My Review of the 20" Aluminum iMac

Alloye

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 11, 2007
657
0
Rocklin, CA
I've been plugging along for about six hours on my new 2.4GHz 20" iMac. So far, I'm quite impressed. Here are my initial thoughts:

Design: I wasn't sure I'd like it when I first saw the pictures, but now I'm sold. The new iMac is a beauty! I previously owned an original Core Duo 20" and I always felt like there was way too much glossy-white plastic staring at me all the time. Plus finding non-Apple peripherals to match the thing was downright impossible. The new design might actually make it easier to create a more aesthetically-pleasing workstation as a whole despite being less "iconic."

Build Quality: My new iMac looks like a precision piece of equipment. I can find no discernable defects in its materials or workmanship.

Display: What can I say? It's great!* I believe it's already been discovered that the 20" uses a TN panel, but it really does look quite good. Colors are very vivid and saturated. Whites are crisp and bright. Yes, S-IPS is a superior technology as far as color accuracy is concerned, but I think most people will enjoy the new display regardless. It sizzles! My old iMac actually looks kinda dull and grainy in comparison.

* One caveat about the new display is that it needs proper calibration to really shine. The default ColorSync profile as supplied by Apple has gamma curves that make things too bright! The result is washed-out color and fuzzy text.

Keyboard: I really love the MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards, so I was looking forward to Apple replacing the ever-mushy "Pro" keyboard that's been with us forever. About all I can say is that the new keyboard works as good as it looks, and it looks gorgeous!

Performance: No problem in this department. The new iMac is very fast. Programs load quickly, the system is responsive under load, and graphical effects are smooth and fluid. I'd say it's noticeably faster than my CD iMac and slightly faster than my SR MacBook Pro with the same CPU. (Probably because the 8600M drivers in the latter are still a work-in-progress.) As for gaming performance, please don't ask. I gave that up years ago.

Heat and Noise: The top of new iMac does become warmer to the touch than the old one, but I haven't taken any actual readings yet. As for noise, both iMacs are virtually silent under normal conditions.

Conclusion: I think Apple will sell a lot of these! :)
 

atari1356

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
1,582
32
* One caveat about the new display is that it needs proper calibration to really shine. The default ColorSync profile as supplied by Apple has gamma curves that make things too bright! The result is washed-out color and fuzzy text.
Congrats on your new iMac. :)

Out of curiosity, how did you calibrate your screen? Just through Apple's display preferences, or using a hardware calibrator?
 

Alloye

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 11, 2007
657
0
Rocklin, CA
Out of curiosity, how did you calibrate your screen? Just through Apple's display preferences, or using a hardware calibrator?
I have a hardware calibrator, but I haven't used it on the new display yet. I just used Apple's calibrator in expert mode. I walked through each step and only adjusted the brightness sliders. (The ones on the left.) It really helped. I didn't bother with the color sliders because I know my Eye-One Display 2 will do a much better job than I can.
 

greg555

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2005
644
7
Canada
This could just be due to the higher thermal conductivity of the aluminum versus the old one's plastic. It may actually be the same temperature or lower (but still above body temp). You'd have to use a temperature probe to know for sure.

Greg

Heat and Noise: The top of new iMac does become warmer to the touch than the old one, but I haven't taken any actual readings yet. As for noise, both iMacs are virtually silent under normal conditions.

Conclusion: I think Apple will sell a lot of these! :)
 

Willis

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
2,256
4
Beds, UK
I've been wondering this for a while. Has Apple used Conroe chips in these or stuck with the mobile line up?
 

nakile

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2007
151
0
Since they use the Santa Rosa mobile platform, they must still be using Merom (mobile) CPUs.
I don't think Apple is using the Santa Rosa Merom CPUs. Those chips are currently limited to 2.4GHz. With Apple offering a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, I think they have something different going on. Of course, the 2.8GHz model might have a different logic board all together.
 

flopticalcube

macrumors G4
I don't think Apple is using the Santa Rosa Merom CPUs. Those chips are currently limited to 2.4GHz. With Apple offering a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo, I think they have something different going on. Of course, the 2.8GHz model might have a different logic board all together.
The 2.8 is the recently announced Core 2 Extreme X7900. Delivery in September. It could also be an overclocked X7800 (2.6GHz) available now. Both are socket P (mobile) chips.
 

Alloye

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 11, 2007
657
0
Rocklin, CA
Just to follow-up, I've had time to do a hardware calibration of the display since my initial review. The resulting profile is here. I'm now completely happy with my iMac's screen.
 

luke277

macrumors newbie
May 30, 2008
2
0
Alloye, thanks so much for commenting on how the iMacs display isn't calibrated correctly, I thought I was the only one who had an issue about it and I was constantly adjusting my screen to tilt up because the dock and images displayed on the lower bottom area of the screen always seemed to be too bright, as in washed out colors bright. Im glad I'm not the only one who thought that was annoying! So I adjusted the color profile on the screen and made it perfect to my tastes. Oh and I just used apples display calibrator assistant.