards. Also, I'm not going to buy a machine with Tiger, and then fork out money for Leopard 6 months afterwards.

So I am one of those people the analysts are predicting are keeping their hands in their pockets until Apple shows us a few more cards...

I'm patient, but I don't know if I'm patient enough to wait for Penryn.... A SR speedbump, a faster Superdrive (16 X like in the Mac Pro), 4 GB RAM + Leopard might loosen up my wallet... new form factor would be good though !

Thanks to all the informed folk in this thread who have provided fact based insight into the likely upgrade path for the iMac (via SR, via Penryn etc), and the likely performance gains I would get at each lift. Knowing what might be coming out next, and next next, makes the waiting game easier.
( Last edited by lukechip; May 6, 2007 at 03:04 AM. Reason: got my big cats backwards....)
     
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May 5, 2007, 09:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by lukechip View Post
I'm currently using an 800 MHz 17" iMac running 10.3.9. Purchased late 2002, and still going strong.
Exactly the same for me! What a fantastic machine this has been, I use it every day, push it quite hard sometimes, although I do feel the lack of raw power in Photoshop. I treated myself to the UFO hub (XtremeMac now shipping UFO iMac hub | MacMinute News) giving me an extra FW and 3x USB ports, as well as the very groovy indeed blue light at the bottom!
This is the Rev B, as was my G3 iMac, and annoyingly both Rev Cs, which came out within three months on both occasions, were significantly upgraded machines - (G41.25 and 20" screen in this instance) so I had planned on getting a Rev C G5 iMac. Unfortunately that was just 2.0 to 2.1 + iSight (which I don't particularly want), and with the Intel transition round the corner it didn't make sense, so here I am still with my lovely G4. It's nearly time now though, Santa Rosa + Leopard will be enough for me I reckon, although a new form factor surely cannot be too far away. The G5/Intel iMac is a fairly ordinary piece of design I think, only the Cube is anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing as my sexy bit of kit, and in practical terms the mobility of the screen is just brilliant. Whenever i sit down in front of another computer, I nearly always instinctively lean forward with a finger to adjust the screen position, before remembering that I have to adjust myself instead!
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May 6, 2007, 12:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by gio.vanni View Post
I still miss the old iMac G4 design with the arm that connects the LCD to the base. That was one sexy ass computer design. I am hoping the next gen of iMacs are re-designed. This current design is getting old and honestly isn't that amazing.
That lampshade design is one of my favourite computer designs of all time, along with the Cube. (The lampshade was the best in terms of ergonomics, but I like the Cube simply for its looks and slickness.)

I found the 24" C2D iMac quite difficult to get set up ergonomically, because of that chin, and because it has no height adjustments. The 20" G5/C2D iMac was less problematic, because its height was not as much of an issue.

Unfortunately, the lampshade design was reportedly somewhat expensive. Personally I'd be happy to pay $50 - $100 for that, but many people wouldn't, and Apple is focusing more and more on price these days, in an attempt to grow market share.
     
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May 7, 2007, 03:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
That lampshade design is one of my favourite computer designs of all time, along with the Cube. (The lampshade was the best in terms of ergonomics, but I like the Cube simply for its looks and slickness.)
...
Unfortunately, the lampshade design was reportedly somewhat expensive. Personally I'd be happy to pay $50 - $100 for that, but many people wouldn't, and Apple is focusing more and more on price these days, in an attempt to grow market share.
So true. But apart being expensive, the old design made service very difficult. From what I remember, accessing the internals was a nightmare even for specialized technicians.

This remains however my favourite design of all times. Apple just outdone itself with this one and I cannot see how it would come out again with a new design, superior in aesthetics and ergonomics combined.
     
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May 7, 2007, 08:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Pierre B. View Post
So true. But apart being expensive, the old design made service very difficult. From what I remember, accessing the internals was a nightmare even for specialized technicians.

This remains however my favourite design of all times. Apple just outdone itself with this one and I cannot see how it would come out again with a new design, superior in aesthetics and ergonomics combined.
Just removing the chin would improve ergonomics immensely. The 24" really isn't a very ergonomic design IMO. The viewing area is shifted too far upwards, because of the chin. It's almost as tall as the 30" Cinema Display actually.
     
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May 7, 2007, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
It would be nice, but then again, my 24" iMac is extremely quiet. My 2.33 GHz 24" is quieter than the G5 iMacs, and the G5 iMacs were already fairly quiet.

Sticking with laptop CPUs, 2.6 GHz would be fine, but I doubt Intel will release that initially for their mobile chip. Rumour has it that at launch, the max speed for the Santa Rosa oriented Core 2 Duo mobile chip will be 2.4 GHz. That's an insignificant clock speed increase over the current 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo. There is the memory speed difference, but the 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo already does fairly well, considering it has a 4 MB L2 cache.
I heard, that software like Aperture isn't only processor accelerated, but very much driven by the quality of its video card.

I hope the new iMacs will get a better (and faster) video card - or at least gives us the choice to get a really good one.

After all, Final Cut and Aperture are important Mac applications.
     
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May 7, 2007, 01:57 PM
 
I like the current design. It has a steadiness and tranquility when you sit in front of it, and this enhances working with it.

I also like it for it's being so quiet. I hate computers that gurgle away like a constantly flushing toilet.
     
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May 7, 2007, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
I heard, that software like Aperture isn't only processor accelerated, but very much driven by the quality of its video card.
Correct.

However, the mistake some people make is that they think the GPU is the overwhelmingly important factor here.

That is not the case. Both CPU speed and GPU speed is very important (as is memory).
     
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May 8, 2007, 04:27 PM
 
The 7600GT is good enough for most uses. The X1600 isn't, especially since it's apparently downclocked. I'm hoping for an 8500 or something similar with an option to upgrade to an 8600 GTS in the next iMac - the price is right for something like that to be possible.
     
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May 8, 2007, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I'm hoping for an 8500 or something similar
     
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May 8, 2007, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post

I don't know a whole lot about this card but I do know that the 64MB amount for video ram is laughable for today's software needs.
     
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May 8, 2007, 07:46 PM
 
ATi's model numbers are a bit higher than nVidia's... note Eug's wink.
I'd hope for at least 8600GT.
     
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May 9, 2007, 12:02 PM
 
It will be worse next time, when the midrange model is likely to be called 9600. The Radeon 8500 is sort of a niche board with a limited market penetration (and there was even a 7200, which nVidia used as a model number last time around), but the 9600 was a very common board back in the day. Maybe that's why they no longer have boards without a suffix like GT?

Back on topic, I'm hoping for an 8500GT as the default model and an 8600GTS as the upgrade model, like the 7300GT and the 7600GT now. I doubt that you could squeeze and 8800GTS into an iMac box.
     
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May 10, 2007, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by hldan View Post
I don't know a whole lot about this card but I do know that the 64MB amount for video ram is laughable for today's software needs.
The Radeon 8500 is from back in the G4 Power Mac days.

As for the iMac, I agree an 8600GT would be fine for the high end model. Would it actually be a significant improvement though for gaming and general 3D stuff over the 7600GT? Their specs are fairly similar.
( Last edited by Eug; May 10, 2007 at 03:41 PM. )
     
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May 11, 2007, 08:40 AM
 
The 8600GTS is more or less comparable to the 7900GS, which beats that 7600GT by a significant, if not huge, margin.
     
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May 11, 2007, 09:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The 8600GTS is more or less comparable to the 7900GS, which beats that 7600GT by a significant, if not huge, margin.
I wasn't talking about the 8600GTS. (I don't think they'd put one in an iMac.) I was talking about the 8600GT, which has significantly less impressive specs than the 8600GTS.
     
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May 11, 2007, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The 8600GTS is more or less comparable to the 7900GS, which beats that 7600GT by a significant, if not huge, margin.
The 8600GTS is also about $25-50 more expensive than the 7900GS, which makes it mostly pointless for people who don't care about DX10. The only reason I could see Apple going with the 8600GTS is for H.264 decode and the 'bigger number'.
     
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May 11, 2007, 11:14 AM
 
The 8600GT is perfectly fine for H.264 decode.
     
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May 11, 2007, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The 8600GT is perfectly fine for H.264 decode.
Same problem there... slower than the 7900GS and only about $10 cheaper, plus you need quite a bit of driver work for the 8 series shaders.
     
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May 11, 2007, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Same problem there... slower than the 7900GS and only about $10 cheaper, plus you need quite a bit of driver work for the 8 series shaders.
That's probably all true, but also irrelevant.

Probably the two more important "features" are cost and power usage. I don't know how much power the 7900GS uses.
     
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May 11, 2007, 09:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
That's probably all true, but also irrelevant.

Probably the two more important "features" are cost and power usage. I don't know how much power the 7900GS uses.
The unit cost and be pretty well estimated from the PC card price... but the 8600GT probably has the edge for power consumption, I think it's on a smaller process.
     
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May 12, 2007, 07:57 AM
 
Apple will upgrade to whatever models cost the same now as the X1600, 7300GT and 7600GT did when those models were introduced, respectively. Trying to synch last-gen models with this gen, it seems that the 8500GT corresponds to the 7300GT, the 8600GT with the vanilla 7600 and the 8600GTS with the 7600GT - hence my prediction that we'd get the 8500GT a the base model and the 8600GTS as the upgraded one. They cost more right now when they're new, but nVidia seems to be targeting the same segments as with the last generation, so prices should drop to that level. Since those GPUs will be in use for months if not a year from now, the current price matters less than what Apple can get them for a few months down the line.
     
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May 12, 2007, 08:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The unit cost and be pretty well estimated from the PC card price... but the 8600GT probably has the edge for power consumption, I think it's on a smaller process.
Correct, 80nm for the 8600s compared to 90nm for the 7600s and related chips. No 65nm chips yet though. Wonder if AMD buying ATi will mean that future Radeons will launch on processes closer to those currently in use for CPUs?
     
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May 12, 2007, 08:18 AM
 
Re: H.264 acceleration. Here is the performance on Windows using Core 2 Duo 1.86 GHz (4 MB):





Note that nVidia claims that the 8500 is equal to the above for H.264.

Interestingly, the bonus isn't much for VC1, but VC1 is much less CPU intensive.



     
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May 12, 2007, 10:36 AM
 
I wonder if Apple will actually implement the H.264 decode acceleration in their drivers. In the past they haven't (as far as I know... someone correct me), but the previous cards were more limited in terms of what they could acceleration.
     
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May 12, 2007, 12:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I wonder if Apple will actually implement the H.264 decode acceleration in their drivers. In the past they haven't (as far as I know... someone correct me), but the previous cards were more limited in terms of what they could acceleration.
I think they'll need to if they decide on implementing full HD DVD and Blu-ray support in Leopard.

While few discs are like this, theoretically, bitrates can hit north of 30 Mbps for these. 30+ Mbps H.264 is a very heavy CPU load.

Well, they don't absolutely have to implement GPU acceleration, but it would sure make things potentially smoother running.
     
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May 13, 2007, 03:00 PM
 
On PPC models, Apple didn't implement the video acceleration offered by GPUs, preferring instead to focus on Altivec improvements. If you look at the rather limited acceleration available on older GPUs and the problems especially nVidia had to make it work, they were probably right to do so - historically, Altivec was much better than SSE, although the SSE implementation on Core 2 fixes a lot of the problems. For the next-gen GPUs, Apple probably has to do something. They're set up to do it with the Core Video-APIs, but that is of course no guarantee that it will happen now.

The 8600s (but not the 8800s - it's probably in the threadshrink to 8900) will accelerate H.264-decoding, but not VC-1 despite the fact that they are quite similar. At least part of the VC-1 pipeline could be accelerated in a future driver update.
     
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May 13, 2007, 05:56 PM
 
There is a two month-old rumor that says Apple will add soon hardware H.264 decoding and encoding capabilities even to the lowest end Mac. Not using the GPU but a specialized chip. Why I doubt the credibility of this rumor I don't know.

But with the media trend lately, it would be a highly desirable feature in a new iMac generation.
     
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May 13, 2007, 07:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Pierre B. View Post
There is a two month-old rumor that says Apple will add soon hardware H.264 decoding and encoding capabilities even to the lowest end Mac. Not using the GPU but a specialized chip. Why I doubt the credibility of this rumor I don't know.
I don't buy that for a second.

However, I do note that AppleTV uses 7300 Go. Perhaps they are using that to aid in H.264 decoding.
     
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May 14, 2007, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Correct, 80nm for the 8600s compared to 90nm for the 7600s and related chips. No 65nm chips yet though. Wonder if AMD buying ATi will mean that future Radeons will launch on processes closer to those currently in use for CPUs?
It seems that that is indeed the case. Paper launch only, but still - it's 80nm and 65nm compared to 90nm and 80nm for nVidia.

Unfortunately, it seems like the PM965 chipset - Santa Rosa - is still stuck at 4 gigs max RAM. See the spec sheet, chapter 5.
( Last edited by P; May 14, 2007 at 04:13 AM. )
     
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May 14, 2007, 01:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Unfortunately, it seems like the PM965 chipset - Santa Rosa - is still stuck at 4 gigs max RAM. See the spec sheet, chapter 5.
That has been known for quite a while.

But now you can address all 4GB of it, so it's effectively a ~30% increase in memory capacity.
     
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May 14, 2007, 03:11 PM
 
Must have missed that. It's just a glaring problem with the iMac compared to the Mac Pro if it can't address more than 4 gigs. With the entry-level professional Mac sitting so high in price, the 24" iMac is a choice for many professionals. 4 gig RAM is going to be a limitation over the lifetime of the model.
     
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May 15, 2007, 03:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Must have missed that. It's just a glaring problem with the iMac compared to the Mac Pro if it can't address more than 4 gigs. With the entry-level professional Mac sitting so high in price, the 24" iMac is a choice for many professionals. 4 gig RAM is going to be a limitation over the lifetime of the model.
This is true, but then it is near to impossible to have more than two memory slots in such a compact machine. So, unless we have memory densities more than 2 GB per module, addressing RAM beyond 4 GB in the iMac is pointless. And even if the iMac had 4 memory slots, how many people would max out their machine? Too few I think because of cost. While there are professionals that buy the 24" model, this does not change the fact that the iMac is primarily a consumer level machine as it stands now.
     
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May 15, 2007, 10:32 AM
 
There is space to squeeze in two more slots in my 17" iMac. It would be tight, but nowhere near as tight as the old G4 iMacs. On the 24"er, there must be lots of room.

If Apple truly means the iMac to be only a consumer model, they ought to make a lower-end Mac Pro. They don't - in fact, they've kept moving the lower limit upwards - so it seems they want the iMac to be a semi-pro model.
     
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May 15, 2007, 12:11 PM
 
Intel's mobile chipsets don't support more than 2 memory slots. If Apple wanted 4 slots they'd have to use the desktop chipsets with full size DIMMs (but they could still use the mobile processors).
     
 
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