Intel iMac Impressions

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
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So I've been messing around with the new iMac Core Duo 2ghz that I got this morning. I have the 512mb RAM in it and it seems a bit choppy. But any system will experience that with just 512MB RAM.

I got myself an experimental copy of Handbrake for the intel macs and ripped Once Upon a Time in Mexico from DVD into the ipod video format. This process took 38 minutes. Not sure how long it takes G5s/Dual Core G5s, but this is really good IMO. Averaging 60fps.

Front Row is awesome. I've never used it before but it is so smooth and is just a really cool program. I didn't know you can even use the remote to put the mac to sleep and wake up. That is a nice feature when I want to listen to music while going to bed or watch a movie. Then you can use it to operate normal stuff in Quicktime and what not.

I then wanting to see how iTunes works and I converterd 14 songs at 54.3mb to mp3 160kbps (high quality) and it took 2min 04sec. I did this while Handbrake was still encoding. So that skews both tests, but I really wanted to see the Dual Core in action.

With Handbrake still encoding, I imported 1100 photos of 1.53gb into iPhoto. This process took 6min 05sec. Remeber, while encoding with Handbrake still.

If there is anything I need to do to improve those tests, LMK. Anything you'd like to test? LMK and I'll do it when I get home tonight around 10:30CT.
 

savar

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2003
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District of Columbia
dwd3885 said:
I got myself an experimental copy of Handbrake for the intel macs and ripped Once Upon a Time in Mexico from DVD into the ipod video format. This process took 38 minutes. Not sure how long it takes G5s/Dual Core G5s, but this is really good IMO. Averaging 60fps.
Were you using H-264? I remember somebody with a dual-G5 saying they could rip at about 80% of real-time, so if you can rip 50% of real-time into H-264 then that is a really impressive Mac. Does Handbrake use both cores? Did you perform 2-pass encoding? I can't wait to see a quad-core PowerMac.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
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savar said:
Were you using H-264? I remember somebody with a dual-G5 saying they could rip at about 80% of real-time, so if you can rip 50% of real-time into H-264 then that is a really impressive Mac. Does Handbrake use both cores? Did you perform 2-pass encoding? I can't wait to see a quad-core PowerMac.
I did not use H.264. Though I heard H.264 is the only part of Handbrake that is intel ready. So I encoded in mp4 but in theory it was using Rosetta, unless that part IS intel ready. I did not do 2-pass encoding, I did 700kbps bit rate.

If handbrake uses both cores I'm not sure, but I was ripping in iTunes and importing in iPhoto WHILE i did the Handbrake test, so it would be even faster if I did not. I'll do that later tonight.

I have to go now, I'll respond to all the posts later tonight. Thanks!
 

BornAgainMac

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Feb 4, 2004
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Benchmark

That is close to a G5. I have a dual 2 ghz Powermac and it does about 83 frames per second at 200 kbps. I know my kbps is low but I use that number when creating a director's commentary version of my movie when I don't need quality and at 320x200. I have the full quality version using H.264 at full resolution at 1000 kbps and those are perfect copies of the DVD in my eyes. It takes about 6 hours for every 2 hours using the 2-pass encoding method for H.264 on average. Very painful to wait.

Next year the Intel laptops along with some optimized Intel code will spank my Powermac G5. So much for the faster bus speed and 9 fans and air cooling case design.
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
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Could you also give us your impression on how well the Intel iMac runs programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, Excel, and Dreamweaver (if you have any of those programs)?

Wondering whether I should cancel my MBP order and get a G4 PB instead if it runs dog slow under Rosetta.
 

irock

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2004
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GOD... I need another 1GB RAM for this Intel iMac. Granted, it's fast overall... but everything in Tiger is RAM-hungry.

- FireFox (PowerPC) is about 30% slower (subjective numbers)

- HandBrake is not as fast as I thought, but reckon it has something to do with unoptimized codes. To put this into perspective, my PowerBook 1.33Ghz can pull around 10-12fps in H.264 while my new iMac beats the laptop by 20fps. I'm expecting iMac to encode at 50fps.

- Boot up time doens't really concern me b/c I only reboot once a week.
 

Lancetx

macrumors 68000
Aug 11, 2003
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Texas
I just tested HandBrake performance on both my new 17" Core Duo iMac and my girlfriend's Dual 2.5 Power Mac G5. Both were run using the exact same settings (320x240, H.264) and I was stunned to see that the iMac actually ran neck and neck with the Dual G5. I am thrilled with the performance so far and this is with only 512MB of RAM (because I haven't been able to find RAM for this machine locally yet). I've attached a screenshot from the iMac while HandBrake was encoding.
 

Texas04

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Jul 2, 2005
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Wow that is amazing, cant wait for the MBP's, im using handbrake on a 800MHz~ PPC iMac with 256MB of ram, and its at 5.38fps... :eek: )
 

brogers

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2002
192
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Greensboro, NC
I don't have any "offical" results, but I played with one at the Charlotte, NC Apple store this weekend and it was wicked fast. It was the 20" model. Just opened various applications like all the iLife stuff. I bought the new iMac with built in iSight for Christmas and the Intel iMac just felt faster. My wife was watching and she said "That one is so much faster than yours"....:(

Oh well, I love my iMac and it is great for me. Just my 2 cents.
 

Texas04

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2005
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Texas
brogers said:
I don't have any "offical" results, but I played with one at the Charlotte, NC Apple store this weekend and it was wicked fast. It was the 20" model. Just opened various applications like all the iLife stuff. I bought the new iMac with built in iSight for Christmas and the Intel iMac just felt faster. My wife was watching and she said "That one is so much faster than yours"....:(

Oh well, I love my iMac and it is great for me. Just my 2 cents.
Yeah, I used the new iMac's two, from the universal apps, to Office, to even the mouse seemed like it ran faster, I was using a 17" model though
 

thestaton

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2006
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I have a 20" intel iMac with 2gigs of ram & the 256 video card upgrade and this thing is lighting fast! Is there some soft of benchmarking I can run to compare to the orignal poster to see how much the extra ram can benefit?
 

NewbieNerd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2005
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Chicago, IL
thestaton said:
I have a 20" intel iMac with 2gigs of ram & the 256 video card upgrade and this thing is lighting fast! Is there some soft of benchmarking I can run to compare to the orignal poster to see how much the extra ram can benefit?
Good to hear, good to hear!! You have my exact system, which was last in the Philippines.
 

BakedBeans

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May 6, 2004
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What's Your Favorite Posish
thestaton said:
I have a 20" intel iMac with 2gigs of ram & the 256 video card upgrade and this thing is lighting fast! Is there some soft of benchmarking I can run to compare to the orignal poster to see how much the extra ram can benefit?
Same config. here - fast, fast, fast
 

jhero

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2005
353
8
Not near an Apple Store
If it's worth anything, I got to play ut2004 on a 30" display this weekend on a dc 2ghz PM with only 512mb of ram. God was that a slideshow haha; but my eyes! They have never witnessed so much shear awesomeness of huge :eek: Opening google led to a whole lota wasted space :D

anyways, more impressions are needed ^^ pics/vids/mooore
 

Joshua53077

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2002
6
0
Long Island, NY
Checked out the 20 inch at my local apple store

I'm seriously debating buying a 20 inch iMac so I went down to my local apple store (Roosevelt Field) to do a hands on test on it. I was totally impressed. I have a 1.8 Ghz Rev. A iMac G5 and this system seemed to blow it away. The finder was much snappier and applications almost almost immediately (it had the stock 512 megs of ram). I played a few trailers at 1080p and it played them without a hitch. The difference in screen real estate between a 17 inch and a 20 inch is huge by the way. The only disappointment I found was that in iTunes the visualizer was only displaying about 11 fps, which I think must be because it isn't optimized yet. Web pages opened almost immediately (though I'm sure the internet connection at the apple store is a T1 or something). I also opened excel to see how rosetta behaves and it opened at almost the same speed it would on my computer at home. To me, there was a substantial speed gain on the intel iMacs which justifies an upgrade from the Rev. A iMac. I don't use the "pro" apps much so it doesn't really matter to me. The benchmarks that i have seen, which are certainly "Real world," can't take into account the overall feel of this computer, which brings the finder back into the usability realm that I haven't felt or seen since OS 9. I consider myself your average, non-professional user and to me it makes a huge difference.

As an aside, the Apple Store was PACKED yesterday, the line to pay was about 20 deep and the Genius Bar was more crowded than my local bar. People were everywhere! Suddenly I don't feel like I'm "Thinking Different" when I choose Apple.
 

heaven

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
552
2
jhero said:
If it's worth anything, I got to play ut2004 on a 30" display this weekend on a dc 2ghz PM with only 512mb of ram. God was that a slideshow haha; but my eyes! They have never witnessed so much shear awesomeness of huge :eek: Opening google led to a whole lota wasted space :D

anyways, more impressions are needed ^^ pics/vids/mooore
I can imagine that! I have always been fascinated by the 30" displays at the apple stores. I ll get one, trust me, no matter how long i will have to safe for it :cool:
 

Epicurus

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2005
394
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Minneapolis, MN
Joshua53077 said:
As an aside, the Apple Store was PACKED yesterday, the line to pay was about 20 deep and the Genius Bar was more crowded than my local bar. People were everywhere! Suddenly I don't feel like I'm "Thinking Different" when I choose Apple.
Once Apple opens 5 stores within 30 minutes of you, then we can start complaining! All the older Mac users just need to dig into the UNIX underground so we can maintain superiority over the new wave. :D

I hope we see this sort of acceptance of the new PowerMacs to drive interest in the new platform for the Pro-level apps. Here's hoping we see Pro/E, AutoCAD, ChiefArchitect, Matlab, LabView, 3DS Max, Avid, etc. get some renewed interest in the Mac. If Apple can bring 'em in in droves for the PowerMacs, this might just happen.
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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Damn I've been fooled. I thought there was going to be some iMac impressions on this thread.... Oh well here goes...



Booooonnnnnggggggg



That's the imac starting up... :D Don't know if I got the 'accent' right...
 

ortuno2k

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2005
647
0
Hollywood, FL
I have tested an Intel iMac 20" recently. I ran Word, Excel, PP and Entourage and it flies.
I think it even loaded faster than my 2.0 G5 iMac. It feels faster and more responsive.
Of course, the rest of the programs run very fast as well. I timed a fresh, cold start-up from the second I hit the power button 'till I was in the desktop at just 25 seconds.
Very impressive.
I have yet to see other programs running Rosetta on it.
 

nph

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2005
627
36
I just tried Photoshop under Rosetta at the Applestore in Willow Bend.
It was slow as molass trying to run some filters on a large JPEG.
Everything else more or less flew but for heavy applications like PS under Rosetta you have to have some patience. It was slower than my current imac 800MHz G4...

Btw, they are totally out of the imac G5 that I was asking about, hoping to see some discount!

Just be aware.

/Peter

P.S. Still thinking to get one to replace my G4 that is getting a lot of reboot screens lately despite reinstalled systems.
 

NeuronBasher

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2006
188
0
How much RAM was in the one you tried the Photoshop experiment on? If it was the base 512mb model, I could see it crawling while manipulating large images....
 

kainjow

Moderator emeritus
Jun 15, 2000
7,745
3
ortuno2k said:
I timed a fresh, cold start-up from the second I hit the power button 'till I was in the desktop at just 25 seconds.
Very impressive.
Bah, that's nothing. My DP 1.8Ghz PM G5 booted up in 12 seconds a few times. Hasn't happened since then, but these G5s are fast too.