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Old 01-23-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,878
Default New Intel iMac review

Yesterday's (sunday) Washington Post had a brief review of the new iMac...here's a bit of the review:

"The Intel iMac Apple loaned last week (the pricier of two versions, this $1,699 model includes a 2 GHZ Core Duo and a gigabyte of memory) looked its very best in tests of digital-video performance. It played high-definition movie trailers available on Apple's Web site without pauses or stutters, even when I rapidly dragged the movie's window around the desktop. An iMac G5 from last summer stumbled, sometimes badly, at the same assignment, as did a Dell Optiplex desktop.

"...But most Mac programs aren't yet available as "universal" Intel/PowerPC releases. In those cases, the iMac and such other Intel-based machines as the MacBook Pro laptop due next month rely on a layer of software called Rosetta to translate PowerPC code into Intel instructions. Much of the time, Rosetta is invisible. Microsoft Office launched only a little slower than normal, then acted exactly as it would on a G4 or G5 Mac. The same went for a long list of other Mac programs tested, including productivity applications (AppleWorks), personal-finance tools (Quicken 2006, TurboTax, Moneydance), Web browsers (Firefox and Camino), digital-photo managers (Kodak EasyShare, iView Media) and games (The Sims, Lego Star Wars).

A Hewlett-Packard printer/scanner combo worked as usual, and I had no problem installing drivers for comparable devices from HP and Epson.

Rosetta even tolerated the quirks of gruesomely obsolete Mac software: Palm Desktop synced data with a Tungsten E handheld and AOL logged on over my DSL connection without any issues.

Rosetta could not, however, run demos of the games WWII Online and Doom 3 at any acceptable speed. LimeWire, a file-sharing program, and NeoOffice, a version of the OpenOffice suite, wouldn't start or crashed every time. Microsoft's Virtual PC emulation software doesn't work either. And Rosetta can't translate any "Classic" programs written for Mac OS 9 or older versions of Apple's operating system; Mac OS X actually stamps their icons with a "forbidden" graphic to emphasize this point. [tlb added bold/italic]

"...Its [Rosetta] only major cost seems to be a ravenous appetite for memory: Rosetta often wound up doubling PowerPC applications' memory requirements, a trait that made the iMac unbearably sluggish with one of its two memory modules removed.

Don't even think of using an Intel-based Mac without a gigabyte of memory on board, not the 512 MB that would suffice on other models. "

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