How fast is the iMac (20" Model)?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Lincoln, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Lincoln macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm thinking about buying the iMac 20" (with 512MB Ram, 160GB Hard Drive, Bluetooth and Airport).

    I have a 12" Powerbook (1st gen) and it's too slow for some of the more power hungry programs. e.g. The newer Mac games like Halo and Garageband.

    I know that there may be a G5 imac in the works but I am seeking responses from users of the existing machine to see what they think.

    And I won't do anything until the end of the month (just in case)!
     
  2. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #2
    Well, the iMac should be faster for things like MP3/AAC encoding, MPEG2 encoding in iDVD, et . I'm not sure if you'll see a big jump in "every day" usage from Mail and Safari.

    I'm not a gamer so I can't answer how it performs in games. Even your PB should be fine for GarageBand. How much RAM do you have in the PB?

    Both machines have 256k L2 cache
    iMac has faster processor (44%)
    iMac has PC2700 DDR, PB has PC2100
    iMac has 7200 RPM HD, PB has 4200

    And probably the biggest factor for gaming:
    iMac has NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra w/ 64 MB of DDR SDRAM
    PB has NVIDIA GeForce4 420 Go w/ 32 MB of DDR SDRAM

    Oh yeah, and with the iMac you get a SuperDrive and 20" screen.

    Go to http://xbench.com/ and go to the comparison site (it's down now) and look at scores for each machine.

    But you really should wait until Feb 5 just to make sure nothing is announced/released.
     
  3. Lincoln thread starter macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thanks for the reply Sigamy.

    I have 384MB Ram, and Garageband runs OK (provided I don't push it too much) but it does take a long time to load.

    However that might be because I tend to run a few apps at a time and I think that Garageband is a bit Powerhungry anyway (it wasn't lightning fast when Steve Jobs demo'd it at Macworld and I'm sure he was using a G5 Dual 2GHz Powermac).

    Would the faster hard drive in the iMac make much of a difference?
     
  4. Lincoln thread starter macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Anyone Else?

    I'm sure that there are more people out there that can answer this one for me?

    I'm looking for a "feeling" of how fast, particularly for the games.
     
  5. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    #5
    Notice you never SAW steves machine at keynote, and he was running garageband mucho quick.

    My bet is it was several G5's in a cluster underneath that desk to make SURE that all the apps were silky-smooth.

    what do you guys bet?
     
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #6
    simply look at these facts. its using a very old and slow G4 at 1.25.ghz
    this same chip has a bus of 167mhz.
    it has DDR that is half used.
    its old technology wrapped in beautiful clothes. put current technology in those same clothes and it would be fantastic but your paying 2 grand for obsolete technology. yes it has a nice big screen but what are you going to do with it when you find out it wont run Doom3? this has been apples marketing problem. they want to sell old versions of what was slow technology when it came out. Cpu is behind the times though it can do anything you ask it except for drawing fast frames per second. Current Imac is not a gamers machine. apple is missing this market 100%
     
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    What Dont Hurt Me said :D

    IMO you'd be crazy to buy an iMac now, they are expensive, and are using very outdated technology. Not a good buy if you ask me.
     
  8. Lincoln thread starter macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I only asked a question!!!!

    Engagebot, how do know I never SAW Steve's Expo presentation of Garageband? I noticed that there were two things that caused glitches. Everytime Steve loaded a new file there was a definite delay (not as long as mine, but it was there). Also when he added new loops the red time bar froze for second or two. Apart from that smooth as silk.

    To everyone else, I was just trying to find out how the current imac fared with games.

    You bet that I would love to get a G5 imac (hopefully with better graphics, can anyone say Radeon 9600 with 128MB Ram? I doubt that they'd stick a 9800 in there yet), but no-one knows for sure when it will come out.
     
  9. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #9
    Re: I only asked a question!!!!

    Ah, but you can bet that it will come out at some point.

    What I'm thinking, and maybe suggesting for you, too, is:
    1. Wait for the speed-bumped PowerMacs to come out. The remaining stock of the current models will go in the refurb store (which is currently empty, BTW!).
    2. Give Apple two weeks after that to come out with a G5 iMac.
    3. Compare prices. Buy the cheaper of (a) refurb 1.8 single or dual Powermac plus display, or (b) G5 iMac.

    I realize that the PowerMacs are HUGE but with a 20" screen the iMac's going to take serious space, too. Personally, I'd rather have a 17" G5 iMac (which I hope will be 2.0GHz, Radeon 9600, superdrive) but Apple may not offer that for several months.
     
  10. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    #10
    Re: I only asked a question!!!!

    Hey hey, no reason to get mad! I didnt say you didnt the presentation. I said the actual computer steve was working on was not shown on stage. It was hidden under the desk, and all you saw was the display. If it was a stock G5 tower it was running on, im pretty sure he would have had it displayed on stage in all its apple glory, but i'm saying since we didnt see the computer, it was probably several macs under that desk so that the presentation would go off without a hitch. and it did!

    also realize that a new G5 wont run delay-less. i have a dual 3Ghz Xeon machine, and its nowhere near perfect unless you just start crunching numbers rendering video or something.

    A dual 2Ghz G5 is not some kind of divine creation... its fast, but they'll see SOME loading/lag time too
     
  11. Lincoln thread starter macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Sorry

    It's funny how you when you re-read what people posted you actually read what they wrote rather than see what you think they wrote (I think that's right).

    You were right we didn't see that actual mac he was using.

    Sorry about that.:eek:
     
  12. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    #12
    Lincoln - no problem


    By the way, i doubt very seriously that theres a G5 iMac in the works. Do you know how long it took just to get the G3 out of the iMac, and especially the iBook? The G5 hasnt even come to the powerbook yet, which is the notebook complement to the Powermac.

    They have to keep from blurring the performance lines between their consumer and pro hardware if they intend to keep such a steep price difference between them.

    They wont bring the iMac to a G5 until the next gen (G6?) is on the horizon for the towers. The only reason the iBook was upgraded to a G4 is because the sheer inferiority of the G3 processor. (and the revision of the G4 in the current iBook is effectively crippled compared to the G4s in the pre-G5 towers)

    I promise it wont be long before its like this:

    PowerMac G5
    Powerbook G5

    iMac G4
    iBook G4

    And I can also promise it'll stay like that for a good while. Trust me :)
     
  13. mmmdreg macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    Man that iMac will be fine for what you're doing. I used Soundtrack on a 1GHz eMac and it didn't lag once. View my music here :D
     
  14. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #14
    Engagebot-

    I bet you are wrong. The iMac's processor is done for. It maxes out at 1.42GHz (the G4). The iBook G4 still has a few revisions left in it, but the iMac is done.

    The iMac will go to a G5, its just a matter of time. I say within 6 months. Either its going to a G5, or that IBM 750fx thing, the super g3.
     
  15. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #15
    Even if the 20" iMac did have a G5 and all the lastest hardware (which it doesn't). Why would you want to invest all the money in a nice 20" display which you can't use on your next Mac.

    If you are like me, stuff like monitors, printers, and scanners last a whole lot long than any computer.
     
  16. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #16
    halo will play like crap on it and garageband will be just fine as long as you upgrade the ram to atleast 512.

    iJon
     
  17. Lincoln thread starter macrumors regular

    Lincoln

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Powermac prices

    Well I was initially drawn to the form factor and space saving features of the imac, most people would agree that it looks very nice.

    However, I've just checked the prices of the Powermacs; a similar specified 1.6 G5 Powermac BUT with a 17" Monitor and a Radeon 9600 (512MB Ram, 160GB SATA Drive, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth) only costs about £100 more (ed. discount). The dual 1.8 G5 another £300.

    And at the risk of sounding very naive, I have much more choice on the components (i.e. more disk space, more memory, graphics, etc, etc), this makes the iMac's look very expensive or at least not as good value.

    In addition, there looks like these are the next macs to receive an update in the not too distant future. Hopefully they will look at the graphics cards (new ATI 9800 Pro 256MB Ram) and maybe include 8x Superdrives too; finally at the same or similare prices to the existing machines.

    At the very least I could pick up one of the exixting specced machines for a good price when the new ones come out.

    Whatever happens, it looks like I need to wait a bit and see what happens. Its not as though I don't have a mac, just not a very fast one when it comes to games and processor intensive apps(note everything else runs just dandy).

    Thanks to everyone for their input.
     

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