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Quadrophenia iMac

May 3, 2011 - Dave Hecei

On Tuesday May 3 2011, Apple released updated iMac models. These new models, which were recently rumored to be in production, incorporate Intel’s next-gen Core-i series processors known as Sandy Bridge, and the new Thunderbolt high-speed interface port.

On the outside, the new iMacs look to be identical. They still come in two screen sizes, 21.5-inches and 27-inches. The smaller iMac has the same dual mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt as seen in the latest MacBook Pro models. The larger iMac model sports two Thunderbolt ports. Since each port has two channels, this gives the 27-inch model four 10Gb/s I/O ports. This model will be very popular with the video production and 3D graphics crowd.

While the outside may not look any different, on the inside is pure performance. With the use of the new Sandy Bridge Intel chips, the entire iMac line is now quad-core based. The low-end iMac, which is still priced at $1199, is now up to 1.7 times faster in CPU performance and up to 4.8 times faster in graphics performance. The high-end 27-inch iMac, which was already had a quad-core processor, is up to 1.3 times faster in CPU performance and 1.8 times faster in graphics performance. (This is according to Apple’s web site).

To top it off, the iSight web cameras in the new iMacs have been replaced with the new FaceTime HD cameras. This camera is capable of producing 720P HD video, which of course is a wide 16:9 format. This wide field camera will also allow for more than one person to sit in front of the iMac and still be in the frame.

The iMac 21.5-inch model starts at $1199. The 27-inch model starts at $1699. They are available starting now.


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