Intel Duo performance lacking on Apple's new line

By Justin Mann on January 23, 2006, 7:27 PM
It was not all that much of a shock when we learned that the “double performance” Apple talked about with the Intel Duo CPU inside their new computers was mostly bunk, and that performance wasn't that high. But it may still yet be a surprise to learn that in some cases we're actually seeing a performance deficit. In some instances, performance is only 25 percent faster of the speed compared to PPCs.

"Unfortunately, our tests suggest that the remarkable results of Apple's published tests aren't reflected in most of the real-world applications we tested. Based on our initial tests, the new Core-Duo-based iMac seems to be 10-20 per cent percent faster than its predecessor when it comes to native applications, with some select tasks showing improvement above and beyond that,"
That's not entirely fair, as Mac software has not had much time to become optimized for the newer processor. As it stands right now, though, these Intel-using macs are failing to impress even some of the most die hard fans. As the software matures, we may see this change, and quite a bit – but don't count on it being a performance king.




User Comments: 19

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DragonMaster said:
Intel seems to make the CPUs less efficient but just boost the speed. Remember P4 against P3 ?Are even PowerPCs faster than Intels now? (Wasn't the case when computers were still around 400-600MHz)
JMag034 said:
Meh, I figured this would happen after Intel started fueling Macs.
DragonMaster said:
[quote]As it stands right now, though, these Intel-using macs are failing to impress even some of the most die hard fans. [/quote]Mac or Intel ones? I just think that Mac guys will laugh at PC's hardware even more. Fortunately, there's AMD and just talk to them about all the hardware problems Apple had. (iMac G5 capacitors, iPod battery, PowerBook mainboards, etc.)
paulwuzhere said:
I'm sorry but macs will never be as popular as PCs. PCs are just cheaper, easier to work on, and better for gaming. Intels involvement with mac has only led me to like AMD even more.
DragonMaster said:
[quote] I'm sorry but macs will never be as popular as PCs.[/quote]Maybe not. If they continue their "Makers of iPod" adversiting campaign I just wonder what will happen.[quote] PCs are just cheaper, easier to work on, and better for gaming.[/quote]True! Can you change your GPU on your iMac?Anyways, I dislike Macs even more because they switch to Intel.
PUTALE said:
i think the software needs to catch up with the hardware in order to really take the advantage of the dual core. Mac needs more as it's changing to new cpu, so the software all needs to be rework on.
crossfire851 said:
They should have came out with a seperate OS Programs etc,If they did everyone would lagh at them for there incompetents when they benchmarked,again.....
mav451 said:
Well this wasn't too unexpected. Consider that benches, that I've seen put the G5 vs. the Opteron as a +/-, push in some areas.So when you consider that the Dothans, clock for clock, were basically competitive with similarly clocked A64's, is it really a surprise that the Yonah's are behaving the same?+/-?Considering the clock speeds are still basically the same (1.7ish - 2.1ish); then the performance is going to continue to be +/-...When Intel decides to ramp up the clockspeed, then you'll see some performance increase. Right now Apple is just banking on the PPW (performance per watt)--which is really great for the Laptops...but not so much on the desktop. A shame really.
otmakus said:
This news will only make AMD delay their price decrease even more because they still have a huge lead in processors world. Sad news indeed.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[b]Originally posted by DragonMaster:[/b][quote][quote] PCs are just cheaper, easier to work on, and better for gaming.[/quote]True! Can you change your GPU on your iMac?Anyways, I dislike Macs even more because they switch to Intel.[/quote]Do you think they're targeted for the same kind of people?
buttus said:
What I find interesting is this.Those that use Apple are generally for a specific application. The best example I can use here is Adobe Photoshop as many graphic art houses standardized on Apple many years ago for it's true colour rendering.The applications that most use the Apple for (graphics and such) are SO processor and RAM intensive that it isn't funny. The irony here is that the hardware needed for these applications has had to be extrememly fast. It wasn't the processor speed that set Apple apart from PC, it was the architecture which made it beneficial to it's users.Now Apple is in bed with the worlds largest PC CPU manufacturer....and yet they are now experiencing speeds and performance which is much lower then most PC's.I think Apple just shot itself in the foot. Yes, Power PC's and Powerbooks have generally speaking been "prettier" then most PC's...but now the slight edge in application specific use has been lost.The Apple world can only pay more for less for so long before even some of the most die hard users simply get fed up and bite the bullet and switch to PC.
Skip said:
[b]Originally posted by paulwuzhere:[/b][quote]I'm sorry but macs will never be as popular as PCs. PCs are just cheaper, easier to work on, and better for gaming. Intels involvement with mac has only led me to like AMD even more.[/quote]Um, part of the reason Apple switched to Intel was cost and (believe it or not) heat management. Taking the Power PC past the current point was going to cost big bucks, and the current one ran so hot and sucked so much power it couldn't be used for laptops.They may not ever be as popular as MS OS PCs, but if they are going to an Intel platform, cost and maintenance will be about the same. Yes Apple charges more for their boxes, but you get what you pay for. There are people willing to pay more to get a computer that is not a black plastic box - and they are called wives.As for gaming, with the same processor, mobo and video card - why would there be much difference in gaming performance? The OS is just overhead. I suppose the drivers could cause some slowdown, but they should be easy to update now also.I never understood Apple haters (or PC haters either really). I've built and used PCs since 1990, but when I bought a computer for my home last year I bought an iMac. Sure it was more expensive and less powerful, but the primary users are my wife and kids for digital photos, email, chat and web surfing. Also with the bluetooth option I get something that takes up no space on my desk, a bright 20 in. wide LCD and no visible wires. Finally, using a non-standard OS means fewer viruses, spy-ware and other crap to worry about. So no I can't play FEAR yet, but a computer has more uses than as a FPS console. Maybe a lot of it has to do with age. My first computer was an Apple IIc in 1984 and I used all kinds of mainframes in college. Before that I had used various friends computers including the first IBM PCs with the Intel 8088 in it. My first PC was a brand new 386SX clone with a just released SVGA (800x600 16 colors) monitor. I've dealt with every kind of crap you can think of, and any modern computer is a joy to work with by comparison.Just my two cents,Skip
MonkeyMan said:
Maybe I'm out of line for saying this, but I think that Apple could have done better. I mean, they could have worked on this a little longer, before actually boasting about it. When you do things like that, consumers expect for you to live up to the expectation. And when you don't it makes you, and your entire company look bad, and that is what it has done for Apple. I love you Apple, but this was a bad move that you made.
sngx1275 said:
I'll try to address some of the issues in the above posts.Yes - You can change the GPU, not in a laptop, but in the G5 Towers you can change video cards.The performance is being jumped all over and the article and the similar article that Derek posted last week are not good at pointing out that a lot of this is done through emulation, through Rosetta. When developers have a chance to write the programs for the OSX platform on the Intel CPU the performance will likely increase, you can't really blame a program like Photoshop for running only a little faster when its being emulated.Apple's big PowerMac systems are still avaiable to be bought in the dual and quad processor G5s I believe, so if you are a big power user and don't want to risk the new Intel stuff yet, the G5s are still avaiable.
mentaljedi said:
Boring and totally predicatable. Intel is just not on top of it are they? AMD is getting fresh staff with a new president coming in etc... Intel chaning its slogan won't do much to compete with fresh talent... Well not fresh but anyway, change is good
DragonMaster said:
[quote]Um, part of the reason Apple switched to Intel was cost and (believe it or not) heat management.[/quote]Wasn't it that IBM prefered making processors for consoles than Macs?[quote]I never understood Apple haters (or PC haters either really).[/quote]Well, sure, there are some things I like from Mac(PPC was), but having to buy an expensive machine, with an expensive OS from the same company, and then have to pay to upgrade from ex. OS X 10.3 to 10.4, again from the same company just makes me furious just to see how many cash they're making.While that with PC I can get a custom one assembled by a small local retailer that costs less for the same performance. I can choose if I want an AMD, a VIA or an Intel CPU, the case, PSU, and all this. I'm just not the target person I think. I suppose that people that buy Macs want a ready-made machine that you just plug in and everything goes well.Those that don't like PC are often saying that it's just because there's Windows on it. When I say I use Linux they just are saying Oh, well, OK. But, the worst is that I see that they often use IE and M$ Office on their Macs. These are software products that I don't even use myself on my Windows installations.[quote]Yes - You can change the GPU, not in a laptop, but in the G5 Towers you can change video cards. [/quote] Forgot to tell that I was talking about iMac.[quote]using a non-standard OS means fewer viruses, spy-ware and other crap to worry about.[/quote]I absolutely don't worry about these on Windows, because there are some 3rd apps that can protect me. It's not the case with the integrated firewall with Linux and MacOS that I can't really tell if it's secure because there's just a small configuration window to set your protection settings.[quote]for my home last year I bought an iMac.[/quote] The only recent Mac I use is the first-generation iMac G5 and I just freak when I look at the amount of hardware problems it has. It's getting crashy. Maybe the caps are starting to leak? I looked a few weeks ago and they were all OK.
barfarf said:
If you want tp see the true power of dual core then patience is a must. Remeber it took a while on the windows side to get a few game patches that finally took advantaged of the dual core potential. This is just sit and wait game for the early adopters. I hate waiting =)
Skip said:
[b]Originally posted by DragonMaster:[/b][quote]Wasn't it that IBM preferred making processors for consoles than Macs?[/quote]Yes that was definitely part of it. IBM was going to make Apple shoulder much of the cost of the generation PPC, because they just are not into the PC thing anymore. That's what I meant when I said cost.[quote]I'm just not the target person I think. I suppose that people that buy Macs want a ready-made machine that you just plug in and everything goes well.Those that don't like PC are often saying that it's just because there's Windows on it. When I say I use Linux they just are saying Oh, well, OK. But, the worst is that I see that they often use IE and M$ Office on their Macs. These are software products that I don't even use myself on my Windows installations.[/quote]I totally agree with you. I bought my iMac because I could take it out of the box, plug it in and leave it for my wife and kids. Also she liked the style of the iMac. Like you said - its definitely not for everyone. Actually _my_ next computer (not the family computer) will be a nice OCed AMD affair. I know exactly what I want and I intend to build it that way.I don't run anything buggy on the Mac either - no MS software as I don't buy beta products. And I know the people on the Mac side you are talking about - they like their Mac because it makes them different and special in their mind.[quote]I absolutely don't worry about these on Windows, because there are some 3rd apps that can protect me. It's not the case with the integrated firewall with Linux and Marcos that I can't really tell if it's secure because there's just a small configuration window to set your protection settings.[/quote]Again, I don't worry about myself on Windows for the same reason. I buy and update good virus protection and practice smart surfing. My wife generally knows her way past the pitfalls of the internet, but my kids are young and click on everything. Having them on the Apple gives me a little more room for error. And I still run 3rd party protections apps on the Apple, because you can't just trust to luck.[quote]The only recent Mac I use is the first-generation iMac G5 and I just freak when I look at the amount of hardware problems it has. It's getting crashy. Maybe the caps are starting to leak? I looked a few weeks ago and they were all OK.[/quote]I have the same iMac and there are problems with the caps. Mine blew and leaked - you could smell it as soon as you walked into the room. I dropped it off at my Apple store and they replaced it right away. If you are still covered take it back to them, they had to replace my whole PSU. Other than that though I haven't had a single issue with the hardware. Well, my bluetooth mouse is cooked, but I blame my one year old who repeatedly banged it against anything he could find (he is addicted to the computer because he sees his older brother use it).Thanks for the thoughtful post,Skip[edited for cosmetic purposes][Edited by Skip on 2006-01-25 13:38:17]
djleyo said:
i figured this would happen apple should of gone AMD but thats just me i would like to see a OS X 64 BIT edition
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