Apple has revealed the latest updates to the iMac product line. As expected, the new iMacs include Thunderbolt ports, new graphics options, and Sandy Bridge-based Intel quad-core i5 or i7 processors. Best of all, these new higher-performing iMacs come at yesterday's prices.
Apple retained the same 21.5-inch and 27-inch display as the previous generation. Aside from the addition of the Thunderbolt ports on the rear, it would be hard to visually tell the new iMacs apart from the previous generation. But lurking within the same shell is a Mac that can easily outperform its predecessors.
Apple is using Intel quad-core i5 processors in all of the standard iMac models, with an optional Intel quad-core i7 available in build-to-order models. The new processor offerings all support Turbo Boost, which can squeeze out a bit of extra performance by upping the processor's clock frequency when only one or two cores are in use.
Apple is supplying the new iMacs with either the AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512 MB graphics RAM (21.5 inch baseline), AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512 MB graphics RAM (21.5-inch and 27-inch), or the Radeon HD 6970M with 1 or 2 GB of graphics RAM (27-inch model only).
All of the new iMacs have swapped out their previous Mini DisplayPorts for Thunderbolt ports. In the case of the 21.5-inch models, a single Thunderbolt port is present. Step up to the 27-inch and two Thunderbolt ports are available. The Thunderbolt ports can be used for either driving an external display or serving as a high-performance i/o port for connecting to external peripherals, such as hard drives, RAID arrays, or specialty devices, such as audio and video interfaces.
2011 iMac Range...
21.5-inch 2.5 GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor and Radeon HD 6750M graphics
21.5-inch 2.7 GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor and Radeon HD 6770M graphics
27-inch 2.7 GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor and Radeon HD 6770M graphics
27-inch 3.1 GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor and Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1 GB RAM
27-inch 3.4 GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor and Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1 GB RAM
27-inch 3.4 GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor and Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 2 GB RAM