iMac G5 and iMac (Intel)

by Oliver -

Imacandimac

Can you tell which is which?

Today, we got our new iMac with Intel Core Duo processor. Three weeks ago I had just ordered a new iMac G5. Now they sit side by side in our meeting room. What do you think? Should we... ? Of course, we should! Let's do a shootout. Using our own applications. FotoMagico and iStopMotion which are both Universal Apps.

This is by no means a scientific comparison, it is more a "getting a feel" thing. Here are the "feelings":

Test 1: Export of a FotoMagico Slideshow to an iPod movie.
Surprisingly, the iMac G5 wins by a comfortable margin. Looking at the Activity Monitor indicates that QuickTime does not make use of the dual cores of the Intel iMac. It does not even seem to use the one core it uses to its max. So we think that there is performance potential to be realised in QuickTime.

Test 2: Export iStopMotion frames to images.
This time, the Intel iMac has a comfortable lead. It is almost twice as fast. Its faster bus seems to pay off when it comes to disk access. And writing TIFFs does not require as many floating point operations.

It quickly becomes clear that we have two completely different machines on our desk. Which is faster? Never before the answer was more true: it depends on what you are doing. Certainly the iMac Intel is a great machine for the price. The graphics chip is better than anything currently available built-in to a Mac. But should you be frustrated that you just bought an iMac G5 three weeks ago at the same price? Of course not. The iMac G5 still holds great appeal for people who want to run Photoshop, Logic, Final Cut and others - at least until the Universal version of these apps become available.