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iMac Update 1.0 versus 1.1
Three Tough iMacs
and Three Tough 3D Games

Originally posted September 15th, 2007, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We wanted to zero in on the difference between the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro drivers found in the iMac Update 1.0 versus 1.1. We received email from readers hoping and praying that the latest update would make their 3D accelerated games go faster.

One of the things we learned is that the old drivers ignored Anisotropic Shading. So in an effort to illustrate this point and the overall speed difference, we picked three of the most demanding 3D accelerated games: Quake 4, Prey, and World of Warcraft. All three use Anisotropic Shading, which is now enabled with Update 1.1 drivers.

We compared the AL iMac 2.8GHz, the AL iMac 2.4GHz -- both with the Radeon HD 2600 Pro, and the previous fastest 2.33GHz (with the optional GeForce 7600 GT).

iMac 2.33 G7600 = iMac C2D 2.33GHz with GeForce 7600 GT
iMac 2.8 Update 1.1 = iMac C2D 2.8GHz with iMac Update 1.1 installed
iMac 2.4 Update 1.1 = iMac C2D 2.4GHz with iMac Update 1.1 installed
iMac 2.8 Update 1.0 = iMac C2D 2.8GHz with iMac Update 1.0 installed
iMac 2.4 Update 1.0 = iMac C2D 2.4GHz with iMac Update 1.0 installed
(Both Aluminum iMacs had 4GB of RAM and a Radeon HD 2600 Pro GPU)

If you enable Anisotropy when gaming, you will see a slowdown in frame rates on the new iMacs with iMac Update 1.1. That's due to the fact that Anisotropy was DISABLED in the iMac Update 1.0. In other words, you are going to take a hit now that Anisotropiy is truly enabled.

If you do NOT enable Anisotropy or use the lowest setting (as in WoW), then Update 1.1 will cause only a slight drop in frame rates. It will probably not be noticeable without a benchmarking tool.

The main purpose of iMac Update 1.1 is bug fixes. That's a good thing. Meanwhile, AMD is working feverishly on optimizing the Radeon HD 2600 Pro and 2400 XT drivers. We will certainly alert you when those optimized drivers are officially released by Apple Support.

As for running demanding 3D accelerated games like Quake 4 and Prey, the previous generation iMac 2.33GHz with the optional GeForce 7600 GT (with its "mature" drivers) remains the fastest iMac on the planet. If you are an iMac fan and an avid gamer, it is still "the Champ."

See our "pre Update 1.1" gaming results on all three new iMac models versus other Macs.

See Cinebench 10 and Motion 3 results for all three Aluminum iMac versus others

See our Windows XP Pro/Vista version of the 3D Game tests comparing the 2.8GHz iMac to the 2.33GHz iMac.

See test results from Photoshop CS3 and After Effects CS3 on all three new iMacs and how memory capacity affects speed.

If you live in the USA and plan to purchase an APPLE product, please CLICK THIS LINK or any APPLE DISPLAY AD to help us earn our affiliate commission. It's a great way to support Bare Feats.

We always order our Macs with the factory default memory config and then visit either Other World Computing or Trans International to purchase our memory upgrades.

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2007 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster and mad scientist