G5 iMac Video Card

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 22 of 66
    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).
  • Reply 23 of 66
    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play games or not, there are dozens of people for every one of you who do or would if their machines weren't already outdated in terms of performance.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.
  • Reply 24 of 66
    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
  • Reply 25 of 66
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    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
  • Reply 26 of 66
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    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.
  • Reply 27 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 28 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 29 of 66
    aphelionaphelion Posts: 736member
    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.



    ...
  • Reply 30 of 66
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    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?
  • Reply 31 of 66
    bborofkabborofka Posts: 230member
    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.
  • Reply 32 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 33 of 66
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    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.
  • Reply 34 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 35 of 66
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,827member
    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
  • Reply 36 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 37 of 66
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    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.
  • Reply 38 of 66
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    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.
  • Reply 39 of 66
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    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.
  • Reply 40 of 66
    naplesxnaplesx Posts: 3,743member
    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.




    Yeah but install Norton A/V and spy-ware software and add-blocker software and it becomes slower than the iMac, for sure. I couldn't believe the performance these programs suck out of a new computer.
Sign In or Register to comment.