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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New vs old C2D iMacs benched: Radeon 2600 Pro slower than GeForce 7300 GT

New vs old C2D iMacs benched: Radeon 2600 Pro slower than GeForce 7300 GT (Page 2)
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JKT
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Meritocracy View Post
Apple continues to not write drivers
You keep saying this - does Apple actually write the drivers for the GPU? My impression was that it was ATi and nVidia that did this and not Apple, but I'll be happy to be corrected.
     
JKT
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Yep, that's definitely a bummer. If you're a gamer or a Core Image user, you'd probably be better off getting the old 24" 2.33/7600GT iMac. I really don't understand what Apple was thinking here. At the very least they should have offered a HD 2600XT BTO option. I'm wondering if they might end up adding it later on if new iMac sales indeed reflect the poor GPU choice.
You are making an assumption that these cards are worse for Core Image. A 3D game engine does not equate to Core Image. We haven't seen any tests yet that show how well the card handles Core Image/Video (and animation when it arrives). It could be the case that they are much better (or worse too, for that matter) than the older cards in this respect.

No one is going to disagree that a BTO option for a better card is highly desirable.
( Last edited by JKT; Aug 15, 2007 at 04:05 AM. )
     
JKT
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Aug 15, 2007, 04:11 AM
 
PC side of things can be seen in this review of the 2600 XT (the graphs include the 2600 Pro as well):

ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Review | Hardware Secrets

Summary - often as good as or better than the 7300 GT but only rarely as good as the 7600 GT.
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:01 PM
 
2nd batch of iMac benches











And again, remember that it's a 2.8 GHz vs a 2.33 GHz.

The best test will be when someone benches the 2.4 vs the 2.33.
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Pass the ketchup, this hat's a bit dry? By which I mean, dang, it play Prey at 1920x1200 at decent speed, I'm genuinely impressed/surprised.

And having spent the last hour working with a PC that I swear was designed primarily to drive anyone working on it crazy, really tempted...
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by JKT View Post
You keep saying this - does Apple actually write the drivers for the GPU? My impression was that it was ATi and nVidia that did this and not Apple, but I'll be happy to be corrected.
I'm generalizing, so you're not entirely wrong. Specifically regarding the creation of drivers, If I recall correctly, nVidia drivers were originally written by Apple, but are now entirely developed by nVidia. ATI drivers on the other hand were always written from the ground up by ATI. The difference from the Windows side of things is that Apple has a model where the front end is developed and controlled by Apple, but all of the backend, direct hardware interaction and extensions are written by the HW vendors.

The point I'm attempting to get across here is that posters making note of this or that new cards ability to help with HD playback or h.264 encoding/decoding are missing the mark. Apple prefers installing a system wide approach to deciding what aspects they feel would benefit from GPU based hardware acceleration (e.g., Core Image...Quartz Extreme...will it ever be implemented Quartz Extreme 2D), and seem to have little interest in taking advantage of features specific to GPU product ranges (Avivo HD/PureVideo HD).
( Last edited by Meritocracy; Aug 15, 2007 at 04:39 PM. )
What exactly is rotten in Denmark?
     
JKT
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Aug 15, 2007, 06:55 PM
 
So what you are saying is that Apple would need to provide ATi and nVidia with APIs/kexts/whatever to allow them to write drivers to support their hardware fully, but haven't as of yet?
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 09:05 PM
 
Essentially, although, if history is any indication, I'd tread closer to unlikely to happen anytime soon as opposed to haven't as of yet. And this is a bit of a mystery to me as well. MPEG-2 decoding via the GPU is a rather old story, and cards with this feature have been in Apple systems for years. Apple, however, has never used this feature.. HD and h.264 are the newest flavor feature set, yet I don't see these additions coming to OSX either. Perhaps the decoding/encoding of said GPUs was/is not standardized and Apple was/is not willing to adapt the algorithms each time a GPU change happens? Does Apple have a good reason for leaving this aspect of the GPU dormant? Beats me...I've never seen a satisfactory answer either way.
( Last edited by Meritocracy; Aug 15, 2007 at 09:11 PM. )
What exactly is rotten in Denmark?
     
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Aug 16, 2007, 03:31 AM
 
ATi and nVidia write their own drivers. The only exception is that ATi refused to make drivers for chips older than Rage 128 when OS X came out, and Apple eventually made those drivers themselves. Apple has to make the APIs to expose that functionality, though, and then update Quicktime to use the feature. My understanding was that CoreVideo was supposed to do this, and I'm slightly surprised that support hasn't materialized yet.
     
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Aug 16, 2007, 02:34 PM
 
Well, the newest benchmarks at Bare Feats show that the title of this thread is wrong - the new top end iMac is all three things relative to the prior top end model... slower, similar and faster at graphics. Its significantly faster than the G7600 at Cinebench and Motion, is marginally better for WoW and Prey, and slower for Quake 4 (the Mac version in particular is very bad; the PC version the difference is not so drastic), Doom 3, Halo and others.

Edit: The title of the thread is very wrong - I forgot that the comparison was to the G7300 and not the G7600.
     
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Aug 16, 2007, 05:54 PM
 
"performance on stuff like Aperture or Motion?"

These are (marketplace) apps that can use a GPU in a worthwhile way. Even so, it's not thrill you out of your seat stuf.

Imagine if Apple put out the dream iMac, everything you want, and built to last! Commercial suicide.

Yes you'll get a nVidea (forget ATI for at least sixteen months doing) cards made for benchmarks and not real life usage.

If Apple used top of the line parts they'd be selling a computer they couldn't compete with in 8 months (maybe GPU, but if that's your kink there are better ways out there). So Rev. A gets OK parts, B gets a little more something trivial., C get a complete makeover. For the majority of users having the latest GPU is trivial: that it works like and looks nice.

The people who post here and probably less than a tenth of those who actually buy.

The new iMac is a damn powerful system for press/artists/et al.

Note: NO Adobe product (including CS 3) uses the GPU at all.
     
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Aug 16, 2007, 07:02 PM
 
Posts like the one above grate on my nerves a bit. Nothing of actual substance added...and the obligatory straw man argument is erected regarding a mythical dream iMac. As one doesn't exist, and frankly never will in a rather difficult to upgrade AIO enclosure, I find the hypothetical aspect rather disconnected from reality.

No one is asking for a GPU designed purely to perform well on a limited set of benchmarks, however, fair and honest benchmarking, taken as a whole, is at the end of the day simply the best way to evaluate real life performance. I don't know where this, "top of the line parts" argument is coming from either. No one expects a high-end GPU in an iMac. The AIO design doesn't allow for it. A decent mid-range card will suffice, with a higher performing one as a BTO is about all one should expect considering that's what was offered in the previous iteration. The lack of a BTO this time round has ruffled a few feathers.

No one's saying the iMac isn't a perfectly respectable system with a nice mix of performance and aesthetics geared towards the mass market and beyond. Does that make certain aspects of it immune from any and all criticism?
( Last edited by Meritocracy; Aug 16, 2007 at 07:15 PM. )
What exactly is rotten in Denmark?
     
 
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