20″ iMac (Late 2006)

Industry watchers had been anticipating Apple moving the iMac to Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, which is “up to 50% more powerful” (according to Apple) than the Core Duo used in the Early 2006 iMac. As if that wasn’t enough, Apple added the biggest iMac to date to the line, a whopping 24″ model with a 1920 x 1200 pixel display.

White flat panel iMacAll four models (17″ 1.83 and 2.0 GHz, 20″ and 24″ 2.16 GHz) use a 667 MHz system bus, have three USB 2.0 ports along with at least one FireWire 400 port, gigabit ethernet, and AirPort Extreme.

There’s more variety than ever before in the iMac line. The 20″ model ships with 1 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, an 8x SuperDrive, two FireWire 400 ports, and Apple’s USB keyboard and Mighty Mouse. It also uses the ATI Radeon X1600 graphics processor with 128 MB of dedicated video memory.

For power users, Apple offered a 2.33 GHz build-to-order option.

Although you can install two 2 GB modules to achieve 4 GB of system memory, the computer can only access 3 GB of RAM, making that a smarter, lower cost upgrade option.

The Late 2006 iMac ships with Mac OS X 10.4.7 and iLife ’06.

What You Need to Know

The stock 1 GB of system memory is good for OS X 10.4 Tiger, yet upgrading to 2-3 GB of RAM will make a big difference. Base memory is enough to run OS X 10.5 Leopard decently, and you should upgrade to at least 2 GB for really good performance. OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard can run on a 1 GB Mac but really cries out for 2 GB of memory and is unleashed with 3 GB. OS X 10.7 Lion wants at least 2 GB of RAM.

The CPU is mounted in Socket M, allowing upgrades as high as 2.33 GHz (see CPU Upgrade Options for 2006 iMacs).

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. PowerPC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.

Details

  • introduced 2006.09.06 at US$1,499; replaced by a faster model on 2007.08.07.
  • Model identifier: iMac5,1
  • Model no.: A1207
  • Part no.: MA589
  • Latest EFI Boot ROM: EFI 1.2

Mac OS

Core System

  • CPU: 2.16/2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Merom, Socket M makes upgrades possible (see CPU Upgrade Options for 2006 iMacs)
  • L2 cache: 2/4 MB shared cache on CPU
  • Bus: 667 MHz
  • Performance, Geekbench 2:
    • Leopard: 2773 (2.16 GHz), 2867 (2.33 GHz)
    • Tiger: 2862 (2.16 GHz), 3058 (2.33 GHz),
  • Performance, Geekbench 3:
    • 32-bit single core: 1153 (2.16 GHz), 1224 (2.33 GHz)
    • 32-bit multicore: 2028 (2.16 GHz), 2164 (2.33 GHz)
    • 64-bit single core: 1241 (2.16 GHz)
    • 64-bit multicore: 2162 (2.16 GHz)
  • RAM: 1 GB, expandable to 4 GB using two PC2-5300 DDR2 SODIMMs, but only 3 GB is recognized.

Video

  • Graphics: ATI Radeon X1600 with 128 MB RAM (256 MB optional), supports up to 1920 x 1200 external digital display, 2048 x 1536 analog display, and monitor spanning
  • Display: 20″ 1680 x 1050 flat panel display
  • Video out: mini-DVI, VGA, S-video, composite (requires adapter)

Drives

  • Hard drive bus: 1.5 Gbps SATA Rev. 1
  • Hard drive: 250 GB 7200 rpm Serial ATA drive
  • Optical drive bus: UltraATA
  • SuperDrive: writes DVD±R discs at up to 8x speed, dual layer at up to 2.4x; DVD±RW at up to 4x; reads DVDs at up to 8x, writes CD-R discs at up to 24x, writes CD-RW discs at up to 8x, reads CDs at up to 24x

Expansion

  • USB: 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • FireWire 400: 2 ports, 8W shared output
  • Modem: optional 56 kbps USB modem supports v.92
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme included
  • Bluetooth 2.0: included
  • IR receiver: supports Apple Remote (included)
  • Microphone: internal

Physical

  • H x W x D: 18.6 x 19.4 x 7.4 in/47.2 x 49.3 x 18.9 cm
  • Weight: 22 lb/10 kg
  • Power supply: 180W

CPU Upgrades

  • CPU can be replaced with faster Socket M Core 2 Duo.

Online Resources

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Short link: http://goo.gl/Je9GlH

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