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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

"BARE facts on Mac speed FEATS"

"Early 2008" iMac
Radeon HD 2600 Pro versus
GeForce 8800 GS

Originally posted May 9th, 2008, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

One of the most interesting features of the new Penryn iMacs is the addition of the GeForce 8000 GS as a CTO option. We wanted to see how much "fun" it brings to the "party."

ASPYR PREY
It 'represents' for the games based on the Doom 3 engine. We use a demo file in our benchmarking that we downloaded from Overclockers in Australia. High Quality was selected (including 8X anisotropy and shadows). Resolution was 1920x1200.

MACSOFT HALO
We ran the newest UB version (2.0.2). We set everything to the highest quality except lens flare. FSAA was set to OFF. Resolution was 1920x1200.

ASPYR ENEMY TERRITORY: QUAKE WARS (ETQW)
This is the newest "shoot'em up" game for the Mac. We created our own netdemo file and ran it at 1920x1200 High Quality.

STONE DESIGN IMAGINATOR
We have found this to be a revealing test for Pro App graphics intensive performance. Our test is to apply various Core Image effects to a 1000 frame morph from a Leopard to a Rose. We calculated the results in frames per second.

LEGEND of GRAPHS
MP G8800 GT = "Mid 2007" Mac Pro 3.0GHz with "legacy" GeForce 8800 GT
iMac G8800 GS = "Early 2008" iMac 3.06GHz Penryn with GeForce 8800 GS
iMac R2600 '08 = "Early 2008" iMac 2.8GHz Penryn with Radeon HD 2600 Pro
iMac R2600 '07 = "Mid 2007" iMac 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme with Radeon HD 2600 Pro

The Mac Pro result was colored in ORANGE; it's not quite fair to compare it to the iMac but it does provide a point of reference.

INSIGHTS
The GeForce 8800 GS option for the new Penryn iMac is a welcome addition -- especially for 3D OpenGL apps like games. At 1920x1200 High Quality on the 24" iMac, it doubles the frame rates for most games.

But if you are using it for Core Image based Pro Apps, as you can see from the iMaginator graph, it won't provide much of a gain if any. That may change as driver improvements are made. If so, we'll pass on the good news.

COMING SOON
Stay tuned for some additional tests where we stress the CPU.

WAIT -- THERE's MORE
Some of you asked for comparisons to older iMacs. We're adding some results at 1280x800 High Quality that will give you a flavor of how they compare to the newest Penryn iMacs.

LEGEND of GRAPHS
iMac 3.0 G8800 GS = "Early 2008" iMac 3.06GHz Penryn with GeForce 8800 GS
iMac 2.8 R2600 '08 = "Early 2008" iMac 2.8GHz Penryn with Radeon HD 2600 Pro
iMac 2.8 R2600 '07 = "Mid 2007" iMac 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme with Radeon HD 2600 Pro
iMac 2.3 G7600 = "Late 2006" iMac 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo with GeForce 7600 GT
iMac 2.0 R1600 = "Early 2006" iMac 2.0GHz Core Duo with Radeon X1600

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY A MAC
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.)

Also check with Small Dog Electronics and Power Max. (Power Max takes trade-ins.)

WHERE TO BUY MEMORY FOR YOUR MAC
Apple charges and arm and a leg for CTO memory options. We suggested ordering your Mac with minimal configuration and ordering quality Mac tested memory upgrades from ....

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2008 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster