To MacIntel or Not?


I’ve had the conversation a few times already.  I’m sure many of you have as well.  “Do I get a first revision Intel Mac, or do I wait until the hype dies, and bugs are worked out of the hardware/software?”

A day or so after The Keynote a couple weeks back, my good friend called me to see what I’d do.  He was in an interesting situation – he bought his G5 iMac 29 days prior…  So he wanted to know if I’d return my brandnew G5 iMac and opt instead for the even brand-newer (I know that’s not a word) Core Duo Intel iMac.

I of course had to give the responsible answer first, “For what you’ll be using it for, it’s not going to make a difference.”  That said, I went on, “But if I were in your shoes, I’d definitely go for the Intel iMac!”  He agreed – he likes the cutting edge, probable bugs or not.

So what are you doing, dear readers?  If you’re in the market for a new machine – or if you’ve just got money burning a hole in your pocket – what are you planning to do?  Wait it out a bit longer, or plunge into the Brave New World feet first?

And if you’ve already taken the plunge, any regrets or feedback for the rest of us?



hi guys this deep
i am a music progammer and i have bought the new mac book 13′ 2Ghz dual core with 2gigs of ram . pretty powerful good functionality very safe and handy………….BUT…….
i also have the logic pro 7 and reason 3 which are one of the best music production softwares . my mac run these softwares quite ok but not good . Every thing is upgraded but still i dont know what ??????

the problems i am facing is –
1. rewire problem between logic and reason
2. logic gets fucked up after a bit heavy stuff
3. ……………………..and notthing else thats it .

these are my problems what to do ????

and for new user plssssssssssss switch to the new mac intel its kick asssssssssss
trust me its much faster …….

plssssss let me know here

Jake B

I just got a MacBook Pro 2GHz w/ 2 gigs of ram and 256MB video card and it’s screamin fast. Rosetta runs all “simple” applications like microsoft word/powerpoint etc very well. When it comes to the more andvanced programs such as Logic Pro/Final Cut Pro that have been converted to macintel compatibility, I’ve already heard great things. I’m planning to run Motu’s Digital Performer on it when it is released this quarter, and I expect no problems. There are no appearant bugs with this beast of a computer as far as I know, and I’m not expecting any. It runs great, and I couldn’t be happier w/ its performance–not to mention its looks.


Well, we received our macintel 2 days ago. Our first mac. A little nervous and considering what software to purchase to go along. (I have a work subsidized purchase program). The only trick is that I need to decide in 30 days and purchase the applicable software packages (looking at simple educational or fun type stuff (mapping software, photo processing). I have no clue what items face potential issues with Rosetta or can’t run at all for that matter. Any ideas on how to determine would be great.

David O

Mac Intel does not run hot! PERIOD! It is hot, but doesn’t run hot. Very fluid when working with video!!


@Tom Madrid: Buy something, but buy it from apple ;-)

In my opinion … i would wait and see what the reviews and tests of the new MacBook Pro will show. Don’t buy a pig in a poke.

Greetings, kaarl.

Tom Madrid

I’ve been going over and over this issue.
In my line of work, I do both music production and multimedia/web production. Currently, I’m utilizing a HUGE WindowsXP machine, and a 700 MHz iBook with the most current versions of Reason, Digital Performer, and Cubase. It does a “decent” job on projects, but where it’s vastly superior to Windows is in MIDI and recording latency. I get near 0 latency with the iBook; much lower than on a WinXP Dual 3.6Ghz w/ HT, 10000RPM Drives and 3 GBs of RAM. I know that sounds crazy, but the latency performance sucks on the Windows box; don’t ask me why, I honestly can’t tell you.

The low latency makes the iBook a great recording-only workstation, with some other benefits such as portability and minor production capabilities. Where it doesn’t do so well: major production projects. That’s where the WinXP machine steps in. Obviously with the higher speed processors, hard drives and overall RAM quantity, the XP machine can handle very large, processor-intensive Reason and DP projects. The XP machine also runs SonicFoundry/Sony Acid Pro 5.0, another great production piece of software that likes the Windows OS only.

My issue is this: I would like the new machine I purchase to perform reasonably well (given that it is not a massive XP machine) as a production and recording machine. I need it to have the same kind of latency and recording performance I’ve come to expect out of Macs, but with the power to do some fairly large production jobs. It should support my current outboard hardware (Tascam US-122 USB Audio/MIDI Interface) which the Mac and Win machine do, and it should support future software upgrades. Finally, some of you might be asking, “why bother” when I have such a large WinXP machine? The answer is: I don’t own the WinXP box. The XP box is a work machine, while my iBook and lesser Win machines are my own (the other Win machines are so old, they aren’t even worth mentioning as I do nothing but web-surf on them.)

So that’s my problem. Do I go for a new G5 iMac, or do I go for a Intel iMac, both of which are in my price range? The G5 doesn’t make me feel comfortable about the future of software/hardware support, but it does a great job with what I currently have. The Intel iMac makes me confident about the future of software/hardware, but it might mean high overhead come upgrade time, and it might not support the stuff I currently use (which I’m fond of.)

What does everything think?


I bought a 20″ MacIntel fresh off the conveyor belt knowing very well that rev.A Apple products are notoriously buggy. I decided to take the risk primarily because my Cube (right… the Cube) was gathering dust and my PC was a bore to use.

It doesn’t run (too) hot, my girlfriend’s actually excited to use a computer (iSight is akin to a spirulina for vanity), and aside from the lack of a Universal binary of Photoshop the only problem I’ve encountered is the lack of support from DigiDesign. I own an mBox and it’s going to be on the back-burner until DigiDesign release a universal ProTools LE and the actual hardware’s supported by the os.

Aside from that, I’m very pleased. Rosetta’s not that slow. I can handle it to be back on my favorite OS for a change. It’s just a little frustrating that my Griffin iMic saved the day when an apparatus 10x its cost wasn’t supported.


Purchased a rev.B iMac three weeks before the next “iSight” version. I complained and received an $80 rebate. Now comes the intel version, so my mac is three months and two generations old. Guess Apple got the last laugh on me. As someone said above, software use is the deciding factor. With the improved versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD, I know I could use improved speed. Also, the intel-imac apparentlly provides speedier internet connectivity, which is everybody’s business. But hankering after the next new Mac is a frustrating and losing game, given Apple’s random, confusing update patterns.

Peter da Silva

If I’d just bought an iMac G5, or looking to buy one, I’d be torn. Apple has a bad habit of hitting early adopters with a bad time. I’d hold on for the Rev B motherboards…

Powermac 6100, anyone? Beige G3? Rev A Blue-and-Whites? Rev A iMac? The “Yikes!” G4s?

On the other hand, looking at the inside shots of the last G5 iMac and comparing it to the new model and the previous iMacs… it sure looks more like the new iMac than the old ones. Maybe that WAS the “dot zero” of the new model?


The Sys8/Sys9 emulators are already out for the new iMac.

Regarding speed, put at least 1 GB in it. 512K is almost certainly not enough – especially if you use Rosetta. (Although mine hasn’t arrived yet – but memory will almost certainly help most applications)


I just sold my G4 dual 450 desktop with 17″ studio display CRT for $600… and want to get a mac mini to connect to my 37″ sharp lcd… and I want to know if I should wait for the intel mac mini’s or should I take the plunge what do you guys think..?


P.S. why would you want to run OS 9 (Redlance)


Regardless what chip, I still don’t like the wide cinema screen on the latest iMac. So last week I just ordered a mini and a 19″ Samsung LCD


Impressive system. However there are times we must revert back to OS 9, classic is not dead Apple. My bets are OS 9 doesn’t work on the new systems!

Currently my system is a dual G4 and it works great, no reason to upgrade YET. No Core video and it is HOT, but for the price I paid only a couple of years ago I’m holding out to see the rest of the Intel line is first.

Love the Mac Minis. They are perfect for the little tasks, one has run 24/7 since the day they were released, not a single complaint. (well ok one, lack of storage space). Can’t wait to see what Apple does next with these little babies.

We’re shopping for a Xserve G5, for what they do I don’t see why we need to wait, sure faster is better. But right now they are wonderful systems.


Against my better judgement, I’ve pre-ordered a MacBook Pro… 2Gb, 7200rpm HDD. My existing Powerbook needs some repairs, and I cant face being without it. So once I get the MacBook, I can send the old one off before passing it on to the missus.

My bigest concern is over the performance os Photoshop under Rosetta. I’m hoping that its not going to be too awful, and hope that Adobe pull their fingers out and manage to do an earlier than planned release of PS with Universal binaries.

Apart from PS, I’ll be using the mb for Java and Obj-c development, so that should benefit from the speedy new cores.

[fx: waiting with baited breath]


“Using the universal build of XBench…”

From everything I’ve heard, the XBench results do not accurately reflect the speed of these machines. I’d try some actual tasks on it before deciding that your iBook is faster.


I have a iMac G5 revB and I’m satisfied with this 64-bit baby and will buy a 64-bit MacIntel Macbook when they become available. I take it they will come out later this year about the same time Photoshop and Vista or whatever MFSF is calling the new system software. I’m thankful for all those who support Apple MacIntels now :-)

Jeff Clark

I’m going to disagree. Mine came in a little over a week ago and I can’t be any happier with a desktop machine. It doesn’t run hot at all, it’s extremely speedy (1Gb RAM, of course) and it’s dead sexy.

The ONLY reason I’m keeping my Windows machine right now is because Adobe has yet to release universal binaries…


I had a friend buy a 2 GHz Core Duo iMac with 512 megs of RAM and I am very unimpressed with the system performance. Using the universal build of XBench my 1 GHz iBook G4 with 768 megs of RAM scores a 36 overall but the iMac only scored a 55 (and that was the best score we got). I know upgrading the RAM will help his score quite a bit but I still think that out of the box it should beat a year and a half old iBook by at least 2x.

Truly I think it is largely a software issue. Based on the tech specs of the GPU and the OpenGL scores I believe that the Intel iMac’s should and will get much higher scores on the Quartz and Interface tests once the OS is better optimized. The hit to the floating point score is to be expected though and sort of makes me think that Apple should go back to including a separate floating point unit like they did with some of the older machines.

Jason Terhorst

By the way, the Intel iMac runs very hot… emphasis on “very”. It could be even warmer than the G5 PowerMacs…. I’m not sure.

Kevin Ballard

I think getting an intel mac depends on what you need it for and what you currently have. Also bear in mind that Apple is still selling the G5 iMac, so if you need a new mac but don’t want to live on the cutting edge you can still get the G5.

As for me, I’ve been living on a 1Ghz AlBook and dual-1Ghz G4 desktop for a while now and I definitely need an upgrade. I was waiting for MacWorld and the day after I placed my order for a MacBook Pro, which I later changed to an Intel iMac after a re-evaluation of my needs.

Jason Terhorst

My university owns a couple iMac Core Duos already. It’s pretty fast, and very nice. I work in the support office where they installed one. Of course, that would be too nice for me to use, so they obviously took it away, and they now use it to serve up pointless student videos on a plasma display. Talk about overkill… no one ever looks at the thing. It hasn’t crashed yet, and it’s been running FrontRow and various other video-playing apps 24/7.

They’re nice computers, as long as they can be used for something that is actually useful. A fast machine like that should be used for something, though. Not just sitting there… doing nothing. It is fast, though. I can testify to that.


This all comes down to the applications you run. In my case, I run my personal recording studio on my Powerbook, and an Intel version of CuBase is not yet available, so I have to wait. I’m also concerned about other stuff: WebLogic, Virtual PC, Cisco VPN – these are all crucial for me.

I just went through this conversation with a friend earlier today, and I heartily recommended he get a new iMac. He’s only going to use it for the typical home-based things: email, web browsing, iTunes, etc., so he should be just fine.

I typically tell people to wait a bit if they can, but for those who are tired of fighting viruses & spyware on their PCs and are anxious to switch, I say go for it!

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