Who owns a 20" iMac (Core Duo)?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I'd be interested to hear feedback from OWNERS who have gotten over the inital buzz of owning one.



What are your impressions of the machine?



Do all of the features work well?



And have you tried installing Windows yet?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    *Puts hand up*. I've got one!



    This was my first Mac and my impression of the machine is that it can do a lot of stuff, and very well too.



    I've played World of Warcraft on it (I got the 256Mb graphics card and 1Gb of memory) and it handled it well. Admittedly I could turn on more of the eye-candy for WoW on my Windows box but it was excellent.



    I'm just waiting for my degree results for Computer Science so I've done a fair amount of programming on the machine since I got it. It's handled all I can throw at it and does it in a way that is very pleasant to use.



    It interfaces reasonably well with my other machines (Linux server and Windows desktop) though Windows Sharing has been a bit of a pest the last few days.



    In terms of features I've tried to have a play with as many things that I had time for and I've been extremely impressed with what this thing is capable of straight out-of-the-box. My other qualm with the machine was random keyboard and mouse hangings but that got fixed with a patch a while back.



    I did install Windows on it briefly. It worked ok but I didn't have much time to muck about with it so it got deleted. I didn't really push it but I've heard that the performance of an iMac with the same spec as mine in Windows is extremely good. I might give it another go now the dust has settled on my course.



    Overall, this thing is one of the best decisions I made and while I'll still have to keep using a Windows PC at work I'll still look forward to coming home and using this machine.



    If you want to know anything else about it then please let me know...
  • Reply 2 of 26
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    I love my 20" core duo. It works like a charm. I added a 1Gb stick (up to 1.5) which significantly improved the performance. Especially in Garageband. It's like night and day!
  • Reply 3 of 26
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Many thanks for the feedback guys!



    Have you guys tried ripping any CDs in iTunes using the 'Apple Lossless' setting?



    My MacBook really struggled to get anywhere near 1.0x ? so I'd be interested to hear what the iMac can achieve.



    Is it quite a quiet machine? How do you find working with that size of screen? What are the speakers like quality wise?
  • Reply 4 of 26
    londorlondor Posts: 257member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Messiah

    My MacBook really struggled to get anywhere near 1.0x ? so I'd be interested to hear what the iMac can achieve.



    Are you sure that the MacBook can not even rip in real time to lossless? I thought the core duo was a lot faster at that than the G5 and I rip to lossless with error correction at 18x on a PM G5 1.8 DP.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Londor

    Are you sure that the MacBook can not even rip in real time to lossless? I thought the core duo was a lot faster at that than the G5 and I rip to lossless with error correction at 18x on a PM G5 1.8 DP.



    Yeah I was a bit surprised as well.



    I suspect it's got something to do with the laptop spec Combo drive and laptop spec HD.



    I also noticed that the CPU monitor showed that one processor was running at almost 100% whilst the other was at 0% ? I don't know what that's about.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    stustanleystustanley Posts: 236member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Messiah

    Many thanks for the feedback guys!



    Have you guys tried ripping any CDs in iTunes using the 'Apple Lossless' setting?



    My MacBook really struggled to get anywhere near 1.0x ? so I'd be interested to hear what the iMac can achieve.



    Is it quite a quiet machine? How do you find working with that size of screen? What are the speakers like quality wise?




    Hi

    Did you have your MacBook plugged in at the time, as I have noticed my import speed greatly increase on my iBook when it is.



    Stu
  • Reply 7 of 26
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Messiah

    Many thanks for the feedback guys!



    Have you guys tried ripping any CDs in iTunes using the 'Apple Lossless' setting?



    My MacBook really struggled to get anywhere near 1.0x ? so I'd be interested to hear what the iMac can achieve.



    Is it quite a quiet machine? How do you find working with that size of screen? What are the speakers like quality wise?




    I've never ripped anything in apple loss-less but I can speak to the other questions.



    To my ear, this machine is absolutely silent. The only time I've ever heard it was the firmware update which briefly puts the fans at full throttle (which was actually quite loud). Oh, and once I was ripping a DVD with handbrake, running both cores at full throttle, and if I put my ear right up to the back of it I could just barely hear it over the ambient noise.



    I have to say, it's one of my favorite things about it!



    The speakers, on the other hand, are pretty puny. That's not very important to me, I just plug it into my stereo on the rare occasions I want to get good sound. If that's important to you, I'd certainly recommend you get a pair of third party speakers.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Flounder

    I've never ripped anything in apple loss-less but I can speak to the other questions.



    To my ear, this machine is absolutely silent. The only time I've ever heard it was the firmware update which briefly puts the fans at full throttle (which was actually quite loud). Oh, and once I was ripping a DVD with handbrake, running both cores at full throttle, and if I put my ear right up to the back of it I could just barely hear it over the ambient noise.



    I have to say, it's one of my favorite things about it!





    I was about to make a post about this very thing. The price drop in Shake has me thinking about an upgrade to the CoreDuo family iMac from my G5 iMac. I can hear the fans whirring on my iMac as I type this. The CPU temp is in the mid 150's F and and I am just chatting on iChat, posting here, and listening to some iTunes. My Duo Mini at work never gets over 120.



    Back on point, your iMac is quite? No fan noise at all, at least compared to a G5 iMac? I sometimes think I have an after burner in this thing when I am in FCP getting my groove on.





    Don't get me wrong, I love my iMac but Apple as made the current iMac a PRO machine compared to the G5 iMac. It is impossible to justify the power line when you can have the current iMac (for us non-pro big amateur crowd).
  • Reply 9 of 26
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    Ive had mine for about a month and a half, and I have to say, it is the best computer I have ever owned. Even better than my Mac Plus.

    I dont have a TV, so I use it my DVD player/screen. Having a wireless keyboard and mouse have made that very easy and front has worked excellently.



    I havent had any issues with old software, although I havent been pushing it very hard. Ive found iMovie to be usable for the first time and have made a few videos. iweb is also nice and easy to use.



    It really needs more ram, Im on the stock 512, and Im looking to get another gig soon.



    Windows works pretty well. It screws up the clock a bit, and the bluetooth keyboard has to be reset everytime windows boots to get it recognized.



    My three complaints are:

    a) that the screen isnt really that great. I can see dithering in it that has never been a problem for me before ( I have an iBook ). Im left wondering if it is a 6 bit screen ( I havent found any definitive info on that ). In particular I see it in the desktop images - it may be a problem with them, but I also saw it in games in windows.

    b) that it only has one dvd drive Im often ripping movies in handbrake, and that takes 5+ hours for a two pass encoding.

    c) the power cord pops out pretty easily. Ive pulled it out several times by accident while moving the machine around ( it is so easy to move ). Saying that, I would love to see support for a battery. Im sure the 20" has room for an ibook battery in it ( which you would buy as an accessory ). It would let you survive cord mishaps, power cuts, and move the machine to another room without rebooting.



    I really cant wait to get more ram, but in all honesty, when I get home from work I dont really want to do much other than read my email and browse a bit of the web.



    [+]

    I highly recommend getting a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Im using an Apple keyboard, which is fine. But Ive got an MS wireless mouse, the rf dongle is a bit of a pain. The apple bt mouse is only one button, so I would look at a logitech.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by stustanley

    Hi

    Did you have your MacBook plugged in at the time, as I have noticed my import speed greatly increase on my iBook when it is.



    Stu




    Yeah it was plugged in to the wall at the time. My trusty (and about to be retired) PowerBook was sitting next to it at the time, and it was struggling with Apple Lossless as well.



    Anyways, back on topic, do your 20"ers have any dead/stuck pixels?
  • Reply 11 of 26
    allbrainallbrain Posts: 61member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Messiah

    Anyways, back on topic, do your 20"ers have any dead/stuck pixels?



    Yep. One dead pixel, vertically in the middle and just to the right of center. Doesn't cause any problems but it was one of the first things I spotted when I turned the thing on!
  • Reply 12 of 26
    I bought mine about a month since it came out. It was the best thing I have ever bought (with Oblivion for the 360 coming in at a close second lol)



    I havn't pushed it at all yet...I think the highest I have gotten my CPU working is about 50%. The only time I have heard the fans is when there is no noise (and it is barely audible then) and during the update (which sounded like a car...wow those fans can really get going).



    I usually use Safari, Adium (IM app), iTunes, and Quicksilver. When working on a project or something I have used Pages and Keynote along with the other four applications mentioned above, and it still has no lag or slow down.



    On Warcraft 3 (about the only game I have for Mac, unfortunatly) the only lag I get is from my Internet Connection, and if I have a few thousands troops on the field. I have 1 gig of RAM and the 256 mb upgrade on the graphics card. If you were trying to decide between RAM and the graphics card, choose the graphics. The RAM you can always update later, but in a few years you might be sorry you didn't upgrade the graphics card.



    This is the first Mac I have had since the first revision Bondi-blue iMac. OS X is a great OS (of course) and it allows you to do more than you ever could do with Windows. IT is also great being able to download any file (well there is that one trojan...) without worry. Dashboard was a stroke of genius and I use it all the time.



    As for the iLife apps they are very fun to use. I still havn't quite gotten the hang of GarageBand (I think I could get the techical part down, but I am not very musically inclined). iPhoto and iCal are very helpful at any time. iPhoto stores all your pictures in an iTunes like way, and it is easy to find everything. iCal is just about the most helpful calander I have ever seen. It organizes everything in 3 different, great views.



    Keynote and Pages (IMO) are far greater then Word and PowerPoint. Keynote has a slew of effects and features that make creating a slideshow as easy as it can be. If you want to do something it is almost like you can just think it and it will happen.

    While Pages may not have as many features as Word, it's use of ease makes up for anything you lose. It can do everything most people WANT to do (where Word seems to be able to do everything you don't want to do...) and displays it in a way where it doesn't seem like your at your office, but rather in a comfortable place.



    Oh by far though the most helpful tool has been the built-in dictionary.



    I have once tried to hook my iMac up to a projector at school using the mini-DVI to S-Video. It worked pretty well, though for some reason the text seemed to get smaller through the process. I am thinking about buying a mini-dvi to VGA connector as well to get duel-screens. If I do that anytime soon I will tell you how that works out.



    So far my iMac has had no problems and it does just about anything. I havn't tried booting Windows on it (don't have all to much spending money right now and don't want to blow it on a crappy OS) but from what I have heard, it works pretty well.



    Shadow



    P.S. If you are thinking of getting a new iMac you may want to wait until after the WWDC (or w/e it is called lol) to see when and what new things are coming.



    Once again, hope that was helpful, if you have any questions just ask.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aplnub

    Back on point, your iMac is quite? No fan noise at all, at least compared to a G5 iMac? I sometimes think I have an after burner in this thing when I am in FCP getting my groove on.



    Yup, very very quiet



    In future hardware there's been debate about whether the next iMac will get a merom or a conroe, and my gut tells me apple may go with merom, just so it can keep the iMac super quiet. It's soooooooooo nice, and I don't know if they'd be able to keep the same volume level with a conroe.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    I don't have any dead/stuck pixels.



    I think the screen looks great, but then again, I don't think it's something I'm too picky about. It's amazing how quickly you get used to the extra screen real-estate. I don't think I could ever go back to a 17" screen now!
  • Reply 15 of 26
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Well I bought one, and I was delighted with it until earlier tonight when I woke it from sleep to discover it suffered from the 'screen flicker' fault.



    I don't know if anybody else has suffered from this, but basically there is a really pronounced screen flicker (like a strobe light) and the pixels appear to be misaligned. There are also 104 equally spaced dark spots on the screen.



    WTF is it with Apple's QA these days? I've had three faulty 30" Cinema Displays in the last six months and now this!



    I've really lost all my faith in Apple now...
  • Reply 16 of 26
    jsnluerajsnluera Posts: 10member
    I have one and for the most part its great...but I have a few issues with mine.



    One, I can't seem to get my video chat to work with anyone. I have tried a few things suggested after doing research on the web...but I have still had no luck.



    Also, when I haven't been using the iMac for a while, and its wakened from sleep, it takes way too long to find the wireless network for my tastes. I don't know if that is an issue with just my system (comp and network) or if all iMacs take a while to find the network, but its annoying.



    But it played WOW well. Warcraft 3 sucked on it but I think its because it isnt a universal binary version (I really wish Blizzard would make a UB update for WC3).



    Other issues I have are Firefox shutting down at random times (doesnt mean its necessarily a problem with the iMac though) and the system pinwheeling much much more than I would like.



    And the whole issue with a lot of software not being UB can be annoying at times.



    But despite all these...I still love the machine. So take that for what its worth, which probably isn't much.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    kjm1863kjm1863 Posts: 20member
    Purchased a 20" iMac dual core for $1399 and added another 512 Mb ram. Great screen, very quiet, plays Call of Duty just fine (only game I play). I've created movies, used Photoshop on it (Again what i do with this app. is pretty simple), and have burned disks. This is my four refurbished Mac computer and I'm super satisfied.

    kjm1863
  • Reply 18 of 26
    pbpb Posts: 4,255member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jsnluera

    ...and the system pinwheeling much much more than I would like.





    What amount of RAM your system has? Little RAM can account for much of the delays here and there. Also, nothing of the issues you report are inherent to the iMac. They are either small OS X annoyances or applications issues. Of course, it is the user that will suffer from them.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    jsnluerajsnluera Posts: 10member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    What amount of RAM your system has? Little RAM can account for much of the delays here and there. Also, nothing of the issues you report are inherent to the iMac. They are either small OS X annoyances or applications issues. Of course, it is the user that will suffer from them.



    2 Gigs here..with the upgraded 256 Vram video card.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Have had one for a little over a month now. Purrs quieter than a kitten, even when creating a DVD disk image that is over an hour long and contains lots of little elements.



    The only problem I have run into is my Canon printer driver has trouble printing certain design elements, but I found a work-around that works fine. The same printer on a G5 has no problems with the same files, so it has something to do with the Intel version.



    Even Adobe Illustrator works great, but then I don't stretch too many boundaries with it.



    I should say it has 2 gigs of RAM. Left the HD as is and connected an external HD for most files.
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