Dr. Mac Bob Levitus gives ‘highest recommendation’ for Apple iMac 2GHz Core Duo

“I’ve been testing a 20-inch Intel-based iMac for a couple of weeks now. Mine came with 1 gigabyte of RAM, upgradable to 2 GB; a SuperDrive DVD/CD player/burner; an ATI Radeon X1600 graphics subsystem with 128 megabytes of VRAM; a built-in iSight video camera; and built-in AirPort and Bluetooth wireless networking,” Bob Levitus writes for The Houston Chronicle. “Though only a handful of third-party applications are Universal today, almost every program you receive with your iMac is Universal, which means performance is mostly better than ever. Apple’s benchmarks indicate that the Intel-based iMac runs up to twice as fast as an iMac G5, but I respectfully disagree. In my testing, most Universal applications ran faster, but not twice as fast.”

“I felt that the performance of most non-Universal applications (running under Rosetta), such as Microsoft Word 2004, Quicken 2006 for Mac, Adobe Reader, and many others, was more than acceptable,” Levitus writes. “Intel-based Macs cannot run Classic applications (e.g. programs developed for Mac OS 9). So if you depend on a Classic program, you’ll probably want to delay your purchase of an Intel-based Mac. For those who depend on programs that don’t currently work on Intel-based Macs (such as Apple’s Pro applications or Virtual PC), or programs that run poorly on Intel-based Macs (such as Adobe Photoshop), you’ll probably want to stick with your PowerPC-based Macs for at least a little longer. Other than that, I give the Intel-based iMac my highest recommendation.”

Full article here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Review: Apple 20-inch iMac Core Duo 2.0GHz – February 06, 2006
BusinessWeek: Apple’s new iMac Core Duo is an iMac on Steroids – February 02, 2006
AnandTech: Apple iMac G5 vs. iMac Intel Core Duo – February 01, 2006
Thurrott: ‘I highly recommend Apple’s new Intel-based iMac’ – January 31, 2006
Thurrott: ‘Nothing on Windows approaches the quality of Apple’s iLife ’06’ – January 31, 2006
Computerworld: Apple’s MacBook Pro ‘fast, really fast – looks like a real winner’ – January 28, 2006
MacSpeedZone: Apple’s iMac Core Duo nearly as fast as Power Mac G5 Quad – January 26, 2006
InfoWorld: Apple perfects the desktop personal computer with new iMac Core Duo – January 25, 2006
Flawed CNET review pans Apple’s iMac Core Duo with 7 out of 10 rating – January 23, 2006
Washington Post: Wait a month or so before buying Apple’s appealing new Intel-based iMac – January 22, 2006
Apple’s Intel-powered iMac provides a smooth transistion from PowerPC – January 21, 2006
PC Magazine review gives Apple iMac Intel Core Duo 4.5 out of 5 stars – January 20, 2006
Time names Apple iMac Core Duo ‘Gadget of the Week’ – January 20, 2006
Mossberg: New Intel-based iMac the best consumer desktop with the best OS and best software bundle – January 18, 2006


  1. If you’re still using a Classic app I don’t see what good delaying purchase of an intel machine will do. If it’s not OS X of some sort by now chances are it never will be.

  2. It still makes me chuckle that Micro$oft’s Virtual PeeCee won’t run on Intel Macs.

    Wonder what Micro$haft are scared of? Could Windows be more secure using Virtual PC cloaked by OS X than on its own in a Dull box?

  3. “If you’re still using a Classic app I don’t see what good delaying purchase of an intel machine will do. If it’s not OS X of some sort by now chances are it never will be.”

    WHAT! And give up playing Gnop! and Pathways into Darkness? NEVER!

  4. Just got in my 20″ iMac with the duo-core intel processor and it rocks! I’ve loaded it with Adobe Photoshop CS2 (Version Cue did not want to cooperate for some reason) and with 512 ram, it runs fine. I do plan on, however, upgrading to 2 gigs of ram in the near future.

    Kinda makes me feel like upgrading from my dual 1.8 G5 to the Quad…

  5. “you’ll probably want to stick with your PowerPC-based Macs for at least a little longer.”

    I think he meant to add unless you a running a less than 1Ghz Single processor PowerPC-based Mac. Even under Rosetta, Mactels will beat that at most everything.

  6. I think you make a good point as does the writer -sort of. It is this: The Intel Macs running programmes under Rosetta are just as fast as a G5 which aren’t slow by any means. If you go Intel now it just means you can look forward to the day Photoshop or whatever will scream when it gets the UniBinary version..

    So it’s not necesarilly sensible to back away from going with Intel today…

  7. “If you’re still using a Classic app I don’t see what good delaying purchase of an intel machine will do. If it’s not OS X of some sort by now chances are it never will be.”

    Try migrating several 400 page technical manuals laid out in PageMaker into InDesign, M.X.N.T.4.1. It’s not economically feasible. Until a third party figures out a way to run Classic on the new Intel Macs, my firm will NOT be upgrading to the new machines.

  8. I didn’t say to stop using Classic apps, I just meant that at this stage if a Classic app hasn’t been translated it probably won’t and therefore an Intel mac wouldn’t ever be a consideration – sad as that may be.

    If a classic app still had active support for it then I would have thought the upgrade would have been provided by now, of course the fact that they won’t run at all may prompt/force a developer to redo them but I wouldn’t have thought so.

    The percentage of PPC OSX apps being translated is gonna be a hell of a lot higher than classic apps being rewritten for Intel.

    I know full well the problems of using legacy software and not being able to update it for one reason or another. My company still uses a DOS system for our back office functionality and windows systems for our quotation software. Many of these windows systems provide back office support but they’re so crap it’s too big a risk – especially since we’ve been through 5 software systems in 5 years, so we lumber on using 2 systems and input certain info twice. I hate all of them but we need the quotes systems more than they need my company.

    I’d personally love to go mac but that’s so big of an impossibility that it’s not even worth considering.

  9. Publisher,
    maybe im getting it wrong but cant you import the pagemaker files directly into InDesign?
    i think i remember adobe offering a cross-application upgrade from pagemaker to indesign so there should be some sort of support there.

    or is the compatibility not so good?

  10. Sorry, but a product that has all kinds of caveats to its use should not get the highest moniker in a recommendation. Very high, yes, but not highest.

    OS 9 compatibility is an admitedly small caveat, relatively speaking. But Adobe and Apple Pro titles requiring Rosetta to run is a rather large issue for anyone who uses a Mac to earn their living.

  11. In agreement with this:

    “WHAT! And give up playing Gnop! and Pathways into Darkness? NEVER!”

    You’re not alone…
    My sister still keeps an old beige Mac around just for playing the never updated “Scarab Of Ra” game.

  12. To Pub Lisher:
    Unless there is a time in the near future when you know the document will be totally redesigned and you’ll start fresh in InDesign I assume, you should just bite the bullet and upgrade the old layout.

    Suggestion: Make a copy and TRY the conversion. We had many big complex documents upgraded from PageMaker to InDesign that went far smoother than you would dream they could. Even we were surprised. (Which is more than I can say for Quark to InDeisgn.) Voice of experience: for best results if they were in 6.5 upgrade them to PageMaker 7, then go for it.

    Consider hiring a cheap summer intern to tweak what needs to be tweaked.

    There will come a time when even if you keep an old machine, your printer and pre-press may not. Better to be prepared than caught.

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