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2011 Apple iMac

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 11-05-2011

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2011 Apple iMacWhile I am not a huge Apple computer fan, I will give them credit for one thing and that is their all-in-one computers. I’m talking, of course, about their computers that have everything you need built right into the monitor, leaving you with no need to have a big tower cluttering up your workspace.

Well, Apple is back with a brand new batch of all-in-ones and has just unveiled their latest iMac refresh about a week ago. These new iMacs come with a new selection of AMD Radeon HD graphics cards, quad-core Intel Sandy Bridge processors and solid-state storage options to nobody’s great surprise.

The latest version of the iMac was designed to be faster and it quite literally is the fastest version yet. Faster internal components along with external Thunderbolt ports turn this newest iMac, which is slated as a family-friendly eye-catcher, into a formidable powerhouse that may even cater to some professional users.

The pricier configuration of the newest iMac will get you a 27-inch iMac with a 3.1GHz Core i5 processor. However, if you want to drop an extra $200, you can upgrade to a 3.4GHz Core i7. You get four cores either way. The i5 version comes with 4GB of 1333MHz, DDR3 RAM which is installed as two 2GB DIMMs. You also get a 1TB 7,200RPM SATA drive as well. The 27-inch display is a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution IPS panel that has an integrated AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics card with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.

This, along with the pair of Thunderbolt ports, gives you a new way to power multiple external displays. It seems possible that you may be able to power as many as four, thanks to the dual-channel nature of each port. However, the 27-inch display is pretty spacious on its own and is certainly enough.

Aside from faster internals, there isn’t a lot of difference between this latest iMac than its predecessor. It has the same design that the past few iterations have had. There are some problems that a good number of users are reporting like the SD slot being uncomfortably close to the DVD-ROM slot and the DVD=ROM slot still not accepting Blu-ray discs. There is also the placement of the power button which has many users accidentally turning their device off whenever they go to tilt the display.

Nobody buys an iMac, or any Apple computer for that matter, if they are looking for something to game on. However, this new iteration does run Portal 2 and Half-Life 2 at full resolution with no problems. Just don’t try to max out Crysis 2 or anything like that. 1080p videos also load very quickly and cycle just fine, which is always nice to have.

Pro-level users, like those who spend a lot of time in editing programs like Photoshop, Premiere or REDCINE, could get a lot of satisfaction out of this device. The internal SSD, which is a $500 option for 256GB, definitely helps in this department and so could an external storage device connected to one of the Thunderbolt ports.

Average, everyday users might find all of this a bit too much for them, however. The 21.5-inch model, which is entirely more affordable and still very capable, seems to be a better choice. However, this new iMac is still very pretty, very easy to set up and very good in terms of performance and flexibility.

Source: Engadget – Apple iMac (spring 2011) review

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