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New all aluminum iMac  (Source: Apple)

New aluminum Apple keyboard  (Source: Apple)

Apple aluminum wireless keyboard  (Source: Apple)
Everything is clad in aluminum when it comes to Apple's new iMac

Apple today announced a new line of iMacs that replaces the old line of plastic, all-in-one machines the company became famous for. The new line of iMacs bring along upgraded specifications as well as an all new design.

The new iMacs all ship with Intel Core 2 Duo processors running up to 2.8GHz. Improved graphics are also provided thanks to new ATI Radeon HD 2000 series GPUs. Memory capacities increase to a total of 4GB from the previous 2GB limit while users can configure systems with up to TB of storage space.

Apple will have two 20-inch models of the iMac and one high-end 24-inch. The entry-level 20-inch features a 2.0 GHz mobile Core 2 Duo processor, ATI Radeon HD 2400XT GPU and a 250GB SATA hard drive. Stepping up to the mid-range 20-inch model yields a 2.4 GHz mobile Core 2 Duo processor, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro GPU and a 320GB SATA hard drive.
 
The stock 24-inch model has similar specifications as the $1,499 20-inch model, except with a larger screen. However, Apple offers a custom order 2.8 GHz processor upgrade, exclusive to the 24-inch model. The 2.8 GHz processor is a mobile Core 2 Extreme X7900 processor.

All models have 802.11n wireless networking capability, 1GB of system memory and 8x SuperDrives. The processors employed in the new iMacs are Merom-based processors. Apple prices the new iMacs at $1,799 for the 24-inch flagship, $1,499 for a fully loaded 20-inch and $1,199 for an entry-level model.

In terms of design, all plastic surfaces have been replaced with a full aluminum outer shell. The display is also now glass instead of plastic. The new design follows the recent motifs of the MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and even the iPod Nano.

Accompanying the release of the new iMacs is a brand new wireless keyboard of the same design. The new keyboard uses Bluetooth for connectivity and is all aluminum -- except for the keys. Key structure is similar to that of the keyboard found on the MacBook, with the keys popping out slightly above the surface.



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RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By tim851 on 8/7/2007 3:39:33 PM , Rating: 3
The "competitors" for this iMac are not some cheap ass systems you buy at Walmart, but other High End eyecatchers like some of Sony's Vaio line. And if you compare the Mac to them, it's competitive.

I just configured a systen with similar specs myself online and ended up at about 1,500 $. That's including Windows Vista Home Premium, a nice silverstone tower and a quiet Seasonic PSU to be fair.

So I think this iMac is reasonably priced.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Xerio on 8/7/2007 3:49:20 PM , Rating: 1
You are comparing Apple's prices to Sony's?!?! Of course they are similar! Have you forgotten that Sony has perfected over-priced and over-built. Sure, Apple and Sony's build quality and style may be better that Dell or even HP, but most people don't need the fluff.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By rbuszka on 8/7/2007 8:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
Over-built = High End. Apple isn't out to make money in the ultra-cheap-PC sector -- they're out for the high-end consumer market segment, where there's the most profit to be made. In some sense, "the price is the product" -- the high price adds exclusivity, making the product a symbol of status. How long has Steve Jobs been CEO of Apple? And it's really taken you this long to realize that this is Jobs' M.O.? (I mean, making profitable, high-end products.)


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Flunk on 8/7/2007 3:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Mac uses notebook components, which don't perform as well. You need to take that into account.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By rbuszka on 8/7/2007 8:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
This, gentlemen, is what's known as a "hasty" generalization. I'm going to have to ask you to justify your statement.

I know laptops typically aren't as thermally robust, so laptop components need to be designed for low power consumption or auto-throttling, but the Radeon HD2400 and HD2600 GPUs aren't 'laptop' components -- just desktop components with low enough power dissipation that they can be used in laptops or SFF PCs.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By DragonMaster0 on 8/7/2007 8:50:17 PM , Rating: 2
The CPU is a laptop one, and they cut on performance to make it heat less. For example, Merom runs at an 800MHz FSB while an equivalent Conroe has a 1066MHz FSB. You have less RAM bandwidth there. The Radeon HD series is particularly inefficient for it's performance IIRC. The iMac can use it since it's not battery powered.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By rbuszka on 8/8/2007 8:22:23 AM , Rating: 2
"heat less"? More like 'clue' less. Even though the FSB speed is lower, the clock speed of the CPU is still exactly the same as quoted. Even in situations where throttling is used to control heat production, the CPU throttles back when demand is low, and then ramps back up to its nominal clock speed when demand is high. And since the FSB speed is lower, the memory can run with optimal timings for lower latency, which ultimately makes a bigger difference in performance than memory bandwidth alone because high latency can cause actual memory bandwidth to be significantly less than the theoretical maximum permitted by the FSB speed. And anyone who would make the blanket statement that the entire Radeon HD series is inefficient clearly hasn't done their homework. The Radeon HD2900 (RV600 chipset) runs hot because it uses an 80nm process with lots of leakage, and it is indeed inefficient, but the 65nm-based Radeon HD2400 Pro, HD2400XT, HD2600 Pro, and HD2600XT are the most power-efficient DX10 GPUs on the desktop, with the HD2600 Pro dissipating only 45W of power. Mobility Radeon HD chips are available for even more power conservation in laptops, but the new iMacs do not use them.

Your initial allegations that the iMac has lower overall performance because of its use of laptop components is unsubstantiated, and the GPU isn't even a laptop component.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By DragonMaster0 on 8/8/2007 1:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your initial allegations that the iMac has lower overall performance because of its use of laptop components is unsubstantiated,

That wasn't the same person though.

As far as I can recall C2D is more affected by memory speed than latency unlike K8 which performs better with lower latency.

But still, the price I calculated for an equivalent PC was about only $100 more. This time maybe the price isn't so bad tho, since every parts are current at the moment.

The problem is, Intel and AMD are releasing new CPUs in a few months. Seagate 7200.11 HDDs are almost there. AMD-ATI is going with better GPUs in a few months, etc. I know that the PC is always being upgraded, but the Mac doesn't upgrade that often and in a year it will still cost the same price and have the same parts. The iMac is about the same price on release, but as time advances, you get a much better PC for the price until the next generation Mac is there. PC enthusiasts upgrade their computers, which is pretty much impossible on the Mac apart from a few parts.

I forgot that the cards smaller than the 2900 are 65nm and heat less. They are perfectly suited for a small space, but are pretty slow performers when talking about 3D. If something doesn't work on Mac OS, yes, you can run Parallels or Boot Camp, but you have to buy them and a Windows license, which increases the price of the computer.

There's the 10.x to 10.y Mac OS X upgrades that increase the price of the computer as well if you want to keep the latest versions of most software out there. OS X becomes obsolete fast, a bit like the hardware. Mac OS X 10.3, that was coming on an iMac bought in the beginning of 2005 and upgraded with the latest updates doesn't run Adobe Reader 8.0, nor will it run Firefox 3. Take the 2001-old Windows XP, it still works with every new Windows software except DirectX 10-only games. To run the latest software on the 2005 iMac, the OS will have to be bought twice. To do the same thing with a 2001 PC, once. (And the person can reuse the license when the computer is upgraded)


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By DragonMaster0 on 8/7/2007 4:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
iMac is priced like a desktop.

The equivalent to a desktop like the one you're building is a Mac Pro, which starts at $2000.

When you calculate the price of an *equivalent* PC (Parts that aren't necessarily able to overclock, a mATX mobo since all you can upgrade in an iMac is the RAM and HDD while voiding the warranty at the same time, PCIe 2400XT, better-than-standard LCD monitor, nice keyb & mouse, mATX aluminum SilverStone case, 802.11n, firewire 800, Vista Home Premium, etc.) you end up with a lower price than the Mac, even if about all you buy is retail, and you still have the option to change stuff in it rather than buy a completely new computer if it dies outside of the warranty or if some parts become obsolete.

Considering how many problems 1st gen iMac G5 and G4 laptops had, I wouldn't take a Mac without the extended warranty. The repair costs become unacceptable after that. Taking AppleCare means that the computer will cost a few hundreds more than an as-close-as-possible equivalent PC.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Keeir on 8/7/2007 5:12:01 PM , Rating: 3
Okay, since the store is Up

a new 24-inch iMac with 3 year Warranty and 2 Gigs of Apple Ram is 2000-2100 dollars

configure a dell desktop (inspirion line) remembering to include adapters for bluetooth and wireless with a 3 year warranty is.... 2000-2100 dollars

Seems like the Mac is within spitting distance of the one of the cheapest pre-built companies out there.

As for

quote:
The equivalent to a desktop like the one you're building is a Mac Pro, which starts at $2000.


The Mac Pro is a workstation class machine. With Xeon processors and ECC ram in FB-Dimm slots. Of course that machine is not going to compare to a DIY machine


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Xerio on 8/7/2007 6:08:25 PM , Rating: 1
Seeing what I can get for $1200 (compared to the $1200 iMac) at Dell I found this:

Total Price $1214
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz - 200MHz faster than the Mac
20 inch LCD - Same
2GB RAM - Twice as much
500GB HDD - Twice as much
16x DVD+/-RW Drive - Twice as fast
256 MB nVidia GeForce 8600GT - Mac has 128MB Radeon
802.11g - Same
No BlueTooth - Mac has BlueTooth
Firewire - Same

I don't know about the high-end, but on the low-end, Dell kicks Apple's butt in the price department, and it is easily upgradable. And if I want a larger monitor in the future, I don't have to go buy a whole new computer.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By blueflash2o on 8/7/2007 6:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
Does that 16x DVD+/-RW Drive do dual layer dvds? The iMac's super drive does.
The iMac also has 802.11n not g


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By stevenplatt on 8/7/2007 7:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
Apple needs to consider HD DVD or BluRay options. I was waiting for an update but will once again buy another Windows machine because Apple's computers lack any extensive configuration options. I am not happy with their current options. If they are set on fixed configurations they need to make them more configurable when ordered. I want HD movie playback options and Apple will not get my dollars for not including it.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Wightout on 8/7/2007 7:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand Apple has chosen BluRay, if anything it would only make sense due to Disney's choosing of BluRay. However due to the fact that the there aren't any cheep Players at this time I wouldn't anticipate seeing one in a machine until they hit something like $300ish.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By DragonMaster0 on 8/7/2007 8:38:25 PM , Rating: 1
Is there even a single drive that doesn't burn DL made since 2005?

Yep, the Mac has draft-n.

I calculated the cost of parts at NewEgg for an equivalent PC including Vista Home Premium, draft-n, Firewire 800, a 2400XT video card, an aluminum case, keyb, mouse, etc.

All I forgot is the DVD burner, but the total was at least $100 under the iMac 20-inch price. Add $30 for the burner.

The good thing with the PC is that you spend much less to have faster components on the initial buy, and you CAN upgrade later. You want a 600MHz faster CPU? Shell out $60, not $100+. You want 2GB of RAM instead of one? Pay $35 more, not almost the price of a 2x1GB set.

Apple knows how to charge for the additional features. You can't get a machine without RAM, but 1GB is kind of low for OS X or Vista. The second GB is pretty expensive, but just a little less than a set of two 1GB RAM sticks, so, you will choose the cheaper option. The thing is, there are only two RAM slots in that computer, so you can't just fit in a second gig of RAM to save money.

Want a better GPU? On the PC you can buy a card, on the iMac you need to wait for the next generation. The 2400XT is a sub-standard card since the beginning. You can already buy it for about $70.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Phynaz on 8/7/2007 9:54:58 PM , Rating: 3
It's easy to look at individual parts, add up the prices and think you have a Mac. But you don't.

Now add in the build, how many hours?
Add in the all-in-one, aluminum and glass case -- if you can find one. How about a two inch thick power supply, seen one of those lately?
Add in the miniscule footprint.
Add in service and support.

What do you end up with? A pretty good price on a machine.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By DragonMaster0 on 8/7/2007 10:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
Or a battery-free heavy laptop.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Phynaz on 8/7/2007 11:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
ummmm...Yeah..Okay.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Wightout on 8/7/2007 6:24:10 PM , Rating: 3
And you get all that crapware =D

If I am not mistaken your Wireless for the Mac you get 802.11n not 802.11g. Though I could be mistaken.

You also have to take into account the Software you get from the mac, and the lack of need for any virus protection for now.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Keeir on 8/7/2007 7:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't we actually configure options a User would include? (Buying either a Dell or Apple without a 3-year care plan is crazy)

For example, the cheapest product in a Mac line is ALWAYS the worst value due the inflexible costs of contrustion, shipping, design, and software.

I will choose the 20-inch, 2.4GHz Imac with 2 Gigs of Ram, Iwork '08 and Apple Care (3 Year). Total price before tax and shipping is 1,897.00

At Dell XPS 410 (obviously Mac's "compeditior") starting with the basic 999.00 model as my configuration.

Intagibles
OS 10.4>Windows Vista Home Premium
8x SuperDrive=16x Combo Burner (Due to Slot Loading, and that many types of media probably won't actually burn at 16x if the burner is a Lite-on or similar)
Imac Screen<20 inch Ultra Sharp (ability to connect multiple sources)

Total price for the Dell, 1,976

Its pretty much a wash in terms of price for the actual user.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By kelmon on 8/8/2007 3:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
Dear God, no. Stop comparing Apple's prices to Dell. Dell's are awful machines that should never see the light of someone's home. I use them at work and at people's homes and they are all truly terrible computers that feel cheap and nasty.

If we are going to compare computers and prices, please choose manufacturers that make computers that you'd willing use. My experience in this area is limited but what I do know is that Dell's are terrible.


RE: Awesome looking stuff!
By Keeir on 8/7/2007 5:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, since the store is Up

a new 24-inch iMac with 3 year Warranty and 2 Gigs of Apple Ram is 2000-2100 dollars

configure a dell desktop (inspirion line) remembering to include adapters for bluetooth and wireless with a 3 year warranty is.... 2000-2100 dollars

Seems like the Mac is within spitting distance of the one of the cheapest pre-built companies out there.

As for

quote:
The equivalent to a desktop like the one you're building is a Mac Pro, which starts at $2000.


The Mac Pro is a workstation class machine. With Xeon processors and ECC ram in FB-Dimm slots. Of course that machine is not going to compare to a DIY machine


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