Apple confirms new Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt iMac range

We all knew it was coming. Is there no such thing as an Apple secret anymore? Yep, that's right - the Cupertino company has confirmed the arrival of a new range of iMac all-in-ones, complete with next-gen Intel i5 and i7 chips.

The 21.5-inch and 27-inch display machines also pack Apple and Intel's new Thunderbolt technology - you'll get one port on the smaller model and two on the bigger one.

In terms of Sandy Bridge, the standard inclusion is the 2.5GHz or 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache for the 21.5-inch machine, or the 2.7GHz or 3.1GHz version on the 27-incher. You can go for the 2.8GHz or 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 if you've got lots of wonga.

Memory is 4GB (two 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM - upgradable to 16GB, and graphics are taken care of by AMD, from the AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory, up to the AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB GDDR, depending on your budget.

Storage is 500GB to 1TB as standard, with a customisable 2TB option available online as well. Another new addition to the range is a HD FaceTime camera.

“Our customers love the iMac’s aluminium enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “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.”

Notorious by its absence, again, is a Blu-ray drive. The new iMacs stick with DVD for optical loading - there's a slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) on board.

That's a damn shame because the LED-backlit glossy HD TFT display (1920x1080 on the 21.5, 2560x1440 on the 27) is screaming out for some Blu-ray love.

The new iMac range is on sale now. The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive for £999, or a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB HDD for £1249. The 27-inch iMac is available in two models: one with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB HDD (£1399) and one with a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6970M and 1TB HDD (£1649).

You can soup it up to the i7 chip and a 2TB HDD, with a better GPU online at the Apple Store. It'll cost you a few pennies more mind.

 



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