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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 ltcommanderdata on 5/3/2011 11:02:53 AM , Rating: 2
Overall, a pretty strong refresh with quad cores being introduced in the 21.5" iMac thanks to Intel's low voltage TDP falling from 82W to 65W and strong GPU choices given the limitation of using mobile GPUs for heat reasons with the HD6750M at the low-end and the HD6970M at the high-end. This is actually the first time Apple has used the top of the line mobile GPU since usually they stick to the second from the top like the HD5850M in the previous iMac. It's nice that Apple is actually using the mobile GPU names instead of trying to rename them to the desktop equivalent, ie. the previous HD5850M was called the HD5750. The mid-range HD6770M should definitely have 1GB of GDDR5 though although the 2GB option of the HD6970 is good.

The interesting thing is the lack of nVidia. Often Apple likes to play ATI and nVidia against each other and with the MacBook Pro going ATI, I though the iMac would go nVidia. Now the only nVidia GPU left is the 320M in the Mac Mini and vanilla MacBook. I wonder what nVidia did to get in Apple's bad books unless they are still sore over bumpgate.




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