As expected, Apple has updated the iMac with next generation, Sandy Bridge quad-core processors, new graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera.
Starting at US$1,199, the new iMac is up to 70 percent faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation, according to Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. The new iMac features quad-core Intel Core i5 processors with an option for customers to choose Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz.
These next generation processors feature an integrated memory controller for an amazingly responsive experience and a powerful new media engine for high-performance video encoding and decoding, says Schiller. With new AMD Radeon HD graphics processors, the new iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop, he adds.
The iMac is the first desktop computer on the market to include Thunderbolt I/O technology. The 21.5-inch iMac has a single Thunderbolt port while the 27-inch model features two ports for even greater expansion. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each.
It delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices, and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays.
The new iMac includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera and Apple’s FaceTime software for widescreen video calling. The new camera supports high definition video calls between all FaceTime HD-enabled Macs and standard resolution calls with the iPad 2, iPhone 4, the current generation iPod touch and other Intel-based Macs. The iMac continues to feature its signature aluminum and glass design, IPS LED-backlit high resolution display, SD card slot and comes with Apple’s Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.
Continuing Apple’s commitment to the environment, Apple’s desktop line is a leader in green design, Schiller says. The iMac meets Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold rating. It also features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. The all-in-one uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses y recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.
The new iMac is available through the Apple Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two configurations: one with a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of US$1,199; and one with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,499. The new 27-inch iMac is available in two models: one with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,699; and one with a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6970M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,999.
Configure-to-order options include faster Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 2TB, a 256GB solid state drive, additional DDR3 memory and AppleCare Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at the Apple Store.