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 Post subject: Apple iMac w/Intel Core Duo: A User's Review
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:38 pm 
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Apple iMac w/Intel Core Duo: A User's Review

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 Post subject: High Praise
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:41 pm 
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The iMac is by far the quietest computer I've ever used. It isn't completely silent, I estimate the light hush from the fans to be roughly equivalent to an 80mm Panaflo at 7V from about a foot or 18 inches away. I don't hear the hard drive at all even when reading and writing many GB's.


Wow! That's some high praise. I've got to caution though that this may not be true of all models- the one that I've used in my school library has very audible hd seeks, though that might be a function of whatever hds they installed in them. That also may be a function of the quietness of your particular environment as well :).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:49 am 
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Windows is more of an administrator's OS while OSX seems more like an OS for users. It is easier to get around and do things in OSX. It is less cluttered than XP. OSX needs less fussing; you just get on the Mac and do your work without futzing with the OS.


You are kidding, right? The last time I used a Mac I could not figure out how to get the internal wireless card to work correctly, much less use the actual thing. The interface lacks inductive design so much that using it is painful. Navigating to various things through the dashboard was a pain as well. I am glad you enjoy it though. I know I would never be able to use a Mac OS X PC.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:51 am 
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Aesthetically, it's light years ahead of anything on the XP side of things; how they managed to fit all those components into such a slim format is an engineering marvel. And with good performance too, it seems like it has a very strong value proposition; the only minor downside for me would probably be the lack of upgradability, but depending on what you use it for you might not need to upgrade it for 5 years or more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:57 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Aesthetically, it's light years ahead of anything on the XP side of things; how they managed to fit all those components into such a slim format is an engineering marvel.

More so than a laptop? The iMac is 17cm deep. A desktop LCD is around 5cm deep; a laptop is less than that, and that has both screen and keyboard. I expect Apple has made use of the extra space with better heatsinks and bigger fans, which in turn makes it quieter.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:02 am 
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OS X v. Windows:

OS X has tight vertical integration, making common tasks simpler, and less common tasks more difficult than the competition (like properly persistently mounting a network share, which KDE, Gnome, and Windows have nice GUIs for). Non-tech people like it, though, because it is less cluttered, and the interface is definitely more intuitive than Windows, Gnome, or KDE.

Windows requires more work with third party software, and requires the user to make many more choices. On the up side, there is more third party software for it, and most of it just works*. However, it also requires more knowledge and researching on the part of the user. OS X is much closer to the 'appliance' ideal.


I haven't used the new iMac, but the old ones (G5) and the Mac Mini are very quiet, except when under a heavy load.

Overall, Macs are 'here'. While there are tasks that drive upgrades, what most users need will not take much. For what does, current machines are fast enough that it will generally not be painfully slow. The prices are also competitive with standard hardware. With OS X getting more software all the time, and Linux being a viable option, there is little reason not to at least consider a Mac.

I'd love to see a new Mac Mini w/ the Duo reviewed by SPCR.

* please don't claim the ports systems handle this for OS X. They do not. They try, but it doesn't always work right, especially for multimedia apps. You still need to be comfortable with the command line and text files to get things working properly sometimes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:06 am 
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OK, so it's not an engineering marvel then ( :roll: ) but compared to a regular desktop ATX tower case its footprint on the desk is barely larger than a normal TFT monitor, so taking up approximately 50% less space than a conventional ATX case or a laptop. Also the screen is in a better position vis-a-vis the operator's line of sight than with a laptop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:19 am 
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jaganath wrote:
OK, so it's not an engineering marvel then ( :roll: ) but compared to a regular desktop ATX tower case its footprint on the desk is barely larger than a normal TFT monitor, so taking up approximately 50% less space than a conventional ATX case or a laptop. Also the screen is in a better position vis-a-vis the operator's line of sight than with a laptop.
It should not be compared with a typical ATX desktop. That's what the Power Mac is there for.

However, the design definitely beats zero footprint PCs (optical drive tray popping out of the side of the keyboard? Glide point? Inability to use a good keyboard?), and I haven't seen one yet with anywhere near the CPU power. It is also price-competitive with such computers.

Due to not having real low end, Apple will never beat the major PC vendors in market share. But since those vendors can't compete with good margins, they are unwilling to compete with Apple at what Apple does well. They can't risk making a different product and then to find a market for it, as both the iMac and Mac Mini have managed to do to a fair degree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:26 am 
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Greetings,

Based on my brief experience with the 17" iMac CoreDuo -- which is the quietest modern computer I have ever experienced(!):

The only noise that I could discern on my brother's iMac was a little bit of whirring when reading a CD-ROM... We were just setting it up, so we didn't stress out the CPU with anything more strenuous than a few image rotations; but it was past 10:00pm in a quiet house.

Hard drive whine? Nah. I'm trying to remember if I was aware of any seek noise...nope. Fan noise? Not a bit; as far as I could tell, it is passively cooled.

Nice machine.

Too bad the first three Mac virii were just now found...coincidence?

One comment on the caption on the picture on the first page: there have been a few subtle changes on the design of the newer iMacs vs the first ones -- the back of the case used to be flat, and now there is a bit of taper; making the edges slightly slimmer. Also, the row of ports used to run vertically up the right side, but now it runs horizontally across the lower part. I believe these were both changed when the camera was added at the top center?

As far as it being a "marvel" or not: it uses a 3.5" hard drive, and I think it contains the power supply, too -- though I could be wrong on this? Suffice it to say, that it is a fast, sleek, elegant, and it is very quiet. The added security against malware is icing on the cake.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:13 am 
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Reviewer wrote:
On a Windows XP machine I'm a power user. I'm the guy who everybody comes to for help when they have problems or want a recommendation when it's time to buy a new computer or component. In my experience, when Windows XP is running well, then everything is good, but too often Windows XP can be corrupted. Sometimes all it takes is installing a program to mess things up beyond repair. Of course the more programs you install and the more heavily you use Windows the more often these faults seem to come to light. I've had to reinstall Windows twice this past year alone.

About two months ago my video compression programs stopped working. I mentally threw my hands up in the air and wished out loud that Vista were here today because I was done with XP! That was the last straw. I decided to seriously evaluate my options.


Funny how fast things like that make a person lose all his credibility.


This said, I'd have to see the new imacs in person to evaluate its quiteness and operating temperatures. Old G4 macs that I used at school and college were definitely loud, very loud, louder than any of my PCs at home. I wouldn't call them intuituve either. Haven't used the newer ones though. Call me a sceptic, but putting everything in such a small package is asking for trouble. Of course since everything is integrated the biggest sources of heat are going to be CPU, HDD and Power supply. The CPU can probably take it, however I worry about the LCD screen and HDD. Both can be permamently damaged if not cooled properly. And if the reviewer can be trusted about not hearing hard drive at all, it must be insulated pretty good which would definitely affect the temperatures. While I'm pretty sure it would be no problem running in an office environment with 20-22C ambient, for ppl with no airconditioning it is most likely to be a problem.

I wonder, can anyone install any hardware monitoring utilities on the new macs and check the CPU/Hard Drive temperatures? It should be possible since OSX unix based after all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:51 am 
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JJRabbit,
OS X being "UNIX based" does not mean you can run UNIX programs on it. I fed "hardware monitoring os x" into Google and this was the first page it suggested. good enough for you? Otherwise I'm sure there are other options if you spend more than the ten seconds I spent.

On another point, I can't believe how lucky I am. Somehow I manage to use my computer just about every day and I still don't have to reinstall XP every six months (nor every other year). I wonder how this is? Perhaps I'm not surfing enough porn or something?

Incidently I installed XP (Home/SP2/Swedish) on my new rig a few weeks ago and I can't seem to find any cross-promoting marketing hooey in it. Perhaps Mr. Harris is confusing his XP installation with his previous W95 installation?

Someone bothered by the harddisk noise, but afraid to shell out the cash for HD suspension/capsuling and instead opt for getting a new $1,500 rig has an interesting concept of money.

/Tiny Slant

P.S.
The appearance of the iMac is as Mr. Harris says unchanged from the previous incarnation, which was the second version of the G5 iMac.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:16 am 
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My 2 cents...

Although you don't pay taxes on many online purchases, you are suppose to report that on your state taxes and pay for it then. At least in WI you do. Maybe it's different in other states??? Is the IRS reading this.... :wink:

Aesthetically, I'm not impressed. I personally do not like the glossy white that is big now especially with Apple. And I like LCD screens that have a nice thin border. That big bulk at the bottom looks ugly to me.

Noise wise, I would expect it to be quite. It seems they mostly took a laptop PC and stuck it to the back of a LCD. 2.5" hard drives are good candidates for being quiet, low power CPU, etc... So that's good. But then again, you could just get a laptop and dock it at home with a nice monitor/keyboard/mouse.

As far as speed of things, my XP desktop dogs down when encoding video and I try to do other things. But if I lower the priority of the encoding process, then it's back to smooth sailing. And this is with a Sempron 64 2600+. Sure, I might lose a couple of fps by doing this. But it's not particularly noticeable. Oh, and this is with F@H running too. Dual core helps with this as well. And maybe OSX automatically gives more priority to active applications. So maybe the Core Duo and OSX do a better job of this "out of the box", there isn't any reason why you can't get this same results with other systems.

I've got a laptop I use for most of my daily tasks. I can use it in the living room, on the road or wherever I am. Then I have my big 'ol desktop at home. It has plenty of room for expansion/upgrades/modding/etc.... These two cover my computer needs. But that's just me. :)

Oh, and I can relate to new XP systems being full of crap. We just picked up a new Dell laptop for my workplace last week. The system tray took up almost half of the 1280 pixel screen when I first booted it up. I tried uninstalling all unnecessary crap. (AOL, Google Desktop, etc...) After this, the CD burning software got messed up somehow and was asking for the CD..... Which was not included. So, I ended up doing a clean install of XP. So this goes along with what the author of the article said. But this is more of Dell's issues, not XP. The clean XP install was fine. If Macs ever took a large enough market share, I bet you would see this with them as well.


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 Post subject: Hardware Monitoring....
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:07 am 
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JazzJackRabbit wrote:
I wonder, can anyone install any hardware monitoring utilities on the new macs and check the CPU/Hard Drive temperatures? It should be possible since OSX unix based after all.


There are plenty of widgets available to run in Dashboard that could be used for that purpose. The best one I can think of is iStat Pro, available free for download at the Apple Widget site. It's amazingly useful because it also integrates CPU usage, RAM usage, network stats, bandwidth, hard drive info, fan speed, battery info (for iBooks, Powerbooks, and Macbook Pro), as well as load/uptime (I haven't quite figured out exactly what this one is useful for). If you just want the temperature, theres Temperature Monitor Lite (monitors up to 2 temp sensors). In the end, it depends on what your Mac supports.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:24 pm 
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JazzJackRabbit wrote:
Reviewer wrote:
On a Windows XP machine I'm a power user. I'm the guy who everybody comes to for help when they have problems or want a recommendation when it's time to buy a new computer or component. In my experience, when Windows XP is running well, then everything is good, but too often Windows XP can be corrupted. Sometimes all it takes is installing a program to mess things up beyond repair. Of course the more programs you install and the more heavily you use Windows the more often these faults seem to come to light. I've had to reinstall Windows twice this past year alone.

About two months ago my video compression programs stopped working. I mentally threw my hands up in the air and wished out loud that Vista were here today because I was done with XP! That was the last straw. I decided to seriously evaluate my options.


Funny how fast things like that make a person lose all his credibility.

Why should that make me lose my credibility? I push XP hard, and it breaks too often. I don't think I should have to reinstall XP every so often to get it running properly.

Randy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:00 pm 
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Hey! Where's the strategically placed glass of red wine?!

I've got the impression from reading around that alot of the problems with Windows based PCs is due to the wide (and often unsupported) range of hardware, software and drivers it has to work with. AFAIK Mac OS' don't have this issue as everything is picked so it's compatible. That's obviously not the whole answer but I don't think it's just a case of one OS being inherently better/ more stable than another.

As to the upgradeability of iMacs - considering that it's largely games that drive the PC upgrade path and there are v. few games written for Macs it's a bit of a non-issue. I'm sure a dual core computer will be able to handle pretty much everything happily for several years to come. Besides, most of the people who buy Macs want a computer that works and aren't too fussed about pulling it apart and adding stuff.

I wonder if the HDD in the iMac is a 7200rpm model or if it's slower? There certainly doesn't seem to be a lot of space in there to keep a 3.5in drive both cool and quiet. I wonder what drive it is for it to be so quiet, considering that even rubber grommet mounted HDDs transmit vibration to a PCs case.

Other than that it certainly does seem to be a sound (ha ha) solution to alot of peoples desires for stabile functional computer. Not for me but I can see why people go for them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:32 pm 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
.... alot of the problems with Windows based PCs is due to the wide (and often unsupported) range of hardware, software and drivers it has to work with. AFAIK Mac OS' don't have this issue as everything is picked so it's compatible.

Bull's eye. No one entity controls Windows / PC development, tho certainly MS and Intel provide leadership in most arenas. But there are thousands of companies that make many tens of thousands of parts that are supposed to work together. Standards & specs are not always in sync, and changes in one area affect how something else works, etc. In some ways, it's a bit miraculous that PCs work at all.

Apple, on the other hand, dictates what goes into its own machines. Sure they follow industry standards such as SATA and so on, but they control everything that goes in and can test each of their machines as a whole, integral entitity. That should make them much less prone to internal glitches in hardware, software, and in who the whole mess works together.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:35 pm 
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Tiny Turtle wrote:
OS X being "UNIX based" does not mean you can run UNIX programs on it. I fed "hardware monitoring os x" into Google and this was the first page it suggested. good enough for you? Otherwise I'm sure there are other options if you spend more than the ten seconds I spent.

I meant that since it's unix based not it should be easier to develop programs for. I don't know how exactly osx works, but I would imagine you should be able to run standard stuff on it like gcc now? Or am I wrong?

BTW I wasn't asking if there are temp monitoring programs avaiable for mac, I was asking if someone with the new mac could actually run one and check the CPU/HDD temperatures, see what they are.

randyharris wrote:
Why should that make me lose my credibility? I push XP hard, and it breaks too often. I don't think I should have to reinstall XP every so often to get it running properly.

This is akin to the "mac os in inherently more secure than windows one" type of discussions. OS vulnerability to breakdown is directly proportional to how widespread the said OS is and how much third party software/viruses is available for it. With mac you have a very limited choice on the software that you can run for it (this may change once apple has completed its transition to intel plaform with unix powered os). You are limited in your choices, but there is also less chance that something may go wrong. On the other hand you won't believe how much poorly written software is available for windows. Perhaps the ease with which windows software can be developed facilitates the phenomenon too. So when it comes to windows, much of the responsibility for the OS stability lies on the user itself. That said I take care of my PC. I do not consider installing free screensavers "pushing it hard", blank screensaver is good enough for me. So I don't install any of those of those free screensavers, I dont' install real player and every other media player that phones home, I don't install freeware as it's almost certainly full of bugs, I dont' install themes because they are potential troublemakers too and plain gray win2000 style is good enough for me. I care only about functionality and stability. As a result all of my 4 XP PCs has never seen a single reinstall. The only program that came close to trashing my PC is Xilinx. I would have never installed it in the first place if it wasn't required for school project, I would have cancelled installation right away once it told me that it cannot be installed in a directory that has more than 8 symbols in the pathname. The damn thing is probably DOS era relic that hasn't been ported properly. After instalaltion my PC would BSOD every single time at boot attempt. However after system restore and an hour or two of installing proper drivers that weren't backed up during last system restore everything went back to normal. Most of the time the OS is only as stable and secure as the user that is using it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:25 pm 
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JazzJackRabbit,

I'm honestly happy for you that XP runs stable on your machine. But I haven't been nearly as fortunate. And it wasn't from installing free screensavers... The most recent time I had serious OS issues was when I installed the two new packages, Nero 7 and Roxio Easy CD Creator Pro 8. After installing them TMPGEnc Xpress Encoder AND Windows Media Encoder both stopped working. Neither uninstalling the packages, nor a system restore would fix the problem. After those failed to get function restored I uninstalled TMPGEnc Xpress & Windows Media Encoder, then I tried reinstalling with an upgrade install of XP, and reinstalled TMPGENC & WMEncoder but that still didn't fix the problem. This left me in a state of unoperability. Unfortnately, this was not the first time I've experienced similar events on XP.

To your point about there not being much software for the Mac, this isn't really a valid point. While there are more options on the Windows from a sheer number perspective, there are very high quality offerings on the Mac OS - there seems to be fewer offerings on OSX in numbers, but the ones that are out there tend to be very good. Often times, many of the Win offerings are less than stellar.

iLife is stellar for many people, and of course many of the Pro type apps are offered on both platforms, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, etc. The Mac has many offerings on the Pro level for Video, Music, etc.. most of which get rave reviews.

My belief is that the process that Windows implements of using the System Registry and throwing DLL and other files in system folders rather than containing all files for an app in a single location are de-stabilizing to the OS as a whole.

Please keep in mind, that the intent of the article is not to bash Windows XP, I understand that it may be taken that way. It sounds that your perspective is that I'm careless and my machine breaks because of that, I'll tell you that isn't the case but of course you'll have to take my word on that. To what I mentioned earlier, I don't think that installing two commercial apps for a platform should make other installed apps stop functioning.

At the end of the day, the article was meant to talk about the quite operation of the new Apple iMac's. I additionally went on to talk about and why I went from a Windows XP machine to Apple, I tried diligently to keep the tone neutral, it is most definitely not intended to be a slam to Windows. My Windows MCE machine has been rock stable, but it just sits there and does TV/Music/Pictures ONLY (ok, well now Quicken too.)

I absolutely think that Windows is too fragile of an OS, and I also hope that Windows Vista improves overall stability.

Randy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:55 pm 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
Hey! Where's the strategically placed glass of red wine?!

I've got the impression from reading around that alot of the problems with Windows based PCs is due to the wide (and often unsupported) range of hardware, software and drivers it has to work with. AFAIK Mac OS' don't have this issue as everything is picked so it's compatible. That's obviously not the whole answer but I don't think it's just a case of one OS being inherently better/ more stable than another.
I agree and disagree. This used to be a major issue. It once again becomes one if I have to deal with 9x. Win2k and WinXP are smooth sailing. Get a few drivers, install them all, reboot. Done. Most people, at the worst, use the autostarted setup app from the CD that came in the box for new hardware. The kind of design that made this a problem, though, is alive and well.

The first problem is when you get the situation where the user has to make an uninformed choice, like with the "Found New Hardware" dialog box coming up before the driver can be installed. Things like that are little things that should not happen without the user deciding to investigate it. OS X removes, or at least heavily streamlines, these parts of the interface. Such choices occur many times installing and removing software, and much moreso in Windows than in OS X or any modern Linux distro.

Apple takes even more care for their own stuff to make it just work better than others, typically having to stick in your root/user PW and accept a EULA as the worst of it. Many third-party native apps are built with similar ease of use and ease of installation in mind, often when they don't have to be.

As an example of having to make such choices, how many Windows installers ask you...
* Where to install the application?
* For one user or all? (note: this should really be an aspect of the above question)
* What of a very small amount of components do you want (things like office suites need these options--my web browser doesn't)?
* Do you want to read the readme/help?
* What of three shortcut locations do you want to use?
* Do you want to immediately launch the application?
...when the interface should just be designed to make them all moot, except in special scenarios. Microsoft has done things to allow these options to be optional, but have not enforced them, even for their own software (leaving the standard for others to follow lower than it should be).

The second problem is that people install software that is bad for their PC. There is no fix for this. Lessening normal permissions will help, but cannot stop bad social engineering problems. Macs have an easier time, here, with a small amount of easily avilable third-party software, except Free and open source (which, by philosophy of most developers, tend to leave your OS well enough alone!).

Quote:
As to the upgradeability of iMacs - considering that it's largely games that drive the PC upgrade path and there are v. few games written for Macs it's a bit of a non-issue. I'm sure a dual core computer will be able to handle pretty much everything happily for several years to come. Besides, most of the people who buy Macs want a computer that works and aren't too fussed about pulling it apart and adding stuff.
While there are games, there are also media editing applications becoming more mainstream, and application bloat. But, with Apple not having anything as lowly as mainstream PC makers, it's not a big deal. I'm still doing fine, but not great, with a 1800+ (1150MHz/5vL1A or 1916MHz/12vL1A, depending on planned needs), and the Core Solo 1.5 should best it easily, across the board.

While not heavily upgradable, Apple has made very wise compromises on the hardware. It is often difficult to configure a Dell or HP that is really a well-balanced machine, because of marketting and guys controlling what options are offered--or you can, and it is the most expensive way to go. Less options is not bad, as long as the options themselves are actually well thought out.

Quote:
I wonder if the HDD in the iMac is a 7200rpm model or if it's slower? There certainly doesn't seem to be a lot of space in there to keep a 3.5in drive both cool and quiet. I wonder what drive it is for it to be so quiet, considering that even rubber grommet mounted HDDs transmit vibration to a PCs case.
At 160GB, 250GB, and 500GB, it must be 3.5". Cool shouldn't be a problem, but I wonder about quiet, as well (I do not doubt that it is, and the machine is big enough for such a drive, but there must be some little tricks being used).

Quote:
Other than that it certainly does seem to be a sound (ha ha) solution to alot of peoples desires for stabile functional computer. Not for me but I can see why people go for them.
I could definitely live with the Mac Mini, though...with multiple OSes, and running from a full-sized HDD, of course 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:08 pm 
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I wasn't going to post this initially, but I will say this now while the discussion is still civil.

Discussing Macs in a PC forum will almost always evoke a flame war. Because this thread is meant to discuss the article, its analysis and conclusions, I think its safe to say that criticism that is NOT constructive will be in serious danger of deletion. I do not care if you think Macs are more evil than Satan himself, the discussion WILL remain on topic in this thread.

This bears repeating:
KEEP THE CRITICISM CONSTRUCTIVE

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:57 pm 
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While I haven't taken the plunge for a mac desktop unit yet, I am seriously tempted. Back in November I got a 15-inch PowerBook and I must say, working with OSX has been a joy. One button mouse-jokes aside, the OS has been really easy to get used to. It is very intuitive.

Regarding software, there is actually a very developed 3rd party software community for the mac. I haven't had trouble finding apps (finding a usefull FTP client had me stumped for a while, but Yummy FTP solved that issue).

I used to be a windows diehard untill I saw a friend of mines Powerbook, and thought it was the sexiest laptop I had ever seen. OSX just turned out to be the icing on the cake :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:14 am 
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Isn't the analysis of Mac OS a little beyond the scope of the article, being how quiet the machine is supposed to be :?:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:35 am 
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To get back on topic, there have been a few integrated Wintel systems like the iMac where the back of the monitor is used to house the main guts of the PC. Here's a pic of one I took at the IDF showcase last week, which I think looks pretty good. Apparently it is the latest version of a machine shown over a year ago. The question is why they aren't succeeding in the marketplace.... while the iMAc apparently is?
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:01 am 
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MikeC wrote:
To get back on topic, there have been a few integrated Wintel systems like the iMac where the back of the monitor is used to house the main guts of the PC. Here's a pic of one I took at the IDF showcase last week, which I think looks pretty good. Apparently it is the latest version of a machine shown over a year ago. The question is why they aren't succeeding in the marketplace.... while the iMAc apparently is?

Apple has had an "computer integrated" monitor for a VERY long time. I suspect that such a design pretty much SCREAMS Apple. I had a friend who owned an eMachines computer which was essentially a CRT Monitor with the computer behind it (or somewhere within it). My first comment upon seeing her computer was, 'Oh... I didn't realize you were a Mac user.' She said, "I'm not..." (To my credit, it had the same color scheme as the 'flavored' iMacs).

I have a couple other ideas why computer-behind-an-LCD-screen have never gained the popularity that iMacs have, but I think I'd be venturing further off-topic on that.

To Randy Harris: How does working with CDs and DVDs feel? Swapping cables and cards aside, I think this may be the primary difference in user experience with a cpu-behind-the-monitor computer vs a conventional computer.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:26 pm 
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sthayashi wrote:
To Randy Harris: How does working with CDs and DVDs feel? Swapping cables and cards aside, I think this may be the primary difference in user experience with a cpu-behind-the-monitor computer vs a conventional computer.


It comes very naturally. I have always had tower cases with CD/DVD players that have drawers (trays) which you place the disc into. Of course I've had slot optical drives in my car. I really like the slot drive on the computer. The fact that the drive is oriented a little differently on the side of the case doesn't seem better or worse from a usability standpoint. I do prefer having the optical drive up by the monitor, it's a more convient place for me to access it than my tower case under my desk was.

Randy


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:49 pm 
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If any one is curious about the noise emissions of various apple models, you can see:
http://images.apple.com/environment/res ... specs.html
Not all models have ISO 9296 noise data, but the iMac Core Duo does. I think the G5 tower has ratings too, showing that is much noisier than the iMac Core Duo.

For the iMac Core Duo, Apple's ISO 9296 measurements (standardized measurement procedures for computer equipment) indicate that noise is 20 dBA at operator position (both idle and "hard drive accessing") for the 17-inch model, and 22 dBA for the 20-inch model.

Avi


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:18 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
To get back on topic, there have been a few integrated Wintel systems like the iMac where the back of the monitor is used to house the main guts of the PC. Here's a pic of one I took at the IDF showcase last week, which I think looks pretty good. Apparently it is the latest version of a machine shown over a year ago. The question is why they aren't succeeding in the marketplace.... while the iMAc apparently is?


When I visited friends in Japan last year, I was amazed at the selection of all-in-one PC's available in Akiba. Perhaps the relative lack of space has something to do with it? In Japan, there may be practical reasons to have a small footprint (notable was the huge variety of media PC's with large LCD screens, built-in tuners and remotes). Perhaps here in the land of 4000 square foot monster homes, having a compact PC is more of a "lifestyle/design" thing, hence the popularity among Macheads and the indifference by PC users, who tend to either not care about design (mostly) or care enough to do their own thing (places like SPCR and mini-ITX.com).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:57 pm 
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I'd love a mac. But price would be a sticking point for me.

In Australian Dollars
20" imac, 2 gig ram, 500 gig hd = $3,568.99

My current x2 3800, same specs, w/dell 2405 screen, didn't cost nearly as much.

kogi

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:53 pm 
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kogi wrote:
I'd love a mac. But price would be a sticking point for me.

In Australian Dollars
20" imac, 2 gig ram, 500 gig hd = $3,568.99

My current x2 3800, same specs, w/dell 2405 screen, didn't cost nearly as much.

kogi

Seriously... I don't know how many times people need to point this stuff out. Don't buy upgrades that you don't have to from Apple. Get the minimum RAM, then go and buy it at your local cheap PC store. Same goes for the HD. You can replace it yourself, it's just not as easy as doing the RAM.

Oh, and are you at uni? Don't forget the 12% educational discount for students/teachers....

This isn't aimed at anyone specifically, but I'm sick to death of people "comparing" PCs and macs pricewise, and doing a shit job at it. Every time someone does a bad comparison, more people believe the myth that macs are like ferraris, and need a budget that big to afford one.

Just a quick check on StaticIce reveals some rough estimates:

Your X2 3800 PC:
$150 Seagate 250GB
$1350 Dell 2405fpw
$435 3800 X2 CPU
$70 LG DVD burner
$60 512MB DDR2 533 RAM
$100 Logitech Desktop set
$150 Motherboard
$140 Decent case

TOTAL: $2455

20" Core Duo iMac:

TOTAL: $2649 ($2350 with edu discount)

Now those two have the same amount of RAM and HD space. Obviously the PC has a 24" monitor, not a 20" one. There's many other differences, but my point is that there isn't a HUGE discrepancy between macs and PCs. My iBook set me back $1440. There is no other laptop available at that price with anywhere near the features of a 12" iBook. Nothing comes close. (bluetooth, wireless, firewire, scrolling trackpad, 5 hours battery life, the list goes on)

Please don't respond to this and say "but I got my PC for cheaper, macs are for noobs"... this was a knock-up comparison, not an in-depth one. If you got your PC for cheaper, I'm happy for you. I'm also happy for me, since I've got a mac, and I don't have to 'tolerate' windows XP anymore! :)

As with PCs, buying a mac and getting the best overall price means doing your homework.

Oh, and for the person who said that an iMac is 17cm deep.... that's the stand! The iMac itself is only 5cm deep! :) Nice try though...

Also, as for the mac 'virii'.... there was one actual vulnerability which was never exploited by malware (that was patched within a week or two), one vulnerability that had already been patched about 9 months ago, and one trojan horse that required user confirmation. There was a lot of 'proof of concepts', but nothing 'in the wild'. It's funny, because during that 2 week stretch when all these 'virii' were discovered, Symantec stepped up a new campaign targetting Antivirus software at OSX users.... coincidence? You be the judge.

Anyway, at the end of the day, choose what works for you. What works for me is a mac.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:14 am 
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I wish the article had focussed purely on the acoustic properties of the Apple computer; at least then there would have been a chance that this thread wouldn’t turn into a playground brawl.
I personally would have rejected most of the article as being inappropriate for this site. I’ve read much more in depth comparisons between Windows & OSX elsewhere, so found the article fairly shallow. Focussing on the acoustic nature of the Apple in a typically rigorous SPCR way was beyond the reviewer’s means and I wonder why this review even warranted being listed as an article!

Editorial standards seem to be slipping slightly as far as I can see and I point to the Turion on the desktop article to back that up; that contained some odd choices and omissions. (e.g. 130 nm CPUs!).
I’m a big fan of this site, so hope to see it continuing at the top of its game.


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