Apple overhauls iMacs, 24-inch models more affordable

This is a sweeping update across the entire iMac line. Clock speed is up, but Apple has also left itself vulnerableby sticking with dual-core CPUs.

Apple


Editors' Note: As of October 20, 2009, the iMac reviewed here has been replaced by 27-inch iMac models.

In addition to updating its Mac Minis this morning, Apple has new iMacs. Each of the four default models received an update, so we'll break them out below list-style for convenience, with new specs in bold.

$1,199 iMac

  • 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 320GB hard drive
  • 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics chip
  • 20-inch LCD

$1,499 iMac

  • 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 640GB hard drive
  • 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics chip
  • 24-inch LCD

$1,799 iMac

  • 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 640GB hard drive
  • 256MB Nvidia GeForce GTS 120 graphics chip
  • 24-inch LCD

$2,199 iMac

  • 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 1TB hard drive
  • 512MB Nvidia GeForce GTS 130 graphics chip
  • 24-inch LCD

As you can see from all of that bold text, this is a sweeping update across the entire iMac line. A few specs stand out, though. At $1,499, the 24-inch model is the most affordable all-in-one at that screen size from a major desktop vendor in the U.S. The larger hard drives are, of course, also welcome, and the roster of Nvidia graphics chips--in particular the higher-end models with dedicated GPUs--improve the iMacs' outlook for video editing as well as gaming. No other all-in-one approaches those specs at their corresponding prices right now.

Apple

We're glad to see the iMacs' CPU clock speed go up almost across the board as well, but Apple has also left itself vulnerable by sticking with dual-core CPUs. We'd agree that dual-core chips are generally preferable for single application performance, but quad-core excels at multitasking. Both Sony and Dell offer quad-core chips in their all-in-ones, and we suspect they'll play up that advantage as they refresh their own lines.

As with the Mac Minis, the new iMacs also come with updated ports on the back side. You get the typical USB 2.0 jacks, FireWire 800 output, and Gigabit Ethernet, but the Mini DVI port has been replaced by a Mini DisplayPort. As Mini DisplayPort is unique to Apple displays right now, you'll need to purchase an adapter if you want to connect a standard DVI monitor, at least until other monitor vendors catch up.

Read the full CNET Review

Apple iMac (24-inch, 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Winter 2009)

The Bottom Line: A few other all-in-ones make this 20-inch iMac look expensive on a dollars-per-screen-inch basis, but none are as attractive or as capable juggling multiple programs. With a fast dual-core CPU and a strong array of features, Apple's updated all-in-one will slide seamlessly into a variety of roles at home or at work. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Winter 2009)

The Bottom Line: A few other all-in-ones make this 20-inch iMac look expensive on a dollars-per-screen-inch basis, but none are as attractive or as capable juggling multiple programs. With a fast dual-core CPU and a strong array of features, Apple's updated all-in-one will slide seamlessly into a variety of roles at home or at work. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Apple iMac (20-inch, 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Winter 2009)

The Bottom Line: A few other all-in-ones make this 20-inch iMac look expensive on a dollars-per-screen-inch basis, but none are as attractive or as capable juggling multiple programs. With a fast dual-core CPU and a strong array of features, Apple's updated all-in-one will slide seamlessly into a variety of roles at home or at work. / Read full review

About the author

Rich Brown is an executive editor for CNET Reviews. He has worked as a technology journalist since 1994.

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

The Next Big Thing

Consoles go wide and far beyond gaming with power and realism.