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iMac with Radeon HD 4850 vs others


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#1 rob_ART

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:19 AM

Thanks to Tom Dahl, a member of MacRumors forum, I have some 4850 X-Plane benchmark results (vs other GPUs) to share....

Running X-Plane Demo 9.22 benchmark using a recorded 1 min flight of the X-15 dropped from a bomber, it produces results for three phases. Averaging these, we get the following for the iMac 3.08 with three different GPUs ....
GeForce 8800 GS = 70 fps
GeForce 130 GT = 71 fps
Radeon HD 4850 = 101 fps

Here's how the 2009 Mac Pro 2.93 octo-core with various GPUs compares:
GeForce 120 GT = 43 fps
GeForce 8800 GT = 42 fps
Radeon HD 3870 = 154 fps
Radeon HD 4870 = 154 fps

It appears from the Mac Pro numbers that X-Plane "favors" ATI GPUs so don't draw too much from this. Hopefully I'll have results for a whole spectrum of 3D Gaming benchmarks to share soon as I expect our iMac with 4850 to arrive this week.
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#2 ltcommander.data

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 06:58 PM

Hmm. It's interesting that the iMac's 8800GS and GT130 can beat the Mac Pro's 8800GT significantly considering the 8800GT should be faster than either of them. Is this with the newer beta drivers you received in which case there would appear to still be problems.

I've probably mentioned this to death in other threads, but it'd be great if you could find out the clock speeds and other specs of the various GPUs.

#3 rob_ART

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:33 AM

View Postltcommander.data, on April 14th 2009, 05:58 PM, said:

Hmm. It's interesting that the iMac's 8800GS and GT130 can beat the Mac Pro's 8800GT significantly considering the 8800GT should be faster than either of them. Is this with the newer beta drivers you received in which case there would appear to still be problems.

I've probably mentioned this to death in other threads, but it'd be great if you could find out the clock speeds and other specs of the various GPUs.

I'm working on that. I may have to boot Windows XP or Vista to check the clock speeds ATI Tools once our iMac with 4850 arrives.
I'm also trying to find out if it's a mobile version of the 4850 or a true desktop version. My guess is that it's more like the mobile version for lower power requirements and lower heat generation inside the iMac.

As for ATI GPU dominance with X-Plane, I made it sound like the X-Plane people favor ATI. That's not the case. A year ago, the nVidia GPUs were being promoted by the X-Plane website as the best GPU for their game. ATI contacted them to see what they could do to make their cards run better. What you are seeing in my numbers are the fruits of ATI's labors.

BTW, if any of you have an older iMac or 3GHz Woodcrest or Clovertown Mac Pro with any graphics card, I'd like to get your X-plane results to compare to the new iMacs. Email me for test procedures and test flight sequence using the X-Plane 922 Demo.
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#4 rob_ART

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:43 AM

Still waiting for my iMac with 4850 but one of my "remote mad scientists" sent me his CoD4 results at 1920x1200 High:
2.93 iMac with 4850 = 61 fps
3.06 iMac with 130GT = 38 fps

That's a 60% advantage - - similar to what we saw with X-Plane.
And nipping at the heels of the Mac Pro 2.93 with 4870 (64 fps).
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#5 Macs4me

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:18 PM

View Postrob_ART, on April 20th 2009, 10:43 AM, said:

Still waiting for my iMac with 4850 but one of my "remote mad scientists" sent me his CoD4 results at 1920x1200 High:
2.93 iMac with 4850 = 61 fps
3.06 iMac with 130GT = 38 fps

That's a 60% advantage - - similar to what we saw with X-Plane.
And nipping at the heels of the Mac Pro 2.93 with 4870 (64 fps).


Thanks for the info Rob, has your "Remote Mad Scientists" given you any feedback on heat generation, fan noise or stability problems with the 4850?
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#6 mattw

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:51 PM

View Postrob_ART, on April 20th 2009, 04:43 PM, said:

Still waiting for my iMac with 4850 but one of my "remote mad scientists" sent me his CoD4 results at 1920x1200 High:
2.93 iMac with 4850 = 61 fps
3.06 iMac with 130GT = 38 fps

That's a 60% advantage - - similar to what we saw with X-Plane.
And nipping at the heels of the Mac Pro 2.93 with 4870 (64 fps).

That's good performance from the iMac especially as I imagined the mobile 4850 wouldn't be as strong as the 4870.

Is that Mac Pro result quoted from a Quad or 8-Core? I only see the 8-Core listed on your site and that is showing 60 fps - there is a 3.2GHz Harpertown showing 64 fps?

It seems like COD4 cares most of all about processor clock speed - this makes it hard to guess how well a 2.26GHz 8-Core model will hold up for gaming over the next few years (I was just about to go for it over a quad from the video encoding/multitasking advantages).

COD4 seems to be the one game where the numbers matter - with the other games the difference probably won't give a different experience.

#7 The Liberator

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:16 PM

It is more than two years old now. I do not think it can matter that much anymore.

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#8 Dark_Archon

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:03 PM

Didn't you mention some issues with the 8800GT in the new Mac Pros in another thread?
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#9 rob_ART

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:49 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on April 20th 2009, 04:03 PM, said:

Didn't you mention some issues with the 8800GT in the new Mac Pros in another thread?

Yes. It runs slower than the 120 GT if you don't have the beta drivers (that should appear in 10.5.7). In other words, it's problems are short term.

As for the 4870, I'm getting 64 fps at 1920x1200 High on both the 8-core and 4-core 2.93.

64 fps = 2.93 Mac Pro (4-core and 8-core) with 4870
61 fps = 2.93 iMac with 4850
45 fps = 2.93 Mac Pro (4-core and 8-core) with 8800 GT (beta 10.5.7 drivers)
38 fps = 3.06 iMac with 130 GT
23 fps = 2.93 Mac Pro (4-core and 8-core) with 120 GT
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#10 The Liberator

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:07 AM

Sorry Rob, are those results for CoD 4?

Thanks, Liberator.

iMac: 2.8GHz i7 | 8GB RAM | 10.8.2 | ATI Radeon HD 4850M | 512MB VRAM

Custom: 3.4 GHz i5 | 16GB RAM | Win 7 SP 1 | nVidia GeForce GTX 660 OCII | 2GB VRAM


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#11 Macs4me

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 07:53 PM

Rob starting to see reports of users having problems with the new iMacs configured with the 4850 GPU having multiple freezes. Check out the following.

http://discussions.a...t...1&tstart=15
http://www.appleinsi...k_up_issue.html

I know we usually only hear from users who have problems, don't usually hear from users when everything is running well. Not sure how widespread this problem may be.

Could you check with your remote scientist and see if they are having any problems? Thanks in advance.
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#12 rob_ART

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:53 PM

View PostThe Spamerator, on April 21st 2009, 12:07 AM, said:

Sorry Rob, are those results for CoD 4?

Thanks, Liberator.

Yes. CoD4.
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#13 rob_ART

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:04 PM

View PostMacs4me, on April 21st 2009, 06:53 PM, said:

Rob starting to see reports of users having problems with the new iMacs configured with the 4850 GPU having multiple freezes. Check out the following.

It's odd. Some are having problems and some are not.
There's a constructive thread on the MacRumors Forum where owners are trying to zero in on the cause:
http://forums.macrum...ad.php?t=688393

Two theories are...
... it's the AirPort firmware version (disable AirPort an crashes stop, at least in some reports)
... it's a bad batch of Radeon 4850s (since it does not seem to happen on GeForce equipped iMacs but does on some with Radeon 4850s)
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#14 Macs4me

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:08 PM

Thanks Rob, when is yours scheduled to arrive? Mine will be here Monday, hoping I will not be affected.
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#15 Macs4me

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 10:42 AM

Just as a FYI, Apple has released a firmware update for the 2009 iMacs with the ATI 4850 GPU. The firmware update is available by running software update. From reports I have read it seems to have taken care of the freezes users where having.
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#16 rob_ART

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 06:23 PM

Our iMac 3.06 with Radeon HD 4850 (finally) arrived as of Friday, May 8th. I ran our regular suite of 3D Games at 1920x1200 High Quality. Our graphs show how it compares to various other iMac GPUs as well as some "comparable" Mac Pro GPUs:
http://www.barefeats.com/imac09.html

As for freezing, we haven't had seen that behavior. I noticed the May 2nd firmware upgrade for the iMac was already installed in our unit when it arrived.
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#17 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 07:57 PM

very nice performance... soundly beats the 8800 GT. I guess it is to be assumed that this is in fact the desktop 4850 and not the laptop version?
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#18 Dark_Archon

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 09:45 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on May 10th 2009, 09:57 PM, said:

very nice performance... soundly beats the 8800 GT. I guess it is to be assumed that this is in fact the desktop 4850 and not the laptop version?

rob_art said:

Yes. It runs slower than the 120 GT if you don't have the beta drivers (that should appear in 10.5.7). In other words, it's problems are short term.

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#19 rob_ART

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 11:09 PM

Yes. From the performance, it would imply it was derived from the desktop version of the 4850.
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#20 The Liberator

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:51 AM

Well, that is cool to know.

Liberator.

iMac: 2.8GHz i7 | 8GB RAM | 10.8.2 | ATI Radeon HD 4850M | 512MB VRAM

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