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MacBytes
Oct 18, 2005, 02:37 AM
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Category: Apple Hardware
Link: New iMacG5 : first comments and analysis (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051018033741)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

seriypshick
Oct 18, 2005, 05:19 AM
Apple is now back on the bad habits of providing a computer with a 512MB RAM module already soldered to the mother board.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's next shared VRAM?

Edited: C'mon apple this is so DELL - like.

aswitcher
Oct 18, 2005, 05:27 AM
This is deliberate move by Apple to keep the iMac from competing to heavily with its PMs. Imagine a 4 Gig iMac G5...

Blue Velvet
Oct 18, 2005, 05:42 AM
This is deliberate move by Apple to keep the iMac from competing to heavily with its PMs. Imagine a 4 Gig iMac G5...


Just my opinion but I've always thought that the iMac has slowly become something entirely different instead of how it started off from the beginning -- i.e. the Mac for everyone.

Ahead of its time, if it had kept to its core function then we wouldn't have the Mini. Instead, it has become too expensive for your average home computer user and rivals many machines still in production environments.

That's not to say it's a fantastically great machine but it now sits in the upper price band of Apple's computer offerings instead of at the bottom which is where it was when first released.

Many of my friends who bought G3 iMacs when they first were released-- some of them still in use -- would never be able to afford to replace them with a new iMac today. The Mini instead would be the natural replacement.

Nutter
Oct 18, 2005, 06:06 AM
Why not?

The original iMac cost $1,299. If your friends could afford that, why can't they afford today's iMac, which is exactly the same price?

You do have a point about the iMac's position in Apple's overall lineup being very different now.

Applespider
Oct 18, 2005, 06:21 AM
I'm not so bothered about the 512MB RAM that's soldered on. For most iMac buyers (not the geeks on the message boards and their families), they'll probably never think about buying more RAM. If someone does mention more RAM if they're editing video etc, then they'll probably buy a GB stick, ask someone else to install it and be even happier. Most users don't need 4GB of RAM (which is what the iMac would offer if it wasn't soldered on). If they do, they buy Powermacs.

The typical iMac buyers are the consumers who tend to just buy a new computer when they need one with more power and relegate the old one to the playroom/grandparents. They're not interested in upgrading it. Heck, if they're switchers, they're probably used to their old PC being so slow after 3 years that they trash it.

And it's not Microsoft-like, MS don't build hardware.

Blue Velvet
Oct 18, 2005, 06:21 AM
Why not?

The original iMac cost $1,299. If your friends could afford that, why can't they afford today's iMac, which is exactly the same price?

You do have a point about the iMac's position in Apple's overall lineup being very different now.

Because the iMac is more expensive in the UK especially compared to your average PC and while they probably could afford it, they couldn't justify spending that sort of money on something for email, kids homework etc. In some ways, their expectations of a computer have remained virtually static while technology has marched on.

Applespider
Oct 18, 2005, 06:27 AM
Because the iMac is more expensive in the UK especially compared to your average PC and while they probably could afford it, they couldn't justify spending that sort of money on something for email, kids homework etc. In some ways, their expectations of a computer have remained virtually static while technology has marched on.

Just looked at a few of the non-Apple desktops that we sell, the HPs are between 600 & 850 without a monitor. The Fujitsus are around 550 to 700 without a monitor. The Sonys with integrated monitors (and admittedly a TV tuner) are 1400+. Compared to those which are a similar quality, rather than Dell specials, 899 isn't that bad a deal.

Blue Velvet
Oct 18, 2005, 06:38 AM
Just looked at a few of the non-Apple desktops that we sell, the HPs are between 600 & 850 without a monitor. The Fujitsus are around 550 to 700 without a monitor. The Sonys with integrated monitors (and admittedly a TV tuner) are 1400+. Compared to those which are a similar quality, rather than Dell specials, 899 isn't that bad a deal.

Yeah, but you know as well as I do that something like a Packard Bell for 499-599 from PCWorld with TFT monitor is about the price range for many families... Comparisons between specs falls on deaf ears for these sorts of consumers. 400-500 difference is a lot of pennies especially when they might get some low-end peripherals thrown in as well in a sale or something.

gwuMACaddict
Oct 18, 2005, 06:44 AM
eeew... back to 512 being soldered on? so you cant even order it with more to start with? yuck...

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 18, 2005, 07:12 AM
I love all the excuses, soldered on memory is as bad as soldered on video. They both suck and help you move into the next computer :rolleyes: The same old game of instead of just making the best product they end up in a fight with another of their products. Here comes all those you dont need it kind of comments. :rolleyes: Throw away the isight and give the thing a real video card & memory.

rosalindavenue
Oct 18, 2005, 07:21 AM
I think the most interesting thing in the MacBidioulle piece is the part that says "DIY is gone" -- excerpt:

Forget the "Do it Yourself", Apple has dramatically changed the architecture of the computer, and it does not really accommodate the DIY program. The inside compartment of the new iMacG5 resembles more the one of a PowerBook; the number of individual piece/components has been strongly reduced, as well as the number of screws required to assemble the computer. This model is probably much less expensive to produce than the previous revision.

The do it yourself/ "call us and we'll send you a replacement part you can install" idea was interesting; in a retro kind of way. No big surprise that it failed, I suppose. Sounds like they're returned to the lamp imac/laptop ideal that you should never crack the case, except possibly for RAM upgrades.

Aarow
Oct 18, 2005, 07:53 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's next shared VRAM?

C'mon apple this is so Microsoft - like.

Microsoft doesn't make computers.. ;)

Nutter
Oct 18, 2005, 08:07 AM
Because the iMac is more expensive in the UK especially compared to your average PC and while they probably could afford it, they couldn't justify spending that sort of money on something for email, kids homework etc. In some ways, their expectations of a computer have remained virtually static while technology has marched on.

The original iMac cost about 1,100 in the UK, so I still don't see your point. The original iMac was a success despite its price, not because of it.

Blue Velvet
Oct 18, 2005, 08:15 AM
The original iMac cost about 1,100 in the UK, so I still don't see your point. The original iMac was a success despite its price, not because of it.

My point is that the iMac 'brand' has evolved to a higher-end machine and is too much computer for some people -- hence the Mini. A couple of my friends replaced their G3 iMacs with eMacs...

For many people, the iMac is not the entry-level Mac it once was. Surely this is obvious?

It's not a criticism of the iMac. It's just a recognition of the way it's moved upwards within the portfolio of Apple's computing products.

Josh
Oct 18, 2005, 09:03 AM
That kind sucks, but it won't stop me from getting one.

I really don't plan on putting 2.5 gigs of ram in an iMac. Like others have said, if I wanted something terribly powerful, I'd just get a PowerMac instead.

The things I do with an iMac I can enjoy doing with 1.5 gigs of ram just fine.

But, it is interesting that as the iMac evolves and moves its way up the Apple lines, that it becomes more and more difficult to upgrade. Seems somewhat contradicting.

BruinJohn
Oct 18, 2005, 09:12 AM
I orderd the 17" iMac Saturday, and I'm still waiting for an e-mail saying it was shipped. After reading this article, I am having second thoughts because I was contemplating between getting the 20" 2.0 Ghz refurbed model in the "save" section at the apple store and the new 17". I knew that there was only one available ram slot, but after reading the article, I'm thinking it would be cheaper to just get two 1 gig sticks than a 2 gig stick if I wanted to max out the iMac. The article said the difference in DDR and DDR2 is negligable. And the 20" screen is way nicer than the 17" screen. And since the article said that the "new" video card isn't that much better than the 9600 on the 20", maybe I should get the 20" now. Anyone have any opinions. It hasn't shipped yet so I can still cancel and get the 20". thanks.

Note: I checked the status of it today, and it has already shipped. Oh well, I know I'll be happy.

CmdrLaForge
Oct 18, 2005, 09:23 AM
I orderd the 17" iMac Saturday, and I'm still waiting for an e-mail saying it was shipped. After reading this article, I am having second thoughts because I was contemplating between getting the 20" 2.0 Ghz refurbed model in the "save" section at the apple store and the new 17". I knew that there was only one available ram slot, but after reading the article, I'm thinking it would be cheaper to just get two 1 gig sticks than a 2 gig stick if I wanted to max out the iMac. The article said the difference in DDR and DDR2 is negligable. And the 20" screen is way nicer than the 17" screen. And since the article said that the "new" video card isn't that much better than the 9600 on the 20", maybe I should get the 20" now. Anyone have any opinions. It hasn't shipped yet so I can still cancel and get the 20". thanks.

Photo Booth and Front Row and iSight? What about them?

If you don't care - get the 20"

Cheers

BruinJohn
Oct 18, 2005, 09:49 AM
Photo Booth and Front Row and iSight? What about them?

If you don't care - get the 20"

Cheers


I won an iSight at the Santa Monica Apple store opening 2 years ago, and I figure Photo Booth and Front Row should eventually be available for other computers. I have Salling Clicker so I use my cell phone as a remote, which is pretty nice. The new one has mighty mouse too. Any one else has an opinion? the 20" Rev. C vs. the 17" Rev. D?

Some_Big_Spoon
Oct 18, 2005, 10:20 AM
Signalling that they may really have nothing to offer in the PM sector... The iMac was already a better buy, looks like they're very afraid of it being the same way.

Oh well, how many years of gimmicks and deliberate cripplings till Intel macs?

This is deliberate move by Apple to keep the iMac from competing to heavily with its PMs. Imagine a 4 Gig iMac G5...

nagromme
Oct 18, 2005, 11:05 AM
Just my opinion but I've always thought that the iMac has slowly become something entirely different instead of how it started off from the beginning -- i.e. the Mac for everyone.

No question. It has become the mid-range Mac, when it started out as the entry-level. (And interestingly, as you say, that doesn't mean a price shift--computers just got cheaper while the iMac got better.)

It IS great to get an iSight for free--I never looked at it that way, in dollars, but that's a VERY nice savings. Or for other people, a nice luxury they wouldn't have bought otherwise.

And the remote (despite being IR--for cost?) is too cool with the invisible magnet mount and the receiver hidden in the logo.


"Its volume is much smaller than the original iSight, so the quality/performance must be different and it is reasonable to assume that it will not be as good as a true external iSight."

I'll be interested to know the truth of that, but I do not think what they're saying makes sense here. How can they say the volume of the iSight in the iMac is smaller? Have they taken BOTH cams APART to look at the actual camera component? Because the iSight has airspace, microphone, lens cap, lens cap wheel mechanism, attachment for the cord, etc. It's not JUST optics in there. The iMac's massive case could easily fit what's needed--unless they're saying that the little hole means that the components inside can't possibly extend beyond the hole :o Again, I'd be interested to know the facts--but I see no reason to assume the worst. (Quality MUST be different?)


"Apple Remote Control and FrontRow will turn the new iMacG5 into a media Center, and will please all users buying an iMacG5 for this purpose. But it might also show what could be in the future a true Apple Media Center that could be plugged to a TV or a Video projector."

It's not meant to be a Media Center PC, and doesn't do the same things. And it can ALREADY be plugged into TV or projector.


"it does not really accommodate the DIY program"
That's too bad if true, I thought that self-diagnosis/self-repair was a great thing in the old iMac. Maybe it never caught on, or maybe a lot of people were carelessly doing damage?

It's good that they've improved cooling vs. the original models.

I wonder if this iMac can still use a VESA mount, and whether it needs a different VESA adapter from Apple? The back face is a different shape.


Oh well, how many years of gimmicks and deliberate cripplings till Intel macs?
If you think including "only" 512 on the iMac motherboard (it's tolerable, and adding 512 to make 1 GB is great for most people) then I suggest you don't look at OTHER computer companies ;) Have you seen the bait-and-switching and REAL intentional mind games they play at Dell for instance? At least 512 is just a cost vs. demand decision and not the kinds of games that many other PC makers play.

WildCowboy
Oct 18, 2005, 01:16 PM
To this day, the only reason my parents own a computer is because of the iMac (Summer 2000) priced at $799. Anything more expensive than that, and they wouldn't have bought. The iMac is in no way, shape, or form an entry-level machine now.

nospleen
Oct 18, 2005, 01:20 PM
The new 17" imac screen is now as bright and has the same contrast ratio as the Rev B 20" imac. So, you will not see a difference there. However, the newest 20" is now even nicer. I am going with the new 17, the standard superdrive sealed the deal.

lickily
Oct 18, 2005, 01:39 PM
"Its volume is much smaller than the original iSight, so the quality/performance must be different and it is reasonable to assume that it will not be as good as a true external iSight."

I'll be interested to know the truth of that, but I do not think what they're saying makes sense here. How can they say the volume of the iSight in the iMac is smaller? Have they taken BOTH cams APART to look at the actual camera component? Because the iSight has airspace, microphone, lens cap, lens cap wheel mechanism, attachment for the cord, etc. It's not JUST optics in there. The iMac's massive case could easily fit what's needed--unless they're saying that the little hole means that the components inside can't possibly extend beyond the hole :o Again, I'd be interested to know the facts--but I see no reason to assume the worst. (Quality MUST be different?)



Didn't Jobs say during the introduction that the built-in iSight was actually better than the stand alone version? I think he was referring to the resolution of the imager. Of course, other things determine picture quality as well, and they may be right that some compromises were made on that front in order to make the camera small enough to fit into the computer. I imagine that the lens might be smaller (greater distortion) and it might have limited autofocus abilities (does the regular isight have optical zoom?). Then again, it probably has less need for some of these features given its limited purpose. I'd bet they optimized it for good results when taking pictures/video from 1-2 feet in front of the screen which is what most people will use it for.

nagromme
Oct 18, 2005, 01:49 PM
Lens size should be easy to compare in person and answer that question.

But I do know that the actual lens of a standalone iSight is VERY small. It's not the whole black circle. Like any camera, it's a smaller component in the center. So I can see it fitting just fine in the hole on an iMac.

illegalprelude
Oct 18, 2005, 02:13 PM
the lense might have a higher resolution sure, but dosent mean its better. its like having a 3 and a 5 megapixel camera. but if the 5 has a smaller lesne then the 3, its going to get more light in, thus more likely at times to get better pictures because of the bigger lense. On paper, the new iSights specs might be higher but in reality, it might preform completly the opposite

shamino
Oct 18, 2005, 05:23 PM
My point is that the iMac 'brand' has evolved to a higher-end machine and is too much computer for some people -- hence the Mini. A couple of my friends replaced their G3 iMacs with eMacs...
This is not in the least bit surprising.

Apple kept the G3 iMac around long past its proper lifespan in order to keep selling a device at the $800 price point. It was only discontinued when they were able to start selling an $800 eMac.

Today, the mini is the successor. A mini, plus a keyboard, mouse and 17" CRT display, ends up about equivalent in both performance and cost to the now-discontinued $800 eMac.
For many people, the iMac is not the entry-level Mac it once was. Surely this is obvious?
The iMac stopped being an entry-level system the day Apple started selling the G4 models, with their bullt-in (and expensive) flat-panel displays.

shamino
Oct 18, 2005, 05:35 PM
... How can they say the volume of the iSight in the iMac is smaller? ... I'd be interested to know the facts--but I see no reason to assume the worst. (Quality MUST be different?)
Well, we know it's a different mechanism. Steve's presentation showed its specs - higher resolution and a higher frame rate. It stands to reason that the performance will be different. Whether this is better, worse, or a purely subjective difference will remain to be seen, of course.
"it does not really accommodate the DIY program"
That's too bad if true, I thought that self-diagnosis/self-repair was a great thing in the old iMac. Maybe it never caught on, or maybe a lot of people were carelessly doing damage?
Or there were too many people demanding replacement motherboards because of the brand-name printed on the capacitors.

Lots of iMac/G5 units have needed replacement due to faulty caps, which led to unsubstantiated rumors that all caps with certain marking must eventually fail, leading to a lot of bogus service calls that Apple had to refuse.

By no longer encouraging users to open the case, they prevent a lot of these frivolous (and expensive) support calls.

Yvan256
Oct 18, 2005, 05:40 PM
I wish the Mac mini had 512MB soldered on-board... it'd have a free memory slot for upgrading (to either 1GB or 1.5GB).

plinden
Oct 18, 2005, 05:49 PM
And since the article said that the "new" video card isn't that much better than the 9600 on the 20", maybe I should get the 20" now.

The new video card is the x600 XT, the old video card was the 9600 (not XT, not Pro). PC benchmarks show the x600 XT is about 50% faster than the 9600 but only very slightly better,if at all, than the 9600 XT.

Of course, 50% of a low value to start with isn't a lot, but it's still more than slightly better.

shamino
Oct 18, 2005, 06:18 PM
The new video card is the x600 XT
Double-check the specs (http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html). The 20" model has an X600 XT. The 17" model has an X600 Pro.

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 18, 2005, 06:35 PM
Double-check the specs (http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html). The 20" model has an X600 XT. The 17" model has an X600 Pro.
Kind of strange for apple to do this, they didnt just throw in the XT in the 20" for nothing. I wonder what the reason was? To help offset the tiny cpu bump is my only guess. Going from 2.0 to 2.1 was very stale. I think the iMac has hit its heat limit with G5 and all that electronics. Maybe the XT was just to make it more attractive for purchase? I cant remember iMacs having different gpu's.

sjk
Oct 19, 2005, 01:36 PM
I wish the Mac mini had 512MB soldered on-board... it'd have a free memory slot for upgrading (to either 1GB or 1.5GB).We all do. :)

That's one reason I'm still satisfied having an eMac w/ 2GB.

shamino
Oct 19, 2005, 02:41 PM
Kind of strange for apple to do this, they didnt just throw in the XT in the 20" for nothing. I wonder what the reason was? To help offset the tiny cpu bump is my only guess.
Given the degree that Mac OS delegates stuff to the GPU, this will probably improve overall performance. CoreImage, OpenGL (which Quartz Extreme uses) and some apps (like Motion) will perform better with a GPU upgrade than with a CPU upgrade.
I cant remember iMacs having different gpu's.
Browsing MacTracker (http://www.mactracker.ca/)...

The 17" first-generation iMac G5 was available with either a GeForce 4MX or a GeForce FX 5200 Ultra.

The Early-2001 iMac/G3 shipped with aither an ATI Rage 128 Pro or a Rage 128 Ultra.

The first generation bondi-blue iMac shipped with an ATI Rage IIc or a Rage Pro, depending on whether you got a rev-A or rev-B motherboard.

But the majority of iMac models only had one kind of video chip.