“On the outside, the new Apple iMac (Intel Core Duo) ($1,699 direct, $1,799 as tested) looks no different than the previous PowerPC-based iMac G5 (iSight). The differences are all under the hood. The 20-inch new iMac combines a dual-core Intel Core Duo (formerly Pentium M or Yonah) processor with the Mac OS X experience. Casual Mac users, switchers from Microsoft Windows, and iPod aficionados will love the new iMac; however, professionals and people who use graphics apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro should hold off until the critical app is updated to work smoothly with the Intel processor. For these people, we recommend holding on to your current G5-powered Mac, at least for now,” Joel Santo Domingo writes for PC Magazine.
“Apple installed a 2.0-GHz Core Duo T2500 processor with a version of the Intel 945GM chipset. Like the previous iMac G5, it comes standard with AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, an iSight camera, a dual-layer DVD-burning SuperDrive, and a 250GB SATA hard drive. The iMac’s bright and brilliant 20-inch widescreen LCD is the same panel as the iMac G5 (iSight): an easy-on-the-eyes high-res display. Apple claims that the new iMac is even quieter than the iMac G5, and we’d tend to agree. You almost have to put your ear up to it to hear the fans in it (at least in an office environment),” Santo Domingo writes. “Ports on the back panel are the same (USB, FireWire, audio in/out, Ethernet) with one exception: Now that the iMac has a fully functional mini-DVI port, you can now take advantage of true dual-monitor; an improvement over the video mirroring setting in previous iMacs.”
Santo Domingo writes, “Thanks to the Core Duo processor, the new iMac is much peppier. Front Row is now a totally natural user interface and has less of the irksome pauses we saw in the last iMac G5… Because of the necessary Rosetta translation, Photoshop CS2 performance on the new iMac took 2 minutes 43 seconds to perform our 10-filter test. Though adequate for casual use, it is much slower than it is on both the 2.7-GHz PowerMac G5 Dual (1:14) and other mainstream PCs like the Velocity Micro Vision GX (1:50). Doom 3 performance is doubly doomed: The game was never truly optimized for Mac OS X on PowerPC systems, but Rosetta slowed it down even more. The Radeon X1600 in the new iMac is newer and should be more powerful than the Radeon X600 in the iMac G5 (iSight), but the new iMac Core Duo only musters 17 frames per second versus the previous iMac’s 20 fps on our Doom 3 tests. We’ll revisit gaming performance once Doom 3 goes Universal Binary.”
“Aside from [Apple's] cooler case [designs], another benefit of running dual-core on Mac OS X over Windows is that in a Windows environment, you must run security software (such as antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall). Though dual-core processing helps speed up general performance even with such software running in the background, you are still diverting processor cycles. With Mac OS X, such security software is not necessary, so you’re getting more processing power dedicated to apps you’re actively using,” Santo Domingo writes.
Full article here.
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