updated 02:00 pm EST, Thu January 19, 2006
Intel iMac teardown
Apple's new Intel-based iMac carries a Bill of Materials (BOM) cost of $873, and uses Intel's mobile 945 core-logic chipset to support Intel's Core Duo processor. The teardown--performed by iSuppli--reveals an estimated microprocessor cost of $265, while the two-device chipset carries a cost of $45. Intel's CPU and Mobile 945 chipset together account for 35 percent of the new iMac's total BOM, and the chips are designed for use in notebook PCs rather than desktops. The new iMac carries a $25 manufacturing/test cost, raising the BOM to $898. The cost estimate does not, however, account for other items included in the box with the iMac such as the keyboard, mouse, and documentation. Apple's new low-end Intel-based iMac is shipping for $1,300 from the company's online store.
Other major elements contributing to the iMac's BOM cost include LG.Philips LCD's 17-inch wide-format LCD panel, Maxtor's DiamondMax 10/6L160M0HDD 160GB SATA hard drive, Intel's Northbridge memory controller ($31), ATI Technologies' Radeon X1600 graphics processor ($30), and Samsung's Double-Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM ($20).
iSuppli believes Apple's decision to use Intel's notebook-oriented solution in its desktop iMac was a logical move.
"Users want quiet and powerful machines," said Matthew Wilkins, senior analyst for compute platforms research for iSuppli. "Intel is very focused on designing microprocessors that deliver the maximum performance without generating excessive heat or consuming huge amounts of power. For now, the Intel Core Duo fits that bill perfectly."
Wilkens added that the development of an Intel-based iMac offers benefits for both Apple and Intel. From Intel's perspective, the Core Duo is the chip maker's first dual-core product designed for notebook PCs, and is part of the company's new Viiv digital entertainment initiative. Apple's perspective reveals that the Intel CPU enables the company to launch its first dual-core desktop and notebook products, whereas previously only its PowerMac G5 systems were available with dual-core CPUs.