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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Apple is more interesting in arguing with barefeats.com than fixing the iMac GPU

Apple is more interesting in arguing with barefeats.com than fixing the iMac GPU
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jamesa
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Oct 6, 2004, 07:56 AM
 
See here:
http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125...opstories_html

Now, it looks like Apple are artificially decreasing the frame rates of the iMac G4 to make the iMac G5. That, or barefeats.com has an iMac G4 that's somehow mysteriously 50% faster than Apple's. See here:
http://www.barefeats.com/imacg5b.html

The long and short of it is anyway, With my "real world" settings, the advantage of the iMac G5 over the iMac G4 is 12% with Halo and 11% with UT2004.

That's not in dispute, and is just pathetic.

-- james
( Last edited by jamesa; Oct 8, 2004 at 10:40 AM. )
     
iBorg
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Oct 6, 2004, 09:03 AM
 
Sheesh! I hope Barefeats does some more testing and comparisons beetween the two! With discounted prices for refurb'd G4 iMacs, they may be a reasonable choice .....



iBorg
     
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Oct 6, 2004, 02:10 PM
 
"Fixing" the GPU? They just announced the product around a month ago. They're not going to halt production (especially not during the holiday season) one month after announcement just so that they can put a new GPU on and satisfy a vocal minority of potential buyers. It would make far more sense for them to simply address concerns with the next revision.

I still say that the next iMac G5 iteration will be what the grumblers here want: odds are that they'll use nVidia's value GPU from the GeForce 6-series (GeForce 6400, maybe?) on a PCI Express bus and with more video RAM.
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alternate_bit
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Oct 6, 2004, 03:30 PM
 
what a horrible company, giving him a free iMac and all.
     
discotronic
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Oct 6, 2004, 05:07 PM
 
An iMac with almost the same specs. as a PowerMac from 1 year before. Doesn't sound like anything is broken to me. Looks to me like a hugh step in the right direction. A price drop for a redesigned and much faster machine. People always want PowerMac performance for the price of an iMac. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have it that way myself but it isn't going to happen. People are always complaining about FPS. What about just getting the job done? I think the new iMac will perform just fine.
     
icruise
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Oct 6, 2004, 06:47 PM
 
Frankly, I don't put a lot of stock in what Barefeets does. In the past, their performance tests have been rather misleading (not necessarily intentionally, but they don't exactly do a large battery of tests in most cases, and sometimes they would just "simulate" test results mathematically, which is just BS).
     
Lateralus
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Oct 6, 2004, 07:20 PM
 
Originally posted by discotronic:
An iMac with almost the same specs. as a PowerMac from 1 year before. Doesn't sound like anything is broken to me. Looks to me like a hugh step in the right direction. A price drop for a redesigned and much faster machine. People always want PowerMac performance for the price of an iMac. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have it that way myself but it isn't going to happen. People are always complaining about FPS. What about just getting the job done? I think the new iMac will perform just fine.
The G5's have had a history of abysmal stock graphics cards. Saying that the G5 iMacs are equal to the Power Mac G5s of a year ago isn't saying much.

And $2,000 should do more than get the job done.
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Minch_Yoda
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Oct 6, 2004, 07:35 PM
 
Originally posted by alternate_bit:
what a horrible company, giving him a free iMac and all.
you know if apple does give him a imac its for the testing he wont keep it
     
discotronic
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Oct 6, 2004, 08:20 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
And $2,000 should do more than get the job done.
The iMac 1.6GHz is $1299. I would pay that before I pay $2000 for the same spec PowerMac without display. Even the bottom end iMac is more than enough for the majority of consumers and should be for some time to come.
     
the_glassman
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Oct 6, 2004, 10:13 PM
 
Originally posted by discotronic:
The iMac 1.6GHz is $1299. I would pay that before I pay $2000 for the same spec PowerMac without display. Even the bottom end iMac is more than enough for the majority of consumers and should be for some time to come.
Um lets see, for $1,999 retail (nobody pays retail) you get not only a faster processor, but you get another processor, faster system bus a superdrive, Firewire 800, AGP slot, PCI slots, up to 4 MB memory and 1 GB ethernet, and digital audi out and in.
Nowhere near "same spec".
     
Don Pickett
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Oct 6, 2004, 11:14 PM
 
Originally posted by the_glassman:
(nobody pays retail)
What?
     
discotronic
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Oct 6, 2004, 11:34 PM
 
Originally posted by the_glassman:
Um lets see, for $1,999 retail (nobody pays retail) you get not only a faster processor, but you get another processor, faster system bus a superdrive, Firewire 800, AGP slot, PCI slots, up to 4 MB memory and 1 GB ethernet, and digital audi out and in.
Nowhere near "same spec".
Nowhere did I say that they had the same specs. Read before you post please. You seemed to have missed the point anyway.
     
the_glassman
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Oct 7, 2004, 12:15 AM
 
Originally posted by discotronic:
Nowhere did I say that they had the same specs. Read before you post please. You seemed to have missed the point anyway.
You said, "same spec powermac" this means what exactly? Of course you mean the lowend of the model line. However, the lowend Powermac offers much more for the money IMO then the iMac. Who give a **** about the LCD if you computer is stuck with it for life.
     
PEHowland
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Oct 7, 2004, 12:49 AM
 
Originally posted by the_glassman:
You said, "same spec powermac" this means what exactly? Of course you mean the lowend of the model line. However, the lowend Powermac offers much more for the money IMO then the iMac. Who give a **** about the LCD if you computer is stuck with it for life.
What a daft comment. People who want an all-in-one machine - like all previous iMac owners - give a **** about the LCD!

No wonder you're dissatisfied with the iMac if you don't want a machine with an integrated LCD. The screen makes up 2/3 of the value of the iMac (which, incidentally, is why your "$2000 computer" comment is utterly misleading - it's more like a $700 computer with $1300 ACD display)! Why on earth are you even bothering to hang around these forums if you don't like all-in-one computers? May I suggest you try a different forum? That what the iMac always was and always will be. I'm quite happy to be stuck with the LCD for life: when the iMac becomes too slow for my needs, I'll probably integrate it into my kitchen or give it to my children.

I have no problems at all with seeing 5-6 years life in the machine - by which time display technology will have advanced to the extent that any separate display I bought today would be old and worthless too. 15" 600x800 CRT display anyone? That's what most people were using 5 years ago...
( Last edited by PEHowland; Oct 7, 2004 at 12:57 AM. )
Paul

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the_glassman
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Oct 7, 2004, 01:05 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
What a daft comment. People who want an all-in-one machine - like all previous iMac owners - give a **** about the LCD!

No wonder you're dissatisfied with the iMac if you don't want a machine with an integrated LCD. The screen makes up 2/3 of the value of the iMac (which, incidentally, is why your "$2000 computer" comment is utterly misleading - it's more like a $700 computer with $1300 ACD display)! Why on earth are you even bothering to hang around these forums if you don't like all-in-one computers? May I suggest you try a different forum? That what the iMac always was and always will be. I'm quite happy to be stuck with the LCD for life: when the iMac becomes too slow for my needs, I'll probably integrate it into my kitchen or give it to my children.

I have no problems at all with seeing 5-6 years life in the machine - by which time display technology will have advanced to the extent that any separate display I bought today would be old and worthless too. 15" 600x800 CRT display anyone? That's what most people were using 5 years ago...
I'm typing this on a dual display, overclocked eMac @$$hat! I've also owned an iMac, have you? If you are going to go with something that AOI, might as well mac it an eMac, it's cheaper, does everything all the apple apologist require and when updated will probably have a the same video card!
     
PEHowland
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Oct 7, 2004, 01:11 AM
 
Originally posted by the_glassman:
I'm typing this on a dual display, overclocked eMac @$$hat! I've also owned an iMac, have you? If you are going to go with something that AOI, might as well mac it an eMac, it's cheaper, does everything all the apple apologist require and when updated will probably have a the same video card!
Nope, haven't owned either yet - my iMac's on order. But why should I buy the eMac - it's big, ugly and slow. Perhaps if it had a G5 processor and a 20" LCD screen I'd consider it - but then it would be an iMac.

Just because the iMac doesn't meet your particular needs, I'm not sure why you have the urge to try and rain on everyone else's parade. Live and let live. Go spend twice as much on your Powermac and enjoy. Let others enjoy their iMacs.
( Last edited by PEHowland; Oct 7, 2004 at 01:17 AM. )
Paul

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discotronic
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Oct 7, 2004, 01:18 AM
 
Originally posted by the_glassman:
You said, "same spec powermac" this means what exactly? Of course you mean the lowend of the model line. However, the lowend Powermac offers much more for the money IMO then the iMac. Who give a **** about the LCD if you computer is stuck with it for life.
In my original post I was comparing the current iMac to the first released PowerMac G5 not the current line.

I consider myself closer to a regular consumer than I would a power user. All I am trying to say is I would buy an iMac over a PowerMac considering the price difference even if both had the exact same specs. The whole issue with the display doesn't mean anything to me. When I buy a new system I buy a new display. There is a good chance that most consumers are the same. Most consumers could care less about having 4GB RAM, GB ethernet, the extra PCI slots, and the low upgradeability. I think Apple is targeting an audience that would under different circumstances buy a laptop as a primary machine. Beside the lack of portability, the small form factor, superior specs and price mean a lot.


When it comes to the consumer market people usually don't upgrade their machines beyond memory and a hard drive. When they do get a new system they usually get another consumer level system that comes with a display. No need for the old one. Also most consumers don't want to pay $2000 for a machine that doesn't have a display. Add that expense on and you will come out to (with a nice quality display) no less than $2500.

People, for the most part, are not switching to Apple because of the PowerMac. If anything is going to make it happen, the iMac will play a part in it. To what extent...who really knows.


By the way. I have owned a Blueberry 350MHz iMac, 17" 1.25GHz iMac and I sold it to by my now on order 17" 1.8GHz iMac. The built in display thing has always worked for me. What can you say to all the iBook and PowerBook people out there. Do you see them complaining that they can't take their display with them the next time they upgrade.
( Last edited by discotronic; Oct 7, 2004 at 01:23 AM. )
     
the_glassman
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Oct 7, 2004, 01:27 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
Nope, haven't owned either yet - my iMac's on order. But why should I buy the eMac - it's big, ugly and slow. Perhaps if it had a G5 processor and a 20" LCD screen I'd consider it - but then it would be an iMac.

Just because the iMac doesn't meet your particular needs, I'm not sure why you have the urge to try and rain on everyone else's parade. Live and let live. Go spend twice as much on your Powermac and enjoy. Let others enjoy their iMacs.
An eMac isn't any bigger the a standard CRT, sure it's not the best looking but either is the new iMac. For $900 you can have a 1.4-1.6 GHz eMac with 2 GB of ram an easy to over clock video card and a DL DVD burner, I would hardly call it slow. While it's not as fast as a lot of machines, it holds it's own and is half of the price of the iMac.
     
the_glassman
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Oct 7, 2004, 01:33 AM
 
Originally posted by discotronic:
What can you say to all the iBook and PowerBook people out there. Do you see them complaining that they can't take their display with them the next time they upgrade.
There is a big difference between having a desktop computer that will be a throw away machine vs. a laptop. There are laptops on the market that can have their graphic cards upgraded, you can upgrade memory, hard drives, etc... Powerbooks have a PC card slot for other options. A laptop is a completely different animal, you expect to pay more for portability and need the screen integrated for traveling and space concerns. What good is a laptop without a screen?
     
PEHowland
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Oct 7, 2004, 01:48 AM
 
Originally posted by the_glassman:
An eMac isn't any bigger the a standard CRT, sure it's not the best looking but either is the new iMac. For $900 you can have a 1.4-1.6 GHz eMac with 2 GB of ram an easy to over clock video card and a DL DVD burner, I would hardly call it slow. While it's not as fast as a lot of machines, it holds it's own and is half of the price of the iMac.
Listen carefully. I want a G5 processor and 20" LCD. The iMac is the most cost effective way of me getting that. I don't play games. I don't care about video cards.

The eMac is cheap but ugly, slow and has a CRT. The Powermac is expensive, fast, also ugly (IMHO, but I appreciate that's subjective), oversized, and requires an additional $1300+ for display. I don't need dual processors for my computing use. The iMac is $2000 for something in between the eMac and Powermac in terms of computing power, elegant (again IMHO) and gives me a 20" LCD.

These decisions are personal. There's no right and no wrong. The iMac's wrong for you, it's right for me. I'm not sure why you can't grasp this.
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Loco Engr
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Oct 7, 2004, 02:01 AM
 
I posted this info before, but I think the most important comparison is the new entry iMac G5 vs. the entry eMac G4.

According to MacWorld Magazine's ("real-world") SpeedMark tests, the current eMac G4 (1.25 GHz, 512 MB) scores 129, while the new iMac G5 (1.6 GHz, 512 MB) scores 150.

This represents only a 16% performance improvement for the iMac G5 -- while the clock goes up 28% and the base price increases 62% (not counting extra 256 MB RAM). Of course, people will buy what they want.

The value equation (performance/price) seems to tilt toward the eMac. Note: Barefeats isn't involved at all.
     
PEHowland
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Oct 7, 2004, 02:10 AM
 
Originally posted by Loco Engr:
I posted this info before, but I think the most important comparison is the new entry iMac G5 vs. the entry eMac G4.

According to MacWorld Magazine's ("real-world") SpeedMark tests, the current eMac G4 (1.25 GHz, 512 MB) scores 129, while the new iMac G5 (1.6 GHz, 512 MB) scores 150.

This represents only a 16% performance improvement for the iMac G5 -- while the clock goes up 28% and the base price increases 62% (not counting extra 256 MB RAM). Of course, people will buy what they want.

The value equation (performance/price) seems to tilt toward the eMac. Note: Barefeats isn't involved at all.
The SpeedMark test is an indicator of performance, but it's not a very good one. The trouble is that it mixes up tests to do with disk speed (like MacOS X start-up, file duplication, opening folders, unstuffing folders, CD ripping) with CPU tasks (Photoshop, iMovie exporting) with GPU tasks (UT2003). Thus, whilst it does represent a mix of computing tasks, it is not at all clear how the overall score is generated. I wouldn't expect to see more than 10% increase in disk performance, for instance. The main speed advantage the iMac has over the eMac is in CPU/memory limited tasks and the single benchmark figures don't reveal that.

However, the eMac certainly is the winner in terms of price/performance for overall computing. There again, a bicycle also beats a car for price/performance, but that doesn't stop me driving a car! For me, the form-factor, CRT and poor CPU performance rule it out. Each to their own.
( Last edited by PEHowland; Oct 7, 2004 at 02:15 AM. )
Paul

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jewing80
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Oct 7, 2004, 02:19 AM
 
I have to agree with the previous poster regarding the expectations of the average consumer. Most of us are not average consumers; this is evidenced by the fact that we have chosen to seek out this very type of forum, and discuss these exact issues.

I spent my four college years working in a very large retail store; two of these years were spent selling computers. I think the mass market environment gave me ample opportunity to interact with and subsequently postulate on the buying habits of the population at large (at least the small but diverse section I had the chance to work with). For the most part the uneducated consumer shops based on two influences: advertising and personal recommendations. One could argue aesthetics plays a major role but I tend to group this with advertising/marketing. A very, very large number of potential buyers would approach with a Sunday advertisement and simply point at the machine they wanted. More still would ask questions such as, does this burn CDs, or can I play games with this machine. Very practical but also very simple questions. You would not believe how many people assume that an HP computer requires an HP monitor, or how angry a customer would get when they found out they couldn't get a Sony printer ("but everything I own is Sony!").

This isn't to say consumers are simple, or stupid; more so it's an example of concerns "average" people have. Upgrades? Although growing in popularity many still consider something as simple as adding more RAM far beyond their capabilities. Anyone who spent a few minutes next to a Genius Bar around the time of the Ti Powerbook would undoubtedly have heard customers willing to plop down good money to add memory... for most of us this is almost unthinkably easy. Additionally many consumers see their computer systems, including monitor and printer as one entire unit. I would estimate "package" sales outnumbering CPU only sales at least 15 to 1, maybe even more.

The simple fact is the consumer at large doesn't know what AGP, PCI, FSB, DDR or SATA are. They don't know how to change their hard drive, upgrade their RAM or swap out a defective optical drive. Again keep in mind we, in this forum, are not "normal" consumers.

The iMac is the perfect solution for those who are not concerned with all of the fancy features of the G5. Let's face it, LCD is the "in thing" people want LCD TVs LCDs in their cars and LCDs for their computers. If you don't believe me head down to a local electronic shop and see how many LCDs are now being offered. For many of us 160 GB is ample storage for our music, photos, documents and with very few exceptions home video. The G5 is enough computer muscle to last us at least a couple years. The GPU although antiquated will undoubtedly serve the non-hardcore-gamer well into the next couple revisions of OS X. I currently use a Powerbook 1 GHz, nearly two years old, bone stock and still plugging away just fine. For me the purchase of a Power Mac would represent the cutting edge of wasted potential. I personally could not justify the added expense of a 20" CD and DP PM G5. If I were to supplement or replace my Powerbook it would most definitely be with a 20" iMac.

The Power Mac, iMac and eMac are all very different machines; marketed at very different audiences. There is no one right system for everyone, analyze your needs and purchase accordingly.

Just my 2 cents!
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terrancew_hod
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Oct 7, 2004, 08:21 AM
 
Is it just me, or did everyone go off topic?

I think the point of the thread is that, a person that has a site known for testing Mac performance disputed results that Apple had and as a result was not allowed to test in same place that he had for years, which could be seen as "shutting him up." As a result this gave Apple some negative press, then in the end Apple promised to send a test machine to the person at Bare Feats.

That's the point of the thread as I see it.

Now how Bare feats came to the conclusion was in game performance, if I remember reading the article. As PowerMacMan alluded to, is that this may be due to the fact that the graphics power of the mac hasn't improved all that much. If they would have put a Nvidia 5700 or a ATI 9600 series (or higher) in the machine, the results may have been more profound. Also, more game and software makers may need to start optimizing code for the G5 processors or offering G5 versions of software as they become more "mainstream" within the mac community. Until that happens, we may not see big gains in performance in "real world" applications.

Terrance
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joe
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Oct 7, 2004, 09:39 AM
 
Originally posted by jewing80:
The simple fact is the consumer at large doesn't know what AGP, PCI, FSB, DDR or SATA are. They don't know how to change their hard drive, upgrade their RAM or swap out a defective optical drive. Again keep in mind we, in this forum, are not "normal" consumers.

The iMac is the perfect solution for those who are not concerned with all of the fancy features of the G5. ...The GPU although antiquated will undoubtedly serve the non-hardcore-gamer well into the next couple revisions of OS X.
I agree. For the average customer the G5 iMac does most everything you'd ever want. And I'm very happy with my entry model 1.6GHz G5 iMac. But I still have a dual 1.42GHz G4 Tower w/128MB Radeon 9700 for games because I knew the iMac's FX5200 was going to be a bottleneck. If the G5 iMac had a better GPU, I would've sold my Tower and spent the money on one of the the faster 1.8GHz models instead.

IMHO Apple is missing a major opportunity by not offering a faster mid-range (emphasis on MID-RANGE, not high end) graphics option for the G5 iMac. I'm not a hard-core gamer, I don't need to run games at maximum res with all the eye candy turned on. But the FX 5200 in my iMac is dizzyingly choppy even playing UT2004 at low res with the settings turned down. I'd have gladly paid for a BTO upgrade to the graphics. So forget "hard-core" because even a casual gamer is going to want something more than the FX5200.......joe
     
Luca Rescigno
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Oct 7, 2004, 10:25 AM
 
Joe, your dualie G4 is probably much faster than a 1.8 GHz iMac G5. If you want to replace it with an iMac, I'd wait for them to get a G6 processor, because it's going to take one hell of a single processor G5 iMac to beat that monster G4 you got.

Heh, maybe by the time the iMac gets a G6 (maybe in 2007 or 2008?) it might have a video card almost as good as that Radeon 9700 of yours .

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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 7, 2004, 11:28 AM
 
Originally posted by terrancew_hod:
Is it just me, or did everyone go off topic?

I think the point of the thread is that, a person that has a site known for testing Mac performance disputed results that Apple had and as a result was not allowed to test in same place that he had for years, which could be seen as "shutting him up." As a result this gave Apple some negative press, then in the end Apple promised to send a test machine to the person at Bare Feats.

That's the point of the thread as I see it.

Now how Bare feats came to the conclusion was in game performance, if I remember reading the article. As PowerMacMan alluded to, is that this may be due to the fact that the graphics power of the mac hasn't improved all that much. If they would have put a Nvidia 5700 or a ATI 9600 series (or higher) in the machine, the results may have been more profound. Also, more game and software makers may need to start optimizing code for the G5 processors or offering G5 versions of software as they become more "mainstream" within the mac community. Until that happens, we may not see big gains in performance in "real world" applications.

Terrance
no, you got it in one Terrance.

Apple have been called out over the "superior" performance of their new iMac, and rather than fix it they're taking their ball and going home.

I cannot believe they won't let customers test the machines how they choose. If someone does a lot of any one task, what's wrong with benching the machine to see how it fares? Isn't that the whole point of try before you buy?

-- james
     
PEHowland
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Oct 7, 2004, 12:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno:
Joe, your dualie G4 is probably much faster than a 1.8 GHz iMac G5. If you want to replace it with an iMac, I'd wait for them to get a G6 processor, because it's going to take one hell of a single processor G5 iMac to beat that monster G4 you got.
Only on applications that are multi-processor aware. For everything else the iMac would be faster. All depends what he uses the computer for.
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terrancew_hod
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Oct 7, 2004, 12:06 PM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
Isn't that the whole point of try before you buy?

-- james
Maybe not. I think it was very nice of that particular store to let the guy benchmark the systems on off periods; it was doing prospective buyers a service that normally wouldn't do indepth research. Kinda like when you buy a car and you take it out for a test drive on the road to see how it runs. You won't be able to do too much, like if a car was given to Car & Driver for a week, but it should give you a taste of what the product is like.

Although it was at the descretion of the store to allow testing, it showed goodwill to someone that could draw more people to buy their products, since the site has popularity within the Mac community. Thus to take it away, may hurt them or at least give negative press as it's already done.

Terrance

P.S. Thanks for letting me I wasn't the only one that though everyone went way off topic.
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Commodus
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Oct 7, 2004, 12:29 PM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
no, you got it in one Terrance.

Apple have been called out over the "superior" performance of their new iMac, and rather than fix it they're taking their ball and going home.
It's still considerably faster than the iMac G4 - maybe not 3X as they claim, but there's no doubt as to which would be better.
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terrancew_hod
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Oct 7, 2004, 08:42 PM
 
Originally posted by Commodus:
It's still considerably faster than the iMac G4 - maybe not 3X as they claim, but there's no doubt as to which would be better.
I still thinking you're missing the point of the thread. The area of dispute is in that graphic/games area, where Barefeats said that performance was only slightly improved over a G4. This would most likely point to the graphic processors used.

Although most people will definitely choose a G5 over a G4, there will be some areas that will not see significant gains that you would think should be seen. There could be any number of reasons for this; including software that is not optimized for the G5 processors. Thus it seems that this dispute in claims caused backlash from Apple. THAT is the point of the thread, not whether the hardware is faster or not.

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Lateralus
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Oct 7, 2004, 09:39 PM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
Only on applications that are multi-processor aware. For everything else the iMac would be faster. All depends what he uses the computer for.
Never owned a dual, eh?

Considering that every app Apple develops is MP aware, including the OS which distributes the weight of any application to each processor automatically, I don't see how your argument holds any water.
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Oct 7, 2004, 09:42 PM
 
Originally posted by discotronic:
The iMac 1.6GHz is $1299.
Ah, but nobody is complaining about the fact that the low-end iMac comes with an FX 5200. It is the $1,999 model that is causing the ruckus.
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tigas
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Oct 7, 2004, 09:57 PM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
What a daft comment. People who want an all-in-one machine - like all previous iMac owners - give a **** about the LCD!

No wonder you're dissatisfied with the iMac if you don't want a machine with an integrated LCD. The screen makes up 2/3 of the value of the iMac (which, incidentally, is why your "$2000 computer" comment is utterly misleading - it's more like a $700 computer with $1300 ACD display)!
If you honestly think that the LCD in the iMac G5 is on a par with the Cinema Displays, either Apple is committing commercial suicide or you're smoking some pretty heavy dope and I want some!
     
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Oct 7, 2004, 11:16 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
Ah, but nobody is complaining about the fact that the low-end iMac comes with an FX 5200. It is the $1,999 model that is causing the ruckus.
You have a good point and I really can't disagree with you. If the 20" iMac had a better video card I would have went for it. I have no problem paying the price for the 17" 1.8GHz. The biggest reason, I sold my 1.25GHz for almost the same amount that I am paying for my new one. For now my iMac will do more than do everything I need to do.
     
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Oct 7, 2004, 11:29 PM
 
The iMac G5 is going to be the "right" choice for tons of Mac users. The previous iMacs seemed to have a consumer-ish image that drove away some people on the bubble. There's something about this new design and the power that it packs. I think this iMac is going to go where no iMac has gone before. Lots of pros are going to opt for this computer. I know I did ...
     
PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 12:42 AM
 
Originally posted by tigas:
If you honestly think that the LCD in the iMac G5 is on a par with the Cinema Displays, either Apple is committing commercial suicide or you're smoking some pretty heavy dope and I want some!
The iMac 20" LCD is widely rumoured to be the same as the previous generation 20" ACD screen. It has identical specifications and by all accounts is visually identical. I don't find that too surprising. By all means come to Holland and enjoy the dope.
( Last edited by PEHowland; Oct 8, 2004 at 01:25 AM. )
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PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 12:47 AM
 
Never owned a dual, eh?
Considering that every app Apple develops is MP aware, including the OS which distributes the weight of any application to each processor automatically, I don't see how your argument holds any water.
Never done any development, eh?

Just because an app is MP aware, doesn't necessarily mean that the multithreading actually provides any significant performance benefit. It all depends on whether the processing bottleneck can be parallelised or not. "Or not" being the operative word for most apps. Of course, if you are trying to do two separate compute-intensive tasks at once, then a dual system will be faster (although not twice as fast, due to other bottlenecks). However, most consumers will rarely be running multiple compute-intensive tasks simultaneously - apart, perhaps, from ripping a CD whilst applying a Photoshop filter, etc. However, many CPU intensive applications like games won't benefit at all. Having several applications open at once (multitasking) rarely implies that all those tasks are actually processing at once - most of the time they are sitting idle.

Anyway, to illustrate my point, barefeats have rather conveniently provided a whole set of benchmarks featuring the iMac 1.8 G5 and the PM G4/1.42 MP. See here. The iMac is faster than the G4 MP in every test, other than the Photoshop test (where it takes 10% longer) and the Motion rendering, where the G4 is almost twice as fast (but this result is largely a result of the better GPU in the G4 MP, not MP itself). Photoshop and Motion are MP aware - but more importantly, represent tasks that are highly parallelisable. The G4 MP is slower in Appleworks, iMovie, iTunes and Filemaker.

That's why my comment holds water. Like I said, it all depends on how the user uses his computer. For your average consumer, dual-CPU machines are of only occasional benefit.

(ps. No, I don't own a dual. I do manage the development of a highly-parallelised radar signal processing application on a 16-CPU Beowolf cluster though. It makes any Apple dual-CPU machine look rather anaemic.)
( Last edited by PEHowland; Oct 8, 2004 at 02:18 AM. )
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 02:48 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
Never done any development, eh?

Just because an app is MP aware, doesn't necessarily mean that the multithreading actually provides any significant performance benefit. It all depends on whether the processing bottleneck can be parallelised or not. "Or not" being the operative word for most apps. Of course, if you are trying to do two separate compute-intensive tasks at once, then a dual system will be faster (although not twice as fast, due to other bottlenecks). However, most consumers will rarely be running multiple compute-intensive tasks simultaneously - apart, perhaps, from ripping a CD whilst applying a Photoshop filter, etc. However, many CPU intensive applications like games won't benefit at all. Having several applications open at once (multitasking) rarely implies that all those tasks are actually processing at once - most of the time they are sitting idle.
The barefeats benches you posted refer to running one app at a time. Almost all power-Apple users will not work like this. I've got iTunes, Entourage, Word, Photoshop, BitTorrent, Remote Desktop and the Terminal all going at the moment; none of them are sitting idle.

Yes, if all you do is use the computer for one thing at a time, then it won't make a difference. But having multiple CPUs - in fact, even a multitasking OS - really changes your workflow. You never only do one thing at once. Once you get used to the multitasking (and, it is streets ahead of Windows) having a dualie really does make a bigggg difference.

But this is all OT. Apple should allow customers to bench. The analogy above was of a long test drive; I don't think that's accurate, because you don't put miles on a computer. It's there for testing; as long as there's no big queue, what's the harm?

Except, of course, disproving Apple's rather optimistic performance claims...

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PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 06:38 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
The barefeats benches you posted refer to running one app at a time. Almost all power-Apple users will not work like this. I've got iTunes, Entourage, Word, Photoshop, BitTorrent, Remote Desktop and the Terminal all going at the moment; none of them are sitting idle.
Other than CD ripping in iTunes, none of those apps are CPU intensive. Entourage, Word, Termninal and Remote Desktop are basically spending 99% of their time waiting for user input. BitTorrent is network limited and uses very little CPU. Photoshop uses bursts of CPU when you apply a filter and very little in between. The process scheduler in the OS can handle all of this transparently for the end user, and dual CPU brings very little extra. Far better, on average, to have one faster processor than two slower processors, in the situation you describe. If you were ripping CD's continually and applying batch processing of Photoshop filters, then the dual CPU might help.

Despite the fact you have seven applications open simultaneously, you are indeed using your apps one at a time, for 90% of the time. Monitor your processes and see what's happening. Frankly, the usage you describe is not a "power Apple user" - it's routine normal usage. I'd regard "power usage" as someone running a CPU intensive calculation (eg. rendering, or scientific calculation) whilst simultaneously compiling a million-line source code, etc. One CPU intensive application and many open non-CPU intensive applications does not benefit from dual CPU to any significant extent. Process schedulers are wonderful things.

Apologies for going off topic, but that's the nature of discussion threads. Indeed, any discussion.
( Last edited by PEHowland; Oct 8, 2004 at 06:54 AM. )
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 07:07 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
Other than CD ripping in iTunes, none of those apps are CPU intensive. Entourage, Word, Termninal and Remote Desktop are basically spending 99% of their time waiting for user input. BitTorrent is network limited and uses very little CPU. Photoshop uses bursts of CPU when you apply a filter and very little in between. The process scheduler in the OS can handle all of this transparently for the end user, and dual CPU brings very little extra. Far better, on average, to have one faster processor than two slower processors, in the situation you describe. If you were ripping CD's continually and applying batch processing of Photoshop filters, then the dual CPU might help.

Despite the fact you have seven applications open simultaneously, you are indeed using your apps one at a time, for 90% of the time. Monitor your processes and see what's happening. Frankly, the usage you describe is not a "power Apple user" - it's routine normal usage. I'd regard "power usage" as someone running a CPU intensive calculation (eg. rendering, or scientific calculation) whilst simultaneously compiling a million-line source code, etc. One CPU intensive application and many open non-CPU intensive applications does not benefit from dual CPU to any significant extent. Process schedulers are wonderful things.

Apologies for going off topic, but that's the nature of discussion threads. Indeed, any discussion.
heh no probs

I have fifteen windows open in Omniweb at the moment (lots normally get opened at once thanks to macreporter), have a connection to another computer being "observed" open using Remote Desktop, am in the progress of ripping my CDs (up to 95GB right now, using a bash script to get cdparanoia to rip the CDs then putting converting them in iTunes), playing a playlist over airport express, and am batch processing some photos I took in photoshop through a noise reduction and resizing filter (haven't updated for a while, but see http://hype7.deviantart.com/ ). oh, and bittorrent has 7 connections open (joys of a 2mbit connection, but you'd be surprised how much CPU it takes up when you get a few going at once). and working on a 25 000 word thesis for university , that's due in three weeks

I'd be killing for a dual CPU right now... or at the least a single G5. But a dualie would be better, but I don't know if I can afford it.

I've reniced things to make them a little more responsive, but still. And if weren't for the fact that things have been split on to multiple external hard drives, I'm sure I'd have baked the little portable number that ships in the 12" by now...

Anyway, this is what happens to you when you get a really good multitasking OS. That it's being done on a portable is a testament to Apple.

Now when are they going to stop picking on barefeats and just ship a decent GPU in the iMac so they want barefeats to go into the store?

-- james
( Last edited by jamesa; Oct 8, 2004 at 07:14 AM. )
     
Luca Rescigno
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Oct 8, 2004, 07:13 AM
 
PEHowland, you can look at benchmarks all you want but having also owned a dual processor machine I have to say that there is something about them that makes them feel faster in almost every respect to a single processor machine. Earlier this year I compared a dual 450 to a single 733 to a single 1.33 GHz, there was very little difference between the dual 450 and the 1.33 GHz, while the single 733 lagged behind.

You can talk about your programming experience all you want but I refuse to believe that the iMac G5 is superior to the dual 1.42 GHz G4 in any way except in certain specialized tests being performed one at a time. You haven't even owned a dual processor Mac to form an opinion of them! You just look at benchmarks and numbers and claim victory without the real-world experience. You're just an iMac cheerleader.

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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 07:17 AM
 
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno:
PEHowland, you can look at benchmarks all you want but having also owned a dual processor machine I have to say that there is something about them that makes them feel faster in almost every respect to a single processor machine. Earlier this year I compared a dual 450 to a single 733 to a single 1.33 GHz, there was very little difference between the dual 450 and the 1.33 GHz, while the single 733 lagged behind.

You can talk about your programming experience all you want but I refuse to believe that the iMac G5 is superior to the dual 1.42 GHz G4 in any way except in certain specialized tests being performed one at a time. You haven't even owned a dual processor Mac to form an opinion of them! You just look at benchmarks and numbers and claim victory without the real-world experience. You're just an iMac cheerleader.
woah. I think there are some things the dual will be better at, but undoubtedly there will be some that the G5 iMac will be better at as well.

Some tasks only use a single CPU. In that case, the G5 will be faster, because your dualie is in effect reduced to a single CPU machine. However, as soon as you start doing more than a few things at once, the dual CPU helps.

The other problem is that the system bus starves the dual CPUs, whereas the iMac has a much faster bus for only one CPU.

The short answer; it will depend. Both you and PEHowland are right about that.

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pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 07:51 AM
 
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno:


You can talk about your programming experience all you want but I refuse to believe that the iMac G5 is superior to the dual 1.42 GHz G4 in any way except in certain specialized tests being performed one at a time. You haven't even owned a dual processor Mac to form an opinion of them! You just look at benchmarks and numbers and claim victory without the real-world experience. You're just an iMac cheerleader.
You can refuse to believe whatever you want, I refuse to believe that the sky is blue, wheee. and who needs to have owned a machine to have an opinion of them?

These iMac bashing threads have gone right up to the line of just trolling, because nothing new is being said, it is the same thing over and over and it is pathetic. You have one or two people whining about the imac G5 and really, they come off as being somewhat freaky.
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:10 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
and who needs to have owned a machine to have an opinion of them?
The problem is not that you have to own a certain Mac to judge it.

The problem is that some people who are new to this board and hardly ever owned a Mac or contributed to this forum come here and lecture experienced and respected members neglecting published facts. That rightly pisses people off.

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Spliffdaddy
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:23 AM
 
Also, it's a bit disingenuous to say that multitasking is somehow better on a Mac than on Windows.

A thread is a thread - and both OS's schedule threads the same damned way.
     
jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:27 AM
 
Originally posted by Spliffdaddy:
Also, it's a bit disingenuous to say that multitasking is somehow better on a Mac than on Windows.

A thread is a thread - and both OS's schedule threads the same damned way.
how the threads are scheduled - that may be true. how the OS handles it is vastly different, however. windows when placed under heavy loads often stops drawing windows properly, and in my experience becomes extremely unresponsive after you've got more than two tasks going. YMMV.

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pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:38 AM
 
Luca's post is not well received here for a simple reason. This thread like others lately is already full of crappish statements about systems by people who have not used them and who rely solely on benchmarks to then go on and on repeating the same thing over and over, because (presumably) they imagine themselves being in the position of fulfilling some important role in exposing the inner workings and diabolical plans of Apple Computer.

Indeed, the threads of late have been full of statements even about future performance that are littered with swiss cheese holes because aspects of systems are being ignored and/or because underlying technical developments are ignored or not even understood. In the end what we get is one or two people with an axe to grind, grinding the axe into everything they post. And it pushes right up against trolling imo.
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:47 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
Indeed, the threads of late have been full of statements even about future performance that are littered with swiss cheese holes because aspects of systems are being ignored and/or because underlying technical developments are ignored or not even understood. In the end what we get is one or two people with an axe to grind, grinding the axe into everything they post. And it pushes right up against trolling imo.
says you with an axe to grind.

posting in a thread with its topic quite clearly labeled.

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Oct 8, 2004, 09:00 AM
 
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