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Apple iMac family

Apple Magic Trackpad
Apple continues to overhaul its product portfolio

Apple had a blockbuster Q3 thanks to strong sales of its iPhone, iPads, and Mac computers. The Cupertino, California-based company was able to reel in revenue and profits of $15.7 billion and $3.25 billion respectively.

Apple is looking to keep its winning streak alive with a few updated products. Today saw updates to the iMac and Mac Pro product families along with a new Bluetooth-based accessory.

The new iMac family is still available in 21.5" and 27" screen sizes, but firepower for the entire line has been increased. The Core 2 Duo processors have been ditched on the base configurations in favor of dual-core Intel Core i3 processors.

21.5" iMacs start out with an Intel Core i3 processor running at 3.06GHz and can be optioned with a Core i5 processor running at 3.6GHz. The 27" iMacs start out with a 3.2GHz Core i3 processor and top out at a quad-core Core i7 running at 2.93GHz.

ATI graphics solutions blanket the iMac family with low-end machines getting a 256MB Radeon HD 4670 and top-ranging 27" iMacs receiving a 1GB Radeon HD 5750.

“We took the world’s best all-in-one and made it even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With the latest processors, high-performance graphics and signature aluminum and glass design, customers are going to love the latest iMac.”

The new iMacs start at $1,199 for the 21.5" model and $1,699 for the 27" model.

To complement Apple's new iMacs, a new Magic Trackpad accessory has been announced. This Bluetooth-based accessory operates exactly like the trackpad found on MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro notebooks. It retails for $69.

Also seeing an update after a long, stagnant period is Apple's Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is now available with quad- and six-core Intel Xeon processors running at 3.33GHz. When equipped with two processors, Apple's newest Mac Pros boast up to 12 physical cores and up to 24 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading.

“The new Mac Pro is the most powerful and configurable Mac we’ve ever made,” said Schiller added. “With up to 12 cores, the new Mac Pro outperforms our previous top-of-the-line system by up to 50 percent, and with over a billion possible configurations, our customers can create exactly the system they want.”

The default graphics card on the new Mac Pros is now an ATI Radeon HD 5770 while a Radeon HD 5870 is optional. Another option that will surely set you back a pretty penny is a quad-512MB SSD array.

The new Mac Pros start at $2,499.

One final addition to Apple's new product onslaught is the new 27" Cinema Display. This beauty packs a screen resolution of 2560x1440, an iSight camera, MagSafe connector for your MacBook, and a three-port USB hub. Naturally, all of this doesn't come cheap -- the new display retails for $999.

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RE: Mac Pros
By Commodus on 7/27/2010 1:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the people buying Mac Pros are doing audio or video editing. They need as many simultaneous jobs done as possible on the CPU. A GPU can do a lot of OpenCL/CUDA tasks, but it's not as useful in a workstation as it is in a supercomputer or server.

Besides, a Radeon HD 5770 isn't exactly slacking for a default video card for people that care more about Final Cut Studio than Modern Warfare.

Also: the iMac's graphics are determined by the form factor, not any Apple policies. Would be great if it was faster, but the 5830 and up chew tons of power and need lots of cooling.

RE: Mac Pros
By Inkjammer on 7/27/2010 3:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
But at $2,500 starting price you'd assume it would be the card would target a slightly higher end (like a 5850) to match the quality of the rest of the components. Top end Xeons with a low/mid-range card? Not even a FireGL option, just a 5870? It just seems like a strange combo for the intended audience, and an odd limitation when Snow Leopard and modern applications are aiming and promoting GPU processing for intensive tasks.

Granted, the 5770 is a much better card than the abysmal GeForce GT 120 that was available in the previous $2,300 Mac Pro. The again, the Mac Pro's costs went up $200 for a very minimal step up on the low end. You're paying quite a bit more for little evolution on the base model.

And I'm not saying it from a gaming perspective, but an artist's (I work primarily in Photoshop & 3DS Max with a bit of TF2 on the side).

RE: Mac Pros
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
My video encoding software supports CUDA. I'm loving the fact that the encode time has dropped by like 1/3rd.

Also an iMac is going to be plugged into a wall. Who cares about how much power it uses? It just needs to worry about cooling, but I don't see it as a problem. If a laptop can handle more, why can't an iMac?

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