Review: iMac G5 (iSight)

November 6th, 2005 | by Mike |

As promised, after speeding a few days with my new computer, I am now ready to sling a little review your way. Lets just get right to it shall we?

How fast is it?

Coming from a G4 933 iBook, the G5 (1.9 Ghz) in this last revision of the iMac seems very quick. Though you really don’t notice the speed difference until that first Spolight search. All iLife apps that I have tried so far (I’ve yet to get to Garageband) preform well. iPhoto handled my smaller sized library with no problem what so ever, scrolling up and down with little issue. iDVD and iMovie both preformed well in the simple tests, and I even tried to see how a more professional level video editing software, but…well, I’ll get to that later.


The grapics are great. I downloaded the Doom 3 demo for testing and it ran great on 1024×768 at medium quality. HIgh quality was choppy at times, but that might be caused by only running with 512 MB of ram. The screen is beautiful and bright, though Apple does ship the iMac pre-set on the highest level of brightness.

Ok, whats FrontRow like?

FrontRow is nice. Playing a DVD is like you would expect and playing music is nice and works well. The Photos section needs some work however. Maybe its because I really don’t ever see me using this more than 5 times in my life, but I just don’t like the Photos section. There is no way to change how the Photos are shown…there needs to be a “playback” setting(s) like on the actual iPhoto app.

Playing Movies via FrontRow is better, but far from perfect. It seems to work well if you buy your videos from iTunes (which I don’t), but if you are just trying to play movies from other locations, you could have some problems. They play fine on files that reside in the Movies folder, but I don’t keep my movies there… I keep them on my file server. I tried to make a symbolic link over my mounted samba share. It kind of worked, the “folder” showed up in FrontRow, but after clicking on it, it took SO LONG to bring the files up I thought I had crashed it. That needs work. Apparently there are also reports that movies don’t leave off where you paused them. That probably has to do with QuickTime, which is loaded in the background.

All in all FrontRow is nice for music and the occasional video but it needs a few tweaks before it ready for everday use.

Quick thoughts.

– The remote is nice for FrontRow, but I’m finding it more usefull outside of FrontRow. Just controlling iTunes, volume and Quicktime in the OS X desktop is proving to be nice. So is the ability to put the iMac to sleep via the remote. (To do this, hold down play/pause for 3 seconds)

– When I tried to install my copy of Final Cut Express 2, it wouldn’t let me run it because it couldn’t “find an AGP graphics card.” Great, there’s the main problem with PCI-Express.

– Photo Booth was fun for a little bit.

– After writing my last comment, my girlfriend came over and fell in love with Photo Booth. I believe her quote was “I could spend hours with that.”

Overall thoughts.

I love this computer. The only issues I have with it at all were on FrontRow, and thats not a critical aspect of this computer. I bought it for speed, style, and ease of use. Based on those requirements, this computer preforms very well. Sure you can get a PowerMac with its dual core chips or maybe wait and get an “mactel” (intel chip based macs) but for right now, this is the best all around computer available.


For pictures, head over to Hell Yeah Bitch! .com’s flickr page.

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