Got my iMac 24"! My Feedback - BIG POST :)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Nym, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Nym macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Porto, Portugal
    Hi all!

    This Tuesday I went to the local Apple seller to pick up my 24 incher (which took 46 days to arrive...) and just wanted to give my straight feedback on this base config iMac for those who, like me, were having doubts about buying this beast :D.
    The specs are: 24" iMac, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA 7300 GT, 250 GB HD, like I said, base model.

    Picture during Windows Install (Portuguese Version)

    Ok, first of all I must say I'm really impressed with the computer, it's my first Mac but I've been working on them for some years now and I must say, this is the fastest and greatest one I've ever used!

    First Impressions
    Cannot be described... believe me, I have seen a bunch of YouTube videos and user posted pictures here at MacRumors of the 24" iMac but when you get it out of the box, that's when you drool at the size of the display. It's perfect and I don't think it's too big, mainly because my desk leaves me room to put the computer in the back, leaving a lot of space between me and the screen, if I had a smaller desk, I'd probably get the 20" :)

    OSX on Intel C2D
    The first thing I did after setting it up was to download all the software updates and restart the OS, I was very impressed with the fact that it took only 15 seconds for the computer to boot (I was running the stopwatch on my cell).
    Very fast and reliable, after the reboot, not a single problem with the 10.4.8 update which I know some of you are having problems with. So, no complaints from my side about OSX on Intel Mac's this far, it's smooth as ever. Needless to say that all the bundled Apple apps are very very quick to launch and to work with.

    Bootcamp on 24"
    This was my biggest doubt, although I knew the number of iMac's that couldn't install Windows using the internal display were lowering as the weeks went by, I was still a bit suspicious and somehow considered the possibility that XP would not work on my iMac and that would be terrible (because of the gaming).
    To my surprise the Windows XP install screen appeared and it all installed great, Bootcamp works 100%, wireless, bluetooth, keyboard, mighty mouse, everything feels perfect and works like that.

    NVIDIA 7300 GT - My biggest doubt
    I really didn't have any money to order a BTO iMac at this point, everyday I read post's here saying that the 7600 GT was a big performance upgrade and that the 7300 GT kinda sucked :)
    However (and although the 7300 GT probably sucks) I was amazed to see that Counter Strike Source, Day Of Defeat Source, Half Life 2 and FarCry (I only tested these ones) ran perfect at 1024x768 at high settings. Don't know why but I was under the impression that the games would look kinda pixelated at those lower resolutions but goddamn I'm loving it. Even at 1024x768 the games look absolutely beatiful and are 100% fluid, which is the most important part for me. Counter Strike:Source benchmarked 107 FPS in the Stress Test :)
    My point is, if you're "unfortunate" and don't have a lot of money, don't think that the 7300 GT is a bad GPU, it's not a 100% gaming one, but if you're not too picky about screen resolution it can run most games "decently" or above that, even with 1GB RAM.

    Common Problems
    I haven't got any of the common problems that I've read in these forums, the screen doesn't "humm", the computer is absolute quiet, I have only one stuck pixel in the left inferior corner (barely visible) and the display is bright in all corners.

    Let Downs
    First let down was by far the Mighty Mouse, although I love the looks of it, it's just not very ergonomic, I think Apple has a lot of research to do and needs to build a better mouse, the scroll is "strange", the push buttons on the side are easily pressed without you wanting it. Basically, the overall feel to the mouse is not as great as I was expecting, especially for gaming, I was owned 20 times in CS:S before I switched to my ugly Old Optical Mouse :D However, the keyboard feels great :) Also, the keyboard cable is a bit short, had to use a USB extension so that the keyboard would reach the place where it's supposed to be in my desk (look at the pic).

    The second let down.. (and this is where my question comes in) Is DVD Playback supposed to look soooo pixelated and grainy or is there a setting that I can change to make it look better? I mean, the display is beautiful and the OS looks so crisp, why can't the DVD's play like that? lol, I know it's a stupid question but two weeks ago a friend of mine bought a 20" one and he said "DVD playback is crap, I'll continue to watch them in the TV", and of course I answered "are you nuts?? the display is top quality, no way the 10 year old TV is better at DVD Playback!!" , guess I was wrong :D Is there something I'm missing?

    The Third.... FRONT ROW! arghhhhh, I know this is only my second day with the computer but I can now understand why almost no one uses front row on a daily basis..
    Just yesterday is was with my GF showing off my new Mac, put on a DVD, went to Front Row ("WHOW" she said :p), entered DVD, went to the menu, choose "Subtitles" and now the stupid part, in the subtitles menu when I pressed up and down to move through the different options Front Row was thinking I wanted to adjust the volume, thus making me despair and go play the DVD through the DVD Player bundled with OSX :) Is there any way to configure Front Row to NOT do this?

    I now you're thinking "what a huge post!!".. I know.. but I had a lot of questions about the 24" iMac that just couldn't be answered (because most of you guys ordered BTO's and I wanted to know some feedback on the base model) so, hopefully this post might help the one's that, just like me, are searching for information on the base 24" iMac based on someone's real experience.
    My two day experience says: If you're thinking about it, don't hesitate, I'm more convinced about this buy than everything else I own, OSX is great and works very fast, Windows is snappier than I have ever seen, the gaming looks great in the 24" display and it's without a doubt the best computer I've had in a long time, would recommend it to anyone. Even my dad, which is a oldschool die-hard PC user loves this Mac and really admits that "Apple is leading the way for the rest to follow".
    Anyway, hope this helps someone and if i'm being an ass on any of the questions I've made, be gentle, I'm used to Panther, my first experience with Tiger was 2 days ago :)

    BTW, I'm Portuguese, so don't complain about English language errors.
  2. nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    Heck, your English is better than mine!:D Nice review, enjoy your imac!

    About the DVD playback, have you tried downloading an HD movie? Try that and see if it looks better. My DVD playback could look better too.
  3. Nym thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Porto, Portugal
    arghhh, true, the DVD Playback is very pixelated, I kinda hoped there was some terminal command like "llsls -sii299" that would unblock good DVD Playback but I was just being naive :) My english? Humm, I guess that those 8 years of english at school finally paid back, eheh. And yes, i'm enjoying my iMac, just not right now coz I'm at work.. (sigh)..
  4. slackersonly macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2006
    I agree with you on the less than mighty mouse. Thankfully there are lots of great options available.

    Congrats on your 2ft iMac.
  5. thereubster macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    London UK
    Surely the DVD problem is DVD Player itself?

    Isn't the problem with DVD playback simply that the DVD resolution is 720x576 pixels (PAL) being blown up to 1920x1080 (or so) pixels and DVD Player just doesnt have a very good upscaling algorithm. Try using the Nvidia DVD player software on Windows XP as it uses the upscaler built into the graphics card and see if that looks better.
  6. mongoos150 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2005
    I agree, something needs to be done about the DVD player - it's ridiculous.
  7. babakd90 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2006
    I'm having trouble install XP on my 24" iMac. The system boots into the CD, but the installer doesn't show...just a black screen. Anyway to fix it?

  8. mongoos150 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2005
    THere should be some way to get proper DVD quality playback on the iMac without installing windows. There must be a Tiger solution.
  9. Nym thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Porto, Portugal
    Err, this is a known bug, hence my happiness when the Windows Install screen appeared... Try searching these forums, there's a lot of posts on the subject.
    Although, from what I've read so far, there's no way to do it unless you are prepared to install it using an external display... :confused:
    This a known bug by Apple, will probably be fixed with a firmware update, at least the 24" owners expect it.
    I did do one thing, and probably it has got nothing to do with it, but here it goes: Almost everyone who I've seen discussing this topic both here and at Apple Discussion came to a conclusion that the windows install screen isn't prepared for the huge 1900x1200 that the 24" display has, and for that matter, before I rebooted (at the last stage of bootcamp still inside OSX) I changed the resolution in system preferences to 1600x1000 or something like that and then I rebooted to start the windos install.. like I said, it probably had nothing to do with the fact that I was able to install XP. Good luck :(
  10. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Nice post Nym, glad to hear that you are enjoying your awesome, new 24" iMac! :)
  11. Nym thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    Porto, Portugal
    Thanks man, I will, I AM! eheh :D
  12. Kiscokid macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2005
    mine should be here next week ... on the whole sounds/looks awesome. Disappointed to hear about the dvd playback though .... surely something is wrong here...will the screen res not adjust to match the dvd?

    I would have thought that one of the major selling points of such a big screen is that you can watch a movie and have it looking great on it??

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