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Apple's new iMac Core 2 Extreme, Mac mini benchmarked

post #1 of 35
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Hot on the heels of last week's benchmarking of the 2.4 GHz iMac, the folks over at Primate Labs have updated their iMac performance comparison charts to include scores from Apple's top-of-the line 2.8GHz iMac Core 2 Extreme, as well as the new Mac mini.

iMac 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme

The Waterloo, Ontario-based software developer ran all tests through Geekbench, its flagship cross-platform benchmarking software for Linux, Mac and Windows. Again, each of the iMac systems was running Mac OS X 10.4.10 with 2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM.

As would be expected, the high-end iMac posted noticeable gains over previous-generation 2.16GHz and 2.33GHz models, as well as the new 2.4GHz iMac. Performance increases were most significant under Geekbench's Floating Point, Integer and Memory tests.

The 2.8GHz iMac, which sports an overclocked 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X7800, registered a floating point score of 5356 compared to the 2.4GHz model's score of 4485. In terms of overall performance, the Extreme posted a score of 3791 compared to a score of 3243 for the 2.4GHz model.



Mac mini Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz

Primate also recently benchmarked Apple's modest Mac mini refresh, which capped off a complete product line shift towards 64-bit computing on the part of the Cupertino-based Mac maker -- an industry first.

The new Mac minis were pit against almost every one of their predecessors in a set of Geekbench tests. The resulting scores were modest at best, with the 2.0Ghz Mac mini Core 2 Duo scoring 2668 overall, compared to the previous-generation 1.83GHz Core Duo model's score of 2334.

post #2 of 35
Quote:
The 2.8GHz iMac, which sports an overclocked 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X7800

They are overclocking the CPU and underpowering the GPU? strange indeed.

To What Extent?

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html
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post #3 of 35
Great benchmarks. The graphs rock. Much better and ultra-quicker to grasp than the MacWorld awkward tables! Thanks.
post #4 of 35
Benchmarks like this are so stupid. Do we really need to thank AI for telling us computers with higher numbers go faster? In my opinion the only benchmarks that are really worth a damn are ones that show real-world performance of hardware-stressing games and applications and measure overall usability. I'm not really all that concerned with Integer and Memory tests, I did those back in grade school. And I'm pretty sure there's nothing in my daily activites that include "floating" very many "points".
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post

They are overclocking the CPU and underpowering the GPU? strange indeed.

Calling the processor over clocked is a mistake from what I can see. It is a listed Intel part.

In any event the big thing in my mind is that the Mini could have been significantly better if Apple would have simply updated to Santa Rosa. Frankly it leaves one with the impression that the Mini is the poor step child in Apples line up.

Dave
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Banana View Post

Benchmarks like this are so stupid. Do we really need to thank AI for telling us computers with higher numbers go faster? In my opinion the only benchmarks that are really worth a damn are ones that show real-world performance of hardware-stressing games and applications and measure overall usability. I'm not really all that concerned with Integer and Memory tests, I did those back in grade school. And I'm pretty sure there's nothing in my daily activites that include "floating" very many "points".

I dont think its telling us that higher numbers go faster so much as it is telling us how much faster it is going
post #7 of 35
Regarding the Mac Mini tests, it would make sense to also benchmark the amount of power used. Does the 2007ers consume less than the 2006ers?
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Calling the processor over clocked is a mistake from what I can see. It is a listed Intel part.

Yep. It should be another perk for Apple getting the X7900 early.

/Adrian
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Calling the processor over clocked is a mistake from what I can see. It is a listed Intel part.

It's listed at 2.6 GHz but since it's an Extreme part the OEM can overclock it legitimately.

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archi...0716corp_a.htm
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kukito View Post

It's listed at 2.6 GHz but since it's an Extreme part the OEM can overclock it legitimately.

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archi...0716corp_a.htm

for the lazy:

"the Intel Core 2 Extreme mobile processor bus ratio locks (overspeed protection) have been removed3. This offers added technical flexibility in customizing the system so OEMs can unleash even more performance."
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post #11 of 35
A few years ago I bought the mini G4 (1.42 GHz) as a 'stand-over' until Apple brought out a flexible, mid-range destop, and as IT'S STILL NOT THERE YET, I'll probably be buying the new 2 GHz mini in October - another 'stand-over'.

At least, as I see now, it's over three times as fast, but oh the graphics!
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post #12 of 35
*sigh*

PLEASE POST GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE COMPARISONS.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charko View Post

A few years ago I bought the mini G4 (1.42 GHz) as a 'stand-over' until Apple brought out a flexible, mid-range destop, and as IT'S STILL NOT THERE YET

Apple took many a financial bath trying to please the public with a multitude of "flexible, mid-range desktops" and Steve determined there were basically three highly profitable customer groups for Macs: high-end performance users who will gladly pay for all the power they can get; mid-to modest level users who want the look and feel of a attractive, usable computer and integrated software suite; and laptop users, both consumer and pro-level.

The Mac Mini was designed to get people hooked on the Mac OS, then move them into one of the other three profitable designs. It costs a lot of money to manufacture and support a "flexible mid-range desktop." Much of the market for such a computer is made up of end-users that want to buy a low-cost system and then build their own Mac, adding the parts Apple would get at higher margin at a discounted price.

I think Steve determined a long while ago that Apple doesn't want to spend a lot of cash and resources to compete against itself, and has very wisely avoided providing such a system. Such systems are typically bashed in the press as underpowered and feature-poor, which in turn tends to prematurely lose customers who would have probably been satisfied with one of the other three systems.

Metaphorically speaking, I would love to find a restaurant that offers a good $5.00 steak, but the inevitable poor reviews of such a low-profit business would probably prevent me from ever buying a meal there.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

This is why very few upgraded from the 2.16 to the 2.33 the price vs performance point was not worth the cost.

And you know this how? What figures do you have to back this up? I'm guessing you have no idea how many 2.33s were sold, and you're just talking out your ***.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

Apple took many a financial bath trying to please the public with a multitude of "flexible, mid-range desktops" and Steve determined there were basically three highly profitable customer groups for Macs: high-end performance users who will gladly pay for all the power they can get; mid-to modest level users who want the look and feel of a attractive, usable computer and integrated software suite; and laptop users, both consumer and pro-level.

The Mac Mini was designed to get people hooked on the Mac OS, then move them into one of the other three profitable designs. It costs a lot of money to manufacture and support a "flexible mid-range desktop." Much of the market for such a computer is made up of end-users that want to buy a low-cost system and then build their own Mac, adding the parts Apple would get at higher margin at a discounted price.

I think Steve determined a long while ago that Apple doesn't want to spend a lot of cash and resources to compete against itself, and has very wisely avoided providing such a system. Such systems are typically bashed in the press as underpowered and feature-poor, which in turn tends to prematurely lose customers who would have probably been satisfied with one of the other three systems.

Metaphorically speaking, I would love to find a restaurant that offers a good $5.00 steak, but the inevitable poor reviews of such a low-profit business would probably prevent me from ever buying a meal there.

I have a mini on the way. I wasn't looking for low cost. Maxd out it cost over a thousand dollar, but I would of been happy paid more for more. I wanted small and to use a display (non-gloss and no chin) with an "exceptionally narrow bezel" and didn't want the monster Pro. There may be a stong market for a few more features, even at Apple prices.
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post #16 of 35
I have since long been thinking about the Mac Mini as a mediacenter computer, but wanted to await the arrival of a Core 2 Duo. Now that it has, and the benchmarks are here - is it still a good buy compared to its competitors?
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptObvious View Post

*sigh*

PLEASE POST GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE COMPARISONS.



post #18 of 35
I'm getting a 2.8Ghz version in October - meow
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post

They are overclocking the CPU and underpowering the GPU? strange indeed.

To What Extent?

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html

We don't know if they are overclocking, or whether they are special bin selected parts, as were the 3GHz Xeon 4 core chips that Apple got from Intel over 3 months before Intel came out with an official 3 GHz part.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

No it is. People were all pissed when they posted the performance differences between the 2.4 compared to the last gen 2.16 and 2.33. It's simple the 2.8 performance bump isn't that much because your only talking processor speeds. Frontside bus, memory and cache are all the same no matter if you get the 2.4 or 2.8.

This is simple math, people are going to pay 225.00 for something there never going to see just because something has the world "extreme" in it.

This is why very few upgraded from the 2.16 to the 2.33 the price vs performance point was not worth the cost.

Talking about a different beast when Conroe was first released the 6300 and 6400 chips only had 2meg of cache compared to the 6600 and 6700 which had 4meg. That will make a real life differnce, now intel puts 4meg on all thier chips so all your ever talking about now is processor speed which has been proven in small jumps means very little.

Taking that money and upgrading ram is going to do far more for real life performance then a 2.8 chip.


We didn't see much between the 2.16 and the 2.33, or the 2.33 vs the 2.4 because there is such a small difference in speed between them.

But there is much more of a difference between the 2.8 and any of the others.

It's wrong to think that we won't see a real world difference that matters. some of the differences are large indeed.

Memory bus increases don't have as much of an effect most of the time as you might think.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptObvious View Post

*sigh*

PLEASE POST GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE COMPARISONS.

WHY DON'T YOU LOOK FOR THESE THINGS YOURSELF?

Here, lazybones:

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Actually i'm speaking from experience and even worse logic. Cpu speed bumps in many cases mean very little in the way of performace. Lets look at history. Intel and AMD both decided that pure cpu power wasn't cutting it so they cut back trying to push the cpu and started to do the right thing which was increasing bus speeds and actually matching ram to take advantage of bus speeds.

As far as experience ive been working on this stuff for over 20+ years at IBM. Things like cache, raid, multi core processing were things I was doing 18 years ago before you ever even heard of them. As hard as this may be for you to believe this stuff isn't new technology.

Logic, the numbers speak for themselves regarding benchmarks each jump in processor speed only gives a few hundred points in overall system performance. If thats worth 225.00 to you then by all means have at it.

Anyone with any real system knowledge will tell you that money will be better spent increasing system memory. The extreme version has the same bus speed and same L2 cache at the 2.4 system. If it offered more than that it would be a hell of alot more than a 225.00 upgrade.

If you have enough system memory for what you are doing, adding more won't speed things up.

But those few hundred numbers you mention are, in some cases, almost 20%, that's a lot, and will be noticed.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaboong View Post

I have since long been thinking about the Mac Mini as a mediacenter computer, but wanted to await the arrival of a Core 2 Duo. Now that it has, and the benchmarks are here - is it still a good buy compared to its competitors?

I just bought my 2nd mini last Thursday (the 1.83GHz model). From my perspective the Mini is one of the best computers I have ever owned and I go back a long way from Apple// to NeXT Cube to most of the Mac's (including the G Cube and 20" iMac) and in addition I have always played with PC's and tried to get a small neat one (came close with a Soltek Qbic).

I wanted a quiet computer that would fit under a 55" Sony HDTV and the Mini was it. There just aren't that many systems around the size of a Mini. Have a look at the price of the Shuttles over in the PC world.

The Mini is controlled by a $45 wireless nmediapc keyboard with a built-in small trackball. I can now handle most routine work from my sofa with a really nice monitor and keyboard. I would never go back to sitting at a desk in front of my iMac.

The Mini is on gigabit ethernet with a PC and other Mac's . The PC acts as a server of music, video, etc...and it's just great using Front Row. From a video viewing perspective it's pretty ideal.

I don't play games so that's not something I can comment on (if I did I'd buy a game machine).

If one really needs speed then you go with a Mac Pro. Mobility with a MacBook() . Games with a game machine or a PC. But the Mac Mini as a computer for my HDTV is perfect. The new iMac's are beautiful and if one doesn't buy into the computer and TV meshing I could seeing buying one. But for me it's the iMac that needs to justify its existence. The screen is fixed to the system and is not big enough (compared to a TV). As people move to HDTV there will be an increasing need for a computer like the Mini, and no it's not Apple TV.

The bottom line is the Mini is perfect if you don't need to get a monitor. If you have a PC there's a $20 KVM USB "switch" that will share the mouse, keyboad and monitor. Link the PC and Mini via gigabit ethernet and you have the best of both worlds.

philip
post #24 of 35
I was in the store and tried out the 20" 2GHz model. I was very surprised that they have compromized on the display. It's of very low quality. Especially the vertical viewing angle is poor, compared to the 24" model that is excellent.
It would be a shame if the "better" 20" model uses the same poor display. Could someone check if that's the case?
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

WHY DON'T YOU LOOK FOR THESE THINGS YOURSELF?

Here, lazybones:

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html

I think the point is that he was calling them out, in other words AppleInsider purposely created a benchmark that favored the new models thereby appealing to their apple overlords.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

The new iMac's are beautiful and if one doesn't buy into the computer and TV meshing I could seeing buying one. But for me it's the iMac that needs to justify its existence. The screen is fixed to the system and is not big enough (compared to a TV).

I have always thought that promoting a 17"-24" computer monitor as a device for watching video in a living room setting would only be appealing to those with a compact living space. Let's face it, given a choice between spending >$2k on a 24" iMac or <$2K for a quality 42"-50" HDTV, I know where my eyes want to land for a movie. True, I can't check email or do work on my Sony TV, but then I can't get 500 channels of digital cable on my Macs, either. Two different worlds.

I think Apple is missing the boat by not taking the 30" display and making the Mac-daddy of iMacs out of it. Plenty big enough to really enjoy watching a DVD on from a couch, and an awesome view for a computing experience.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by shivetya View Post

I think the point is that he was calling them out, in other words AppleInsider purposely created a benchmark that favored the new models thereby appealing to their apple overlords.

Yeah, whoosh what was that, oh just AI's impartiality goin' out the window. They must get funding from analysts or something - I noticed the title on the main page changed to news and analysis.

The new iMacs perform slower than the old one in all the tests graphics-wise and in most of them by a significant margin.

They are cheaper but even so, as little as half the graphics power in some tests compared to the old model is pathetic.

How could they not offer an nVidia GPU as a BTO? Well, I guess we'll just have to wait for these 'off the charts' developments in 2008. Let's hope they mean off the charts up the way this time.
post #28 of 35
10K for melgross!

wow, congrats
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post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They are cheaper but even so, as little as half the graphics power in some tests compared to the old model is pathetic.

That would seem to indicate some sort of driver issue. Barefeats said they were going to repeat their tests under XP, where the drivers are presumably more mature. Should be interesting to see what those results look like.
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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post

10K for melgross!

wow, congrats

Thanks.
post #31 of 35
While I know that AI's reported results weren't complete, and they are promoting Apple's virtues to a certain extent, they are an Apple fan site.

PC fan sites do the same thing.

We can all find our own data, and link to it, as several of us have done.

Not such a big deal.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

That would seem to indicate some sort of driver issue. Barefeats said they were going to repeat their tests under XP, where the drivers are presumably more mature. Should be interesting to see what those results look like.

In addition, the 2600 Pro seems to be performing better under OS X than it is under Windows on a PC, so it's possible that a driver overhaul will fix some, or most of the problems.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

I have always thought that promoting a 17"-24" computer monitor as a device for watching video in a living room setting would only be appealing to those with a compact living space. Let's face it, given a choice between spending >$2k on a 24" iMac or <$2K for a quality 42"-50" HDTV, I know where my eyes want to land for a movie. True, I can't check email or do work on my Sony TV, but then I can't get 500 channels of digital cable on my Macs, either. Two different worlds.

Exactly why I just don't get the whole HTPC thing. OK, so you can burn your DVD's onto it and save wear and tear on your discs, but other than that, what is the advantage over a DVD player? Blue Ray? HD-DVD? Not on an Apple, unless you replaced the SuperDrive. Anything from the iTunes store? Not HD.

Of course, if you get your HD movies through a more questionable method...

And what about using it as a computer? Sure it would look nice on a big HDTV, but how ergronomic is it to type on your lap or the coffee table?
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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

I have always thought that promoting a 17"-24" computer monitor as a device for watching video in a living room setting would only be appealing to those with a compact living space. Let's face it, given a choice between spending >$2k on a 24" iMac or <$2K for a quality 42"-50" HDTV, I know where my eyes want to land for a movie. True, I can't check email or do work on my Sony TV, but then I can't get 500 channels of digital cable on my Macs, either. Two different worlds.

I think Apple is missing the boat by not taking the 30" display and making the Mac-daddy of iMacs out of it. Plenty big enough to really enjoy watching a DVD on from a couch, and an awesome view for a computing experience.

Hmm...well with the Mac Mini + HDTV you get that huge screen, 500 TV channels and the ability to do basic work (including browsing, e-mail, etc...) .

I don't think 30 inches is big enough, but it's getting close and I suspect Apple must be thinking exactly along the lines you are suggesting. Perhaps in a year or so. Things are moving fast, HDTV's are going to change the issue of TV's and computers meshing (geez, even the Amiga lived its life as a system connected to TV's in PAL worlds).

I do wish Apple would have a wireless keyboard with some kind of built in thing to move the mouse. I really like my nmediapc keyboard with its built in small trackball but I'd rather something from Apple.

I also wonder about the whole notion of watching video on a 20" monitor or so. That may have been ok a few years ago but I suspect there isn't a large market for 20" TV's

philip
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post


[ ]

And what about using it as a computer? Sure it would look nice on a big HDTV, but how ergronomic is it to type on your lap or the coffee table?

That's a good question. It really depends on what one is doing. I can't imagine having a keyboard and a mouse and being comfortable, but I am very comfortable doing my work from the sofa with the nmediapc keyboard (with its integrated trackball). I suppose a keyboard with a trackpad (like the laptops) would also do just fine. I see people sitting around using laptops in all sorts of locations.

In any case, it's really hard to beat browsing the web on HDTV with the Mini. It's actually painful to move back to my desk...

philip
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