Apple Releases Sandy Bridge Powered Upgraded iMacs

By Ashok Bindra May 03, 2011

As predicted by Apple Insider, technology giant Apple on Tuesday released updated iMacs powered by Intel's new core i5/i7 Sandy Bridge processor chips. In addition to using next generation quad-core processors, the new iMacs are upgraded with high performance graphics chip and high-speed Thunderbolt I/O port. A new FaceTime HD camera is also part of the updated iMacs.

According to Apple, the updated all-in-one iMac with next generation quad-core processors is up to 70 percent faster and the new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.

In a statement,  said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing said, “Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design.”  He added, “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, said Apple. 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 processor, the new iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop, noted the maker.

Apple said that 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 features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps each. In addition, 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. Furthermore, Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays.

The new iMac is available through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple authorized resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two configurations. The one with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive sells for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US). The other with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive is available for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US). The new 27-inch iMac is also 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 the second 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 2 TB, a 256 GB solid state drive, additional DDR3 memory and AppleCare Protection Plan.

Meanwhile Mac sales are on the rise. Apple sold 3.76 million Macs during the second quarter, a 28 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. 

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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