Early 2009 iMac for psychophysics?

ereming's Avatar

ereming

08 Apr, 2015 08:02 PM

Hi Chris,

We're doing a bit of computer shuffling. The trouble we've had getting the NIDAQ performance of the new model Mac Pros to match that of the old ones with PCIe slots has meant that the older Mac Pros which were previously used in our Psychophysics rigs are now being scavenged for new electrophysiology rigs. So we have to decide how we want to replace the psychophysics rigs. Currently we have a number of early 2009 iMacs that aren't in use, so it would be great if those could be put into service.

I've done just a little bit of testing with my experiment, where the client was running on a separate computer (meaning the iMac was running the only server and therefore driving only the integrated display). I didn't see any skipped frames, which is a good sign. Before I go further and do more extensive testing, I was wondering if you have any ideas about whether you think these computers will be capable of running as server-only single-monitor machines without hiccups. Here are the specs:

2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 1067 MHz DDR3
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB
OSX 10.9.5

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Evan

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Christopher Sta... on 08 Apr, 2015 08:14 PM

    Christopher Stawarz's Avatar

    Hi Evan,

    I was wondering if you have any ideas about whether you think these computers will be capable of running as server-only single-monitor machines without hiccup

    I suspect they'll be fine in that role. My primary MWorks test machine is a late-2009 Mac mini, which has similar specs (although it has a weaker, integrated, NVIDIA GPU). Even when driving two monitors, it runs MWorks reasonably well. However, the performance margin isn't huge: Using two monitors and the mirror window gets you frequent skipped refresh warnings, and I imagine that running MATLAB or some other relatively CPU-intensive process alongside MWorks would impact performance, too.

    Since your iMac's have some extra performance headroom (particularly in the GPU) over my Mac mini, I think they'll perform adequately in a server-only, single-monitor configuration.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  2. 2 Posted by ereming on 08 Apr, 2015 08:45 PM

    ereming's Avatar

    Thanks! I'll do some more testing.

    • Evan
  3. ereming closed this discussion on 08 Apr, 2015 08:46 PM.

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