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TheBudge

[Review] Intel iMac.

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My impressions of the the new Intel iMacs:

 

This being my first post, let me thow out some credentials: I have been in the computer buisness for over 15 years. I am CCNA and A+ certified, and have expierence with a multitude of OS's, website creation (i.e: flash, dreamweaver, notepad, PHP) software. I have used apples from the Apple IIe -> present. Although my main focus of work has been wtih PC.

 

I just recently bought a 17in intelMac, the 1.83ghz dual core, 1GIG ram, x1600, etc. (im sure many of you know the specs on these machines) The systems that I can compaire this to are:

iBook G4 1.1 ghz, 512mb ram, 32mb radeon m7500, etc.

Desktop PC: Amd 64 3000+, 1 gig DDR 400, dvd burner, GeForce FX 6600 256 MB.

I am getting to the jist of theses systems, but if any of you would like more info on them, please feel free to ask.

 

Upon initial startup, I was not completly impressed, infact, it seemed slower than the intial startup of my iBook, but since this was my new toy i decided to give it a chance. after I went through the initial setup and booted into the OS, I noticed a few things right off the start, first the screen size and brightness was beautiful even on the small screen (I had played with a G5 20" iMac befroe i purchased this system) and I started off by installing the most recent OS updates. The system did a restart and that is when I noticed a Huge speen increase over my G4, and it even booted faster than my AMD 64 system. next, I installed office 2004, Firefox, and Toast 7 titanium at the same, while adding my 30+ Gigs of music to the iTunes on this computer and surfing the web. It all went smoothly, aside from a small time of lag opening iTunes and Safari, which can be attributed to the program installs. This operation I would have never attempted on my PC, and certianly not on my ibook (although im sure the iBook could handle the chore, it would just be painstakingly slow. ) I ran the updates for the software, and it all worked well. I then Purchased Macromedia studio 8, installed 4 programs included in the package at once and again, flawless operation. (I have not yet been able to use Adobe CS 2 because i ran outtta $, but when i do i will update this post) However, when opening these programs (which dont have the universal binaries yet) I noticed the intel macs major weakness: Rosetta, opening these programs was slower than it was on my desktop, and about the same speed as on the iBook. Mozilla Firefox, again to open it is painstakingly slow (compaired to the potential of the machine) and i seem to have issues with downloading on the browser, the program will freeze unexpectadly (as with many non-intel native apps. with the exception of the Macromedia software.) Then I ran some games, as many of us know games are a good way to give your system a workout. I installed World of Warcraft, Halo, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Doom3, all of which have thier requirements far surpased by this particular machine. WoW ran very well, almost, if not better than on my PC, the coloring was rich, and the textures were beautiful, I wish i could say the same about the rest of the games I install (with the exception of DOOM 3 which had the native patch on it. It looked better than on my PC, but did not run quite as fast.) Halo and UT 2k4 were choppy at best, and it didnt matter if i dropped the res from highest to lowest, and the acceleration features such as Anti-Aliasing, dynamic showdows, Trilinear filtering, etc . . . had no real effect on performance either. I suspect that when these programs become native, then this problem will be resolved. Over all this computer is FAST. It's multitasking capabilities far surpass any other computer I have used.

 

Conclusions:

- Strong performace, which can get faster over time, once universal binaries are implemented throughout MAC software.

- Not for hardcore gamers, but has the capacity to be able to play many mainstream games (assuming they have the universal binaries are applied)

- Great multitasking ability, super fast speed for video and audio.

- If you use programs like Photoshop and Macromedia Studio daily or even a few times a week, hold off and wait for universal binaries to be released for the software.

:(:D:star_smile::star_smile: (4/5) - due to the software incompatabilities/glitches.

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Thank you for the review TheBudge. I imagine the only missing in the equation are the native professional applications. I just can't wait for the Tower Powers to be released. I would reserve Windows for gaming though.

 

:P

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Yeah i know, Thats why i got both, abyways, I just wanted to update, I nabbed a copy of photoshop CS2, and it had an update after I installed it, Since im dumb, i forgot to test it out b4 i updated. The app seems to run smoothly, and the startup time seems pretty fast, but i am unable to determine weather adobe released the univ. binaries for the product, it def runs faster on my iMac than my iBook or PC, so i think that the binaries have been released, now all i need is another monitor and ill be good to go :(.

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Nice review. I hope the Intel Macs will be better with gaming than the previous Macs. For the time being, somebody needs to work out a dual boot solution! Oh, that's right, there is a $10,000 purse so that is not going to get done for a while....

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No, i did not try the intel firefox build thanx for the link. i am downlaoding now, and i will tell you guys what i think, thanx for all the feedback.

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OK, I was able to try out the Beta universal Binaries firefox, named "DeerPark" it works well, starts sup fast, but i noticed that sometimes it will not exactly freeze but it wont allow me to use my keyboard, its wierd, any1 else have the same problem?

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i noticed that sometimes it will not exactly freeze but it wont allow me to use my keyboard, its wierd, any1 else have the same problem?

I don't want to dilute this thread but Ff runs all the time on my hacked box. I never use safari due to my mouse problem. In any case, I don't have the same problem with it. Here is a tip, in the URL box, type the following: about:config then search for browser.cache.memory.capacity. Change the value to 16384. This change will make sure Firefox does not eat more than 70mb of your preciouse memory.

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:hysterical: dont get me wrong. the firefox mod can be set on all platforms because Mozilla hasn't fixed the problem if excessive memory use in firefox.

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I have the new intel binaries beta version labeled "deer park" it doent seem to ahve that value, i have:

 

browser.cache.disk.capacity

 

which is the closet value i could find . . . hrmmm. . . :)

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The iBook was bought in Sept. of 2003. and thanx i will try the unibin patch.

 

..so then it must be an iBook G3, not a G4? :D

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G4 just hit the market

 

 

True... the official release was October 2003 to be precise. but that machine has got a ATI 9200 mobility, and not a 7500, as you mention... see www.apple-history.com ?

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Thanks for the review. The first time I read through it, I came away with the impression that the iMac might not be that great with games. Then I noticed that the 2 games you were really impressed with (speed wise) were Universal Binaries (e.g. native Intel) and the 2 you were disappointed with were PowerPC running under Rosetta. I think over all when those two are compiled as Universal the iMac won't be too shaby for mid range games.

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