NEW iMac w ATI X600 PCI-e & DDR2 RAM woot!

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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This is a huge and very important update for Apple and everyone who's been waiting for improvements to graphics performance.

The new ATI X600 series 16X PCI-e card has twice the bandwidth
of the current X8 AGP cards.

Adding DDR2 RAM now also gives the new iMac support for up to 2.5GB RAM

When you add in all the other features in this new configuration
I have to give my resounding approval.

The 17" WS model starting at $1199 (edu) with these features is the best bang for the buck ANYONE sells.

This also gives us a fantastic preview of things to come in the
PPC "Pipeline"

Well done!
 

risc

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Jul 23, 2004
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It's nice to see Apple move to PCIe / DDR2 RAM it also means when the Power Mac updates come we can expect something HUGE! I can't wait to see what happens with them when they finally arrive.
 

wongulous

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Dec 7, 2002
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Just 2 ram slots.

To get 2.5GB, you have to buy a 2GB chip. Which, edu, Apple charges a WHOPPING $1080 for.
 

RobHague

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Jul 8, 2005
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FFTT said:
The new ATI X600 series 16X PCI-e card has twice the bandwidth
of the current X8 AGP cards.
It's a shame that X600 is not powerful enough to actualy make that 'feature' ean much. ;)


No but im impressed, Apple took everything in the iMac that i was complaining about last month and fixed it beyond my expectations. Had i not got a PowerMac now i would have most likley got this new iMac. Good stuff.
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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Some people in the main thread on the new iMac are flinging dung about the new video card but it's better than the last one so where's the problem?

Overall this is a pretty sweet update - cheaper too.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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Lots of spin , 4 agp isnt saturated nor 8 so why you need more? a X600 is for the most part a 9600 lets not get to excited.
PPC pipeline is dead thats why Apple threw in all that other stuff. 1.8 to 1.9 and 2.0 to 2.1??? its a nice little tiny bump. Doom3 scores .................
 

ksz

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Oct 28, 2003
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bousozoku said:
Yes, it took a while but they're up to date. The newest iMac actually might play games well, although Doom 3 might still be a reach.
You're mostly right about Doom 3, although it appears playable at 1024x768 (26 fps). Here's a performance comparison on Tom's Hardware.
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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wongulous said:
Just 2 ram slots.

To get 2.5GB, you have to buy a 2GB chip. Which, edu, Apple charges a WHOPPING $1080 for.
I paid that much for a 32 MB SIMM, back around 1993. :D Of course, if you go to OtherWorld Computing or even, Crucial, you should find a much better price.
 

plinden

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Apr 8, 2004
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ksz said:
You're mostly right about Doom 3, although it appears playable at 1024x768 (26 fps). Here's a performance comparison on Tom's Hardware.
Here's a better one (ok, not to do with Doom3, but you can compare the x600 XT with the 9600 that was in the last rev):
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041222/vga_charts-04.html
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004/vga_charts-05.html

One benchmark, Unreal tournament:
new 17" iMac GPU - X600 XT 113 fps
new 20" iMac GPU - X600 Pro 82.9 fps
9600 XT 103 fps
9600 Pro 94.8 fps
old 20" iMac GPU - 9600 65 fps

That's only one benchmark and all done on PCs, but all show at least a 50% gain for the x600 XT over the 9600.
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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plinden said:
Here's a better one (ok, not to do with Doom3, but you can compare the x600 XT with the 9600 that was in the last rev):
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041222/vga_charts-04.html
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004/vga_charts-05.html

One benchmark, Unreal tournament:
new 17" iMac GPU - X600 XT 113 fps
new 20" iMac GPU - X600 Pro 82.9 fps
9600 XT 103 fps
9600 Pro 94.8 fps
old 20" iMac GPU - 9600 65 fps

That's only one benchmark and all done on PCs, but all show at least a 50% gain for the x600 XT over the 9600.
That sounds like a testimontial for the throughput of PCI-Express, as well as the X600's ability to generate graphics.

Glad to see such positive updates.
 

Lord Blackadder

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Dont Hurt Me said:
Lots of spin , 4 agp isnt saturated nor 8 so why you need more? a X600 is for the most part a 9600 lets not get to excited.
True about AGP but it doesn't hurt performance to move to PCI-E so it's a non-issue IMHO. Apple has little choice but to switch to PCI-E.

And anyway the 9600 isn't a bad GPU. I'd prefer to see an X700-series but the X600Pro/XT is still good.
 

ksz

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Oct 28, 2003
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bousozoku said:
That sounds like a testimontial for the throughput of PCI-Express, as well as the X600's ability to generate graphics.

Glad to see such positive updates.
Agreed. Incremental improvements to be sure, but still nice.
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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ATI X600 PCI=e specs

I'm posting the ATI X600 specs here just so those who don't understand
the difference can bring themselves up to date a bit.
http://www.ati.com/products/radeonx600/specs.html

Specifications

Radeon X600 Technology Specifications
World’s first PCI Express®Graphics Chip
Native x16 lane PCI Express
Double the bandwidth of AGP 8X
Increased memory bandwidth to 12 Gigabytes/sec.
Four extreme parallel 3D rendering pixel pipelines
Two programmable vertex shader pipelines
128-bit memory interface supporting 128MB or 256MB DDR1 memory configurations
Full DirectX® 9 support
SmartShader™ 2.0
SmartShader™ defines the level of realism in latest 2D/3D games and applications
Complete hardware-accelerated Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shader support
Full hardware support for OpenGL® 2.0
SmoothVision™ 2.1
SmoothVision™ improves image quality by smoothing jagged edges, improving blurriness and refining background details during on-screen motion and at lower resolutions.
SmoothVision™ settings are user configurable in ATI Catalyst® Control Panel:
2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
Lossless Color Compression (up to6:1)at all resolutions
Temporal Anti-Aliasing
2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
Up to 128-tap texture filtering
Adaptive algorithm with bilinear (performance) and trilinear (quality) options
HYPER Z™ III
HyperZ™ ensures optimal hardware performance by discarding irrelevant object data that is not visible to end-user on their display.
Leverages key features from ATI’s third generation HyperZ™ III technology that conserves video memory bandwidth for improved performance in demanding 2D/3D games and applications.
Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
Fast Z-Buffer Clear
Z Cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
VideoShader™
Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
FullStream™ video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 formats
VideoSoap™ noise removal filtering for captured video
MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration
DXVA Support
Hardware Motion Compensation, iDCT, DCT and color space conversion
All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays†
Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
Additional Features
Dual integrated display controllers
Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant / HDMI interoperable and HDCP ready)
Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
Windows® Logo Program compliant
ATI Catalyst® Software Suite
2D DISPLAY MODES
Resolutions, colors and maximum refresh rates (Hz) in 256, 65K or 16.7M colors
 

bousozoku

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Lord Blackadder said:
True about AGP but it doesn't hurt performance to move to PCI-E so it's a non-issue IMHO. Apple has little choice but to switch to PCI-E.

And anyway the 9600 isn't a bad GPU. I'd prefer to see an X700-series but the X600Pro/XT is still good.
It's more about price points and getting rid of the GeForce FX 5200 chipset.

I've yet to see any AGP 8x theoretical problem but yet, in real life, there seems to be something not quite right.
 

plastique45

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Jan 10, 2005
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Dont Hurt Me said:
Lots of spin , 4 agp isnt saturated nor 8 so why you need more? a X600 is for the most part a 9600 lets not get to excited.
PPC pipeline is dead thats why Apple threw in all that other stuff. 1.8 to 1.9 and 2.0 to 2.1??? its a nice little tiny bump. Doom3 scores .................
Yeah, they could have gone 1.7-2.0/ 2.0-2.3Ghz...


The x600 XT (20" iMac) is a great card. 500MHz clock speed and 735MHz memory bandwith for 2gpixel, the 9600 128 has 400mhz and 1.4gpixel.

For just a few hundred more, it's the model to get.
 

plastique45

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2005
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FF_productions said:
the iMacs are the best deal out there, and have been for a long time...

Sooo...how about those powermacs??
They look very updated now. Next week or in 2 weeks max, otherwise their sale will plummet.
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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bousozoku said:
It's more about price points and getting rid of the GeForce FX 5200 chipset.
A very good idea, too! The benchmarks I've read (mostly dealing with Halo and UT2K4) seem to show that the 5200 is roughly equal to the 9600 on paper but on the Mac the 9600 does better rendering, and the drivers are simply better all round.

NVIDIA made a lot of better cards contemporary with the 5200 but for whatever reason Apple never chose to implement any of the other GeForce5xxx cards.