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Thin is In

September 7, 2012 - Dave Hecei
There are some new rumors in the ether that the iMac line refresh is imminent. posted an article today by Clayton Morris. He states some facts along with information from multiple sources that hint that new iMacs could arrive very soon.

As I have already stated, the iMac is overdue for a refresh let alone a design update. To bring the iMac inline with the new MacBook models any new iMac will likely have the new Intel Ivy Bridge chipset. This is Intel’s latest processor and is currently used in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

A rundown of the rumor list for a new iMac includes – multiple Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0, and a thinner design. Some of the dreamers out there are betting on the LCD screen being a Retina Display, which is Apple high-resolution panel now in use by the iPhone, iPod Touch, the new iPad, and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I wouldn’t be the farm on that one.

There are some rumors out there that point to some of the things Apple could do to create an even thinner iMac. First would be to lose the SuperDrive, which is Apple’s name for their optical drive that reads and burns both DVDs and CDs.  Another one uses the technique Apple employs for mounting the displays in the current MacBooks. I’m not sure if this is done on all the new MacBooks, but the new Retina MacBook Pro mounts the LCD panel as a one-piece-unit. Since this means there is no need for another piece of glass to cover the panel, it becomes that much thinner. Apple could do something similar in a new iMac design.

No matter if the outside changes much, the inside definitely will. The Ivy Bridge processors bring a decent speed boost compared to the previous chip at the same clock-speed. It will have faster graphics processing from either the integrated Intel system or a discrete GPU from Nvidia or ATI. The storage devices could switch to all SSD models, which is well proven to greatly boost performance. I wouldn’t be surprised to see SSDs available in all sizes of any new iMac – with an option to also include a spinning secondary drive. This is important since SSD storage while being very fast, is very expensive per gigabyte of storage. This keeps most SSD drives down in the 128GB to 512GB range where spinning drives are now 1, 2, and even 3TB (terabytes).

It’s doubtful that Apple will announce these during the upcoming event on the 12th. It is even doubtful they will do it next month during a rumored iPad/iPod event. We’ll just have to keep a sharp eye on the Apple web site for any iMac announcement. Historically, Apple often makes Mac hardware announcements on Tuesdays.


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