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From a cost vs performance perspective, RAM is usually our favorite Mac upgrade. So we’re stoked that the new 3.06GHz iMac can handle up to 8GB, compared to just 4GB last time around. But be warned, taking advantage of that capacity is going to require some deep pockets--for now at least.
It's the same pretty face, but with better graphics, respectable RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.
From the outside, the new 24-inch iMac doesn’t look different from the machine it replaces. It’s got the same ginormous, beautiful screen--though unfortunately still no matte option. Bean counters will lament the fact that the iMac now ships with the smaller, number pad–less aluminum keyboard, although this is sort of mitigated by a free upgrade to the extended keyboard if you shop online at Apple.com.
Under the hood, the new iMac sports a few important changes: This top-of-the line model has the same 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor as before, but it’s backed up by faster DDR3 RAM--and more of it--and improved graphics by way of the Nvidia GeForce GT 130, which means snappier performance all around. In fact, the latest iMac is so quick that it has us rethinking our traditional benchmarks, a few of which no longer pose the performance challenge they once did. Unfortunately, the newfound speed comes at a price, especially for upgraders. DDR3 RAM is still quite spendy, and Apple’s $1,000 price tag for the jump from 4 to 8 gigs isn’t too far off from what you’ll find from third-party vendors, though it’s still a simple DIY upgrade if you want to save a few bucks.
In keeping with the MacBooks, Apple has also eliminated the FireWire 400 port, although die-hard users will be able to outfit the FireWire 800 port with an adapter to use existing gear. The DVI port has also been replaced with a Mini DisplayPort, which can drive a second display with resolution up to 2560x1600.
Video Card Benchmarks:
Doom 3 - 126.72 FPS
Call of Duty 4 - 47.15 FPS
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.5.6 (9G2030)
Physical RAM 4096 MB
Drive Type WDC WD1001FALS-40K1B0
CPU Test 200.73
GCD Loop 357.60 18.85 Mops/sec
Floating Point Basic 173.42 4.12 Gflop/sec
vecLib FFT 133.91 4.42 Gflop/sec
Floating Point Library 256.61 44.68 Mops/sec
Thread Test 386.73
Computation 474.91 9.62 Mops/sec, 4 threads
Lock Contention 326.16 14.03 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
Memory Test 195.70
Allocate 397.74 1.46 Malloc/sec
Fill 197.82 9618.65 MB/sec
Copy 223.83 4623.02 MB/sec
Copy 153.84 3177.43 MB/sec
Scale 152.68 3154.28 MB/sec
Add 170.54 3632.81 MB/sec
Triad 169.05 3616.36 MB/sec
Quartz Graphics Test 246.56
Line 228.61 15.22 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
Rectangle 297.11 88.70 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
Circle 241.86 19.71 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
Bezier 241.12 6.08 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
Text 234.89 14.69 Kchars/sec
Speedier performance and the slim design might leave some people wondering if they really need a Mac Pro. Chances are, the newest iMac offers all the power you’ll need.