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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 (Page 2)
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:15 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
Q.E.D.
if you consider that proving your point, it's pyrrhic. I'll leave you to work out why.

-- james
     
pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:21 AM
 
Many of your posts speak for themselves. Pyrrhic certainly isn't a word I'd choose to describe them.
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:26 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
Many of your posts speak for themselves. Pyrrhic certainly isn't a word I'd choose to describe them.
most posts do tend to speak for themselves.

and you're right, pyrrhic isn't a word I'd choose to describe any of my posts either.

-- james
     
PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:31 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
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
Hehe. Fair enough. I think you'd qualify as one of those benefiting from dual processors
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pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:32 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
most posts do tend to speak for themselves.

and you're right, pyrrhic isn't a word I'd choose to describe any of my posts either.

-- james
This little exchange is an excellent example of your lack of being able to post anything of substance for some time now, in favor of your "waah! no, waaah!" approach, which does not do these forums justice.

Your childish petulance and inability to admit to being wrong, which only contributes to the somewhat surprising ignorance in some of your posts, do nothing to clarify or support your points, which in the end, is the same one you have been repeating in various threads.
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PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:36 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.
Fair enough. You're obviously fairly emotional about all of this & I don't want to upset you. If it "feels faster" and you "refuse to believe" then that's your prerogative. I'm confident enough in my own technical background to stand by what I say, so there we go. Not sure what an "iMac cheerleader" is, but I'll take it as a compliment, although my legs don't look too good in a mini-skirt. Suggest you chill out a bit.
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PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:44 AM
 
Originally posted by Simon:
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.

You wouldn't ask the pope how to please a woman either, would you?
"People" should desensitize themselves then. There are plenty of people outside of these forums with ample technical experience who have every right to a technical point of view - particularly when participating in discussions which are pure speculation by all sides. I don't think it is necessary to serve a silent apprenticeship here first before contributing a view. Geeze. There are enough seasoned Mac owners here (without naming names) who themselves are emotionally underveloped and technically inept that a few outsiders can join in the fun without lowering the tone of the forums.
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:46 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
This little exchange is an excellent example of your lack of being able to post anything of substance for some time now, in favor of your "waah! no, waaah!" approach, which does not do these forums justice.

Your childish petulance and inability to admit to being wrong, which only contributes to the somewhat surprising ignorance in some of your posts, do nothing to clarify or support your points, which in the end, is the same one you have been repeating in various threads.
if we're to point out "lack of substance" in ones posts, I think you far and away take the prize. your presence here in this thread has been characterised by a personal commentary on other people, deviation from the topic and incessant complaining. It is you who are not doing this forum justice, by using it as a medium only to air your views on other people, rather than stick to the point at hand.

You're also the first person to suggest that I have been wrong anywhere. I'd be foolish to claim I'm always right - I'm not - so I'd be more than happy to accept and apologise for being "wrong", but I'd very much like for you to point our what I need to accept being wrong about. Similarly, I'd be most appreciative if you'd point out any place where I have acted in an "ignorant" manner.

none of my points have been made without clarification or support. I've gone so far as to work out the volume of the new iMac G5 (which is unavailable publicly) and also track down heat characteristics of various GPUs in other threads. if you'd like clarification on any point I've made, the more sensible thing to do would be to ask what you would like clarified before carrying on like you have above.

and finally, I have refrained from commenting on my interests outside topics that have been clearly marked as being relevant. which, from your little performance in here, is something you could do well to learn from.

-- james
     
jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:49 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
Hehe. Fair enough. I think you'd qualify as one of those benefiting from dual processors


you must be pretty excited at the prospect of a new machine only a few more days to go...

-- james
     
pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:50 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
if we're to point out "lack of substance" in ones posts, I think you far and away take the prize. your presence here in this thread has been characterised by a personal commentary on other people, deviation from the topic and incessant complaining. It is you who are not doing this forum justice, by using it as a medium only to air your views on other people, rather than stick to the point at hand.

You're also the first person to suggest that I have been wrong anywhere. I'd be foolish to claim I'm always right - I'm not - so I'd be more than happy to accept and apologise for being "wrong", but I'd very much like for you to point our what I need to accept being wrong about. Similarly, I'd be most appreciative if you'd point out any place where I have acted in an "ignorant" manner.

none of my points have been made without clarification or support. I've gone so far as to work out the volume of the new iMac G5 (which is unavailable publicly) and also track down heat characteristics of various GPUs in other threads. if you'd like clarification on any point I've made, the more sensible thing to do would be to ask what you would like clarified before carrying on like you have above.

and finally, I have refrained from commenting on my interests outside topics that have been clearly marked as being relevant. which, from your little performance in here, is something you could do well to learn from.

-- james
Like I said. Your "waah! no, waah!! approach adds nothing.
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:52 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
Like I said. Your "waah! no, waah!! approach adds nothing.
something about glass houses and stones comes to mind.

-- james
     
pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:53 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
something about glass houses and stones comes to mind.

-- james
QED.
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 09:55 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
QED.
by all means, if you wish to add something meaningful to the topic, or address any of the questions I asked of you above, don't let me stop you.

you're yet to do it, but better late than never.

-- james
     
terrancew_hod
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:29 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
by all means, if you wish to add something meaningful to the topic, or address any of the questions I asked of you above, don't let me stop you.

you're yet to do it, but better late than never.

-- james
Agreed. Only ONE other person touched on the stated topic and that was after going off topic.

Once again this is not about the performance or features of the iMac G5, it's about the situation of Apple and Barefeats.

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pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:36 AM
 
terrance, the topic title points directly to what the topic is. This is another of jamesa's circular threads with barefeats thrown in.
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Simon
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:40 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
terrance, the topic title points directly to what the topic is. This is another of jamesa's circular threads with barefeats thrown in.
Ah baloney. Quit being so stubborn about it. The thread title speaks for itself and jamesa - it's about barefeats, Apple, and the iMac's GPU. Apple's behavior is pretty remarkable and it's certainly worth jamesa's little thread. But, your little pissing contest here is what's really derailing this thread.
     
PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:43 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:


you must be pretty excited at the prospect of a new machine only a few more days to go...

-- james
I hope it's only a few more days to go. But Apple has already delayed the expected ship date from 4 Oct to today (8 Oct) and there's still no sign of an email saying it's shipped, so I fully expect another delay.
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pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:44 AM
 
This thread has been derailed from a discussion about barefeats and machine testing from the very beginning, since the title reflects just one more in what jamesa has been posting about in threads here for weeks, the very same point. The title points directly to another one of jamesa's circular threads about the gpu. If it isn't, then he should request that a moderator change the thread title to reflect what the thread is in fact about.
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PEHowland
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:45 AM
 
Originally posted by Simon:
Ah baloney. Quit being so stubborn about it. The thread title speaks for itself and jamesa - it's about barefeats, Apple, and the iMac's GPU. Apple's behavior is pretty remarkable and it's certainly worth jamesa's little thread. But, your little pissing contest here is what's really derailing this thread.
In order to redeem myself and post at least one message on topic, I see that barefeats are today reporting that Apple claim the reason for the disparity is that they compared a 17" G4 1.25GHz whereas barefeats used a 20" G4 1.25GHz. Apple claim that the 17" G4 is slower than the 20" G4. Why would that be?
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:46 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
This thread has been derailed from the very beginnnig since the title reflects just one more in what jamesa has been posting about in threads here for weeks, the very same point. The title points directly to another one of jamesa's circular threads about the gpu. If it isn't, then he should request that a moderator change the thread title to reflect what the thread is in fact about.
Wrong. The thread had a purpose before you guys came here to destroy it.

If you don't like jamesa, his thread or the topic, just don't take part and get out of here. Don't destroy the forum for the others.
     
terrancew_hod
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:47 AM
 
Originally posted by pliny:
terrance, the topic title points directly to what the topic is. This is another of jamesa's circular threads with barefeats thrown in.
I disagree; and if you look at all the posts on this thread, Jamesa has no control over everyone throwing the thread OFF TOPIC. I've tried with my posts to put the topic on track, and even Jamesa's posts was dealing with the topic at hand.

If you feel you can't participate in the topic at hand, which is clearly stated, DON'T contribute to the derailing. You're not helping one bit. The last exchange that you had was childish at best.

Can't get clearer than that. Now if you have a comment on Apple, barefeats and testing in-store, then feel free to post. Otherwise you're doing the very thing that you're accusing jamesa.

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pliny
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:48 AM
 
Originally posted by Simon:
Wrong. The thread had a purpose before you guys came here to destroy it.

If you don't like jamesa, his thread or the topic, just don't take part and get out of here. Don't destroy the forum for the others.
Quite the contrary, the title reflects very clearly the purpose. Change the title or do a better job of confining the same points over and over, to threads already exisiting for that very purpose.
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:49 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
In order to redeem myself and post at least one message on topic, I see that barefeats are today reporting that Apple claim the reason for the disparity is that they compared a 17" G4 1.25GHz whereas barefeats used a 20" G4 1.25GHz. Apple claim that the 17" G4 is slower than the 20" G4. Why would that be?
A very good question.

Especially since the 20" 1.25GHz and the 17" 1.25GHz, according to Apple, have exactly the same board.

Rob-art is waiting for more info from Apple as to why the 17" and 20" numbers differ so much...
     
jamesa  (op)
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:50 AM
 
Originally posted by PEHowland:
In order to redeem myself and post at least one message on topic, I see that barefeats are today reporting that Apple claim the reason for the disparity is that they compared a 17" G4 1.25GHz whereas barefeats used a 20" G4 1.25GHz. Apple claim that the 17" G4 is slower than the 20" G4. Why would that be?
maybe they were running at the full resolution of the screen?

even still, that makes the performance claims accurate only for the 1.8ghz 20" imac vs the G4 20" imac. For those buying the 1.8ghz 17" imac (and presumably comparing it to the 17" G4 iMac), the numbers on the Apple site will not be accurate.

Either way, they should be more explicit about their benchmarks; put in some small text down the bottom of the page for those interested. It shouldn't take a small independent site to call Apple's bluff.

-- james

[edit: not a possible explanation. on the graph, Apple note 1024x768, 32-bit colour for all tests... so I can't think of a possible reason, other than human or intentional error]
     
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Oct 8, 2004, 10:52 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
maybe they were running at the full resolution of the screen?
No. They claim that they had both running 1024x768. See the second paragraph on the barefeats.com page I linked to in my last post.

[Edit: Sorry jamesa, I didn't see your edit. I guess we're just too fast here. ]
     
terrancew_hod
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Oct 8, 2004, 11:01 AM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
Either way, they should be more explicit about their benchmarks; put in some small text down the bottom of the page for those interested. It shouldn't take a small independent site to call Apple's bluff.
I agree. Does Apple have the testing environment and test they use in their comparisons? Seems like they need some standard test across the board, like in the PC world. Sometimes the numbers seem so subjective depending on which source you go to and that gets them into these problems. It's almost like the claims they made when they first released the G5. The UK made them take the "fastest" claim from their advertising as a result.

Terrance

[edit: not sure if that was entirely clear... i should maybe have said a published testing environment so the results can be duplicated by independent sources]
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Oct 8, 2004, 12:49 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
Considering that every app Apple develops is MP aware...
This is incorrect. The few professional applications like FCP are MP aware but most apps by Apple are not. Would love to see correction if I am wrong.
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Oct 8, 2004, 06:45 PM
 
Originally posted by klinux:
This is incorrect. The few professional applications like FCP are MP aware but most apps by Apple are not. Would love to see correction if I am wrong.
All of the iApps have MP optimizations and I believe even Safari does.
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:13 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
All of the iApps have MP optimizations and I believe even Safari does.
What, iSync, iCal, and iChat are all MP aware too? Multi-threaded programming is not easy and I see no pragmatic reason for Apple to make every single one of their iApps be MP aware.

In benchmarks (see Macspeedzone, barefeats, etc) you can clearly see that QT and iTunes are definitely not MP aware.

Again, I would love to be corrected if I am wrong but please provide some evidence beyond "I believe".
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Oct 8, 2004, 08:29 PM
 
iTunes for Windows is showing 11 threads. Somebody check iTunes for Mac and see if it's similar.

Since there's more than one thread, then the active threads should get scheduled and distributed amongst the available processors.

Most CPUs are over 90% idle, anyways. Threads aren't having to wait for a CPU in order to be executed - so you won't see any real improvement with dual CPU platforms. In other words, the CPU is almost never the bottleneck.

That being said, if you typically Keep your CPU above, say, 80% utilization - then you'll benefit quite a lot from having another CPU.

There's no magic, sad to say, after having used multiprocessor machines almost exclusively since 1998. I'd opt for a 2GHz single CPU over a dual 1GHz machine.
     
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Oct 9, 2004, 12:37 AM
 
Originally posted by klinux:
What, iSync, iCal, and iChat are all MP aware too? Multi-threaded programming is not easy and I see no pragmatic reason for Apple to make every single one of their iApps be MP aware.

In benchmarks (see Macspeedzone, barefeats, etc) you can clearly see that QT and iTunes are definitely not MP aware.

Again, I would love to be corrected if I am wrong but please provide some evidence beyond "I believe".
You're saying that iTunes is not MP aware? I don't even know how to respond to that one other than to say that the rip speed of a dual is nearly double that of an equally clocked single processor system.

As far as the other iApps, I have no concrete proof. I have just read repeatedly that Apple has made all of their apps MP aware. And it certainly makes sense since most of Apple's Power Mac sales for the past four years have been duals.
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jamesa  (op)
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Oct 9, 2004, 03:34 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.
just to reply to this again;
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2232&p=5
That review of OS X just came out today from a hardcore PC guy, who runs anandtech.com, and he notes on that page I just linked to how the multitasking of OS X is superior to that in Windows through many of the little things Apple has done.

- james
     
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Oct 9, 2004, 04:12 AM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
You're saying that iTunes is not MP aware? I don't even know how to respond to that one other than to say that the rip speed of a dual is nearly double that of an equally clocked single processor system.
I think that's wrong at least if you're not talking about ripping from a fast drive like a HDD. Ripping is otherwise mostly limited by the optical drive. My 1GHz iMac rips no faster or slower than my dual 867MHz PowerMac. In both cases the optical drive is the bottleneck, not the CPU(s).
     
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Oct 9, 2004, 01:57 PM
 
Originally posted by jamesa:
just to reply to this again;
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2232&p=5
That review of OS X just came out today from a hardcore PC guy, who runs anandtech.com, and he notes on that page I just linked to how the multitasking of OS X is superior to that in Windows through many of the little things Apple has done.

- james
Thanks for the info. This is a subject that has seen very little supporting evidence either way. I'd like to know the real truth - rather than assuming neither is superior...which is my default way of thinking.
     
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Oct 9, 2004, 02:23 PM
 
Originally posted by Simon:
I think that's wrong at least if you're not talking about ripping from a fast drive like a HDD. Ripping is otherwise mostly limited by the optical drive. My 1GHz iMac rips no faster or slower than my dual 867MHz PowerMac. In both cases the optical drive is the bottleneck, not the CPU(s).
Wrong.

PowerMacMan and I have compared rip speeds in the past. Our systems were very similar, except he has dual processors. Mine's a 1.33 GHz G4, he has a dual 1.4 GHz G4, and we both have about the same amount of RAM. Also, my optical drive can read CDs at 40x and his can read them at 52x (I think, but it's around there).

My rip speeds are generally 18-20x. His are around 30x. They're obviously bottlenecked by the CPU, and not by the optical drive. Having duals doesn't give him fully twice the performance of mine, but it does give more than a 50% improvement.

You might think that the optical drives are the limiting factor, because Apple always reduces the CD read speeds of their desktop optical drives for no reason. Laptops and iMac G5s have a read speed of 24x, while the other desktops have a read speed of 32x. So it may seem like the bottleneck is the optical drive, but that's not the case.

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Oct 9, 2004, 04:00 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.

You're right Luca, but not for games. My dual 1.42GHz G4 is faster than a single 1.8GHz G5 for things like number crunching and productivity apps. But for games a faster single processor almost always wins out - assuming the identical GPU in both machines. The reason is that most Mac games are ported from PC and aren't written to take advantage of dual processors. Sure, OSX helps and a dualie will be slightly faster for games than a single processor - but not by much. The most notable exception is Quake3 which was very highly optimized for dual processors starting around rev v1.27. That's why it was used in Mac game benchmarks for so long despite it's age. It's old tho and not the best choice for benchmarking these days - unless you want to show off a dual G5 Tower.

I just noticed BareFeats threw in a Quake3 benchmark on their G5 iMac page. Notice how the dual processor Macs absolutely trounce the other Macs with double to triple the benchmarks? Man, I wish we could have that kind of SMP (dual processor) optimization on more recent games. But it's not very likely. And even asking for that feature (SMP) usually starts a flame war in the games forum. So for the latest Mac games the best hardware setup to look for is a kick ass GPU and as much GHz as you can throw at it. Which brings us right back to the topic of this thread. Instead of arguing with Barefeats why not just fix the problem? I'm not suggesting a free upgrade. But how about at least a BTO like they do with the PowerBooks? I'd go for a 128MB Radeon 9700 (even the notebook version) over the crap NVidia 5200 anyday. That would eliminate the only bottleneck in the G5 iMac's design. It would keep the price down for those that aren't into gaming - and allow a mid-range BTO option for those that are........joe
     
joe
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Oct 9, 2004, 04:02 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
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.

You're right, Apple's apps are mostly MP aware as is OSX. But games are mostly not MP aware because they're ported from PC. A dual processor Mac will be SLIGHTLY faster for those games anyway, but not by much. Benchmarks have proven that time and time again. Given the same GPU, a dual processor Mac is barely faster than the same speed single processor Mac for most games. Quake3 is an exception. But modern games generally do not benefit as well from dual processors.
     
Pierre B.
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Oct 9, 2004, 04:02 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
You're saying that iTunes is not MP aware? I don't even know how to respond to that one...
Just launch Activity Monitor and watch the number of threads for each application.
     
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Oct 9, 2004, 06:05 PM
 
Most Mac OS X apps have one "main" thread that handles the interface and everything related to that and then use other threads for background tasks - if there are any worth mentioning. The reason for this is that the Cocoa Appkit is not threadsafe. Cocoa Foundation is, and Carbon can be made threadsafe - it's rather clearly marked which features can be used, and you can do anything just maybe not the way you thought - but Apple prefers Cocoa for development for other reasons.

Of course, anything that is in a Service (such as the spellcheck when I'm writing this) runs in a thread of its own. Also, the program may use internal functions that split off onto another thread and keep the first one waiting for a response - Carbon does this, which is the reason calling Carbon from Cocoa can be a problem at times.

For the couple of apps where I happen to know the design, here goes:

VPC uses 2 threads in fullscreen mode and 1 in windowed.
X11 uses 2 threads. There is also one for the window manager, but it and one of the X11 threads spend a lot of time waiting for each other.
Browsers use separate threads for the various background network activities - just about anything about retrieving a page or downloading a file. Most network apps are like that - Mail, IM, P2P...
I think that Word and Excel - note that I haven't used Office 2004 yet - are multithreaded but that the early porting means that the event loop doesn't work as well as it should.

The main reason that OS X runs faster on a dual is that the OS always does it's thing on a separate thread from the front program. Check Activity Monitor and you'll see Windowserver eating a good chunk of CPU all the time - all of that "disappears" from the viewpoint of your main program.
     
dandbj
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Oct 9, 2004, 10:33 PM
 
Apple brought this on themselves. On their product page, they are the ones who presented the iMac as a gaming rig. Just read the copy. Apple made certain claims about the iMac's gaming performance. It was totally unnecessary and as far as I can tell, completely false. At least, it is unverified by any third party source. It appears that Apple intentionally misled people about the gaming performance of the new iMac. All the scrutiny and comment about the video card and gaming performance is totally justified because Apple is the one who made it an issue. Bad move, Apple!
     
P
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Oct 10, 2004, 03:00 PM
 
Presented it as a gaming rig? Let's see, what do they write on www.apple.com/imac:

What if you could fit your whole life all your music, all your photos, all your movies, all your email in a computer as fun and useful as an iPod? Now you can. Introducing the futuristic iMac G5 in 17- and 20-inch widescreen models. The entire computer, including a G5-based logic board, slot-loading optical drive, hard disk, speakers, and even the power supply dwells inside the enchanting display. Modern living starts at $1299.

Not a mention of gaming, nothing about the graphics. It goes on about the display, the CPU, the all-in-one format, the ports and wireless connection before they even mention the graphics. The graphics are mentioned in the last paragraph, just before buying information - an afterthought at best. That is exactly what the graphics chip is - an afterthought: Oh yeah, we need one of those. Apple got what is actually the best low-end (or mainstream, in nVidia's lingo) graphics chip. I still say that they should have got a midrange chip, like a Radeon 9600 or nVidia 5700, or at least added 128 megs of video RAM, but if a low-end board is what you're after there is really nothing else.

The language in that last paragraph is typical marketing lingo: It's totally unsupported by any data on how the tests were made. nVidia says something very similar on their mainstream boards page, and look at ATi: "RADEON 9200 series delivers a dazzling visual experience with the highest performance in its class, driven by an advanced Quad-pipe rendering architecture." Eh...no. The 9200s are even suckier than the 5200s, it's just that they're even cheaper as well that allows ATi to claim that they're "best in their class" - I guess they're comparing with some obsolete Geforce2 MX or something. If you trust the manufacturer's own benchmarks and marketing talk, you deserve to get suckered.

The iMac is not a gaming rig. It never was - not once has the iMac had a good graphics board. It has always had low-end boards. It started on a Rage IIc, and Apple had to skip to Rage Pro because ATi stopped making the old chips - there was a silent extra revision there a month or two before 266 MHz bump and the 5 colors. When the best there was on the Mac was Rage 128 and the Rage Pro just couldn't cut it anymore, Apple crippled the Rage 128 on the first slotloading iMacs. Trust me - I have one of those. The clock speed is lowered and the memory bandwidth is cut in half (from 128 bits to 64). The Geforce2 MX made it very late to the Mac (there was a Rage 128 Pro there for a while), and overstayed its welcome when it was kept even on the first G4 iMacs. Then it was Geforce4 MX rather than a 4200Ti which might have been appropriate, and the first 5200 (non-Ultra) to follow them. Really, what is new here? It is an unfortunate fact that Mac gamers always need a Powermac. Right now the cheapest Powermac is a bit steeper than they've been historically, but I suspect that they will drop back down a bit on the low-end version soon enough. I happen to think that Apple is wrong in making this call, but I suppose they have some nice marketing studies to show that Mac gamers are a small group anyway.

The group the iMac is for is the home consumer, where gaming is something the kids might want to do when they're done with the homework. The 5200U is "enough" for today, and the not-so-informed parent buying one for the kids will swallow the lingo after a few nifty demos. Not that he's much wrong - it should be enough for Sims 2 and enough to get Doom 3 starting, and when the games start choking in a few years he gets to keep the machine himself when the kids get a PS3. It's almost a perfect match for the target audience. It is a few months too late to be perfect - a launch before the summer would have been optimal, and I think that is what they were aiming for, but IBMs G5 problems put a hold on that.

My bet is that the next revision will add Bluetooth as standard, Firewire 800, Gigabit Ethernet and just maybe the best low-end nVidia board that fits in an AGP slot. Right now that would be a 5200 Ultra, or possibly a 5500 Ultra - not that I've ever seen one, and the difference is tiny anyway. If nVidia has an AGP 6200 or 6300 on the market by that time, then maybe. MAYBE. But don't be disappointed if it is the same 5200U board, or just the 128 MB version of it. Because that is exactly right for Apple's target audience, and we happen to be just a little bit outside it.
     
terrancew_hod
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Oct 10, 2004, 03:19 PM
 
Originally posted by P:
Presented it as a gaming rig? Let's see, what do they write on www.apple.com/imac:

What if you could fit your whole life all your music, all your photos, all your movies, all your email in a computer as fun and useful as an iPod? Now you can. Introducing the futuristic iMac G5 in 17- and 20-inch widescreen models. The entire computer, including a G5-based logic board, slot-loading optical drive, hard disk, speakers, and even the power supply dwells inside the enchanting display. Modern living starts at $1299.

Not a mention of gaming, nothing about the graphics....
P, please run to the following page and rephrase your last post: http://www.apple.com/imac/graphics.html

Here's a few comments taken from that page:

And then theres the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB of DDR SDRAM. Its a combination that delivers unparalleled 2D and 3D graphics performance and an immersive, photorealistic gaming experience with three times the frame rate of previous-generation processors.
The iMac ships combat-ready with advanced graphics processing capability, thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB of DDR SDRAM. Kicking your games and 3D graphics into high gear with hardware transform and lighting (T&L), per-pixel shading and drop-dead gorgeous effects at high resolutions, the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra takes over the transform and lighting calculation functions from the iMac CPU and delivers standout gaming experience.
I think you'll agree that Apple makes it pretty clear you can use the iMac for playing games with these statements.

Terrance

[EDIT: Are you sure you aren't looking at the eMac page? The iMac doesn't have a ATi: "RADEON 9200 in it.]
( Last edited by terrancew_hod; Oct 10, 2004 at 03:27 PM. )
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P
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Oct 10, 2004, 03:27 PM
 
Originally posted by terrancew_hod:
P, please run to the following page and rephrase your last post: http://www.apple.com/imac/graphics.html

Here's a few comments taken from that page:





I think you'll agree that Apple makes it pretty clear you can use the iMac for playing games with these statements.

Terrance
I saw those. My point is that dandbj said that it's a gaming rig, and I say it's not. A general mainstream machine that can also play games, sure. That's what Apple says, that's what it is and that's exactly what I said in my post, if you read it all the way through.
     
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Oct 10, 2004, 03:33 PM
 
Originally posted by terrancew_hod:
[EDIT: Are you sure you aren't looking at the eMac page? The iMac doesn't have a ATi: "RADEON 9200 in it.]
This get s a special mention because I don't want to start Editing my posts - it was edited after I started writing my response.

Yes, I'm sure. I mentioned the 9200 text (from www.ati.com) as an example of the marketing hyperbole that is common in this business.
     
terrancew_hod
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Oct 10, 2004, 04:24 PM
 
If you look at that page, apple is positioning the iMac as a machine that can be used as a gaming rig. For someone who wasn't computer savvy or didn't do their research, comments such as "combat-ready" or "delivers standout gaming experience" would infer that the mac could be used as a gaming rig.

Also you said in your original post that there was no information as far as graphics or gaming, hence my post. You may not think the iMac is a gaming rig (nor do i), but it's Apple that is implying that through their product literature; thus is one of the reasons why this thread exists. Barefeats disputed their claims and may have suffered backlash as a result.

Terrance
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P
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Oct 10, 2004, 06:16 PM
 
Originally posted by terrancew_hod:
If you look at that page, apple is positioning the iMac as a machine that can be used as a gaming rig. For someone who wasn't computer savvy or didn't do their research, comments such as "combat-ready" or "delivers standout gaming experience" would infer that the mac could be used as a gaming rig.

Also you said in your original post that there was no information as far as graphics or gaming, hence my post. You may not think the iMac is a gaming rig (nor do i), but it's Apple that is implying that through their product literature; thus is one of the reasons why this thread exists. Barefeats disputed their claims and may have suffered backlash as a result.

Terrance
I never said any such thing. I said that the machine wasn't positioned as a gaming rig, and it was only after reading through the bottom of the page that you even got a mention of the graphics inside. The comment about "Not a mention of gaming, nothing about the graphics." was about that first paragraph, which I quoted. I thought that was obvious. There is obviously some mention of gaming further down, but it is no priority and more of covering all the bases.

Yes, Barefeats disputed the claims, which is kinda sorta easy when Apple doesn't specify anything about the test conditions, and someone at Apple was petty and decided to take the ball and go home. That was silly, and reading the text now shows that cooler heads have prevailed at Apple. What I responded to was dandbj's comment that it was a gaming rig, in the sense that a certain amount money and effort has been spent on making it run games well, and it is not. If it runs future games at all well, then that's a nice side effect of the fact it's going to run Core Image in Tiger and run the bundled games easily. Then I got a bit carried away because I've seen this misconception a few times before. It's wishful thinking to think that the iMac is any sort of gaming machine - it isn't, and it has never been.

Gaming on the Mac is a bit of chicken-and-egg. Apple doesn't make any good gaming machines because few gamers use Macs, so it's not a market. Gamers don't use Macs because there are few games, and the ports take time to arrive, but also because there aren't any mid-priced gaming systems. There are few games because there are few gamers and porting takes time because the porting developers have to work at supporting so many low-end machines to get some sort of market at all.

And there I go getting carried away again. Oh well.
     
dandbj
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Oct 10, 2004, 07:02 PM
 
Originally posted by P:
What I responded to was dandbj's comment that it was a gaming rig,
Go back and read my post. I said that Apple is positioning the iMac as a gaming rig, not that it was. You may not see that on the front page, but it is definitely emphatically implied when you look at all of the product description as a whole. Apple brought this crop down on themselves. Apple should have confined their gaming comments to Snood and Chess. They brought up high-end gaming. They brought up FPS. They brought up unparalleled gaming performance. If you want to get upset with anyone over this subject, get upset with Apple.
     
glideslope
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Oct 10, 2004, 08:06 PM
 
I'd say the people posting in here are "playing games" with each other!
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
Sun Tzu
     
jamesa  (op)
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Oct 11, 2004, 02:53 AM
 
Originally posted by glideslope:
I'd say the people posting in here are "playing games" with each other!
yeah well I say Apple's "playing games" with us

-- james
     
Pierre B.
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Oct 11, 2004, 02:53 AM
 
Originally posted by glideslope:
I'd say the people posting in here are "playing games" with each other!
Perhaps, but this doesn't change the fact that dandbj is right. Apple decided to cultivate in its potential customers (and especially the not well informed ones) the illusion that the iMac is a very capable playing machine, without changing at the least bit its positioning relative to the rest of the product line, feature-wise. There is no doubt that this iMac will play very well the less demanding games, but Apple talk here about FPS and the latest ones no less (and the big one to be yet released for the Macintosh).

I am very curious to see what Barefeats or some other testers will finally find out, in what concerns the relative and absolute performance gains in the new iMac.
     
 
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