Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)

With the same elegant design as its 20-inch, 2.4GHz sibling, the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac offers 30 percent more screen area and a modest performance boost.


8.1
CNET Rating
6.9
User Rating

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The 24-inch iMac's striking design and impressive performance compare favourably to its smaller 20-inch sibling. In addition to a larger screen size, the 24-inch model offers higher-end configuration options and, of course, a higher price tag. The 24-inch iMac comes in two standard configurations: the AU$2,599 system includes a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory, and a 320GB hard drive; the higher-end configuration costs AU$3,339 and comes with a dual-core 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

We tested the fastest-available, 2.8GHz version with the optional 750GB hard disk, which added another AU$220 to the price tag, bringing the total cost of our configuration to AU$3,559. For more on the design, features, and service and support of the fourth-generation iMac, check out our in-depth review of the 20-inch, 2.4GHz iMac.

When we tested the 20-inch, 2.4GHz iMac last month, we came away impressed by its application performance, with it more than holding its own against competing Windows-based, mainstream desktops. The same can easily be said for the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac. With its faster processor, the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac is expectedly faster than the 20-inch, 2.4GHz iMac on all of our application benchmarks -- as well as many similarly priced Windows machines. Of particular note is the 2.8GHz iMac's performance on our multimedia multitasking test -- perhaps our most punishing benchmark. The test performs simultaneous video and audio encoding, which typically taxes the resources of most systems. The 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac's best-of-class performance on this test is an excellent indicator of the iMac's potential for tackling processor-intensive applications and juggling the demands of multiple applications concurrently vying for system resources.

The only performance area in which the iMac disappoints is with its 3D gaming proficiency -- or lack of it. The 24-inch turned in even lower scores on our Quake 4 test than we saw with the 20-inch model; the bump from the 1,680x1,050 native resolution to 1,920x1,200 causing the Radeon 2600 some extra pain. Regardless, while the bigger model nets you a larger screen, a faster processor, more memory, and bigger hard drive, there are no options for speedier graphics.

The ultimate question is whether the 24-inch, 2.8GHz iMac is worth spending AU$1,190 more than the 20-inch, 2.4GHz version for a 16 percent improvement in performance and 30 percent more screen real estate. Serious multitaskers and some prosumers can definitely gain additional screen area to support more open applications on the desktop, and the modest performance bump can make a difference during longer video or audio renders. Perhaps the ideal user is someone who needs as much processing power as possible from a Mac, but can't justify the much costlier Mac Pro.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple Mac Pro (2x2.66GHz)
120
Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)
125
Apple iMac (20-inch, 2.4GHz)
133
Velocity Micro Vector GX Campus Edition
157
HP Pavilion Media Center TV m8120n
178
Sony VAIO TP1 Living Room PC
243

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)
139
Velocity Micro Vector GX Campus Edition
139
Apple iMac (20-inch, 2.4GHz)
161
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2035
178
Sony VAIO TP1 Living Room PC
229

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple Mac Pro (2x2.66GHz)
248
Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)
522
Apple iMac (20-inch, 2.4GHz)
597
HP Pavilion Media Center TV m8120n
612.9
Gateway DX430X
1,059
Sony VAIO TP1 Living Room PC
1,174

Cinebench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs
Rendering a single CPU
Apple Mac Pro (2x2.66GHz)
2,052
432
HP Pavilion Media Center TV m8120n
1,241
400
Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)
878
465
Apple iMac (20-inch, 2.4GHz)
754
400
Dell Inspiron 531
654
354
Sony VAIO TP1 Living Room PC
546
299

Quake 4 performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,024x768 (4x AA, 8x AF)
Apple Mac Pro (2x2.66GHz)
95.6
Velocity Micro Vector GX Campus Edition
94.1
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2035
83.7
Apple iMac (20-inch, 2.4GHz)
39.2
Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)
33.7
HP Pavilion Media Center TV m8120n
15.5
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MoniqueD posted a comment   
Australia

oh k so i will be gettin a 24" imac within afew days, but after reading through some forums im having second thoughts,,, im a sound engineer student and am gettin the imac for the purpose of using Pro tools and other audio programs/interfaces. would this be a good choice, thier are many pros on the imac and the screen space is great for wat i would like to do. can anyone get back to me n possibly let me know if it will run Pro tools like a dream all fine from thier own experience as Mac users. cheers

Steve-o
9
Rating
 

Steve-o posted a review   

The Good:Responsive, stable OS, compatible with windows programs. Ilife bundled software is fantastic, useable solution for your multimedia needs. The Apple experience.

The Bad:Too slow using MS Office unless loaded in RAM. Easy to use up internal HDD with multimedia -- and hard/expensive to upgrade it.

Easy to use and productive - as a mac should be.

Macuser
4
Rating
 

Macuser posted a review   

The Good:Good sized 24" screen, Nice remote feature.

The Bad:Speed hardly noticeable compared to pre-Intel Macs, Not as reliable, Glitches in it's first 3 days, Struggles with multiple applications, other problems have yet to be revealed.

Don't believe the hype! 24" 2.8Ghz iMac is very disappointing compared to my old iMac 2Ghz 20" G5 (non-intel). Being a Graphic Designer I'm a die hard fan of anything Apple. This was before I became the owner of dismal Intel Core Duo. In comparison to my iMac 2Ghz 20" 1.5Gb 233Gb HD G5, Speed is only marginally better if at all. Struggles with multiple Applications. Had a number of glitches in it's first 3 days and in general slow and unreliable. Apple if you call this progress then maybe we should go back to the dark ages and dust off the drawing boards.

I want my old Mac back!

2.8Ghz iMac SUCKS!

Q
5
Rating
 

Q posted a review   

The Good:Good processor, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

The Bad:Insufficient amount of RAM in lower models, underpowered and incredibly power and heat wise inefficient graphics card, and quite pricey (especially considering the shite graphics card).

I must admit, ever since I started using macs in 2006 I fell in love with the OS (better than Linux), and the quality of hardware was also paramount. I've just sold my 2.2GHz MacBook Pro in preparation of the imminent iMac refresh (2008), in the hope that as in the models prior to the Aluminium’s Apple would offer a higher end graphics card in their 24" model, say a 512MB HD 3850 (not quite as powerful as the 8800, but still an excellent card and eat efficient using 55nm circuits). This would be an optimal choice to have, the bottom range 24" with an upgraded graphics card, but currently, for what you pay, the current card options are absolutely ghey. This is why I'm giving a 5.5 instead of a 9 or 10. Seriously Steve, what were you thinking with the HD 2000 series? The Nvidia 8 series would have been infinitely superior and far cooler in respect of heat, while still not interfering with the 8800 GT's status. I have to say that this blunder ranks along side with the refusal to pay $1 mil to get Half Life 2 ported. Ghey Steve, simply ghey.

Nick
8
Rating
 

Nick posted a review   

Does anybody know for certain whether you can upgrade the graphics card in the new 24" imac? The standard card will cope but is not ideal for the 3D that i will be needing it for

canberra_photographer
8
Rating
 

canberra_photographer posted a review   
Australia

Hotmail and most Microsoft websites are available on Macs using both Safari and Firefox

Boost-Juice
8
Rating
 

Boost-Juice posted a review   

The Good:Why give it a 6 if you want one?

The Bad:They are pretty sexy, but sometimes on the net my PC just works, unlike my stubborn MAC. (its a 2.4ghz macbook pro)

Yes of course you can. I use my macbook pro, and its the internet browser named Safari, that will be accessing your hotmail.
You can also download, very easily, the messenger for mac, which is like a sexier but more basic version of the windows, messenger.

me
6
Rating
 

me posted a review   

im thinking of getting one but i just have one question 4 anyone to answer,can you still get msn(hotmail) on it?
duz anybody know??




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User Reviews / Comments  Apple iMac (24-inch, 2.8GHz)

  • MoniqueD

    MoniqueD

    "oh k so i will be gettin a 24" imac within afew days, but after reading through some forums im having second thoughts,,, im a sound engineer student and am gettin the imac for the purpose of using ..."

  • Steve-o

    Steve-o

    Rating9

    "Easy to use and productive - as a mac should be."

  • Macuser

    Macuser

    Rating4

    "Don't believe the hype! 24" 2.8Ghz iMac is very disappointing compared to my old iMac 2Ghz 20" G5 (non-intel). Being a Graphic Designer I'm a die hard fan of anything Apple. This was before I becam..."

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