APPLE UPDATES iMAC WITH THUNDERBOLT

As we predicted earlier Apple has refreshed its iMac all-in-one desktop line with upgraded CPUs and a few other new features. The key upgrades for the iMac refresh are the new quad-core Sandy Bridge processors and theThunderbolt I/O port . The iMac has also seen an upgrade to its GPUs, which are now three times faster than the previous model.

The iMac comes in two 21.5-inch and two 27-inch models, as detailed below:

iMac 21.5″

  • Price: Starting at US$1,199
  • CPU: 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4GB (2 x 2 GB)
  • HDD: 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive
  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6750M or AMD Radeon HD 6770M
  • Other: Single Thunderbolt port, FaceTime HD camera, aluminum and glass design, IPS LED-backlit high resolution display, Mini DisplayPort, One FireWire 800 port, Four USB 2.0 ports, SDXC card slot, Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive, Audio in/out, Gigabit Ethernet, IR receiver, 802.11 a/b/g n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and an Apple wireless keyboard with a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

iMac 27″

  • Price: Starting at $1,699
  • CPU: 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4GB (2 x 2 GB)
  • HDD: 1 TB hard drive
  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6770M or AMD Radeon HD 6970M
  • Other: Two Thunderbolt ports, FaceTime HD camera, aluminum and glass design, IPS LED-backlit high resolution display,Mini DisplayPort, One FireWire 800 port, Four USB 2.0 ports, SDXC card slot, Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive, Audio in/out, Gigabit Ethernet, IR receiver, 802.11 a/b/g n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and an Apple wireless keyboard with a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

The new iMacs are available now on Apple’s online store.

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2 comments on “APPLE UPDATES iMAC WITH THUNDERBOLT

  1. I’ve been a PC user forever. I don’t know if there’s always been such a big difference between PCs and Macs, but after 30 days I can say that the iMac MC511LL/A 27-Inch Desktop on this product page outperforms any PC that I’ve ever used in almost every (important) area.

    My Dell Dimension 8300 desktop is a 2003 dinosaur, so comparing my new iMac to that really just isn’t fair. But I will say that the iMac absolutely blows away the performance of my old Dell: like comparing a 2011 BMW to a Model T. Really. That dramatic.

    As a more fair comparison, I also use an HP 8530w laptop that’s only 2 years old and pretty powerful, but the iMac makes it clear that it’s OS X operating system is just much better than Windows.

    First there’s the load times. Turn on the iMac and it’s ready to go. Turn on any PC and it loads for sometimes several minutes before it will operate flawlessly. Start ANY program on the iMac and it’s ready to go. Start certain programs on a PC like Microsoft’s own Zune or even Internet Explorer and wait times vary from several seconds to up to a minute in Zune’s case.

    Perhaps a lot of the speed of my new iMac has to do with a virus program NOT taking over the iMac like Norton Antivirus takes over my PCs. If you’re a PC user, you’re probably familiar with an annoying slowdown that seems to regularly occur where your hard drive light comes on and indicates that it’s working hard at something even though you’re doing nothing? A lot of the time that’s your antivirus software doing its thing in the background but crushing your computing power while it does.

    The iMac is natively secure and may not need third party virus software that takes over your computer, and, oh by the way, antivirus software costs a pretty penny and requires an annual subscription. I researched this a fair amount and no one recommends installing 3rd party virus software on an iMac. According to a 12/29/2010 article in the Wall Street Journal by Walt Mossberg:

    “No computer is inherently invulnerable to malicious software, and that includes the Macintosh. However, nearly every malicious program known is meant to run on Windows and simply won’t operate on the Mac operating system. The handful of Mac viruses and other malware that have been discovered are either proofs of concept, or have spread to very few users and done little or no damage. Most Mac users I’ve known don’t run third-party security software and haven’t had malware problems. So I don’t routinely recommend Mac security software.”

    That’s good enough for me, friends and neighbors…Thanks, Walt.

    If I had to come up with a complaint about my new iMac it would be that it won’t play Sirius XM. Now that’s not really a problem for me since I’ll still have my Dell Dinosaur set up to do that if I need it. But it is an annoying glitch. Upon calling Apple about it they recommended that I contact Sirius XM. Sirius XM said, “Yeah, Macs can be problematic; our stream is WMA based and we recommend installing a program called Flip4Mac that converts WMA & WMV files to be played on Quicktime.” I checked with Apple about this Flip4Mac program and they verified that it was a decent program (the tech I spoke with even suggested that it was installed on his own iMac). But unfortunately, Flip4Mac did not fix my problem and I still can’t get the new iMac to play Sirius XM. (PLEASE comment to my review if you’ve had this issue and fixed it!) EDIT 3/14/11 – Sirius XM fixed the problem with a new and updated web site and streamer. Hooray. Now I have absolutely nothing negative to say about my new iMac!

    A quick couple of words about Apple customer service: they’re great and the 3 folks that I’ve spoken with so far we’re US based and spoke clear English! Rare for a customer service department these days. Hand in hand with this I would also recommend, especially for first time iMac users, the AppleCare Protection Plan. It extends your free iMac phone support from 90 days to 3 years and extends your warranty from 1 year to 3 years…AND it’s cheaper here at Amazon than it is at the Apple Store.

    Have I said enough? I think so. Oh, two more things: 1) Set up couldn’t be easier. The iMac is the epitome of plug & play. No giant warnings inside the box about “do this or do that first or else”. It comes with a wireless mouse and keyboard already paired through Bluetooth wireless. 2) Whether you’re a business person or not, get the latest version of Microsoft Office for Mac. People will likely email you documents and trust me…they’ll never be in iWork; they’ll always be Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents and your iMac won’t open those without MS Office installed. I have iWork but I haven’t even had the need to install it on the iMac yet.

    You know what they say? Once you go iMac you’ll never go back. From my personal experience so far, I think “they” are right.

    • I am glad that you enjoy your new iMac, and totally agree with the statement “Once you go iMac you’ll never go back.” and will even add once you go MAC you wont go back!

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