Hands on and benchmark testing of Apple's 2019 iMac 4K

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 53
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,289member
    macxpress said:
    tokyojimu said:
    McJobs said:
    No redesign, no deal.
    Be careful what you wish for. A new slimmer chassis might eliminate several ports.
    A redesign doesn't necessarily need to mean a slimmer computer. They can redesign the iMac without making it any thinner than it already is. Just getting rid of the chin and making it all glass in the front with zero bezels would I think do wonders for it.
    That would overheat the iMac faster during intense processing period. I would suggest to improve the cooling system without the chin first before removing the bezel. Unlike bezeless monitor, iMac monitor is also where CPU and GPU reside.
    edited March 2019 cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 53
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    One big thing to note, is that since Apple didn't include the T2 chip, even with the newer processors, it will export video much slower than a laptop or mini with the T2. So, if you do a lot of video encoding, you'll want to double-think getting one of these vs other options.
    (I was absolutely blown away the first time I tried HEVC/H.265 encoding on my Mac mini... several times faster than even the six-core i7, and little to no fan noise!)

    racerhomie3 said:
    They can easily put in an external drive for their storage needs
    Yes, but that dramatically increases the complexity for that target audience, as they have to set the main apps they'd use to put things on the external, and understand about connect/disconnect methods, etc. They should have simply plugged a 2.5" SATA SSD where they put that spinning disc. It would cost a bit more, or be less storage, but much better for it in the end. You can get 1TB SSDs for just over $100, where the HD still costs over $50 anyway. **I** can buy a 256GB SSD for $30-$50 (imagine what Apple can get them for?). Seems like a rather odd place to skimp, especially for user-experience.

    JinTech said:
    Then get the iMac Pro where SSD comes standard. The bigger thing to complain about is why do the iMac's still come with only 8 GB standard on every model? They should be at least 16 on the 21" and 32 on the 27" but 8?! Come on!
    So long as you don't get the HD based model (and maybe even then) 8GB of RAM is plenty for most people. Heck, up until recently, I was using a 4GB SSD based MB Air for all kinds of work. 16 GB is nice if you do VMs or a bunch of heavy apps at once, but then you'd probably just buy more than the entry level model, too.

    StrangeDays said:
    Only if you're concerned with performance. AI readers often seem to forget they are not the norm, are not normals. And lots of normal people don't give a crap. They want to write papers, surf the web, and collect photos. 
    Not true. Whether you know why, or give a crap, there is a very noticeable user experience difference. Normal people might not know why, but they'll know it feels laggy and slow if they ever use a computer with SSD (which more and more have). Having used computers for a long, long time, it's one of the most obvious user-experience jumps for decades. The previous big one of adding more RAM pales in comparison.

    deminsd said:
    Think about it people...how much does a 128GB SSD cost today?  At the quantity Apple buys at, probably $20 or less.
    Why are we even talking about 128GB... 256 and 512 GB SSDs have gotten awfully cheap. It's only the 1TB and 2TB that are fairly expensive, but even then, not all that bad compared to HDs anymore. Sure, with a HD, you can easily go bigger (ie: 2TB, 4TB, 8TB) at a reasonable cost, but I think the typical user would be OK with 256 or 512 without too much trouble, given the rest of Apple's products are all now in those size ranges.

    I guess I'd have made the base model a 256GB SSD (SATA), with bigger HDs being optional for those who want lots of storage, knowing it will be slower. I want the UX to be as good as possible, even at entry level.

    kevin kee said:
    That would overheat the iMac faster during intense processing period. I would suggest to improve the cooling system without the chin first before removing the bezel. Unlike bezeless monitor, iMac monitor is also where CPU and GPU reside.
    For sure, next to the HD vs SSD debate, the next biggest problem are the thermals/noise. If they do ***ANY*** amount of redesign work on the iMac line, it should be to incorporate some of the cooling tech from the iMac Pro.
    edited March 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,874member
    cgWerks said:
    StrangeDays said:
    Only if you're concerned with performance. AI readers often seem to forget they are not the norm, are not normals. And lots of normal people don't give a crap. They want to write papers, surf the web, and collect photos. 
    Not true. Whether you know why, or give a crap, there is a very noticeable user experience difference. Normal people might not know why, but they'll know it feels laggy and slow if they ever use a computer with SSD (which more and more have). Having used computers for a long, long time, it's one of the most obvious user-experience jumps for decades. The previous big one of adding more RAM pales in comparison.

    It is true. There are millions of people who don't care that SSD is faster than HD. SSD won't make surfing a website any faster. SSD won't make typing a paragraph in a paper any faster. Again, these sorts of users (who few on AI seem to relate to whatsoever based on the typical complaints) aren't speeds & feeds people. They are casual users. And a new budget 2019 iMac 21.5" even with a SD, is completely acceptable to such a buyer. Which is why they bought the budget 21.5" iMac to begin with and didn't upgrade it to Fusion or SSD.
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 53
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,861administrator
    cgWerks said:
    One big thing to note, is that since Apple didn't include the T2 chip, even with the newer processors, it will export video much slower than a laptop or mini with the T2. So, if you do a lot of video encoding, you'll want to double-think getting one of these vs other options.
    (I was absolutely blown away the first time I tried HEVC/H.265 encoding on my Mac mini... several times faster than even the six-core i7, and little to no fan noise!)

    Our initial testing suggests that this speed gain has more to do with Intel QuickSync than the T2, but we're still working on it. More in a day or so. You're right about encoding speed, though. A job that my 3.46 5,1 12-core processes at 3 frames per second, the i7 mini does at 40.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 53
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,212member
    cgWerks said:
    StrangeDays said:
    Only if you're concerned with performance. AI readers often seem to forget they are not the norm, are not normals. And lots of normal people don't give a crap. They want to write papers, surf the web, and collect photos. 
    Not true. Whether you know why, or give a crap, there is a very noticeable user experience difference. Normal people might not know why, but they'll know it feels laggy and slow if they ever use a computer with SSD (which more and more have). Having used computers for a long, long time, it's one of the most obvious user-experience jumps for decades. The previous big one of adding more RAM pales in comparison.

    It is true. There are millions of people who don't care that SSD is faster than HD. SSD won't make surfing a website any faster. SSD won't make typing a paragraph in a paper any faster. Again, these sorts of users (who few on AI seem to relate to whatsoever based on the typical complaints) aren't speeds & feeds people. They are casual users. And a new budget 2019 iMac 21.5" even with a SD, is completely acceptable to such a buyer. Which is why they bought the budget 21.5" iMac to begin with and didn't upgrade it to Fusion or SSD.
    Heck my photo processing laptop has a primary 250GB SSD for programs and an internal 1TB "spinning drive" for data storage/other, and  a 2TB external Passport for storing original photos themselves, and I still upload processed originals to Google Photos (another optional 2TB subscription). There's those who need a LOT, as well as those that need hardly any at all.

    With cloud services the local stuff may not be as important to normal home users. 
    edited March 2019 macplusplus
  • Reply 46 of 53
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,112member
    Ask kids whether they want 1 TB hard disk or 256 GB SSD: kids will always choose 1 TB HD because that will store a lot of games and even a BootCamp partition with a lot more of Windows games. This base configuration is an adequate home machine. What do you expect from a i3 machine? Apple could default to 256 GB SSD on that configuration but a family would shortly run out of space: people have a lot of photos and videos, music and movies, kids with a lot of games and who invade their parents' laptops, iPhones and iPads when they run out of space... Absolute nonsense to self-mutilate because of a hard disk on a i3 home configuration...
    edited March 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 53
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,699member
  • Reply 48 of 53
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,861administrator
    #1 is sort of legit but the reasoning is faulty, #2 is not even close. While there is a "max" write number where the failure rate increases, even with heavy use, it won't be hit for 8 years plus.
    edited March 2019 canukstormcgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 53
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    StrangeDays said:
    It is true. There are millions of people who don't care that SSD is faster than HD. SSD won't make surfing a website any faster. SSD won't make typing a paragraph in a paper any faster. Again, these sorts of users (who few on AI seem to relate to whatsoever based on the typical complaints) aren't speeds & feeds people. They are casual users. And a new budget 2019 iMac 21.5" even with a SD, is completely acceptable to such a buyer. Which is why they bought the budget 21.5" iMac to begin with and didn't upgrade it to Fusion or SSD.
    But, it will make a difference, all over the UI in every day use. It will impact web-browsing, and possibly even typing a paper. They might not have used a SSD-based computer, I suppose, so might not think the lack of smoothness or beach-ball for a few seconds here and there isn't how it should be... I'll grant you that. But, given more computers are SSD-based, they are more likely to have used one and create comparison points in their head.

    If you've ever used a SSD-based computer, it would be really hard to go back. It's night and day, not a speed-freak kind of want.

    Mike Wuerthele said:
    Our initial testing suggests that this speed gain has more to do with Intel QuickSync than the T2, but we're still working on it. More in a day or so. You're right about encoding speed, though. A job that my 3.46 5,1 12-core processes at 3 frames per second, the i7 mini does at 40.
    I'll be interested to hear. Over in another article, someone said Quick Sync was more about h.264.
    Just FYI... in my testing so far, I'm comparing the same 2018 Mac mini, just encoding h.264 vs h.265. So, whatever gets turned on when switching to h.265 is what is making the difference. I thought that was the HEVC stuff from the T2.

    I don't know what the difference would be between h.264 (or h.265) if I was comparing the 2018 i7 to some previous gen i7. I know (from reports on ScreenFlow forums) that people with even slightly older MBPs (prior to T2) are seeing glacial speeds if they try to use the h.265 settings.

    Ask kids whether they want 1 TB hard disk or 256 GB SSD: kids will always choose 1 TB HD because that will store a lot of games and even a BootCamp partition with a lot more of Windows games. This base configuration is an adequate home machine. What do you expect from a i3 machine? Apple could default to 256 GB SSD on that configuration but a family would shortly run out of space: people have a lot of photos and videos, music and movies, kids with a lot of games and who invade their parents' laptops, iPhones and iPads when they run out of space... Absolute nonsense to self-mutilate because of a hard disk on a i3 home configuration...
    It really isn't that hard to add external storage, though. It does make things more complex (ie: moving Photos library, etc.), but I'm guessing these kinds of kids and families would figure it out.

    I guess the more valid question, is why not just plug a more standard SSD in where the HD is plugged in to get a bit more of both (speed at a lower cost and up the storage). I guess it still wouldn't be 1TB+ which seems the magic number, but 512GB would be pretty darn cheap.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 53
    Ask kids whether they want 1 TB hard disk or 256 GB SSD: kids will always choose 1 TB HD because that will store a lot of games and even a BootCamp partition with a lot more of Windows games. This base configuration is an adequate home machine. What do you expect from a i3 machine? Apple could default to 256 GB SSD on that configuration but a family would shortly run out of space: people have a lot of photos and videos, music and movies, kids with a lot of games and who invade their parents' laptops, iPhones and iPads when they run out of space... Absolute nonsense to self-mutilate because of a hard disk on a i3 home configuration...

  • Reply 51 of 53
    cgWerks said:
    StrangeDays said:
    Only if you're concerned with performance. AI readers often seem to forget they are not the norm, are not normals. And lots of normal people don't give a crap. They want to write papers, surf the web, and collect photos. 
    Not true. Whether you know why, or give a crap, there is a very noticeable user experience difference. Normal people might not know why, but they'll know it feels laggy and slow if they ever use a computer with SSD (which more and more have). Having used computers for a long, long time, it's one of the most obvious user-experience jumps for decades. The previous big one of adding more RAM pales in comparison.

    It is true. There are millions of people who don't care that SSD is faster than HD. SSD won't make surfing a website any faster. SSD won't make typing a paragraph in a paper any faster. Again, these sorts of users (who few on AI seem to relate to whatsoever based on the typical complaints) aren't speeds & feeds people. They are casual users. And a new budget 2019 iMac 21.5" even with a SD, is completely acceptable to such a buyer. Which is why they bought the budget 21.5" iMac to begin with and didn't upgrade it to Fusion or SSD.
    That would overheat the iMac faster during intense processing period. I would suggest to improve the cooling system without the chin first before removing the bezel. Unlike bezeless monitor, iMac monitor is also where CPU and GPU reside.

  • Reply 52 of 53
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    cgWerks said:
    One big thing to note, is that since Apple didn't include the T2 chip, even with the newer processors, it will export video much slower than a laptop or mini with the T2. So, if you do a lot of video encoding, you'll want to double-think getting one of these vs other options.
    (I was absolutely blown away the first time I tried HEVC/H.265 encoding on my Mac mini... several times faster than even the six-core i7, and little to no fan noise!)

    Our initial testing suggests that this speed gain has more to do with Intel QuickSync than the T2, but we're still working on it. More in a day or so. You're right about encoding speed, though. A job that my 3.46 5,1 12-core processes at 3 frames per second, the i7 mini does at 40.
    Just to follow up on this... cf. this page on Apple's site. They seem to indicate the T2:
    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/10/new-mac-mini-packs-huge-punch/

    "Apple T2 Security Chip Comes to Mac mini 
    The Apple T2 Security Chip brings industry-leading security to your Mac mini. The T2 features an SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption so everything stored on the SSD is automatically and fully encrypted. The Secure Enclave in T2 ensures that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with. T2 also features HEVC video transcoding that’s up to an incredible 30 times faster, enabling pro users to work more quickly with higher resolution video throughout their workflow."

    Also, here are some numbers from a recent test I did with a 15min ScreenFlow project.
    (Note, I'm not sure I have the setting matched between h.264 and h.265 enough to know they aren't having an impact. I went with defaults first, then tweaked the settings to try and make them match in a 2nd run... but that only made a 4-second difference. Also, the source was higher rez MBP native screen capture and I was crunching down to 1080p output.)

    Turbo boost vs no-Turbo boost was just to see how much difference it makes to go close to noise free vs lots of noise. As you can see, turbo boost has no impact on the h.265 output speed.

    No Turbo Boost
    h.264 'Normal' settings = 9 min 15 sec (file size 662 MB)
    h.265 default 3kbps, 256 AAC = 2 min 55 sec (file size 339 MB)
    h.265 6kbps, 128 AAC (to match h.264 settings) = 2 min 59 sec (file size 659 MB)

    Turbo Boost
    h.264 'normal' settings = 8 min 32 sec
    h.265 default (as above) = 2 min 55 sec

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