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[Review] 24 inch iMac 2.8ghz


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#1 +StevoFC

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 14:50

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As many of you know the iMac line was refreshed on Monday, April 28. For about 6 months I had been wanting to purchase a new computer, but I kept holding off for some reason. When I heard the rumors about the iMac update, I made up my mind that I would finally purchase one.

By the way, this is not my first Apple computer. I have had a 14” (1.33ghz) iBook for years now. I knew what to expect in terms of the initial setup of the iMac based off of my previous experience with Apple products. And I also knew my way around OSX pretty well.

I ordered the iMac the day it was updated. I don't game on my computer anymore (I have a 360, Wii, and PS3) so I figured I would go with the lower end of the 24” models. I selected the free shipping so I wasn't expecting to receive the iMac for about a week, but to my surprise it was delivered to my house on Wednesday, April 30...not even 2 full days after I placed my order. I was pretty happy with that to say the least.

My initial thought when I saw the box was, wow that's going to be huge. And believe me, I was right with my initial assessment.

I figured a 24” monitor wouldn't seem much different from the 20” monitor I was used to using with my Dell computer. I was completely wrong. The screen on the 24” iMac is totally amazing. I have never seen a display with a brighter screen. Even my 32” Samsung LCD television looks pale in comparison to the screen of this iMac. The glossy screen has a lot to do with that though. But anyways, the hardest thing to get used to, for me at least, is the resolution of the screen. 1920x1200 is amazing to work with. So much can be done on the screen at once. It is a great upgrade over the 1680x1050 resolution I am used to working with.

As for the computer itself, it came with a 2.8ghz Core 2 Duo and 2gb of 800mhz ram which I upgraded to 4gb (more on that later). This was a nice upgrade for me considering the pc I use at home is a 3.6ghz P4. My computer at work is a 1.83ghz Core 2 Duo though, so when I talk about responsiveness I will be comparing the iMac to that.

For me, this computer is extremely quick. I almost forgot how much quicker OSX in general is at launching applications. In terms of overall responsiveness there is no comparison between the iMac and my computer at work. Safari opens instantly...iTunes, even with a 10,000 song library opens in a fraction of the time that it does on my other computers. It takes a little under 2 seconds to be exact. Photoshop launches quicker than I have ever seen. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the general idea.

As for the ram upgrade, it really couldn't be any easier. It took maybe 2 minutes total to replace the ram with 2 new sticks. As far as I can tell, it is definitely best to max out the ram if you have the money to do so. At one point yesterday I saw I had a little over 800mb of ram free. I would have definitely noticed a performance hit if I had only been using 2gb.

This is my first time using Leopard for an extended period of time. A couple of my friends have iMacs (I talked them into buying them) so I have used it before, but not to the same extent as I have the past few days. I like the changes they have made for the most part. But just like anything else, there are a few default settings here and there that don't make much sense to me. For example the Mighty Mouse doesn't have right clicking enabled by default. Photo booth doesn't have the auto flip image setting enabled. Simple things like that can be slightly annoying to have to change, but like I said, it's impossible to please everyone completely. And the things I mentioned are very minor.

I ran xbench to include some figures in the review.
Please note though that I did not run the program right after a reboot, only because I haven't restarted the computer since I initially set it up and downloaded all the updates.
So here are the scores...
All tests enabled: 176.11
HDD test disabled: 228.84

Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. I hope this iMac lasts me a long time.
The only thing I dislike about the whole package is the Mighty Mouse. I just don't like it at all.

So here are some overall ratings.

iMac screen: 9.5/10
iMac performance: 9/10 (there is always something faster)
Overall look: 9/10 (people are amazed at this thing sitting on my desk)
Initial Leopard Impression: 9/10
Mighty Mouse: 6/10
Apple Keyboard: 8/10 (it takes some time to get used to)

Please ask any/all questions you may have about it and I will go into more detail.

Edited by StevoFC, 04 May 2008 - 17:00.



#2 vetgiga

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:14

Need moar pics.

Nice review though!

#3 +Quillz

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:42

I might get the top-of-the-line 24'' model soon. It's cool to finally see an Apple computer that tops 3 GHz.

#4 +Frank B.

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:51

Congratulations on your purchase, and great review. I have to agree with your criticism of the 'Mighty Mouse' - it is sub-optimal. I'd suggest using your PC mouse with the iMac.

/me pats his Logitech MX 1000

#5 B-52Stratofortress

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:54

iMac is a really great all in one computer, I have one myself a 20" version from 07aug update (bought it 3 months ago) and can't be more pleased about it.
BTW what's your Power supply 1 temp in iStat (taken after couple of hours of general usage please)? Mine seems to be idling at 75C at general usage times and tops at 83C when really maxing out the computer.

#6 richardsim7

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:57

I'm getting the low-end 24" with 8800GS, 500GB and 4GB RAM soon :D

-Rich-

#7 OP +StevoFC

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 17:04

iMac is a really great all in one computer, I have one myself a 20" version from 07aug update (bought it 3 months ago) and can't be more pleased about it.
BTW what's your Power supply 1 temp in iStat (taken after couple of hours of general usage please)? Mine seems to be idling at 75C at general usage times and tops at 83C when really maxing out the computer.


power supply is 60C.

it fluctuates a lot though.


edit: even if you just turn off the screen itself (control + shift + eject) it drops temps a ton.
for example i left my computer for about 25 minutes and the temp is now 45C for the power supply.


3 pics added to the first post...

Edited by StevoFC, 04 May 2008 - 17:44.


#8 PyX

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 17:05

I also agree on the Mighty mouse. It plain sucks.
There's some rumors that they will change the mouse soon, but I don't expect something much more ergonomical from them. Their mice were NEVER ergonomical.

Anyway, the only real problem I have with Apple is with mice. Otherwise, I also enjoy my 1st gen 24 inch imac :p
Welcome to the club lol

#9 B-52Stratofortress

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 18:10

power supply is 60C.

it fluctuates a lot though.


edit: even if you just turn off the screen itself (control + shift + eject) it drops temps a ton.
for example i left my computer for about 25 minutes and the temp is now 45C for the power supply.


3 pics added to the first post...

Mine doesn't seem to fluctuate that much, it's stable around 75C pretty much all the time and turning the screen off hasn't ever changed the temp much. Currently the temp went from 75C to 73C and the hard drive was also turned to sleep for a 20min away time (it's a well ventilated room). Whatever the case I'm not really worried about it, but I just want to make sure my power supply isn't working abnormally compared to other iMac's with the same specs.

#10 OP +StevoFC

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 21:42

Welcome to the club lol


Thanks. :cool:

#11 B-52Stratofortress

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 22:18

Thanks. :cool:


Forgot to really congratulate you on your iMac purchase, so happy iMac experience.

#12 evo_spook

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 23:45

I still haven't decided when I am going for super geek world domination in a few months time whether to go for the large imac, or get a mac mini with a large external (dell) separate screen, they both will set in well in the scenario

#13 redeemed

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 23:55

Nice review and congrats on getting an excellent piece of hardware :yes: (Y)

#14 MasterC

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 00:10

power supply is 60C.

it fluctuates a lot though.


edit: even if you just turn off the screen itself (control + shift + eject) it drops temps a ton.
for example i left my computer for about 25 minutes and the temp is now 45C for the power supply.


3 pics added to the first post...

Totally didn't know that Ctrl+Shift+^ turns off the screen. :| Thanks for that, and nice review. One question - does the glossy screen give off a lot of glare? I see the screen is facing away from the window, so does that help?

#15 OP +StevoFC

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 00:15

Totally didn't know that Ctrl+Shift+^ turns off the screen. :| Thanks for that, and nice review. One question - does the glossy screen give off a lot of glare? I see the screen is facing away from the window, so does that help?


When you sit directly in front of the screen it's not bad at all. Depending on your lighting and windows though there will be glare when looking at the screen from an angle. I have 2 windows in my room, one to the left also and sometimes it shines in but hasn't bothered me.

I forgot to point out that I have the brightness of the screen on notch 6 of 16 right now. It's crazy how bright it is. Sometimes I turn it up higher but after extended periods it actually bothers my eyes because it is so bright.