Some more tidbits, in no particular order, some with commentary.

A nice photo of the insides of the last 3 generations of the 17″ and 20″ iMacs. Seeing this, it’s obvious that very little has changed between the last iMac G5 and the first iMac Core Duo; the layouts are very similar. It becomes clear that the iMac G5 with iSight was for most purposes, except for the logic board, version 1.0 of the iMac Core Duo – that also explains why the design hasn’t changed, and why there are only a few months between the two versions. It also follows that some fears about the new iMac are unfounded; most of it already is second geration quality.

The Apple/Intel FAQ makes most of the same points I’ve been making here, in a nicely done order. They also have pages linking to System Profiler output and other info; very interesting. For instance, you can see that there are 5 USB buses implemented: one for the iSight (so will there be an USB iSight out soon…?), one for BlueTooth and the IR receiver, and 3 external ones. Elsewhere you can see that FireWire is running off an Apple controller chip over PCI-Express. They haven’t so far picked up on the TPM chip’s presence; the German site Heise, however, has.

Still regarding FireWire, it’s now clear that the new Macs still have the usual target mode and FW booting capability, and it won’t go away. USB is an asymmetric protocol, so target mode isn’t possible, by the way.

Apple hasn’t used a socketed CPU for many years (I believe the last ones were in the 68020 machines), but the photo shows they’re using the SL8VQ version of the Core Duo – that one uses the micro-FCPGA pinout, with 478 pins, and it’s mounted on a socket. Still, I hear that the service manuals have leaked and don’t mention the possibility of exchanging the CPU.

Opinions on the feasibility and desirability of booting the Intel Macs into pre-Vista Windows vary widely. Some people believe that Apple must have used a stock EFI binary from Intel, which therefore would incorporate the legacy compatibility module; some people even believe it would be in Apple’s interest to do so. Personally, I still think that Apple had nothing to gain by including legacy stuff in its version of EFI, and that there is no “stock binary” anyway.

The new Mac’s Airport module appears to support the less-used 802.11a WiFi standard, apparently as a side-effect of the Intel chip used. Apple doesn’t seem to be mentioning this in the specs, so it may be unsupported for now.

So far, the reports indicate that no “fully universal” version of Mac OS X 10.4.4 is available; the Intel machines come with the Intel version, the PowerPC come with the PowerPC version. Some applications and components on both versions are universal, but not all; we may not see such a unified version until Leopard. By the way, the retail version is still 10.4.3 (PowerPC). My hunch is that the Intel version will not be available separately from the Intel Macs any time soon.