Product Notes: Apple iMac
March 3, 2009
Apple announced significant updates today to its iMac line of all-in-one 20-inch and 24-inch desktop systems. This useful (and long anticipated) update is the first iMac refresh since the April 2008 update.
Design and Changes
This new generation of iMacs retain the same general enclosure as iMacs have had since the introduction of the "aluminum" iMac in August 2007, with some modifications in ports and port arrangement.
Changes in these latest iMacs include increased standard RAM, the addition of NVIDIA's excellent 9400M integrated graphics as standard, and the availability of more powerful discrete video cards on the 24-inch model. All systems now include a Mini DisplayPort video output port with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI via adapter.
Missing from this latest update are the availability of Blu-Ray drives and the availability of discrete video cards for the 20-inch model. FireWire 400 ports have been removed, though there is now a FireWire 800 port available on all models. There is still no matte screen option, which matters to some users for both color precision and ergonomic reasons.
When configured with 4.0 GB or more of RAM, these new iMacs meet or exceed the specifications in the newly-revised Performance PC Buyer's Guide.
Both versions of the iMac have received a Gold rating from EPEAT and are Energy Star 4.0-certified (in fact, they meet Energy Star 5.0 requirements that go into effect in July 2009).
Configuration and Ordering Notes
Several notes when ordering an iMac:
See ISC's Performance PC Buyer's Guide for more configuration hints. As of March 2009, configuring an iMac to the Performance PC specification can be done for approximately $1,250 (the previous-generation white iMac and the Mac mini remain the best choices for a Mac OS-based Value Desktop). The University's Computer Connection has four new iMac configurations available for order.
ISC sees the updated iMac as being a solid choice among desktop systems available in early 2009 and the iMac will continue to serve as the Apple component in the University's Desktop Recommendations. Continuing improvements in the standard specifications once again have dropped the barrier to entry for appropriately configured models.
iMac graphic courtesy of Apple
--John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services (March 3, 2009)
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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