Monday, March 16, 2009

Apple iMac (Nvidia GeForce 9400M) - Reviews

The all-in-one space pioneered by Apple has been dominated by the iMac. While there were single form factor PCs long before the Apple iMac (the Commodore PET, Osborne 1, and TRS-80, to name a few), none survived as long Looking at the latest Apple iMac (Nvidia GeForce 8400M) ($1,499 list), that history of dominance is not likely to be surpassed any time soon. Last year, the same $1,499 price tag could buy you a 20-inch iMac, which was nice, but now that same amount of money gets you the 24-inch model that you were really lusting for all along.

On the outside, the new iMac looks much like the older iMac 24-inch. There's the brilliant 1,920 by 1,200 widescreen LCD that can display true HD video. The case is still made of aluminum, glass, and plastic, though now the keyboard is a little smaller (more on that later). If you've seen any iMac over the last five years, the newest iteration will look familiar to you. The current iMac design is iconic, like the Porsche 911 (or Luxo lamp, or Kohler bathroom fixtures). The exterior changes a little from model to model, but the overall shape and proportions have stayed the same since the introduction of the iMac G5 in 2004. Why change what works year after year?

Inside the case, there's a lot that's the same as last year's 20- and 24-inch models, but there are also some notable improvements. The 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8135 is similar to the 2.8GHz E8235 I saw in last year's iMac (24-inch Penryn) in terms of architecture. The new iMac retains its predecessors' 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi capability and the DVD-burning SuperDrive. Sadly, there's no still Blu-ray option, but you can buy HD movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store.

The new model centers on the Nvidia 9400M chipset with built-in graphics (last year's model had an Intel based chipset). The 9400M is fully DX10-compatible, so it can run the latest 3D games and applications, and it supports DDR3 memory, which is faster than the DDR2 memory in the iMac's predecessor. The 9400M isn't a gaming part, but it will let you do light to moderate 3D tasks. The changes also extend to the amount of memory and storage. The system's 4GB of system memory is now standard, up from 1GB, which helps a lot for the kinds of multimedia tasks the iMac is good at. The hard drive is up from 320GB to 640GB at this price point. The latter is enough to keep several hundred HD TV shows (at about 1.7GB per hour), or hundreds of thousands of photos and music tracks. If the Mac mini is a great "home base" for an iPod or iPhone, then the new iMacs are the ultimate home base for all your media players from iPods and iPhones to the Apple TV.

By : Joel Santo Domingo
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