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Some Real World Performance Stories from Intel-based iMacs – They Really Are 2x Faster

A couple of people on a mailing list I’m on have received their new Intel-based iMacs, and shared their experiences about how much faster they really are. These stories are shared with permission.

David Geller of WhatCounts, Inc. shared the following:

Just thought I’d share some first-hand knowledge and experiences with the new Intel-based iMacs. We received two at work today. I had ordered them for two of our developers about 5 minutes after the products became available online. Beside the nice changes over the previous generation they were using (built-in iSight, Front Row, etc.), the Intel processors are definitely pushing these boxes at a faster clip.

We’re a Java development house, so we were especially pleased that Sun’s James Gosling (co-creator of Java, in fact) is also an Apple [PowerBook] fan. This basically made it so Sun has been quietly shipping fat binaries of Java for a bit – ready for PowerPC or Intel under OSX.

Long story short, our total, full-product soup-to-nuts rebuild doubled in speed with the new systems – which greatly pleased our developers. Doubled. These developers also use Eclipse and were able to find a new version of 3.2 (preview 3 of 4, I think) that made it work on these new boxes as well. Jetbrain’s IDEA should work automatically because it uses Swing instead of SWT. They reported that Eclipse was noticeably faster and crisper on the new systems.

Having happy developers makes me happy – and will ultimately make our customers happier too.

(Emphasis mine).

I’m glad to hear that the benchmark claims of the new Intel iMacs being 2x faster than the iMac G5 are true, and not just marketing hype. Thanks for sharing, David, and I hope your new Intel Macs really do make your customers happier! :-)

Andru Edwards of Gear Live Media also had an experience to share:

I have had a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo iMac for a 7 days now. A few observations:

The stock 512 MB RAM was not enough to keep up with my tasks – that being 15 or so Safari tabs open, iTunes, iMovie, and Garageband open and doing their thing, plus Photoshop, Mail, and NetNewsWire open as well. I know, I am not the “average” user – but neither are many of you on this list. Truly, even with just the browser and Mail open, I felt the lag. Impressively though, on the G5 my processor would run at about 60% (with 2 GB RAM) when I had all that running. With the 512 MB RAM, the processor was running at 16%. Amazing.

Yesterday I upgraded this thing to 2 GB RAM. It FLIES. I am more than impressed. iMovie and ffmpegx encode video swiftly compared to the G5. You would not believe how many applications I have open right now. In addition to the ones listed above, I also have Adium, Transmit, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, and ffmpegx all running. I have tons of windows open (the 20″ screen makes this manageable). My processor is currently running at 17%!!! Unreal. I have about 120 MB RAM available as well.

Really – the new iMacs are a thing of beauty if you need an elegant workhorse of a PC.

I’ve always heard that having a lot of RAM is essential if you want your Mac to perform, and it looks like Andru’s experience bears that out. That’s true in the Windows world, too.

Dangit. All these stories about how fast these new Intel Macs are makes me want to get one even more. Wonder if I can hold out until the rumored 12″ MacBook Pro appears? :-)

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4 thoughts on “Some Real World Performance Stories from Intel-based iMacs – They Really Are 2x Faster

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