First Impressions of Intel iMac Core Duo

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Apr 12, 2001
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More scattered reports have been coming in from users who have started receiving their Intel iMacs. While there's already been a disassembly there have been limited first hand reports.

Macintouch posted their first impressions of the 2.0GHz Core Duo Intel iMac and ran some early Xbench 1.2 benchmarks compared to a 1.8GHz G5 iMac. The results are difficult to interpret, however. While Xbench is a Universal Binary, it is not entirely multiprocessor aware. As a result, it does not generally test both cores of the Dual Core Intel processor. Also, graphics cards are different between the machines, making their graphical performance difficult to compare.

As expected the Intel iMac's OpenGL Graphics test (140.4) bested the G5 iMac's (90.4). The Thread Test which is multiprocessor aware showed a dramatic advantage (198.3 vs 49.75) in the Intel iMac, as expected. The other tests were quite variable, making these results difficult to interpret.

Meanwhile, a side-by-side Intel iMac vs G5 iMac video has been making the rounds showing the Intel iMac booting much faster. The video has spawned some debate about accuracy of the G5 iMac's startup in this particular video. Regardless, another user timed the 1.83GHz Intel iMac's startup at approximate 18 seconds -- users can compare this value to their own machines.

Readers will be interested to know that at least a casual attempt at booting Windows XP has been unsuccessful.

Based on Macintouch's impressions as well as this user's post:

- Intel iMacs are quiet.
- Same startup sound as previous Macs
- Same RAM access slots at bottom under removable panel as the iSight G5 iMac

A reminder that we have running Mac Guide page for the Intel iMac, that will reflect any new information.
 

beatle888

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Feb 3, 2002
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Its supprising that the dual intel is "difficult to compare". i would think it would be a hands down victory for the intel dual core.

off topic. how long do you think the G5 will be able to run future updates of pro apps? is it unlikely that a G5 will be able to run the latest version of PhotoShop in the year 2009?
 

Nermal

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Dec 7, 2002
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celaurie said:
Perhaps a bit off topic, but do the new Intel macs still have the 'Classic' environment available on them?
No. OS 9/Classic is now totally dead.

arn said:
Handbrake encoding into h.264 at ~30fps.

reportedly more optimization is possible. early intel version.
HandBrake is essentially a GUI that sits on top of many other apps. I suspect that some of these apps are still PowerPC, and better performance should come soon enough :)
 

arn

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celaurie said:
Perhaps a bit off topic, but do the new Intel macs still have the 'Classic' environment available on them?

~cel
no classic on Intel machines

arn
 

arn

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beatle888 said:
Its supprising that the dual intel is "difficult to compare". i would think it would be a hands down victory for the intel dual core.
Part of it is that I'm not sure how good a test XBench is.

arn
 

Fiveos22

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Nov 20, 2003
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Macrumors said:
Based on Macintouch's impressions as well as this user's post:

- Intel iMacs are quiet.
- Same startup sound as previous Macs
- Same RAM access slots at bottom under removable panel as the iSight G5 iMac

Wow, that says absolutely nothing.
 

Abstract

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Dec 27, 2002
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Lets wait until the big apps are all totally universal binaries. Then some random dude on another website can discredit any test done by all the Mac sites and make up some sort of Photoshop test and compare the results from each machine.
 

faintember

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That is the first time that i have seen the intel iMac vs. the G5 iMac bootup time video. Is it just me or is the G5 iMac sloooooow? Both my G4 700mhz iMac, my 1ghz Ti PB and our schools 2ghz PM all boot faster than the G5 iMac in the test.
 

NewbieNerd

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faintember said:
That is the first time that i have seen the intel iMac vs. the G5 iMac bootup time video. Is it just me or is the G5 iMac sloooooow? Both my G4 700mhz iMac, my 1ghz Ti PB and our schools 2ghz PM all boot faster than the G5 iMac in the test.
Certainly not just you. Many agree that there seem to be issues with the G5, but I have heard that at least one user has experienced such boot delays. Either way, just take from it that the Intel booted pretty quickly. That itself is pretty useless since people should be leaving their macs on most of the time if possible.
 

50548

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NewbieNerd said:
Certainly not just you. Many agree that there seem to be issues with the G5, but I have heard that at least one user has experienced such boot delays. Either way, just take from it that the Intel booted pretty quickly. That itself is pretty useless since people should be leaving their macs on most of the time if possible.
My G5 iMac boots really fast, at roughly 20 sec (apart from hard boots, of course) in most times...as an aside, it's good to know that the new iMacs are quiet screamers...at least this should put the whining crowd to rest a little bit.
 

JoeG4

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Jan 11, 2002
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That G5 iMac boots slower than my G4 PowerMac, and my G4 PowerMac is 4 years old!

WTF?

the "iMac" boot time: 40 seconds by my count (from the word go)
the "iMac G5" boot time: Well over a minute

We have a Dual 2GHz G5 that does it in 38 seconds. my PB boots considerably faster than the iMac G5 there did.. wow.

Sometimes I wonder if Apple did something to OpenFirmware to make that perform REALLY poorly or what, because I've not seen a mac boot that slow in a long time.
 

nagromme

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May 2, 2002
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* Bench schmench... I want a table chock full of side-by-side real-word real-task app tests :)

* Bootup times? Who reboots a Mac anymore? They keep going, and going, and going....

* I never noticed how the iSight iMacs provided RAM access. Now I know!

* No performance options in System Prefs? Is that the case with MacBooks too? (If so, I think it must be temporary. You'd at least need the option for whether to shut down a core while on battery.)

* "The initial configuration process offers to snap a photo of you, using the built-in microcamera, to use as your account picture." Cool :) That's a very Apple touch.

* "All ports are inconveniently located on the back of the computer." Well... it's hard to imagine any computer having an easier-to-get to back, but if you want cords spilling out the front, I guess this isn't your machine :)
 

plastique45

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Jan 10, 2005
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NewbieNerd said:
Certainly not just you. Many agree that there seem to be issues with the G5, but I have heard that at least one user has experienced such boot delays. Either way, just take from it that the Intel booted pretty quickly. That itself is pretty useless since people should be leaving their macs on most of the time if possible.
Yes, it is not normal. I have seen such long boot times in Macs quite a few times. They are usually indicative of either a system-related issue or an upcoming hard drive issue.
 

sw1tcher

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There is definitely something wrong with that G5 iMac. My friends g4 iBook boots up faster than that.
 

arn

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A few Intel iMac owners are floating around. If you want any particular tests done, you could ask.

The problem is many of the apps aren't universal yet, so we don't exactly know what we're testing. :)

arn
 

beatle888

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Feb 3, 2002
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that guy circulating the intel vs. G5 startup test should of ran more than ONE test. thats rediculous. he should of realized that the startup time of ANY mac would be faster than THAT.
 

ksgant

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NewbieNerd said:
That itself is pretty useless since people should be leaving their macs on most of the time if possible.
Why?

I've heard the pros and cons to this for years. I used to leave my computers on all the time, but now I just shut them off at night unless they're actually doing something like rendering or downloading. The stress the computer has from being turned on and off is about equal to the stress of the components/fans from being left on all the time.

In the old days this may have been true about the stress, but computers aren't built like that today and they're tough little buggers. Yes yes...for every horror story someone will tell me about the evils of turning your computer on and off I can tell them a horror story of leaving them on all the time. It all equals out in the end...save the electricity that's being wasted.
 

faintember

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beatle888 said:
that guy circulating the intel vs. G5 startup test should of ran more than ONE test. thats rediculous. he should of realized that the startup time of ANY mac would be faster than THAT.
Yep, me smells either a Intel Mac fanboy or a clueless person that had access to the computers and a camera.
 

beatle888

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ksgant said:
Why?

I've heard the pros and cons to this for years. I used to leave my computers on all the time, but now I just shut them off at night unless they're actually doing something like rendering or downloading. The stress the computer has from being turned on and off is about equal to the stress of the components/fans from being left on all the time.

In the old days this may have been true about the stress, but computers aren't built like that today and they're tough little buggers. Yes yes...for every horror story someone will tell me about the evils of turning your computer on and off I can tell them a horror story of leaving them on all the time. It all equals out in the end...save the electricity that's being wasted.

actually, the amount of energy to BOOT the computer is probably MORE than what the computer uses in sleep mode.
 

Evangelion

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Jan 10, 2005
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The problem of not being able to boot any of those Linux-distros on the Mac is due to the fact that they do not support EFI. The distros that do support EFI are meant for Itaniums so they wouldn't work either.

But I think that it wont take long for distros to become EFI-aware on x86-hardware. I would say that we will have Linux booting on the iMac in about.... 1-2 weeks. Windows will boot on the iMac when Vista ships, which is about 12 months away ;).
 

Evangelion

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Jan 10, 2005
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ksgant said:
Why?

I've heard the pros and cons to this for years. I used to leave my computers on all the time, but now I just shut them off at night unless they're actually doing something like rendering or downloading. The stress the computer has from being turned on and off is about equal to the stress of the components/fans from being left on all the time.
It's actually more stressful for the computer to spin the fans up and down, and power the component up and down, than to have them constantly running. Usually if your computer breaks down, it happens when you are starting it up.

In the old days this may have been true about the stress, but computers aren't built like that today and they're tough little buggers.
I would bet that computers of yesteryear are MORE durable than the ones we have today. Sadly, it's not in the best interest for companies to make products that last forever.

One example: keyboards. The IBM Model M is built like a tank. I have one built in 1985 and it still works like a charm. Keyboards built today are weak and flimsy. But if they lasted forever, people wouldn't have any reason to buy new keyboards.
 

jacobj

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Apr 22, 2003
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I have never really understood the XBench results. All I care about is how fast my MBP will be compared to my PB on the processes that I run:

-Photoshop
-iPhoto
-iMovie
-iDVD
-Handbrake
-Safari
-iTunes

and will Dashboard still run like a paralysed snail? Is Java better on the net, because my PB is rubbish at that?