Northgate intros x86 iMac competitor

— 1:50 AM on July 26, 2002

The Inquirer has a story on Northgate Innovations' Integra, an x86-based iMac clone that might just make a lot of new Mac users want to switch back.

Northgate says its will be using Intel P4 and Microsoft Windows XP Home to compete against the Apple eMac and iMac market place. It claims Apple users can expect a minimum of 35 per cent increase in performance at 35-40 per cent less cost.

A spokesman for the company said the integrated P4 processor would "run circles around" the Apple iMac G4. "It does not even belong on the same performance chart," he added.

I guess they weren't using those six Photoshop filters as a performance benchmark, but really, how many people that look at machines like this even use Photoshop?

Even the Integra's base model, consisting of a 1.8GHz Pentium 4, 256Mb of DDR SDRAM, 40GB hard drive, 8x DVD, Ethernet, modem, USB 2.0, and Firewire all nestled behind a 15" TFT screen is impressive, and you can scale things up from there. Of special note are options for a TV Tuner, FM radio, and 5.1 speakers, which could make the Integra a compelling entertainment hub, and perfect for a cramped University dorm room.

The lack of a graphics upgrade option from SiS' integrated 315 graphics chipset is the only thing really holding the Integra back. Then again, 3D performance probably shouldn't be high on the priority list for students heading off to school. Studying in between rounds of Counter-Strike doesn't count.

It would be great to see something like the Integra succeed, if only to prove the viability of the form factor on x86 hardware. Just think of the possibilities if someone stuck nForce2 in one of these.

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