Apple has today released a refreshed version of the iMac, incorporating the latest intel Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 Quad Core processors and the high speed data transfer technology known as Thunderbolt. The release, predicted last week, brings the iMac up to date with the latest technology, paralleling the upgrade made to the MacBook Pro earlier in the year. The official Apple page for the new iMac can be found here. The press release accompanying the new models can be found here.
The new iMacs are up to 70% faster than the previous models and also incorporate the new FaceTime HD camera which made its first appearance in the MacBook Pro. There are no design changes to the new iMac, rather this is a specification bump update but the new models look fantastic. The price starts at $1199 for the 21 inch model with a 2.5 GHz i5 processor, but upgrades all the way up to an i7 running at 3.4 GHz are available. That’s blisteringly fast.
The 27 inch model of the iMac comes with two Thunderbolt ports whereas the 21 inch model has one port. The graphics options in the new iMacs have also been upgraded with AMD Radeon 6750M, 6770M and 6790M cards available. The new iMac also retains a single FireWire 800 port and DVD SuperDrive. The specs are obviously designed to highlight the features of the upcoming OS X 10.7 Lion operating system which is due for release in the Summer of 2011.
Sadly, the cost of upgrading the hard drive to the much faster solid state (SSD) option has not been reduced with a 256GB replacement SSD coming in at a whopping $500 ($600 if in combination with a 1TB hard drive).