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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 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)


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