Apple unveiled the new iMac desktops today. The new models keep the 21.5″ and 27″ screen sizes and step up to Core i5 processors across the board in the base configuration – with Core i7 processors available as an upgrade.
As expected, the iMac now has Thunderbolt I/O ports (like the recently announced MacBook Pro models), which deliver data transfer rates at a whopping 10 Gbps – up to 20x faster than USB 2.0 and up to 12x faster than FireWire 800. The 21.5″ models sport one Thunderbolt port, while the 27″ models offer two ports. Four USB 2.0 and a Firewire 800 port round out the I/O options on the backside of the new iMacs.
Although you’ll be hard pressed to find a Thunderbolt capable hard drive for the next couple of months, this I/O tech is shaping up to be the next Firewire. By making it the defacto standard in its latest computers, Apple has assured adoption of Thunderbolt by the main players in the external storage world.
Apple went with the AMD Radeon 6750M and 6970M graphics cards as available configurations in the iMacs – with up to 2GB GDDR5 video memory. The 21.5″ models come with 4GB RAM and are expandable to a max 8GB RAM, while the 27″ iMacs support up to 16GB RAM.
The new iMacs are up for ordering on Apple’s website. Pricing remains $1199 for the entry-level model and up to $1999 for the top-end 27″ model – with additional configuration options available for all models. Also look for availability on B&H Photo and Amazon.com.
2011 Apple iMac Press Release
Apple Announces New iMac With Next Generation Quad-Core Processors, Graphics & Thunderbolt I/O Technology
CUPERTINO, California-May 3, 2011-Apple® today updated its signature all-in-one iMac® with next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, groundbreaking high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime® HD camera. Starting at $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.*
“Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design,” said Philip 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 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. With new AMD Radeon HD graphics processors, the new iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop.
iMac is the first desktop computer on the market to include groundbreaking 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 enables expandability never before possible on an all-in-one computer. Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt 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. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.
iMac includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera and Apple’s innovative FaceTime software for crisp, widescreen video calling the whole family can enjoy. The new camera supports high definition video calls between all FaceTime HD-enabled Macs and standard resolution calls with 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, gorgeous IPS LED-backlit high resolution display, SD card slot and comes with Apple’s innovative Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.
Continuing Apple’s commitment to the environment, Apple’s desktop line is a leader in green design. The iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold rating.** iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses highly recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.
Every Mac comes with Mac OS® X Snow Leopard®, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife®, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Snow Leopard builds on more than a decade of innovation and includes the Mac App Store℠ for finding great new apps for your Mac. iLife ’11 features iPhoto® with stunning full screen views for browsing, editing and sharing photos; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use tools to transform home videos into fun theatrical trailers; and GarageBand® with new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs.
Pricing & Availability
The new iMac is available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two configurations: one with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US); and one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US). The new 27-inch iMac is available in two models: one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US); and one with a 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6970M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US).
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 www.apple.com/imac.
*Testing conducted by Apple in April 2011 using preproduction iMac configurations. For more information visit www.apple.com/imac/features.html.
**Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.2 energy database as of April 2011. EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.