Saturday, February 24, 2007

Xbench 24 inch Intel Core 2 duo iMac to 17 inch G4 eMac.

I just ran these tests using Xbench 1.3. The Intel iMac 24 inch, 2.16 Ghz, with 2 G of RAM and a Nvidia 7600 GT scored 110.56 using Xbench 1.3.

The 2003 G4 eMac (1 G RAM, 32 MB ATI 7500 video card) scored a whopping 30.20. Some quick math tells you that we have a 3.6x increase in overall performance. Many of the graphics results come in at 5x, while things like disk access are not that different. The CPU is a factor of 3 faster, and graphics around 5.

This seems reasonable. Although the eMac could play Halo "just", it managed about 20 to 25 fps. The Intel iMac would probably run it about 125 fps, since it runs Doom 3 at about 100 fps.

It is difficult to compare two completely different systems accurately. Different chip architectures, one is a dual core system, one is a G4. Normal use makes it hard to tell the difference. Internet browsing, email, listening to iTunes, all seem the same. Browsing 4000 pictures in iPhoto is something else completely. On the iMac 24, it is fluid, fast and seamless at any speed. Likewise, scolling through an iTunes library is equally effortless. This is where it feels 10 times faster. This is where you remember the eMac seemed fast when something took 2 seconds, but realize it was slow because nothing takes that long anymore.

Looking at other Xbench scores, I notice that this 24 inch iMac blows past a dual 2 Ghz G5. Finally a pro machine without having to buy an ugly aluminum box. The expandibility argument is about as valid as the WIndows argument now. This machine hooks up nicely to my WD MyBook Pro 500 G hard drive using Firewire 800 and it runs Windows. Looks like you can be a pro now and look cool.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

24 inch iMac installation

It's hard to get the sense of size from online movie clips. I noticed that many people would take videos of the 24 inch iMac close-up. This doesn't give you a reference point.

So here I am unpacking and setting up my 24 inch iMac; replacing my 17 inch eMac. My 14 inch iBook G4 is also on the desk as well as my 3G iPod.

Apple 24 inch iMac

Apple 24 inch iMac
Originally uploaded by Carl Bachellier.
Today my new 24 inch iMac arrived. I ordered it last Tuesday and since then, I couldn't find enough information online to satisfy me until my new toy arrived. It was brutal. I just kept checking the FedEx site, seeing where it was.
I began reading the comments and complains on the Apple discussions site. I used to contribute as a troubleshooter, but found that the site was becoming a dumping ground for people who wont RTFM.

I had a few concerns after reading the discussions. One, there were some people complaining about dead pixels, and two, some were complaining about a nasty hum from the monitor. A third issue, some complained that BootCamp wouldn't work. It does. Not one dead pixel and I can't hear anything except a very slight whir of a fan. It is essentially silent.

My iMac was a BTO with 2 Gigs of RAM, a 500 G hard drive and the Nvidia 7600 GT with 256 MB of RAM. I stayed with the 2.16 GHZ Intel Core Duo, because even on paper, it doesn't make much of a difference. Remember, the fastest machine on my desk is a 1.42 Ghz iBook with 1.5 G of RAM, so this is a big jump for me. The iMac will be replacing my 3 year old 17 inch eMac, which by the way did an amazing job for me. I really dislike the snobs that categorize this machine as "entry level" or "education". Really? It performs no differently than any other 1 Ghz G4 computer.

Windows runs nicely on it, but I prefer Parallels to BootCamp. I have an actual PC to play Grand Theft Auto and Half Life 2, so I don't really require the graphics advantages of booting the machine into XP.

I will agree with the most common complaint. The screen brightness control is unable to deal with the power of this screen. I have it set to zero and it is too bright at night.

I do prefer this LCD screen to that of my iBook and the 19 inch monitor on my PC. It is as clear as a high end CRT. The ports on the back should be in the centre. Not a big deal, but I hated my eMac because everything was on the right. I am right handed and like the right side of my desk clear. Therefore, I put my desktop on the left. It just makes sense to put run the cables on the left. My wife is a lefty though and may consider this a victory for the L's.

I am already used to the huge screen real estate. It was the fastest and cleanest migration I have ever done. I connected to the eMac with a firewire cable and about 3 hours later, all 200 Gigs of information had been transferred. I used isync and dotmac to store my bookmarks and keychains just in case. It was flawless.

The only thing I had to do was validate my Flickr account using Flock (you aren't using anything else for photos and blogging are you?) and update the directory paths for DreamWeaver.

This is the most amazing machine I have ever owned or ever used.