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Review: iMac DV SE
By Mike
Review date: 10/27/1999
Intro | Apps/Game Performance | Benchmarks | Software Bundle | DVD/Movies | Specs | Summary

The phrase "More than the sum of its parts" comes to mind the more I use the iMac DV SE. The total package is so well designed and thought out that a simple list of features and specifications doesn't properly describe it. If I were a wealthy man I'd have one in every room of my house (Airport networked of course.) I know many readers (and I) never thought I'd own an iMac, but I have to say this DV SE model has really won me over. (I'm not giving up my other Macs however - I still can't control my desire to tinker and upgrade ;-)

The latest incarnation of the iMac addresses literally every issue I had with the original models and added a few surprises. The iMac DV SE is a very well rounded machine that will please anyone looking for a productive, fast, easy to use computer that can handle most any task. It also embodies that special Macintosh touch of class that I often find hard to put into words for someone that has never used one.

If you're the type that wants to add the latest video card or CPU upgrade every 6 months, then the iMac isn't for you. I already own Mac models with upgrade/expansion capability to satisfy that craving, but I also realize the fact I can't dig into the internals will likely save me a lot of money over the next few years. If you want a reliable, compact, easy to use computer that is a jack-of-all-trades with a lot of style to boot - you can't go wrong with the iMacs DV SE.

Is the DV SE Worth the extra cost? Several readers asked this question or commented they thought the standard DV model was a better buy at $200 less. The DV SE model has 64MB more RAM (without using up another dimm slot), a 3GB larger hard drive and the classier Granite color (which is by far the most attractive color in my opinion). At the time I bought the iMac, a 64MB PC100 dimm was almost $170; so the extra ram, larger hard drive and color made the SE model an easy choice for me. I think the SE will always be worth more in resale value as well.

Recommended Accessories: Since the iMac has no standard removable/rewriteable storage, I highly recommend a USB ZIP drive or some other means to backup your personal/data files. If you already own a SCSI CDR/CDRW drive, I found Adaptec's USB Connect 2000 to work well with my Yamaha 4416S SCSI CDR for making backup CDs using Toast 3.5.7 or later.

The review covers the following:

  1. Applications/Game Performance: How the iMac DV compares to a B&W G3 and Beige G3 in real world applications and popular 3D Games
  2. Benchmark Results: MacBench 5.0, CPU/FPU/Video/CD and Disk Benchmark tests.
  3. Software Bundle: Included software with the iMac DV SE and iMovie notes
  4. DVD: DVD and Quicktime movie performance. Also includes Audio features.
  5. Specifications: Hardware design features and interfaces.
  6. Summary: Comments on documentation, compatibility and value.

You can follow my preferred path through the review by continuing to the next page,
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Index of iMac DV SE Review

Intro | Apps/Game Performance | Benchmarks | Software Bundle | DVD/Movies | Specs | Summary

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