"Intel iMac can't have 4 way video chat" what the hell?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by M. Malone, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    I'm about to order my 20" intel iMac, so today I got to the Apple store with two of my friends, the Apple store was empty, so we decided to all use the iMacs there and do a 3 way video conference with iChat, so we all get on, and the video images seem to be too pixelated, this was on full screen, with only a 3 way video chat, so this nice lady who works there asks if I need help, I said yes, I wanted to know why the video chat looks so bad, she says cause it's on full screen, so she minimizes it, still looks crappy, then she says "only the dual G5 PowerMacs have the true power to allow you to have a multiple video conference" I told her I thought the intel duo was more powerful, she says "NOWAY!"...

    Now I'm a mac user, I've been using macs for a little over five years, and I am a mac fan, I am up to date on what is going on in the mac world...

    So I think to myself, maybe she knows what she's talking about, so I ask when the PowerMac line will be switched to intel, she says "it never will, intel macs are for consumers cause intel is consumer friendly, but G5 is for professionals who need more power" after she said that, I was relieved that I was dealing with someone who doesn't know much about what's going on.

    So can someone here tell me, can the intel iMac have a 4 way video conference with iChat, and can it do it smoothly? and what was the reason the one at the store sucked? if you're wondering, it had one gig of ram.

    btw, if I was a PC user considering switching to mac, and I spoke with this lady, I would have never switched to a company which according to her is moving backwards in processor technology

    thanks! :D
  2. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I see this all the time at the Apple stores. The employees are very friendly and might know more than a CompUSA or Circuit City *average* employee, but there are still issues, in them not getting things right. They really seem anti-the Core Duo iMac, which is so bizarre.

    The iMac Core Duo should be able to do a 4-person chat. Furthermore, it probably shouldn't have looked as pixelated as you described. However, internet connection is the key, when it comes to how pixelated it looks. Perhaps they were having internet issues during this time. Sometimes I've found Apple store has a very fast connection, but other times it is very slow.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    She may be right about the G5 having the power to do a 4 way chat. Those G5's have some serious grunt, and remember, they're dual core in the PowerMacs.

    The PowerMacs ARE however moving over to Intel, but not until much later in the year when the Conroe/Woodcrest chips are released.

    I'd presume the iMac can do it but you'll need a fairly hefty internet connection to host one and a quick one to participate. I presume you were using Airport to chat? Maybe it wasn't quick enough to handle it?
  4. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    Yeah, the internet connection is the primary factor playing into the quality of the video chat.
  5. M. Malone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    I think I used it through Bonjour, doesn't that mean it was on the same network and no internet was involved?
  6. badmofo9000 macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2005
    Shores of Lake Michigan
    It is highly unlikely that those connections ever got outside the local network inside the apple store to be affected by their internet speed. I am a Network Tech and know that unless some pretty weird routing is going on at the apple store, the speeds available should be at least 100mb/sec which is way more than what is needed for a video chat. All the network traffic should be routed internally just like on a home network, mac to mac transfer of data should never hit the web.
  7. .:*Robot Boy*:. macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    Could it be because iChat, to my knowledge ('Get Info' for iChat under 10.4.4), is still a PowerPC application?

    For references sake, the requirements for 4-way video chat are listed at Apple.com.
  8. badmofo9000 macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2005
    Shores of Lake Michigan

    As of 10.4.4 ichat is a universal app. Maybe there is a bug with the new version. i am sure this will get worked out. The Core Duo is a great chip. If a dual 1.0 G4 can handle 4 way ichat then I have know doubt that a Core chip can not.
  9. M. Malone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    can anybody with an intel iMac confirm you can have a smooth 4 way video conference?
  10. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2004
    Charleston, IL
    Define smooth.... I have an intel iMac and every so often I video conference with some of my friends at different colleges and it seems as good as I would expect. It's not crystal clear and there is some blur to it...

    Like previous posters have said, it all depends on internet connection
  11. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    When I hear (and experience) stories like this I cringe about all the potential "switchers" who dont, because the Apple store employee is stupid and too embarrassed to ask someone who knows. Apple, please build a store in Valencia, CA so I can work there. :)
  12. Palad1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2004
    London, UK
    I am pretty sure their views will change as soon as the G5s stock will be cleared.
  13. M. Malone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    Defining smooth: have you seen the demo video on Apple.com? where they show it off, can it be like that?
  14. bigfib macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2006
    I have a 4Mbit connection and a 17" inteimac.
    If 3 people want to video chat with me i''ll take a screen capture and show you what it looks like, cos no way I believe that was a processor speed issue.
    This intel mac is fast enough to listen to a real stream, video chat, rip a dvd, in fact just about anything i've been able to throw at it, with processor to spare.
  15. M. Malone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    thanks for your assurance, I have a 5Mbps connection, so if you seem to have good video quality, then I should be fine too...
  16. CyberEv88 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2006
    I actually had a 4 way chat in the Apple store today... 3 of us were on Intel iMacs and the other on a Power Mac. It worked perfectly for a long time (I think we were playing with up for upwards of 20 minutes).
  17. FarSide macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2006
    Well at least that was correct - you can't have all
  18. tadd macrumors newbie


    Feb 4, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    bandwidth limited by ichat in preferences

    There is a bandwidth limitation that you can configure in ichat. If that number is set too low you will get pixelation in 4-way chat. Make sure you open that up. You need at least 200kbits/sec outbound. It can use as much as 400kbits for best I believe.

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