We bought it to replace the 15″ Indigo G3 iMac we have had sitting out in the family room for the last five years.
The old 500MHz blue iMac worked well for iTunes, KidPix, and browsing the web. But it had a small hard drive (20GB… remember when that was a big hard drive?) and eventually ever more complicated web sites began to make the system drag.
And it couldn’t run WebKinz.
So we asked one of our (many) friends who work at nearby Apple Computer if she could get us a discount on a new iMac.
Apple employees are fairly well provisioned with discounts they can use for friends and family, and the new iMac was ordered and arrived very quickly. It started in Shanghai, China and arrived here in Silicon Valley, via Anchorage, Alaska, in four days.
That is, the order was placed and in four days the FedEx guy was ringing our door bell.
Very fast. And I did not order the stock model, but had them upgrade the hard drive to a 500 GB unit… which seems pretty big these days.
So the most powerful computer in our house currently belongs to my daughter.
In fact, if we take the graphics card out of consideration, my computer is #3 behind my wife and daughter.
That will change soon. Quad Core coming.
But back to the iMac.
It is beautiful. It runs great. Leopard is handy. KidPix and WebKinz run like a dream. Movies are fantastic on the very, very nice built-in monitor.
But the question remains: Will it, you know, actually run a game?
The Core 2 Duo processor and ATI HD 2600 Pro video card seemed a strong positive sign. But Apple has had good hardware in the past that has not translated into games being made for their operating system.
I actually had two options. EVE Online and World of Warcraft.
If you had a new computer and wanted to try it out… you know… the same day you started the download… which game would you choose?
So I went with EVE Online. The client itself is much smaller plus, the version that is available for download is always the LATEST version of the client.
Blizzard has WoW 2.0 available for download, and once you get it, you then have to patch up to version 2.3. That has “days” written all over it.
EVE still took a while to get onto the system. It is an 800 MB download. But the time was well within the parameters of my patience.
And installation? That always confuses me on the Mac.
There is no installer.
You just drag the extracted folder to where you want it to live and start playing.
Way too simple. Way too easy.
And so, finally, that very same evening, the moment of truth was at hand.
I launched EVE on the iMac and logged in.
And it was EVE.
No, really. Except for a couple of small graphic artifact issues that I came across (in the station of all places), it was indistinguishable from EVE on my PC.
I ran a mission. Jumped through a few systems. Mined an asteroid. Checked on my sales. Parsed through the market.
It was all EVE, just as you would expect it. The interface is still kind of quirky, things that were slow remain slow, and it still does not like when I have 200+ items in my station storage.
It was EVE.
Actually, one thing was better on the Mac, though it is not a Mac specific item.
The monitor on my current machine has the standard 4:3 aspect ratio. The iMac has a 16:10.5 aspect ratio.
The EVE Online interface seems to benefit quite a bit from a wide screen monitor. It spreads things out just a bit more, giving you a better view through the middle of the stuff that tends to clutter about the periphery of the EVE Online window.
So there it is. EVE on a Mac is looking good.
Now I will have to get back to WoW and see how that goes.