How come Apple downgraded its iMac video card?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by togermano, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. togermano macrumors regular

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #1
    So far all the tests prove the nvidia card was better then the 2600 pro. Do you think apple will release drivers to fix this? Is the 2600 pro replaceable?
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    Try playing a DX10 game with the old nvidia card. The new cards are cooler than the old desktop nvidia cards. Drivers can certainly be an issue, as can the way the older games were written. Newer games that take advantage of the newer cards architecture should run faster. They are not replaceable as they are MXM boards with custom firmware.
     
  3. AC773 macrumors member

    AC773

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #3
    Excellent question.

    The last-gen 24" iMacs used MXM modules for their nVidia cards. It's a technology for laptops that nVidia developed, hoping to lead the way in replaceable mobile graphics. It never really caught on as an aftermarket standard, but many manufacturers use it to make the assembly process more efficient.

    Now I'm not sure if nVidia's ever licensed this technology, so I don't know if it's used in the new iMacs with the ATI HD cards. If it is, though, that's your upgrade path.
     
  4. jesteraver macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #4
    All games out now are DX9, this card DX10. If Apple used a DX10 nVidia card, seeing they don't have a mobile card yet, we would still have the same problem.

    Plus what is the use to have a DX10 capable card when you need Windows Vista for it anyways!?
     
  5. rest44 macrumors member

    rest44

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #5
    Another issue was certain heat! They make the iMac thinner and this gpu probably doesn´t make much heat.. so they put it in there.
     
  6. Archmagination macrumors regular

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    Dec 15, 2004
    #6
    These cards have built in video decoding support.. if you do a lot of video work they will help out tremendously. They also they support DX10 while the older cards only supported DX9. One last thing.. ATI has taken a gamble with changing the way these cards support game graphics. The result for RIGHT NOW is the drivers are not very good and the games are using the old way are making the card look worse than it actually is.. I wouldn't be surprised if the FPS improves by 25-50% once the drivers are optimized and the new games take advantage of the new, more efficient way.
     
  7. I'mAMac macrumors 6502a

    I'mAMac

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    #7
    PLEASE! Read the thread 2600xt?. You will be enlightened. I know its extremely long but you'll get it before the end.
     
  8. elcerrito494 macrumors member

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    Jul 2, 2006
    #8
    I think that it was cheaper for Apple, and they thought that the iMac wasn't a gaming machine, it was more of a home office/multimedia center PC, and so the graphics didn't need to be top notch.
     
  9. BWhaler macrumors 68020

    BWhaler

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    Jan 8, 2003
    #9
    Unbelievable move by Apple.

    I just hope the driver in x.4.11 and Leopard fix the performance issue. The new iMac has the potential of perfection if it weren't for this scar...
     
  10. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    Nov 12, 2004
    #10
    Don't count on a huge performance increase, even with the Windows driver. The new 2600 poorly lags the old 7600GT with some of yesterday's games, and equals it on some of today's games, even in Windows. Lagging or equaling is not my idea of an upgrade.
    If you are doing a lot of rendering, the new card seems to hold its own, but not with gaming.


    Check out the Barefeats comparison. They sum it up pretty good.

    http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html
    http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html
     
  11. RichardI macrumors 6502a

    RichardI

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    Feb 21, 2007
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    Southern Ontario, Canada
    #11
    I think Archmagination has it right. Drivers are the key. The 2600 pro is a superior card once the drivers have been optimised.
    Comparisons being done now mean very little or nothing, until the 2600 drivers are updated.
    Patience grasshopper....:p

    Rich :cool:
     
  12. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #12
    I imagine these new cards are a bit cheaper, which could contribute to the price drop as well.
     
  13. rds macrumors regular

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    Aug 9, 2007
    #13
    How dare they do such a thing?!
     
  14. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #14
    Really these cards should be compared to the 7300GT since thats what the Macs had in them. 7600GT was a bto option only for the 24". Also Ati's drivers will only get better with time so I think without a doubt these cards are an upgrade but its a shame they didnt still have the GPU upgrade option. Its still a step up from the 7300.
     
  15. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #15
    Actually, they do, and it is in the MBP: The 8600M. But yeah, you are right that DX10-class cards are almost all improvements in the shaders, rather than fillrate or polygon draw rate. Unified shader architecture, more shaders and geometry shaders are the bywords of DX10-class cards.

    DX10-class cards don't /need/ DX10 to work. They work just fine with DX9 (obviously)... and from the standpoint of the card, what level of DX they support only talks to what sort of minimum hardware is on the card. So to be DX10-class, a card must support shader model 4.0, and a couple other minor requirements.

    DX10 cards will work with OpenGL 2 just fine, and I believe there is an updated OpenGL spec that supports the geometry shaders. You can tap into as much power of a DX10-class card with OGL 2 as you can with DX10. DX10's big changes are really on how software runs on the CPU, and how the programmer writes to the API. They make it Vista-only for a variety of reasons (which includes marketing and promoting Vista upgrades).
     
  16. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #16
    3D Mark has the Radeon 2600 which is in the iMac at 3500.

    The GeForce 7600GT scores in the region of 3500 - 3600.

    So to say the new card is a step down is not entirely accurate.
     
  17. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #17
    adom has just 3dmark'd his 2.4 20" iMac at 3643. Its splitting hairs really, isn't it.
     
  18. aLoC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #18
    Well here you have actual framerates from 5 Mac games, vs. your one abstract benchmark. I know which evidence I will take as stronger.
    http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html
     
  19. gamerz macrumors 6502

    gamerz

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    Oct 2, 2006
    #19
    Those benchmarks don't actually look all that bad. WoW looks defiantly playable for me :D.
     

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