First Look at iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz: Amateur Comparison of iMac Core 2 Duo 24 Inch and iMac G5 17 inch

iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch






As we reported a few days ago, we decided to let our old 17-inch iMac G5 2 GHz take an early retirement before his 3rd birthday. And a new employee arrived yesterday. It’s iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz with a 24-inch screen. So how fast is this new iMac model compared with its brothers like iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, 2.66 GHz or 3.06 GHz or Intel Mac Mac mini? Well, sorry… We are not into a technical comparison. Rather, we want to compare our new employee with an old machine in different ways.

With a second thought, let us quickly mention the technical specifications of these old and new iMac models.





  iMac G5 2 GHz iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz
CPU Type PowerPc G5 (3.1) Intel Core 2 Duo
CPU Speed 2 GHz 2.8 GHz
L2 Cache 512 KB 6 MB
Built-in memory 512 MB 2 GB
Bus speed 667 MHz 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM 5.2.5f1 IM81.00C1.B00
Internal DVD ROM MATSUSHITA DVD-R UJ-845 OPTIARCH DVD RW AD-5630A
Video card ATI Radeon 9600 ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro
VRAM 128 MB 256 MB






So iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24-inch model comes with a video memory of 256 MB. Hmm… That’s nice. It would be better with 512 MB, of course. In the meantime, the size of the built-in random access memory is 2 GB. That’s sufficient for simple desktop uses, right? 





iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 01 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 02 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 02 – Source: MacHouse






Okay. So how big is really this 24-inch screen? Right, we know that it’s 7-inch longer diagonally than the 17-inch screen of our old iMac G5 2 GHz. The latter model can have as many as 1,440 x 900 pixels. How about iMac Core 2 Duo with a 24-inch screen? The maximum number of pixels for the latter model is 1,920 x 1,200. So the workspace of the 24-inch screen is about 1.78 times bigger. Or you may want to take a look at Screenshot 01-3.

By the way, our new employee has a DVD drive from OPTIARCH. Hmm… We have never heard of this manufacturer. We have a serious problem with Matsushita’s DVD drive that is installed in iMac G5. The problem may be caused by firmware. Well, we don’t know exactly who is to blame. It was working before. But it’s not now. Anyway, it no longer reads cheap DVD-Rs. So we’ve been obliged to use an external USB-powered DVD drive to read ones with iMac G5 2 GHz. In contrast, OPTIARCH DVD RW has no trouble reading cheap DVD-Rs.

Another interesting comparison between two models is how much noise they produce. You can hear quite a lot of noise out of iMac G5 2 GHz and a hard disk drive inside it. By comparison, iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz is surprisingly quiet. In fact, all we hear is noise out of an external FireWire hard disk drive connected to the machine and nothing really out of iMac Core 2 Duo.

In the meantime, iMac Core 2 Duo can produce quite a lot of heat. If you touch the top right and left corners of the back panel, iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz is a lot hotter than iMac G5 2 GHz. Of course, iMac Core 2 Duo’s clock speed is faster and possibly produces more heat.

All right. Who likes Apple’s keyboard coming with iMac G5 and other old models? We have two of those cheap keyboards. There’s no rubber cushion under each key block. If you don’t press one fairly vertically, it will touch adjacent ones and make a horrible key touch feeling, right? How about the keyboard coming with iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz? It’s a totally differently designed. As shown in Screenshot 04, every key block seems to have a cushion, which sort of looks like a vertically folded chair. So you will have a better key touch feeling with no doubt.





iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 04 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 05 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 06 – Source: MacHouse






It looks like the new keyboard is better. Hmm… Not really… Let’s compare old and new keyboards. Showing Screenshot 05, we want to see the depth of keyboard buttons in two models. The new keyboard is twice thinner than the other. And the button depth is a lot lower. So when you type on the new keyboard, key blocks won’t bounce back much. So it will kind of make you feel as if you were just tapping a horizontal board aimlessly.

By the way, the old keyboard has a caps lock key to the bottom-left corner. (See Screenshot 06.) Where is it on the new keyboard? It’s not located at the left end, not at the top… Where is it? A caps lock key is located by arrow keys on the new keyboard. That’s kind of a bad location. And you have to use your right pinky to press it.

Changing subjects completely, importing system files from an old machine is not difficult. If you follow our “File Backup Guide Under Mac OS X 10.4,” you can import your Mail files, Entourage files, iPhoto pictures and others with no trouble. So the architectural difference (PowerPC and Intel) causes no trouble in importing files to iMac Core 2 Duo. However… If you have mail files and bookmarks with login information, you need to proceed with caution.

For instance, I imported mail files from iMac G5, which we were using till the day before. And I followed mail import instructions as shown in “File Backup Guide Under Mac OS X 10.4.” And if I access Mail… Oh, no.. All accounts will go offline. (Screenshot 07.) What’s going on? Our mail import instructions don’t work?





iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 07 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 08 – Source: MacHouse






This problem occurred not exactly because I imported mail data from one machine to another. It’s partly caused by the fact that administrative passwords are different in two terminals. It’s also caused by the fact that our new terminal cannot access the old keychain file imported from iMac G5 for a simple technical reason. So let’s see how to fix it.





iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 09 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 10 – Source: MacHouse
  iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz 24 inch
Screenshot 11 – Source: MacHouse






As shown in Screenshot 09, you will be prompted to enter the keychain password. Okay. The system password for which one – old machine or new machine? The answer is the one for the old terminal. But the problem may not be resolved even after you enter the password for the old terminal. But if you see ‘Details’ under the password strip, explore it. If you explore it and see a stop sign on any of the folders in the file hierarchy, that means your new terminal cannot access the keychain file merely because permission is not granted. So just locate the locked folder or file and change permissions. (See Screenshot 10-1.)






References:

Retirement of iMac G5 2 GHz / iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz Coming to Town
Repeated Total System Shutdown on OS X 10.4 Tiger and OS Reinstallation
File Backup Guide Under Mac OS X 10.4

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