2008 iMac 2600 vs. 8800....?!?!?!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ww3proggy, May 23, 2008.

  1. ww3proggy macrumors newbie

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    May 23, 2008
    #1
    http://www.barefeats.com/imp03.html shows the 2600 beating the 8800 by a LARGE margin for iMovie and iDVD, both consumer-level apps that one would think would be more processor intensive. I just ordered a 2.8 iMac with the 8800 thinking it would be a better all-around graphics card. It looks like it is significantly slower for every-day apps. Anyone know why? Since this is a BTO I won't be able to return it easily and am pretty disappointed.
     
  2. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

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    #2
    So far, no one knows why this is. I have proposed that benchmark tests be run in Bootcamp with the latest drivers for each card to see what differences there are there. That could be a first step to pinpointing the reason for the 8800 GS' slow performance.
     
  3. MasConejos macrumors regular

    MasConejos

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    #3
    Keep in mind that the 8800 is unquestionably better hardware.

    With that said, the 2600 driver is much more mature than the 8800 driver and therefore performance now is not indiciative of performance in the future with a more mature driver.

    ---

    In my opinion, the 8800 is a much better long term investment. Within a year I think we'll see much better performance out of it as the driver matures; the 2600 is pretty much capped performance wise at this point.
     
  4. ww3proggy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    This makes me feel better. I guess as long as Apple puts in the effort to expand upon drivers for the 8800 and not just sort of leave it smoldering as they focus on a different graphics card I am OK. I still don't understand how drivers could slow the performance of iMovie and iDVD apps as much as they do though. Thanks for the input.
     
  5. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #5
    The 8800 has been available for a few months already on the Mac Pro. ;)

    I was in agreement with the "immature drivers" argument when it was just a 22% performance advantage for the ATI in Core Image apps. But half the video rendering speed in iDVD and iMovie? That's not a driver maturity issue.

    I now agree with Barefeat's advice that unless you're really into gaming on the iMac one might just stick with the ATI 2600 at this point.

    You and me both, brother.
     
  6. audiophile42 macrumors member

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    Sep 12, 2006
    #6
    I'm not a pc gamer, but I was thinking about getting the 8800 just for the longevity of the machine as far as the operating system and consumer apps go. This makes it more of a dilemma. Do you think it would be better in the long term to go with 2600 or 8800 for a non-gamer that wants to make sure machine keeps up with os updates and consumer apps? I regret not upgrading my Powerbook from 64mb to 128mb vram because now it can be sluggish with Leopard.
     
  7. godspeed macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2006
    #7
    Its robbery if you ask me. I just sold me 2.8 HD2600 and bought the 3.06 8800GS for the speed gains. Yes I game but I also video edit.

    Basically the only benefit of upgrading to the high end 3.06 model is it's faster in bootcamp running Windows. Its pretty sad for apple.

    Apple advertising should be, "for the fastest Imac in OS X look no further than the Imac 2.8 HD2600, otherwise have a look at our new Imac 3.06 8800GS version which is full customized to run lightning fast under Windows"......

    I have purchased 7 Macs in the last 6 years so I'm a big fan. This experience has left a very bitter taste in my mouth. If you're listening Apple, DON'T release a new machine if you haven't written efficient drivers.

    If drivers are not released to fix this issue I'm afraid there's a good chance that this will be my last Mac purchase. My 10 mates that I have converted to Macs will be in shock......:mad:
     
  8. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

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    #8
    AFAIK iDVD and iMove both use Core Image, right? I really want to work out some way to benchmark these GPUs in Windows with their more mature drivers to see what results we might get.
     
  9. D4F Guest

    D4F

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    #9
    OpenGL benchmarks from Cinebench 10 are a bit lower on XP pro than on Mac.
    I don't have the numbers in front of me but the loss was at about 7-11% when I run both of my systems.
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #10
    If this is a driver issue it's not a maturity problem it's some seriously errant coding. Core Image or not iDVD and iMovie are OS X only so as useful as comparative Windows benchmarks would be they are not in the realm of possibility.
     
  11. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    On paper the 8800 GS is much better than the 2600. I don't personally understand the benchmarks there, did they do the tests on just two machines, or did they benchmark quite a few iMacs with 8800s and 2600s in them?

    It is quite probably a driver issue, or some kind of hardware fault if they only used one machine (which really if you're releasing benchmarks for the online community you should really compensate for by running the benchmark on more then one machine of the same type)
     
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #12
    The 2600pro is a very good all around card, I have been very happy with mine and even been playing ETQW at 1680 though ill admit its on medium settings. Big deal. Imac is about perfect.hdtv,eyetv,net,games,tunes whatever Apple has hit the bullseye after many years.:apple:
     
  13. qualar macrumors newbie

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    Dec 13, 2007
    #13
    The reason for the slower performance of the Geforce card may not only be down to drivers. It could be down to the fact that Apple optimised code in it's pro apps and core image for ATI hardware. It may be possible they will fix this in future updates.
     
  14. kayle12 macrumors member

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    #14
    This could be. I hope so.
     
  15. D4F Guest

    D4F

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    #15
    ...and using several types of applications instead of just one. :)

    They are both great cards that (apparently) have it's good/bad sides but people are blinded/can't read or simply do not understand what's going on.
    You give them facts and they still cry that Apple or nVidia sucks.
    And what's worse that those internet sites that actually show those test and numbers make a total fools of themselves OR they simply have issues against one of the manufacturers. I really see no other explanation when I read a test based on one type of software and the a general decision based only on that.
    Anybody that knows at least a bit about 3D (soon even Photoshop will need GPU to work better) will tell you right away that the 8800 is simply a better card by all means. Keep in mind that 3D is a huge market yet nobody ever mentions it. I'm not even going to mention games as the 8800 simply destroys the 2600 in that field.

    They judge the computer performance on iMovie or iTunes lol.

    After a few clear explanations in this thread (posts got deleted as mods seem to be soft for some reason) I showed benchmarks of both cards that i did basically at the same time and for any OpenGL related software the 8800 is far better...

    It all comes down to what you need and then you should make your decision. It's tricky and it sucks to be honest but Apple is Apple so not much to do in this field.

    SaSuShi... Next time give some hard facts if you want to join a discussion.
    godspeed... If Apple robbed you then send it back get your $$ and buy a PC. The way you think it will be a perfect match for you.
     
  16. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #16
    I've had no problems being a part of this discussion, thanks. Also, you joined the discussion after me.

    Please leave the moderation to the professionals. :p
     
  17. D4F Guest

    D4F

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    #17
    I agree on the moderation part :D I just hate when I show facts and people act like they can't read that's all;)
     
  18. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #18
    Yes, because video encoding speed is probably the single most effective way to test the processing power of a machine next to games.

    That's sort of the whole idea behind benchmarking. You find an application that seriously taxes the processor and video card and you run the same task with it on two machines and compare results, duh.

    Not everyone buys an iMac just to play Crysis. lol
     
  19. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #19
    My best advice to you would be to cut back on the sarcasm and flamebaiting and then really think your arguments through a little bit before posting the first crap that pops into your head. :cool:

    It's a bad habit that only leads to digging oneself into inescapable holes.
     
  20. D4F Guest

    D4F

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    #20
    Yeah but there's a lot of people that will never use iMove yet they are always left to judge their choice based on that application.

    Hell after posting same **** for weeks you get to the point where you start to loose it :)
    And I will keep flaming people that blame Apple or other manufacturers only cause they did not take 10 minutes of their life to read. I just can't help it:D
     
  21. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #21
    Use of iMovie is not the point. You don't have to play every game that is used in benchmarking to appreciate the results of the tests.

    OK, and most of your posts will be removed like the last barrage of flames were. So really, why even bother?

    Logical debate is so much more effective (and mature :p).
     
  22. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    California
    #22
    Well, unlike Bearfeets, I can't say I'm all that surprised by the benchmark discrepancy.

    I purchased the first generation 2.4 Aluminum iMac back when it was released last year and lived with it and it's ATI 2600 Pro card everyday until the revised iMacs came out. Like another poster in this thread, I picked up the new 3 ghz iMac not because I'm a gamer, but because I thought the machine would potentially have a better than expected life span given the specs of the machine generally and particularly, a video card with double the memory of the ATI 2600 Pro.

    With Apple focusing more and more attention on the video card for graphics processing and overall pizazz delivery, i.e., quartz extreme, core image, core video, and now Leopard's much-hyped but so far vastly underutilized core animation (if you didn't know any better, you might think it was dropped altogether from Leopard at the last minute given the pizazz-ladened demos Apple showed off), the graphics card horsepower will likely become more of a factor in an Apple box than just frame rates in games - just as when Tiger hit the scene with it's new core graphics and core video technologies that was (and still is) largely dependent on cards with pixel programable engines. If you didn't have one, you were mostly out of luck, at least regarding those two.

    So when the 3 ghz iMac was announced with it's new brawny Nvidia card, I picked it up with the intention of selling the 2.4 iMac to lessen the sticker shock. When I got it home though and set it up, I could notice a difference right away, and it wasn't good. Minor things overall, but still not a good sign. Specifically, I noticed the dock magnification effect wasn't as smooth as on the 2.4, with everything set identically on both machines. Oddly - or maybe predictably - setting the dock on either side instead of the bottom results in butter-smooth magnification. It's only noticeable (to me) when using the dock (with it's standard 3d shelf) on the bottom. In any event, the 2.4 with the ATI card has no trouble at all with magnification, be it a dock set on the bottom or either side.

    Another thing I noticed is that entering (or exiting) the Dashboard is, more often than not, pretty choppy on the 3ghz machine. Seems most noticeable when invoking the Dashboard using the dock icon. Oddly (once again) if the keyboard or the Dashboard application icon in the applications folder is used to invoke the Dashboard, there are fewer instances of choppy entries and exits. Now matter what method is used, clicking the "x" to bring up the Dashboard bar seems ok, but when you close it, the lowering of the desktop effect is choppy pretty much 100% of the time. Again, my 2.4 iMac doesn't suffer a single one of these problems.

    Finally, the last thing I noticed was scrolling in Safari using the scroll bar on longer pages produces a video tearing effect, which looks kind of like a transparent line appearing in roughly the middle of the page. Using the scroll pea on the mighty mouse doesn't seem to produce the effect as often, but the scroll bar is a cinch to reproduce it. Especially noticeable on frames inside pages with scroll bars. The 2.4 iMac? You guessed it. No such problem.

    So, the very next day after I purchased it, I boxed up Mr. 3ghz, made an appointment with the genius bar at the Apple store, and bought it back. I reproduced everything I described here to the Apple genius, who agreed with me that there was a problem. He opined that since the machine was new member of the Apple lineup, it was likely there is going to be a software and/or firmware update forthcoming from Apple. But to cover all the bases, he also offered me a new replacement machine. I accepted the offer, but I also asked if we could check it out before I left the store. Sure enough, it had the same problems, exactly as described above. Two machines, fresh out of the box with the same problems

    Nevertheless, I kept the replacement machine because these are relatively minor annoyances than real show-stoppers. Ultimately, Apple will likely get around to fixing issues with the Nvidia card, and one of the latest updates to the forthcoming 10.5.3 update mentions that new Nvidia graphics drivers were added to the update - after the 3ghz iMac was released. Maybe that might solve the problem with these machines. I hope so.

    The bad thing is that I remember awhile ago there was a fairly significant problem audio problem that materialized in one of the last generation Powerbooks. It took months and bottomless threads of customer screaming on Apple's forums before it was finally resolved via a software update. Having an audio glitch on what was at the time Apple's premier laptop and taking that long to get it fixed was not a shining moment for Apple when you consider that audio production is one of Apple's most important, key markets.

    By the way, iMovie 7 does depend on core video for some of it's effects rendering, but AFAIK, core video, like core image, are largely dependent on opengl for a majority of effects. Core video and graphics basically involve some fancy pre-packaging of opengl routines by Apple that are exposed to developers in a plugin architecture so they don't have to go through the hassle of coding opengl themselves in order to approximate a similar effect. So that opengl is apparently not an issue with games (which don't use OSX "core" technologies), but appears to be with some Apple OSX routines might open the possibility that the OS isn't making the right calls to the driver in certain instances - but that's pure speculation on my part.
     
  23. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

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    May 6, 2008
    #23
    A very concise post VanNess. I'm in the market for either a MacBook Pro or an iMac, and I have been a little disappointed by these revelations about the new 8800 GS for the iMac and about the audio problems in the MacBook Pro (deja vous, PowerBook!)

    I can only assume these things will improve over time; the iMacs have not been driven by nVidia cards for some time (since the early White iMacs I believe?) so I would assume a few Software/Driver/Firmware updates will improve this matter.

    I can understand why you took the new iMac back, but technically it can but improve over time, providing Apple are prompt with their updates which as far as I can deduce are hit and miss. Buying a product for that much and not have it working properly is a big turn off for me personally too, and somewhat counteracts the hear'say that Apple products are superior.

    Sort it out :apple:, and I'll buy one ;)
     
  24. ww3proggy thread starter macrumors newbie

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  25. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    #25
    Basically, it's anybody's guess. Appleinsider is dangling a "unconfirmed" rumor that it will be released around the end of June, but then again, it could come out next Tuesday for all anyone really knows.
     

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