BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

MAIN INDEX of latest speed tests

iMac G5 versus other Macs
playing 3D Games at typical settings

Posted October 7th, 2004, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

On PAGE TWO, we explained why our tests showed the iMac G5's gaming advantage over the iMac G4 to be smaller than what Apple reported. We still prefer our Halo settings over Apple's since we believe they reflect how most gamers will be playing the game. We've added other Macs besides the old and new iMac so you can have some perspective on whether the iMac G5's 3D game performance is "unparalleled," as Apple puts it.

GRAPH LEGEND
PM G5/2.0MP SE = G5/2.0GHz MP Power Mac with Radeon 9800 Pro SE
PM G4/1.42MP = G4/1.42GHz MP Power Mac with Radeon 9700 Pro
Pbook G4/1.5 = G4/1.5GHz PowerBook 17" with Radeon 9700 mobility
20" iMacG5/1.8 = iMac G5/1.8GHz with GeForceFX 5200
20" iMacG4/1.25 = iMac G4/1.25GHz with GeForceFX 5200

CONFIG settings for Halo 1.05.1.3:
HW Shaders = Vertex, FSAA = none,
Lens Flare = medium, Model Detail = medium
VIDEO: Resolution 1024x768, Refresh = 0, Framerate Throttle = no vsync
Specular = off, Shadows = off, Decals = on, Particles = low
Texture Quality = medium
SOUND: Sound = on, Sound Quality = normal, Sound Variety = medium

As you can see, when I run Halo with my "real world" MEDIUM settings instead of Apple's test settings, the advantage of the 20" iMac G5 over the 20" iMac G4 shrinks from 39% to 7%.

CONFIG settings for UT2004 Full Version (patch 3323): When using Santa LCDBench, we ran Asbestos Botmatch, specifying 1024x768 and "Maximum Settings" which translates to: 12 bots, Colordepth 32bit, Texture Detail HIGHEST, Character Detail HIGHEST, World Detail HIGH, Physics Detail HIGH, Dynamic Mesh LOD HIGHEST, Decal Stay HIGH, Character Shadows FULL, Decals ON, Dynamic Lighting ON, Coronas ON, Trilinear Filtering ON, Projectors ON, Foliage ON, Weather Effects ON, Fog Distance Bar MAX, Sound Detail LOW.

When I run UT2004 build 3323 instead of build 3236 (like Apple used), the frames rates of the iMac G5/1.8 jumps from 33 to 42. In other words, the advantage over the 20" iMac G4/1.25 jumps from 52% to 93%. There must be some new G5 optimizations in build 3323. The only Mac in our test that was faster was the Power Mac G5 with Radeon 9800 Pro SE.

Just for fun, here's QUAKE 3 ARENA results:

CONCLUSION
You can tweak the settings to get the iMac G5 to distance itself from the iMac G4, as Apple has shown on their web site and that we've shown on the other iMac G5 Game page. But if you play the games at "NORMAL" settings or "HIGH QUALITY" settings, the gap can often shrink.

You can see we included other Macs on this test page. I call your attention to the G5/2.0GHz Power Mac with it's Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition. Notice the frame rates. It rocks compare to the others. A G5 Power Mac with a fast graphics card is the hot setup for gaming -- not just for Motion. ;-)

FOR NON-GAME TEST RESULTS ON THE IMAC G5, SEE PAGE ONE.

DOES MATCHING PAIR OF MEMORY MAKE THE iMAC G5 GO FASTER? SEE OUR ANSWER.

WE REFUTE APPLE'S AMAZING GRAPH SHOWING THE IMAC G5 200% FASTER THAN THE IMAC G4 -- SEE OUR PAGE TWO.

WHERE TO BUY THE iMac G5s

When ordering products from Apple Store USA, please click THIS TEXT LINK or any Apple display ad as your "portal" to the online store. In so doing, you help to support Bare Feats. (DON'T LIVE in the USA? See links for Apple online stores in other countries.)

WHERE TO BUY REFURBISHED or CLOSEOUT iMACS (12 month warranty)
For refurbished, reconditioned, open box (as well as new) iMacs, check with Small Dog and Power Max. Also look for the "SPECIAL DEALS" link on Apple's online store.

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2004 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster and mad scientist