All Macs In-Depth Tests
The Performance Edge: iMacs And Gaming Performance - The G4 iMacs Have The Rest Of The Gang Quaking In Their Boots

Thursday, April 18, 2002

By David Engstrom

When Quake III first came out it nearly choked the original iMacs to death. In fastest mode we were able to get 17 fps out of the G3/233 iMac with the ATI Rage IIc accelerated 2D/3D graphics controller. In 'high-quality' mode we obtained a mind numbing 2.3 fps. Watching paint peel would be faster ... and perhaps more entertaining, once you got over the hilarity of the warriors grunting in slow motion. As you can see from the results below ... we've come a long way baby. Quake now flies on the new G4/iMacs. In the 'high quality' setting the G4 iMacs turn in over twice the frame rates of their predecessors.

In a testament to the power of the its processing capability and graphics subsystem, the G4/800 iMac turned in only 15% fewer fps in 'high-quality' mode than it did in 'fastest' mode. Compare that to the G3/700 iMac, where the frame rate gap between these two game settings, was 50%

If you want to get an iMac to choke these days, you will have to load one of the new demanding games ... like Giants or 4X4 Evolution 2.

Turning on all the 4x4 EVO 2 doodads we were able to torture the G4/800 iMac into coughing up only 8.3 fps. What can I say .... we are kind of perverse. However, at faster settings the game is quite playable on the G4 iMacs (though I should warn you that this is coming from someone who really hasn't done much gaming since before the original Macintosh was just a gleam in Steve Jobs eye).

Let the games begin ....


iMac Graphics Cards

iMac G4/800 - NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 32 MB of DDR RAM 2x AGP
iMac G4/700 - NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 32 MB of DDR RAM 2x AGP
iMac G3/700 - ATI RAGE 128 Ultra 2x AGP 16MB SDRAM
iMac G3/600 - ATI RAGE 128 Ultra 2x AGP 16MB SDRAM
iMac G3/500 - ATI RAGE 128 Ultra 2x AGP 16MB SDRAM
iMac G3/400 - ATI RAGE 128 PRO 2x AGP 8MB SDRAM
iMac G3/233 - ATI Rage IIc accelerated 2D/3D graphics controller

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Additional Resources

"Real World" Tests

The tests below are from our suite of real world application tests. These tests feature a diverse selection of applications commonly used by the Mac community. The test suite was designed to render an accurate and well rounded picture of a machine's performance. All of the tests below, except for the game tests, were timed with a stopwatch. The times were then converted to percentages, relative to the iMac G4/700, which is set to 100%. For all scores, higher numbers are better.

Desktop Tests

Actual frame rates

Actual frame rates