I don’t want to shy away from my mistakes in my previous article. I relied on a poor source which informed me of notebook drives in the new iMac, which I hope you will accept my apologies. I am very happy this is not the case, as I have become well aware of now. Also, normal DDR2 memory is used, which leads me to think that the logic board is not notebook-style as I was lead to believe before. I will also admit the FSB upgrade from 667 to 800Mhz is significant over the Mini. However,the 1GB of DDR2 in the iMac still runs at 667Mhz, despite the 800Mhz FSB. Also, with the Mini, you don’t get the iSight. Ok, $30 webcam (well it would be if it was any other brand but Apple). I still stand by my argument on the LCD price, with quality 2-5ms 20inch displays, dvi and widescreen availible at $300, I am not just talking about those crappy HannsG’s. The image quality is not improved by glass.
This makes my cost-advantage argument for the Mini far less valid. However, that was only one part of the argument. The largest point was the fact that the new iMac simply uses standard parts, nothing special. You will see approximately the same performance and lifespan with the cheaper Mini, and don’t get the mobility of the MacBook line for just a few hundred more.
The real crux here is the mediocre $75 graphics chip. Some people on Mac forums say this is just a negligable complaint, “good enough.” Sorry, but if you are looking for performance in games and hardcore graphics applications a year or two from now, “good enough” now just won’t cut it. If you aren’t looking for that kind of performance, get the Mini (save money for the future) or the MacBook (gain a mobile solution).
The performance will feel about the same, all you get with the new iMac is an all-in-one desktop. If that’s really what you want, then my conclusion last time still stands — because you think it looks cool.