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iMac 20" 2.66GHz Intel core 2 duo Review

iMac 20" Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

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October 5, 2009

The 20" 2,66GHz iMac from Apple is a all-in-one computer. Everything is integrated into the monitor except the mouse and keyboard of course. The iMac comes bundled with iLife '09. iLife will help you edit your home movies, organize digital photos, and compose music. The system is also powerful enough to run Apple's professional-level applications. The computer is powered by a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It comes with 4GB of RAM(supports a maximum of 8GB), a 640GB hard drive, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Airport Extreme Wi-Fi, integrated speakers, and the SuperDrive DVD burner. The glossy 20" widescreen display is powered by nVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.



Size: 20" Widescreen
Type: Glossy LCD
Native Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Brightness: 290cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 800:1
Viewing Angle: 160° horizontal, 160° vertical

Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Graphics Display Card: nVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256MB GDDR3 RAM
Hard Drive: 640GB, 7200rpm
Ram 4GB (2x2GB)
Max Capacity: 8GB
Included accessories: Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
Mighty Mouse
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
iLife '09
Power Cord
Optical Drive:

1x SuperDrive

Connections: 1x 9-Pin FireWire-800
4x USB 2.0
1x Mini DisplayPort
2x Integrated Stereo Speakers with internal 24W digital amplifier
1x Integrated Microphone
1x Headphone/Optical Digital Audio Output
1x Line-In/Optical Digital Audio Input
Operating system: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
weight: 20 lb (9.1kg)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 19.1 x 18.5 x 7.4"
(48.5 x 46.9 x 18.9cm)
Price from: 1,324.95 USD Free Shipping (USA)


  • Size, very compact setup.
  • LCD screen, the screen itself has great contrast, too bad it only gives you sRGB color gamut though.
  • OS, the Max OS X 10.6 is a great Operating Software, and it is Apples best selling point.
  • Comes with OS X 10.6, which you need to get the most out of these computers from Apple.


  • Glossy LCD, I really don't like the Glossy style LCD panels apple are using these days. Fortunately it's possible to take it off (you do so at your own risk, probably will void the warranty too)
  • Hardware, Apple is charging you top $ for their hardware a bit to much in my opinion.
  • DVD write speed is to slow!, DVD-R: 8x and DVD+R: 8x speed.
  • Upgrades, you don't really have many choices when it comes to upgrades, only the RAM and HDD is possible to upgrade. The RAM is the only upgrade you can do yourself without voiding the warranty


The big plus on the Mac's is that as a new user it's easier to use then a PC. For someone that's been using a PC for a long time the transition is more complex. Now I'm not a completely fresh Mac user, I've been using a MacBook G4 for about 3 years, and I'm really happy with it.
Surprisingly enough the iMac 2.66GHz copes quite well even with the RAW files from the D3 and multiple adjustment layers in Photoshop. It tends to start creeping on my snowboard sequences tough, these are usually between 1 and 6GB while I'm working on them. It works quite well with video files as well, render times are not bad at all. What I can't figure out though is what the ¤%&* Apple was thinking when they installed a 8X DVD writer in this machine? This is definitely a step back in time. Apple is charging it's customer insanely hard on the hardware. This is also one reason why my main editing computer for pictures are a PC, for the price I would have to pay for a Mac here is quite crazy which is about 4000USD for a PC that I built for less then $1000USD. I'm quite familiar with both systems so I feel I have something to say here, as the discussion is usually between people that has little or no knowledge on the other platform.
I'd say both systems has it's ups and downs. Apple has a great OS, it has it's flaws just like Windows, but with enough experience on windows you can get exactly what you want, it requires allot more knowledge and time though. I do have to add here that Mac OS-X 10.6 definitely has less flaws then Vista, which I don't run for obvious reasons, but that is a discussion on it's own.
If your main use for the iMac is editing RAW or .jpg files, playing around in PS, or using the supplied Apple's software's is what you are looking for the iMac 2,66GHz might just be what you are looking for. For a few $ more you could have the 24" version, with the same specs as the one I reviewed here. On the build side my main complaint is the Glossy style LCD screen which can produce somewhat a mirror reflection of yourself, for some people this might be a bonus?:P

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B&H has Free Shipping on all Apple products (USA)

Apple 24" iMac 2.66GHz, 4GB Ram, 640GB HDD. Price: $1,499.00 USD

Apple 24" iMac 2.93GHz, 4GB Ram, 640GB HDD. Price: $1,729.00 USD

Apple 24" iMac 3.06GHz, 4GB Ram, 1TB HDD. Price: $2,249.00 USD

*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from October 5, 2009

© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.