As the purchaser of a iMac at the start of the year, I went through the usual doubts and uncertainties about how long my purchase would remain current. Just to recap, I got a 24″ iMac, with the following upgrades: 2GB RAM, 500GB SATA hard disk, 256MB nVidea graphics card. Although the 24″ iMac had only been out for a couple of months, I was aware that the overall design was getting on a bit, and was probably due an update sometime this year.
Yesterday saw that update, and I’m breathing a sigh of relief that there’s nothing too revolutionary about it meaning my current iMac doesn’t seem so obsolete (in reality it isn’t obsolete at all, it’s still a hugely powerful machine for what I do with it!) I’m quite impressed with the way that the 24″ model’s base specs have been upgraded. The processors have a boost, topping out with a 2.8Ghz Core Duo Extreme, whilst the maximum amount of memory is up to 4GB from 3GB. The graphics are ATI across the range rather than the previous ATI low end and nVidea high end choice, and 256MB is standard. Finally, the hard disk sizes are upped, with the max now being 1TB.
The thing I’m most happy with is that the overall styling is similar, albeit with a brushed metal and glass look rather than white plastic. Most importantly as well, the screen resolution hasn’t changed, with the 24″ still being 1920×1200. I’m quite happy that my iMac has a matt screen rather than the now standard glossy screen which to my eyes is not as good for photo work.
I’m also happy that the new models don’t yet have any HD drive, and have stuck with DVD for the time being.
The one thing I’m less happy about is the fact that the cost has decreased quite significantly, with the top end iMac 24″ now coming in at £400 less than I paid for a faster processor and equivalent memory, graphics and disk to the one I specced. Still, overall it could have been worse.
One thing Apple should be slapped for is shipping the top end iMac with 2x 1GB memory chips. If you want to upgrade to 3 or 4GB in the future you are going to have to chuck one or both of those away.