Apple Upgrades iMac Line to Intel Core 2 Duo - Adds 24-inch Model

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Sep
06

By: switchtoamac at: 3:41 PM on September 6, 2006 | Comments (0)

Apple's entire iMac line now ships with the Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom) processors and performs at up to 50 percent faster than the previous Intel based iMacs.  In addition to announcing the processor upgrade, Apple introduced a new 24-inch wide screen that joins the existing 17-inch and 20-inch form factors.  The iMac now starts at just $999.  The updated iMac line is immediately available at Apple's retail locations, the online Apple Store, and through Apple Authorized Resellers.

The iMac is the first of Apple's Macintosh computers to ship with Intel's 64-bit Core 2 Duo processors (Merom) and is available in speeds from 1.83 GHz to 2.33 GHz.  The newly revamped iMac lineup includes four standard variants.

Standard Configurations 

17 inch 1.83 GHz

  • $999 USD
  • 1440 x 900 resolution
  • 2 MB L2 Cache
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 160 GB SATA HD
  • 24x Combo Drive
  • Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics - 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • Airport Extreme

17 inch 2.0 GHz

  • $1,199 USD
  • 1440 x 900 resolution
  • 4 MB L2 Cache
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 160 GB SATA HD
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 2.4x Dual Layer burn (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 SDRAM
  • Airport Extreme & Bluetooth
  • Apple Remote

20 inch 2.16 GHz

  • $1,499.00
  • 1680 x 1050 resolution
  • 4 MB L2 Cache
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 250 GB SATA HD
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 2.4x Dual Layer burn (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 SDRAM
  • Airport Extreme & Bluetooth
  • Apple Remote

24 inch 2.16 GHz

  • $1,999.00
  • 1920 x 1200 resolution
  • 4 MB L2 Cache
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 250 GB SATA HD
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 2.4x Dual Layer burn (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT with 128MB GDDR3 SDRAM
  • Airport Extreme & Bluetooth
  • Apple Remote

Features standard to all iMacs include:

  • Widescreen TFT active-matrix LCD Displays
  • 667 MHz System bus
  • Built-in iSight camera
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 USB 1.1 ports
  • 2 FireWire 400 ports (24-inch model includes one FireWire 400 port and one FireWire 800 port)
  • mini-DVI video out
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in microphone
  • Optical digital audio in/out jacks
  • Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
  • Built-in 54 Mbps AirPort Extreme
  • Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse
  • Built-in IR Receiver
Upgrades to the systems are also available:

17 inch 1.83 GHz

  • Up to 2 GB Memory (2x1GB)
  • Apple Remote
  • Apple USB Modem

17 inch 2.0 GHz

  • Up to 3GB Memory Upgrade (1x1GB, 1x2GB)
  • 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 500GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard/Mighty Mouse
  • Apple USB Modem

20 inch 2.16 GHz

  • Up to 3GB Memory Upgrade (1x1GB, 1x2GB)
  • 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 500 GB SATA Hard Drive
  • 256 MB VRAM
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard/Mighty Mouse
  • Apple USB Modem

24 inch 2.16 GHz

  • Up to 3GB Memory Upgrade (1x1GB, 1x2GB)
  • 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 500 GB Hard Drive
  • NVIDIA 7600 GT with 256MB VRAM
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard/Mighty Mouse
  • Apple USB Modem

All iMacs ship with the latest version of Apple's operating system, Mac OS X "Tiger" (currently 10.4.7) and iLife ‘06, Apple’s digital lifestyle suite that includes iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb.

Analysis

It's important to note that new 24-inch model is a blessing for those interested in the 17-inch and 20-inch models as the price point for the 24-inch has pushed down the price of the smaller sized models.  The $999 17-inch 1.83 GHz iMac is the lowest priced model, $300 dollars cheaper than the model it replaces and it should be an attractively priced model with the "essential" features consumers are looking for.  In my view, Apple is digging in to take on PC manufacturers head-on this holiday season.  The sub -$1000 iMac should be a popular item on the wish lists for many consumers.  Overall, I expect the iMac to be extremely popular this upcoming holiday shopping season.

The 16:10 wide aspect ratio displays should also be a popular feature for those interested in watching movies and DVD's (and movie downloads from iTunes?).  The 24-inch model offers a brighter display and 30 percent more screen real estate than the 20-inch model.  Features that will be beneficial for tasks such as image viewing and text reading.  The ability to connect a second display (extended desktop mode) should also be a popular feature for many users, especially those who already have an extra display.  The ability of the non-base models to hold up to 3 gigs of RAM should be a popular feature for consumers who need a little more than the average consumer, ideal for tasks such as photo and video editing.  The top of the line 24-inch model should be an attractive system for "prosumers", consumers who need more than an average consumer but not quite the cutting edge top dollar professional Mac Pro used by professionals.  With powerful graphics (The built-to-order option of the NVIDIA 7600 GT with 256MB VRAM on the 24-inch model offers up to 2.3 times faster performance than the 20-inch iMac), Firewire 800, and included all-in one system with large screen real estate, the 24-inch iMac should be an attractive model to professionals who do not need the expandability and enhanced features found in the Mac Pro.  I expect the 24-inch to be a hit with these professionals and gamers.

All in all, the iMac is able to meet the demands for the entire spectrum of most Mac user types.  Apple has positioned the new iMacs with a focus on eye-catching design, outstanding value, great design, a great set of features.

Apple's press release.

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