Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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New iMac

256 words

So there it finally is – the 'all new' iMac.

What can I say. It doesn't seem revolutionary, but its design looks like the logical progress from the new Cinema Display and old iMac lines. I'm happy to see that the slot-loading drive is back (let's hope that tilting the display during burns won't ruin things). And I think that Apple even managed to make the array of sockets at the back pretty. On the other hand, having a USB socket or two at the side or front could have been useful.

I like the idea of not having a discernible computer. The big one seems quite pricey. It could at least come with Bluetooth and Airport built-in. I had hoped for Bluetooth in all models by default. It also looks like the engineers made another effort at achieving a quiet design.

It looks like people are complaining about the standard issues (like lack of RAM and graphics chip). Other complaints are the large bezel at the bottom. That one I like in fact. It gives the machine better proportions and ensures the screen is at a good height. It also seems to be just the extra space needed to include the whole power supply in the machine itself – a solution much superior to an external power adapter. The Joy of Tech also found another good use for the bezel.

Let's wait and see how these look for real. How well they work, how quiet they are and what their 'street price' will be.

August 31, 2004, 12:00


Comment by gummi: User icon

I agree about the wait and see attitude. Right now, my first impressions are fairly negative.

Lack of RAM: I can’t figure out why Apple insists on 256 MB of RAM on their entry level machines. Sure, it helps the profit margins, but 256 MB for OS X is slow-as-all-hell. 512 MB at a bare minimum is the way they should go.

Graphics card: the graphic card on this machine is a bit shabby. One can’t upgrade very easily. I guess if folks really need the extra power they could go for a PowerMac. For myself, I don’t particularly fancy a huge beast for the graphics capability I would like.

September 2, 2004, 13:09

Comment by ssp: User icon

I agree that the lack of memory is a real problem.

Not only because of the added cost but also because of the potential customer dissatisfaction. How many people don’t even think about upgrading RAM? They won’t see OSX at its best as a consequence.

In addition, look at the RAM vs. VRAM ratio: it is 4:1. Compare that to my LC III (4MB:512KB), my PowerMac 8200 (16MB:1MB) and my Powerbook (128MB:8MB), all in their original configurations. This suggests that the ration should be between 8 and 16.

À propos graphics – I don’t mind the ‘bad’ chip. I probably don’t care. As long as it can do all the nice new Quartz magic it should be fine. Gaming buffs won’t buy the machine anyway. And the VRAM amount is right, having in mind Quartz Extreme and so on, giving another hint that there really should be more memory.

September 2, 2004, 15:53

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