Infoworld challenge: Can any Windows PC match Apple iMac Core Duo’s frugal power consumption?

“Before I ever tested the Intel-based iMac, I already had the number I needed to be throughly impressed: 120 watts. That’s Apple’s rated maximum power consumption,” Tom Yager writes for InfoWorld. “I have a duty to report that this figure is inaccurate. Results of the measurements I took on a 20-inch iMac were better than Apple’s specs.”

“At typical interactive use–both hands in constant motion, flipping among 6 or so open apps–iMac draws 80-85 watts. With both of Core Duo’s cores cranked to 100 percent utilization, I got a steady 95 watts. Lightly or heavily loaded, you can use iMac as a reading light and still save on your electric bill,” Yager writes. “To approximate the power the 20-inch iMac’s would consume if it were a generic headless PC, take iMac’s loaded 95 watt draw and subtract 32 watts for the display. That leaves you with a 63 watt personal computer… PC types, here’s a homework assignment for you: Please point me toward a desktop PC, sans monitor, that hits these specs. No embedded, industrial, notebook or homebrew machines. Don’t forget those two cores, now. If it can’t run OS X, I’ll let that slide.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Kevin” for the link.]

MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iMac and MacBook Pro owners: Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using dial-up service. Only $49.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Review: Apple’s new iMac Core Duo ‘an outstanding feat of engineering, a high-precision instrument’ – February 16, 2006
Apple iMac the finest, most reliable, stable, elegant and intuitive personal computer available – February 14, 2006
Dr. Mac Bob Levitus gives ‘highest recommendation’ for Apple iMac 2GHz Core Duo – February 07, 2006
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. Considering that the point of having a thermostat is overlooked by people in the office who believe in wearing multiple sweaters all winter and who are always “hot” and turning down the thermostat, the G5 has eliminated the need for me to use a portable heater.

    Proving once again that it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.

  2. My Quad draws 242 watts (measured) so in the winter it contributes to the heat needed in here to keep me warm. In the summer it obviously won’t, so that would be a yearly average of 121 watts expended that otherwise wouldn’t be.

    As far as global warming goes, I’ll play this game. Since it took the sun’s energy striking the earth to create that coal the power company burns to give me power, all I’m doing with those 121 watts is returning it to the earth where it belongs. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Okay, i think you folks are making fun of the heat issues, but just in case anyone is taking it seriously: As a “heater,” a G5 (or one of the Intel or AMD chips with a big ol’ honking fan the size and shape of the Empire State Building on it) is far less efficient than your space heater. So from an emissions standpoint, you’re better off with a computer which draws less power, and use a space heater (or whatever) to heat your apartment. Better still, build a “green building” for your Mac.

    Of course in the summer, if you use air conditioning, you also have to factor in the heat from the processor as part of the load.

  4. RC,

    Hahaha! Very funny!

    Actually, when I mention lower power consumption as a reason to switch to the Mac platform (reason #126) most people are really surprised and are actually very positive about it (vs. apethetic).

    Yet another reason!



    MacDud? (And yes, I mean you MacDude, in case you don’t understand sarcasm.)

    So, uhh, MacDud . . . where’s the problem with this aspect of Apple’s offerings?



  6. OK, so put a laptop CPU in a desktop computer along with a bottom end graphics card and just enough memory to run the OS and you have a competition.

    I wished Apple has gone with the AMD cpu’s they are far more energy efficient and fast. Apple hardware is nothing special technically. Pretty and compact but not awsomely powerful. OSX on the otherhand is brilliant.

    I run both MacG5 and PcAMD.


  7. Yeager is in idiot and so is anyone who doesn’t blindly chant the wintel fan-boy mantra. Yes wintel PC’s (at least till this point) are cobbled together pieces of dog poo. But if you want can assemble this poo your self (though you will spend hours debugging no compatible hardware and software by hey that’s part of the fun and while you are wasting all your free time remember of the couple dollars you saved). Now we have so know-it-all upstart company actually designing (rather than just cobbling together a bunch of parts) and even… gasp… innovating with intel based design.
    Well I for one don’t like it I just makes it all the more apparent how big a pieces of (IS) manure we wintel users have been using all these years. Don’t fall for it! Badly designed equipment running a malware and bug infested OS has been good enough all these years why even consider anything else. So it saves a couple watts psfffft. What is that in comparison to all the fun you can have whiling away the hours removing malware?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.