Intel-based Macs fall short in benchmarks

Intel-based Macs fall short in benchmarks

Summary: The problem isn't the raw speed of Apple's 2.0 Ghz Intel-based dual-core iMacs.

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The problem isn't the raw speed of Apple's 2.0 Ghz Intel-based dual-core iMacs.  According to CNET Anchordesk's Rafe Needleman, it's the inability of buyers to get at that performance through natively written applications.  Wrote Needleman in a recent Anchordesk newsletter:

Intel-powered iMac fails performance tests: This is an awkward time for Mac buyers. If you buy an Apple iMac Core Duo today, you'll get a machine that will be a great all-around performer--eventually. While it runs new applications (such as the iLife suite) quickly, existing applications run slowly. We won't be able to recommend the iMac for general use until apps such as Photoshop are released for the new design. For workstation-class performance today, check out the Power Mac G5 Quad, but know the architecture will soon be obsolete.

The complete review (including a video) of the Apple iMac Core Duo (20-inch, 2.0GHz) as well as those of other new systems from Apple can be found on ZDNet's reviews channel.

Topic: Reviews

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126 comments
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  • Yep bad performance was perdictable..

    And you have to spend a whopping $1700 for a slug of a machine. How foolish Jobs must think the droves of mac faithful are. Guess what,,,he is right. The thing is going to sell. despite it being saddled with a stunted intel brain. Because there are many who will sit there and rationalize away its bad performance. "Its easier to use than windows etc etc..." Well if windows is to hard to master, your dumber than a 7 year old. They can pick up on it in a half an hour.... LOL For those in the know,,,,there is no good reason to invest in this failed experiment.
    wizzzer
    • Troll bait

      Reading comprehension not your strong suit, obviously.

      Why is this a failed experiment? The speed of applications on
      this thing is great when they have been built for Intel. If you
      have older applications that have not been recompiled for the
      new architecture, they have to run in emulation. Yeah, obviously
      going to be slow.

      The browser, email, and iLife applications are all running native
      now. Office runs fine under Rosetta, but will be shipping soon.
      Professional video apps from Apple will be ready in March.

      Hardly a failed experiment.
      SkipNewarkDE
    • Not sure its a slug yet...

      Most of the Apple fan reviews say the thing is "lots" faster than the old PPC G5, which makes you wonder how fast the old ones really were, despite their claims.
      What I really want is a comparison of the Mac with a PC on two identical programs on two as-identical-as-you-can-get-them boxes. If you can even find a 2.0GHz processor anywhere for your Windows box. Plus a Windows box assembled to match the price of the G5, as obviously, for the price of the new Mac I can assemble a PC with an over 3GHz CPU and more RAM than the G5. Then we'll be comparing Apples to Apples! uh... well you know what I mean...
      ajole
      • Exactly...

        I've run the new OSx86 on an old intel P3 with all new applications, and it was very quick. Of course, I didn't try it on old applications, but I"m guessing it's a substantial difference. Either way, in a year the old apps will be obsolite soon anyway. I'm sure they're not too concerned about the old apps, considering it'll force people to spend more money.
        mockylock
      • Speed? C'mon

        We had a 286 once and a rather simple game that was fun to play.
        Fun, until the 486 DX2 came out and a game went something like
        this: "To play a game, press Return"
        We did. The screen went blurry for a tenth of a second and then it
        said, "You lose, want to play again?" The point is, your computer is
        FAST until new technology comes out and blows it away.
        Somewhere down the road is a processor that will make today's
        computers seem like dogs. After that, another, then another etc.
        trm1945
    • You don't know what you're talking about

      The computer is slower only in PPC native apps. As soon as intel specific apps are available the speed will be there, possibly faster than Windows since the Unix core of OSX is more efficient.
      tbcass
    • WIZZZER =

      T-R-O-L-L
      brian ansorge
  • I'd like to see MS put Windows on a G5

    If they even did, you know it'd crawl... I can barely run it on a P4.
    duane.wills@...
    • Windows on a G5?

      Actually, on a Dual 2.0 G5 Mac with VirtualPC, Windows XP Pro
      runs quite quickly.
      frabjous
    • What are you blithering about?

      Why on earth are you running a P4? Get an AMD and let the windows fly!

      But I'd also love to see Windows on a G5, not emulated, and see how she runs
      ajole
    • Short Sited Mac Users

      I've used lots of different systems and when I hear Mac users knocking Windows systems it just makes me sad... sad that their singleminded passion for Mac makes them blind to it's shortcomings and means that they have to poke holes in anything else.

      I'm sorry I don't like MAC. I don't like it because it doesn't support the majority of hardware, is over priced and is dumbed down. Try pluggin in a NON-MAC certified printer/Scanner/Card and watch what happens.. And you'll pay more for your MAC certified printer/Scanner/Card as well!

      Plug almost ANYTHING into windows/Linux, in fact build your windows/Linux system from bits and pieces you had laying around the floor taken out of defunct PC's and it will nearly always just work.

      And when you're desktop publishing in Quark and you want to do something really cool that you have done before in other applications and you discover that in order to keep the interface as simple as possible that Quark just 'left that feature out' for simplicity you tend toward disliking MAC.

      I like Operating Systems that work.. I don't actually care who makes them, MAC/Windows/Linux.. it just needs to work and be at a reasonable price.. MAC doesn't do that for me.. and the passion MAC users show borders on the excessive!

      Ursulus
      ursulus
      • Had to be done

        I've used lots of different systems and when I hear Windows
        users knocking Mac systems it just makes me sad... sad that
        their singleminded passion for Windows makes them blind to it's
        shortcomings and means that they have to poke holes in
        anything else.

        I'm sorry I don't like Windows. I don't like it because it doesn't
        support the majority of hardware, is over priced and is dumbed
        down. Try pluggin in a NON-Windows certified printer/Scanner/
        Card and watch what happens.. And you'll pay more for your
        Windows certified printer/Scanner/Card as well!

        Plug almost ANYTHING into a Mac, and it just works. Period.

        And it's great to use software like Quark and Photoshop and
        Word on the Mac, since all those programs started on the Mac,
        that's where their origins lie. It's much better than using a
        cobbled-together version ported over to another OS.

        I like Operating Systems that work.. I don't actually care who
        makes them, MAC/Windows/Linux.. it just needs to work and be
        at a reasonable price.. Windows doesn't do that for me.. and the
        passion Windows users show borders on the excessive!
        tic swayback
        • You really don't get it, do you?

          Plugging "almost anything into a Mac" results in nothing, as the only thing that will work on the Mac is stuff Mac authorizes. Try adding a Non-Mac certified SATA controller card or a modem to your Mac, and see what happens. The PC on the other hand will literally run almost any piece of hardware around, regardless of Windows certification, and usually without add-on drivers when XP is the OS. And it costs 30% of the cute Mac stuff; like my $35 DVD burner. What does your "Superdrive" cost? Reasonable cost is not a Mac thing at all, nor is "just working" with any add on peripherals that Steve Jobs isn't taking a chunk of money out of for certification.
          Get real.
          ajole
          • New Intel iMacs

            I see and use the Intel Mac's on a regular basis, and I've been using G5 and G4 powered Mac's for a long time. I own one of each (a 1.67 GHz Powerbook and a dual-2.3 GHz G5 Power Mac), so I know of what I speak. The dude who wrote that article is just trying to stir up do-do. The new Intel Mac's are great. Most people who are going to buy and use them couldn't give a rat's derriere about whether or not they can install a super whammy ding dong PCI card in their shamalamadingdong slot, and if you price an iMac vs. your typical Dell, the iMac gives you much more for your money...hardware and software included. Oh yes...I am subjected to using a Win2000 machine 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year at my other job...for the USAF, and it sucks about 39 inches of mercury. Most people's needs will be completely satisfied running the app's that are already running native. The person buying an iMac isn't going to give an excretive deleted whether or not this new iMac will be able to run Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic, Photoshop, Aperture or any of the other pro app's right now. It's not the machine a 'pro' would buy right now to do those things. They'd buy a Power Mac...probably a Quad-Core G5. Why are there so many people in this world so full of their own BS? The iMac is a beautiful machine, and it performs fantasticly. And it's only going to get better, and better, and better as more and more universal binary app's come out to run at full speed on the Intel hardware. And I'll be there when they do...selling the living excretive deleted out of them. And oh, by the way, I'm already selling the excretive deleted out of these things. :-) Billy Boy Gates Fan-boys read it and weep, baby!
            macspirit
          • You've never used a Mac, have you?

            Have you looked at a Mac in the last 5 years? All their internal
            parts other than the motherboard are the exact same internal parts
            you use in your Windows PC. I think you're living in the past, and
            relying on faulty information.

            All the peripherals as well. With the Mac it's literally "plug and
            play", as opposed to the PC where it's "plug and pray".
            tic swayback
          • ditto, tic

            I've installed lots of after-market stuff in and on my Mac's. RAM, graphics cards, parallel interface hard drives, SCSI devices, SATA hard drives, DVD burners, USB audio interface adapters, printers, scanners, flash drives, external USB and FireWire hard drives...tons of things. And I've tried to do the same with Windows XP, and I've had much more trouble getting Windows to cooperate than I ever have my Mac. And since when has Windows XP been known for its backwards hardware compatibility prowess? How much did my SuperDrive cost? Gee, I don't know. How long did it take you to find all the various drivers and bits of software you needed to burn a particular type of disc on your Windows PC? I replaced the old SuperDrive in my dual-G4 tower with a Pioneer piece I picked up on blow-out sale at BestBuy, and it worked right out of the box. 16x and DL. No problem. No drama. How's that digital camcorder coming along on your FireWire-less Windows PC, my friend?
            macspirit
          • In real World Use....

            This controversy will go on for ever until Mac OS X runs on a none Apple machine officially then the clouds will propably clear. In my line of work I work with both Macs and PCs (Graphics, Web design and Destop Publishing). My AMD 64 3500+ PC will outrun the 1,8 Ghz G5 any time with the same amount of RAM and disk space no matter what others say.
            I even got the Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium for the PC only (I gave up Quark a long time ago) and it runs great. In terms of hardware Windows are and have been for a long time more flexible than Macs. Years have past the time Macs were THE machines (anybody remember the AMIGA) and the x86 platform, much inferior in the beggining it surfaced top at the end. But to be fair if a user who knows nothing of computers and does not want to play the wild animal tamer, would ask me I would advice him to check out a Mac, cause Mac OS is and were always easier to deal than Windows.
            Thus I believe if Apple makes OSx for all x86 computers then they might win the market. But this will have to wait cause despite the controversy Mac Osx is not compatible with the millions of hardware out there and they need a lot of work yet to catch up in this area.

            'till then bye and out.

            PS:Sorry Linux fans I did not mention it (we use it on the server) but it is far away from becoming the general publics choice yet.
            akaralia
      • Freaking Windows Biggot!

        You have no idea what you are talking about. You've never used a
        Mac. It's obvious or you wouldn't say the ignorant things you say.
        Mac OSX is simply the best OS available. Have you ever heard of
        plug and play. that's Mac OSX. Windows is both plug and pray. Most
        good hardware is Mac compatible. A lot of cheap crappy electronics
        are Windows only. I wouldn't plug that stuff into my Mac anyway.
        With a Mac you get what you pay for, a fine quality computer.
        MacGeek2121
        • Windows wasnt singled out

          MACs are fine quality PC's. I think you're missing the point a little here. What's being said is that IBM PC's running EITHER Windows, or Linux, things work and work well. The point of the story is that the MAC's don't perform. Obviously its hit a nerve.
          Sparhawk_z
          • Nervy

            Oh, yeah...that's it. The guy who defended the Mac was just being overly sensitive, because he knew...deep down...that the criticism was valid. ROFLMAO Well, Sparhawk, I feel pretty secure in saying that Mac's do perform, and do so astoundingly well. And the deal is, they're going to keep on performing better than Windows PCs for a long...long...long time. I can pretty much guarantee it. The user experience on a typical PC running XP is light years behind that of OS X running on an iMac or a Power Mac G5. Mac's aren't...by any stretch of the imagination...perfect, but they're a hell of a lot closer to perfection than the cobbled together mess that describes most PCs. Apple provides a killer combination of hardware, operating system and applications that is so superior to its PC competition it's really absurd to even suggest that the Windows experience could even begin to approach it. When an average Windows user walks into an Apple store and has someone show them everything they can do on a Mac, and how easily they can do it, they are astounded. You can see it in their faces, and you can hear it in their words. Nothing in the PC world compares with iLife '06. Nothing. $79 for six killer app's? Show me the Windows equivalent, my friend. Bring it. iChatAV is now integrated with GarageBand, so you can create your own podcast radio interview shows, complete with pix of your guests, as each one speaks. Built-in iSight camera with high quality video, built-in mike and the ability to video conference with four people at one time. Photo casting. Animated title sequences in iMovieHD. Absolutely stunning graphics in iMovieHD, iPhoto, iDVD and iWeb. Every one of them integrated with each other. Common interface. Shallow learning curve. Works like you think. Secure. User friendly. Wildly creative. World-class industrial design. A fluid, totally coherent whole, not some design by commmittee hodge podge of ill-fitting, nearly unfathomable software pieces that seem to only work 'most of the time'. So, by all means...continue to denigrate the Mac. After all, it was designed by the same folks who designed that lame iPod thing. And you know what a lousy piece of work 'that' thing is.
            macspirit