Apple updates iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo, 24-inch display

Apple on Wednesday updated its entire iMac product line, adding the new Core 2 Duo Intel processor. In addition to the updated processors, Apple launched a new model that features a 24-inch widescreen display.

“We think this [24-inch iMac] is a product that both consumers and professionals are going to love,” David Moody, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Mac Product Marketing, told Macworld.

The new iMac lineup includes four models: a 1.83GHz and a 2.0GHz 17-inch, a 2.16GHz 20-inch and the all-new 2.16GHz 24-inch iMac. According to Apple, the new iMac delivers 50 percent better performance than the previous iMac.

The 24-inch iMac features a 24-inch widescreen LCD display with a 1920-by-1200 pixel resolution that offers 30 percent more screen real estate than the 20-inch model. In addition to the new processor, the 24-inch iMac also includes 4MB of shared L2 cache, 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory, a 250GB Serial ATA hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 128MB of GDDR3 memory and a SuperDrive.

There is growing demand in the industry for a powerful machine like the 24-inch iMac. With additional features like FireWire 800, the high-end iMac seems an ideal computer for what has been referred to as the prosumer customer.

“There is a market out there for consumers that aspire to do professional level work, or for a pro that doesn’t need the expandability of the Mac Pro —this is a perfect computer for them,” said Moody.

Built to order options are also available for the 24-inch model. The new iMac can be configured with a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 3GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory, a 500GB Serial ATA hard drive and the NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.

With its new Intel processors, Apple has taken on the low-cost PCs head-on. One of the criticisms that has long plagued the company is that its products are more expensive than comparable Windows-based systems, but those arguments have largely been disproved.

“What we want to do is deliver outstanding value, great design and great features. We look at it as a total package,” said Moody.

The 24-inch 2.16GHz iMac ($1,999), 20-inch 2.16GHz iMac ($1,499), 17-inch 2.0GHz iMac ($1,199) and the 17-inch 1.83GHz iMac ($999) are all available immediately.

Updated: Added information from an interview with Apple executives. 9/6/06 10:03 am

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