"No universal programs = Core Duo slower than iMac G5"2.5 starson by polakmaly
Pros: iLife 2006 is great, fast native software
Cons: Rosetta eats memory, everything swaps to disk
Summary: I was looking for some opinions from people who have actually used both iMacs, the new Core Duo, and the regular iMac G5.
Attention iMac lovers! Before you squash my review for the low rate I gave, please note that not long ago I wrote a review about iMac G5, and I gave it a 10/10! I LOVE iMac, and I will never go back to Windows.
Now, back to the point. I have both iMacs, and I sincerely wished someone had both iMac like me, and could perhaps give me some outside opinion. Yes, I do have both iMacs. Howcome? I bought an iMac G5 for my wife beginning of January, and then I bough another G5 for myself a few days later. And then, Mr. Apple announces that the new iMac Core Duo ships, so I returned my G5, and ordered Core Duo from apple.com
Yes, it boots faster, and that's about it. I am sure that all the technical specs of Core Duo are amazing and much better than G5, but I want to talk about real life experience that I have day after day, and that I can honestly compare it with the G5 which is just on the other side of my desk.
My wife enjoys her iMac G5, she burns DVDs with family photo albums, plays iTunes, surfs the net, it all happens as quick as she clicks on the mouse, while poor me, I click on a Firefox icon in the dock and wait 20 seconds before it becomes active (and it was already loaded in memory!), and then I need to load an image in Photoshop, I switch to Photoshop, and another 15-20 seconds to switch... and while all that waiting, if I ever change my mind, and want to do e-mail instead, the waiting time just adds up.
When I check the Activity Monitor on the Duo Core, it tells me that the system Page ins/outs are 905,000/375,000. Which means that my iMac uses hard disk instead of RAM. A nd uses it a lot! My wifes iMac G5 numbers are 165,000/173,000 and she was using her computer more. I suspect that Rosetta (the software that allows to run G5 programs on Duo Core) eats lots of memory. I think that maybe if the new Duo Core was shipping with more RAM, it would work faster with non-native software. Can someone confirm?
Conclusion: I have not enough RAM. But howcome I ordered only 512Mb, you ask? Simple. When you buy iMac from Apple, you will see that if you order more RAM in you iMac, not only you will wait more for delivery, but also your iMac becomes non-returnable, because it is "custom-made". That's why I wanted to try the new iMac, with the option to return it.
Now, I wish I gave this new iMac a higher score, but I am sincerely thinking about returning it to Apple, and buying the G5 back again. I already have the RMA (return authorization) from Apple, and I will wait a few more days, maybe some miraculous hint or advise will make me keep this new iMac Core Duo forever.
So this is my honest opinion about the new iMac, and even though I am not entirely happy with the new Core Duo, I still love Apple, and most probably I will be happy again when I get back to G5!
Ah... my wife just went out. Here is my occasion to play with the REAL iMac!