Apple unveils Core 2 Duo Imacs

Cupertino (CA) - Apple today launched the second generation of Intel-based Imac computers, which now integrate Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo processor with "Merom" core. There is also a new high-performance model with a 24" screen that lifts the Imac into the price territory of enthusiast systems.

Apple leaves no doubt that it is quickly reacting to no technology updates to keep its customers happy. The company threw out the Imac's standard Core Duo processors and replaced them with the new Core 2 Duo generation. Once again, Apple opted for Intel's mobile processor, which fits best to the Imac's dense design and power as well as heat dissipation requirements.

A Core 2 Duo processor is now standard in all Imacs. Apple passed on Intel's entry-level T5500 chip and made the 1.83 GHz T5600 with 2 MB of L2 cache the only available processor on its $1000 base Imac. This system also includes 512 Mb of memory, Intel's GMA950 graphics chipset, a 160 GB hard drive, a CD burner and a 17" screen. The company also offers various upgraded models that take buyers to a base price of up to $2000. A 2.0 GHz (4 MB L2 cache)/17" model for rings up at $1200 and the 20" Imac with a 2.16 GHz chip is priced at $1500. The new flagship is a 24" system , which comes with the 2.16 GHz processor, 1 GB of memory, a 250 GB hard drive an Nvidia 7300 GT graphics card and a DVD burner for $2000.

Apple offers customers a variety of options, including the 2.33 GHz T7600 processor (for an extra $250 on the 20" and 24" systems) as well as additional memory (up to 3 GB), more hard disk space (up to 500 GB), and more graphics horsepower (Nvidia 7600 GT). Check all the options and at least Imac buyers will find themselves in unfamiliar territory - the top-of the line Imac breaks the $3500 mark.

Apple promises that the new Core 2 Duo Imacs are up to 50% faster than the previous Imac. According to benchmarks conducted by Tom's Hardware, the Core 2 Duo delivers about 20% more speed than a comparable Core Duo processor.

Complete Core 2 Duo launch coverage:
Intel is back: Core 2 Duo launches
Core 2 Duo Logo Intel aims to ship 1 million Core 2 Duo processor within seven weeks
TG Daily interviews Intel: "Core is changing the game"
Official: Intel releases Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme
Up to $16,000: Core 2 Duo computers flood the Net
The long road to Conroe
Tom's Hardware: Core 2 Duo smokes AMD's Athlon 64 X2
Intel to launch Merom, Conroe on Thursday
Technology Background: Will Intel's Core Architecture Close the Technology Gap? (Tom's Hardware)