Apple iMac 27-inch

Monday, May 7, 2012 | comments

With a fast new second-generation Core i5 CPU, a high-end 3D card, and abutment for able Thunderbolt high-bandwidth borderline affiliation ports, the new, highest-end iMac has affluence to action media professionals and enthusiasts in agreement of achievement and borderline accessory flexibility. For consumers, while the iMac still claims industry bests in agreement of its affectation and its design, this arrangement will feel like abstract in some respects, and underfeatured in others. We don't acclaim the best big-ticket new iMac for those adorable for an OS X-based another to the contempo crop of Windows-based all-in-ones that act as home ball kiosks. For austere media editors, or those adorable for a vanity desktop, the $1,999 Apple iMac charcoal one of the fastest, best adorable systems available.

Windows all-in-one makers like Dell, HP, and Sony accept bigger their all-in-one designs over the aftermost year or two, but none of them approaches the iMac for arduous beheld appeal. The metal-and-glass unibody chassis, forth with the all-embracing 27-inch display, still accept no architecture aeon about 18 months afterwards their debut. We absolutely acquisition it aberrant that you still won't acquisition a 27-inch all-in-one from anyone added than Apple. We admiration how continued that will last.

While the new iMac's architecture hasn't afflicted on the outside, its centralized apparatus accept been absolutely revamped from those of the antecedent model. As it upgraded its MacBook Pro laptops beforehand this year, Apple has alien to the iMac Intel's second-generation Core CPU ancestors (formerly code-named Sandy Bridge). It has additionally added AMD's latest bearing of cartoon processor, the Radeon HD 6000-series. iPhone users, and those who adulation them, will acknowledge that Apple has brought FaceTime abutment to the new iMac, which allows for cross-device video chatting over the Internet.

The iMac's new Thunderbolt ports action agitative abeyant for agenda media professionals. 

Lastly, Apple has congenital the new Thunderbolt abstracts throughput accepted into the iMac, and two Thunderbolt ports on the aback of the 27-inch models alter the distinct Mini DisplayPort ascribe begin on earlier iMacs. Developed in affiliation with Intel, Thunderbolt is advised to alter USB and FireWire inputs by alms accompanying 10Gbps throughput both in and out of the arrangement via the aforementioned port. The accepted supports both abstracts and video connections, and is on clue to both abridge the acquaintance of abutting borderline devices, and additionally acquiesce for a greater, added able array of alien components.

Thunderbolt accessories aren't accepted to hit the bazaar until this summer, which agency we accept to allege mostly about the abeyant it offers the iMac. Announced Thunderbolt articles accommodate alien RAID arrays, video about-face hubs, and added accessories that will booty advantage of the iMac's fat new abstracts pipe. Thunderbolt will eventually cycle out to Windows PCs as well, and we may see added consumer-oriented accessories afore too long, but for now the aboriginal acknowledging accouterments is acutely geared adjoin agenda media editors and others who will acknowledge Thunderbolt's adeptness to move ample amounts of abstracts amid workstations at abundant speed.

Because it can assignment as a video port, Thunderbolt, in affiliation with the Radeon HD 6970M cartoon chip, additionally allows you to affix two added monitors to the iMac. That adequacy is absolutely welcome, and it makes extending the iMac's affectation easy, but multimonitor abutment in accepted isn't different to the iMac. Amid added multidisplay technologies, AMD showed us its Eyefinity cartoon agenda alternation aftermost year for Windows desktops that can abutment six LCDs.

Apple iMac 27-inch
Dell XPS 8300HP TouchSmart 610q 1065qd
Display size/resolution27-inch, 2,560x1,440N/A24-inch, 1,920x1,080
CPU3.1GHZ Intel Core i5 24003.4GHz Intel Core i7 26002.93GHz Intel Core i7 870
Memory4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics1GB AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics card1GB AMD Radeon HD 58702GB AMD Radeon HD 5570 graphics card
Hard drives1TB, 7,200rpm1.5TB, 7,200rpm1TB, 7,200rpm
Optical driveDual-layer DVD burnerBlu-ray burnerBlu-ray/DVD burner combo drive
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wirelessGigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wirelessGigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Operating systemApple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.7Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

We've compared the iMac actuality with one of the fastest Windows-based all-in-ones we've tested, HP's TouchSmart 610q 1065qd, as able-bodied as a beneath big-ticket Dell XPS 8300 desktop.

We accompany the acceptable Dell box into the altercation decidedly to analyze its price-performance arrangement with that of the new iMac. The XPS 8300 isn't as visually adorable as the iMac, but for those who ability already accept a ample display, it's reasonable to ask how the two analyze in agreement of raw speed.

From a appearance standpoint, the iMac and the HP TouchSmart analyze well. The ample awning charcoal the iMac's best accessible advantage, but it additionally boasts a faster cartoon agenda and a added abreast CPU than the HP system. HP, in turn, offers a Blu-ray drive, a lower amount tag, as able-bodied as a blow awning and HP's accompanying apartment of blow software. HP can't bout the iMac's Thunderbolt ports, but it additionally offers two HDMI inputs, which means, clashing the iMac, you can affix current-generation home ball accessories to the TouchSmart after accepting to buy an adapter.

In truth, comparing the speed-oriented iMac with the Dell feels added accordant than analogous it up adjoin the family-oriented HP all-in-one. The iMac does accommodate its convenient iLife agenda media software, but the TouchSmart all-in-one and its about kitchy blow software acutely accept home users in mind.

Which is not to say that the iMac and its ample awning wouldn't accomplish an excellent, adorable media PC for a den, an office, or a abode room. With the right, admitting expensive, adapters, you can alike accommodate a cable box and a bold animate with the iMac to accomplish a powerful, able media hub. We're cryptic how a added accidental home user would booty advantage of the iMac's Thunderbolt ports, though. As well, the fast CPU and cartoon agenda would be activity to decay after some able-bodied agenda media files to put them to work. The OS X gaming library absolutely won't accumulate them active for long.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iMac 27-inch (3.1GHz, Spring 2011)
Sony Vaio L21SFX
Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iMac 27-inch (3.1GHz, Spring 2011)
Sony Vaio L21SFX
Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iMac 27-inch (3.1GHz, Spring 2011)
Sony Vaio L21SFX
Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iMac 27-inch (3.1GHz, Spring 2011)
Sony Vaio L21SFX
Cinebench 11.5(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Dell XPS 8300
Apple iMac 27-inch (3.1GHz, Spring 2011)
Sony Vaio L21SFX
The new 27-inch iMac offers the best all-around performance among all-in-ones. It loses to the  HP alone on the Cinebench 11.5 multithreaded CPU test, and that's acceptable because of the HP's 2.93GHz Core i7 820 chip, which, although from Intel's antecedent CPU generation, has finer eight processing accoutrement from Intel's HyperThreading technology. The iMac's 3.1GHz Core i5 2400 CPU lacks HyperThreading, and appropriately charcoal a authentic quad-core processor.
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