|2007 (Alum) iMac owner reports
Reports/Tips/iMac Updates: last Updated: 4/28/2008
This page has owner feedback on the "mid-2007" iMac models. (There's also a previous page on 2007 iMac 20in Display notes/specs/tips which I've mirrored below.)
2007 iMac owner comments: (later reports first)
I welcome other feedback from owners of the 2007 iMac. (Please include details on your model (display size, CPU speed, etc.)
iMac ATI Radeon HD Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.1 (see April 28th, 2008 news page - Update: The next day Apple revised the web page on this update to note "iMac Early 2008 (late April 2008)")
Apple announces updated iMacs (Faster CPUs/bus, Nvidia 8800GS Graphics option) - see April 28th, 2008 news page post for details.
iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.3 released (4/8/2008) (See my later notes below also)
"About iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.3
This update fixes several issues to improve the stability of iMac computers.
After the firmware is successfully applied to your Mac, your Boot ROM Version will be:
You can confirm the version of the BootROM installed on your computer using System Profiler.
To complete the firmware update process, please follow the instructions in the updater application (/Applications/Utilities/iMac EFI Firmware Update.app). The updater will launch automatically when the Installer closes.
For more information about firmware updates for Intel-based Macs, please visit: About firmware updates for Intel-based Macs"
I welcome feedback on this iMac firmware update.
Graphics failure? This may just be a random failure but posting by request to see if any other AL iMac owners have seen this.
"24in iMac ATI 2600 HD failed...
Hi Mike, ...last time I wrote you was back on October 4th 2007 about the infamous late 2007 imac graphics problems. I ended up buying a 24" Al-imac 2.4ghz. Never had any problems with the graphics until 2 days ago. I have the eyetv hybrid (and use it extensively). With March madness upon us I was watching live tv in one window, watching internet feed from NCAA.com in another window and editing pictures in photostudio in another window. Well all this good fun was too much for the Radeon 2600HD. I put the computer to sleep and when I came back later the screen was a moray checkerboard pattern with 12 vertical bars of flicker across the entire screen every other 1/2 inch from top to bottom. When I forced a reboot the same distortion immediately re-appeared and I had a sinking feeling that the graphic bug finally bit me. Sure enough after 5 hours of all the usual diagnosis techniques that i have read about on your site throughout the years (trying to boot from cd, ram swap, disconnecting all peripherals, zapping pram, Verbose boot, Single user mode, hardware test, safe mode start) to no avail could I avoid the kernel panic during bootup except with a safe mode start and turning the colors to thousands instead of millions would eliminate 90% of the distortion.
Anyway, the imac went to the apple store and as soon as the genius saw the pattern he immediately turned off the computer and took it in the back for servicing. The good news is that Applecare is covering all repairs because it is still under the one year warranty. In 7-10 days I should have it back, in the meantime I'm back to my trusty powerbook g4 1ghz. Perhaps you should consider purchasing the extended warranty as I will after this incident. Anything with ATI and 2600 in the same sentence does not give me future peace of mind. I wonder how many others with 20" or 24" aluminum imacs have had similar problems like I have. I feel bad for the new Mac Pro owners that are struggling with the 2600XT problems, I feel their pain.
Thanks again, James G.
Knock on wood this (refurb) AL iMac (2.4GHz) so far has been trouble-free (bought in late Nov. 2007 - installed Graphics firmware update day 1). But if any other AL iMac owner has had a similar problem as James let me know the details.
Maya 7.0 problems after Graphics Firmware Update (1/11/2008) Anyone else running Maya on an AL iMac see this?
"(Graphics) Firmware update for (AL/2007) iMac causes Maya to freeze the Mac. Mouse movement unaffected, but no input is possible.
Hard reboot required. Very annoying.
(I asked for more details - Maya version, OS X version, etc)
Maya version 7.0
Graphics card firmware update - most recent version (iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0
released Nov. 15th, 2007)
iMac 20in, 2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM running OSX 10.4.11
Regards, Paul (UK)"
Refurb iMac 24in/2.4GHz first impressions (Dec. 11th) Just a few quick notes on a refurbished 24in iMac (2.4GHz, WD 320GB HD) I had ordered last week after finally giving up on (repeatedly) fixing a failing older G4 model. (Normally I'd never buy a mac this close to a MW Expo but I needed a replacement machine ASAP and every time I put off a purchase something comes up to take up the $$$ I had set aside.)
I spent most of the day yesterday using it, copying GB's of files over, configuring it (finally setup the 802.11n AE base I bought a couple months ago), installing updates, etc.. Software update showed several updates including 10.5.1, the iMac graphics firmware update, etc. - all installed OK.
The display looks very good IMHO and due to the frame seems larger than the Dell 24in LCD I use with my G5 Tower. Today I ran LCD test 2.0 beta (from 2005) No bad/stuck pixels but some slight variation in backlight uniformity on the solid color tests although that improved after about an hour or so of warmup.
I've not done a custom colorsync profile yet (I've never tried Supercal on an intel-based mac, nor under Leopard but I preferred SuperCal over the included utility since I first saw it in 2001.)
This is the first "new" Mac I've gotten since the Dual 2GHz G5 tower in 2003.
It came with only the base 1GB (1 sodimm) so I Installed a pair of 2GB SODIMMs from OWC I bought last week (under $100) and used some 3d games (UB updated UT2004 and First to Fight) to see if this refub would have any 'freezing' issues some have reported - no problems seen so far. No benchmarking done but overall I'm satisfied with the performance in general - only the Superdrive (Matshita UJ-85J, firmware FMOS) seems a bit slow but then it's a notebook model and only 8x max rated. (I realize the limits of the 2600HD graphics but it wasn't bought as a gaming machine.)
I was also glad to see no insufficient power warnings when connecting my (old) Kodak multi-format memory card reader into the AL keyboard. (I get that warning with the AL keyboard on my G5 tower despite apple's notes about the AL keyboard power sourcing.)
I ditched the included mighty mouse for a Logitech LX3 ($26) and after a mail today saying many had disc burn problems in Leopard I burned a DVD from the Finder and a CD in iTunes OK (and I also burned a DVD in Toast 6.x w/10.5 on my G5 tower). But then I'd be rich if I had $1 for every OS X update/upgrade problem that wasn't 100% common (although for those with problems that's little consolation). Knock on wood so far my experience with this refurb iMac would make a great Apple commercial, although not everyone has been so fortunate.
I do really wish the iMacs had an access bay for hard drive replacement (not just for upgrades which would be a *huge* plus but also for easy replacement when a drive fails, which all will eventually). At some point I'll tear it apart and upgrade the hard drive (I'd pick a 1TB Hitachi) but for now I've got no complaints with this refurb 24in iMac. It's light-years better than the iMac G4 it replaced. I wanted a large screen AIO and so far this iMac fits the bill well.
Apple doc w/tips for AL iMacs stuck in a loop at Leopard Login (11/6/2007) I think this new Apple doc may explain why the original iMac software update 1.2 for Tiger was pulled and replaced by v1.2.1 - see OS X 10.5, iMac (Mid 2007): Stuck in a "loop" at the login window after upgrading to Leopard. (BTW - Originally the doc requirement and Title said "Late 2007" (not "Mid-2007"), but was corrected the next day.)
iMac Software Update 1.2.1 for Tiger As mentioned previously, the iMac Software Update 1.2 was pulled - it's been replaced by a "1.2.1" update.
iMac Software Update 1.2.1 (Tiger)
This update is for 20-inch and 24-inch aluminum iMac computers with 2.0, 2.4, or 2.8 GHz processors running Mac OS X Tiger.
It improves the performance and reliability of graphics-intensive games and applications and fixes an issue that some customers encountered when
installing Mac OS X Leopard after applying iMac Software Update 1.2.
For further information on this Update, please visit this website:
(About doc has same info as above)
System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.10, iMac (Mid 2007)
FYI - Note originally the doc requirement said "Late 2007" (not "Mid-2007"), but was corrected the next day. If you apply this update, let me know if you see any pros or cons.
Feedback on iMac Software Update 1.3 and 1.2 (pulled) (from Nov. 5th and Nov. 2nd xlr8yourmac.com news pages - some v1.2 reports
before Apple pulled that version - now relaced with "v1.21" for tiger.)
More Feedback on iMac Software Updates (Nov. 5)
First feedback on iMac Software Update 1.2 for Tiger (Nov. 2nd)
Apple Posts iMac Software Updates (separate 1.2/Tiger and 1.3/Leopard versions): (late Nov. 1st release - v1.2 pulled as of Nov. 5th)
iMac Software Update 1.3 (Leopard)
This update provides important issue fixes and is recommended for the
aluminum 20-inch and 24-inch iMac models with 2.0, 2.4, or 2.8 GHz
System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5, iMac (Mid 2007)
For further information on this Update, please visit this website:
http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n306851 (About doc with same info above)"
And a version for OS X Tiger (10.4.x) Users (Later Pulled)
"iMac Software Update 1.2 (Tiger)
(It's been replaced by iMac Software Update 1.2.1 (Tiger))
This update provides important issue fixes and is recommended for the
aluminum 20-inch and 24-inch iMac models with 2.0, 2.4, or 2.8 GHz
System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.10, iMac (Mid 2007)"
Firewire Devices Not Recognized: To save space here I'm not repeating all the previous news page posts on this but
here's 2 tips to try:
- One common workaround that's helped several readers is using a recognized (AC powered preferable) Firewire device (with pass-thru port) between the iMac and the FW device not recognized.
- Another tip is outlined in this Apple doc on What to do if your computer won't recognize a FireWire or USB device. That procedure helped with a reader's FW800 drive not mounting problem but wasn't a fix for some others - so try the first tip if you have another recognized FW device with a pass-thru port.
Here's some links to previous posts on the subject (that include the 2 tips above and some feedback on them):
Non-Uniform Display Brightness: This was mentioned in the past by some readers. See this apple forum post for the latest
reader's experience (noted repairs done, then iMac replaced but still seeing the problem).
(from Oct. 15th, 2007 mail)
"iMac 24" / 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo / 4GB RAM
Smokin', lovely machine. No issues at all. Using with old NEC LCD 17" monitor for extended desktop.
(I asked for info on usage, if he'd applied the iMac 1.1 software update, etc.)
Completely updated. I do heavy PhotoShop, InDesign, Final Cut, and database work.
We run our entire business (3 stores, 3 States) on Macintosh.
Some iMac owners reporting System Freezes: (from 10/4/2007 news page) James sent a link to an Apple forums thread on new iMacs freezing (some posts include log messages, etc. - I noticed some threads there on this last week when looking for reports on the 2006 iMac firmware update). He asked how many readers with a new (mid-2007) iMac had seen this problem which some think is related to the ATI radeon 2600/drivers (updated in iMac software update 1.1 - there was also an iMac software update v1.0 released Aug 8th 2007, but Apple page for v1.0 was removed after it was replaced by iMac Software Update 1.1). (As always other factors in Freezes/KP's, etc. can be flaky ram, overheating, updates that failed to complete successfully (binding) - remember to quit all running apps and do nothing with the machine until it's completely finished the updating process including "optimizing" (binding) phase.)
There was an iMac 1.1 software update last month with driver updates - fixed anisotropic filtering for instance - some notes on that here (below) - a story at MW said Apple's admitted 'some' new iMacs are freezing and blaming the 1.1 update.
If you're running a mid-2007 iMac let me know if you've seen any problems like this or not.
(Note: Please include info on usage also - i.e. do you run any stressful 3D apps or games? And if you installed the iMac 1.1 software Update, are running 3rd party RAM, etc. - Thanks!)
Here's the replies so far on the subject (reportedly apple is working on a update to address this, implying the 1.1 update was a factor - although some noted freezes even without the 1.1 update applied.):
"5 days old 24"/2.8ghz/4GB RAM from OWC here. Installed all updates except for the iMac 1.1 software update. (Does the 1.1 update show up in Software Update? One recent buyer said it didn't - as if his drive image already had the update installed?-Mike)
Yes, the 1.1 update showed up in Software Update, but I decided not to install it as I didn't really have any problems with everyday
use... just FFView. Managed to frequently lock up the OS X UI using the OpenGL image viewer FFView. Tried some EVE-Online using Crossover Office and the Radeon drivers show how crappy they are; a lot of the UI/portraits/etc in EVE aren't even rendered properly (Works perfect on my Macbook Pro with the X1600). (the 1.1 iMac update included new radeon drivers that fixed some feature bugs - see original feedback below from an Aperture user that noted highlights/shadow filter image quality fixes.-Mike)
Not related to the graphics, but I've noticed that this iMac features the audio subsystem sleep feature that caused clicks/pops on Mac
Minis/Macbooks a month or two ago. I have my computers hooked up to a Denon A/V receiver using TosLink, and when there is no audio playing
the digital output from the iMac gets cut off and the receiver hops back into analog mode. Can confirm it doesn't happen on my Macbook
Pro, or on my 1.66ghz Core Duo Mac Mini. The digital signal is enabled even when audio is not playing.
Can't really do more testing right now as I just came back from the Apple store, my iMac had some dust behind the glass panel that needed
removing, now to wait 2-3 weeks. :/
Shortly after OS X 10.4.10 was first released, Apple posted a 10.4.10 "version 1.1" update which included the Audio Update 2007-001 for Intel-based Macs that had audio issues (popping, etc.) with external speakers after the original 10.4.10 (v1.0) update. But his system may already have that fix installed.
Ok, my iMac 24" faces the same problem: lots of UI freezes. Installing the 1.1 update didn't change anything at all. Well, ok, to be honest, my machine crashed even more afterwards so I deinstalled the update.
Strange thing is, sometimes the iMac runs fine for several hours. Even playing WoW isn't a problem (though it is highly recommended to disable shaders!). But then again simple operations such as a file chooser in TextMate can freeze up the UI. Therefore I am not so sure wether it is a display driver related problem. Though we all know that OS X uses OpenGL rendering for the desktop as well.
(he later wrote)
My iMac has additional RAM, yes. It's a 1GB DDR2 800 Samsung module afaik. I thought about this as well. Maybe I should remove the module and check if that helps or not. Overheating? No. Because sometimes (like yesterday evening) the iMac just freezes after booting into MacOS (coldstart). Then again the iMac keeps running for hours even while doing CPU and GPU intensive tasks.
So it might be
a) power stability issues
b) memory issues
c) ATI driver issues
What I can see in the system.log is a lot of those "ASIC hang" entries.
Hi Mike, I just got a 24" iMac last week. I immediately installed 4GB of OWC RAM and all available software updates. So far it's been completely flawless - not a crash or glitch.
I don't play a ton of games, but I have put a few hours in playing Mac Civ4 as well as Heroes of the Pacific (WWII flight sim which uses
DirectX 9) in Windows. I'm able to run Heroes of the Pacific at a good framerate in native 1920x1200 res, which looks fantastic.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't hit the freezing issue. Thanks for all your work on the site, it's a great resource for Mac users everywhere!
(Did you install the iMac 1.1 software update?)
Actually, it doesn't show up in Software Update. As I said, I just
got this machine on Oct. 2nd, so maybe it was already installed, or
Apple has pulled the update off their site? (It was still there
as of yesterday when I checked. Yours may be a new build with updated
drive image from Apple. Even some 'new' iMacs in some dealer stock
could have installs without it though so I had to ask.-Mike)
About This Mac reports OS X 10.4.10 build 8R4088. Here's the list of updates I've installed:
AirPort Base Station Update 2007-002 (5.2.1)
Keynote Update (4.0.1)
Pages Update (3.0.1)
Numbers Update (1.0.1)
iDVD Update (7.0.1)
iMovie Update (7.1)
GarageBand Update (4.1)
iPhoto Update (7.1)
Compatibility Update for QuickTime 7.2 (1.0)
iLife Support (8.1)
iWeb Update (2.0.2)
Security Update 2007-007 (Intel) (1.0)
I have a 24in iMac 2.8GHz with 1GB Apple (shipped) Ram (going to upgrade to 4GB w/ OWC RAM soon) and I have had my machine now for about a
week. I have experienced one confirmed freeze and possibly another but that was when I was setting the iMac up.
I have performed every update possible and don't remember if the firmware update (No firmware update, he means iMac 1.1 software update. You can check the "installed updates" in System Prefs/Software Update.-Mike) was one of them. The last freeze I experienced was when I had my iMac running all night then came in the morning to check on it. All was ok until I decided to go shut down VMware Fusion. The system froze although I could still hear some Hard Drive activity. I had to force shut-down.
Apart from the freezing issue I had an issue when I migrated my data from a G4 Aluminum Laptop. The migration went fine but went haywire when I performed the software updates. I believe that was my 1st freeze. I proceeded to perform a clean install keeping the users settings. I did the updates again and I had I believe another freeze. I figured I'd install the OS now from scratch but after forcing the unit to restart I was up and running with all the updates. From there I re-installed a bunch of applications. I haven't used the mac intensively since I have mostly been setting the unit up. I did launch Photoshop CS3 and 2nd Life for a while without issues. I'll have to keep an eye on this issue and hope Apple comes out with a firmware update.
On another note I work with an intel iMac 20in (1st gen intel iMac) at work, and one application that I have noticed will completely freeze
my unit is the Safari 3 Beta. (I haven't installed it on my new 2.8GHz). If I see Safari start to act up and I can manage to force quit it before it brings the whole system down then I'm ok. Apart from that this unit is just amazing. I wonder how it is to service though as the G5 iMac's were a huge pain. (I used to work for Apple). Love your site.
Yep, I have a new Alum iMac 24" (purchased Sept 4th.) and started experiencing the freeze after the iMac software 1.1 update. Noticed it especially when the dock was not hiding and running iTunes. Called Apple and they suggested a PRAM and SMC reset - it didn't help. I did
a fresh system install (without the update) and ran the machine for 4 days without problems. Then I installed the 1.1 update, but avoid
iTunes and hide the Dock and after 2 days I only had 1-2 freeze. My guess it is a graphics card problem.
I wondered if heat was a factor (and perhaps variations in heat pipe/thermal cmpd/assembly - like early MBPs) but if simply hiding the dock causes it... A WoW gamer noted he'd had some (perhaps heat related) crashes back on Aug 14th before 1.1 update was released, although he could have installed the iMac software update 1.0 that was replaced by v1.1 later.
To date I've had around 9 or 10 freezes since I received my 20 in. 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo iMac / 2GHz of ram, on the 10th of Sept. All of
the freezes have happened after 4 or 5 games of UT. I have Hardware Monitor Lite installed (He means Temperature Monitor (free). The full-featured Hardware Monitor is shareware.-Mike) and the Radeon HD2600 (PRO or Mobility XT?) video card GPU is running around 165 to 175 degrees F when the display locks up. I believe that ATI rates MAX CPU temp. around 80C for the 2000 series. In addition to Hardware Monitor Lite (Temperature Monitor) I also have SMC Fan Control installed.
For games like UT I have a gaming setup that increases the baseline speed of the 3 fans by 600 RPM each. I haven't had any lock ups with the increased fan speeds. For normal use I run the fans at default speeds. I'm not sure this will work for every one as some reports clam lockups while running standard non gaming apps. As far as the 2600 card goes, the site Mac Windows has reported that Microsoft XP identifies the video card as an HD2600 XT Mobility card (lap top) which is good because thats a stronger card than the PRO version. In addition I've read that the video cards on the new iMacs are plugins and are replaceable (i.e. mini-PCIe cards? The Aug. 9th news page had a link to a new 20in iMac take-apart photo gallery - the last photo on page 2 of the take-apart shows what looks like a removable card (w/heat pipe/heatsink) in the upper left area - but no comments if that's the GPU.-Mike), although I don't believe there are any cards other than ATI that would work at this time. If the lockup problem is indeed video card related it would make fixing the cards a lot simpler to repair when and if a solution is found. If its not hardware but software related, perhaps OS 10.4.11 or 10.5 when they are released will have a driver up-grade that fixes the issue. I can live with the issue because the problem is very limited on my iMac, others however may find that multiple lockups on a daily basis, which several owners report, are unacceptable. I hope Apple fixes this ASAP because it is a black mark on an otherwise super Mac.
Yes, we have had problems with a new iMac. The problem started immediately after installing the update to the ATI drivers (iMac software update 1.1). After a clean install of the system, but not running the (iMac 1.1) ATI update, the iMac seems fine.
Funny thing is that we have an Apple reseller directly over the road from our offices - so we went over to see if they had any problems. The response was "Oh, I've just installed that update a few minutes ago, there is no problem"... so we went and had a look at the guy's iMac, which promptly froze up when he moved the mouse to stop the screen saver. :-)
Hello Mike, a friend bought a new 24-inch iMac with 2.4 GHz C2D and 4GB third-party RAM (Kingston). It was my job to set his system up. We had
several mysterious problems like strange Finder behaviour and some freezes. We had not time to get deeper into it, maybe we can say more later. My friend is going to holidays next week so we will wait and see if there is some solution (from Apple?). We have installed a lot of third-party software (utilities like Cocktail, USB-Overdrive, LittleSnitch, VirusBarrier/NetBarrier and programs like Adobe CS3 Design Professional and much more). He has all actual Apple patches installed. All other software is up-to-date too.
Almost the same software-configuration (but without CS3) runs very fine on my Summer 2007 MBP and on my C2D MacBook.
Best regards, Christian V.
ALU (2007) iMac 2.8Ghz freezes when using 3d graphics, this is 110% reproduceable!
yes did the 1.1 update and nothinng was running during the update. No 3rd party RAM
regards, Alan G."
"Hi, Mike. I would like to throw in a couple of observations. I received and have had my 2.4 GHz 20" iMac running for two days now,
stock RAM (1 GB), SMC version 1.20f4, ATI Radeon HD2600. Out of the box, Apple Software Update offered no firmware update so I assume
this is current. (the recent iMac EFI firmware update was for 2006 iMac model, not the 2007 model. There was a 1.1 software update for the new iMacs though, but some new builds may ship with that already installed.-Mike)
I have been running Mail, Safari, the stock Apple apps; have launched the iLife 8 apps-no apparent problems; Office 2004 as well. The only glitch I found was that I was not getting any sound out of iChat as well as the system alerts while everything else I tried (Front Row, DVD Player, iTunes) had normal sound output. I was able to fix the problem, though, by zapping PRAM. I'm using the older Apple Wireless keyboard with no problem and the startup key-combinations (startup-select, single-user, safe-boot, etc.) work just fine. The current version of Applejack works very well-seems to run faster than even on my 3.0 GHz Mac Pro.
I did do the extended Apple Hardware Test before anything else, and was able to migrate data from an external Mercury Elite Pro/SATA drive using Firewire 800. I was not able to test data migration from another Mac though.
It gets better wireless reception that my MacBook Pro 15" (LED) that sits right beside it, about 15' from my Apple Extreme base station.
"I'm running a new 24" aluminum iMac with 4 gigs of RAM from OWC and all the latest software updates. The machine has worked flawlessly
since I purchased it a bit over a month ago. I primarily do software development and use Aperture quite a bit. I don't play many games on
it, so there might be parts of the ATI driver I don't exercise as much as other users.
I think even early on here someone mentioned some problems during heavy 3D gaming/WoW use. That stresses the system (heat, GPU, etc.) quite a bit typically. (And even early reviews noted the new iMacs run hot to the touch - like a notebook...) But so many possible variables (software installs, ram, temperatures, apps used, etc.)...
"I have a 24" mid-2007 iMac (the 2.4 GHz standard stock config except with a 500 GB hard drive and another 2GB RAM installed that I got from
I have experienced freezing such like that mentioned but this has only happened while doing two particular things.
The first was when playing World of Warcraft. (there's a recent WoW 2.2.2 update, but not sure that would matter (i.e. is it the game code or software, heat or ram related. 3D gaming is one of the most stressful tasks.-Mike) I would occasionally freeze and get locked up upon entering the Alterac Valley BG. This lockup would not let me even move my mouse though, and was not consistent and somewhat sporadic so I determined it was the game software. I can't remember if this happened before or after the iMac 1.1 software update as I stopped playing that game just over a month ago.
The second instance is playing Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. This is reproducible and will lock up my computer although I am able to move my cursor around the screen. I have to hard reset to fix this problem. This lock up happens when I enter a certain GDI campaign mission (can't remember exactly which since I am at work, but I think it is the third campaign when you are fighting around Virginia/Washington D.C.)
Let me know if I can provide any more info.
"I have the freezing issue on a 24 Inch (2.4GHz) aluminum and glass imac with 4GB of ram purchased from OWC. The ram is techworks ram.
(I asked for more details from Terry - i.e. did freezing happen only after ram upgrade? or was it not used enough before adding ram to tell? Did you install the 1.1 software update? Any pattern (apps or game usage) to the freezes?-Mike)
added ram right when I bought it.
applied 1.1 update
happens when playing games more often than any other time.
I have not checked logs but will start doing so.
I'm running the latest beta of Leopard and don't think it has frozen
yet. - Correction, it just happened under leopard 5 minutes into playing Halo. nothing in the logs.
"No problems whatsoever. Perhaps there was a bad batch out there. Or, most likely, bad memory chips. In my case, the iBook G4 to iMac automatic transfer didn't work well but I am glad because it would have brought in a lot of PowerPC background garbage which is probably what is causing the freeze ups. The solution is to do find all PowerPC background processes and delete them from the startup using the Activity Monitor. Then trash them. So far my 24 inch iMac 2.4 is working great. Probably the best Mac for the price out there for the price available.
Public Education Program Coordinator
"My first iMac (20in, 2.0GHz/Sept. 2007 model) had a fan problem or temperature sensor issue....the CPU would read 100C+ after a little use and the fans would be on constantly to try to cool it. Of course it wasn't very hot and all the other temperature readings for HD/GPU were within normal operating range (40-60C). Apple store swapped it and the replacement one has worked perfectly now.
(I asked if he'd applied the 1.1 update, noticed any freezing and if he run any 3d apps or games, which seems a common trigger)
nope...it's not a gaming machine...too old to play games
only real stress on the system is recording TV shows with elgato eyeTV (two
tuners) and then converting to iTunes/AppleTV/iPod...although I just picked up the Elgato turbo.264 so taken some CPU stress off the system.
sorry...haven't repeated that iMac freezing issue that's come up in the past few days.
"I purchased a 2.8GHz iMac in early September and have had no problems with freezes or anything else. I'm keeping my fingers crossed until Apple can come up with a fix.
Stephen G., Ph.D.
I asked if he'd installed the iMac 1.1 software update.
"I do have a new 20" iMac (the higher-end of the 2 models (2.4GHz model I assume?-Mike)), and I have
done the firmware update. (do you mean the iMac 1.1 -software- update? (Graphics drivers, etc.)-Mike)
So far, I haven't noticed any freezes or hangs, but this is not my primary computer either. I purchased it to use in my basement, mainly
for when I want to compose/edit music or podcasts. I'm not doing anything very graphics-intensive with it (the screen-saver might be the
biggest workout it gets, graphics-wise, right now).
I will say that I leave it on all the time though, and haven't had a problem with it waking from sleep or anything along those lines, even if it sits unused for a week at a time first.
The only issue I've run into is with an M-Audio Firewire 410 box I have attached to it. Using M-Audio's latest drivers, I still run into some
"glitches" with the audio. (For one thing, my mixer settings don't seem to be retained after a reboot. If I configure it to send all internal audio out the FW410 on specific channels, for example - I hear no audio after a reboot, until I go back in the mixer and manually load one of my saved configurations of mixer settings to put it back again. Maybe this is by design, but it's very frustrating?)
(Not sure it will help but as a FYI there's some 10.4.10 firewire audio related tips linked on the Audio topics page (and 10.4.10 feedback/tips page) - July 10th news page: Apple posts doc w/Fix for 10.4.10 Firewire Audio Interface Problems and July 4th news page: Workaround for 10.4.10 Firewire Audio device problems.-Mike)
It also seems like when it sits idle long enough, the FW410 audio quits working until I close the application that was using it and re-launch it. (I've left GarageBand open for example, set up to play drum kit sounds when I hit the drums on a Roland V-Drum electronic drum kit that's attached to it via MIDI. If I let it sit for a day or so and come back to the drums to play, no sound comes out and I have to close out of Garageband and re-launch it to get the sounds back.) I thought this might have been due to system sleep at first, but I configured the iMac to never sleep (and to just turn off the display after 20 minutes instead) - and had the same issue.
Here's a horror story. Bought a 20in iMac, stock 256mb video card with added 1gb of RAM last Friday. Turn it on and within 5 minutes the CPU fan is at 3500 rpm and stayed there. Google search and Apple support calls later... returned to store for replacement on Saturday. Same model and added RAM... hmmm, random shut down/restarts? Not good. Tech support calls got me to a technician not just the guy who knows to zap the PRAM (which I had done, aplenty). Try the RAM sticks... nada. Diagnosed as an overheating video card. Back to the store for a refund.
First time in 17 years of buying Apple products (lots of them!) I've had problems out of the box. Then for 2 to go down... yeah, pay less
attention to the gadgets, Steve, and build a box that is less style and more substance.
"My iMac 24" finally arrived: 1GB RAM preinstalled, 320GB HDD and 2.8GHz
CPU (upgraded from 2.4GHz)... It's beautiful! So far, so good...
I have just tried to install a 4GB RAM kit (2 x 2GB) which I had ordered from crucial.com/uk... The RAM I bought was recommended via their 'Memory Advisor' widget on their site... I doubled checked and triple checked to make sure the RAM was seated correctly, but the iMac would simply not boot up with the new RAM... Here's what is printed on the new memory modules:
Crucial United States 200734 MT
2Gb 200 Pin SODIMM 256MX64 DDR
2Gb, DDR2, 800, CLS
After speaking to Crucial support, they think it's the faster speed which is a problem and will do an exchange and a refund for the difference... (Assuming the dimm was full seated and Locked in, I'm guessing SPD/timing related.-Mike) Basically they sold me 800MHz RAM but think that the 667MHz RAM would be better suited for the system... Just so you know! Thanks and keep up the great work on your site!
There's some earlier reports here on 2GB RAM module problems (some solved by making sure the dimm was fully seated/Locked in).
2GB SODIMMs from sponsors OWC and Transintl also work and have had major price cuts in the last few weeks. (Their 2GB Sodimms and 2x2GB kits are now under $100 per 2GB.)
First Feedback on iMac Software Update 1.1 (Graphics driver/display updates)
(BTW - Please do not use Xbench for comparisons, as mentioned by the ATIcellerator author and others (ad nauseum here in the past) - its opengl tests are not really a good gauge of performance, they're only a simple spinning squares test.)
FYI Regarding Game/Benchmark/Apps tests:
What complicates comparing performance numbers (FPS or Scores) with new vs. old drivers is the fact the new drivers have fixes for some functions which did not work in the previous version (such as anisotropic filtering). Any tests with older drivers that use an OpenGL function that was broken will not be a fair comparison since with the updated drivers the GPU may be doing more work than before (higher scene/image quality usually costs some performance). Even some OpenGL benchmarks may use features that were broken before and working now (and therefore "score less" than before). Take the time to carefully examine and compare more than just framerates and benchmark scores.
Aperture Highlights/Shadows Issue fixed w/iMac Software 1.1 Update Speaking of image quality/function fixes (not just FPS/benchmarks):
"Prior to the update, using the Highlights / Shadows filter in Aperture resulted in the creation of strange banding as shown in the photo below.
Another user on Apple's forums claimed to have the same issue with a G5 tower and was only able to remedy it by replacing the graphics card. Thankfully for me, as I can not replace the graphics card, after todays update the problem is gone!
Some owners also said it fixed an odd issue with the iTunes store:
"This update fixes an issue with the iTunes Music store causing a computer lockup when viewing the TV Show section on an aluminum iMac:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1095847 (Titled "iTunes store crashing my iMac?")
Several replies in that thread said the update solved the problem. (It included a fix for Anisotropic Filtering which was not working previously.)
CineBench Scores w/1.1 Update: Based on several reader's results, CineBench scores for OpenGL Shading dropped appx. 5% after the 1.1 update. This could be due to a function being fixed (and working now - like Anisotropic Filtering), a non-optimal path used by the software (as happened before) or just increased overhead for some things in the new driver. If anyone hasn't already updated yet - when you run Cinebench, watch the scene playback carefully to see if there's any scene/image quality or bug fixes after the update.
Regardless, overall I think the benefits reported so far are worth more than a few % lower benchmark performance which wouldn't be noticed in actual use. (Of course any new update can also have some bugs or non-optimized code.)
Although this reader (below) w/20in iMac said he saw better OpenMark scores with the 1.1 update, some others have noted no OpenMark benchmark score improvements.
"I used OpenMark (here's the OpenMark benchmark home page-Mike) to benchmark my 20" aluminum iMac's Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256MB.
It went from (a final score of) 5807 to 7008! I've attached OpenMark's outputs if you want a poly-by-poly log. For a 5MB update, this is
(he attached the LONG string of results from before/after the update, but only the final scores are shown here for space reasons.)
Before the 1.1 Update:
OpenMark started... hardware detected: cpu family: 0x69353836, cpu type: 0x69353836
opengl vendor: ATI Technologies Inc., opengl renderer: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO OpenGL Engine
opengl version: 2.0 ATI-1.5.6
test parms: surface 1680x1050 32bpp, textures: on, lighting: on, keep in sync: off
Final score: 5807
After iMac 1.1 Software Update
(same 1680x1050, 32bpp, textures on, lighting on, vsync off)
opengl renderer: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO OpenGL Engine
opengl version: 2.0 ATI-1.5.8
Final score: 7008"
A 2.8GHz 24in (higher res) iMac owner wrote that his OpenMark scores didn't change (and like others, he saw an appx 5% drop in Cinebench OpenGL scores).
(added 9/14/2007 - Updated 9/16 to note no real benchmark improvements)
Subject: new iMac Software Update 1.1 finally seems to have new RADEON 2600 drivers
Hey Mike, Apple (tho very, very quiet) seems to have done something to their open GL and driver and Display specs:
(I asked if he'd installed it yet and if so if he noticed any improvements - display, 3D/Opengl apps or games, CineBench R10, etc.)
Yes I have. XBench shows 10% better Graphic scores, tho OGL score is the same. However the user interface position is a whopping 30% better. (Note: He later said re-tests showed no gain)
(FYI: Xbench's graphics tests aren't very stressful (the OpenGL test is just 'spinning squares') and even ATIaccellerator (Overclocking util) doesn't recommend it for graphics testing even with clock speed boosts.
Update: On Sunday (Sept. 19th) Uli sent a note that after re-running tests, the 1.1 update showed no real difference in any Xbench scores and the same OpenMark benchmark scores. His Cinebench results mirrored those of others with the 1.1 update - appx 5% lower OpenGL shading score after the update. It seems this update is basically just a bug fix (feature fix)-Mike)
Sorry for creating confusion, but I was too fast with my first conclusions. The new update didn't speed up anything, since rerunning the old version under xbench brought the exact same results ;-(
Guess they only fixed bugs.
Or this is another explanation - Apple got this first batch of defective Radeon 2xxx cards. Maybe You can gather additional info...
iMac Software Update 1.1 (rel. late 9/13) In another late-night software release, Apple posted iMac Software Update 1.1 (with little real details):
About iMac Software Update 1.1
This update provides important bug fixes and is recommended for 20-inch and
24-inch iMac models with 2.0, 2.4, or 2.8GHz processors
Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.10, iMac (Mid 2007)"
As with the similarly named updated for the MacBook Pro this is said to have graphics driver/opengl updates. I welcome feedback on this update from 2007 iMac owners. (If you have 3D Apps or Games to do before/after tests that would be great. Or downloaded the free CineBench R10 - run tests before and after the update - with a clean reboot/no other apps running each time.)
Note: reports below were before the iMac Software Update 1.1 was released.
(added 9/13/2007 - Updated 9/14 with notes after adding 1GB more ram)
"Mike, Over the holiday weekend, I replaced a PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0GHz with an iMac 24" 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo. I had originally gone in the Apple Store near me intending to buy a Quad Mac Pro. One of the sales guys asked me if I had considered an iMac, and I told him I had not. He suggested it might fit my needs, so I tried a test in the store.
I transcoded a TV show that was in AVI format to an iPhone format. The 2.66 Mac Pro took about 4 min. 35 sec. and the 2.4 iMac finished about 4:39 using Roxio Crunch. Obviously the tools I use can't take advantage of the extra cores or bus speed of the Mac Pro. That opened my eyes. (For reference, my G5 tower took about 10:30 to do the same test when I got home).
So, I bought the iMac for $400 - $600 less than the Mac Pro. It also replaced the Dell 2007WFP 20" widescreen LCD that I used with my G5. Previously, I thought the Dell monitor had one of the best LCD displays I had seen. The 24" iMac blows it away. It's almost too bright, especially in a dim room. I have the brightness turned down all the way and it's plenty bright in the daytime. The color and illumination on my computer is even and consistent and has a great viewing angle. The colors and resolution on the glossy screen are incredible. I have west facing windows behind me, but fortunately not directly and I haven't been distracted by reflections.
And it's really fast. Things that I didn't realize were sluggish on the G5 are now painfully so. The iMac has "teh snappy". There is one significant application that is a problem, however. Retrospect is awfully, terribly slow in Rosetta. (No Universal Binary update? (nope)) So far that is the only app that is noticeably affected by Rosetta. I haven't had a problem with MS Office or any others that is obvious. My extra RAM from OWC has not arrived yet, I'll see what kind of effect it has on performance.
This has been a great machine so far with just a week of so of use. I'm very impressed with the performance and the screen.
(the next day he wrote with notes after installing another 1GB of ram)
As an update to my earlier report on the 24" iMac, I installed an additional 1GB of RAM to bring me to 2GB, which helped Retrospect somewhat, although it's still slower than on my G5. Complaining about the lack of a Universal binary and poor performance under Rosetta has be a consistent theme in the EMC/Insignia web user forums. While EMC has been claiming that there will be an update for some time, there has been
no development of the application other than driver updates for years. Retrospect is the only application that is so obviously slower under
Rosetta for me.
"Have just received my iMac 20 in. 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (yesterday 9/10/07). I opted for expedited shipping. FEDEX picked it up on
Friday the 7th in Shanghai, China and it was at my front door by 10:30AM Monday the 10th.
Worked out of box, the only real issue was getting my DSL modem (NETOPIA) to work with with the new iMac, turned out to be Qwest (my ISP) related, they don't really support NETOPIA (their support techs aren't trained on NETOPIA), however they spent a long time with me online and with their help I finally figured out how to set up the modem.
I don't understand all of the complaints about the glossy screen?
(In general the 20in screen complaints were on (poor) viewing angle and washed-out color (the latter can be helped with a custom display profile with revised gamma setting as mentioned previously)
Not all users complained about the 20in panel's viewing angle (many magazine site reviews didn't for instance), although users of previous iMacs (and those that compared the 24in model) often did. So you have no complaints on the viewing angle? (I think vertical angle was the most common complaint on the 20in panel)-Mike)
It's just like a glass CRT display as far reflections go, and that is not a problem for me. The colors and sharpness of the picture are great.
The new keyboard works fine and feels a lot like my G4 iBook. Unlike many "journalist" I like the mighty mouse, although I'm having some
problems getting Unreal Tournament 2004 to set up with the Mighty Mouse. Think I need to play with the UT settings a little bit more. It is a beautiful thing and Apples web site pictures don't really do it justice. All in all I'm very happy with it and would highly recommend it to anyone considering a new computer. As always thanks for a great site.
(he later wrote)
Still no complaints from me, I normally set directly in front of the screen and have no problems in that position, if I use the Front Row remote to view one of the Star Trek movies that I have on iTunes I can sit any where in my front room and watch the move with no
problems. I found the wide gamut RGB setting in display preferences works best for my tastes, also making and using a custom calibration profile is an other option if you don't like any of the standard profiles that are listed. (see earlier notes/tips on this here)
I agree that the iMac preference listed is washed out, what works for one person may not be acceptable to another. That's why Apple lists so many profiles and the custom calibrate option in the display menu. I worked for Ampex Corp. for 20 years in field support engineering on professional video equipment, and traveled in the field to resolve technical problems that the local engineers could not fix, as such I have developed a very critical eye. My iMac was just recently manufactured and it is possible that Apple has quietly addressed the problem that some people are having with the 20 inch display. (Not sure if they have changed the 20in panel source, but Apple in the past has frequently used more than one vendor's display panel (even for iPhones reportedly...)-Mike)
Compared to my 17 in. View Sonic LCD monitor I find the viewing angles to be about the same. Starting day 3 and the only problem I currently have is that UT 2004 doesn't play very well, AMD has not released any drivers yet for the ATI 2600 chip set (Later driver updates may improve things, but the OS X install on the iMac has support for the GPU, but even PC/Windows tests showed disappointing performance of the Radeon HD 2x00 series.-Mike) and I have a hunch that is part of the gaming complaints that I have read, also the intel version of iMac might not like the Mac version of UT2004? I don't run windows, and don't plan on it just to play games.
(I asked him if he's using the Universal Binary version of UT2004 for the Mac. (Unreal Tournament 2004 v3369-2, released Feb. 3rd, 2006.) Tweaking (reducing) settings should help and UT2004 isn't as demanding as later titles like Quake4/Doom3.-Mike)
Didn't know there was a universal patch for UT2004, I had not gotten around to checking the web site... The patch fixed all of my UT2004 problems, thanks for the tip, now I like the new iMac even more.
"Just to add my 2 cents. (regarding 2GB ram modules)
I had a similar memory problem with my new 24" 2.4 Ghz Alum iMac. I ordered the stock 1 Gig of RAM, with the intent that I would upgrade
myself after I received the unit. I put 2 x 2GB Kingston KTA-MB667/2G chips in the computer, and got the fog horn alert on boot. I pulled
the right 2Gig module out leaving only the left side installed. Machine booted fine and recognized the memory. I pulled the working 2
gig module out of the left side slot and put it in the right side, and leaving the left side empty this time....rebooted and got the fog
horn. Moved that 2 Gig module back over to the left side slot, and reinstalled the Apple factory 1 Gig Samsung module in the right side,
and everything boots and runs fine...machine sees all 3 Gig or RAM.
Bottom line, left side accepts the 2 Gig modules (I have tried 3 different modules, All Kingston KTA-MB667/2G) but right side only works with 1 Gig modules that I currently have from Kingston or Samsung.
(Odd, there should be no difference in the 2 slot's functioning. Are you sure the modules were fully seated/locked in? (reader FYI - see older posts below on this, including apple notes on sodimm install, etc.)-Mike)
By the way, all of this RAM works just fine in my slightly older, white 24" iMac 2.33 Ghz, which is specd to use the same RAM. It
works just fine with 4 Gig of the Kinston KTA-MB667/2G Modules (even thought only 3 Gig is addressable, all 4 Gig is shown as recognized)
Someone else mentioned a problem with a Kingston 2GB (early on), but most noted 2GB modules worked fine. One reader noted the initial problems were due to the module not being fully seated/locked in. (See older post below on the subject.)
(added 9/11/2007 - reply to older notes on 2GB SODIMMs below)
"I'm using two 2GB TechWorks dimms from OWC in my 24" iMac and they are working fine for about a month now. Installed without incident.
(he later wrote)
It's the 2.8GHz (Core 2 Extreme) iMac. I like it a lot except I wish they had not put such a weak vid card in it. I've had the G5 and all versions of the Intel iMac. I really like the glossy screen. Then again my first Mac was the 128k so I've had quite a few Macs. ;-)
(added 9/10/2007 - updated w/later comments)
"I may have a Firewire 400 throughput issue with my new iMac, my first Intel based Mac. I've got a new Aluminum iMac 20" 2.4ghz with 1GB ram. I've got two external OWC FW 400 7200 rpm hard drives which are daisy chained together. One is a backup drive and the other is a video storage hard drive for my iMovie files. The chain is:
iMac --- Backup drive --- Video drive.
(Note: I've personally tried to avoid having a Camera/capture device AND the target FW drive on the same bus/chain for performance reasons as FW drive performance is affected (FW gives priority to Video device). Apple has a note on this even regarding the (relatively low-res) Firewire iSight. See FireWire: External Drive Data Transfers Slow During Video Conference.-Mike)
(Here's a quote from the Apple Doc-Mike)
"FireWire: External Drive Data Transfers Slow During Video Conference
Transfer rates for external FireWire drives may slow down while video
conferencing with a FireWire camera such as the iSight.
Because the computer gives video and audio data priority over file transfers, data transfer rates will slow down when transferring large files
from the computer's internal drive to an external FireWire drive while an iSight (or any third-party FireWire camera) is previewing or streaming video in a chat.
To avoid this situation, don't transfer large files to an external FireWire drive when you are using a FireWire camera to stream video.
I connect my Canon Elura 100 DV camcorder, a standard definition camcorder, to the open FW port on the Video HD.
iMac --- Backup drive --- Video drive---Camcorder
The data path would be:
Camcorder--Video HD--Backup HD--iMac--iMovie 08--Backup HD--Video HD
When I try to import video with iMovie 08 and save it to the external Video hard drive I get a lot of dropped frames. Out of 14 minutes I
get 8 or 9 minutes of video. The same issue occurs when trying iMovie 06 HD. If I import it to the iMac's internal hard drive I'm getting a clean import. If I connect just the Video drive to the iMac and then the camcorder to the Video drive and try to import to the Video drive I still get frame loss. If I import to the internal drive then I get a clean import. I cannot import directly to an external FW drive without lose of frames.
Prior to getting my iMac I used iMovie 06HD on my G4 iBook 1.2ghz running 10.4.10 using the same FW configuration above and never dropped any frames. I retested the configuration above with the iBook to my FW drives and got a successful import. I have to now assume
there is an issue with my FW 400 port.
Apple must have changed the FW chipsets on the iMacs. I don't have any FW 800 drives to test.
I notice that iMovie 08 likes to use a lot of ram. Before I launch iMovie I have no other apps open except Activity Monitor. I have about 500m free memory. After iMovie launches I have about 250m of free ram. As the import starts iMovie uses ram until there is only about 13-10m left. iMovie will release ram and then start to use it up again during the import.
I'm not sure if I had 2gig of ram if iMovie would keep grabbing ram during the import. I don't know if this is the source of my problem because the frame loss occurs even when there are 100m or more of free memory. On the iBook G4 with 1.25g of ram, iMovie ram usage stabilizes with about 300m of free ram remaining.
What is everyone else experiencing with their (2007 iMac) FW 400.
(Although I'd not recommend using that chain, I asked if he'd compared performance of his target drive on both machines and if the drive had gotten more full or fragmented (drives slow as they fill, significantly slower after they're 50% or more full.). He never replied to those questions but did write about getting a FW hub/repeated.)
I went to the local Apple Store with my OWC Mercury Elite 500gig 7200rpm harddrive and Canon video camera and tried it on a 24" iMac with 3gig
of memory. Same issue. I tried it on a 17" Powerbook Pro. Not as bad but after 5 minutes I had dropped 15 seconds of video. An employee
suggest I try a firewire hub/repeater. He presented me with the Belkin 6 port firewire hub/repeater, F5U526_APL-S. After some
preliminary testing this seems to have corrected the issue. I have imported my video with the hard drive and camera connected and the
imports appear to be clean. I tried the same test with out the external power disconnected from the hub and it appears to capture without frame loss. I'm not sure why a hub prevents this but I'm glad it's working. However it did cost me $50 for this hub but it included
the hub, power supply (small brick) and a 5 ft firewire cable. But I'm satisfied and the hub does make it more flexible to connect devices.
Thanks, Kelvin R."
If any other 2007 iMac owners would like to reply on this topic (Firewire performance), send a note. (BTW - Beware some FW hubs, as mentioned on the PowerMac G5 FW/USB page here a couple models 'went up in smoke' due to not being designed for the higher FW Bus voltages in some Macs.)
"A few notes after setting up a 24" 2.8Ghz iMac (shipped surprisingly fast from China)... 2gb Transcend SO-DIMMs work just fine, and show up at the rated speed. (In hindsight previous problems may have just been due to sodimms not fully seated. See earlier notes below.-Mike)
I did have a problem with firewire, though... my old Quicksilver refused to transfer in target disk mode. I tried both firewire ports on the iMac with multiple cables, and even disconnected one of the internal drives in the Quicksilver in case it was an issue with master/slave - even though the second drive was blank. I got the iMac to recognize the drive a few times, but it would say there was no OS X system installed (OS X was completely up to date and clean). I finally cloned the Quicksilver to an external firewire hard drive and then it transferred fine. Go figure.
(BTW - you do not want to clone the PPC Mac OS to the new iMac and even when migrating your home directory, etc. remember to check for updates to apps, utils, etc. you used - to see if there's a Universal version/update. Some have also had problems with Migration assistant brought over items at times.-Mike)
No, I wouldn't even attempt to clone a G4 to an Intel Mac- just a simple migration. Other than trashing a preference file for iChat and
an Adobe CS3 deactivation that didn't "take," everything went smoothly once I cloned to an external hard drive and migrated from that.
The keyboard is great. No complaints there. I'll reserve judgement on the glossy monitor until later. It doesn't appear to be a problem,
but I'm a really picky designer/photographer and I'll have to calibrate it and give it a good workout to be sure. (The 24in seems to be a higher quality panel than the 20in based on specs and feedback. Most complaints were on the 20in display model.-Mike) I count 3 dead pixels, but at least they're small and close to the edge. My old 20" ADC Cinema display had none, and I certainly would have expected some
advances in manufacturing since then. I've heard that gently rubbing dead pixels can sometimes restore them, but the glass plate over the
iMac's LCD rules out that possibility. (the old 'massaging' pixels trick has worked once for me (old toshiba notebook display) but in general hasn't been a solution-Mike)
Other details: the black logo on front is unusually garish for Apple, and the pulsing sleep light will be missed.
Oh, one other minor thing I noticed is that the top of my Mighty Mouse had a smudge of adhesive on the top that was annoyingly
difficult to remove. Certainly not what I've come to expect from Apple's packaging.
The machine is essentially silent, but also quite hot on the top of the case. I could probably live with the built-in speakers, but they're certainly no match for decent external speakers and subwoofer. iPhoto's events are a welcome addition, and the speed is awesome compared to my old dual 1GHz G4.
Thanks for the great site!
Regards, Shannon C."
"Hey Mike, I recently got a 2.8Ghz iMac, and upgraded it to 4GB of ram
bought from OWC. The ram shows fine (all 4GB) under OSX, but in Bootcamp XP for some reason it only shows 3 GB. Machine seems to
work ok tho. (I think that's been noted before in Windows)
Here is the Cinebench 10 stats, be aware the machine is quite full
now, loaded up with my usual stuff, so the below report show's a
"real world" setup and not a fresh out of the box machine.
2007 iMac 4GB RAM
Tester : Kevin
Processor : Core2Duo Extreme
MHz : 2.8Ghz
Number of CPUs : 2
Operating System : OS X 32 BIT 10.4.10
Graphics Card : ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO OpenGL Engine
Resolution : 1920x1200
Color Depth : "Millions"
Rendering (Single CPU): 3023 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 5659 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.87
Shading (OpenGL Standard): 5627 CB-GFX
Reminder to FULLY seat/Lock in Memory Modules
"Just to report a failure, then success of upgrading a 24" 2.4GHz new iMac.
My brother-in-law purchased the 1GB model and ordered the 4GB (2x2GB) package from OWC.
DIMMS arrived and he called me this morning asking about the iMac not recognizing the DIMMs (foghorn blasts, no successful happy mac boot sounds). I immediately thought of your reader reports indicating problems with the compatibility so I asked him to take out the new DIMMs and put the original back in. After thinking about it for a second, I asked him to go back in and re-seat the new memory before trying the old stuff. He then mentioned he hadn't heard a 'click' as per the manual's instructions.
I told him to push a lot harder until it clicked in. He was afraid of breaking it, but I told him to use a significant amount of force, and it went in further with a click sound. The iMac then booted up with the new RAM without incident.
(FYI - iMac (Mid 2007): Installing or replacing memory step 9 notes: "Once inserted, press the DIMM up into the slot. You'll hear a slight click when the memory is seated correctly."
And always verify the SO-Dimm contacts are all the way inserted/bottomed in the socket and locking tabs fully engaged on the dimm.-Mike)
Just a note that perhaps the mechanical tolerances are perhaps tighter than usual and to make sure the seating contacts are fully made before finding fault with the memory.
I thought the same thing on Kelly's report yesterday (especially when 2 different brands of RAM on 2 Macs had the same problem), although he swears he fully seated his Kingston and MacSolutions 2GB SO-DIMMS. It's definitely the first thing to verify/re-try though. Thanks for the note. (Kelly later said never heard a 'click' from any of the dimms he installed, even those he's using OK now, which is why I added the note about ensuring the contacts are bottomed in the slot and locking tabs fully engaged on the dimm.)
(8/21/2007 - Updated 8/22 for notes on iPod/keyboard use)
"I added a 2 gigs of RAM (2GB module, for a total of 3 gigs) to my new 2.4ghz 24-inch iMac and haven't had any problems. I purchased the memory from Transintl but don't remember who the manufacturer is, and I really don't want to go through the hassle of pulling the RAM to find out. (Ref: Yesterday's post on problems with some 2GB SODimms. I didn't get a reply yet from Transintl but OWC replied they've tested and use only verified OK modules after seeing some issues in the past with some makes of 2GB SOdimms.-Mike) I actually had a hard time getting the single retaining screw on the memory door to tighten properly. With the extra RAM, the machine feels much faster when running
multiple apps. I definitely recommend spending the $110 for a couple more gigs.
I've read reports of some owners having problems with firewire. When I first started up, I used Migration Assistant to copy all of my data from my old G4 iBook over firewire 400. That worked like a charm. I now have an external firewire hard drive and DVD burner (both in generic enclosures) daisy-chained on the iMac's firewire 400 port, and both drives function properly. I haven't tested the firewire 800 port but hope to do so if I can find a good deal on a new enclosure.
I'm not a photo professional, but I do agree that the stock calibration of the display is too bright, resulting in washed out colors and a slight yellow cast. The Adobe RGB calibration looks great in my opinion, though I've read that some prefer the Adobe sRGB option. Both are an improvement. The light source in my office is behind my display, so glare has not been an issue.
You cannot connect an iPod to the USB ports on the new keyboard and expect it to sync or charge. A warning dialog box pops up. Not enough juice through the USB hub on the keyboard apparently. (NOTE: I asked him to verify this as Apple notes the new Keyboard can be used for USB storage devices and iPods. Here's a quote from the Alum keyboard page:
"Two USB 2.0 ports provide high-speed connectivity for your iPod, Mighty Mouse, digital camera, and other USB-based electronic devices. Yes, we did think of everything..."
IIRC the new Alum keyboard ports supply the same power as the onboard USB ports do (unlike previous keyboards). I asked what iPod model, etc. he's using. Maybe he has other devices on the keyboard that are drawing power to the point where he's seeing the problem. It's rare but a year or so ago some PB G4 users reported iPod sync problems w/onboard USB ports (not a common problem) and used a Powered USB hub as a fix. Normally that is not needed unless other connected USB devices are drawing too much power from the port.-Mike)
(Update: He replied to my mail on the iPod/keyboard problem)
At first I couldn't charge or sync a 2nd-gen Nano or a 5.5 gen video iPod from the keyboard. But last night I disconnected everything, rebooted with just the keyboard plugged in to one of the USB ports, then tried the to connect one of the iPods to the keyboard, and it worked. I've gradually added back all of my other USB devices (card reader, printer, wireless transmitter for mouse), and everything seems to be working now. So I retract my warning from earlier. Guess I just needed to play around with things a little bit.
(the rest of his original report follows)
And because of the way the USB ports are recessed on the keyboard, USB flash drives and the wireless transmitter for my Logitech mouse don't fit very well. I can plug them in, but then the keyboard won't sit flush on the desk. (some reviews mentioned this previously - the keyboard is so thin that some USB flash drives are thick enough to tilt the keyboard if directly connected-Mike) I've attached some padded feet to the back of the keyboard to add a few millimeters of clearance, and that seems to fix the problem. I miss the height-adjustment slider on the old Apple ADB keyboards. That said, the new keyboard has a great feel, and my normally lousy typing may actually be improving.
I've noticed one totally minor bug: Every time I try to use the iTunes visualizer, iTunes crashes. I'm running the latest version. I unchecked
the Open GL option, but that didn't help. I'm not sure if the fault is with the graphics drivers or iTunes.
So far, I love the new machine.
Problems with some 2GB SO-DIMMs: (If you're running 2GB SODIMMs in your new iMac, let me know the details. Please MAKE SURE the dimms are fully seated/locked in.) A couple problem reports on 2GB SODimms.
(added 8/20/2007 - updated several times)
"Got the 24 inch aluminum the day of announcement and put in two 2 Gig Kingston memory chips and when booted got no screen and 3 blasts of
the fog horn repeating over and over which is an indication of no memory or faulty memory. Replaced the original 1 gig chip and
computer remained dead with fog horn blasting. Took back to Apple store and got a new one (very nice about it). Brought it home and put
in both Kingston chips and this time same thing. Then tried one of the 2 gig Kingston chips in one slot with the one gig chip that came
with computer (Hynix brand). Computer booted but did not recognize the Kingston chip. (I asked if he remembered the Kingston module P/N and if it was the KTA-MB667/2G that comes up when using their config menu and selecting 2007 iMac 2GB sodimm (KTA-MB6672G page has no details on specs, timing, etc.) - or was it from their "Value ram" line such as the KVR667D2S5/2G which does have some specs/details (CL5, non-ECC, etc.) but its Datasheet (PDF) notes stacked chips, which I'd avoid. He replied he had the KTA-MB6672G dimms, not the value ram (KVR667D2S5/2G). The KTA-MB6672G page does not list any specs/details, but it's the dimm I was directed to when using their product finder on their home page tonight.-Mike)
One bad memory chip possible but two unlikely. But to be certain that it was computer and not two bad chips I sent those back and went to
MacSolutions and bought two more 2 gig chips from another company. Same thing happened. Two computers would not allow memory chips from
two different manufactures.
It appears that Apple changed the specs in some way and have not told anybody other than Hynix. (the memory specs/type has not changed per Apple (see quotes/links below) - even the revised iMac dev docs and Memory expansion doc shows "DDR2-667 (PC2-5300) compliant, unbuffered, unregistered, 8-byte, CAS 5, nonparity and non-ECC".-Mike) Called Apple and of course they have not heard of anything like this. Anybody out there been able to upgrade memory on their own and if so what brand?
Just love the computer - it is beautiful but need to figure out what is going on with the memory issue.
(He later wrote)
Thanks for the reply regarding my problem not being able to find compatible ram for the aluminum 24 inch imac. As I stated, I went through two different new 24 inch 2.4 imacs and four different ram modules from two different makers without success and it appeared that putting in these chips "killed" the first iMac because it would not come back to life when the original ram chip was replaced with the chip that came with the computer. (I asked if the 2GB SO-DIMMs were taller/thicker than normal (stacked chips?) - could something have shorted out? I'm assuming they were fully/correctly seated in the socket, which is keyed.-Mike)
Yes, I was very careful about the way I put in the chips. I've had 10 macs and have put in chips on many. This one is very user easy.
I called Apple and they suggested Corsair brand of memory. Picked up two 2 Gig chips at Fry's Electronics and there was a slightly different feel to them as they went in the slots than the other chips and seated more firmly. I have no idea if that matters and it was a very slight difference. Besides the local MacMall/Creative Computer service center guys said they have been installing Kingstons (which did not work for me) with no problems.
However, the Corsair chips were recognized right away in both slots and worked fine. Also read on the Apple website forum that people have had success with A-Data chips. My contention is that VooDoo plays a heavy role in the computer world and there is far more going on the ones and zeros:)
There's always the chance of getting a bad module but having 2 pairs from 2 different sources being bad is almost lottery odds. (Normally on that I'd suspect they were damaged in handing (static discharge) or not fully seated perhaps but he swears they were. NOTE: see the Aug 21st report above about the same problem Due to the SODIMMs not being fully seated/locked in.) Another reader with a 24in/2.8GHz iMac replied today he also has seen problems with a local dealer's 2GB SO-DIMMs. (Granted this is a tiny sample size... and you're 10x more likely to hear about problems than from those without, but is this just another case of random/infant failures? Incompatible CAS timing? Drawing too much power? Unknown at this point.)
"I received a 24" 2.8GHz machine last week and as soon as I received it I put two 2GB SO-DIMMs in it supplied by a local reseller. The machine would not boot, just beeped at me. I tried leaving the Apple 1GB module in and then adding one of the 2GB modules but it still failed to boot.
I am currently waiting on replacements for the RAM. I am currently using the Apple 1GB model as well as a 1GB pulled from my MacBook (and
supplied by the same supplier) successfully.
(Do you remember the brand of dimm it was? (may not be 'branded' but did you notice the chip mfr
or any dimm mfr marking?))
Unfortunately not. I will try to find out. I'm speaking to the supplier today. I'm in Australia so the distributors/brands don't
always match the US counterparts. In Australia the distributor is amicroe.com but they don't have any info on their site.
(Were the sodimms thicker/taller? stacked chips? i.e. looks like 4 chips per side on the dimm, but
actually are 4 pairs of 'stacked' chips.-Mike)
it appeared to be very similar to the Apple RAM. (Apple 1GB module w/8 visible chips per side?)
It will be interesting to see if Rob gets the exact same (mfr, etc.) replacements and if they work. I'm wrote sponsors OWC and Transintl (who both have sold 2GB SODIMMs for some time now) to ask if they've seen any problems with any specific OEM mfr's 2GB SO-DIMMs. OWC has already tested a pair of their 2GB SO-DIMMs in a new iMac for their benchmarks with 1GB to 4GB of RAM in a 2007 iMac and Mini and a later report above on a Transintl 2GB SODimm reported no problems. (Larry of OWC replied tonight they did see problems with some 2GB SODIMMs last year in testing with MacBook Pros, but stuck with mfrs that worked such as Samsung and Micron chip-based 2GB sodimms.) Apple notes DDR2/667MHz unbuffered, unregistered, 8-byte, nonparity, non-ECC, CAS 5, 16-chip max per module, although there's no notes on max power draw per module (as was in some PB G4 dev docs IIRC). The comments on some SODIMMs not recognized reminds me of SPD/CAS timing issues seen in the past with other Macs. (There were cases in the past where PC100/PC133 based Macs wouldn't recognize dimms that didn't have CL3 timing in the dimm's SPD chip for instance, even though the dimm was CL2 rated. And some lower CAS rated dimms had problems in G5 towers originally.) Here's the info from Apple's iMac Developer notes, which was revised this month for the 2007 iMacs:
The iMac provides two RAM slots that accommodate 200-pin DDR2 SDRAM SO-DIMMs
up to 1.25" in height. The SO-DIMMs must be DDR2 PC2-5300-compliant and must
be unbuffered, unregistered, 8-byte, nonparity, and non-ECC. Both 20" iMac
and the 24" iMac ship with one 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM SO-DIMM. (FYI - the $2299 model 24in/2.8GHz iMac has 2GB standard - 2x 1GB so-dimms)
Maximum memory capacity is 4 GB. For additional information, refer to RAM Expansion Developer Note.
(and here's the info on 2007 iMacs from the RAM Expansion Dev. Note)
iMac Computers (August 2007)
The iMac Computers introduced in August 2007, based on the Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor, provide two RAM slots that accommodate 200-pin DDR2 SDRAM SO-DIMMs up to 1.25" in height. The SO-DIMMs must be DDR2-667 (PC2-5300) compliant and must be unbuffered, unregistered, 8-byte, nonparity, and non-ECC.
The iMac ships with one 1 GB, 667 MHz, SDRAM SO-DIMMs installed, for a total of 1 GB. The largest capacity SO-DIMM supported is 2 GB, for a total maximum of 4 GB. Memory configure-to-order options are: two 1 GB DIMMs for a total of 2 GB or two 2 GB DIMM for a total of 4 GB.
The memory controller supports 1 GB and 2 GB SO-DIMMs; other configurations are untested. Because the memory in the two slots is configured as a contiguous array of memory, when both SO-DIMMs are the same size and type, the interleaving function is able to improve performance.
The iMac supports a CAS latency of 5.
The width of each 667 MHz memory bus is 64 bits.
The maximum number of devices per SO-DIMM is 16. See Table 3 for device and DIMM configurations.
(Table 3 info lists a 2GB dimm using 1Gb devices, 16M x 8 x 8 configuration, 8 devices per rank, 1GB rank size, 2 ranks.)
In the past there have been times were some SO-DIMMs exceeded the Apple spec for power draw (per module)
but I don't know if that's a factor in the problem reports. (I'm assuming the dimms were fully seated, etc.)
A couple readers using 3rd party 1GB SO-DIMMs replied to Kelly's post today:
Mike, many are quick to point out problems but slow to report success
stories. I ordered a 1GB based on the blurb in xlr8yourmac from OWC and it
was delivered in two days and seems to work prefect. No problems or issues
to report. This new 20" iMac 2.4 GHz worked good before with 1 GB and
still works good with 2 GB. I assume more is better but I really can't tell
the difference with the applications I use most.
I added a 1GB chip to a new 20" iMac and it immediately recognized
it. The chip is a Samsung purchased from OWC.
"I have a 20" iMac with 2600 Pro graphics and seriously consider changing it for a 24" model (which apparently has a better display).
The vertical gradient wash-out that people mention here is very noticable, as is a rather dark upper-left corner. There's also a
speck of dust trapped inside the panel, giving the impression of 3 dead pixels next to each other (magnifying glass shows it's actually
dust). The Apple support rep I spoke to has already offered to exchange the unit because of this.
As for gamma settings and all: this iMac is used as a secondary screen next to a 23" ACD, and are both hardware-calibrated to 2.2
gamma, 6500K whitepoint and a target luminance of 240 cd/m2 (which, according to the calibration software (X-rite i1) is way too high (it
suggests 120 cd/m2) but I doubt either panel can get as low as 120 cd/m2).
The viewing angle of the 23" ACD is superb (which is the main reason I used it to replace my Dell FP2405, with horrible narrow viewing
angle before colors start to fade) and like others write here: the 20" iMac has a very narrow viewing angle, vertically even more so.
iMac 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme Hardware Monitor Readings (idle/overnight):
"FYI, here is my Hardware Monitor.app readout of my C2E 2.8Ghz iMac after sitting Idle all night. (see his earlier report below for Temperature readings after hours of use) Now that I've got a fully unlimited version of the App, the readout gives some extra info.
Notice things are around 8-10 deg C cooler (than readings below taken during extended use).
iMac 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme Temperature Readings: First reports from a 2.8GHz iMac owner using Hardware Monitor (or free Temperature Monitor). See the Aug. 15th page for
Hardware/Temperature Monitor author comments on new iMacs.
Hey Mike, Here are the readings for my 24" Core 2 Extreme 2.8Ghz iMac.
(I asked him how long it had been running/what apps had been used before the
reading was taken-Mike)
It has been on all day and night, and I took the reading right in the
middle of moving all music from my external drives to my internal drive and while doing some iPhoto file management work.
(added 8/15/2007 - updated 2PM)
I just received a 24" iMac 2.8GHz (upgrading a Core Duo 20" 2.0GHz) - so far the screen is impressive - it's actually so much brighter than my
second display I have to turn the brightness down all the way or I can't really see the other screen well. (a custom display colorsync profile with higher gamma setting may help that)
The lack of a magnetic holder for the Apple Remote is somewhat disappointing. (iMac (Mid 2007): No Remote rest for Apple Remote)
There also is no "heartbeat" light to indicate power/sleep (was in the lower right of the translucent iMac case) - which isn't so much disappointing as it is different. The internal microphone is in a slightly different spot - a very small grate on top of the machine, just above the iSight, vice next to the iSight on the front panel. I assume so they didn't have to put a hole through the glass plate. I've heard the iSight in the new iMacs is upgraded to higher resolution, (see previous confirmation here.-Mike) but the only thing I use it for is iChat, and that doesn't support it if it does, so I can't confirm that. (iChat still requests 640x480 res, although see prev. post for a test app to confirm the 1280x1024 res support in the camera.-Mike)
The machine casing does get very warm under load (iStat Nano widget reports 150F under 100% CPU load, which is comparable to the 160F I
would see with the older iMac running the same loads - so maybe the aluminum casing is actually helping the heatsinks some), and the fan
is inaudible (just as it was with my older iMac).
I've not had any luck getting Boot Camp to work with this machine (possibly related to older 24" iMac troubles http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5131350 and http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=4826010) - but it's still Beta software until 10.5 comes out, and I don't do anything with Windows that I can't do just as well (or better) with Fusion.
(Do you have a black screen at the start of Windows install? if so do you have a VGA external monitor to try? (that was a tip for some Mac Pro tower graphics cards (like the ATI X1900) that had black screens during Windows CD install (before GUI loads). I don't know if Bootcamp 1.4 helped with that previous issue.-Mike)
(Update: He wrote disconnecting connected 3rd party devices solved the BootCamp/Windows install issue:)
I did finally get Bootcamp to work- the problem was indicated by a White screen, and the solution ended up being to disconnect all
miscellaneous USB devices: in particular a Sony external DVD burner.
The internal Airport does pick up more networks in my neighborhood than my 20" did, it's also a different chipset with 802.11n vice
802.11b - but it could be a better internal antenna too.
I don't have any games on here to stress the video any (I mainly do
web/database development, not very CPU or GPU intensive) - it's possible the heat load with a fully loaded CPU and GPU could start to
cause problems. No problems driving a second 19" LCD monitor.
The new keyboard is nice, I really like it. The keys are more like a laptop (short stroke/light touch with a distinct tactile feel). Ports
on the rear of the machine are identical to the older iMacs, with the addition of an Firewire 800.
Overall, it's a step upgrade to my old 20" Core Duo, with a sleeker look.
Hi Mike, Longtime reader..
Just got my Core 2 Extreme 2.8ghz/500GB HD/24" iMac today and I have had the privilege of viewing a 20" Cinema Display (aluminum), new 20" iMac and new 24"
iMac all in the same room, and same lighting in my home office. Basically, I went to the Apple Store at the iMac release and watched
the employees unbox the first two 24" iMacs right in the store after they were delivered at ~2:30pm that day. I was immediately impressed
with the screen and looks of the new design. They didn't unbox any new 20" versions so I didn't see any of those in store, but my friend
who was with me "switched" and bought the 20" version, brought it back to my house and we set it up for her. I immediately noticed the
off-axis washed out problem on the screen, and found it very similar to my 13" macbook screen. I was worried about my 24" version that I
had ordered but after seeing the differences in specs on the Apple page between the two screens (namely, the viewing angles between the
two) it all made sense.
Anyways, got my 24" delivered today and my fears have been relieved.
The screen on my 24" is just gorgeous. Off axis is nothing at all like my macbook or the 20" that my friend bought, and much much
closer to my 20" cinema at wide viewing angels (vertical and horizontal). The glossy screen may be part of it, but I have to say
that I prefer the iMac even over the 20" cinema that is just barely 1 year old.
I am still waiting to see some info on just what panel is being used in the 24" models, and I am positive now that it must not be a TN
type panel because of the vast difference in the two models.
Also, I don't see any kind of color fading from top to bottom on my
Hope that helps,
(I asked for his model details (20in? 24in?) - please include details
Go .... Apple/System Preferences/Desktop Screen/Solid Colour/Dark Light Grey
Sit in front of the left hand edge of the screen edge and with your head
back about 60mm from the screen, or your normal viewing distance.
Is the now plain grey desktop the same grey from left to right? I am
figuring this whole issue is a screen design issue and all the new monitors
display the ... problem ... for want of a better word.
Apple Sales aren't taking returns of customer modified machines. Mine had a
RAM upgrade before delivery. By definition that is a customer modification.
Unless I do the kicking and screaming thing they will not take it back for
refund. They will more than happily replace it if the screen is a dud. There
wont be another iMac around here till tomorrow for me to compare.
Unless you are doing image editing or design work it probably isn't an issue
that will concern you.
If you are editing or designing you might want to have a good look at the
screens and make your own assessment.
The screen I have I can't even see the point of monitor printer calibrations. (custom display profiles w/changed gamma settings
were used to help those that noted "washed-out" (too bright) screens, but can't help with viewing angles/panel hardware limits/issues-Mike) I have no idea what I would be looking at because every time I shift in my seat it will be a different view than the calibrated. This isn't a small thing. Grey to blue or orange to blue with a fifteen degree view shift is ...... really something.
Here's hoping that the machines due into DJs don't display the same problem.
It could be I was just unlucky out of the box.
And...my lesson learned about buying on line from Apple.
"I've had a 20in 2.4ghz iMac for the past week and haven't found any heat problems. The graphics are great (but I'm not a gamer) and the
computer really flies along with 2gb RAM on board. All in all, I have no complaints with the computer. I don't mind the glossy screen
and the new keyboard seems to have improved my typing abilities.
(from 8/14/2007 news page) After comments in reviews of the new iMac (2.4GHz) being very hot to the touch and disappointing gaming performance of the Radeon HD 2xxx series graphics (even in PC/Windows machines, as even the 2600 "Pro" is a low priced/budget card), I wrote one of the readers with a new iMac (20in/2.4GHz) for his comments on the subject:
"Hi, Mike, I haven't had a chance to play WoW since Friday night. But yes, after
a few of hours the iMac was VERY hot to the touch on top. I also did
suffer one crash after a couple of hours of WoW. It's possible that
it was heat related. According to Blizzard, crashes are usually heat
or hardware related.
On thing I noticed is that, even though the iMac was extremely hot,
the fans were barely audible with my ear right against the iMac, and
no air seemed to be coming out of the top ventilation slot. I've just
installed SMC Fan Control, and it seems to be working. I've cranked
up the fan speed sliders about halfway and air is now moving out of
the slot. (It's still pretty dang quiet.) I'll see if this helps keep
it cooler when I play WoW next. It would have to help. And the good
news is that fan control is something Apple can adjust in an update.
Still, to your point about reliability, I advise getting AppleCare.
(BTW - I wrote the author of Temperature Monitor (free) and Hardware Monitor asking if he's working on an update for the new machines - he replied he doesn't have one yet but has gotten some initial feedback that they work on the new iMacs although no info yet from a Core 2 Extreme (2.8GHz) owner. Marcel usually updates these utilities for new mac models in cases where sensors or features have changed.-Mike)
As for the HD2600 PRO... The bad news is that none of the current
midrange cards are very strong (8600GT/GTS or HD2600PRO/XT). The
HD2600XT is comparable to the 8600GT, and the HD2600PRO is below
that. The good news is that Apple is using faster GDDR3 RAM, not
slower GDDR2. The only difference between the 2600XT and PRO is
memory speed and core clock speed. Most benchmarks on the web were
done with cards using GDDR2. So it's possible the card in the iMac is
a bit faster than your usual 2600PRO, given the better video memory.
(FYI for Bootcamp users, ATI yesterday updated Catalyst ref. drivers
for Vista and XP for improved performance and better Radeon HD 2xxx support-Mike)
That said, one shouldn't expect miracles. For WoW, the card is great.
40-70fps with fairly high quality settings. And I'm sure the drivers
still need optimization. For new, graphics-intensive games, or for
running things like Oblivion in BootCamp, it will be weak. I'm going
to install Windows XP later this week. I'll do some tests with 3dMark
and, when I get a chance, Oblivion. That will help us compare the
HD2600PRO in the iMac to other cards out there. I'll keep you posted.
I know there's been the usual string of new hardware concerns
(screen, heat, graphics) but sitting in front of the new iMac, it's
hard not to be impressed by how sleek and attractive it is, and how
pleasant to use. And I am loving the new keyboard, by the way!
New iMacs have higher-res iSight camera (like SR MacBook Pros) (from 8/13/2007 news page)
I was curious if the new iMac's iSight is the higher res model
used in the latest (Santa Rosa) Macbook Pros. (i.e. Resolution of 1280x1024 vs 640x480). I sent Mark (a new 20in iMac owner) a link to a past post here on the subject ("Test App for Higher res iSight in Santa Rosa MacBook Pros" - iChat wasn't updated to request larger than 640x480 res so they wrote the test app) - Mark quickly replied it does:
"...Yes, the test app did capture a 1280 by 1024 image. :)
2007 iMac Display Feedback/Specs/Tips: (originally on a separate page)
The Aug. 8th, 2007 news page (mirrored below) had copies of the Display specs from Apple on the new ("mid-2007") vs previous ("late 2006") iMac models. The New iMac 20in model has 10° less Vert/Horiz viewing angle than the previous 20in. The 24in specs list 18° wider viewing angle than the new 20in. (However from some of the comments I wonder if those 20in panel samples even meet apple's 160° spec.) See below for info on new vs 2006 iMac 20in and 24in displays, 20in LG/Philips LCD panel p/n (from a 20in sample taken apart), notes on display calibration and more.
LCD Display Specs Comparison Mid-2007 vs late 2006 iMacs: (for those that missed it earlier this week when the issue first came up)
The new mid-2007 iMac Specs page shows the current 20in has slightly less viewing angle than the current 24in model and 10° less than the "late-2006" 20in iMac specs.
Typical viewing angle
- New 20-inch models - 160° horizontal, 160° vertical
- Late-2006 iMac 20in - 170° horizontal, 170° vertical
- New 24-inch model - 178° horizontal, 178° vertical
- Late-2006 iMac 24in - 178° horizontal, 178° vertical
- New iMacs: 290 nits (20-inch models); 380 nits (24-inch
- Late 2006 iMacs: 280 cd/m (20-inch model); 400 cd/m (24-inch model)
Typical contrast ratio:
- New iMacs: 800:1 (20-inch models); 750:1 (24-inch
- Late 2006 iMacs: 800:1 (20-inch model); 700:1 (24-inch model)
20in iMac (new model) Display Comments/Notes/Specs (later reports first)
Hi Mike, To add to the growing concern about the screen quality on the new 20" iMacs. I'm a designer and bought a 20" iMac on Friday. When I got it home I noticed the screen was darker at the top, fading to a lighter tint of that colour at the bottom. You can check this using a block of single colour filling the screen. As this was useless to design on I phoned Applecare to be told it was a fault (monitor calibration doesn't correct the fault) and to return it.
Before returning to the store I set up a quick test and ran this on the three 20" machines on the ground floor of the Regents Street store and they all produced the same fading result. The two 24" machines were absolutely fine. This is by no means conclusive, but if this is a universal problem (the Apple forums seem to suggest this is happening a lot and not just in London), for designers at least, these machines will be unusable as colour isn't remotely consistent from top to bottom.
With regards, Alex
Could this be due to a difference in the assembly of the blacklight (variation in position/spacing ) or uneven pressure on the backlight/display? Regardless I'd personally choose the 24in model (larger screen, better viewing angle) instead of the 20in if your budget allows. (I've added Alex's comments to the previous page on new iMac 20in Displays which has notes/tips on display profiles to correct washed-out color, and notes/specs on new vs old/20in vs 24in viewing angles, etc.)
Update - a reader w/24in model wrote he's seeing the same variation (darker top/brighter bottom area)
"Hey Mike, Just wanted to let you know I received my 24" iMac today and I have the same problem as the 20" (earlier report above) the color fading at the bottom of the screen.
It's very noticeable with a dark background, almost like the light is leaking from the bezel.
I'm going to go to the Apple store Westfarms in CT and I'll let you know what they say.
I've not seen this personally but it almost sounds as if it's an assembly issue with some samples, but that's just my guess. I wrote another 24in owner tonight that had said his was (consistently) too bright to ask if he saw any variation like this.
No, mine seems pretty good in general. It's essentially very similar
in quality to my existing 23" Cinema Display although it's a bit
sharper (due to the glossy finish I guess).
"Hi there, I read Alex from London's post (above) about the 20" iMac and mine has the exact same problem (I believe it's probably just an artifact of the cheaper panel type). The colors, even after being calibrated, fade dramatically about 4-5" at the bottom of the screen. For example,
without calibration the Finder's metal window almost appeared white at the bottom of the screen.
I work on a 23" cinema display so coming home to the iMac's cheaper display is quite noticeable. I'm contemplating returning the machine
and opting for the 24" with the much nicer display.
Hi, Mike, I just bought the new 20" middle model ($1499) iMac last night. I
think people are overreacting just a bit about the display quality.
It's true default color profile on the iMac really is ridiculously bright--to the point where everything is washed out, as people have
mentioned. However, a quick calibration using "Expert Mode" (calibrating the native response and choosing a target Gamma of 1.8 at the end) quickly brought the brightness level to where it should be. (Note - I suggested changing gamma previously based on a creating a custom profile for a "washed out" (too bright regardless of monitor brightness control) on a Dell 24in LCD I bought a couple years ago. 1.8 is typical Mac gamma, 2.2 is typical TV/PC IIRC. I toggled between 1.8 and 2.2 (using basic mode, not expert) on that display again today and 1.8 is brighter/more washed out. 1.8 is typical Mac gamma, so default profiles may be too washed out/bright for some displays. I suspect this is true of these new iMac 20in models.-Mike) The panel now looks beautiful.
(Suggestion: Running through another calibration this morning produced too dark a result, I thought. I think it might be better to
calibrate by night or in a dark room when your eyes are more sensitive to light.)
(I asked him to check the gamma again as 1.8 is brighter than 2.2. But he was referring to using Expert
mode with a target gamma, not Basic mode.-Mike)
You're correct that lower gamma = brighter.
So a quick fix for the problem is to use Basic Mode calibration and choose 2.2 gamma.
But Expert Mode calibration is better. (I used SuperCal on my Macs in the past - even more control.-Mike) It lets you determine the native gamma of the display, and then compensate in order to match a target gamma. So when calibrating my aluminum iMac 20", the native gamma of the display was 1.34. This is very high, and the reason it is so bright/washed out. After determining the native display gamma, I set a target gamma of 1.8 (Mac Standard) and this has given me a very good result.
(summary of basic vs expert modes)
Basic Mode: You can choose between a target gamma of 1.8 or 2.2. (2.2 is darker.) However, you do not get to calculate the native gamma of
the display. This means that you're not really getting 1.8 or 2.2. You're getting something brighter that that, because the native gamma
of the display is brighter than expected.
Expert Mode: You start by calculating the native gamma of the display, then you adjust that gamma to reach a certain target gamma.
The native gamma of my display is 1.34, and I specified a target gamma of 1.8. That means it had to add .46 to my display's native
gamma to make it appear at a "true" 1.8 gamma. (This would be the same as choosing 2.26 in Basic Mode, if you could do such a thing.
Basic Mode only lets you choose 1.8 or 2.2.)
As for the viewing angles--yes, they are not as good as the 24" model, but they are very typical for a TN panel. People should not
bother fretting over 160 vs. 170 degree viewing angle specifications, (see new vs previous specs) as these sort of specs aren't very meaningful. A panel manufacturer might boast of 170 degree viewing angles, but the fact is all TN panels are pretty much the same in this regard. (I don't think the 24in uses a TN panel though, not sure about the 2006 model 20in, which had wider specs. From -some- of the complaints on the 20in, I wondered if there was more than a 10-18° difference though-Mike) So yes, there is some color shift when you move about, but sitting in front of the new iMac, now that it's been calibrated, the screen looks fantastic.
(Provided you like a glossy screen, which I do.)
Just hoping to calm some of the jitters out there! So far the new iMac is wonderful--sleek and fast. And by the way, it does a great
job playing World of Warcraft at 1650x1080 with high quality settings. :)
As for viewing angles, I wondered since day one how a 10° difference in specs made so huge a difference (vs old 20in) from some users opinions. I think the TN panels may not be as good in that regard, but I was surprised at the number of people that complained. Some had previously used the old 20in model and immediately noticed the difference.
And if the default profile is that washed out, I'm surprised the Apple store demo models used the default profile (without correcting it), when clearly some shoppers noticed the display was washed out. I guess employees just didn't notice or didn't bother to change it (or know how). (But see above for notes from a UK reader on inconsistent display issues he saw with 20in models that can't be corrected by a colorsync profile...)
(8/10/2007 - updated 8/11)
"I did not see any change after running the iMac Software Update 1.0 (v1.0 released Aug 8th 2007, but Apple page removed after v1.0 was replaced by iMac Software Update 1.1.-Mike)
(Dick had not mentioned any complaints with 20in iMac display previously so I asked for his comments on it-Mike)
I have the 20-inch 2.4 GHz unit and the display looks great.
Nothing washed out if you are in front of the unit. As you get off angle it starts to wash out but for normal use it is fine.
(he later wrote)
I did something this afternoon that made the display look more washed
out than it did when I responded earlier. I just used the Display
Calibration tool and it looks much better now. Bumping up the gamma
settings really helped. Thanks for the tip.
(he later wrote)
as delivered from Apple the setting was 1.8 and the change to
2.2 made a significant difference. This corrected the washed out look.
What is strange is mine looked very good the first day out the box. The
second day I noticed the washed out look and the calibration change to
2.2 fixed it. It will be interesting to see if the current calibration
20-inch iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Put in service 9-Aug-07
A follow-up from Dan, who sent the first mail on this on Wednesday (copy below)
"I went to the (new - 2 blocks away) local Apple Store and eyeballed both the 20in & 24in which had just been put on display.
Indeed the 24in looks as good as the former model. Alas, the glossy display sucks in most environments IMHO, and also in the opinion of several of the Apple Store employees who apparently had been getting negative comments previous to my visit. For me, a glossy display meant no purchase; the two 20's I bought were for my wife's daughters who won't complain about the great gift. I'm gonna buy a MacBook Pro and a Dell monitor to replace my old iMac 20 Core Duo.
"I spent some time in an Apple store yesterday playing with four 20in and
one 24in iMac. I found the larger display to be fine. The 20in models
were a disappointment. The 20" display was very washed out with poor color and blacks that were gray. I tried out some of the other color profiles but found none of them to help. (creating a custom profile may help with that - see below-Mike) I would think that the all-in-one iMac should be calibrated "right on" anyway at the start.
Tipping the monitor back about 30 degrees helped with the color. It is not a usable position. I understand that the new iMac (software) update download is graphics related. I hope it helps and was not on the machines that I viewed.
(Photo Galleries and Video Theaters)
A software update can't affect viewing angles and from the later report above, it didn't affect the display color/profile. Creating a custom display profile has helped a bit however.
"Hi Mike, I work in a Premium Reseller amb we recieved several iMacs this week.
I unboxed three 20" (1x2.0GHz and 2x2.4GHz) and one 24" models and
noticed that all 20" models screens are washed up and also have bad
vertical angle vision, on all 3x20" had to recalibrate using System Preferences and corrected brightness and contrast quite well but not the angle vision problem. (that's panel/hardware related)
The 24" 2.4GHz model screen has a very high quality with a lot of
contrast and doesn't seem to have those problems.
I mentioned in yesterday's news that page 3 of the take-apart on the new 20in iMac listed an LG/Philips LM201WE3 (- TN?) LCD panel which some blamed for this. (Yes, its specs do list 160/160 viewing angle, but searching the web found good comments on Monitors that used that panel.) However sometimes Apple has more than one source for the same size LCD and different builds may have a different mfr's panel perhaps (I can't say for sure however).
"Just wanted to confirm what others have been saying: the screen on the new 20" iMac is lower quality than the previous generation. My Mom bought a 20" a week ago Sunday, so we had just over a week with it. Once the new machines were announced, I returned the old model for her (minus restocking fee) and got the new 2.4GHz 20".
I immediately noticed a difference in screen quality, especially since the color profile the machine shipped with was extremely white (bright). Even after calibrating the image quality doesn't seem to match the previous generation.
But most of all, the viewing angle is noticeably inferior. Fortunately, she's not a graphics pro or geek, so it doesn't bother her. But I definitely notice it.
(I asked Jon if the viewing angle appears to be anywhere near what Apple lists for the new 20in (160 degrees V and H).
Regarding the display profile - I asked what was the default gamma setting. I remember when I first used a 24in Dell LCD (about 1/2 the cost of apple's 23in at the time) - it was very washed out/too bright and no monitor control brightness adjustment really helped that, however changing the gamma did using a custom display profile. (Typically PCs/TVs are set for 2.2 gamma vs 1.8 of typical macs in the past. The default mac OS profile may result in a washed-out display on some panels. If so try comparing the 2.2 gamma vs 1.8 using the Display prefs/color tab option. Or try Supercal for even more control - you can even tweak individual response curves.)
I do not have an intel Mac and I am -not- a graphics professional but I've had good results with a shareware utility called SuperCal. (It's linked in the FAQ's Display/Monitors section since I first used it back in 2001.)-Mike)
The screen does seem to have a 160° viewing angle. However, there is quite a bit of color distortion as you move through the viewable field. That's not something I noticed while using the older generation machine.
I'm not sure how to find out the gamma of the default "iMac" color profile, but it's likely the Mac standard 1.8. Recalibrating the screen while using the same gamma results in a noticeably better image, but still not as good as the previous generation. As another user noted, the default profile should really look much better.
Like I said, I've tried recalibrating the screen twice now, using Apple's tool, and both times the results were much improved but still inferior to the previous generation. I may try SuperCal sometime in the future.
(from 8/8/2007 news page)
"Apparently I'm the only one who notices that the new iMac 20in (lowest cost) has a much less capable display than it's predecessor. (No you're not - you're just the first here to mention it.-Mike)
I just bought two and have them set up here in Milwaukee. (See below for display panel apple specs of new vs late 2006 iMac 20in and 24in. Also I've gotten another reply to this post on Thursday from a new 20in iMac owner not happy with his display in other areas.-Mike)
The vertical viewing angle is VERY narrow, just like the display on the 17" iMac making the new model very much less acceptable for many graphics applications. Lower cost but... Hopefully the middle 20" and 24" retain the high-quality displays found in the previous models. (My gut feeling is all the currrent 20in models would be using the same panel - but as in the past, they may have more than one source/mfr for the LCD panels and some may be better about this than others. See below for apple display specs comparison.-Mike)
A cynic might opine that Apple saw that it was loosing sales of Mac
Pros to iMac 20in & 24in due to the high qulaity of the previous displays and now has "corrected" that problem.
I remember some complaints on brightness (too bright IIRC) from graphics professionals with early model 24in iMacs, but that may not be an issue in later models. (Note: for LCD displays too bright, try creating a custom colorsync profile and compare changing gamma settings - i.e. 1.8 (typical for Mac) vs 2.2 (typical for TV/PCs). Sometimes the default Display colorsync profile results in too bright/washed out look.)
BTW - a reader sent a note the Display viewing angle is listed on the mid-2007 iMac Specs page, which shows the current 20in has slightly less viewing angle than the current 24in model and the I've added the previous "late-2006" iMac specs (thanks Karl). I've also included a copy of the Brightness and Contrast specs of the 20in vs 24in. (But from his comments I wonder if the panel he has even meets the current specs.)
Display:.....Typical viewing angle
- New 20-inch models - 160° horizontal, 160° vertical
- Late-2006 iMac 20in - 170° horizontal, 170° vertical
- New 24-inch model - 178° horizontal, 178° vertical
- Late-2006 iMac 24in - 178° horizontal, 178° vertical
- New iMacs: 290 nits (20-inch models); 380 nits (24-inch
- Late 2006 iMacs: 280 cd/m (20-inch model); 400 cd/m (24-inch model)
Typical contrast ratio:
- New iMacs: 800:1 (20-inch models); 750:1 (24-inch
- Late 2006 iMacs: 800:1 (20-inch model); 700:1 (24-inch model)
If any other reader has a new iMac (20in or otherwise) and cares to comment on the display (or other things) send a note.