Apple Intel iMac 17" with benchmarks

Apple Intel iMac 17" with benchmarks

I received my 17" iMac today in exchange for my Developers Transition Kit. This was perhaps the coolest deal I’ve seen for developers. I signed up with $1000 thinking I was leasing a $1500 machine for 1.5 years back in June. Instead it turns out I was buying a $1300 machine 7 months early.

Updated: Added Ruby on Rails comparison

First impressions:

1) Setup was completely trivial.
2) Seems very snappy. About the same as my dual G5 for most operations.
3) FrontRow is pretty cool. I can’t wait for them to update it to actually record things.
4) The iSight that is built in looks much better than my 2 yr old real iSight
5) Dead quiet and cool to the touch even after hours of stress.

I did experience one odd problem. The first time I enabled Windows Sharing nmbd maxed out one of the CPUs. Not sure why. Haven’t been able to reproduce it yet. After getting that fixed I did a couple of benchmarks:

G5 = 2.5 ghz dual processor G5, 4G RAM
iMac = 1.83 ghz Intel Core Duo, 512M RAM

Encode a 34s MPEG-4 clip using Encode for iPod:
G5: 42s
iMac: 57s (84s with a single CPU enabled)

OXFMark (a serverside Java benchmark, JDK 1.4.2):
G5: 1743
iMac: 2078

BenchJS (
G5: 7.8s
iMac: 3.73s

Apply iMovie HD Aged Film effect to 36s clip:
G5: 37s
iMac: 47s

Build Gauntlet’s Native stack (Apache2, Subversion, PosgreSQL, etc, single-threaded GCC builds):
G5: 27:56
iMac: 22:44

Build AdiumX @ 15090 for the appropriate architecture (multi-threaded Xcode build):
G5: 5:35
iMac: 3:26

Handbrake encode first 5% of Napoleon Dynamite to H.264:
G5: 15.08 fps
iMac: 22.04 fps

Build and test a Java / PostgreSQL application (JDK 1.5), best of 5 (varied wildly, though the imac always won):
G5: 48s
iMac: 38s

IntelliJ 5.0.2 Default Analysis (JDK 1.5, -Xms128m/-Xmx128m):
G5: 83s
iMac: 55s

Run Unit and Functional Tests for Ruby on Rails Project (MySQL 4.1, Ruby 1.8.4, Rails 1.0):
G5: 23.2s
iMac: 16.3s

 Computer Transcode Server Java Safari iMovie Effect GCC compile Xcode compile DVD Rip Build Test Java Develop Java Develop Ruby G5 42s 1743 7.8s 37s 27:56 5:35 15.08 fps 48s 83s 23.2s iMac 57s 2078 3.73s 47s 22:44 3:26 22.04 fps 38s 55s 16.3s iMac/G5 0.73x 1.2x 2.09x 0.78x 1.22x 1.63x 1.46x 1.26x 1.5x 1.42x 
The take away that I get from this is that I could basically swap my dual G5 for a 20" iMac without any trouble really. If you dig into the details, it looks like Apple has totally optimized Quicktime for Altivec and not so much for SSE3 or SSE3 just isn’t as good. Integer performance though on the Intel Core Duo is fantastic and I highly recommend them for anyone doing software development because of that. The MacBook Pro will probably perform very similarly to these benchmarks as its the same processor and memory speed, etc.