iMac 24" or AMD x2 4200 PC?

darrenemo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
25
0
Hey everyone--let me preface this post by saying i've been perusing macrumors for a while now--and i love macs. But I have some questions about the Core 2 Duo's architecture and clock speed.

I recently bought a 24 inch imac with 2.16 C2D, 2GB ram, 7600gt and 500gb HD. I spent 2,300 with my educational discount. For 1,800--I could put together a custom PC with an AMD x2 4200ghz and 7900GT and a 24 inch samsung monitor.

I am curious about the clock speed/architecture of the Core 2 Duos. Mine are set at 2.16 ghz, but is that 2.16 ghz equivalent to an Intel pentium 4 2.16 ghz? Or are the Core 2 Duo's like the AMD chips where the clock speed might be at 2.6ghz, but it will run like an Intel 4.2 ghz?

Could someone clarify the clock speed/architecture difference between the Core 2 Duo's and say, Intel pentium 4s or AMD chips? I'm essentially wondering if I could return my imac and spend 400 dollars less on a computer that would be double the performance of the iMac. And although it would be lame going back to windows after using wonderful OSX, I simply cannot justify the 400 price difference, especially if a cheaper PC machine would outperform my imac.

Thanks in advance!
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,090
21
UK
your imac is a fair bit faster than a 4200+ X2, the core2duo is faster clock for clock than any x86 cpu.
 

wakerider017

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2006
1,789
0
US of A
P4's are a thing of the past...

The above poster is correct clock on clock the Core 2 duo chips are faster than anything else out there!
 

reflex

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2002
721
0
Mord said:
your imac is a fair bit faster than a 4200+ X2, the core2duo is faster clock for clock than any x86 cpu.
I don't know, I haven't yet seen any comparisons between a notebook version of the Core 2 Duo (i.e. the iMac) and a desktop Athlon 64X2.
 

reflex

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2002
721
0
darrenemo said:
Or are the Core 2 Duo's like the AMD chips where the clock speed might be at 2.6ghz, but it will run like an Intel 4.2 ghz?
Yes, it's more or less like that. Or in other words, a Core 2 Duo will outperform a Pentium 4 at the same clockspeed.

If you want numbers, my 1.83Ghz Core Duo iMac is roughly as fast as my 3.2GHz P4 in the few unscientific tests I've run so far.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,617
2,739
Bay Area
the core 2 duo is the successor to the P4. Ignore the clockspeeds; the P4 is dead in comparison to a core 2 duo.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,090
21
UK
don't equate that speed with the fact it's dual core, the core2duo is about 30-40% faster clock for clock than the AMD X2 and thats the acctual clock speed not AMD's marketing numbers, which they should now drop unless we think every cpu should be compared to a 286 at an equivilent clock speed.
 

ripfrankwhite

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2005
184
5
Sorry to sound like a noob, but can someone briefly explain how a lower CPU(1.83GHz) is faster than a 3.0GHz? Thanks. I googled it and came up with TOO much info.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,090
21
UK
think of a cpu like a really complex electronic filter, the frequency is the number of cycles per second, now if one cycle does not computations then a cpu that does 200 instructions per clock at 2GHz will be faster than a cpu that does 100 instructions per clock as 3GHz.
 

ColinD

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2006
7
0
ripfrankwhite said:
Sorry to sound like a noob, but can someone briefly explain how a lower CPU(1.83GHz) is faster than a 3.0GHz? Thanks. I googled it and came up with TOO much info.
As I understand it it's in laymans terms like this, the PIV uses a long instruction set than the new intel line or processors, centrino,core duo (2) uses a far shorter instruction set, so Ghz for Ghz you can push more instructions through a given space.

If you look for comparisons of the centrino dothan to pentium and amd it will give you an idea; they are the last ones I ever looked up for my last laptop.

http://tomshardware.co.uk/2005/11/21/the_mother_of_all_cpu_charts_2005uk/ may cover it...

/edit the one above sounds better though :)
 

darrenemo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
25
0
Mord said:
your imac is a fair bit faster than a 4200+ X2, the core2duo is faster clock for clock than any x86 cpu.
If this is true, then how come 3dMark scores are a lot higher than my benchmarks? I scored about a 12400 on 3dMark03--Amd x2 setups with a 7600gt are scoring from 20000-26000. Whasup with that?
 

4JNA

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2006
1,505
1
looking for trash files
some more reviews on current stuff at Tom's can be found HERE.

the E series and the T series are very similar, with the T series having more aggressive power management due to mobile design.

so all the core stuff beats the x2 4800+ which is way faster than your 4200.

and i can tell you, i am sitting in front of a x2 4800+ system and a mini core solo system that i just upgraded with the T7200, and the core 2 duo is faster. even running the 7200rpm 2.5" internal hard drive, it still beats the AMD on almost every benchmark. unreal. and it's dead silent. :)

edit: and no, i'm not talking about games. get real... intel onboard vs 7800GT. games stay on the AMD :D
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,733
984
ripfrankwhite said:
Sorry to sound like a noob, but can someone briefly explain how a lower CPU(1.83GHz) is faster than a 3.0GHz? Thanks. I googled it and came up with TOO much info.
I use to wonder the same thing too. But since then I have learned that there are 3 main components to a processor. FSB (FrontSide Bus), L2 Cache, and Clock Speed (GHz).

It used to be that the GHz was the main component that companies such as Intel worked on, but now they realize that the FSB and L2 Cache make a large difference as well. So now they are putting in lower GHz, and higher FSB and L2 Cache. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the L2 Cache have to do with the number of cores a processor has?

So basically, the Core 2 Duo kicks the crap out of any Pentium 4 out there because of its L2 Cache and its FSB. Like some other dude before me said, the Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHz is roughly equivilent to a 3.2GHz Pentium 4.
Hope that helped.
 

Mav451

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2003
1,657
1
Maryland
darrenemo said:
If this is true, then how come 3dMark scores are a lot higher than my benchmarks? I scored about a 12400 on 3dMark03--Amd x2 setups with a 7600gt are scoring from 20000-26000. Whasup with that?
3dmark is garbage. Most users use it more as part of a stability-testing package, and less as a measuring stick or ruler.

To answer how a 1.83Ghz Core2 can beat a P4 (3.2 or above) or A64's (2.0Ghz or above)? IPC. Instructions per clock. Intel basically took AMD's game, and spit it back in their face. That's why they have such a good chip now...and about time too.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,090
21
UK
Zwhaler said:
I use to wonder the same thing too. But since then I have learned that there are 3 main components to a processor. FSB (FrontSide Bus), L2 Cache, and Clock Speed (GHz).

It used to be that the GHz was the main component that companies such as Intel worked on, but now they realize that the FSB and L2 Cache make a large difference as well. So now they are putting in lower GHz, and higher FSB and L2 Cache. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the L2 Cache have to do with the number of cores a processor has?

So basically, the Core 2 Duo kicks the crap out of any Pentium 4 out there because of its L2 Cache and its FSB. Like some other dude before me said, the Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHz is roughly equivilent to a 3.2GHz Pentium 4.
Hope that helped.
thats not really true, the fsb and cache are important, but it's the design of the core and how many instructions per clock thats most important, assumeing the fsb is not a bottleneck.
 

jiggie2g

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2003
491
0
Brooklyn,NY
Mord said:
don't equate that speed with the fact it's dual core, the core2duo is about 30-40% faster clock for clock than the AMD X2 and thats the actual clock speed not AMD's marketing numbers, which they should now drop unless we think every cpu should be compared to a 286 at an equivalent clock speed.
Lowers FSB takes a hit in encoding and other apps , they are faster then AMD 's CPU's but slightly slower then Conroe due to FSB.


This is wrong C2D is about 20% faster then AMD X2 clock 4 clock and 40% faster then Netburst.

C2D @2.0ghz = (2.4ghz w/512 L2 ) X2 4600+

C2D @2.13ghz = (2.4ghz w/ 1MB L2)X2 4800+ (they trade places depending on benchmarks)

C2D @2.33 = (2.6ghz w/1MB L2) FX-60 (E6600 is rival to FX-62).
 

darrenemo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2006
25
0
jiggie2g said:
C2D @2.0ghz = (2.4ghz w/512 L2 ) X2 4600+

C2D @2.13ghz = (2.4ghz w/ 1MB L2)X2 4800+ (they trade places depending on benchmarks)

C2D @2.33 = (2.6ghz w/1MB L2) FX-60 (E6600 is rival to FX-62).
Thanks for those specs. If they're accurate, they are exactly what i've been looking for this whole time.
 

PCMacUser

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2005
1,696
21
dmw007 said:
You made the right choice to go with the iMac, the Intel Core 2 Duo is defintely a faster chip than the AMD Athlon 64 X2. :)
I think people here are missing the point. It's not all about CPU speed! The nVidia 7900GT will kick the 7600GT's butt! So if you load up Half Life 2 on the Athlon and load it up on the 24" iMac, the Athlon would urinate all over the iMac. And then some.

The iMac's are clearly underpowered in the graphics card area - especially the 24". This is mostly due to the fact they are basically oversized laptops :)
 

PCMacUser

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2005
1,696
21
ripfrankwhite said:
Sorry to sound like a noob, but can someone briefly explain how a lower CPU(1.83GHz) is faster than a 3.0GHz? Thanks. I googled it and came up with TOO much info.
I flicked through this thread and still didn't find a simple explanation to your question, so I'll try answering it :)

Let's say you've eaten too many prunes. Many trips to the toilet are required.

The P4 CPUs would do it this way:

Get up from the couch. Go to the bathroom: use the toilet. Go back to the couch. Go back to the bathroom: flush the toilet. Go back to the couch. Go back to the bathroom: wash your hands. Go back to the couch.

This method requires many visits. So the P4 makes sure those visits to the bathroom are done at a sprinting pace. Intel was trying to speed things up simply by running faster between the couch and the bathroom.

The Core 2 Duo approach is:

Get up from the couch. Go to the bathroom: use the toilet: flush the toilet: wash your hands. Go back to the couch.

So it requires less trips back and forth to the bathroom, and therefore doesn't require as much sprinting around the house... it's simply a more energy saving way of solving the same problem.

I hope that makes a little more sense... :D