Print 47 comment(s) - last by DarkUltra.. on May 7 at 7:48 PM

Apple's new iMacs features quad-core processors across the board

When it comes to Apple's product portfolio, the iMac range often doesn't get the same kind of attention as popular "it" products like the iPhone 4, iPad, or MacBook Air. However, Apple still relies quite heavily on its iMac family and today announced a top to bottom refresh complete with new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O technology.

First off, all members of the iMac family now feature Intel's latest quad-core processors, with the low-end models getting the Core i5. Core i7 processors are a standalone option for the 21.5" and 27" iMacs. 

Apple loves to play the numbers game whenever it refreshes its product lines, and the latest iMacs are no exception. The company says that the new iMacs are up to 70 percent faster in overall performance and that graphics performance is up to three times faster than before.

The other big addition to the iMac family is the Thunderbolt I/O technology that was first introduced on refreshed MacBook Pros earlier this year. Thunderbolt provides two bi-directional data channels and transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps. Apple's 21.5" iMacs feature one Thunderbolt port while the 27" iMacs get two ports.

“Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we've made the world’s best desktop even better.” 

The base 21.5" iMac starts at $1,199 and comes with a 2.5GHz Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU, and a 500GB HDD. The base 27" iMac starts at $1,699 and comes equipped with a 2.7GHz Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6770M GPU, and a 1TB HDD.

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By Drag0nFire on 5/3/2011 10:59:23 AM , Rating: -1
Are people stupid? Do people not immediately realize that buying an "all-in-one" removes any possibility of upgrades?

-Want a bigger monitor? Too bad, since you'll have to buy a new computer too.
-Want a faster processor? Too bad, since you'll have to buy a new monitor too.

It's incredibly short-sighted...

RE: Honestly
By ltcommanderdata on 5/3/2011 11:10:08 AM , Rating: 4
Well, it isn't for everyone, but there is definitely a market for all-in-ones given that Dell and others have jumped on board. And if I'm not mistaken, Apple's iMac actually tends to be price competitive, if not cheaper than Windows All-in-ones. And now more powerful given that Apple has standardized on quad core and discrete GPUs across the board.

And at least the monitor is good quality being IPS on both the 21.5" and 27" models. With dual Thunderbolt on the 27", it'll be interesting to see if it supports dual monitor out for a 3 monitor workstation.

RE: Honestly
By Pirks on 5/3/2011 11:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
the monitor is IPS on both models
Proof link please?

RE: Honestly
By ltcommanderdata on 5/3/2011 11:58:31 AM , Rating: 2

Stunning from every angle.
The iMac display looks great from any seat in the house, thanks to a premium display technology called in-plane switching (IPS). IPS gives you a bright picture with excellent colour — even if you’re viewing the display from the side.

RE: Honestly
By StevoLincolnite on 5/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: Honestly
By hexxthalion on 5/4/2011 7:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
apples and oranges. what does 120Hz has to do with IPS????

RE: Honestly
By DarkUltra on 5/7/2011 7:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Because there are yet no 120hz IPS monitors out you have to choose either. 120hz is very smooth, mousecursor is much more precise and 3d games feel more solid. But it always have bad vertical viewing angles. Read "3d ready" monitor reviews and forum users that have tried windows at 120hz and they all say it is a huge difference.

RE: Honestly
By Connoisseur on 5/3/2011 11:14:55 AM , Rating: 5
You're kidding right? What percentage of the overall consumer population knows or cares a whit about hardware upgrades? Just because you like to upgrade your cpu/memory/mobo, doesn't mean the average Joe wants to do it. Nothing wrong with a fairly powerful machine that has a VERY beautiful screen and that's neat and integrated.

I build my own systems but sometimes I really hate the cable clutter, especially the unavoidable cable clutter (DVI cable, power cables etc.) A system like this is great if someone likes to keep their work environment clean and stylish. It's not like they're giving up anything in terms of functionality either.

RE: Honestly
By paydirt on 5/3/2011 11:40:56 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. Just a guess here... 95%+ of PC users never bother to upgrade parts of their PC. My guess with the above percentage is folks simply replace their PC.

RE: Honestly
By Johnmcl7 on 5/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: Honestly
By EasyC on 5/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: Honestly
By ltcommanderdata on 5/3/2011 11:21:08 AM , Rating: 1
Given how trendy its become to hate Apple, I don't think Apple fans are the only ones set in their ways.

RE: Honestly
By Flunk on 5/3/2011 11:30:27 AM , Rating: 4
It's not a trend, hating Apple has been a good pastime for more than 30 years.

RE: Honestly
By BSMonitor on 5/3/2011 11:37:37 AM , Rating: 1
Blame Intel, they'd be dead in the PC space if not for switching over to x86.

RE: Honestly
By EasyC on 5/3/2011 11:40:21 AM , Rating: 2
You will not find me defending Dell, HP, Gateway, etc either. Some of us actually know enough about tech than to pay 1200$+ for an i5 w/ 6750m graphics and a 21.5" monitor.

PC makers generally use cheap parts, and Apple uses gold plated cheap parts. Therefor, I build my own. For instance, my current setup would cost 3,324$ in Apples world... or 1176$ in real world money. I'm sure OSX is fine for some, but it's not worth 2148$.

RE: Honestly
By ltcommanderdata on 5/3/2011 12:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, building your own is definitely the most cost effective. I build my own Windows desktops too for that reason. For laptops though, you pretty much have to rely on system integrators so I tend to go with MacBook Pros since I'm willing to pay for the battery life and weight benefits.

RE: Honestly
By EasyC on 5/3/2011 12:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
Even that is iffy. I've never known a laptop battery to last more than a year (holding a decent charge anyway). What happens on macbooks when their battery life is 1 hr and 5 minutes?

RE: Honestly
By hexxthalion on 5/4/2011 7:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
my 2yo MacBook Pro has exactly the same battery performance now as it had when i bought it

RE: Honestly
By robinthakur on 5/4/2011 12:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly you've never owned a macbook if you've never hada laptop battery last more than a year holding a decent charge. My Powerbook g4 still holds its charge well and I bought that in 2003...

RE: Honestly
By Flunk on 5/3/2011 11:29:23 AM , Rating: 2
It's marketed to people who want a computing appliance. It's for surfing the web and word processing. Most iMac buyers don't care about performance or future proofing.

RE: Honestly
By MeesterNid on 5/3/2011 1:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what most iMac buyers care about, but the machine is pretty much as powerful as the next one that uses a quad-core i5 processor.

RE: Honestly
By hexxthalion on 5/4/2011 7:58:08 AM , Rating: 2
and you forgot to add army of graphic designers, coders, video editors, music composers and so on

RE: Honestly
By hexxthalion on 5/4/2011 8:06:09 AM , Rating: 2
some people use their computers for something else. not everyone is like you

RE: Honestly
By BioHazardous on 5/3/2011 11:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
Are people stupid? Do people not immediately realize that buying an "all-in-one" removes any possibility of upgrades?

While I'm not a fan of Apple products, this is a nice refresh. All-in-one doesn't mean you can never upgrade anything. That would be like saying you can't upgrade components on a laptop.

Sure you can't upgrade everything, but even an enthusiast like myself doesn't bother upgrading processors (not saying people don't). If I'm upgrading processors, you can be damn sure it's for a significant increase in performance and won't be using the same socket type as the current computer.

I digress, the point is, just because it isn't targeted specifically to you doesn't mean there aren't millions of people out there that find this to be an attractive solution worth buying.

RE: Honestly
By Aloonatic on 5/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: Honestly
By michael2k on 5/3/2011 12:22:04 PM , Rating: 3
Thunderbolt actually erases your first complaint. The 21" has options for one display (possibly 2 if daisy chained), while the 27" has options for two displays (possibly 4 if daisy chained).

Likewise, given how Thunderbolt is in fact PCIe over DisplayPort, you should be able to upgrade video cards or add future expansion options. The only thing not trivially upgradeable is the CPU.

Given how I'm still running a 2.4GHz C2D from 2006 and just bought a 2.53GHz C2D X200 a week ago, I'll hazard a guess that the base quad core i5 on the 21" iMac will probably last a good decade for the majority of buyers.

RE: Honestly
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/3/2011 3:33:56 PM , Rating: 4
I build my own gaming PCs and I also own an iMac for work. Upgrading iMacs is actually really nice since they hold a good chunk of their resale value. When you want to do a major upgrade after two or three years, instead of selling components piecemeal like with a PC, you just put the whole thing in a box and ship it off.

I sold my old 24" iMac for 60% of what I paid for it, and in return got a 27" iMac that is much faster with a much better display. The display can also be used as an external monitor, so I use that for my gaming PC now as well. If I ever want to upgrade this iMac in the future, same thing, auction it on eBay, ship off the whole thing, get a brand new computer/monitor.

It actually works out really well, I wish I could get as much back for my old PC components.

RE: Honestly
By hiscross on 5/3/2011 5:42:48 PM , Rating: 1
I gave a my daughter an 20" iMac that she uses almost everyday. She a high school student with very good grades. How would you like to me meet the both of us and tell us we are stupid? Name the place.

RE: Honestly
By hexxthalion on 5/4/2011 7:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
you're incredibly short-sighted:

you can replace - hdd, ram

why the hell would you need to replace CPU? changing CPU doesn't affect performance that much as RAM or SSD upgrade.

Don't forget, Apple designs OS to work from Air up to Mac Pro.

And it flies on Air. I have 2 years old MacBook Pro and have no need for anything faster.

If I do some 3D animation/rendering I'd buy Mac Pro.

RE: Honestly
By B3an on 5/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: Honestly
By Shlong on 5/4/2011 12:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
I have an overclocked Q6600 on my custom built desktop, what can I really upgrade my cpu to? With the changing rate of chipsets these days, you rarely see anyone upgrading the cpu anymore.

RE: Honestly
By robinthakur on 5/4/2011 12:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, are you stupid? Not everybody buys a computer with the idea of upgrading the monitor, or the processor in the next year or two. This system has 4GB of Ram as standard and is a perfectly good machine for the next 5 years (or longer) for the majority of the people that are demographically likely to purchase it. If you want upgradeabcle Macs, get a Mac Pro.

Anyway, its not like you can re-use your ram or motherboard if you want to upgrade to Sandybridge from the previous generation Intel i7 in a PC you built yourself. I know, because I'm currently doing that, and it's enforced obsolesence. Just sayin...

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