iMac G5 1.9, 2.1 GHz technical specs

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by CanadaRAM, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #1
    The new iMac G5's have some technical differences to previous generations of G5's

    They are the first Macs to use DDR-2 RAM. This is not backwards compatible with DDR or vice-versa, so there is no swapping of memory going to happen as you upgrade. They are the first Macs to support a 2 Gb memory module -- which is a good thing because there is only one accessible memory socket. The developer notes are not up yet, so it is an open question whether the 512 RAM is available to be upgraded by a technician -- Apple does not offer that option as a BTO, and states maximum RAM as 2.5, which suggests not.

    Currently, Apple's price on the 2 Gb module is insane: US$1200. :eek: Third party RAM should be verified compatible with in the next week or so, and 2 Gb modules should be in the US$700 area.

    With a single socket, there is no question of matching RAM pairs or not. Dual-channel is not on offer.

    While DDR-2 RAM is theoretically faster than DDR, the latency of DDR-2 modules is a problem, the current modules can't go faster than a CAS Latency of 4. (DDR RAM is commonly CL3 or 2.5, with premium memory at CL2.0). This means some of the speed gain is wasted waiting for the RAM to be ready to accept the next operation. As the DDR-2 market matures, we can expect lower latency RAM to be come available in quantity and the price of the large modules to drop.

    The differences between the models: The 17" has a ATI Radeon X600Pro video card and the 20" has an X600XT which is roughly 20% faster core speed - both models have 128 Mb VRAM. Although listed as PCI-Express , they do not specifiy that the video cards are removeable, so upgrades are likely still impossible.

    The processors are 1.9 GHz and 2,1 GHz (10% difference) The 17" has a 633 MHz system buss, vs. 700 MHz on the 20" (also 10% in line with the CPUs, at a multiplier of 3). This compares with 1 GHz, 1.15 GHz and 1.35 GHz busses per processor (multiplier of 2) in the DP G5 towers. Clearly, the iMac is not going to challenge the G5 towers for heavy lifting.

    Bluetooth and WiFi "g" are built in as expected. Sensibly, the telephone modem has been deleted and is available as a USB option. The hard drive is a straight SATA drive, no indication of SATA-II support. The wireless remote is infared, not RF, so it will be line-of-sight only. Makes sense though if it's primary purpose is controlling visuals. Both the 17" and the 20" have Dual-Layer Superdrives (DVD+/-RW) as standard, which is a nice boost on the original entry level machine.

    What the iMac G5 does signal is that the next G5's are going to be based on new motherboards - the DDR-2 move will require a redesign of the motherboard and the busses. (and Wintel motherboards have been on DDR-2 for a number of months already). Hopefully, Apple will address the Firewire speed limitations of the G5 line at the same time.


    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  2. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    Northern California
    #2
    Thanks CanadaRAM. There's tons of good insight in that post, which will be very helpful to people buying the new iMac. This thread should be a great place to point to when people have questions about the new iMac, as it pretty much covers it.
     
  3. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #3
    i just wanted to mention something about memory pricing. newegg has a 2gb ddr2 533 module for $211. despite its not being guaranteed compatible it might be worth the risk to save $500 over guaranteed compatible prices or $1000 over apple's prices. :)
     
  4. mikemodena macrumors 6502a

    mikemodena

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    Connecticut
    #4
    Thank you very much for that informative post! Definately taught me a few things about the difference in RAM speeds, etc.
     
  5. Mac_Freak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #5

    :eek: Thanks for that link, now I feel much better. LOL iMac, here I come.
     
  6. CanadaRAM thread starter macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    Nope.

    The item cannot be ordered, it is out of stock. Quite simply, it is a typo, They have used the part number for the 2 Gb module but priced it as a 2 x 1 Gb kit. The 2 Gb part is going to be about $745 (that's what the Kingston ValueRAM equivalent is). They'll catch the mistake before they post new inventory and open it up.
    "Please note:
    Due to limited supply, all stock is sold on a first-come first-serve basis. Auto notify does not guarantee availability or price. All prices are subject to change without notice."
     
  7. Josh396 macrumors 65816

    Josh396

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    Peoria/Chicago, IL
    #7
    That's almost to good to be true. I know CanadaRAM knows a lot about RAM, so what do you think about that module?
     
  8. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    Great post thanks!
     
  9. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #9
    Thanks Trevor.

    I was about to post this to a new thread, but luckily saw this thread, which fits in with my final thoughts below.

    My 'old' iMac arrived this morning, shortly after the 'new' iMac was announced this morning (West Cost). As I previously posted, I called Apple and arranged for them to pick it up.

    In short, 2 options:

    1) CDN$400 refund on the iMac sitting unopened in my hallway.

    2) Return and full refund. Then order a new spec iMac. Wait 2-3weeks for the new machine.

    The machine will basically sit in the home office, used as a Slimserver, do general day to day stuff email/browsing/office suite type stuff, as well as editing of photo's and regular 5 minute+ home movies with a few effects thrown in to show off a little. ;)

    Having read a LOT of iMac opinions since the annoucement today. I'm re-considering my initial reaction of going for the new iMac.

    Boiling down the new components:-

    Built in iSight - no good for me. I need an external and moveable webcam (which I already have) for showing the kids to grandparents etc.

    Superdrive - would be nice, but had considered an external burner or use the PC burner I have and burn DVD images, when I need to (not too regular)

    Frontrow - interesting app, but the machine's in the office, not the front room. I can use keyboard and mouse to control any DVD playing.

    Photobooth - Can't I already do that stuff in iPhoto?? Saving me the hassle of installing another program (this ain't Windows surely)

    MEMORY - single slot seems a bit limitting to me (i.e. cost of 2Gb chip - against 2x1Gb chips and more gradual upgrade path)

    So I guess it comes down to processor, bus and memory speeds. Which would be better (for my apps):-

    1) iMac Rev.B 1.8Ghz, 1.5Gb RAM (spending my CDN$400 refund on a 1Gb chip and perhaps an external DVD burner). Leaving the option of upgrading to 2Gb total with another 1Gb chip if needs be at a later date.

    2) New iMac 1.9Ghz, 1.5Gb RAM (2Gb chip too expensive at CDN$700+). Memory latency issue is something new to me - is this actually a hobbler?

    Hopefully this post will help someone else out there in a similar position to me.

    :)
     
  10. CanadaRAM thread starter macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    The latency issue isn't a deal breaker -- its the same issue PIV and A64 machines have to deal with. DDR-2 is faster, but not as fast (or cheap) as it will be in the future when lower latency RAM is manufactured. That's gonna hurt early adopters of the 2 Gb modules in the pocketbook.

    I guess the deciding factor is -- if you didn't order it to be a performance/gaming machine in the first place, then the $400 refund looks mighty attractive against a $1,600 - $2,000 purchase. You can get the 1 Gb PC3200 module and have lots of spare change for a burner or whatever.

    A variable would be gaming -- The X800Pro is essentially a souped up 9600Pro, with the added benefit of the PCIe interface, but I don't have a handle on how much extra gaming power that gives vs. the previous top of the line iMac G5. If you are comparing with the entry level 17" 1.8 GHz and its AGP FX5200, then the PCIe X600Pro should be able to slap it silly.
     
  11. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

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    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #11
    I wasn't planning this to be a games machine. However would this performance effect photo and movie editing or is that something quite different?

    (The entry level 17inch iMac I have has a 9600 128Mb graphics card)
     
  12. CanadaRAM thread starter macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #12
    Photo editing not at all, the video card is not the limiting factor.
    Movies, perhaps it would be noticeable. Somone who has tried different cards in iMove etc. may be able to chime in with experience.
     
  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #13
    Ok the X600 and 9600 have 4 pipelines and the same ATI graphical features. The X600 is just PCI-Express. I'm sticking with my current iMac. The X600 doesn't same that much better.
     
  14. CanadaRAM thread starter macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #14
    What is the core clock rate on the 9600 vs the 9600 Pro vs the X600 Pro?
    I think the X600Pro is 400 MHz and the X600XT is 500 MHz. The other suggestion I read was that the PCIe interace allowed better thoughput.
     
  15. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

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    #15
    I read PCIe allowed better throughput, but that the chip itself couldn't make use of it (couldn't drive it hard enough).
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #16
    Yeah my Windows friend said X700 at least for a PCI-Express video card. It's like the first time he's known more about comptuers than I have.

    http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9600/radeon9600pro/specs.html

    "Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs"

    That might be it. Are you talking about GPU speeds or RAM?
     
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #17
    Trevor thanks for your follow up on this.

    I've been trying to find out more about the ATI X 600 and X600 XT GPU modules.

    I did find a fairly good review at VR Zone.
    http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=1012&s=1

    What has my interest perked is that this card comes available with either a 128MB or 256MB configuration.
    DDR1

    This tells me you may be able to add extra RAM to the card IF... you can get to it.

    This review also mentions overclocking headroom that might interest some braver souls.

    I'm delighted with the improvements of this model, yet bugged that Apple has once again made something simply beautiful then crippled it by making the default RAM module permanent as well as the video card.

    ATI's home page also shows the X600 series available in 128 or 256 MB.

    Crucial has already updated their site to include the new iMac models and they were selling single 1 GB
    DIMMs for $124.00
    Their prices for single 2 GB sticks were over $900
     
  18. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    Oct 7, 2004
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    somewhere between here and there.
    #18
    The New iMac G5 is just crying out to be a digital entertainment centre/creator machine that it fails to add A TV Tuner. :confused:

    Nice update, however you can place bets on Apple releases an HD iMac G5 with a TV Tuner sometime next year. And it will not sport an Intel chip by that time either.

    Apple is using the same strategy that they are using with the iPod, one feature at a time. INtroduce it slow and implement it all at a later date thus producing maximum profit. Smart ;) :)
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #19
    Yeah it does big for a TV tuner. I'm glad I had my friends to help me think about it some more. I don't know where to find the GPU speeds for those video cards. It's annoying.

    I'm sticking with my Rev. B iMac G5 until next year.

    Edit:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_X_Series

    I've found the X Series GPU and RAM speeds. Someone just needs the 9600 Series GPU speeds.

    X600 Pro
    Core Clock: 400 MHz
    Memory Clock: 600 MHz

    X600 XT
    Core Clock: 400 MHz
    Memory Clock: 700 MHz
     
  20. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #20
    We may want to consider more that the DDR2 RAM and the PCI-e graphics.

    The Rev A iMacs are plagued with defective midplane board capacitors.
    It was supposed to be covered in the Rev B when they upgraded to the 2.0 processors, but this update now kinda came out of nowhere for some reason.

    Conspiracy theory 101

    Danksi, I understand that 3 weeks would seem like an eternity, but you probably should go ahead and get the newer model.
    After all, you'll own it for quite some time
    and this new model does have some very pleasing
    improvements.


    I noticed that Applecare was only $119USD for this model too and think you should go for it when funds
    permit.It's really just the nature of micro electronics.
     
  21. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #21
    Well I have my AppleCare and I keep my room cool. No problems there. :D
     
  22. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #22
    :D

    I'll have applecare for the iMac either way.

    I think I'll continue with the action I'm currently taking. Return the iMac Rev.B and order a new Version. I'm in no real rush, just a bunch of movie footage and photo albums to get done for Xmas, so a late October/early November delivery would work.

    I'll probably only go for a 1Gb RAM chip though. Even so that's still a total of 1.5Gb RAM, I imagine plenty for our needs and a theoretically faster machine.

    Thanks for the info - very useful. :)
     
  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #23
    I'm just got I got my Apple stock OEM 1 GB stick for my Rev. B machine. That's from 18004Memory.
     
  24. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #24
    Same speeds.

    My Radeon 9600 Pro has a 400 MHz Core and a 600 MHz RAM clock. And 4 pipes.
     
  25. polyethyleneguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #25
    This seems like the right thread to post this question:
    The new 17" iMac G5 has a 250 cd/m brightness and 500:1 contrast ratio but does anyone have any knowledge on what the response time is on the 17". I know the 20" has better contrast and brightness...so it might also have a better response time? Some high end LCD's have 4ms-8ms response times. Average LCD's have around 20ms-25ms.
    Thanks for any answers.
     

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