27 "Quad Core iMac Review


Over the last few months I have been developing more and more sites and spending more time doing more complex "stuff".

My G5 iMac that I purchased back in 2006 was really beginning to struggle. Application were running fine, if somewhat slow, but when it came to the more web 2.0 sites the machine really did slow down.

Sometimes I decided that I should upgrade the machine and retire the G5 by giving it to my son for his music – Garageband works fine!

So what do I get?

Decided on 27 "iMac

The latest range of macs are superb and offer you a lot for your money. I have been using multiple screens on PC so the thought of 27 "desktop real estate was really appealing. The 27" had the option of a better graphics card with 1GB on board so I decided to go with that as there is a lot more requirements for graphic processing on the modern internet.

That was the size figured out so the next decision was what processor to order. As I intended to run Windows as well as Mac OSX I thought that the quad core would probably give me more bang for the money and plumped for the i5.

I could not really justify the extra cost for the i7 and to be honest I am not sure the difference in performance would be worth the cost.

Processor and screen size agreed the next quandary was amount of storage I should get. Having used machines for years and realizing that RAM is key I plumped for 8gig of main storage.

Final iMac Specification

The final order placed was:

  • 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 833MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 4x2GB
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • Magic Mouse
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)

So I waited for a couple of weeks and then the glorious day arrived when the tech was delivered. As always with Apple products the excitation starts the moment you open the box.

I am sure there is a team somewhere in the campus as Infinite Loop that is charged with making the unpacking experience really enjoyable for the user – and long may they continue !!

Once the machine was unpacked the old G5 was placed in a less prominent position in my study the new one took pride of place on the center of my desk. I inserted the power supply and the machine powered into life!

What a piece of engineering, the screen is crisp and vibrant. The metal of the casing is far better than the plastic of the old G5. The machine in near completely silent.

iMac Minor Irritations

The one big problem I do have with the machine is the keyboard. I really do not see why a machine with this size screen comes with what is in effect a Laptop keyboard. So I had to swap the new one with the old wired keyboard.

The magic mouse does take some time to get use to but after a while it becomes second nature.

The only other gripe I have is the inclusion as standard on the machine of a firewire 800 port. As most of my peripherals are older and firewire 400 it would be a good idea to include an adapter in the package.

Right now for my initial set up of the machine. The migration assistant package for Apple is superb. I connect the old and new machines to the network and kicked it off. 17 hours later everything was set up on the new iMac and I was up and running.

Conclusion on the iMac

Now after 2 weeks I do not know how I ever survived without this one.

Working on it is a please and as I have the processor power and the RAM its multi-tasking capabilities are superb. One application I encourage everyone to get if they have this type of machine and also use windows is Parallels Desktop. I am running Windows 7 on the machine for certain applications and it works incredibly well.

So in conclusion have I made the right decision on the specification and the machine. The simple answer is yes. There is nothing I can say "I wish I had got the watsit upgrade when I bought the machine".

As a final note my son loves the G5 – 2 people happy with the purchase of one iMac – what could be better.