Hot on the heels of the 266MHz iMac (Reviews, May 1999), Apple has upgraded the iMac again. This time it’s been speed bumped to 333MHz. Despite speculation that the latest model would usher in new iMac flavours (specifically banana and cherry), the colour options remain the same – at least for now. With Apple security so tight, we probably won’t know about colour changes until Steve Jobs makes his speech at the Macworld Expo in New York in July.
So what’s new on this latest incarnation? Not too much really. In fact, it’s only a speed bump: there are no other goodies. Nor is the speed increase that great either, – only 25 per cent faster than the 266MHz version. The jump from 233 to 266 also offered around a 25 per cent increase, even though the processor was only 33MHz faster. The reason for this was that Apple also upgraded the graphics hardware. It took an extra 100MHz to achieve the same increase without a graphics upgrade.
While it doesn’t appear to be an exciting upgrade to the iMac, you should bear in mind that the price is staying the same. So you’re getting more for your money. If you were about to buy an iMac, you’ll get 25 per cent more speed for the same price. Not a bad upgrade when you look at it
from this angle.
The new model sports all the things that the iMac is known for: ease of use, all-in-one case, built-in everything. Possibly the only thing the 333MHz version will do is make people feel better about investing their money in an iMac. Consumers are safe in the knowledge that there won’t be another speed bump for at least a few months.
There’s also the opportunity to pick up a bargain, because there are undoubtedly older machines in the channel. Dealers will need to sell these, and so should be slashing prices as we speak. So, not only does this model represent better value for money, it also means bargains for everyone. Bargain speed for the 333MHz buyers, and bargain prices for the 266MHz buyers. Leaving everybody happy