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Early Ivy Bridge review

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Good idea of what you can expect from the next iMac refresh, and the HD4000 graphics that will also be in the mobile ones aka MBP 13" and Air (although both are clocked lower, with the Airs GPU being lowest, but in terms of improvement over todays HD3000)


http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/i...-core-i7-3770k
post #2 of 32
Nice graphic gains.

Does Apple us QuickSync? If not ...they should.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #3 of 32
As far as I'm concerned there is too much noise in the data to be useful and why he bothered with a discrete video card is beyond me. Unless of course that is the way Intel wanted it.

To really get a grip on performance deltas all you really need is a Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and a Lano system without the discrete GPU. While some testing was done that way, it just makes for confusion. The really interesting take is that Ivy Bridge is still a terrible GPU in relation to AMDs offering. What's worst AMD will be offering up Trinity within a couple of months of the Ivy Bridge launch.

I still of the opinion that Apple should consider AMD in things like the AIR and Mini. For many the much higher GPU performance of the AMD solutions would suite the majority of the users out there better.
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
I didn't find the data confusing. The Ivy Bridge + HD4000 are highlighted in red, then you just look at the reference point you are interested in. If there was only one or two reference points it would interest less people. The discreet GPUs were there to show how close to a low end discreet card the HD4000 can come.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Nice graphic gains.

Does Apple us QuickSync? If not ...they should.

When the Sandy Bridge MBPs were reviewed, it didn't appear Apple was using it for iMovie or Facetime, oddly. Maybe with Mountain Lion?
post #5 of 32
The problem is many Macs, using intel integrated graphics, don't Have a second GPU. On top of that any new Macs with Ivy Bridge contained inside with a descrete GPU will most likely have a different GPU. All they really needed to do is show the deltas between SB, IB and Llano. Otherwise it really looks like they wanted to make Intel look good with biased reporting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

I didn't find the data confusing. The Ivy Bridge + HD4000 are highlighted in red, then you just look at the reference point you are interested in. If there was only one or two reference points it would interest less people. The discreet GPUs were there to show how close to a low end discreet card the HD4000 can come.

When the Sandy Bridge MBPs were reviewed, it didn't appear Apple was using it for iMovie or Facetime, oddly. Maybe with Mountain Lion?

The other thing here is testing on Windows does not translate into performance metrics for the Mac. Mainly this is due to the completely different drivers. To see the payoff for a Mac we would need IB running the latest Mac OS with all the drivers up to date.
post #6 of 32
[QUOTE=wizard69;2064966]The problem is many Macs, using intel integrated graphics, don't Have a second GPU. On top of that any new Macs with Ivy Bridge contained inside with a descrete GPU will most likely have a different GPU. All they really needed to do is show the deltas between SB, IB and Llano. Otherwise it really looks like they wanted to make Intel look good with biased reporting./QUOTE]

It's good to see Intel improving integrated crappics. It's about time. :P

But it's wayyy behind. This should have been happened about ten years ago.

Looking at how the iPad's soc pounds incredible graphics on such a little device it's ironic that the laggardly 'desktop' market is only just waking up.

It was annoying in the review that they didn't show Llano in contrast to Ivy's integrated graphics.

Just buy an iPad 3 instead of a crappy low end 'PC.' Want something better? Save up for an iMac with discrete graphics.

CPU wise...Ivy Bridge is a bit 'whoop dee doo' compared to it's predecessor. But vs AMD, smashes it on cpu. Graphically. Llano is ok, but not to offset Apple's relationship with Intel vs Ivy Bridge which gives a nice boost to an entry Mini or iMac's graphics as well as the Air line. Sure Intel are still behind on integrated. But most users won't notice bar a niche of gaming frame rate counters. Llano offers some nice gaming frame rate boosts to a cheap ass pc purchase. But Apple don't do cheap ass pcs. I doubt they'd offer an AMD chip AND pass on the savings.

Intel's products have been more than 'good enough' in the consumer area to be part of the puzzle that's helped propel record Mac numbers. They're reliable too.

Whereas AMD has a spotty record of getting it's sh*t together at times. ie the crowning 'rumour' on that was that it had it's chance with Apple and what they offered wasn't compelling enough and/or they couldn't deliver.

Until AMD gets it's cpu act together, I doubt Apple are gong to downgrade from an Ivy Bridge...just for graphics. (Apple's history on graphics on the Mac has been pretty much '2nd class' citizen. Who can forget some of those infamous iMac upgrades with 'sidegrade' gpu choices that offered little or no or backward improvements. Bleh. Or the downgrade for the Mini from PPC/discrete to the Intel cpu with crappy integrated crappics? Mehhh. So much for the 'We only have discrete graphics in our products hyperbole.)

You can never say never with Apple. Just look at teh move from PPC to Intel.

However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for AMD in terms of their focusing in the portability/ultra portability direction.

AMD had their best years around K7/8. They've been bitch slapped around by Intel ever sense.

The Core/i7 chips knocked them silly and with intel's relatively recent focus on power savings I don't see a way for AMD to get in unless Intel drop the ball.

With Hasswell around the corner, I don't see it happening.

But life is full of surprises.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #7 of 32
'Ivy Bridge' will be 'good enough.'

Then we get the 'Tock' with Hasswell around the corner?

That could well be my next iMac upgrade. (2013? Will we have retina iMacs?! :o Wishing. *Fingers crossed.)

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #8 of 32
Quote:
With Ivy Bridge you aren't limited to playing older titles, although you are still limited to relatively low quality settings on newer games. If you're willing to trade off display resolution you can reach a much better balance. We are finally able to deliver acceptable performance at or above 1366 x 768. With the exception of Metro 2033, the games we tested even showed greater than 30 fps at 1680 x 1050. The fact that we were able to run Crysis: Warhead at 1680 x 1050 at over 50 fps on free graphics from Intel is sort of insane when you think about where Intel was just a few years ago.

Whether or not this is enough for mainstream gaming really depends on your definition of that segment of the market. Being able to play brand new titles at reasonable frame rates as realistic resolutions is a bar that Intel has safely met. I hate to sound like a broken record but Ivy Bridge continues Intel's march in the right direction when it comes to GPU performance. Personally, I want more and I suspect that Haswell will deliver much of that. It is worth pointing out that Intel is progressing at a faster rate than the discrete GPU industry at this point. Admittedly the gap is downright huge, but from what I've heard even the significant gains we're seeing here with Ivy will pale in comparison to what Haswell provides.

What Ivy Bridge does not appear to do is catch up to AMD's A8-series Llano APU. It narrows the gap, but for systems whose primary purpose is gaming AMD will still likely hold a significant advantage with Trinity. The fact that Ivy Bridge hasn't progressed enough to challenge AMD on the GPU side is good news. The last thing we need is for a single company to dominate on both fronts. At least today we still have some degree of competition in the market. To Intel's credit however, it's just as unlikely that AMD will surpass Intel in CPU performance this next round with Trinity. Both sides are getting more competitive, but it still boils down to what matters more to you: GPU or CPU performance. Similarly, there's also the question of which one (CPU or GPU) approaches "good enough" first. I suspect the answer to this is going to continue to vary wildly depending on the end user.

An interesting 3 quotes from the article linked above.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

[/QUOTE=wizard69;2064966]The problem is many Macs, using intel integrated graphics, don't Have a second GPU. On top of that any new Macs with Ivy Bridge contained inside with a descrete GPU will most likely have a different GPU. All they really needed to do is show the deltas between SB, IB and Llano. Otherwise it really looks like they wanted to make Intel look good with biased reporting.
Quote:

It's good to see Intel improving integrated crappics. It's about time. :P

Yes it is good, if this IB works as well under Mac OS it is one less thing I have against the AIRs. That is if Intel can get an AIR suitable processor out this year.
Quote:
But it's wayyy behind. This should have been happened about ten years ago.

For which Intel gets lots of slack.
Quote:
Looking at how the iPad's soc pounds incredible graphics on such a little device it's ironic that the laggardly 'desktop' market is only just waking up.

I'm sitting here with an iPad 1 tht I ust updated to 5.1 and all I can say is that Apple must have sprinkled some magic dust on iOS because the graphics performance seems all around better. Maybe it is bugs in the various apps I use but Safari seems far more fluid doing simple things like scrolling the image.

Considering how some updates are more regressions than anything 5.1 has a smile on my face. So yeah that SoC is pretty incredible as is Apples ability to write the drivers needed to leverage that chip.
Quote:
It was annoying in the review that they didn't show Llano in contrast to Ivy's integrated graphics.

I'm convinced that he is on Intels payroll. The reviews are always rigged to show Intel in a better light than deserved. The classic move here is adjusting driver features until games show acceptable frame rates. The site is pretty pathetic.
Quote:
Just buy an iPad 3 instead of a crappy low end 'PC.' Want something better? Save up for an iMac with discrete graphics.

An iPad 3 is an interesting machine but I have to wonder what iPad 2 users running 5.1 are experiencing. I'm pleasantly surprised at the improvement on my iPad 1. No doubt much of the improvement comes from smashing a bunch of bugs but still it feels like a slightly newer machine.
Quote:
CPU wise...Ivy Bridge is a bit 'whoop dee doo' compared to it's predecessor. But vs AMD, smashes it on cpu. Graphically. Llano is ok, but not to offset Apple's relationship with Intel vs Ivy Bridge which gives a nice boost to an entry Mini or iMac's graphics as well as the Air line.

I'm pretty much convinced that the average Mini user or even AIR would be better off with the enhanced GPU performance. Especially if Apple can start To leverage the GPU to the same extent in Mac OS as they do in iOS. I suspect that this is where they are going with Mountain Lion, that is far greater use if the GPU.
Quote:
Sure Intel are still behind on integrated. But most users won't notice bar a niche of gaming frame rate counters. Llano offers some nice gaming frame rate boosts to a cheap ass pc purchase. But Apple don't do cheap ass pcs. I doubt they'd offer an AMD chip AND pass on the savings.

The interesting thing here is that AMD has been able to keep up the price on Llano because it is acknowledged to be a extremely good chip for laptops. As to Apple I'm not sure if they want to stay married to Intel whom seems to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the integrated CPU and GPU market. Long term AMD seems to have laid out a plan that plays better with Mac OS than Intels approach. As to cheap, well the Mini is already overpriced so that won't keep Apple from fat prices for AMD hardware.
Quote:
Intel's products have been more than 'good enough' in the consumer area to be part of the puzzle that's helped propel record Mac numbers. They're reliable too.

Whereas AMD has a spotty record of getting it's sh*t together at times. ie the crowning 'rumour' on that was that it had it's chance with Apple and what they offered wasn't compelling enough and/or they couldn't deliver.

And intel doesn't? Really this perception in my mind is crap. Intel is behind in several regards and can't seem to get their stuff together. Here we could look at USB 3 support, Sandy Bridge E, and even Ivy Bridge. Intel is getting a pass on bad press while every little glitch at AMD is blown out of proportion. Llano might have been a little bit late but it is a very good performer and wi the USB support is light years ahead of Intels offerings.
Quote:
Until AMD gets it's cpu act together, I doubt Apple are gong to downgrade from an Ivy Bridge...just for graphics.

Sure Apple doesn't want to compromise its CPu performance on its top off the line hardware but this isn't the AIR or the Mini. With Llano Apple coid have adjusted the clock rates a bit so that the CPU deficit wasn't that bad. The trade off of course being much better graphics. This is even more important if Apple goes to hi DPI screens in the Macs. With Intel in combo wi a hi DPI screen you might see a significant regression.
[quoe] (Apple's history on graphics on the Mac has been pretty much '2nd class' citizen. Who can forget some of those infamous iMac upgrades with 'sidegrade' gpu choices that offered little or no or backward improvements. Bleh. Or the downgrade for the Mini from PPC/discrete to the Intel cpu with crappy integrated crappics? Mehhh. So much for the 'We only have discrete graphics in our products hyperbole.)

Yeah that was a significant step backwards! It makes me wonder about today's Mini and sales of the integrated vs descrete models. I wonder which is selling better.
Quote:
You can never say never with Apple. Just look at teh move from PPC to Intel.

For people following the industry that was not a surprise. At least not in the sense of Apple needing an alternative to PPC. PPC had become a crap processor with terrible integer performance. Those that drank the cool aid only saw the Alt-Vec numbers which where of limited use.

Today this is being played out with the AMD / Intel battles. Intel wants you to believe that the processors integer performance is still key with respect to a good user experience. AMD wants you to love the GPU. Intels problem is that today AMDs point of view has more validity than Intels. Multiple cores do a good job of driving all of the threads in a modern OS and the GPU just becomes more important with every OS update. Note that that means all OS'es, Linux, Wondows and Mac.

At this point I'm not sure if AMD missed its opportunity with Apple or not. A Mini or AIR based on Llano or Trinity might still be possible if they lead to the right performance mix for Apple. The interesting thing with Trinity is Piledriver, the new CPU cores, if they can Show better performance relative to the current ones in Llano (not a given) then Apple really should consider the chips.
Quote:
However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for AMD in terms of their focusing in the portability/ultra portability direction.

AMD is already out of the dark with Llano.
Quote:
AMD had their best years around K7/8. They've been bitch slapped around by Intel ever sense.

The Core/i7 chips knocked them silly and with intel's relatively recent focus on power savings I don't see a way for AMD to get in unless Intel drop the ball.

With Hasswell around the corner, I don't see it happening.

But life is full of surprises.

Lemon Bon Bon.

It all depends upon what Apple will emphazise going forward. It is obvious that the GPU becomes more important with every Mac OS release and for many users is already more important than the CPU. From the looks of it Mountain Lion is taking the use of GPU accelerations a few more steps forward so you have the real possibility of Mac OS looking worst on intel integrated hardware. AMD is looking at a 50% increase in GPU performance of Trinity which should keep them well ahead of Intel this year.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

An interesting 3 quotes from the article linked above.

Lemon Bon Bon.

This guy is not credible in my mind. He basically tweaks driver settings until Ivy Bridge gives reasonable frame rates. The viability of IB has to take into account normal settings and in this context, what other chips in that class do.

Besides we have to look at this with Apple hardware and drivers. Also if hi DPI screens come we really have to wonder if overall we would see a regression with Intel hardware.

In any event now that the big iPad release has happened we should start to see a lot more rumors about the coming new Macs. This really should be interestingb.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

An interesting 3 quotes from the article linked above.

Lemon Bon Bon.

Yeah.. you know it's obvious that current integrated graphics aren't aimed at gamer types. Apple and Intel need to cooperate better on drivers though. That would help significantly. They can make an enormous difference.
post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Just buy an iPad 3 instead of a crappy low end 'PC.' Want something better? Save up for an iMac with discrete graphics.



The imac has its strengths, but if your looking for gaming performance that's not your computer. You could get a far more powerful GPU and CPU for that price with a monitor as big, IPS doesn't really matter for games.

Even with the iPad, for 5-800 dollars you could get a far more game capable desktop, its impressive what they do with a sub 1W SoC but lets be real here. Its comparing roller blades to a sedan, they do different things so comparisons are useless (I refuse to say apples to oranges :P ). I like the iPad, I also would not give up my gaming desktop. You know Intel actually used to use SGX cores in their integrated graphics, similar to the iPads, the HD3000 and HD4000 are designed in-house since they weren't satisfied with the performance. And a 100 dollar GPU would blow both away by magnitudes.
post #13 of 32
It ironic that the 'iMac' isn't a 'gaming' computer (because the Mini certainly isn't) and that the Mac Pro isn't either.

From dire 'same card as on the PC' equivalent we get 100% less performance to 2nd rate GPUs being included in most Macs...it's ultimately a moot point. ie crap Open GL performance and no 3rd market GPU cards.

In short, a console and a 50 inch Plasma is a far better deal in my view. Or get an iMac, a decent cheap PC AND a console for a couple of Gs and you get the best of all worlds.

It's even more ironic that through the near 'critical mass' velocity of the iPod/iPhone and iPad that Apple has gate crashed the gaming party...quite 'accidentally' it would appear.

The iPad 3 looks right on the heels of a PS3. To the casual gamer? They might not care less. 'More memory and resolution' than a PS3 or an X-Box 360 says the guy from Epic Games. Infinity Blade Dungeons looks pretty incredible for something on a very thin device running an insane resolution.

Not discounting the PC Gamer markets or the pending 2013 consoles entirely (there will still be markets for those devices.) But as we're talking relatively then I might suggest by the time the iPad 3 is subsumed into the collective 'hive' of the consumer and with the ('watch the ball') 'Rogue' chip pending next year...there may well be an exponential leap for the iPad 4's graphic potential that may leave 'traditional' gaming markets crumpled in its wake. The 'good enough' factor which Apple plays to perfection will find a home with the casual gamer. But that's just it. That isn't the only string to it's bow. So it doesn't have to pack the power of an XB0x 720 ErrrrRoxxOOR into 1/2 an inch...but the Rogue chip could well pack PS3 class graphics more or less into 1/2 an inch in a device that is a whole lot more. It's an interesting face off. Apple's iOS as definitely hurt both Sony and Nintendo in the portable gaming space. This would have been unthinkable only a couple of years ago. Whether it smacks around the console market? Maybe it has to a small degree already. The consoles are showing their age...somewhat if 1/2 inch device is on their heels. But one trick ponies like the 720 may find that being graphically muscular may not be enough by the time they hit next year. Just as it wasn't vs the Wii. (A modest graphical console...seeing Nintendo pulling out of the graphical arms race.)

From the initial iPod games which were decried for lack of traditional controls, to the zillions of iPhone games seen as 'bite sized, to the iPad 2's games seen as 'behind' the PS3...to the iPad 3 which had some 'serious' gamers twitching in their seats as their 'Epic' FPS Poster Child honcho calling the level of performance on the iPad 3 a big deal, 'console' quality with some key specs the traditional consoles couldn't match. It's pretty significant that Apple showed 2 games in the software line up at the iPad's launch. At prices that traditional markets just can't compete with.

I'll be getting an iPad 3. Things are getting really serious. I can't wait to Airplay mine through a new Apple TV to 'the big tv.'

But I will be getting an iPad 4 if it follows next year with the 'Rogue' chip and 'Airplayed' to your 50 inch Plasma. Then a few traditional areas are going to find the iPad 4 putting the boot in.

When you're close to selling half a billion iOS devices...there's no spin on those kind of numbers.

Especially when you sold 65 million plus in the recent quarter!

Given a choice between getting some creative work done on the iMac and pishing around on an iPad for the odd game vs wasting too much time on a Windows PC gaming rig? I know which choice I'd make. Other's may vary.

This next 365 days are going to be very, very interesting for new hardware. I just hope Apple have one or two Mac treats lined up after a somewhat evolutionary year in 2011.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This guy is not credible in my mind. He basically tweaks driver settings until Ivy Bridge gives reasonable frame rates. The viability of IB has to take into account normal settings and in this context, what other chips in that class do.

Besides we have to look at this with Apple hardware and drivers. Also if hi DPI screens come we really have to wonder if overall we would see a regression with Intel hardware.

In any event now that the big iPad release has happened we should start to see a lot more rumors about the coming new Macs. This really should be interestingb.

I read your arguments/discussion above with some interest.

I had an Athlon PC for a good many years through my MA in Computer Animation to doing creative work through the odd game. I even upgraded the cpu and Radeon gpu to 'same again' but faster.

K7-ish era. ie 800mhz to 1.6 gig. ie through the PPC dark years I was on the other side. The G5 nearly tempted me back. But when the promised 3 gig didn't turn up... I waited even longer.

I used to follow the AMD vs Intel race to 1 gighz with interest on AMDzone's site.

Now, I'm less passionate about who makes the chips. I see Apple is more portable now. Good thing too as they got screwed around in the PPC years.

ARM and the Graphics in the current SoC find the iPad trouncing the Tegra3. Ironic considering how Macs have lagged in the GPU space on desktops.

Intel and AMD are blowing bubbles catching up on the new battle front which Apple have pulled them over to.

With 100 Billion in the bank. Apple's definitely winning.

Will we one day see bigger iOS devices that just dock on an iMac style stand?

Not in the near term.

So I guess AMD's next best hope is the cpu/gpu chip you mention. I hope they force Intel compete once more. With the k7 etc they took the fight to Intel.

Intel's lethargy in getting new chips out this year is more down to AMD not stepping up.

I don't think Llano is it. It's not enough in my view. Decent though it is. Hopefully the next one will pile the pressure on. But they've almost publicly conceded the desktop war to Intel with recent statements as if they realise they are fighting a battle they can't win without their own fabs etc. They'll be relatively competitive and be priced accordingly.

I hope AMD prove me and them wrong.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #15 of 32
Wow, the performance gains almost are in underwhelming. 5 to 15%? The only saving grace is that it is 5 to 15% with a 20% power reduction. But these are the high end desktop processors that Anand has. Not really suitable for iMacs. Wonder how the 17 W, 25 W and 55 W parts will turn out.

More then ever, it seems Apple should really be putting effort into maximizing I/O performance. PCIe RAID SSD configs for the Mac Pros, SATA RAID SSD configs for the iMacs, and fast SATA SSDs for smaller Macs. Anyone?
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrike View Post

Wow, the performance gains almost are in underwhelming. 5 to 15%? The only saving grace is that it is 5 to 15% with a 20% power reduction. But these are the high end desktop processors that Anand has. Not really suitable for iMacs. Wonder how the 17 W, 25 W and 55 W parts will turn out.

More then ever, it seems Apple should really be putting effort into maximizing I/O performance. PCIe RAID SSD configs for the Mac Pros, SATA RAID SSD configs for the iMacs, and fast SATA SSDs for smaller Macs. Anyone?

I'd love to see 32GB of NAND storage for Boot and Applications sitting right on the PCI Bus but i'm not sure if that's as stable as we need right now. We'll see.

I'm not really expecting huge improvements in CPU performance...it's now about lowering power consumption and expanding out to many core solutions. SSD will be a shot in the arm for performance as will having lots of RAM.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrike View Post

Wow, the performance gains almost are in underwhelming. 5 to 15%? The only saving grace is that it is 5 to 15% with a 20% power reduction. But these are the high end desktop processors that Anand has. Not really suitable for iMacs. Wonder how the 17 W, 25 W and 55 W parts will turn out.

These would slot right into modern iMacs as they now use desktop class processors. The power reduction would be welcomed though.
Quote:
More then ever, it seems Apple should really be putting effort into maximizing I/O performance. PCIe RAID SSD configs for the Mac Pros, SATA RAID SSD configs for the iMacs, and fast SATA SSDs for smaller Macs. Anyone?

Pitting SSD type storage on SATA ports in a fresh computer design would be a regression. The movement is towards solid state on PCI Express ports.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

These would slot right into modern iMacs as they now use desktop class processors. The power reduction would be welcomed though.

Ok, I checked, and the current iMac lineup do indeed use some 95 W parts. In particular, the 27" iMac. The 24" iMac appears to use more 65 W parts. The power reduction would indeed be nice.

Quote:
Pitting SSD type storage on SATA ports in a fresh computer design would be a regression. The movement is towards solid state on PCI Express ports.

If Apple could do it, all the more awesome. But basically everything but the Mac Pro and the iMac are single drive systems. Mac mini can now go 2 drive, right? So maybe there too. Developing a PCIe SSD solution instead of using commoditized SATA parts for a single drive system would be a waste. For the Mac Pro, I would definitely agree with a PCIe SSD solution. That market would actually pay the 1000s of dollars it would cost for a unit.
post #19 of 32
Hi,
Sorry to break the line of this Thread a bit.
Is Ivy Bridge processors are really going to bring any obvious or major improvements, on the iMac platform when compared to the i7 that iMacs have now? \
Sorry, but I'm not very savvy regarding all the technical bits and bobs about this things... Not sure what 22nm means, if that's good or not, etc...

I'm considering buying a new iMac 21.5" with i7 processor and 8Gb RAM, that will last me for a few years (not really heavy user: Mail, browsing, iPhoto (my main reason for updating as my old 2006 iMac is struggling), and iCloud.

Thanks.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrike View Post

Ok, I checked, and the current iMac lineup do indeed use some 95 W parts. In particular, the 27" iMac. The 24" iMac appears to use more 65 W parts. The power reduction would indeed be nice.



If Apple could do it, all the more awesome. But basically everything but the Mac Pro and the iMac are single drive systems. Mac mini can now go 2 drive, right? So maybe there too. Developing a PCIe SSD solution instead of using commoditized SATA parts for a single drive system would be a waste. For the Mac Pro, I would definitely agree with a PCIe SSD solution. That market would actually pay the 1000s of dollars it would cost for a unit.

In fact about a year ago Intel, along with sebpveral other companies set up an organization to define cards specifically for such usage. The end result would be cheaper storage solutions tag are also faster. If you can do away with SATA you can save on logic and overhead. Not to mention storage then becomes a plugin card which makes for comapact design and better cooling.

You make one bad assumption though, such cards would not be expensive at all. They should in fact be cheaper after the initial ramp up. At least relative to current SSD tech. Especially considering that they could be made much faster while remaining cheap.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericvet8b View Post

Hi,
Sorry to break the line of this Thread a bit.
Is Ivy Bridge processors are really going to bring any obvious or major improvements, on the iMac platform when compared to the i7 that iMacs have now? \

Only for machines that use integrated GPU technology only. In that regard IB will be a major upgrade.
Quote:
Sorry, but I'm not very savvy regarding all the technical bits and bobs about this things... Not sure what 22nm means, if that's good or not, etc...

Honestly other than it is the technology base for the processor it means nothing to you.
Quote:
I'm considering buying a new iMac 21.5" with i7 processor and 8Gb RAM, that will last me for a few years (not really heavy user: Mail, browsing, iPhoto (my main reason for updating as my old 2006 iMac is struggling), and iCloud.

Thanks.

I'm not a,big iMac fan so I don't know model specifics. However if the machine does not have descrete graphics I would hold off.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericvet8b View Post

Hi,
Sorry to break the line of this Thread a bit.
Is Ivy Bridge processors are really going to bring any obvious or major improvements, on the iMac platform when compared to the i7 that iMacs have now? \
Sorry, but I'm not very savvy regarding all the technical bits and bobs about this things... Not sure what 22nm means, if that's good or not, etc...

I'm considering buying a new iMac 21.5" with i7 processor and 8Gb RAM, that will last me for a few years (not really heavy user: Mail, browsing, iPhoto (my main reason for updating as my old 2006 iMac is struggling), and iCloud.

Thanks.

This is a common user complaint. Old computer is slow. On occasion it can be some kind of hardware issue. Drives from that era are definitely slower. Much of the time it's a combination of things like somewhat full hard drive with the quirks that HFS+ tends to develop over time combined with lack of ram on a newer OS. The thing is that depending on versions that you're running vs ram installed, you should still have a reasonably snappy system. If you buy today, I suggest buying it with stock ram. Add an 8GB kit for $50 giving you a total of 12GB. It should feel okay for a few years that way.

Also can you be a bit more descriptive on how it's struggling? Is it just a frequent beachball or does it start to act flakey when the machine is really warm? I'm asking this stuff in case you're trying to wait for Ivy.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

This is a common user complaint. Old computer is slow. On occasion it can be some kind of hardware issue. Drives from that era are definitely slower. Much of the time it's a combination of things like somewhat full hard drive with the quirks that HFS+ tends to develop over time combined with lack of ram on a newer OS. The thing is that depending on versions that you're running vs ram installed, you should still have a reasonably snappy system. If you buy today, I suggest buying it with stock ram. Add an 8GB kit for $50 giving you a total of 12GB. It should feel okay for a few years that way.

Also can you be a bit more descriptive on how it's struggling? Is it just a frequent beachball or does it start to act flakey when the machine is really warm? I'm asking this stuff in case you're trying to wait for Ivy.

Hi Hmm,
Thanks for your input...
It probably starts, shuts down and opens applications pretty much as fast as before... Probably a second or so slower, depending on the application, but not too bad...
It has got 2Gb RAM (updated from 1GB to 2GB in 2008). HDD is 250Gb.
The main concerns that I have got and reasons for considering upgrading to a newer one are:
1- I have got Snow Leopard, which is great, but I can't update to Lion as it has only got Intel Dual Core (its early 2006), therefore can't use iCloud (I have got an iPad 2 and iPhone 4) with my Mac.
2- For Photo programs like iPhoto 11 (reason why iCloud integration would be very interesting) and PS Lightroom, it does struggle, when opening photos, editing, etc... (mainly editing...). I am not a photo professional, but I am starting, got a nice SLR camera a few months ago, photo files are quite large (on RAW format), and it takes me a long time to do even simple enhancing/checking photos... As there is a 5-10 second delay in doing most things...., even with clicking between menus... And this is with one application opened only at the same time, not several ones....
Mail, browsing on Safari is pretty OK.
3-The DVD/CD writer is a bit slow too, for reading and for burning.
4-Takes a while to open iTunes. Once it is open, it is not too bad, although if I have got the iPad and iPhone connected, sometimes struggles for a few seconds (showing spinning multicolor ball instead of mouse) when clicked on different menus, etc... (But I am not sure if this is due to the slow connection between the iDevice and the computer (normal USB or wireless, doesn't matter) or to due with the connection and the Mac....

Hope this helps.... So, still worth waiting until Ivy arrives or going for a i7, 8Gb or 16Gb, 1T HDD and AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5 (got on mine 128Mb VRAM only.
I can't really wait until June, for several personal and financial reasons... but I am happy to wait until late April... I have read mixed information regarding the possible release.... I am not sure anybody knows for sure, is that correct?).
So, what do you think....?
Thanks a lot. Really appreciate your help.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In fact about a year ago Intel, along with sebpveral other companies set up an organization to define cards specifically for such usage. The end result would be cheaper storage solutions tag are also faster. If you can do away with SATA you can save on logic and overhead. Not to mention storage then becomes a plugin card which makes for comapact design and better cooling.

Sounds like they are still a ways out.

Quote:
You make one bad assumption though, such cards would not be expensive at all. They should in fact be cheaper after the initial ramp up. At least relative to current SSD tech. Especially considering that they could be made much faster while remaining cheap.

Those Fusion IO PCIe cards are quite expensive. A 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB drive PCIe RAID SSD doesn't sound cheap to me.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericvet8b View Post

Hi Hmm,
Thanks for your input...
It probably starts, shuts down and opens applications pretty much as fast as before... Probably a second or so slower, depending on the application, but not too bad...
It has got 2Gb RAM (updated from 1GB to 2GB in 2008). HDD is 250Gb.
The main concerns that I have got and reasons for considering upgrading to a newer one are:
1- I have got Snow Leopard, which is great, but I can't update to Lion as it has only got Intel Dual Core (its early 2006), therefore can't use iCloud (I have got an iPad 2 and iPhone 4) with my Mac.
2- For Photo programs like iPhoto 11 (reason why iCloud integration would be very interesting) and PS Lightroom, it does struggle, when opening photos, editing, etc... (mainly editing...). I am not a photo professional, but I am starting, got a nice SLR camera a few months ago, photo files are quite large (on RAW format), and it takes me a long time to do even simple enhancing/checking photos... As there is a 5-10 second delay in doing most things...., even with clicking between menus... And this is with one application opened only at the same time, not several ones....
Mail, browsing on Safari is pretty OK.
3-The DVD/CD writer is a bit slow too, for reading and for burning.
4-Takes a while to open iTunes. Once it is open, it is not too bad, although if I have got the iPad and iPhone connected, sometimes struggles for a few seconds (showing spinning multicolor ball instead of mouse) when clicked on different menus, etc... (But I am not sure if this is due to the slow connection between the iDevice and the computer (normal USB or wireless, doesn't matter) or to due with the connection and the Mac....

Hope this helps.... So, still worth waiting until Ivy arrives or going for a i7, 8Gb or 16Gb, 1T HDD and AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5 (got on mine 128Mb VRAM only.
I can't really wait until June, for several personal and financial reasons... but I am happy to wait until late April... I have read mixed information regarding the possible release.... I am not sure anybody knows for sure, is that correct?).
So, what do you think....?
Thanks a lot. Really appreciate your help.

It doesn't sound like anything too unusual. The spinning wheel shows up when it's waiting on hardware or sometimes due to bad drivers or a corrupt filesystem. I see it less when I run disk warrior on a machine. I'm not sure why it makes the file system that much less laggy. I'm not suggesting that because it would be money spent on an old system. I think that you're just running a bit thin on ram and your hard drive's file system is most likely a bit cluttered after several years of use, so the combination under Snow Leopard is bogging things down a bit. With your ipad, it uses fairly slow NAND. The spinning wheel sounds like it is just that it's taking a bit longer to map out the device. I'm not an expert on the idevices, so keep that in mind. Really I don't think it's anything more than a combination of old/slow hard drive + slightly low ram for the OS version you're using. A clean install with formatting to allow the disk to check for bad sectors and an upgrade on ram might make the machine feel much newer. I've seen these symptoms before, including in my own hardware. OSX has some quirks to it especially in the way the OS tracks its actions. SSDs mask some of this behavior when opening/closing applications. It's not that they eliminate the inefficiency. They just kind of cover it up by accomplishing the odd tasks considerably faster, and you notice it less when they have to cover for lack of ram. Back on topic, your machine still sounds like it's in good shape, meaning if the display looks good you might even do well selling the old one when you upgrade.

I don't expect new imacs out in April. I won't say whether or not it could happen. It just isn't that likely given the pace of Intel's current rollout. They don't seem to feel threatened by AMD right now, so I think it'll just be a case of where they debut when they're ready. If both cpus and the latest gpus are not shipping in volume, we aren't likely to see new imacs. I wanted to clarify that as opposed to "launched". At the 21.5" end of the imac line, the difference isn't going to be as noticeable with Ivy Bridge. Tdp remains the same at that level as far as I can tell googling this stuff. Upgrades to their integrated graphics don't really apply to the imac currently. They could always switch it to integrated graphics at the low end, but I don't really expect it this round.

By the way, how full is that 250GB HD? Those 2006 HDs were quite a bit slower than one made today, but I think your main problem is ram. This would also likely account for some of your issues editing photos. 39MP images with layers ran reasonably well on a 2006 mac pro at 16 bpc (although they took too long to save). I kind of doubt yours are that big. I'm pretty sure it's a combination of ram and being bogged by spotlight + possibly cluttered file system given your symptoms. By the way, I wouldn't rely on icloud too much yet. It's really not a mature feature at this point.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrike View Post

Sounds like they are still a ways out.



Those Fusion IO PCIe cards are quite expensive. A 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB drive PCIe RAID SSD doesn't sound cheap to me.

All you need is a current generation SSD controller built with a PCI Express interface instead of a SATA interface. Such chips are already either on the market or about to be released. That will give you SSD on PCI Express on the cheap.

As to Raid that is really a marketing term these days. Many SSD storage devices are already using multiple flash chips to store information in part for capacity but also for speed. They may not be traditional RAID systems but the effect is similar, faster than single device transfers.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It doesn't sound like anything too unusual. The spinning wheel shows up when it's waiting on hardware or sometimes due to bad drivers or a corrupt filesystem. I see it less when I run disk warrior on a machine. I'm not sure why it makes the file system that much less laggy. I'm not suggesting that because it would be money spent on an old system. I think that you're just running a bit thin on ram and your hard drive's file system is most likely a bit cluttered after several years of use, so the combination under Snow Leopard is bogging things down a bit. With your ipad, it uses fairly slow NAND. The spinning wheel sounds like it is just that it's taking a bit longer to map out the device. I'm not an expert on the idevices, so keep that in mind. Really I don't think it's anything more than a combination of old/slow hard drive + slightly low ram for the OS version you're using. A clean install with formatting to allow the disk to check for bad sectors and an upgrade on ram might make the machine feel much newer. I've seen these symptoms before, including in my own hardware. OSX has some quirks to it especially in the way the OS tracks its actions. SSDs mask some of this behavior when opening/closing applications. It's not that they eliminate the inefficiency. They just kind of cover it up by accomplishing the odd tasks considerably faster, and you notice it less when they have to cover for lack of ram. Back on topic, your machine still sounds like it's in good shape, meaning if the display looks good you might even do well selling the old one when you upgrade.

I don't expect new imacs out in April. I won't say whether or not it could happen. It just isn't that likely given the pace of Intel's current rollout. They don't seem to feel threatened by AMD right now, so I think it'll just be a case of where they debut when they're ready. If both cpus and the latest gpus are not shipping in volume, we aren't likely to see new imacs. I wanted to clarify that as opposed to "launched". At the 21.5" end of the imac line, the difference isn't going to be as noticeable with Ivy Bridge. Tdp remains the same at that level as far as I can tell googling this stuff. Upgrades to their integrated graphics don't really apply to the imac currently. They could always switch it to integrated graphics at the low end, but I don't really expect it this round.

By the way, how full is that 250GB HD? Those 2006 HDs were quite a bit slower than one made today, but I think your main problem is ram. This would also likely account for some of your issues editing photos. 39MP images with layers ran reasonably well on a 2006 mac pro at 16 bpc (although they took too long to save). I kind of doubt yours are that big. I'm pretty sure it's a combination of ram and being bogged by spotlight + possibly cluttered file system given your symptoms. By the way, I wouldn't rely on icloud too much yet. It's really not a mature feature at this point.


Thanks. It has got 125Gb free space and I did a clean up, etc... a year ago or so...

Yes, although I don't know much about the highly technical side of computing, with what I have heard and read about the new Intel IB processors, it is for graphics and lower consumption... A new Macbook might be out in April (they will benefit more of this new kind of processors than iMacs) but no necessarily it is going to happen the same, at the same time with the iMacs....

Thanks a lot and see what happens.... I am definitely considering selling my old iMac if I end up swapping it...
Cheers...
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

All you need is a current generation SSD controller built with a PCI Express interface instead of a SATA interface. Such chips are already either on the market or about to be released. That will give you SSD on PCI Express on the cheap.

As to Raid that is really a marketing term these days. Many SSD storage devices are already using multiple flash chips to store information in part for capacity but also for speed. They may not be traditional RAID systems but the effect is similar, faster than single device transfers.

Ok, how about read and write I/O data rates that can take advantage of the bandwidth provided with PCIe? If you are going to develop a PCIe storage memory system, I want it to deliver >1 GByte/s read and write performance. Otherwise, what's the point of using PCIe? Hence, why I keep harping on RAID, even though there aren't any spinning disks.

If it is just a flash storage system where all you're doing is replacing the mSATA interface in the MBA with a PCIe one, it's going to be tough to proliferate.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrike View Post

Ok, how about read and write I/O data rates that can take advantage of the bandwidth provided with PCIe?

Since when is the first generation of anything a top performer. The fact is you will never get those sort of rates if you don't transition to a new interface at some point in time.

From the systems engineering standpoint you win big as whole sub systems in supporting logic can be eliminated. Instead of going through a Layer or two of SATA support logic you have a more direct path via PCI Express.
Quote:
If you are going to develop a PCIe storage memory system, I want it to deliver >1 GByte/s read and write performance.

That would come in good time but the reality is that you win as long as it is faster that SATA3 which isn't that hard to do. SATA is already a limiting factor in SSD performance, so a move to a different interface has already been dictated by the advent of solid state storage.
Quote:
Otherwise, what's the point of using PCIe? Hence, why I keep harping on RAID, even though there aren't any spinning disks.

Harping? I didn't even initiate the discussion about RAID. Rather is just showed that the structure of an SSD storage device can be seen as begin similar to RAID. It isn't a major step forward to leverage the hardware to actually do RAID and get some benefit in reliability. In any event you will not get the performance we would all love without parallel access to flash devices.
Quote:

If it is just a flash storage system where all you're doing is replacing the mSATA interface in the MBA with a PCIe one, it's going to be tough to proliferate.

Tough? Why would you say that the chip sets / controllers are either already on the market or are near release.
post #30 of 32
[QUOTE=wizard69;2071955]Since when is the first generation of anything a top performer. The fact is you will never get those sort of rates if you don't transition to a new interface at some point in time.[quote]

Isn't the first generation of anything typically the top performer relative to the thing they are trying to replace?

PCIe is faster than PCI/AGP who were faster than the expansion interface they replaced.
SATA is faster than PATA/SCSI who were faster than EIDE/SCSI.
Thunderbolt is faster than FireWire/USB who were faster than the ports they replaced.

Maybe when the first Netburst Pentiums were shipped, there were certain ops that we're slower than the P6-based Pentiums at the time.

Quote:
Tough? Why would you say that the chip sets / controllers are either already on the market or are near release.

Because SSDs are expensive. Especially ones that can deliver >700 Mbyte/s rates. The MBA SSD gets around 200 to 300 MByte/s. There's still headroom left before SATA becomes a handicap for the general market.

In the higher end machines it sounds great. In this single drive systems, not so sure about that.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrike View Post

Isn't the first generation of anything typically the top performer relative to the thing they are trying to replace?

Sometimes yes sometimes no.
Quote:

PCIe is faster than PCI/AGP who were faster than the expansion interface they replaced.

Yes but how many generations of PCI Express have we had since? most technology starts out with what is technologically feasible and reliable at the time. As technology improves standards get faster.
Quote:
SATA is faster than PATA/SCSI who were faster than EIDE/SCSI.

Here is a good example, SATA was not faster or better than SCSI when first introduced. Even now Serially attached SCSI is still used. Sometimes it is the protocols that have the staying power not the physical hardware.
Quote:
Thunderbolt is faster than FireWire/USB who were faster than the ports they replaced.

Thunderbolt is not a replacement for USB! Even if it was Intel and Apple have been pretty clear that this is the beginning of TB which is expected to improve in the future with optical and faster hardware.
Quote:
Maybe when the first Netburst Pentiums were shipped, there were certain ops that we're slower than the P6-based Pentiums at the time.

Every ARM chip shipped these days is slow than just about every i86 chip still shipping. AMD is shipping a whole new generation of GPU processors that have a range of performance capabilities not all of which are faster than older chips. Intel ATOM was a massive step backwards in performance. Sometimes performance isn't what your customers are expecting from a new product and instead are looking for other advantages.
Quote:
Because SSDs are expensive. Especially ones that can deliver >700 Mbyte/s rates.

Yes they are but the capability will not stay sky high forever. This is what you are missing in this discussion, you introduce new hardware features, in this case PCI Express based SSD card slots, for the future. Look at the installation of optical drives over the years, these where originally pretty pathetic, but now have plateaued, it is a technology though that started out modestly.
Quote:
The MBA SSD gets around 200 to 300 MByte/s. There's still headroom left before SATA becomes a handicap for the general market.

That is called living in the past! Really when it comes down to it all Apple needs to do is to get Anobit to design a reliable high speed ASIC that can be produced at reasonable cost and SATA performance would be left in the dust. That is if they do the controller in house, like I said there are PCI Express interfaced SSD controllers ready to implement.
Quote:
In the higher end machines it sounds great. In this single drive systems, not so sure about that.

Remember we are talking about the future here.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Remember we are talking about the future here.

Sure, but I was thinking Apple should start basically right now, not 3 or 4 years down the line.
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