back to article Want a cheap iMac? TOO BAD. But you can have a slow one for $1,099

Apple is adding a lower price point to its iMac line with the introduction of a $1,099 (£899) model, which drops the entry level on the all-in-one line by $200. The company said that the new model would sport the same 21.5-inch display as the other iMac configurations while being equipped with cheaper internal hardware. Where …

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

The reality distortion field is still on

Those looking to get a desktop Mac for under $1,000 will still need to look to either buying an older refurbished model or the bare-bones Mac Mini at $599.

Yet fanbois all over the 'net are weighing in on the new "cheap" iMac. Where in this day and age is a $1,000 desktop machine "cheap"?! It could at best be "good value for money" (though I doubt that as well), but "cheap" it isn't.

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Meh

This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

Is the $1200 iMac also still down in the ghetto graphics with the Intel graphics chip as well?

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Silver badge

Re: This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

It has IrisPro graphics, so is a lot faster than standard Intel graphics, allegedly it is on a part with the entry level discrete cards from AMD and nVidia.

As these aren't aimed at "serious" games players or 3D CAD workers, more at entry level business and home surfers, they are more than enough and also much more energy efficient than the dedicated AMD and nVidia cards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

I think these are aimed at people with more money than sense. But not quite as much money as their normal market.

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Re: This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

> It has IrisPro graphics

The £899 one has HD 5000 graphics, you need a full-fat i5 to get Iris Pro.

Still good enough for what most people will throw at it.

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Re: This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

If it has thunderbolt you can add an external PC graphics card quite easily and turn the machine into something decent.

My mac mini

http://www.3dmark.com/fs/1839002

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This could make for 2 Ghetto-Macs™ now in their linup

If it has thunderbolt you can add an external PC graphics card quite easily and turn the machine into something decent.

brilliant, put a ~$200 video card in a ~$350 thunderbolt enclosure to boost video performance on a $1100 computer.

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"we don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

So, instead they decided to make a (over) $1,000 computer that's even worse!

Seriously. Dual core...1.4ghz...Intel graphics? My phone from more than 2 years ago has those specs. It also cost less. That's not a joke. Galaxy s3 is 1.4ghz, dual core and has a GPU as powerful as one of those Intel POSes. It was somewhere around $700 at the time. ( Note: Exact specs depend on the exact one you got. They had a number of variations, such a slower quad core. )

Could they have possibly made a new computer with any worse specs? The Intel 5000 series is slower than a a Geforce 425m. That's not a desktop card mind you, that m stands for mobile! I also just checked on the CPU, and sure enough, that's indeed a mobile CPU too. It's obviously not too surprising they don't have a high end CPU due to the size limitations and all...but an actual mobile CPU? Ouch.

I'm pretty sure for $1,099 I can find a laptop that is faster than this, and we all know how over-priced laptops are. Oh hey, look at that., the first one I looked at: http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-14/pd.aspx ( The base model. ) So, not only is it over-priced for being a laptop, has a CPU that is nearly twice as fast and a GPU that is more than twice as fast, it's also an over-priced Alienware.

All for the same price.

Granted, the screen is absolute crap by comparison ( Alienware is after all, overpriced crap as well. ), but imagine if I tried to compare it to any kind of actual computer. We're talking a $500 desktop and a $100 monitor would run rings around this absolute piece of trash, for nearly half the price!

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You're right for the wrong reasons...

Are you seriously comparing an ARM dual core to an Intel Dual core? Even ignoring Hyper-threading, even ignoring the fact that this i5 boosts up to 2.7GHz, even ignoring that ARM is a RISC platform, even ignoring the fact that most Android phones sport that clock speed only when it's at room temp, once it heats up it starts under-clocking, the i5 would STILL run circles around that phone.

As for the GPU, the 5000 is plenty power for your bog-standard use, it even handles reasonable gaming well (see League of Legends and World of Warcraft, and the Crysis demo on 4600)

And I like that you left out that the S3 has an eighth of the RAM as this iMac...

Now don't get me wrong, this iMac is a weird product, it's not cheap enough to be a real option for the budget conscious but not powerful enough to really do well, but you clearly have no idea how much power you actually need to compute.

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Paris Hilton

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Are you seriously comparing an ARM dual core to an Intel Dual core?

A bad example perhaps, but he has a point.

What is so great about Macs today that justifies the hefty price tag? Surely it isn't the specs.

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Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

"this i5 boosts up to 2.7GHz"

It's essentially a MacBook Air in a desktop body.

With the extra cooling the desktop body provides it should be able to take advantage of the Turbo Boost for much longer periods of time.

Not a model I'd recommend for Photoshop but fine for typical home use of email, browsing, writing letters etc.

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Trollface

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

"What is so great about Macs today that justifies the hefty price tag? Surely it isn't the specs."

No - as we already know, it's the fashion label fanbois are paying for, and a fashion label for cool creative types whose day jobs involve serving coffee doesn't come cheap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

It all comes down to TCO.Interface good, free software good, maintenance low, longevity high (relatively), maybe some people have worked out that buying some piece of sh*t from another manufacturer is not the greatest way to win friends and have a happy family?

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Facepalm

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

"Not a model I'd recommend for Photoshop but fine for typical home use of email, browsing, writing letters etc."

You do realise you can do that ( and even "photoshop".... Since when do you need an i5 and übergraphics to touch up your pics?) on the low end Intel machines, using only the on-chip graphics provided? And then some...

If a "budget" Mac makes you drop enough cash to buy any one of the middle of the road gaming rigs outright, for no other purpose than "Average Joe Activities" , you have to wonder about the sanity of the buyer.

Oh wait....Fanbois...

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> Seriously. Dual core...1.4ghz.

You'd be surprised how quick these ULV parts are. It's base speed is 1.4Ghz, but nearly doubles that under load - 2.7Ghz. The 2.7Ghz i5 in the next model up only turbos to 3.2Ghz.

According to this: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2010&cmp[]=6 for a single thread it'll outrun my i7-860 desktop processor.

> Galaxy s3 is 1.4ghz, dual core

A different architecture though, you can't compare x86 and ARM CPUs clock-by-clock.

> I'm pretty sure for $1,099 I can find a laptop that is faster than this

It wouldn't have a 21-inch 1080p IPS panel though. You could probably build one, but you wouldn't want it on your lap :-).

> We're talking a $500 desktop

Not using the ULV CPU and mobile graphics, they are quite expensive. If you're building a desktop tower you've got space for proper cooling for desktop parts so can get it down to that, but it won't be an all-in-one like the iMac, or will have lots of noisy fans.

> and a $100 monitor

Nearer $200 I'd say. Apple displays are pretty good, better than a TN panel based monitor you'd get for $100

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Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

"You do realise you can do that ( and even "photoshop".... Since when do you need an i5 and übergraphics to touch up your pics?) on the low end Intel machines, using only the on-chip graphics provided? And then some..."

Yes of course i realise that. I should have said "intensive Photoshop use".

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Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Sorry, it was hyperbole. I wasn't saying it would be exactly as good, just pointing out how terrible it is. I'm perfectly aware that they are entirely different.

The comparison I would like to make would be the Alienware Alpha. However, they have been a bit vague on the exact specs. Core i3 Haswell CPU ( Ok...which one? Is it mobile or desktop? That's a huge range.) 4GB RAM ( Ok, that's definitely lower, but it's upgradeable whereas the iMac is not. It's very cheap to upgrade, and you will even be able to order it with more from the store. ) Discrete Nvidia GPU with 2GB of dedicated RAM ( This will be ahead of the Intel in the iMac, question is by how much. The Intel uses shared memory, so there goes some of your RAM, and caps out at 1GB. No word though on exactly what Nvidia GPU. ) Base price for the AA is $550.

There are other "Form Factor" PCs out there, which you can easily get faster than the iMac and for cheaper. Add in a decent monitor and you're golden.

Or, do the smart thing, and just get a proper desktop to further drop the price and improve performance:) I really dislike the idea of the All-In-One. The whole point of those stripped down CPUs and GPUs is to be mobile, yet these All-In-Ones are not meant to be moved. Plug them in, and then they sit there.

PS: For the superior hardware people, Apple hasn't made their own hardware in years. Processors, HDDs, GPUs, screens, etc.

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Mushroom

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Contrary to popular opinion within the reality distortion bubble, the fact that a bit of kit does not have the Apple logo on it does not automatically make it a piece of sh*t. Quite the contrary. Stuff from any other PC vendor is the same collection of spare parts as whatever Apple throws together.

An i5 is an i5 regardless of who you buy it from. It will still be welded to a lame GPU.

All the fruity logo buys you are weird form factors with no maintainability and bad head dissipation issues.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Stuff from any other PC vendor is the same collection of spare parts as whatever Apple throws together.

an i5 is an i5 regardless of the source, but you have to pay apple's hardware tax to be able to run os x (legally).

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Silver badge

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Are you seriously comparing an ARM dual core to an Intel Dual core?

He did go on to compare it to a dell (alienware) at the same price-point, which got you twice the CPU, and better GPU for the same price... plus it has a battery.

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Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Its great we all have a choice of hardware vendors. Just because you prefer to clump your chosen hardware together to build your ultimate custom rig, others prefer to buy something that is already complete and just works.

Who else builds a sleek system like that with 1 cord that just works out of the box, no plugging multiple cables in, no downloading drivers, no creating backup os disks, no licensing.

Whenever a family member buys a new windows machine i get a call asking to set it up, i never get a call asking to setup iDevices or macs as they are able to do it themselves, including getting on the network, printing and scanning. I do however install the free sophos AV when i visit.

There is a world of people out there that are not techies and are willing to pay extra for something to just work rather than abusing my spare time for free to get their cheaper windows machines to do the same as the Mac does. As i don't get paid to be their desktop support (that's not my day job either) I encourage them to pay more upfront for less of my time in the future.

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Anonymous Coward

I want a 'retina' iMac

I want a 27in iMac where I can't see the pixels from 10 in away. Don't tell me I don't need it, or that at normal viewing distances any screen is 'retina' etc... That's what I want and Apple won't be getting any more money from me until they deliver.

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The value in this new lower priced one seems terrible when compared to is £150 more sibling. I mean for £150 you get a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 instead, Iris Pro graphics and a larger hard drive. I just cannot imagine why you would spend £900 on such a low spec on a non-portable machine? Who is this targeted at? I get low power CPUs in Laptops but in an iMac?

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"The value in this new lower priced one seems terrible when compared to is £150 more sibling."

But if you look at Wintel offerings entry price is everything to many users.

Get 'em hooked and they'll move onto more expensive stuff in time.

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The way of things to come

Based on the outrage on the Apple forums regarding their failure to fix hundreds if not thousands of top of the range Macbook Pros (dead GPUs) that are now being reused for under pinning, door stops or just landfill it would seem Apple are taking a new approach to quality and cost.

It seems like Steve Jobs took Apple's values and principles that distinguished it from its competitors to the grave with him.

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Re: The way of things to come

They were replacing the dodgy Nvidia ones for free, I'm sure eventually they will have to swap out any dodgy AMD chips.

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I've been anti-Apple since I started using computers properly. The main reason being that, for what they are, they are way over-priced. The only Apple product I own is a 120GB iPod bought for me for my 21st birthday and it's been a fine servant to me.

However, a new client wanted an iPhone app to compliment a web application I'm building for them. Try as I might to skirt the issue or to persuade them otherwise, they wanted the iPhone app. There as absolutely NO WAY I was going to pay over the price for an iMac or MacBook etc.

I just so happened to stumble across a late-2006 MacBook on eBay for £100. No hard drive, shagged battery, and aparently (but I haven't recreated it yet) it will turn itself off randomly. BUT, it has an Intel Core 2 Duo and it can run Mavericks on it.

Moral of the story, go on eBay and get yourself a MacBook and stil Mavericks on it. There is no need to pay £900+ on a fashion accessory.

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Paris Hilton

There is no need to pay £900+ on a fashion accessory.

You know nothing about fashion, wolfetone.

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I call crap on that, the white macbook from 2006 has intel graphics and IS NOT compatible with Mavericks. You might want to double/trebble the price as well ... and here you have the one benefit of a Mac ... I already said on here .. I bought a macbook in 2008 (iirc) at a discount (shop display model) and sold it some 1.5 years later for the same exact price I bought it, on ebay. That, sir, you cannot do with Dell, Sony, HP, Lenovo whatever ... 6 months after purchase they lose 50% of their value, one year and they lose 80%.

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Boffin

Call crap on it all you like. As long as the Macbook has an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, you can run it.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1593194

Bazinga.

Also, you're point about the resale values of Mac's, that's down to the desire people have for it. Not the actual value of the hardware.

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Your mac rumors thread discusses iMacs and X3100 based MacBooks, NOT Intel GMA950-based macbooks like yours, so I still call crap on that. Please see http://support.apple.com/kb/sp23 for specs of your kit. You can install mavericks on it, hacking it together, but since there is no 64-bit graphics driver for your GPU, graphics is buggy.

In fact, the resale value reflects the perceived value of Mac OS X. I always think when I have to part with money, what does it really cost and macs are much cheaper, once you include the resale value of the kit. It is the same with Audi/Volkswagen/Seat cars, although Renault, Peugeot and Opel sell cars at similar price points, when comes the time to sell the car, you will notice it will be both much easier to part with your car and you even get more for it if you choose Volkswagen group.

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CONSUMER GRADE machine

Why is everyone up at arms about a CONSUMER GRADE machine? This Mac is NOT made for The Reg readers. It's for grandma trying to receive emails or Facetime with the grandkids.

FFS, when did a 1.4GHz dual-core Core i5 become slow? It's PLENTY fast for everyday tasks. Consider the target audience.

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