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MacRumors
Aug 14, 2007, 11:04 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

PrimateLabs, the developers of GeekBench (http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/) have published benchmark comparisons for the new Core 2 Duo Mac Mini and new aluminum iMacs.

Mac Mini (August 2007) (http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2007/08/mac-mini-performance-august-2007/)

Apple's Mac Mini update (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/07/apple-quietly-updates-mac-minis/) replaced the aging Mac Mini's Core Duo processor with a Core 2 Duo. Their conclusion was that moving from Core 2 Duo and clock speed updates provide "modest" performance improvements but "no real reason to upgrade" from the previous generation Mac Mini. Speed increasines were much more dramatic, however, for owners of the PowerPC or Core Solo Mac Mini. (graphs available (http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2007/08/mac-mini-performance-august-2007/))

24-inch iMac (August 2007) (http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2007/08/24-inch-imac-performance-august-2007/)

Apple's iMac update (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/07/new-imacs-released/) brought in the Santa Rosa chipset (faster front-side bus) along with the option for the faster (2.8GHz) Core 2 Duo Extreme processor. Both of these improvements can bring increase in performance, especially in memory intensive applications such as Aperture and Photoshop. (graphs available (http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2007/08/24-inch-imac-performance-august-2007/))

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/14/imac-and-mac-mini-benchmarks/)



bytethese
Aug 14, 2007, 11:10 AM
Hmm, Mac Mini is a possibility for me now to replace my "dead" Win 2003 server at home. I can hook into my HDTV to view things and get a USB HDD or NAS for more space. Altho those new imacs look awesome too. Ugh, Apple, I both love and loathe you!

plumbingandtech
Aug 14, 2007, 11:12 AM
I so wish they made it a little bigger and changed to 3.5 drives...

miggyb
Aug 14, 2007, 11:18 AM
Is it just me, or does using "benchmarking" and "mac mini" in the same sentence sound kind of... odd? :rolleyes:

aye5882
Aug 14, 2007, 11:18 AM
will i notice a big difference if i buy a 2gb stick of RAM that's 800Mhz instead of 667MHz??

Eidorian
Aug 14, 2007, 11:19 AM
will i notice a big difference if i buy a 2gb stick of RAM that's 800Mhz instead of 667MHz??You'll notice that you have less money.

Performance wise...no.

aye5882
Aug 14, 2007, 11:23 AM
You'll notice that you have less money.

Performance wise...no.

so what's the big deal about SR then if there's no performance difference w/ the FSB?

DakotaGuy
Aug 14, 2007, 11:29 AM
What surprises me is that there isn't much speed difference between a Core Duo and a Core 2 Duo if both are clocked at 1.83Ghz if they are running on the same platform. The only advantage I can see is that the Core 2 is 64 bit.

zorinlynx
Aug 14, 2007, 11:43 AM
I believe Core Duo and Core 2 Duo use the same socket and everything?

So all Apple had to do was simply change what chip they plug into the board. No motherboard changes/upgrades or anything.

It makes me wonder why they took so damn long to do this. Were they waiting until Core 2 Duo prices dropped enough to keep their profit margin on the Mini? It's annoying.

-Z

k2k koos
Aug 14, 2007, 11:48 AM
wow, I knew the new processors were fast, but this is the first independent proof I've seen, that compared "my" G4 1.25Ghz Mini, with the newest version.
Improvements of over 4 to 5 times faster are very common here.

I hope to put some money aside and save up for one of the new Intel types myself, should be possible I guess :-) :apple:

gnasher729
Aug 14, 2007, 11:49 AM
so what's the big deal about SR then if there's no performance difference w/ the FSB?

You asked the wrong question.

There are lots of things in a computer running at all different clock speeds. For example, the clock speed of the FSB and the clock speed of memory are unrelated. The MacMini cannot use memory faster than 667 MHz (if you put in faster memory, it runs at the slower speed, that is why 800 MHz memory costs money without benefit). However, because you have two memory chips, they can deliver more data than the FSB can handle. So the 800 MHz FSB is still not fast enough to handle two 667 MHz RAM chips, but it is faster than 667 MHz FSB.

Anyway, look at the numbers, and you see that Core2Duo at 1.83GHz is faster than CoreDuo at 1.83GHz in the memory benchmark.

Eidorian
Aug 14, 2007, 11:49 AM
I believe Core Duo and Core 2 Duo use the same socket and everything?

So all Apple had to do was simply change what chip they plug into the board. No motherboard changes/upgrades or anything.

It makes me wonder why they took so damn long to do this. Were they waiting until Core 2 Duo prices dropped enough to keep their profit margin on the Mini? It's annoying.

-ZThe Mac Mini and iMac (Pre-Aluminum) shared the same CPU socket after the Intel switch. (Socket M)

iSee
Aug 14, 2007, 11:52 AM
Here's the surprise to me: The performance of the Core 2 Extreme 2.8 iMac vs Core 2 Duo 2.4 iMac (both new iMacs).

Overall, it runs about 17% faster, which is a pretty nice speed bump.

Actually it's in line with the difference in clock speeds, which never happens (that is, a 20% clock speed increase never gives you a 20% overall performance increase because of various other parts of the system).

I guess "extreme" isn't just a marketing word. Maybe the $250 upgrade price is worth it.

longofest
Aug 14, 2007, 11:52 AM
Barefeats posts some gaming/graphics benchmarks (http://barefeats.com/imacal.html) that show less than desirable results for the new iMac's Radeon 2600 HD vs. the previous iteration's GeForce 7600 option. The site has promised to re-run the tests under Windows XP to see if the issue is driver-related, as Windows drivers would be more mature than Mac OS X versions (note: driver issues were to blame (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/28/macbook-pro-software-update-1-0-released/) for initially low-scoring current MacBook Pro benchmarks).

soosy
Aug 14, 2007, 12:02 PM
Barefeats posts some gaming/graphics benchmarks (http://barefeats.com/imacal.html) that show less than desirable results for the new iMac's Radeon 2600 HD vs. the previous iteration's GeForce 7600 option. The site has promised to re-run the tests under Windows XP to see if the issue is driver-related, as Windows drivers would be more mature than Mac OS X versions (note: driver issues were to blame (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/28/macbook-pro-software-update-1-0-released/) for initially low-scoring current MacBook Pro benchmarks).

Just Ouch. What pains me even more for some reason is how much better the MacBook Pro's are in some tests. Do Quake and Halo just do better with Nvidia cards?

porky
Aug 14, 2007, 12:08 PM
Just Ouch. What pains me even more for some reason is how much better the MacBook Pro's are in some tests. Do Quake and Halo just do better with Nvidia cards?

It's pretty lame to use in a desktop mac/pc such low-end videocard, an nvidia 8600 should be the MINIMUM. So bring on an affordable desktop mac! Or you can forget ID & EA to bring more games to the mac.

Wild-Bill
Aug 14, 2007, 12:18 PM
Another "What were they thinking?!" moment for Apple.

MacSA
Aug 14, 2007, 12:20 PM
I really thought that with Games companies appearing at WWDC and announcing their return to the Mac, Apple would put some decent video cards in their computers. Missed opportunity I think.

porky
Aug 14, 2007, 12:22 PM
I really thought that with Games companies appearing at WWDC and announcing their return to the Mac, Apple would put some decent video cards in their computers. Missed opportunity I think.

I couldn't agree more. PLEASE READ THIS APPLE

phytonix
Aug 14, 2007, 12:28 PM
They did not benchmark 3D graphics for iMac. So I call it not a benchmark.

Edit: Well, they did in another benchmark.
7600 GT FTW!

~Shard~
Aug 14, 2007, 12:31 PM
I really thought that with Games companies appearing at WWDC and announcing their return to the Mac, Apple would put some decent video cards in their computers. Missed opportunity I think.

+1

I was looking forward to this iMac upgrade for Apple to put its money where its mouth is, so to speak. They've talked about taking gaming on the Mac more seriously, yet then they turn around and put a sub-par graphics card into the new iMac.

Mind you, I suppose for serious gamers who like to upgrade their video card every1-2 years to stay current and be able to play the current games, the iMac isn't the ideal gaming machine in the first place, being that its an AIO.

Hmm, so does this mean Apple is planning on releasing a mini-tower? :p ;) The power of the 24" iMac but the upgradability of the Mac Pro? :cool:

Columbo X
Aug 14, 2007, 12:41 PM
I've see a lot of numbers flying around, but I never really test framerates in games - I usually just play through them, so I have no "frame of reference" to see what 58 fps in Doom 3 "feels" like. So I ran Doom 3 on my PC (don't have the Mac version) which I think plays really well (being subjective here!!). This is on an old X800XT at high detail, 1280x1024 resolution. This averages between 50 and 65 fps. I adjusted the settings to vary the framerate. At 15-25 fps the game is barely playable, at 30 and above I thought the game ran fine!

So despite the new cards being slower I still think the iMac would be fine for most games (of course this is my opinion, I am sure there are people out there who want top performance and who will disagree).

Does anyone know if these tests included AA/AF? I know the ATI cards have a different architecture from the nVidia cards in that they are designed around shader-based AA/AF, not back-end hardware (ROP) AA/AF. This difference has accounted for the ATI cards' reduced performance when compared against nVidia's latest cards in previous benchmark tests. Even if AA/AF was not included, the ATI cards have fewer back-end ROPs (Render Output Processors) than other cards, so this may be another factor.

LSlugger
Aug 14, 2007, 12:43 PM
Barefeats posts some gaming/graphics benchmarks (http://barefeats.com/imacal.html) that show less than desirable results for the new iMac's Radeon 2600 HD vs. the previous iteration's GeForce 7600 option.

As the owner of a 2.33 GHz iMac w/ the 7600GT, I'm feeling pretty good about my decision not to wait for a new model. In fairness, three of the four games are based on Doom 3, where ATI has lagged, for some reason. However, the Halo disparity is similarly large.

I really hope that Apple doesn't view the 7600GT BTO option as a failed experiment. I haven't looked closely at the tear-down articles. Does anyone know if the new iMac still has the MXM slot?

Edit: it appears that MXM is kind of an NVIDIA thing, and that the new iMacs do not support it.

aLoC
Aug 14, 2007, 12:46 PM
It's not a driver issue, it's that Apple has employed some component buyer who doesn't know a video card from a hole in the ground.

Otherwise what series of decisions, what twisted rationalizations, what utter disconnection from reality, could lead to a new model of something having half the 3D power of it's predecessor?

cliffjumper68
Aug 14, 2007, 12:54 PM
The video play seemed a lot smoother at the apple store on the new machines. Hopefully the new games coming out for OSX will finally open up the Mac to gaming.:apple:

Rocketman
Aug 14, 2007, 01:05 PM
Is it just me, or does using "benchmarking" and "mac mini" in the same sentence sound kind of... odd? :rolleyes:

It would until you realize the lowly Mac Mini of even the prior Core Duo rev is comparable with or superior to pretty much any Mac of the G4, Core Solo or Core Duo variety, except the highest end iMac of the same processor family or better. It really is an outstanding value considering the external expandability, headless capability and the abilito run essentially ANYTHING from OSX to Parallels and thus every flavor of DOS, Windows, Linux, etc.

If you use Macs for anything but your only CPU for email, browsing and Pro Apps, then you probably have, or need, a Mac Mini for "utility" purposes. A backup server, a media server, print server, alternate OS system, etc. For cheap. Most importantly it is NOT a peecee!

Rocketman

organic bond
Aug 14, 2007, 01:07 PM
First time I see an upgrade that sports a worse graphic card. I'm a happy owner of 24" with a 7600 GT, this long awaited new iMac has been quite disappointing. Glossy screen, bleah!

jesteraver
Aug 14, 2007, 01:10 PM
I am very happy with the floating point results for the iMac C2E 2.8 :)

billystlyes
Aug 14, 2007, 01:41 PM
I haven't been impressed with the iMirror (iMac) benchmarks that I've seen.

WannaGoMac
Aug 14, 2007, 01:46 PM
I find it so funny that Doom III is the test platform. Who plays Doom III anymore anyway!? lol :) It's very old and it was just terrible...

I guess when you got slow hardware you gotta test with "old games"

jcook793
Aug 14, 2007, 01:49 PM
You know what'd be cool? If you could pick the model of Mac you already have and then compare it with the current crop. Like, how does my 1st gen dual 2GHz G5 compare with, say, a Core2 Duo mini? I realize my FSB is still faster but if I could eBay off Gigantor here and replace it with the postage-stamp mini and still be in the same performance ballpark, I'd consider it.

Wild-Bill
Aug 14, 2007, 01:53 PM
Hopefully the new games coming out for OSX will finally open up the Mac to gaming.:apple:

And hopefully that will end the ridiculous comments from Mac zealots saying "Macs aren't for gaming. Buy a PC." It's such a PPC comment they don't even realize.

MacsRgr8
Aug 14, 2007, 02:01 PM
I find it so funny that Doom III is the test platform. Who plays Doom III anymore anyway!? lol :) It's very old and it was just terrible...

I guess when you got slow hardware you gotta test with "old games"

Calling Doom 3 "old" is something not many Mac-gamers will agree on.... not many newer Mac games are available, or are such a burden on your hardware ;)

It sill is a good benchmarking game. New enough to show horsepower using OpenGL, and as it doesn't really require 512 MB VRAM (like Quake 4...) you can run good tests on today's cards, and cards which are of the last couple of years.
So, good for comparison.

And TBO I liked the game! I like the way it startles you... hehe :cool:

reallynotnick
Aug 14, 2007, 02:09 PM
I still think bulking up the Mini so it has a Desktop CPU, and upgradeable GPU would be a nice machine. Take the Mac Pro, remove extra HDD bays, remove extra disc bay, lower it to 2-4 sticks of ram, and put a regular desktop CPU (not a high class xeon) and BOOM! A very kick ass Mac.

overcast
Aug 14, 2007, 02:25 PM
The video play seemed a lot smoother at the apple store on the new machines. Hopefully the new games coming out for OSX will finally open up the Mac to gaming.:apple:
Have you not read any part of this thread?

longofest
Aug 14, 2007, 02:31 PM
First time I see an upgrade that sports a worse graphic card. I'm a happy owner of 24" with a 7600 GT, this long awaited new iMac has been quite disappointing. Glossy screen, bleah!

I'm not so sure that the Radeon 2600 is not better than the GeForce 7600. Surely, the 2600 isn't as good as the GeForce 8600, but it should be better than the 7600, which leads me to believe that there is a driver issue here.

MacsRgr8
Aug 14, 2007, 02:33 PM
I still think bulking up the Mini so it has a Desktop CPU, and upgradeable GPU would be a nice machine. Take the Mac Pro, remove extra HDD bays, remove extra disc bay, lower it to 2-4 sticks of ram, and put a regular desktop CPU (not a high class xeon) and BOOM! A very kick ass Mac.

Something like this:

The Mac Fun™:

Conroe CPU
Radeon HD 2900 XT / GeForce 8800 GTX
2 internal HD
2 GB RAM
BlueRay drive
PCI sound card Dolby 5.1

Eidorian
Aug 14, 2007, 02:34 PM
I'm not so sure that the Radeon 2600 is not better than the GeForce 7600. Surely, the 2600 isn't as good as the GeForce 8600, but it should be better than the 7600, which leads me to believe that there is a driver issue here.Don't forget it's desktop Vs. mobile.

If the Mobility HD2600 XT is clocked to its stock speeds there wouldn't be such a gap in performance.

blutfink
Aug 14, 2007, 02:34 PM
What surprises me is that there isn't much speed difference between a Core Duo and a Core 2 Duo if both are clocked at 1.83Ghz if they are running on the same platform. The only advantage I can see is that the Core 2 is 64 bit.

I noticed a big speed difference with SSE-heavy applications like Gaston.

www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20574

WannaGoMac
Aug 14, 2007, 02:37 PM
Basically, we all want a mini-tower mac. And apple is saying ***** you to all of us...End of discussion.

MacsRgr8
Aug 14, 2007, 02:43 PM
I'm not so sure that the Radeon 2600 is not better than the GeForce 7600. Surely, the 2600 isn't as good as the GeForce 8600, but it should be better than the 7600, which leads me to believe that there is a driver issue here.

I'm afraid the Radeon 2600 Pro is not any better than the GeForce 7600 GT, even on Windows XP SP2:

Take a look here (http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3023&p=7)
You'll find that the GeForce 7600 GT more often than not is slightly less bad than the Radeon 2600 Pro.
The Radeon 2600 XT OTOH.... :rolleyes:

One of the graphs from that site:

opeter
Aug 14, 2007, 02:43 PM
Basically, we all want a mini-tower mac. And apple is saying ***** you to all of us...End of discussion.

Yep, that right. It seems as the only choise for gamers is the Mac Pro...

WannaGoMac
Aug 14, 2007, 02:47 PM
I'm afraid the Radeon 2600 Pro is not any better than the GeForce 7600 GT, even on Windows XP SP2:

Take a look here (http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3023&p=7)
You'll find that the GeForce 7600 GT more often than not is slightly less bad than the Radeon 2600 Pro.
The Radeon 2600 XT OTOH.... :rolleyes:

One of the graphs from that site:
OMG! That's incredible!

Yep, that right. It seems as the only choise for gamers is the Mac Pro...

Crazy isn't it? Oh well, I am not even a "real gamer" but I do like to play new/current games occasionally and Macs won't let me :(. I am hoping the Mac Mini refurbs at $429/479 re-appear (for some reason they are back up to $649??)...

MacsRgr8
Aug 14, 2007, 02:50 PM
Yep, that right. It seems as the only choise for gamers is the Mac Pro...

That's right.
Couple of problems there though:
- You're paying alot for the fact that you're buying a Xeon CPU
- Not good enough grfx for that money

But... you can justify paying more for the Mac Pro, because you don't have to buy an iMac and gaming PC!
So.. I'm waiting for the next updated Mac Pro with today's grfx (please), and be über happy! :cool:

rs76
Aug 14, 2007, 03:03 PM
Guess I'll have to take the $300 I saved on my 24" Imac compared to the previous generation and buy a game console.

BlizzardBomb
Aug 14, 2007, 03:06 PM
I really thought that with Games companies appearing at WWDC and announcing their return to the Mac, Apple would put some decent video cards in their computers. Missed opportunity I think.

Mac mini - 3 revisions with the GMA 950
MacBook - 3 revisions with the GMA 950
MacBook Pro - 3 revisions with the X1600 (Recently upped to the 8600M GT)
iMac - 2 revisions (1.5 years) with the X1600 (Recently upped (or downed if you consider the 7600 GT) to the HD 2400 XT/ HD 2600 Pro)
Mac Pro - A year with the X1900 XT, a card that was "old" when it debuted a year ago.

I know Apple normally doesn't do amazing stuff with graphics cards but recently it's been depressing. Even when Apple went from a very bad graphics card to a bad graphics card, the update was welcome.

GFLPraxis
Aug 14, 2007, 03:22 PM
I'm not so sure that the Radeon 2600 is not better than the GeForce 7600. Surely, the 2600 isn't as good as the GeForce 8600, but it should be better than the 7600, which leads me to believe that there is a driver issue here.


The Radeon should have much better Shader performance, so I'd expect the 2600 to perform a lot better on DX10/OGL2.0-level games.

Jawbreaker
Aug 14, 2007, 04:13 PM
Any sign of benchmarks comparing the 2600 to the X1600 that was standard in most of the old iMac lineup? It's surely disheartening that it performs worse than the previous CTO option but I'm very curious how well the new hardware compares to the older standard feature set.

soosy
Aug 14, 2007, 04:21 PM
Any sign of benchmarks comparing the 2600 to the X1600 that was standard in most of the old iMac lineup? It's surely disheartening that it performs worse than the previous CTO option but I'm very curious how well the new hardware compares to the older standard feature set.

http://www.macworld.com/2007/08/firstlooks/imacbenchmarks/index.php

This doesn't include the new iMacs, but it's the same barefeats tests so you can compare:
http://www.barefeats.com/imcd4.html

Haoshiro
Aug 14, 2007, 04:23 PM
Any sign of benchmarks comparing the 2600 to the X1600 that was standard in most of the old iMac lineup? It's surely disheartening that it performs worse than the previous CTO option but I'm very curious how well the new hardware compares to the older standard feature set.

I posted a few earlier. (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=341251)

To the poster who asked about Quake 4/etc just being better on nvidia - YES, that is definitely the case.

Prey, Quake 4, and Doom 3 are all running on the same engine and definitely seem to cater to nVidia GPUs.

Wild-Bill
Aug 14, 2007, 04:26 PM
http://www.barefeats.com/image07/imal_hal.gif

http://www.barefeats.com/image07/imal_kak.gif

And this is only at a modest 1280x800 resolution.

A true apples to apples comparison, oddly enough using nothing but Apples.

The HD 2600 is beaten not only by the last gen iMac, but also the MacBook Pro. So, for everyone defending the card, stop. Just stop.

Haoshiro
Aug 14, 2007, 04:50 PM
And this is only at a modest 1280x800 resolution.

A true apples to apples comparison, oddly enough using nothing but Apples.

The HD 2600 is beaten not only by the last gen iMac, but also the MacBook Pro. So, for everyone defending the card, stop. Just stop.

It all depends on the game engine, I'd encourage people to just mess around with the VGA Charts (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=858&model2=716&chart=294) on tomshardware.com

Oblivion Benchmark #1:

2600 XT = 23.0 FPS
8600 GT = 21.0 FPS
7600 GT = 14.5 FPS

WannaGoMac
Aug 14, 2007, 04:56 PM
It all depends on the game engine, I'd encourage people to just mess around with the VGA Charts (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=858&model2=716&chart=294) on tomshardware.com

Oblivion Benchmark #1:

2600 XT = 23.0 FPS
7600 GT = 14.5 FPS

What is truly pathetic, people are arguing about FPS that are not even PLAYABLE. Try playing that game at 23FPS! Have fun!

Haoshiro
Aug 14, 2007, 05:00 PM
What is truly pathetic, people are arguing about FPS that are not even PLAYABLE. Try playing that game at 23FPS! Have fun!

That is pretty bad, but that is an average, oblivion isn't that framerate dependent that it really ruins the experience, at lease when I have played it.

The point is all in comparing the numbers though, which is the point of the benchmarks.

In specific game nvidia hardware does better, imagine that. Games on the Doom 3 engine which are tailored towards nVidia, and Halo which originally launched on the Xbox, which was powered by an nVidia GPU.

Some games consistently perform better on specific brands, so such comparisons only help you see how it will run those games, not give you an overall picture of the hardware in general.

ahireasu
Aug 14, 2007, 05:20 PM
It all depends on the game engine, I'd encourage people to just mess around with the VGA Charts (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=858&model2=716&chart=294) on tomshardware.com

Oblivion Benchmark #1:

2600 XT = 23.0 FPS
8600 GT = 21.0 FPS
7600 GT = 14.5 FPS

My friend what you give us is the 2600XT fps result when we all know that even if the graphics on new imac's are a 2600XT is undercloaked more towards to a 2600pro...

lightsout
Aug 14, 2007, 05:21 PM
Certainly it was true for the iMac's Mobility X1600 was downclocked for heat reasons I believe. So reviews showing its performance was not really applicable for the iMac. The 8600GT is different from what the Macbook Pro has, but it does show it is a very good graphics card.

I am amazed the Macbook Pro with .4GHz of a less gets beaten so badly in Halo 3. Given the AMD/ATi team-up, I was sort of expecting Apple to go Nvidia only but there you go! I don't know why the 8600MT didn't go in both systems to be honest.

bananas
Aug 14, 2007, 05:27 PM
And this is only at a modest 1280x800 resolution.

A true apples to apples comparison, oddly enough using nothing but Apples.

The HD 2600 is beaten not only by the last gen iMac, but also the MacBook Pro. So, for everyone defending the card, stop. Just stop.

I love how the new iMac looks and the new Mini is so much more powerful than the g4 I had earlier, but it really seems like MBP is going to be my next Mac. It's had some problems with drivers but I hope they will be fixed before I have the money to buy one. :D

if iMac only had GeForce 8600...

Mr.Gadget
Aug 14, 2007, 05:43 PM
Unfortunately, the HD 2600 Pro is an underperformer...
Here (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2151748,00.asp) is a nice comparison between the ATI/AMD 2600 series and the Nvidia 8600 series...
Basically the HD 2600 Pro is a budget graphics card. Which, I suppose is OK unless you want a gaming rig; you'll have to look elsewhere than the iMac at this date... :(

Am I right that his is the Pro and not XT? The XT is twice the memory bandwidth of the Pro for starters. I think it boils down to memory speed and the speed of the Stream Processor Clock...

offwidafairies
Aug 14, 2007, 05:45 PM
it really seems like MBP is going to be my next Mac. It's had some problems with drivers but I hope they will be fixed before I have the money to buy one. :D

couldnt have said it better myself :)

iLionel
Aug 14, 2007, 06:42 PM
Unfortunately, the HD 2600 Pro is an underperformer...
Here (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2151748,00.asp) is a nice comparison between the ATI/AMD 2600 series and the Nvidia 8600 series...
Basically the HD 2600 Pro is a budget graphics card. Which, I suppose is OK unless you want a gaming rig; you'll have to look elsewhere than the iMac at this date... :(

Am I right that his is the Pro and not XT? The XT is twice the memory bandwidth of the Pro for starters. I think it boils down to memory speed and the speed of the Stream Processor Clock...

It's already been proven that the card in the iMac is the 2600m XT underclocked and not a desktop PRO.

aLoC
Aug 14, 2007, 08:17 PM
The HD 2600 is beaten not only by the last gen iMac, but also the MacBook Pro. So, for everyone defending the card, stop. Just stop.

There's no denying, it's a dog. And it's not like Apple didn't know. It's been all over the web for a month that it's a dog.

slackpacker
Aug 14, 2007, 08:25 PM
Why does Apple keep making Graphics mistakes? Don't they get it? Apple is a graphics powerhouse and they keep giving us pathetically slow graphics hardware.

But really... I think this is more an ATI driver issue... performance is way to low... but from other reviews that I have checked out.. the 2600 performs about the same as it does in windows.. so if its the drivers both need some tender loving care.

aLoC
Aug 14, 2007, 08:40 PM
Why does Apple keep making Graphics mistakes? Don't they get it? Apple is a graphics powerhouse and they keep giving us pathetically slow graphics hardware.

I bet it's because the chip has some nice subsystems for things like video decoding, and the engineers at Apple got so glassy-eyed over them that they forgot about the fundamentals, i.e. raw grunt.

It's not as if video decoding can't be done on the CPU, so a video decoder on your GPU is only a nice to have, whereas there's no substitute for raw 3D power.

macintel4me
Aug 14, 2007, 09:30 PM
It's official then. My thoughts of getting an 2.8 GHz iMac are now over. I'll get the Mac Pro in Jan or whever it's going to be updated instead.

tsd
Aug 14, 2007, 10:17 PM
I think what Apple is doing with this new iMac is getting it back to it's roots. When the iMac first came out, and for a while thereafter, it was the low end family-friendly Mac. It was made to do things that the majority of technophobes would be willing to try, and it was made to be cheap, impossible to confuse it's user, and cute. No one back then bought an iMac for any semblance of power or long-term use.
The past generation or two of iMac has seen a shift in Apple's branding of this machine as having become their "Flagship" computer. It was seen as what EVERYBODY gets except really wealthy design firms and large university super computer test labs. It began to be made more as a competitor to high end systems, and was the front line of Apple's efforts.
What we're seeing now is Apple backing away from a "Flagship" powerful iMac and reinstating their original goal of a cute brand-pushing low-to-mid power Personal Computer for families. I suspect that beginning next year, Apple will start to push the MacPro again like they did with the first PowerMac G5. The MacPro prices will drop somewhat to make it more accessible, and it will replace the iMac as the "Flagship".

~Shard~
Aug 14, 2007, 11:57 PM
I think what Apple is doing with this new iMac is getting it back to it's roots. When the iMac first came out, and for a while thereafter, it was the low end family-friendly Mac. It was made to do things that the majority of technophobes would be willing to try, and it was made to be cheap, impossible to confuse it's user, and cute. No one back then bought an iMac for any semblance of power or long-term use.
The past generation or two of iMac has seen a shift in Apple's branding of this machine as having become their "Flagship" computer. It was seen as what EVERYBODY gets except really wealthy design firms and large university super computer test labs. It began to be made more as a competitor to high end systems, and was the front line of Apple's efforts.
What we're seeing now is Apple backing away from a "Flagship" powerful iMac and reinstating their original goal of a cute brand-pushing low-to-mid power Personal Computer for families. I suspect that beginning next year, Apple will start to push the MacPro again like they did with the first PowerMac G5. The MacPro prices will drop somewhat to make it more accessible, and it will replace the iMac as the "Flagship".

How does this all account for the fact though that Apple has indicated it wants to be more serious about gaming on the Mac platform? They're talking the talk but not walking the walk in my opinion. :cool:

bigwig
Aug 15, 2007, 12:30 AM
I really want Apple to dump the GMA 950 in the Mini, not so much because I'm a gamer but because I'd like to drive a 30" (maybe a 24", if I must) ACD. I like the iMac, but dumping the screen along with everything else is a drag. A cheap CPU/disk combination that I can upgrade every couple of years, and putting the savings into a NICE HD display I can keep for a long time, is where I want to be. Unfortunately Apple requires me to buy a Mac Pro if I want a standalone display, which is way too expensive and unnecessarily powerful for my intended use. I don't even require a lot of local storage, either, since the advent of reasonably priced NAS makes for a good thin-client setup. If only Apple would come out with a 4-disk Xserve RAID comparably priced with other similar NAS solutions I'd be in heaven.

MagnusVonMagnum
Aug 15, 2007, 01:59 AM
I believe Core Duo and Core 2 Duo use the same socket and everything?

So all Apple had to do was simply change what chip they plug into the board. No motherboard changes/upgrades or anything.

It makes me wonder why they took so damn long to do this. Were they waiting until Core 2 Duo prices dropped enough to keep their profit margin on the Mini? It's annoying.

-Z

Do you REALLY have to wonder? Come on. Apple is all about milking its core users for all they're worth. It's the Steve Jobs 'road to recovery' methodology. If you make more money on iMac than MacMini, artificially make MacMini crappy so those that can POSSIBLY afford to go to iMac will do so because MacMini's graphics are so terrible. Likewise, force gamers to buy a MacPro by giving iMac really AWFUL graphics cards? I mean all of us waiting for a hardware refresh on the iMac, HOPING that we could get a new graphics card in the thing that might last a couple of years before being hopelessly outdated for gaming got what? A new case and a WORSE graphics card than the one they were selling a year ago?!?!? WTF is up with that? They make me wish I'd gone ahead and got one with the superior NVidia card while I had the chance!

Ok, so say I CAN afford a MacPro, but didn't REALLY want to spend that much. It has a graphics slot so I can just get the latest and greatest gaming card and cruise on into gaming heaven with all that new EA stuff coming out, etc. (or at least crank it up under XP when I want to play games), right? BZZZTT! WRONG! No, Apple has rigged the game. Short of hacking your way into a card's bios and remaking the wheel, you can't run any card in a MacPro that Apple doesn't support! And IF and WHEN they do offer something that's not 2 years old, you can be sure it will cost you at least $150 more than it does at Best Buy for the Windows platform because Apple has to recoup all that time it's put into writing customized drivers to make that card work on Apple's hardware, which despite being identical to PC hardware in almost every other way, PURPOSELY uses a different system than Windows for graphics card relating to bios so you CANNOT just pop in a high-end graphics card off-the-shelf and make the Mac blaze away even IF there were a Mac driver for it.

It's not impossible for someone like ATI to release their own retail card for the Mac (unlikely given only ONE high-end model supports replaceable cards at this point), but even then without the proper Boot Camp drivers, you can't just use that card in both Mac and Windows because cards that are set up to boot for the Mac must have boot camp support to boot Windows because the Bios rom is being used to handle the Mac at that point, not Windows.

You COULD buy a 2nd video card to run games in XP or Vista, but it's getting so convoluted at that point, you could just get an iMac for Mac stuff an buy a 2nd PC for games and STILL probably come out ahead.

I like the MacOS, but I do NOT like how we are virtual slaves to Apple hardware. They decide FOR us what we can have and therefore what we can ultimately do. If they were fair about it and offered something for everyone and didn't milk us for all we're worth with underpowered machines (graphics wise) that are obsolete brand new (so much for the theory that Macs have a LONG shelf life...well unless you don't care AT ALL about gaming... and believe me I'm not hard core gamer, but I do like to play games sometimes and I don't want 20-30 fps averages when a higher graphics card would get me over 100 and therefore a nice safety margin for a couple of years).

What good does it do to bring back new release gaming for the Mac if NONE of the machines save the MacPro are capable of playing them smoothly at native resolutions and even there, it's half what a PC using SLI can do? From what I've read, the MacPro can't do SLI period even with drivers as only one slot has the proper specs. So how is the MacPro a "Pro" machine, then? Or does that mean 'pro' as in professional Mac users are USED to having machines that can't run games? All this despite the fact Apple touts the MacPro as their top gaming hardware....

We all know Apple COULD release a mid-range mini-tower with the specs gamers need/want and the ability to replace the graphics card over time, but that would deprive Apple of milking the same customers for 2 iMacs over the same period of time (assuming they're die-hard Mac users that would never consider anything but a Mac) and so they choose milk the current customer base over attracting more switchers. I personally think this is VERY short-sighted on Apple's part. More switchers = more market share which = more sales long-term and happier customers that will keep coming back, even if not quite as often.

I really like this dual-G4 I picked up used and find myself using it a LOT more than my Windows machine for day-to-day stuff like browsing, downloading, burning audio CDs, etc., but most games (save emulating old ones or playing old Mac games) are out of the question, even though my Win98 machine from 1999 with a mere 1GHz PIII and ATI Radeon 7500 can run new games from just a few years ago (just finished Tron 2.0 awhile back and it ran great at 800x600 in 32-bit color with all effects enabled on this multi-sync CRT). That game is 4-5 years after I got the PC and it still runs smooth. People complain about short shelf lives of PCs, but I got a lot of work out of that Windows machine. I only had to reload Windows twice in 8 years too and never had a single virus on it (guess I don't visit bad sites). It did crash itself silly, though and that's one area where this G4 with Tiger seems to shine by comparison. The Mac's interface is mostly better (few quirks I don't like compared to Windows like the close button not quitting the program because it means extra bother to either CMD-Q or move the mouse to the menu bar and click on the menu and then select QUIT instead of just an easy single click. If MacOS had a simple preference panel option to select the default behavior, it wouldn't be an issue... most things on the Mac that are done differently wouldn't be issues for switchers if Apple had more selectable options in their preference panels for that matter.... Linux has TONS of behavioral choices in KDE and Gnome. Why does Mac = Steve Job's way or the highway? Not everyone likes doing things the same way as everyone else.

mahonmeister
Aug 15, 2007, 02:30 AM
Wow, Apple's desktops are a joke. You can gat so much more power with a PC at the same price, or you could get something comparable at a much lower price. The Mac Pro was a great machine, but they haven't bothered to update with new graphics, memory, HDDs, pricing, etc..

I used to try and defend the Mac desktops from my PC gamer friends who laughed at it's over-priced, under-powered hardware. But Apple clearly doesn't care to offer a cost-effective Mac desktop, nor do they care to put decent video cards in them.

Is there any doubt as to why their laptops do so well, yet their desktops stagnate? The only people who buy a mini or iMac are either fan-boys, rich, ignorant, or just like OS X too much to even care. They are not cost-effective.

Edit: To the guy above me: You have some very interesting points, and I agree with you on all of them. If Apple released a decent mid-tower, made the iMac a super cheap family desktop, and updated the Mac pro, they would actually have a competitive desktop line-up. But what the heck do I know.

ksgant
Aug 15, 2007, 02:34 AM
What is truly pathetic, people are arguing about FPS that are not even PLAYABLE. Try playing that game at 23FPS! Have fun!

Wow, how far we've come. 23FPS isn't playable? Just a few short years ago, if you could get 23FPS from a game it was VERY playable.

That's when the debate of actual viewable FPS verses what the eye can really tell blah blah blah. There is a point to where it doesn't matter anymore. For instance, you will see zero difference between 200FPS and 1000FPS. The debated raged for a while, never saw any definitive proof one way or another.

But bottom line, 23FPS is playable.

ksgant
Aug 15, 2007, 02:39 AM
Wow, Apple's desktops are a joke. You can gat so much more power with a PC at the same price, or you could get something comparable at a much lower price. The Mac Pro was a great machine, but they haven't bothered to update with new graphics, memory, HDDs, pricing, etc..

I used to try and defend the Mac desktops from my PC gamer friends who laughed at it's over-priced, under-powered hardware. But Apple clearly doesn't care to offer a cost-effective Mac desktop, nor do they care to put decent video cards in them.

Is there any doubt as to why their laptops do so well, yet their desktops stagnate? The only people who buy a mini or iMac are either fan-boys, rich, ignorant, or just like OS X too much to even care. They are not cost-effective.

The new iMacs I will have to agree with you there. But this 24" iMac with 7600GT graphics is, and was, cost effective when I bought it. And who would have thought that it's still even better than the brand new iMacs?

Maybe next spring they'll release an update to the iMacs that give them real video cards. But till they do, I'm holding off in buying one for my wife.

Xbox 360 though is more than enough gaming power for me....for now.

mahonmeister
Aug 15, 2007, 02:50 AM
The new iMacs I will have to agree with you there. But this 24" iMac with 7600GT graphics is, and was, cost effective when I bought it. And who would have thought that it's still even better than the brand new iMacs?

Xbox 360 though is more than enough gaming power for me....for now.While the iMac had a good graphics card, it still used a mobile processor, and other mobile components that made it more expensive and less powerfull then a PC.

I have a 360, but the dang thing gets so hot in my little room that I start sweating. I have to open up the A/C vent all the way just to keep my room at a decent temp.

Gilfanon
Aug 15, 2007, 03:14 AM
I think what Apple is doing with this new iMac is getting it back to it's roots. When the iMac first came out, and for a while thereafter, it was the low end family-friendly Mac. It was made to do things that the majority of technophobes would be willing to try, and it was made to be cheap, impossible to confuse it's user, and cute. No one back then bought an iMac for any semblance of power or long-term use.
The past generation or two of iMac has seen a shift in Apple's branding of this machine as having become their "Flagship" computer. It was seen as what EVERYBODY gets except really wealthy design firms and large university super computer test labs. It began to be made more as a competitor to high end systems, and was the front line of Apple's efforts.
What we're seeing now is Apple backing away from a "Flagship" powerful iMac and reinstating their original goal of a cute brand-pushing low-to-mid power Personal Computer for families. I suspect that beginning next year, Apple will start to push the MacPro again like they did with the first PowerMac G5. The MacPro prices will drop somewhat to make it more accessible, and it will replace the iMac as the "Flagship".

I'm sorry, but that logic is completely borked. If you want to build a multi-purpose family-oriented mid-range home computer that is easy to use, all you need to do is put a decent graphics card in the new iMac. That way little Jimmy can use it to play Crysis when it comes out, mom can surf the net, dad can do his accounting on Numbers (and sneak a game of Crysis while the family aren't looking) etc. etc. Hamstringing one of the cornerstones of a home computer- recreational gaming- as a 'strategy' would entail stupidity on a Microsoft Zune-like scale...

I say that as a potential switcher who is not a fanatical gamer and is desperate to switch because a) Windows drives me insane and b) OSX and iLife are things of beauty. BUT I won't accept a machine that is supposedly a modern all-in-one, "oh, except if you want to play games a couple of hours a week in which case you should probably stick to minesweeper". I want something that's going to perform adequately at ALL tasks I throw at it, including 3 or 4 hours of wind-down gaming per week. Saying "Macs aren't for games" just cuts them out of the self-same mid-level user you outlined above, and means I have to wait until a decent alternative comes along to switch, or shell out for a Mac Pro. The days when we were limited in what we could do with a home computer by the Hardware it came with should be over. Apple don't seem to have got that...

tom5304
Aug 15, 2007, 04:29 AM
Am I missing something here? I just got done playing Halo on my new mid-2007 iMac 20" with the Radeon 2400, and the game played plenty smooth and fun.

I was one of those who complained about the poor gaming performance of the new iMac graphics cards, but then I bought an iMac and I realize I have nothing to complain about.

I admit I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I'm trying to figure out how playing Halo on my new iMac could have been any better.

If Halo runs on my iMac, and runs smooth, and the graphics looked fine to me, what is everyone going crazy about?

The way I figure it is this: given the amount of time I have to play games on my iMac (about a half-hour most days) there are way more Mac games available today than I could possibly play in the next few years. And that's not even counting PC games I could play on Bootcamp!

Here I have a computer that will play more games than I could possibly have time to get through, so why would I complain that my iMac won't play games that will be available next year.

I think everyone should quit obsessing on numbers and just start playing games on their iMac and I really believe all the complaining would fizzle out pretty quickly.

BioChron
Aug 15, 2007, 04:35 AM
Ugh, I SO want a new iMac, but I need a MacBook Pro, haha. I'm sure I'd find a significant speed difference from my 1.83 Core Duo iMac to one of the new iMacs.

Gilfanon
Aug 15, 2007, 05:19 AM
Am I missing something here? I just got done playing Halo on my new mid-2007 iMac 20" with the Radeon 2400, and the game played plenty smooth and fun.

That's good to hear- all those of us who are thinking about getting the new iMac have to go on are the numbers, hence the concern, but if the real-world experience is as you suggest, then maybe all is not lost. My plan was to sink some cash into a 2.8 24" iMac with a 23" Cinema display attached. That way I can run Parallels in the 23" for playing Windows games and running Windows apps, while spending most of my time in OSX on the iMac screen. As far as I'm concerned, if this is possible without massively degraded performance in Parallels I'll be over the moon and Apple will have a sale, but there's a significant amount of doom and gloom on these forums, and the general response seems to be "Macs aren't for games, get an XBox 360" and other less-than-useful comments. I look forward to seeing a few more positive reviews of the iMac's performance! :)

rs76
Aug 15, 2007, 05:40 AM
Let's give it a while and see if driver and system updates improve the situation at all. The current MacBook Pro's had problems before they were updated.

All these comparisons are going with first release 2600's compared to mature 1600's and 7600's. All their system and driver improvements were already in place.

Of course these are not great graphics cards. Let's see if they are good enough for the casual gamer.

splidge
Aug 15, 2007, 05:43 AM
I mean all of us waiting for a hardware refresh on the iMac, HOPING that we could get a new graphics card in the thing that might last a couple of years before being hopelessly outdated for gaming got what? A new case and a WORSE graphics card than the one they were selling a year ago?!?!? WTF is up with that? They make me wish I'd gone ahead and got one with the superior NVidia card while I had the chance!

Apple clearly doesn't regard having a cutting-edge graphics card as being as important as you do. Apples are all about marketing - look how much better than Windows our OS is, look how much nicer our hardware looks, and when the mood takes them it's "look at this graph that shows how good the performance is". They know they can never win a graphics arms race with the PC (what with new gaming hardware coming out every 5 minutes) and there wouldn't be much benefit even if they could. It's worth noting that the 2600 does have top-notch video acceleration - something which is closer to Apple's heart than gaming.

Whether you like it or not, gamers just aren't Apple's priority. Whatever lip service they pay to making the platform more gamer friendly, it's just not. And to be honest I can't say I blame them; with consoles and PCs out there to compete with it's tough.

I don't really see how they could introduce a gamer friendly machine without breaking the simplicity of their product lineup. Right now they have the mini, the iMac and the Mac Pro, arranged on a more or less continuous price scale. Nice and simple, decide how much you want to spend on a computer and there's really only one option. Adding BTOs to the iMac makes it more complicated and ultimately can only go so far due to the heat and packaging constraints. Even the 7600GT BTO option is pretty weak compared to its contemporaries.

I like the MacOS, but I do NOT like how we are virtual slaves to Apple hardware. They decide FOR us what we can have and therefore what we can ultimately do. If they were fair about it and offered something for everyone and didn't milk us for all we're worth with underpowered machines (graphics wise) that are obsolete brand new (so much for the theory that Macs have a LONG shelf life...well unless you don't care AT ALL about gaming... and believe me I'm not hard core gamer, but I do like to play games sometimes and I don't want 20-30 fps averages when a higher graphics card would get me over 100 and therefore a nice safety margin for a couple of years).

Many of us have this vision of a dream desktop "Mac" product - mini tower case, configurable CPUs across the desktop core Duo line, graphics options from the most basic (even onboard) up to the latest and greatest thing that goes in a 16x PCI-E slot, enough space to provide sensible storage options (2x HD slots allowing RAID 0 or 1, 2x CD-drive slots). But how would it fit in with the marketing story? The price range on such a thing would range from below the Mac Mini (a Mac with equivalent specs should be cheaper than the Mini due to use of desktop components) right up into Mac Pro territory. Where does this leave the iMac and Mac Mini? Right now the apologists are quick to jump to the defence of these machines by pointing out how pretty and unique they are - but I'm sure quite a few would rather have a more powerful machine in a bigger box for the same money.

More worryingly I think for Apple, such a machine ends up looking remarkably like those Dells Apple likes to trash so much with the trailing wires connecting everything together. And it would invite direct comparisons, the likes of which it can currently avoid because the current Mac products aren't quite the same - witness the comparisons between the mac mini and low-end Dells around here which are met with "but the mini uses laptop components!". Sure, the Mac box would be prettier, but the difference is nowhere near as much as it is at the moment. Apple's strategy is based on being different (in ways they believe are better), so it's hard to see them coming up with something so conformist.

So, as a direct consequence of Apple's emphasis on a streamlined product line with unique products, some people's needs simply aren't met by the current Mac product line. Some of those people are so completely sold on Mac OS that they buy a Mac anyway (and optionally try and convince themselves that it's everything they wanted anyway). Others like Mac OS but reluctantly buy a PC anyway because they don't like it enough to buy completely the wrong machine for them. And others (like myself) just don't see what the big deal is with Mac OS - I own a Mac and some PCs running a mixture of Windows and Linux, and I just don't really understand any of the OS zealotry any more. They all do the job, sure OS X is a bit prettier but mostly it is just eye candy.

Either way there are plenty of people whose needs are served perfectly adequately by the existing Apple product line - and Apple (quite rightly I think) chooses to focus on attracting and retaining that user base rather than going after niche users like gamers.

What good does it do to bring back new release gaming for the Mac if NONE of the machines save the MacPro are capable of playing them smoothly at native resolutions and even there, it's half what a PC using SLI can do?

Marketing. "We play games too". They know they will never get the true hardcores who care about smooth gameplay at native resolutions in modern games so it's not worth the effort. If they can get a few more people who like the idea of a shiny Mac but are scared of not being able to play games on board then it's enough. And as you can see on this thread plenty of people are satisfied with the gaming performance of their Macs, even if you or I wouldn't be.

From what I've read, the MacPro can't do SLI period even with drivers as only one slot has the proper specs. So how is the MacPro a "Pro" machine, then? Or does that mean 'pro' as in professional Mac users are USED to having machines that can't run games? All this despite the fact Apple touts the MacPro as their top gaming hardware....

A MacPro is a "Pro" machine in that it munches through pro-level graphics, audio and video processing very nicely - activities which don't require a ninja graphics card. And it is also their top gaming hardware - the best processors and the only product they have to use a desktop video card. OK, so it's not particularly good in terms of value for money for gaming - but then frankly neither is any PC or Mac when compared to the Xbox 360...

splidge

splidge
Aug 15, 2007, 05:57 AM
Am I missing something here? I just got done playing Halo on my new mid-2007 iMac 20" with the Radeon 2400, and the game played plenty smooth and fun.

Call me biased, but in my eyes being able to play a 6-year old game on a brand new computer is hardly groundbreaking. Even the mac port is nearly 4 years old now!

splidge

BenRoethig
Aug 15, 2007, 07:33 AM
I really thought that with Games companies appearing at WWDC and announcing their return to the Mac, Apple would put some decent video cards in their computers. Missed opportunity I think.

And it looks like Steve's announced he really doesn't give a damn. There better be some really crappy drivers in play here. Either way, someone needs to be held to account.

BenRoethig
Aug 15, 2007, 07:36 AM
Am I missing something here? I just got done playing Halo on my new mid-2007 iMac 20" with the Radeon 2400, and the game played plenty smooth and fun.

I was one of those who complained about the poor gaming performance of the new iMac graphics cards, but then I bought an iMac and I realize I have nothing to complain about.

I admit I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I'm trying to figure out how playing Halo on my new iMac could have been any better.

If Halo runs on my iMac, and runs smooth, and the graphics looked fine to me, what is everyone going crazy about?

The way I figure it is this: given the amount of time I have to play games on my iMac (about a half-hour most days) there are way more Mac games available today than I could possibly play in the next few years. And that's not even counting PC games I could play on Bootcamp!

Here I have a computer that will play more games than I could possibly have time to get through, so why would I complain that my iMac won't play games that will be available next year.

I think everyone should quit obsessing on numbers and just start playing games on their iMac and I really believe all the complaining would fizzle out pretty quickly.

I don't know about you, but I'm having trouble with almost the 3 year old Q3 based Jedi Academy...in 800x600 resolution

AidenShaw
Aug 15, 2007, 07:54 AM
Something like this:

The Mac Fun™:

Conroe CPU
Radeon HD 2900 XT / GeForce 8800 GTX
2 internal HD
2 GB RAM
BlueRay drive
PCI sound card Dolby 5.1

How about:

minitower

2.4 GHz Kentsfield quad core, 1066 MHz bus
3 GiB RAM (up to 8GiB supported)
400GB SATA drive
16x DL lightscribe superdrive
7.1 audio with digital audio in/out
GMA3100 integrated graphics with open x16 PCIe slot for upgraded graphics
two open x1 PCIe slots
32-bit PCI slot
open 3.5" disk bay
open 5.25" DVD/disk bay
6 SATA ports (4 open)
2yr warranty
16.3 x 6.9 x 15.2 inches (Mac Pro is almost twice the volume at 20.1x8.1x18.7)


Fry's has been selling this system for $879-929. (HP a6152n) (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4009605&postcount=224)

Surely Apple could come up with a nice, small, modestly expandable tower like this....

MacinDoc
Aug 15, 2007, 08:26 AM
How about:

minitower

2.4 GHz Kentsfield quad core, 1066 MHz bus
3 GiB RAM (up to 8GiB supported)
400GB SATA drive
16x DL lightscribe superdrive
7.1 audio with digital audio in/out
GMA3100 integrated graphics with open x16 PCIe slot for upgraded graphics
two open x1 PCIe slots
32-bit PCI slot
open 3.5" disk bay
open 5.25" DVD/disk bay
6 SATA ports (4 open)
2yr warranty
16.3 x 6.9 x 15.2 inches (Mac Pro is almost twice the volume at 20.1x8.1x18.7)


Fry's has been selling this system for $879-929. (HP a6152n) (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4009605&postcount=224)

Surely Apple could come up with a nice, small, modestly expandable tower like this....
Sure, Apple could, but has it ever shown any interest in doing so? The latest iMac certainly has me questioning Apple's new-found commitment to gaming.

I think this video card choice is more about making the iMac into Apple's new HD multimedia hub. Of course, that begs the question of why there is no TV tuner...

Mysrt
Aug 15, 2007, 08:30 AM
pathetic

splidge
Aug 15, 2007, 08:38 AM
How about:

minitower

2.4 GHz Kentsfield quad core, 1066 MHz bus
3 GiB RAM (up to 8GiB supported)
400GB SATA drive
16x DL lightscribe superdrive
7.1 audio with digital audio in/out
GMA3100 integrated graphics with open x16 PCIe slot for upgraded graphics
two open x1 PCIe slots
32-bit PCI slot
open 3.5" disk bay
open 5.25" DVD/disk bay
6 SATA ports (4 open)
2yr warranty
16.3 x 6.9 x 15.2 inches (Mac Pro is almost twice the volume at 20.1x8.1x18.7)


Fry's has been selling this system for $879-929. (HP a6152n) (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=4009605&postcount=224)

Surely Apple could come up with a nice, small, modestly expandable tower like this....

And if they did, everyone would say "Apple has really gone off the boil, the latest machine is just a HP a6152n in a prettier case for $200 more". People like you (or I) may well say "OS X is worth $200" and snap it up, but the mass market (who can't tell a Kentsfield from a Klamath) would take it as reinforcing the "Apple is expensive" association they are so keen to get away from.

Not saying I agree with that or that I'm happy with the situation (I would probably buy that machine, but would not consider any of the current Apple "desktops"), but I think that's what you're up against. Apple/Mac is all about "think different". That works brilliantly a lot of the time, but loses on the odd occasion that the mass market is on to something.

splidge

prisoner54
Aug 15, 2007, 08:41 AM
Am I missing something here? I just got done playing Halo on my new mid-2007 iMac 20" with the Radeon 2400, and the game played plenty smooth and fun.

i was also pretty disappointed with the cards when the spec announcements happened last week. i had toyed with the idea of getting a quad-core Winbox for about the same price, but couldn't face the idea of i) windows for day-to-day tasks and long documents, and ii) a HUGE, heavy-breathing, environmentally-unfriendly machine occupying the desk if i only want to play a few PC games.

the geekbench tests are not necessarily in 'real-world' scenarios - it's fine to play games without 4x anti-aliasing, and decent framerates will be achievable by turning some of the settings down. this is the price to pay for a consumer-oriented all-in-one that plays PC games from time to time.

three things to note:

- firstly, all the high-res eye candy is a good test for a gaming rig, but if the game is good you tend to focus more on the task at hand

- a HUGE backlog of games suddenly opens up. i've been wanting to play Half-Life 2 since it came out, and Far Cry, and HL2 on the iMac with HD2600 has all settings maxed out and looks and plays like a dream

- time will tell. driver issues + the fact that it is technically a DirectX 10 card.

i wanted to play HL2 so badly that i borrowed a friend's Xbox. a different game - same with Far Cry. playing through the PC versions is now particularly satisfying. try it. and i've ordered GRAW 1 too, which came out last year. we'll see. again, far superior game to the console version.

ironically, it seems, my 'work' iMac (with GeForce 7600) is better specified than my week-old 'home' machine... dang. and don't even mention 'Crysis' - technically it should play, but won't look as stunning as it should.

AidenShaw
Aug 15, 2007, 08:58 AM
Apple/Mac is all about "think different". That works brilliantly a lot of the time, but loses on the odd occasion that the mass market is on to something.

"Thinking differently" certainly is saying "Next up, got some great news about games: EA, number one publisher of games, is coming back to Mac in a BIG way." (http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/11/steve-jobs-live-from-wwdc-2007) and then introducing a new consumer desktop with a graphics card that's often less than half as fast as the last version.

I wonder if EA and id are feeling "used" right now...up on stage at WWDC to show off the work that's happening on Mac games, then slapped in the face in August with a desktop that will be unable to play them.

Bringing games back to Mac in a BIG way will require a low cost machine with good graphics. Neither the MiniMac nor the iMac can cool (or fit) a good graphics card, so the mini-tower is the logical option.


the latest machine is just a HP a6152n in a prettier case

Surely you don't think that Apple couldn't do something better than that?

How about a small-form-factor tower - essentially a MiniMac with a desktop socket (Conroe dual/Kentsfield quad) and a 3.5" disk and an x16 PCIe slot?

How about taking that same basic motherboard, and putting it in a DVD-player sized case with a TV tuner and cablecard slot and take on the Windows Media Center?

http://www.antec.com/images/400/Fusion_B_Q_Shadow.jpg

Thomas2006
Aug 15, 2007, 08:59 AM
I believe Core Duo and Core 2 Duo use the same socket and everything?

So all Apple had to do was simply change what chip they plug into the board. No motherboard changes/upgrades or anything.

It makes me wonder why they took so damn long to do this. Were they waiting until Core 2 Duo prices dropped enough to keep their profit margin on the Mini? It's annoying.
I know the Mac mini is a desktop and the MacBook is a portable, but if you go to the Buyer's Guide section of this site and look at the specs for the high-end Mac mini and 14" iBook, 07/2005 for both, you will see the only real difference is the iBook has a keyboard and a monitor, but came with a $600 premium. I believe Apple was not neglecting the Mac mini, but simply had to wait until they could put a clear separation between the Mac mini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro which they weren't able to do with the PPC processors.

Tell me whether or not the following updates seem logical, keeping in mind the MacBook Pro needs to be "Pro", and the Mac mini needs to be "entry-level"

Current:
MacBook Pro: 802.11n, Santa Rosa, 65nm Core 2 Duo
MacBook: 802.11n, no Santa Rosa, 65nm Core 2 Duo
Mac mini: 802.11g, no Santa Rosa, 65nm Core 2 Duo

Update 1:
MacBook Pro: 802.11n, Santa Rosa, 45nm Penryn
MacBook: 802.11n, Santa Rosa, 65nm Core 2 Duo
Mac mini: 802.11n, no Santa Rosa, 65nm Core 2 Duo

Update 2:
MacBook Pro: 802.11n, Montevina, 45nm Penryn dual-core, quad-core CTO
MacBook: 802.11n, Santa Rosa, 45nm Penryn
Mac mini: 802.11n, Santa Rosa, 65nm Core 2 Duo

Update 3:
MacBook Pro: 802.11n, Montevina, 45nm Nahalem (new micro-architecture) all quad-core
MacBook: 802.11n, Montevina, 45nm Penryn dual-core, maybe quad-core CTO
Mac mini: 802.11n, Santa Rosa, 45nm Penryn

gamac
Aug 15, 2007, 09:09 AM
Why does Mac = Steve Job's way or the highway?

Maybe because Steve Job's is the CEO of Apple.

or

Maybe because, without Steve Job, Apple would have already been bankrupt and out of business by now.

:rolleyes:

macintel4me
Aug 15, 2007, 09:16 AM
This graphics thing really surprises me, like everyone else here, especially given the recent game push. Since when has Apple started creating products that are not insanely great?!? Something just doesn't add up here. I won't be surprised if Apple comes out with an updated driver and their own benchmarks to show that this video card is really a decent, if not a great card. Wishful thinking?? Time will tell, but I bet Apple will come out with some update on this issue within the next week.

PNW
Aug 15, 2007, 09:57 AM
And if they did, everyone would say "Apple has really gone off the boil, the latest machine is just a HP a6152n in a prettier case for $200 more". People like you (or I) may well say "OS X is worth $200" and snap it up, but the mass market (who can't tell a Kentsfield from a Klamath) would take it as reinforcing the "Apple is expensive" association they are so keen to get away from.


Interesting I look at the ~$1200 box I'd build and the > $2000 iMac or Pro I'd have to buy to meet or beat the CPU,GPU,HD, and RAM and say as much as I love OS X it's not worth $800.

On a somewhat off topic note (related in how Apple's hardware limitations cost them sales):
I had my in laws convinced to buy a Mac Book until it turned out that a having 15"-17" screen was a deal breaker. The MBP was way more money for too much computer for them so they bought a Dell.



And it would invite direct comparisons, the likes of which it can currently avoid because the current Mac products aren't quite the same - witness the comparisons between the mac mini and low-end Dells around here which are met with "but the mini uses laptop components!".

IMHO the best and most frequent argument for the mini over the Dell is the mini's form factor. While that is somewhat related to the use of laptop components they could still make it wee bit larger, use some desktop components and still have the box that will fit anywhere along with a lower cost.


More worryingly I think for Apple, such a machine ends up looking remarkably like those Dells Apple likes to trash so much with the trailing wires connecting everything together.

And as soon as you add any upgrades: second HD, TV tuner, etc you wind up with a morass of wires that in the case of the iMac also have to be located on the desk as opposed to under it.

AidenShaw
Aug 15, 2007, 10:12 AM
IMHO the best and most frequent argument for the mini over the Dell is the mini's form factor.

Dell makes small-form-factor (SFF) systems that are 12.5" x 13.5" x 3.6" and ultra-SFF that are 10" x 10" x 3.5" - while still much larger than the mini's 6.5x6.5x2, this gives you 3.5" disks in both, and an x16 PCIe slot in the SFF.


And as soon as you add any upgrades: second HD, TV tuner, etc you wind up with a morass of wires that in the case of the iMac also have to be located on the desk as opposed to under it.

That picture of the Dell wire tangle was borderline dishonesty, and Apple should be ashamed.

In five minutes with a couple of velcro wire ties the Dell could have been made to look much better (and I'm sure Apple spent more than 5 minutes on the precise coiling of the keyboard and mouse cords on the iMac ;) ).

And if it were my system, I'd have left off the grotesque camera and the MCE remote dongle as well - don't need or want those things.
__________________

The small system is an SFF with an x16 PCIe slot, the larger one is still only 2/3 the size of the Mac Pro.

LSlugger
Aug 15, 2007, 10:18 AM
Wow, how far we've come. 23FPS isn't playable? Just a few short years ago, if you could get 23FPS from a game it was VERY playable.

If you thought 23 FPS was playable a few years ago, you'll probably think it's playable now. However, it hasn't generally been considered satisfactory for an action game since the Voodoo2.

When you look at a narrow slice of benchmarks like this, keep a few things in mind:


You can't extrapolate these numbers to other resolutions or detail levels. The rankings may change at 800 x 600 or 1920 x 1200 (assuming it is even, ahem, playable). The 2600 Pro in the new iMac is supposedly an under-clocked Mobility 2600 XT. With so few benchmarks to go on, you can't say that it is better or worse than a 7600GT. If you play a Doom 3-based game at 1280 x 800 with high quality, it is probably worse.
The number in the chart is an average frame rate, which means that the instantaneous frame rate was sometimes lower. It could have swung between 5 and 60 FPS, for all we know.
You can't compare frame rates in one game to another, because it depends on the content of the demo. Is it a simple flyby or an intense fire fight? When Quake 2 was the benchmark of choice, there was a demo called "crusher," which had many players and non-stop explosions. If you got over 30 FPS in crusher, you felt pretty good. A less demanding demo might have yielded 60 FPS or more on the same system.

The iMac is a solid computer that I'd recommend in a lot of circumstances. Still, I am disappointed that there isn't a better video card option (and a matte screen, but that's another thread).

WannaGoMac
Aug 15, 2007, 10:42 AM
If you thought 23 FPS was playable a few years ago, you'll probably think it's playable now. However, it hasn't generally been considered satisfactory for an action game since the Voodoo2.

When you look at a narrow slice of benchmarks like this, keep a few things in mind:


You can't extrapolate these numbers to other resolutions or detail levels. The rankings may change at 800 x 600 or 1920 x 1200 (assuming it is even, ahem, playable). The 2600 Pro in the new iMac is supposedly an under-clocked Mobility 2600 XT. With so few benchmarks to go on, you can't say that it is better or worse than a 7600GT. If you play a Doom 3-based game at 1280 x 800 with high quality, it is probably worse.
The number in the chart is an average frame rate, which means that the instantaneous frame rate was sometimes lower. It could have swung between 5 and 60 FPS, for all we know.
You can't compare frame rates in one game to another, because it depends on the content of the demo. Is it a simple flyby or an intense fire fight? When Quake 2 was the benchmark of choice, there was a demo called "crusher," which had many players and non-stop explosions. If you got over 30 FPS in crusher, you felt pretty good. A less demanding demo might have yielded 60 FPS or more on the same system.

The iMac is a solid computer that I'd recommend in a lot of circumstances. Still, I am disappointed that there isn't a better video card option (and a matte screen, but that's another thread).

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html

Last-gen 24" iMac with 7600 GT spanks the crap out of the new ones...

tom5304
Aug 15, 2007, 10:59 AM
Call me biased, but in my eyes being able to play a 6-year old game on a brand new computer is hardly groundbreaking. Even the mac port is nearly 4 years old now!

splidge

That's not biased; it's just a good observation.

I guess my point is fodder for both camps. The new iMacs are fine gaming machines, as long as you're willing to play last year's games. Most people aren't willing to make that concession, and for $1,200, they probably shouldn't have to.

I'm okay playing last year's games, because I just came off a Celeron PC where I was playing the last DECADE'S games.

With the iMac, I get the computer I want, and the games I can accept. Not a ringing endorsement of Apple's gaming strategy, but it's the best I can do at the moment. A MacPro at $2,500 just wasn't going to happen for me.

splidge
Aug 15, 2007, 11:08 AM
IMHO the best and most frequent argument for the mini over the Dell is the mini's form factor. While that is somewhat related to the use of laptop components they could still make it wee bit larger, use some desktop components and still have the box that will fit anywhere along with a lower cost.

I certainly agree that the Mini's strongest point is it's form factor, and viewed in that light it's excellent. Compared to mini-ITX type machines it's pretty cheap and powerful.

However, the Mini is the only desktop mac option without a built in screen until the Mac Pro which starts at $2200, which given that not everyone wants a built in screen leaves rather a lot of PC market for it to compete against. And as a general desktop machine it's doesn't do well value-for-money wise against PCs. Sure the small form factor is nifty, but if you don't need a small machine then you're getting less for your money than you would with a PC - and the sales of SFF PCs compared to "normal" PCs seems to indicate that a lot of people are quite happy with a full sized machine.

But the fact that it is a SFF machine using laptop components avoids it having to stand any direct comparison with full-size PCs - hence the oft-repeanted argument "this dell is cheaper" "but it's huuuuge!"

And yes, Apple could certainly make a box that's a bit larger using desktop components and offering better price/performance. But they won't do that since they want you to buy an iMac.

And as soon as you add any upgrades: second HD, TV tuner, etc you wind up with a morass of wires that in the case of the iMac also have to be located on the desk as opposed to under it.

Well yes, but by the time you realise that you've already bought the machine...

Most people with a PC don't actually have a huge tangle of wires visible because the PC lives under the desk and the wires behind it. That doesn't stop the notion of a computer with fewer wires seeming attractive.

splidge

WannaGoMac
Aug 15, 2007, 11:09 AM
Everyone keeps mentioned Apple was "returning to gaming." However, i don't recall this ever being said by Jobs. He just said EA was coming back, and not that Apple was going to start caring about gaming... at least as far as I remember.

~Shard~
Aug 15, 2007, 11:38 AM
Everyone keeps mentioned Apple was "returning to gaming." However, i don't recall this ever being said by Jobs. He just said EA was coming back, and not that Apple was going to start caring about gaming... at least as far as I remember.

Watch the beginning of the WWDC keynote again, then we'll talk. :cool:

jeffbax
Aug 15, 2007, 12:05 PM
That's not biased; it's just a good observation.

I guess my point is fodder for both camps. The new iMacs are fine gaming machines, as long as you're willing to play last year's games. Most people aren't willing to make that concession, and for $1,200, they probably shouldn't have to.

I'm okay playing last year's games, because I just came off a Celeron PC where I was playing the last DECADE'S games.

With the iMac, I get the computer I want, and the games I can accept. Not a ringing endorsement of Apple's gaming strategy, but it's the best I can do at the moment. A MacPro at $2,500 just wasn't going to happen for me.
Thats the thing, the new iMacs won't even play last years, nor the games of two years ago well.

Struggling to play Quake 4 at 1024x768 (not even widescreen) is horrendous. 23 FPS is not playable at all. 30FPS is the BARE MINIMUM and 60FPS is the sweet spot you want to be at (mostly, you want to match your screen's refresh rate so you don't get vsync tearing)

Yeah, its fine to expect it to not play Crysis at native res with all high details, that takes a much beefier card. But its NOT asking too much to say have the iMac play at 1280x800 (lower res, but still widescreen) with nice settings and 60 FPS.

A $1200 PC can crank out 200+ FPS at Quake 4 at 1024x768, it is not unreasonable to want your $2000 iMac to at least get 60.

clevin
Aug 15, 2007, 12:24 PM
seriously, how many gamers buy mac anyway? its really not that important for now.

Eidorian
Aug 15, 2007, 12:25 PM
seriously, how many gamers buy mac anyway? its really not that important for now.*raises hand*

PNW
Aug 15, 2007, 12:33 PM
However, the Mini is the only desktop mac option without a built in screen until the Mac Pro which starts at $2200, which given that not everyone wants a built in screen leaves rather a lot of PC market for it to compete against. And as a general desktop machine it's doesn't do well value-for-money wise against PCs. Sure the small form factor is nifty, but if you don't need a small machine then you're getting less for your money than you would with a PC - and the sales of SFF PCs compared to "normal" PCs seems to indicate that a lot of people are quite happy with a full sized machine.

But the fact that it is a SFF machine using laptop components avoids it having to stand any direct comparison with full-size PCs - hence the oft-repeanted argument "this dell is cheaper" "but it's huuuuge!"

And yes, Apple could certainly make a box that's a bit larger using desktop components and offering better price/performance. But they won't do that since they want you to buy an iMac.

splidge

All of which just proves my point. If you're a consumer and don't want /need ultra compact or all-in-one, Apple comes off as way more expensive, regardless of whether or not they have laptop or desktop parts in their consumer line.

~Shard~
Aug 15, 2007, 12:34 PM
seriously, how many gamers buy mac anyway? its really not that important for now.

Perhaps the more appropriate question is how many Mac owners would like to be able to play the latest games? :p ;) :cool:

RobHague
Aug 15, 2007, 12:35 PM
I guess im going to be waiting for the next revision, and hope Apple listens to the comments people are making.

No way can i justify getting the iMac with the current graphics option, as much as id like one. In graphics performance, it would be a downgrade from my current system, and the point of upgrading is to improve on what you have... I feel so sad when i think that it has 2GB RAM and that 2.8Ghz C2E CPU... the makings of an awsome gaming machine, and then they stick that $50 graphics card in there....... Wouldnt care if you could change it, but since your stuck with it for the life of the system... well..... if it looks slow and poor performing now, just wait till the systems been out for a while :/

Lets hope Apple have a "Oops what were we thinking" moment and fix's this ASAP. I don't care if they have to make the iMac 2" wider.... DECENT GRAPHICS CARD PLEASE! THE IMAC IS SMALL ENOUGH!

Seriously though, until the iMac (or some product within that price range simular to it) comes with something that i cant fish out of a bargin bin @ PCWORLD, i'm not going to commit to a switchover :/

"All-in-one! ~ Unless your interested in games then forget it."

mahonmeister
Aug 15, 2007, 02:13 PM
Don't like the new iMac? Leave feedback: http://www.apple.com/feedback/imac.html

Someone already started a thread in the forums for this, but I figured I'd mention it here.

Seriously, what we need to do is mass together all the Mac users from the various sites who would be interested in this mythical 'mid-tower' that we yearn after. Then we take the appropriate actions to get the attention of Apple and let them know just how many thousands are interested in this kind of thing. Yeah, they will probably ignore us, but what if by some small chance we actually got a large enough group to voice our opinion that it actually influenced them? It sure as hell beats just sitting here and complaining.

Haoshiro
Aug 15, 2007, 02:28 PM
I guess im going to be waiting for the next revision, and hope Apple listens to the comments people are making.

No way can i justify getting the iMac with the current graphics option, as much as id like one. In graphics performance, it would be a downgrade from my current system, and the point of upgrading is to improve on what you have... I feel so sad when i think that it has 2GB RAM and that 2.8Ghz C2E CPU... the makings of an awsome gaming machine, and then they stick that $50 graphics card in there....... Wouldnt care if you could change it, but since your stuck with it for the life of the system... well..... if it looks slow and poor performing now, just wait till the systems been out for a while :/

Lets hope Apple have a "Oops what were we thinking" moment and fix's this ASAP. I don't care if they have to make the iMac 2" wider.... DECENT GRAPHICS CARD PLEASE! THE IMAC IS SMALL ENOUGH!

Seriously though, until the iMac (or some product within that price range simular to it) comes with something that i cant fish out of a bargin bin @ PCWORLD, i'm not going to commit to a switchover :/

"All-in-one! ~ Unless your interested in games then forget it."

I still don't get why you and others have such huge issues over the included GPU.

Sure, in nVidia skewed games the ATI offerings aren't going to compete - and the iMac is using mobile chips. But so what?

This HD 2600 XT (yeah, its actually the XT, no Pro) does just fine in current games. Oh, maybe some settings have to be cranked down in new games, and you might have to play at 1024x768 - boo hoo. :\

Everyone acts as if they were hoping Apple would turn the iMac into a game-geared machine, surprise, that didn't happen.

It's a great machine and the GPU is awesome at everything besides running the latest games at max settings.

It can do physics acceleration and has hardware support for HD content such as HD-DVD/BR, and it actually does a noble job at gaming as well.

Most "hardcore" or "semi-hardcore" gamers will never be happy with the iMac. There will always be better GPUs (every 6-months according to nVidia) and the iMac will ALWAYS be behind on that curve.

Someone should take a breather, and then go look what you get for the extra $400 over a Mac Mini.

The iMac is great value for an Apple computer, and if someone has NOT switched yet they will obviously obsess about specs (I did before I switched) and complain about the graphics. Honestly, I've never been disappointed about switching and just got one of these new iMacs with the HD 2600, it's excellent.

bananas
Aug 15, 2007, 03:41 PM
*raises hand*

/me raises hand too

gaming mac is what I really want.

..I'm still dreaming of $700-$900 mini-tower mac that is announced the same day the new mac games come out..

Eidorian
Aug 15, 2007, 04:15 PM
/me raises hand too

gaming mac is what I really want.

..I'm still dreaming of $700-$900 mini-tower mac that is announced the same day the new mac games come out..I'll wait for Leopard or a refurbished Mac Pro after they're revised.

That or I can get one on credit to build a credit history. Not that I can't pay for it all at once...

Failing all that Santa Rosa MacBook and a $600-700 gaming mini-tower.

twoodcc
Aug 15, 2007, 04:20 PM
seems pretty good. they need to work on the mac mini more though

PCMacUser
Aug 15, 2007, 06:56 PM
I don't know if anyone has already quoted this from Anandtech...

"We want to paint an accurate picture here, but it has become nearly impossible to speak negatively enough about the AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series without sounding comically absurd.

Even with day-before-launch price adjustments, there is just no question that, in the applications the majority of people will be running, AMD has created a series of products that are even more unimpressive than the already less than stellar 8600 lineup."

jeffbax
Aug 15, 2007, 07:47 PM
seriously, how many gamers buy mac anyway? its really not that important for now.
What kind of crap mindset is that?

First, none will ever buy Mac if they don't stop skimping on video. Second, wanting to play (and being happy with) the handful of games that do hit Mac isn't an unreasonable desire.

My Mac excels at everything else, why not my favorite games too?

No, these cards are not "acceptable" or even decent on any level.

Haoshiro
Aug 15, 2007, 09:25 PM
What kind of crap mindset is that?

First, none will ever buy Mac if they don't stop skimping on video. Second, wanting to play (and being happy with) the handful of games that do hit Mac isn't an unreasonable desire.

My Mac excels at everything else, why not my favorite games too?

No, these cards are not "acceptable" or even decent on any level.

Actually they are, I own one.

It may not be "awesome" or "top-notch" for games, but it is certainly "acceptable" and "decent", more so, actually.

The system far outperforms my last two PCs, one with a 128MB nVidia 6600 GT, and a Radeon 9800 Pro laptop.

You'd probably be surprised to know that most consumers don't even have something as good as the 6600 GT in their computers.

For a small bit of evidence, take a look at the Steam Hardware Survey (http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html) results. The majority of users are using "Other" graphics cards that aren't being detected, with second place held by the 6600 itself.

It used to be game developers catered to the lowest common denominator for recommended specs, with exceptions like Far Cry and Crysis - even Oblivion. That is THERE problem, not hardware vendors.

Those survey results put the new iMacs as "above average" - ie - higher then most consumers actually have, which makes it perfectly "acceptable" (lat I heard, "above average" is actually better then "acceptable" and "decent")

sndcj1
Aug 15, 2007, 09:36 PM
New Barefeats tests (http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html) show that there is some driver problems with the cards. Not saying they are the best, but that they could be better with some better drivers. One thing interesting about these cards that I haven't seen much reporting on is that they actually seem to support hardware MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding (http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2600/specs.html). It would be nice to see quicktime, imovie, or maybe handbrake take advantage of this capability.

macintel4me
Aug 15, 2007, 09:42 PM
New Barefeats tests (http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html) show that there is some driver problems with the cards. Not saying they are the best, but that they could be better with some better drivers. One thing interesting about these cards that I haven't seen much reporting on is that they actually seem to support hardware MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding (http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2600/specs.html). It would be nice to see quicktime, imovie, or maybe handbrake take advantage of this capability.
That's VERY encouraging!

WannaGoMac
Aug 15, 2007, 10:22 PM
I don't know if anyone has already quoted this from Anandtech...

"We want to paint an accurate picture here, but it has become nearly impossible to speak negatively enough about the AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series without sounding comically absurd.

Even with day-before-launch price adjustments, there is just no question that, in the applications the majority of people will be running, AMD has created a series of products that are even more unimpressive than the already less than stellar 8600 lineup."

Woah! HARSH words!! Got a link for the article?

AidenShaw
Aug 15, 2007, 10:26 PM
New Barefeats tests show that there is some driver problems with the cards.

No, the BareFeats tests show that Windows is faster than OSX on the new systems.

Perhaps, in the future, tests with new OSX drivers will show parity - at which point making the statement about "driver problems" will be validated.

Until then, "Windows is faster than OSX for game X on these systems" is the only statement that the facts support.

"Just the facts, ma'am"

AidenShaw
Aug 15, 2007, 10:32 PM
Got a link for the article?

Did you trying Yahoo!ing for "even more unimpressive than the already less than stellar 8600" ??

Obviously not, because if you had you would have seen that result #2 was:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3023&p=12

Sorry, but it pi$$e$ me off when people waste our time asking a question that they could have more easily and quickly answered by putting the question to a search engine....

AidenShaw
Aug 15, 2007, 10:47 PM
This HD 2600 XT (yeah, its actually the XT, no Pro)

Where's the proof of this?

And if it's proved, then is there really any difference between the 2600 Pro and an under-clocked XT? If not, how can one claim that an XT at Pro clock rates is an XT and not a Pro?

Why would Apple (not known for conservative ad claims) say "The 2.0GHz 20-inch iMac includes the ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of GDDR3 dedicated video memory, while the 2.4GHz 20-inch model and the 24-inch model offers extreme graphics power with an ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 dedicated video memory" if they have better chips inside?

Inquiring minds want to know...

sndcj1
Aug 15, 2007, 11:23 PM
Well, I guess if you just look at the big numbers, then your right, windows running prey in XP is faster then OSX running the ported version of the same program. I was personally interested in the fact that the card scaled better with the windows drivers than it did with the mac drivers, loosing only 31% of the frames on a display with 2.4 times the pixels, rather than the 43% that OSX lost. Where I was not trying to point out that the mac would ever be as fast as xp in games, I would think that with some driver tweaking we might see similar results in scaled performance. Either way, the 2600 is not a gaming card for xp or osx, and I guess if that bothered me, I wouldn't have gotten an iMac. But in the last 5 years, the total amount of time i've spent playing games that are measured in FPS, is exactly..... none.
I'm actually much more interested in the potential for hardware encoding on the card. Since nothing has been said about it from the apple camp, i'm assuming it isn't something that is used now, but it does seem to be a capability that they, or some third party, might be able to unlock and give us some quality encodes with little cpu overhead. I guess I have to wait and see, though.

flopticalcube
Aug 15, 2007, 11:31 PM
Where's the proof of this?

And if it's proved, then is there really any difference between the 2600 Pro and an under-clocked XT? If not, how can one claim that an XT at Pro clock rates is an XT and not a Pro?

Why would Apple (not known for conservative ad claims) say "The 2.0GHz 20-inch iMac includes the ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of GDDR3 dedicated video memory, while the 2.4GHz 20-inch model and the 24-inch model offers extreme graphics power with an ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 dedicated video memory" if they have better chips inside?

Inquiring minds want to know...

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=339616

It appears to be an underclocked Mobility HD 2600XT chip. To answer your question specifically, ATI lists only a Mobility HD 2600 and Mobility HD 2600XT and the chip ID is that of the XT. There is no Pro mobile chip listed by ATI.

The real problem with the desktop 2600Pro is that it comes in several flavours. Engine clocks from 450 to 665. DDR2 (400MHz) or DDR3 (700MHz). When a someone reviews the card, they really need to list the technical specs of the card. Bad reviews of desktop Pros (probably with DDR2) and poor drivers (both OSX and XP/Vista) have really not help this card. Coupled with the fact that it is aimed at DX10 and future games and not older games, things look bad for the iMac, for the moment.

Naedre
Aug 16, 2007, 12:37 AM
New Barefeats tests (http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html) show that there is some driver problems with the cards. Not saying they are the best, but that they could be better with some better drivers. One thing interesting about these cards that I haven't seen much reporting on is that they actually seem to support hardware MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding (http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2600/specs.html). It would be nice to see quicktime, imovie, or maybe handbrake take advantage of this capability.

That last Barefeats test proves it. Jobs and Gates are in on this...we have to buy Windows for the iMac. Apple = money hardware / Microsoft = money software...it all makes sense now.

Seriously, I have a G4 iMac and kept waiting for this "new" iMac...unless some soft fix (driver) comes along for native OS X or there is another option for a video card...I'm just disappointed on waiting so long.

I understand that rendering is faster, etc... But the iMac is supposed to be the all around PC...I love it...but the newest incarnation should be better across the board from the previous, right?

rs76
Aug 16, 2007, 05:57 AM
It appears that benchmark graphics scores have improved as system updates are added. If you look at recent Macworld scores you find the graphics score with 10.4.10 on last year's Imac to be considerably better then when it was initially released last September running 10.4.7.

When they do their comparisons they are using last years graphics cards with mature drivers versus this years model without any tweaks.

I don't know if there will be any improvement but I would be surprised if there is not. Of course, the Imac is not a gamers machine as the Pro could potentially be but I would bet it will fit the needs of the casual gamer.

Macinposh
Aug 16, 2007, 07:37 AM
seriously, how many gamers buy mac anyway? its really not that important for now.

You dont get id,do you?

If Jobs states that Apple is focusing more on gaming AND their iMac successor is worse in performance than its predecessor, it is a problem on many levels.

It is ok if you are not intrested in gaming or craphics performance, but undermining apples abysmal graphics performance (be it on iMac platform or Macpro) is nothing but apologism.


All I would want to is to know the reason for this kind of behiavour.

Is it

A.) Monetary. The Ati cards are 1€ cheper,thus creating a larger revenue.
(cant be with MP,since the card would be a option)

B.) Technical. Next bigger card would create heat issues .
(cant be with MP. And are allready 2 gen´s behind in vid cards.)

C.) Ideological. Jobs doesnt want to have gamers as customers. Would they tarnish the apples "hip customer base" or create constant nuisance with their "upgrade the gfx crds,pllzzz.lol" whining.

D.) Idiotical. Apple just want to fkuck with our minds?

soosy
Aug 16, 2007, 08:47 AM
You dont get id,do you?

If Jobs states that Apple is focusing more on gaming AND their iMac successor is worse in performance than its predecessor, it is a problem on many levels.

It is ok if you are not intrested in gaming or craphics performance, but undermining apples abysmal graphics performance (be it on iMac platform or Macpro) is nothing but apologism.


All I would want to is to know the reason for this kind of behiavour.

Is it

A.) Monetary. The Ati cards are 1€ cheper,thus creating a larger revenue.
(cant be with MP,since the card would be a option)

B.) Technical. Next bigger card would create heat issues .
(cant be with MP. And are allready 2 gen´s behind in vid cards.)

C.) Ideological. Jobs doesnt want to have gamers as customers. Would they tarnish the apples "hip customer base" or create constant nuisance with their "upgrade the gfx crds,pllzzz.lol" whining.

D.) Idiotical. Apple just want to fkuck with our minds?

My guess is mostly technical as well as the state of the graphics industry. Both the anantech article and an article on Tomshardware were saying the newest low-mid range cards just aren't that good. Partly because they were optimized for DX10 which itself isn't very optimized. I suppose Apple could have used an older card that performed better, though. (Although we can see in most apps the new card does do better... just not in DX9? games).

As for technical, there would probably be too much heat with both the 2.8 option and a better video card option like the 2900xt. They probably decided a 2.8 option would be better for their customer base and I would unfortunately agree. Making it an either/or choice (I'd gladly take a 2.4 w/2900!) would cause confusion and highlight that compromises are made for the all-in-one design.

Still can't they just put a mega fan in there that only kicks in when gamers are maxing the hardware out? :D

Whatever the reason, the need for a mini-tower gaming Mac has never been felt more. I don't even think they need to create a new line... just make a "pro" mini with a high-end graphics card.

LSlugger
Aug 16, 2007, 09:59 AM
No, the BareFeats tests show that Windows is faster than OSX on the new systems.

Perhaps, in the future, tests with new OSX drivers will show parity - at which point making the statement about "driver problems" will be validated.

Until then, "Windows is faster than OSX for game X on these systems" is the only statement that the facts support.

I would add the following:


despite the GeForce trouncing the Radeon in Quake 4, the Radeon in Windows is faster than the GeForce in OS X; whose fault: OS X, drivers, GCC, or Aspyr?
the performance drop from Windows to OS X is similar for both cards, so I don't buy the "driver problems" theory
Prey appears to be CPU limited, even at 1920 x 1200, which is remarkable.
there's more to life than Doom 3: the new iMac did well in other (perhaps more CPU-dependent) tests

People dismiss the iMac as a low-end system, but it does pretty well for a system with predominantly mobile components. The Core 2 Extreme is a lot of CPU for the money.

AidenShaw
Aug 16, 2007, 10:09 AM
Whatever the reason, the need for a mini-tower gaming Mac has never been felt more. I don't even think they need to create a new line... just make a "pro" mini with a high-end graphics card.

Yes, the Mac Mini Pro !!

However, I think that something between a mini-tower and an SFF would be the most useful option.

Use desktop parts (cheaper) and an off-the-shelf x16 PCIe graphics card - and allow BTO options for the graphics.

BKKbill
Aug 16, 2007, 10:29 AM
Yes, the Mac Mini Pro !!

However, I think that something between a mini-tower and an SFF would be the most useful option.

Use desktop parts (cheaper) and an off-the-shelf x16 PCIe graphics card - and allow BTO options for the graphics.

I think you have a good idea here if for no other reason just to make all the bellyacher's, whiners, protesters happy even if it would be until the next graphics card update. Then here we go again on the never slowing down merry-go-round.

AidenShaw
Aug 16, 2007, 10:36 AM
I think you have a good idea here if for no other reason just to make all the bellyacher's, whiners, protesters happy even if it would be until the next graphics card update.

What part of "off-the-shelf graphics card" didn't you understand? ;)

Why should you need to wait for The Lord God Jobs to bless a card?

BKKbill
Aug 16, 2007, 10:55 AM
What part of "off-the-shelf graphics card" didn't you understand? ;)

Why should you need to wait for The Lord God Jobs to bless a card?

If you call it a mac anything I think The Lord God Jobs would like to have a hand in putting it together. :p

Haoshiro
Aug 16, 2007, 10:55 AM
No, the BareFeats tests show that Windows is faster than OSX on the new systems.

Perhaps, in the future, tests with new OSX drivers will show parity - at which point making the statement about "driver problems" will be validated.

Until then, "Windows is faster than OSX for game X on these systems" is the only statement that the facts support.

"Just the facts, ma'am"

You obviously didn't bother to really look at the results of the new tests.

Yes, benchmarks in Windows was all around faster, but that wasn't the point nor the "realization" of the tests.

What it shows is there is a much smaller relative gap between the cards in OS X. Consider the 1920x1200 Quake 4 tests. In OS X the 7600 is over twice as fast, whereas in Windows the difference is only 30%.

In Windows the drivers are still less mature then the 7600, these tests suggest that with further improved gpu drivers the 2600 could close the gap even more. Who knows, it could start winning even more tests as time passes.

And while people can be annoyed there is no BTO option, it's nice to see the Stock gpu is closer to the previous BTO option then people initially thought.

nplima
Aug 16, 2007, 10:59 AM
Hi, I'm a Mac
And I'm a PC
Hey, PC, what are you doing?
Playing a game...
Cool. Can I play?
No


:D :p

AidenShaw
Aug 16, 2007, 11:35 AM
In Windows the drivers are still less mature then the 7600, these tests suggest that with further improved gpu drivers the 2600 could close the gap even more. Who knows, it could start winning even more tests as time passes.


The facts do not refute your conjecture.

However, there may be architectural or other issues that the drivers can't overcome.

We'll only know if your guess is right when better drivers show up....

RobHague
Aug 16, 2007, 12:42 PM
This HD 2600 XT (yeah, its actually the XT, no Pro) does just fine in current games. Oh, maybe some settings have to be cranked down in new games, and you might have to play at 1024x768 - boo hoo. :\

Yeah boo hoo indeed, because i shouldnt be disapointed if my BRAND NEW RELEASED LAST WEEK £1400 iMac can only play games with the detail cranked down @ 1024x768 on a 24" display..... im sure thats going to look pretty.

The iMac does have an impressive spec considering... but if you pop along to "Dell" you can get an equally impressive spec, for less.

I despiratly want a mac, but i cant afford to buy a gaming PC too, and im looking forward to some upcoming games, such as Starcraft2.... the 2600 PRO is going to look like a joke by the time that arrives. I noted EA have "Battlefield 2142" slated for release on Mac. So... lets see how that performs on the 2600 PRO under Windows....

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/radeon_hd_2600_performance_preview/page5.asp

Can i cry now? I think i have a right to be disapointed, Steve Jobs goes up and talks about Apples new dedication to games coming to the mac, and EA and ID showing their stuff... then their new iMacs arrive with the 2600pro....

Infrared
Aug 16, 2007, 01:26 PM
I find it so funny that Doom III is the test platform. Who plays Doom III anymore anyway!? lol :) It's very old and it was just terrible...

I guess when you got slow hardware you gotta test with "old games"

Games based on the Doom3 (id Tech 4) engine are
widely used for benchmarking even for top end PC
equipment. Go and google for 8800GTX (or Ultra)
benchmarks and you'll see what I mean.

Cheers.

Haoshiro
Aug 16, 2007, 02:15 PM
Yeah boo hoo indeed, because i shouldnt be disapointed if my BRAND NEW RELEASED LAST WEEK £1400 iMac can only play games with the detail cranked down @ 1024x768 on a 24" display..... im sure thats going to look pretty.

The iMac does have an impressive spec considering... but if you pop along to "Dell" you can get an equally impressive spec, for less.

I despiratly want a mac, but i cant afford to buy a gaming PC too, and im looking forward to some upcoming games, such as Starcraft2.... the 2600 PRO is going to look like a joke by the time that arrives. I noted EA have "Battlefield 2142" slated for release on Mac. So... lets see how that performs on the 2600 PRO under Windows....

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/radeon_hd_2600_performance_preview/page5.asp

Can i cry now? I think i have a right to be disapointed, Steve Jobs goes up and talks about Apples new dedication to games coming to the mac, and EA and ID showing their stuff... then their new iMacs arrive with the 2600pro....

I guess you could, but that would be silly. ;)

Those benchmarks show decent framerates at high resolution with 4xAA and 8xAF, turning that off should cause those rates to JUMP considerably.

Oh, and the iMac is actually an XT. Although I'm not sure if it performs on the level of the Pro. I could probably be "overclocked" to stock specs, though.

So those benchmarks you posted show you get playable rates on a new game at high resolution - from a stock general-consumer (not Pro/Gamer) Apple system. That's pretty nice. Thanks for the info.

tom5304
Aug 16, 2007, 03:20 PM
Hi, I'm a Mac
And I'm a PC
Hey, PC, what are you doing?
Playing a game...
Cool. Can I play?
No


:D :p

Nomination for post of the year!

~Shard~
Aug 16, 2007, 03:24 PM
Nomination for post of the year!

Yeah, I can visualize that commercial all too well in my head... ;) :D

tom5304
Aug 16, 2007, 03:31 PM
Haoshiro, I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude regarding gaming on my new 20" iMac, but the more games I load up and play, the more disappointed I'm becoming.

Halo played well enough, but pretty much everthing else I'm throwing at it is choking under the pressure. I have a three-year-old version of Battlefield 1942, and it's just not a pleasant experience with the new iMac. Bad graphics and a lot of stuttering.

I've gone from being disappointed at the specs pre-purchase, to mildly pleased that it would at least run Halo, back to disappointment as I discover that my new $1200 iMac is having a hard time dealing with three- and four-year-old games.

I've installed and run four games now, mostly FPS's from 2004-2005, and they pretty much suck on the new iMac.

Bottom line: the 20" iMac with the Radeon 2400 graphics card is just a small step up from my old Mini G4.

Anyone thinking of buying an iMac needs to consider the fact that gaming really is going to suck on this platform after all. I wanted to be positive and up-beat and give the iMac the benefit of the doubt, but the more games I load up and play, the more I can see that the iMac not only is not for hard-core gamers, it isn't for gamers at all.

I still love the computer, though. It's the best machine I've ever had for overall performance and appearance and all-around fun. It's a HUGE step up from the G4 Mini for overall use. It just sucks at running games.

But hey, I have my Wii and I'll get around to picking up an Xbox, so I'm not going to complain. The iMac is great for what it is, but as I've discovered, it's just not a gaming machine at all.

~Shard~
Aug 16, 2007, 03:50 PM
<snip>



Thanks for sharing your firsthand experiences, as it is very hard to argue with this kind of proof. I hope your post will give future potential iMac buyers something to consider if they are wishing to play games on their new iMac. I am not a gamer but if I was one then this type of feedback would definitely give me pause.

It's really an unfortunate situation all and all. One I hope Apple addresses with the next iMac revision.

Infrared
Aug 16, 2007, 05:01 PM
Actually they are, I own one.

It may not be "awesome" or "top-notch" for games, but it is certainly "acceptable" and "decent", more so, actually.

The system far outperforms my last two PCs, one with a 128MB nVidia 6600 GT, and a Radeon 9800 Pro laptop.

You'd probably be surprised to know that most consumers don't even have something as good as the 6600 GT in their computers.

For a small bit of evidence, take a look at the Steam Hardware Survey (http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html) results. The majority of users are using "Other" graphics cards that aren't being detected, with second place held by the 6600 itself.

14.36% is not a majority.

flopticalcube
Aug 16, 2007, 05:08 PM
Bottom line: the 20" iMac with the Radeon 2400 graphics card is just a small step up from my old Mini G4.



World of difference between the 2400 and 2600 cards.

mongoos150
Aug 16, 2007, 05:59 PM
I think what Apple is doing with this new iMac is getting it back to it's roots. When the iMac first came out, and for a while thereafter, it was the low end family-friendly Mac. It was made to do things that the majority of technophobes would be willing to try, and it was made to be cheap, impossible to confuse it's user, and cute. No one back then bought an iMac for any semblance of power or long-term use.
The past generation or two of iMac has seen a shift in Apple's branding of this machine as having become their "Flagship" computer. It was seen as what EVERYBODY gets except really wealthy design firms and large university super computer test labs. It began to be made more as a competitor to high end systems, and was the front line of Apple's efforts.
What we're seeing now is Apple backing away from a "Flagship" powerful iMac and reinstating their original goal of a cute brand-pushing low-to-mid power Personal Computer for families. I suspect that beginning next year, Apple will start to push the MacPro again like they did with the first PowerMac G5. The MacPro prices will drop somewhat to make it more accessible, and it will replace the iMac as the "Flagship".I really don't subscribe to this point of view. Graphic design houses still use the iMac extensively (and will with this current gen as well). The iMac isn't meant to be a super powerful machine, but it certainly is "upper middle class" in terms of its drive/memory options, CPU, etc... The video card is really the only thing that's not "flagship" in essence. I believe Apple dropped the ball with the video card simply because it was a cheaper, low-heat option that allowed for Apple to create a thinner body. The Mac Mini and Macbook remain the "cute, family friendly" machine (as well as the low end iMac). I believe the new prod lab at my university (Media Arts Dept.) is refreshing Lab3 with new Mac Pros and iMacs (the new iMac). If you need raw power, the Mac Pro is the obvious choice, but passing iMac off as a simple family PC is not accurate in the least.

mongoos150
Aug 16, 2007, 06:07 PM
Oh, and the iMac is actually an XT. The 24" has the PRO. :rolleyes:

tom5304
Aug 16, 2007, 06:09 PM
World of difference between the 2400 and 2600 cards.

Yep, no doubt. I'm just reporting the facts as I experience them.

It's still a $1,200 computer that chokes on old video games. The iMac was worth $1,200 to me and I have no regrets. I wish it would play games half decently, but it doesn't, so I'll focus my gaming on other excellent choices out there.

Haoshiro
Aug 16, 2007, 07:31 PM
Yep, no doubt. I'm just reporting the facts as I experience them.

It's still a $1,200 computer that chokes on old video games. The iMac was worth $1,200 to me and I have no regrets. I wish it would play games half decently, but it doesn't, so I'll focus my gaming on other excellent choices out there.

Yeah, there is no doubt the 2400 was a bad choice for virtually any games (though you shoud be able to play UT2K4 with mid-settings just fine).

The 2400 has horrible sing-channel 64-bit memory compared to the 4-channel 128-bit memory of the 2600.

I've only been talking about the 2600.

To the person who mentioned the 24" having the "Pro", did you check under Windows using the ATI Control Center? That will tell you what the hardware is.

tsd
Aug 16, 2007, 08:45 PM
I really don't subscribe to this point of view. Graphic design houses still use the iMac extensively (and will with this current gen as well). The iMac isn't meant to be a super powerful machine, but it certainly is "upper middle class" in terms of its drive/memory options, CPU, etc... The video card is really the only thing that's not "flagship" in essence. I believe Apple dropped the ball with the video card simply because it was a cheaper, low-heat option that allowed for Apple to create a thinner body. The Mac Mini and Macbook remain the "cute, family friendly" machine (as well as the low end iMac). I believe the new prod lab at my university (Media Arts Dept.) is refreshing Lab3 with new Mac Pros and iMacs (the new iMac). If you need raw power, the Mac Pro is the obvious choice, but passing iMac off as a simple family PC is not accurate in the least.

Well, first, I completely understand your point. I don't think I communicated mine effectively. I've been in the design industry now for ten years, and I know plenty of designers and IT people who use iMacs and MacMinis of every generation. However, I do believe that it was Apple's original intention to put out what amounted to a family PC. When I was in college, I had a design professor who used a 1st Gen iMac, but the students' lab was stocked with PowerMacs, so I was able to use both. I think that the benchmarks and user reviews of the new iMac show that it's going back to Apple's (not the user's) original goal, as stated in my previous post.

tsd
Aug 16, 2007, 08:54 PM
I'm sorry, but that logic is completely borked. If you want to build a multi-purpose family-oriented mid-range home computer that is easy to use, all you need to do is put a decent graphics card in the new iMac. That way little Jimmy can use it to play Crysis when it comes out, mom can surf the net, dad can do his accounting on Numbers (and sneak a game of Crysis while the family aren't looking) etc. etc. Hamstringing one of the cornerstones of a home computer- recreational gaming- as a 'strategy' would entail stupidity on a Microsoft Zune-like scale...

I say that as a potential switcher who is not a fanatical gamer and is desperate to switch because a) Windows drives me insane and b) OSX and iLife are things of beauty. BUT I won't accept a machine that is supposedly a modern all-in-one, "oh, except if you want to play games a couple of hours a week in which case you should probably stick to minesweeper". I want something that's going to perform adequately at ALL tasks I throw at it, including 3 or 4 hours of wind-down gaming per week. Saying "Macs aren't for games" just cuts them out of the self-same mid-level user you outlined above, and means I have to wait until a decent alternative comes along to switch, or shell out for a Mac Pro. The days when we were limited in what we could do with a home computer by the Hardware it came with should be over. Apple don't seem to have got that...

Amen to that! Get on the stick, Apple!

Haoshiro
Aug 16, 2007, 09:55 PM
Amen to that! Get on the stick, Apple!

Obviously people are underestimating the demands of Crysis.

Was I the only one who bought their last game? It took a couple years before a mid-range card could play that well on decent settings.

You're talking a game that plenty of purpose-built gaming rigs will have trouble with! :P

Are people really so unrealistic? Was I like this before I switched? *shudder*

WannaGoMac
Aug 16, 2007, 10:14 PM
Obviously people are underestimating the demands of Crysis.

Was I the only one who bought their last game? It took a couple years before a mid-range card could play that well on decent settings.

You're talking a game that plenty of purpose-built gaming rigs will have trouble with! :P

Are people really so unrealistic? Was I like this before I switched? *shudder*

Not sure if you are saying you wish the iMacs were faster, or you don't care about gaming?

Crysis will be playable on lower cards...
Graphics: Nvidia 7800 or ATI X1800 (SM 3.0)
http://www.crysis-online.com/Information/System%20Requirements/

MacinDoc
Aug 17, 2007, 01:31 AM
The 24" has the PRO. :rolleyes:
Although Apple promotes it as the Pro, independent evidence points to it being a slightly underclocked Mobility XT:

1. There is no Mobility 2400 Pro.
2. In Windows, the card is identified as the Mobility 2400 XT.
3. The part number on the chip matches that of the Mobility 2400 XT.

Why would Apple call it a 2400 Pro instead of an "underclocked Mobility 2400 XT"? Well, if you were Average Joe and just knew you wanted an affordable computer for general use, would you buy one that promoted its graphics chip as "underclocked"? Which graphics card description would sound better to you? Because the graphics card has specs that exceed those of the 2400 Pro, Apple won't face legal repercussions for misrepresenting the specs of the iMac.

Now, enthusiasts, of course, know that any flavor of the 2400 sucks, so they won't be buying the iMac, but they aren't in the market for an all-in-one anyway, since they will always want the ability to upgrade their machines.

So, why would Apple use such a lousy graphics chip in the iMac?

1. Compact size.
2. Low heat signature inside a case with very limited heat exchanging ability.
3. Less cooling = less fan noise.
4. HD Video encoding to offload this from the CPU.
5. Maybe Apple knows something about the future of DX10 that it's not yet sharing with us.

Haoshiro
Aug 17, 2007, 06:09 AM
Not sure if you are saying you wish the iMacs were faster, or you don't care about gaming?

Crysis will be playable on lower cards...
Graphics: Nvidia 7800 or ATI X1800 (SM 3.0)
http://www.crysis-online.com/Information/System%20Requirements/

Hey thanks, last time I checked the specs weren't released or talked about.

I think the big thing for me there is that it seems to be developed for multiple processors (unlike Quake 4 which had it tacked on later).

What you inadvertently did was prove that these new iMacs (indeed even the older iMacs), will be able to play Crysis. Possible quite well, thanks to the multiple cores on the Core Duo/Core 2 Duo chips.

That's just a lot better then I would have expected, let's hope in actual use this works out better then it did with Far Cry.

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 09:51 AM
Hey thanks, last time I checked the specs weren't released or talked about.

I think the big thing for me there is that it seems to be developed for multiple processors (unlike Quake 4 which had it tacked on later).

What you inadvertently did was prove that these new iMacs (indeed even the older iMacs), will be able to play Crysis. Possible quite well, thanks to the multiple cores on the Core Duo/Core 2 Duo chips.

That's just a lot better then I would have expected, let's hope in actual use this works out better then it did with Far Cry.


Well given reports on how they already are terrible on OLD games like Halo etc, I would assume this is playing the games at a really low resolution and lower detail settings.

Gaming on iMacs will suck -- whether or not it is now or in 6 months. Apple stinks for not putting decent GPUs into their precious and expensive computers. End of story.

tom5304
Aug 17, 2007, 10:31 AM
So, why would Apple use such a lousy graphics chip in the iMac?

1. Compact size.
2. Low heat signature inside a case with very limited heat exchanging ability.
3. Less cooling = less fan noise.
4. HD Video encoding to offload this from the CPU.
5. Maybe Apple knows something about the future of DX10 that it's not yet sharing with us.

I know this sounds a little crazy, but I'm almost willing to give up the ability to play games on my new iMac in exchange for how incredibly quiet this thing is.

My G4 mini was plenty quiet, but I ran an old Compaq Celeron PC also and that thing was loud, even louder than an Xbox 360, which is saying something.

Apple sucks for screwing us out of any meaningful gaming on the new iMacs. But take gaming out of the picture (which is neither necessary or acceptable) and the iMac is a great computer with an even greater OS. You never know how clunky Windows is until you spend more time on a Mac.

flopticalcube
Aug 17, 2007, 11:30 AM
Well given reports on how they already are terrible on OLD games like Halo etc, I would assume this is playing the games at a really low resolution and lower detail settings.

Gaming on iMacs will suck -- whether or not it is now or in 6 months. Apple stinks for not putting decent GPUs into their precious and expensive computers. End of story.

What card do you think should Apple have put in the new iMacs?

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 11:50 AM
What card do you think should Apple have put in the new iMacs?

GPU that would play current games at the monitor native resolution at medium-high settings.

Eidorian
Aug 17, 2007, 11:53 AM
GPU that would play current games at the monitor native resolution at medium-high settings.At 1680 x 1050 the desktop HD 2600XT is passable. If you're going for 1920 x 1200 then you're going to want an 8800 or HD 2900XT.

MacinDoc
Aug 17, 2007, 11:55 AM
GPU that would play current games at the monitor native resolution at medium-high settings.
Have you considered that Apple may have intended for the iMac to be able to run DX10 games at native resolution on medium-high settings, and decided to sacrifice the ability to play older games for this?

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 11:58 AM
Have you considered that Apple may have intended for the iMac to be able to run DX10 games at native resolution on medium-high settings, and decided to sacrifice the ability to play older games for this?

Uh, then they should have used a different GPU. Tests are lousy on this GPU. I don't like AIO units anyway so I am not their target customer. Maybe one day Apple will make a form-factor that suits my needs other than the too expensive Mac Pro.

MacinDoc
Aug 17, 2007, 12:21 PM
Uh, then they should have used a different GPU. Tests are lousy on this GPU. I don't like AIO units anyway so I am not their target customer. Maybe one day Apple will make a form-factor that suits my needs other than the too expensive Mac Pro.
Specifically, DX9 tests are lousy on this GPU. Are there any DX10 benchmarks on it?

I agree, though, an AIO will never be a good form factor for gamers.

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 12:25 PM
Specifically, DX9 tests are lousy on this GPU. Are there any DX10 benchmarks on it?

I agree, though, an AIO will never be a good form factor for gamers.

Oy, I am not a gamer! Why does every mac person think that if you like to play a new ("current") game from time to time you are a gamer? :)

MacinDoc
Aug 17, 2007, 12:30 PM
Oy, I am not a gamer! Why does every mac person think that if you like to play a new ("current") game from time to time you are a gamer? :)
I didn't mean for my post to imply that you were a gamer, it's just that the complaints about the graphics cards in the iMacs specifically are about gaming. Its performance in other areas does not seem to be a concern.

flopticalcube
Aug 17, 2007, 12:43 PM
GPU that would play current games at the monitor native resolution at medium-high settings.

Like I said, what card? 8800? 2900? Too big, hot, power hungry, expensive. That leaves the 8600 and the 2600, both of which are more or less the same. I guess Apple could have thrown in a previous gen card as a BTO option but then people would complain about that not being current gen. We may have to wait for the 8800M before a top-line card is available for the iMac.

Haoshiro
Aug 17, 2007, 12:46 PM
Oy, I am not a gamer! Why does every mac person think that if you like to play a new ("current") game from time to time you are a gamer? :)

Because the new iMacs can play games just fine (I know, I do it and have used the older model at several lan parties just fine).

A "casual" consumer isn't going to pay for a better card (ie, more then $100) to play new "current" games (something you CAN do on an iMac).

So if you are complaining like you are, you're wanting more then a non-gamer could care about. Might as well put you in the class of a "gamer" at that point.

Eidorian is right, for what you are wanting would take a $400-600 card. We are talking about 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 native resolutions here. :rolleyes:

Eidorian
Aug 17, 2007, 12:49 PM
Eidorian is right, for what you are wanting would take a $400-600 card. We are talking about 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 native resolutions here. :rolleyes:a.k.a. Why aren't you using a video card with at least a 256-bit memory interface again?

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 12:50 PM
Like I said, what card? 8800? 2900? Too big, hot, power hungry, expensive. That leaves the 8600 and the 2600, both of which are more or less the same. I guess Apple could have thrown in a previous gen card as a BTO option but then people would complain about that not being current gen. We may have to wait for the 8800M before a top-line card is available for the iMac.

I would like a normal GPU not mobile. Make the case 2" thicker, who could tell the difference?

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 12:51 PM
Because the new iMacs can play games just fine (I know, I do it and have used the older model at several lan parties just fine).

A "casual" consumer isn't going to pay for a better card (ie, more then $100) to play new "current" games (something you CAN do on an iMac).

So if you are complaining like you are, you're wanting more then a non-gamer could care about. Might as well put you in the class of a "gamer" at that point.

Eidorian is right, for what you are wanting would take a $400-600 card. We are talking about 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 native resolutions here. :rolleyes:

My 7600GT plays BF2 at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and all high settings. It goes for ~$75 nowadays...

Haoshiro
Aug 17, 2007, 12:58 PM
My 7600GT plays BF2 at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and all high settings. It goes for ~$75 nowadays...

That isn't even a new "current" game. Battlefield 2142 is.

Battlefield 2 - Released 06/21/2005
Battlefield 2142 - Release 10/17/2006

And take a look at benchmarks for that game (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=716&model2=858&chart=278)...

You're 7600GT is acheiving a paltry 14.2 FPS, lol :rolleyes:

WannaGoMac
Aug 17, 2007, 05:01 PM
That isn't even a new "current" game. Battlefield 2142 is.

Battlefield 2 - Released 06/21/2005
Battlefield 2142 - Release 10/17/2006

And take a look at benchmarks for that game (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=716&model2=858&chart=278)...

You're 7600GT is acheiving a paltry 14.2 FPS, lol :rolleyes:

Just an FYI, BF 2142 is essentially a MOD of the BF2 engine. there were limited improvements to the game over BF2 and it bombed (also in-game ads/spyware hurt it). I did not talk about BF 2142, i said BF2. So, its PATHETIC your precious imac can barely play a game 2 yrs old.

Though I will admit that BF2142 might have higher requirements than BF2, I don't know the game as I tried the demo and hated it. In any case, it is pathetic my old cheap 7600GT still reported by TomsHardware as 3x faster than the 2400XT (I couldnt find the 2600 in the charts)!

Haoshiro
Aug 17, 2007, 06:14 PM
Just an FYI, BF 2142 is essentially a MOD of the BF2 engine. there were limited improvements to the game over BF2 and it bombed (also in-game ads/spyware hurt it). I did not talk about BF 2142, i said BF2. So, its PATHETIC your precious imac can barely play a game 2 yrs old.

Though I will admit that BF2142 might have higher requirements than BF2, I don't know the game as I tried the demo and hated it. In any case, it is pathetic my old cheap 7600GT still reported by TomsHardware as 3x faster than the 2400XT (I couldnt find the 2600 in the charts)!

Heh, just because they use the same engine doesn't make them have even close to the same requirements or performance.

What I found funny, was that not even your 7600GT can't run that game decently at the settings you spoke of. Oh, and the 2600 was the other card listed in the benchmark I linked (ATI does not make a "Pro" card, so you won't see that in benchmarks).

Nice way to avoid the obvious point being made, though. That was that your "requirements" / what you thought should be included in the iMac was TOTALLY unrealistic. I could quote you, but I'm sure you can scroll up and read what you said if you don't remember.

Games run fine on the system, but you aren't going to be running on native panel resolutions - because as has been said by others, that would require expensive 8800/2900 cards at those resolutions.

The ONLY thing people have a legitimate complaint regarding the new iMacs is their are no BTO graphics options. The stock cards are better then the previous models and do a FINE job. If I had BF2 I'd bench it myself... maybe the demo would do. ;)

Gunga Din
Jan 1, 2008, 12:36 PM
Hello all, I been a PC user for years but have always liked Mac OS and software from using a friend's Mac.

Recently i visited an Apple Store and checked out all the choices. I have to say straight out, If the IMAC came with a better Vid Card, I would have purchased it that day.

My PC is 4 yrs old but has some nice components to run the games i play. So i dont need this MAC to be a gaming machine. My PC covers me for that. However, my PC is 4 yrs old. I'm worried its gonna break down sometime in the future and I'd love it if my IMAC could cover me on the few games i play. (Lord of the Rings online, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, and maybe a few new ones i'm looking at that are super graphic intensive.)

Im a bit concerned that my 4 yr old pc out performs this new IMac in many areas. One being the graphics. Now, i'm thinking of choosing a Mac for the everything else but gaming. But come on, the card they have in this machine for that price is criminal.

Example of what u can get from Dell.

Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6850 (4MB L2 Cache,3.0GHz,1333 FSB)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs
160GB - WD Raptor 10000RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
22 inch UltraSharp™ 2208WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer (D)

For $2099. So its got a Better CPU, HD and Vid card for about the same price as the top line IMAC. Thing is i can get this with out the monitor and price comes down to $1759.

U see me dilema. I prefer Leopard to Vista. Thats my whole purpose for looking into Apple, but man can't they give u some uber equipment.

I want to go MAC !!! Just give me a better vid card for security and so the machine will last a bit. Thats all i'm asking.

I think i'll just wait a few months and see what develops with the IMAC or consider just breaking the bank for the new MAC PRO notebook.

Any suggestions?

BenRoethig
Jan 1, 2008, 12:55 PM
Hello all, I been a PC user for years but have always liked Mac OS and software from using a friend's Mac.

Recently i visited an Apple Store and checked out all the choices. I have to say straight out, If the IMAC came with a better Vid Card, I would have purchased it that day.

My PC is 4 yrs old but has some nice components to run the games i play. So i dont need this MAC to be a gaming machine. My PC covers me for that. However, my PC is 4 yrs old. I'm worried its gonna break down sometime in the future and I'd love it if my IMAC could cover me on the few games i play. (Lord of the Rings online, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, and maybe a few new ones i'm looking at that are super graphic intensive.)

Im a bit concerned that my 4 yr old pc out performs this new IMac in many areas. One being the graphics. Now, i'm thinking of choosing a Mac for the everything else but gaming. But come on, the card they have in this machine for that price is criminal.

Example of what u can get from Dell.

Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6850 (4MB L2 Cache,3.0GHz,1333 FSB)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs
160GB - WD Raptor 10000RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
22 inch UltraSharp™ 2208WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer (D)

For $2099. So its got a Better CPU, HD and Vid card for about the same price as the top line IMAC. Thing is i can get this with out the monitor and price comes down to $1759.

U see me dilema. I prefer Leopard to Vista. Thats my whole purpose for looking into Apple, but man can't they give u some uber equipment.

I want to go MAC !!! Just give me a better vid card for security and so the machine will last a bit. Thats all i'm asking.

I think i'll just wait a few months and see what develops with the IMAC or consider just breaking the bank for the new MAC PRO notebook.

Any suggestions?

I know the feeling. It's even more frustrating for a long time Apple desktop user who Apple unilaterally decides that he needs to buy an all in one instead. The iMac at best is equivalent to a really good MATX system. Anyone who is looking for something more, but is not a content creation superpro who needs a xeon workstation is really out of luck these days. The sad thing is that neither Apple nor most of the community has any concept of this.

Look, Leopard is amazing and after using it for a while, you'll find windows almost unusable. To be honest you'd probably be best off keeping your PC and getting a Macbook. I have the newest iMac myself and while I find it an excellent machine for the people it is designed for, it is also very limited if those needs exceed the family setting. Even modest gaming performance was extremely disappointing.

Gunga Din
Jan 1, 2008, 12:59 PM
I know the feeling. It's even more frustrating for a long time Apple desktop user who Apple unilaterally decides that he needs to buy an all in one instead. The iMac at best is equivalent to a really good MATX system. Anyone who is looking for something more, but is not a content creation superpro who needs a xeon workstation is really out of luck these days. The sad thing is that neither Apple nor most of the community has any concept of this.

Look, Leopard is amazing and after using it for a while, you'll find windows almost unusable. To be honest you'd probably be best off keeping your PC and getting a Macbook. I have the newest iMac myself and while I find it an excellent machine for the people it is designed for, it is also very limited if those needs exceed the family setting. Even modest gaming performance was extremely disappointing.

Thanks for your honesty and reply. I'm leaning towards exactly what your saying. I'll wait for the new upgrades to the MacPro Notebook. I know its expensive but atleast i can justify its price a bit better. If the IMAC gets a tweak in the coming months then maybe i'll go that way. Guess everyone is waiting on what the forthcoming MAC expo has to bring. I know I am.