Apple quietly upgraded its entry-level Mac desktop with Core 2 Duo chips this month. It was a long overdue bump up. The new clock speeds are 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz.
It carries forward exactly the same format as before; the same shell, ports, graphics card, and drives. You still need to buy a keyboard, monitor and mouse separately.
Some of the components are rather dated. The graphics card is stingy and still shares memory with the rest of the system. The hard drive is slow at 5400 rpm.
The optical drive on the 1.83GHz model can't handle DVD-RW. Photoshop rolled along but got bogged down during the chunkier jobs. Applying a radial blur to a 15MB jpeg at 100 per cent quality gave us enough time to put the kettle on.
In benchmarking, it produced 20 frames per second compared to our iMac's 71.3fps. So, it's not much cop at graphics. Still, if all you want is basic specs for communications and the odd movie, and you already have the peripherals, then it has some value.