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G5 iMac Video Card

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
What kind of GPU do you think the G5 iMac will have? Does anyone think that the video card will be user replacable like the G4 Cube? I don't understand why Apple makes the GPU hard-wired in its consumer machines. Aren't consumers the ones that play games? I hope it will play a decent game of Doom 3.
post #2 of 67
A design that allows an upgradeable card would be really nice, but I'd put it in the "highly unlikely" category, especially if there is an integrated LCD.

If they do plan to use the GPU for more work in Tiger, they may contemplate things like PCI express (for fast two-way communication, instead of the one-way-biased AGP.) Perhaps they have their own GPU design based on something that Nvidia or ATI has? Who knows..

If these iMacs are being built in anticipation of Tiger, we might see more emphasis on good GPU performance.. on the other hand, it's still unlikely that a fairly "ordinary" GPU would be saturated by an "ordinary" user.

Conclusion? Not only do I know nothing, I can't even guess much
post #3 of 67
Apple dosen't make "consumer machines", Apples are high preformance so thats why they are so expensive. It would be super nice if they put a better video card in, although seeing how the powermac houses a nvidia fx 5200 ultra in the 1.8ghz and 2ghz, I wouldn't count on an upgrade.
post #4 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by volcom1206
Apple dosen't make "consumer machines", Apples are high preformance so thats why they are so expensive.

um..no.
post #5 of 67
My guess is that it'll have a GeForce FX 5200 as standard. I couldn't rule out a Radeon 9600 or some 'surprise' ATI/nVidia chipset though.
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Commodus
My guess is that it'll have a GeForce FX 5200 as standard. I couldn't rule out a Radeon 9600 or some 'surprise' ATI/nVidia chipset though.

I agree, for some stupid reason apple seems to think consumers who are also gamers dont want a video card, dont need or want speed in any fashion hence slow imacs with soldered on last years video chips. thats why such dismal sales of its poor performance consumer line along with a few other reasons. I would be very surprised to see more then a garbage fx5200 in the new iMac since the 2 base powermacs have fx5200. One other thing to consider is that Apple makes sure iMac doesnt take sales from powermac so what we have allways ended up with is a lackluster waterdown machine. i predict a fancy new product wrapped around stale hardware. They just cant seem to get out of this market loosing philosophy with reguard to its consumer desktop line. They want to force people into powermacs or make due with old technology in fancy clothes. they have done this for years. look for fx5200 mated to 1.4 and maybe 1.8 G5s and some fancy new clothes( all in one)
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post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by volcom1206
Apple dosen't make "consumer machines", Apples are high preformance so thats why they are so expensive...

The iMac is not high performance in video, processor, memory, or disk function. Apple has done their best to optamize all of these areas for best performance but they have consistantly laged behind the industry in adopting newer tecnology in these areas. Maybe we will see a more agressive and capable G5 iMac released this fall using the fastest memory available, a more modern GPU, serial ATA, etc. It would be nice if Apple brough back to the iMac brand the value and performance that they achieved with the original iMac, I thik it would definatly help sales if they did.

The current iMac is a boutique computer that offers outstanding exterior design, but little in the way of internal innovation. It's tech specs are no better than those of the PowerMac from 2 years ago when Apple was "late to the game" with a DDR implementation, which makes the technology in the G4 iMac what, 3-4 years out of date?
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
um..no.

um ya
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by volcom1206
um ya

You'd have a very hard time proving that.

The iMac is low-performance by all means.
post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Zapchud
You'd have a very hard time proving that.

The iMac is low-performance by all means.

ok ok the powermac is definetly high preformance, and the iMAC 2 isn't. Although it is not a low end peice of crap that dell made such as the one I am using now. The new iMAC 3 will be higher end though with a g5 in it.
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by volcom1206
ok ok the powermac is definetly high preformance, and the iMAC 2 isn't. Although it is not a low end peice of crap that dell made such as the one I am using now. The new iMAC 3 will be higher end though with a g5 in it.

I would say that the iMac 2 is a well engineered low performance computer sold at for a premium price which offers low performance for it's price point.

A Dell Dimension 2400 v. iMac G4
2.6Ghz Pentium 4 - 1 Ghz G4
256MB DDR (333MHz ) - 256MB DDR (333MHz)
80 GB HD - 80 GB HD
48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM - 32x Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive
15 in E152FPb Flat Panel Display - 15-inch
$870 -- $1299

The iMac has a slower processor, slower FSB, slower Optical drive, and over $400 more expensive. I'm not sure how this qualifies as a high performance computer, especially since the processor is only 38% the clock speed of the Dell. Even given that the G4 is faster at a given clock speed real world performance is still at best 75% of the Dell.
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by JCG
I would say that the iMac 2 is a well engineered low performance computer sold at for a premium price which offers low performance for it's price point.

A Dell Dimension 2400 v. iMac G4
2.6Ghz Pentium 4 - 1 Ghz G4
256MB DDR (333MHz ) - 256MB DDR (333MHz)
80 GB HD - 80 GB HD
48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM - 32x Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive
15 in E152FPb Flat Panel Display - 15-inch
$870 -- $1299

The iMac has a slower processor, slower FSB, slower Optical drive, and over $400 more expensive. I'm not sure how this qualifies as a high performance computer, especially since the processor is only 38% the clock speed of the Dell. Even given that the G4 is faster at a given clock speed real world performance is still at best 75% of the Dell.


the key words in the last thread were the powermac is high preformance and the iMAC 2 (meaning the G4) ISN'T
post #13 of 67
o and another thing my 2 year old dell is such a piece of crap it takes ten minutes to get onto internet explorer with cable, no joke I timed it. You know when a program stops responding which happens every half hour on my computer you push ctrl+alt+delete and windows task manager pops up well, that stops responding also. So my computer is jacked up. That is why I am buying a G5 iMAC first five seconds it comes out.
post #14 of 67
I'd be interested in knowing what the graphics card specs of the posted dell and iMac are, respectively. The $400 difference isn't all that much when you consider that processor is only rarely a bottleneck (even, I think, in games), you get a quiet, ergonomic small form factor computer (if the Dell is quiet that's another point in its favour though).

However, that's all tangential to the *real* topic. I'd be happy if apple stayed from the "stripped down" options like the MX series of chips; I'd also be happy to see them taking advantage of the GPU in creative ways, which in many cases requires good programmable pipeline support. I think one step above the 5200 would be nice, whatever that is

If there was the option of upgrading the graphics hardware, then it would make more sense to ship with lower end components, but if it's going to be soldered to the motherboard a little headroom can convince people that this is a solid investment.
post #15 of 67
I truly expect better than a geforce 5200 fx. But concerning video cards, Apple has disapointed us so many times.
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
I truly expect better than a geforce 5200 fx. But concerning video cards, Apple has disapointed us so many times.

u would think apple would dish out something better but it is very likely, since the PowerMac 1.8 ghz and 2 ghz run on a geforce 5200 fx.
post #17 of 67
The difference is, they can be upgraded so it is not so bad. Still, Apple (being the ones taking are money) are less likely to see things "our way"

I might as well admit that what I really want is for someone to give me a dual 2.5Ghz with an Nvidia 6800
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by volcom1206
o and another thing my 2 year old dell is such a piece of crap ... [cut] ... That is why I am buying a G5 iMAC first five seconds it comes out.

Well, it depends on how you treat the machine. I've seen 2-year-old PCs that are fine, and have none of the problems you say - probably purely because they've been well-maintained, reinstalled every so often, and otherwise cared for. Perhaps try reinstalling the machine, which will mean it'll perform as well as it did when you originally bought it. I would definately upgrade to a iMac G5 though, when they come out.

As it stands, the G4 is a low-end machine. I could get a similarly-specced machine for a huge amount less than a FP iMac. While the PM G5 is something that all "geeks" everywhere drool about, the iMac is something they'd not bother to look at twice - the design however means that most consumers do. Hopefully, with the intro of the G5 iMac we'll see a better price/performance ratio, hopefully heading the way of PCs...

Going back on topic: I'd expect that you won't be able to upgrade the GPU, and that it'll be an nVidia card, more than likely an on-board AGP. Not top-of-the-line, but enough for the average user.
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post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by dfryer
I'd be interested in knowing what the graphics card specs of the posted dell and iMac are, respectively. The $400 difference isn't all that much when you consider that processor is only rarely a bottleneck (even, I think, in games), you get a quiet, ergonomic small form factor computer (if the Dell is quiet that's another point in its favour though).

However, that's all tangential to the *real* topic. I'd be happy if apple stayed from the "stripped down" options like the MX series of chips; I'd also be happy to see them taking advantage of the GPU in creative ways, which in many cases requires good programmable pipeline support. I think one step above the 5200 would be nice, whatever that is

If there was the option of upgrading the graphics hardware, then it would make more sense to ship with lower end components, but if it's going to be soldered to the motherboard a little headroom can convince people that this is a solid investment.

A major point you may be missing or not understanding is that a videocard has to be fed if you will. A g4 cant feed a 9800 let alone whats coming. the cpu is the bottleneck and so are the fx5200s at anything higher then 640 x 480. benches show it drops frames right away with AAA new titles. sure it looks ok doing internet and sending grandma a letter but try running doom3 at 1024 x 768 or even UT2004 and you will feel the pain. A great video card has to be fed and that is why many g4 owners see little frame improvement with high end cards. they allow higher resolution but if the cpu isnt feeding it your frames arent going up much. hope that helps.
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post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Peel
...Going back on topic: I'd expect that you won't be able to upgrade the GPU, and that it'll be an nVidia card, more than likely an on-board AGP. Not top-of-the-line, but enough for the average user.

As I see it the real advantage for Apple to deliver a consumer computer with an upgradable GPU is to get more commitmet from both ATI and Nvidia in developing GPU's for the Mac and potentially garnering some future cost savings from that effort. An upgradable GPU in the iMac will once again create a market for consumer video cards.

For those nay sayers that are adamant that consumers don't upgrade their computers or video cards you need to walk down the video card isle at CompUSA or Best Buy, they arn't stocking those things for fun and a lot of them are geared to consumers not Pros. Also note that ATI not only makes cards that are sold under their brand but also a plethora of other brand names like PowerColor and Saphire.
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by volcom1206
o and another thing my 2 year old dell is such a piece of crap it takes ten minutes to get onto internet explorer with cable, no joke I timed it. You know when a program stops responding which happens every half hour on my computer you push ctrl+alt+delete and windows task manager pops up well, that stops responding also. So my computer is jacked up. That is why I am buying a G5 iMAC first five seconds it comes out.

you're a troll
post #22 of 67
I expect the new iMac will either have the NVidia fx5200 or a mac edition of the new ATI X300. Anything less than these two cards will probably be unable to provide any hardware acceleration of Core Image in 10.4 and anything more will outperform the cards in the entry level and mid range Powermacs. Even though the X300 is newer than the 9600XT, from the few benchmarks around, it seems to perform nearer to the NVidia fx5200. Also, unlike the Radeon 9200 it replaces, the X300 has the additional shader features of the 9600 (Supposedly used for Core Image), it's just slower.
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Peel
Well, it depends on how you treat the machine. I've seen 2-year-old PCs that are fine, and have none of the problems you say - probably purely because they've been well-maintained, reinstalled every so often, and otherwise cared for. Perhaps try reinstalling the machine, which will mean it'll perform as well as it did when you originally bought it. I would definately upgrade to a iMac G5 though, when they come out.

I have already done that, after my brother downloaded all this crap that screwed it up. My computer is called "special" by my friends. IT should be working fine seeing how I have kept it working well, except for my brothers use of it. My computer has all this anti virus and anti spyware stuff now (that i wont need with a mac).
post #24 of 67
The current iMac suffers bad sales because of it's lack of price to performance ratio and it fails to meet the needs of MOST CONSUMERS* and the lack of upgrade options to get the machine capeable of doing what they need.

By MOST CONSUMERS*, I mean gamers (which is no small number considering how HUGE the gaming market). Regardless of whether you play games or not, there are dozens of people for every one of you who do or would if their machines weren't already outdated in terms of performance.

Also, aside from the lucrative gaming market, Mac OS X is extremely graphics rich and demanding and more of the performance and "snapiness" will DEPEND on great GPU performance.

Here's what I propose...

Upgradeable video cards OR the current top graphics card soldered to the motherboard (ATI Radeo 9800).

If upgradeable...

PCI Express - ATI X300 with BTO option for ATI X600 (leave the X800 for PowerMac towers).

This allows customers to pick what level of video they need according to what they use it for. Having upgradeable video cards would give incentive to ATI and NVidia to make more cards compatible for us Mac users.

As for the fear of galvinizing sales from the PowerMac G5 towers...

a) get over it...don't lose sales to customers who are unwilling to pay $2000 plus to get decent hardware

b) there will be enough differences to make the distinction between consumer desktops and pro desktops
1) Single vs. Dual processors
2) Expansion slots
3) More RAM slots (up to 8GB on towers, up to 4 GB on iMacs)
4) Headless (allows choice of monitors)
5) Built-in Bluetooth and Airport Xtreme (build to order on iMacs)

c) Price point is key...more than eMacs and less than PowerMacs
Good
17" LCD
G5 1.6
256MB RAM (DDR400), expandable to 4GB
60 GB Serial ATA HD
Combo DVD/CDRW Drive
NVidia 5200 32MB
$999

Better
17" LCD
G5 1.8
512MB RAM (2 256MB DDR 400), expandable to 4GB
80 GB Serial ATA HD
Combo DVD/CDRW Drive
ATI 9600 64MB
$1299

Best
17" LCD (maybe 20" as Best plus option for $350 more)
G5 2.0
512MB RAM (1 512 DDR 400 stick)
80 GB Serial ATA HD
SuperDrive
PCI Express ATI X300
$1599

Granted this setup would require PowerMac G5 towers to bump up their graphics cards (128 MB Video RAM as low end, 256 MB High end), and a minimum of 512 DDR 400 for the towers as well.

Not one of these suggestions would seriously hurt Apple's profit margin and would seriously attract sales.

Would YOU buy one of these machines in a slick new case?

Comments welcome.
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by JCG
I would say that the iMac 2 is a well engineered low performance computer sold at for a premium price which offers low performance for it's price point.

A Dell Dimension 2400 v. iMac G4
2.6Ghz Pentium 4 - 1 Ghz G4
256MB DDR (333MHz ) - 256MB DDR (333MHz)
80 GB HD - 80 GB HD
48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM - 32x Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive
15 in E152FPb Flat Panel Display - 15-inch
$870 -- $1299

The iMac has a slower processor, slower FSB, slower Optical drive, and over $400 more expensive. I'm not sure how this qualifies as a high performance computer, especially since the processor is only 38% the clock speed of the Dell. Even given that the G4 is faster at a given clock speed real world performance is still at best 75% of the Dell.

heh...that's faster than my new dual 2.5 g5...sorta
post #26 of 67
Both ATI and nVidia have released pci-e expansion slot/card designs for laptops.

I believe that Apple will take advantage of the ability to decrease costs in their laptop line with these systems. They allow economies of scale and decrease design costs for upgrades.

I think that ATI makes the better laptop GPUs, mainly from a power consumption point of view, so Apple will probably go with the ATI system.

It makes economic sense for Apple to leverage their purchasing power for the new iMac as well, and lets them add upgradability, both for end users ( will we see any retail Mac cards anyway ? ), and for Apple.

Therefore, my prediction is that the iMac 3 will ship with an ATI AXIOM slot. The only product currently available is the Radeon Mobility x600, so thats what will be in the slot.

[edit] got slot name wrong
post #27 of 67
all i know is that the new imac had better be able to run doom 3 out of the box, no questions asked. doesn't need to be the highest resolution, but there ain't a teenage boy on earth who will tell his parents he* wants the new imac if it means he can't frag in doom iii when it ships.

now the "when it ships" thing is a whole 'nother issue...

*p.s. or she... hey, i love me them grrrrl gamers.
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post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
all i know is that the new imac had better be able to run doom 3 out of the box, no questions asked. doesn't need to be the highest resolution, but there ain't a teenage boy on earth who will tell his parents he* wants the new imac if it means he can't frag in doom iii when it ships.

Apparently people with a GeForce 4 MX400 on a 1.5Ghz PC will have a "surprisingly good gaming experience" with Doom 3 according to this:
http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQy

Now the GeForce 4MX line has no pixel or vertex shaders in hardware, it's essetially an overclocked GeForce 2MX. Even a Radeon 9200 exceeeds this performance and will improve the playability of Doom 3 beyond this card. A NVidia fx5200 should have no trouble whatsoever playing Doom 3. Teaming this up with a G5 of some sort should improve things again. Sure, the resolution will have to be low and the quality will not be on the highest settings but it will be playable.
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by ChilliMac
<snip>
Better
17" LCD
G5 1.8
512MB RAM (2 256MB DDR 400), expandable to 4GB
80 GB Serial ATA HD
Combo DVD/CDRW Drive
ATI 9600 64MB
$1299

Best
17" LCD (maybe 20" as Best plus option for $350 more)
G5 2.0
512MB RAM (1 512 DDR 400 stick)
80 GB Serial ATA HD
SuperDrive
PCI Express ATI X300
$1599

Granted this setup would require PowerMac G5 towers to bump up their graphics cards (128 MB Video RAM as low end, 256 MB High end), and a minimum of 512 DDR 400 for the towers as well.

Comments welcome.

Well an AGP RADEON 9600 is faster than a PCI-Express X300 so I can't see that happening quite like that. The X600 would work but that would force Apple to change the video cards in all three tower models and possibly the motherboard too to add PCI-Express. I don't see this happening for a number of reasons.

a) It's too soon after the release of the new towers. People are still waiting for these machines to arrive, annoucing a new model or upgraded model so soon would make most of these people furious. I really don't think Apple wants to so seriously annoy customers of it's high margin computers.

b) Apple knew the new iMac was coming and what it's specs would be in June when the new towers were released I'm sure. They wouldn't have released the current line of towers the way they are if they were going to have to upgrade them in Auguest when they originally intended to release the new iMac. To me this is the biggest indicator that the new iMacs will not exceed the towers specs.

c) Apple has not done this before. Doesn't make it impossible but highly unlikely.

The 2.0Ghz G5 is possibly, it certainly can't be ruled out, but I'd be surprised if they go this high. I expect to see at least the 1.6Ghz G5 used somewhere in the lineup and I wouldn't be surprised to see the 1.8Ghz G5.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by mmmpie
Both ATI and nVidia have released pci-e expansion slot/card designs for laptops.

I believe that Apple will take advantage of the ability to decrease costs in their laptop line with these systems. They allow economies of scale and decrease design costs for upgrades.

I think that ATI makes the better laptop GPUs, mainly from a power consumption point of view, so Apple will probably go with the ATI system.

It makes economic sense for Apple to leverage their purchasing power for the new iMac as well, and lets them add upgradability, both for end users ( will we see any retail Mac cards anyway ? ), and for Apple.

Therefore, my prediction is that the iMac 3 will ship with an ATI AXIOM slot. The only product currently available is the Radeon Mobility x600, so thats what will be in the slot.

mmmpie, I think you have nailed it. I believe that the new iMac will very much be the G5 Powerbook in a desktop AIO enclosure.

Apple needs to spread it's manufacturing and component costs across the consumer and portable line in order to reap the economies of scale.

...
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post #31 of 67
Quote:
[i] Sure, the resolution will have to be low and the quality will not be on the highest settings but it will be playable. [/B]

Is this really what we have been reduced to? Why should we accept that the resolution has to be low for a game played on a built-in, high res monitor? Why should we accept that a decent game should have low quality settings. If you can't play the game at native resolutions and the highest quality settings with optimal performance, then you are really not playing the game the way it was intended to be played. How little are Mac fans willing to settle for?
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post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
Is this really what we have been reduced to? Why should we accept that the resolution has to be low for a game played on a built-in, high res monitor? Why should we accept that a decent game should have low quality settings. If you can't play the game at native resolutions and the highest quality settings with optimal performance, then you are really not playing the game the way it was intended to be played. How little are Mac fans willing to settle for?

5 frames per second.
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
Is this really what we have been reduced to? Why should we accept that the resolution has to be low for a game played on a built-in, high res monitor? Why should we accept that a decent game should have low quality settings. If you can't play the game at native resolutions and the highest quality settings with optimal performance, then you are really not playing the game the way it was intended to be played. How little are Mac fans willing to settle for?

Even an ATI Radeon 9800XT won't be fast enough to play Doom 3 with the highest quality at the native resoltion of an iMac's LCD, you'd have to drop the quality back slightly to make it smooth. Even if Apple did consider putting a 9800XT class card in the iMac, is this what most users need and would the extra cost be justified? Sure, anyone playing games does want this kind of power but are gamers the iMac's target market? If I was buying a Mac just for games today I'd get the Dual 1.8Ghz G5 and throw a 9600XT or 9800XT in there. An iMac with upgradeable video would be a great option too if Apple does release this but I think it's safe to say a 9800XT won't be the default option.
post #34 of 67
While doom III is reported as playing ok on an mx440 ( which is the best mx 4, and much faster than the mx400 ), the geforce 5200 isnt any faster. Its just got pixel and vertex shaders. This is handy for letting you access features that need them ( core video/image ), but games will be slower running with them on. Net result, the 5200 will give you about the same as you get from an mx440. Not really hot for a $1000+ machine.
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by mmmpie
While doom III is reported as playing ok on an mx440 ( which is the best mx 4, and much faster than the mx400 ), the geforce 5200 isnt any faster. Its just got pixel and vertex shaders. This is handy for letting you access features that need them ( core video/image ), but games will be slower running with them on. Net result, the 5200 will give you about the same as you get from an mx440. Not really hot for a $1000+ machine.

Doom 3 actually uses the pixel and vertex shaders so a Fx5200 should be significantly faster than a mx440. The driver for the 4MX cards has code to emulate these shaders but pays a performance penalty. The requirement of pixel and vertex shaders is why John Carmark originally listed the Radeon 8500 and GeForce 3 as the minimum cards required to play Doom 3 since they were the first cards to support these features in hardware.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by MattB
Well an AGP RADEON 9600 is faster than a PCI-Express X300 so I can't see that happening quite like that. The X600 would work but that would force Apple to change the video cards in all three tower models and possibly the motherboard too to add PCI-Express. I don't see this happening for a number of reasons.

It is the design advantages of PCI-Express that Apple will exploit. The absolute performance is only a small part of the equation.
Quote:

a) It's too soon after the release of the new towers. People are still waiting for these machines to arrive, annoucing a new model or upgraded model so soon would make most of these people furious. I really don't think Apple wants to so seriously annoy customers of it's high margin computers.

Well that is total garbage now isn't it. What is worst form a customers standpoint, expensive old technology or new technology with a future? Besides the types of people that make use of the pro lines already know about PCI-Express, there is a great deal of expectation in the market place with respect to this technology. In fact for many pros it will represent new capabilities that have been desired for some time.
Quote:

b) Apple knew the new iMac was coming and what it's specs would be in June when the new towers were released I'm sure. They wouldn't have released the current line of towers the way they are if they were going to have to upgrade them in Auguest when they originally intended to release the new iMac. To me this is the biggest indicator that the new iMacs will not exceed the towers specs.

Actually the current release of the tower represent exactly what you would expect if the intention was for them to not be arround long. Nothing was really done with the design. In a nut shell a short term fix.
Quote:

The 2.0Ghz G5 is possibly, it certainly can't be ruled out, but I'd be surprised if they go this high. I expect to see at least the 1.6Ghz G5 used somewhere in the lineup and I wouldn't be surprised to see the 1.8Ghz G5.

I don't know nor do I really care what the minimal configuration will be. What is important is that the 2GHz performance level be hit at a reasonable price point, other wise Apple might as well can the whole project because the machine will not do any better than the current iMac. Frankly I'm not sure that Apple know why the iMac failed in the market, for me and many others it was a question of value. If the screw up the value part of the equation the new machine is as good as toast.

Now I really do believe that Apple wants to deliver the right machine at the right performance level. It will be very interesting to see if the machine has the rest of the features that will lead to market acceptance. In any event around 30 days an we will all know if the machine meets our needs.

Dave
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
It is the design advantages of PCI-Express that Apple will exploit. The absolute performance is only a small part of the equation.

True, but a 9600 chip probably costs more than an X300 chip and in most cases the 9600 would double the performance. Who would buy the high end model with a X300, it would perform horribly compared to the mid range model's 9600.

Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
Well that is total garbage now isn't it. What is worst form a customers standpoint, expensive old technology or new technology with a future? Besides the types of people that make use of the pro lines already know about PCI-Express, there is a great deal of expectation in the market place with respect to this technology. In fact for many pros it will represent new capabilities that have been desired for some time.

I never said anything about PCI-Express in the towers being a bad idea, it's inevitable. I just seriously doubt Apple would bring out new model towers so soon. I could see the iMac with PCI-Express, just not with a card that forces the towers to be upgraded too. Maybe an NVidia Fx5200 on the low end with PCI-Express X300s on the mid and high end models. I've not seen any benchmarks directly comparing the X300 and the Fx5200 but they're in the same league. The 9600 is much closer to the X600.

Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
Actually the current release of the tower represent exactly what you would expect if the intention was for them to not be arround long. Nothing was really done with the design. In a nut shell a short term fix.

Well that's true, but by the time the iMacs are released, the towers will have only have been out three months. That's just too soon.

As to what you say about the value part of the equation, I couldn't agree more but I'm not planning to place any bets on Apple hitting the mark perfectly. I know I'd be shocked if they release a 2.0Ghz G5 with an upgradable PCI-Express X600.
post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by MattB
Doom 3 actually uses the pixel and vertex shaders

Doom 3 _CAN_ use the pixel and vertex shaders.
On a card missing them ( mx 4 ) it wont. The performance hit will be terrible. The primary technology that Doom III uses is normal mapping, which isnt dependent on shaders.
The 5200 isnt any faster than an mx 440, it is basically a 440 with shaders.
Shaders dont make graphics go faster, they make it slower, but more general purpose. The old pipelines could output 1 pixel per cycle per pipeline. Shaders break that, long shader programs take many cycles to execute, meaning that one pixel may now take 8 cycles to generate ( depends on the program ).
The conclusion is ( and it requires testing ) that a 5200 will be acceptable ( same as a mx 4 ) when used without shader programs. Using shader programs will slow down the chip ( they are slower ) and so push the framerate down, below an acceptable level.
The 5200 is an ok card, in that it gives you features that are important for future software, but they arent fast.
post #39 of 67
It does look like what you say is largely right according to ID's Doom 3 hardware guide released today. It seems the amount of memory on the card has more effect on how Doom 3 runs. They say the Fx5200 can do 640x480 medium quality vs low quality on the MX440 but their Fx5200 card has 256MB of RAM. I'd guess a Fx5200 with only 64MB of RAM would have to fall back to low quality. It does appear though that the framerate will be higher than the MX440. It is worth noting that even in low quality mode, all the bump maps, shadows and specular lighting are turned on so even low quality is not going to look bad. Just take a look at the screen shots.

It also appears that the pixel and vertex shaders will still be turned on with the Fx5200 for doing the "heat haze" effects which won't be displayed on the GeForce 4MX or Radeon 8500/9000/9200 chips commonly used in eMacs, iMacs, iBooks and older Macs.

Whether this behaviour comes across in the Mac port, who knows. If Apple do go for the 9600XT in the new iMac though, it seems it'll do 800x600 at medium quality. Not too shabby looking at the screen shots.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by MattB
It does look like what you say is largely right according to ID's Doom 3 hardware guide released today.

Its hard to draw comparisons between the supplied benchmarks, as they are quite variable ( cpu speed, video card ). The 440mx aint going really fast, but 22fps average isnt unbearable. The 5200 has both a faster CPU, ( 2500+ v 1500 ), and its the ultra version. Im not sure which Macs get the ultra, and which dont. The ultra has significantly higher memory bandwidth, and shows it, 39 fps avg.

Doom 3 appears to really push hard on fairly old technology, bump mapping, specular mapping, and normal mapping. It uses a lot of memory, and will be sucking up memory bandwidth. The stencil shadows are also nasty. However, it doesnt really sound like it uses pixel or vertex shaders a lot ( the flame effect ), and probably some lighting. However, the screen shots on the low end cards ( 440mx, ti4600 ) look really good.
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