NY Times' David Pogue Takes a Look at the Intel iMac

The New York Timesi David Pogue on Wednesday published a column in which he took a look at Appleis new Intel iMac. Noting that while the computer looks and runs the same as its PowerPC-based predecessor, Mr. Pogue said that the switch is good because Intelis new Core Duo processor offers more speed with less heat, and it offers Apple the chance to put the "Megahertz Myth" to rest.

"For years, Apple was at a public-perception disadvantage because consumers mistakenly believed you could rate a computeris speed by its chip," the columnist wrote. "iThat 3-gigahertz PC must be faster than a 2-gigahertz Mac,i they would say. But megahertz comparisons are valid only between two chips of the same family - say, two Pentium 4is."

Mr. Pogue put the new iMac through its paces, noting that it starts up in only 20 seconds and launches applications and displays Web pages much faster than before. That speed boost only applies to Intel-native programs, however: such software as Photoshop, Dreamweaver and other hardware-intensive applications run slowly because of the Rosetta translation happening in the background, while VirtualPC, Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro and others wonit launch at all.

He found that Rosetta performance was acceptable for Microsoft Office applications, America Online, Quicken, Firefox, FileMaker Pro and other software that doesnit demand as much from the hardware. And, of course, anything that runs on Mac OS 9 or earlier is now dead because Intel Macs donit support Classic mode.

While "Apple has real chutzpah," as Mr. Pogue put it, for asking its users to go through a third major shift in 12 years, the company "has brought a staggeringly complex ship down for a surprisingly soft landing. It has made an excellent computer even snappier without increasing the price, and done an amazing job of concealing the technical plumbing."

Looking down the road, Mr. Pogue envisioned a day when, "with the assistance of a driver kit that someone will surely write," the new Macs can also be restarted in Microsoft Windows. He wrote: "Everybody wins: Microsoft can sell more copies of Windows, Apple makes the only computers on earth that can run both consumer operating systems at full speed, and the masses donit have to sacrifice the huge library of Windows-only software."

The Mac Observer saw the link to this article at MacDailyNews.