Apple launches new iMacs with Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt

By on May 3, 2011, 5:54 PM

As previously anticipated, Apple has unveiled a fresh batch of iMacs with the latest chips from Intel and AMD. The all-in-one systems are available in the familiar 21.5 and 27-inch form factors and each size comes in two base configurations. The former starts at $1,199 and jumps to $1,499 with a hardier spec sheet while the latter kicks off at $1,699 and second configuration is $1,999.

The least expensive version is outfitted with a 1080p LED-backlit display, a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, an AMD Radeon HJD 6750M discrete graphics chip, and a 500GB 7200RPM HDD. Another $300 bags you a 2.7GHz Core i5, a Radeon HD 6770M, and 1TB of storage. The $1,499 21.5-incher also gains options for a 2.8GHz Core i7, 2TB of storage and a 256GB SSD.

The base 27-inch iMac invites a 2560x1440 display to the party, but it has the same default CPU, GPU, and HDD configuration as the premium 21.5-inch model. The two 27-inch tiers are also separated by $300, with the pricier model gaining a 3.1GHz quad-core Core i5 and a 1GB 6970M. The max manual configuration has a 3.4GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 2GB 6970M.

All of the machines are equipped with a built-in "FaceTime HD" camera, integrated speakers, a slot-loading DVD burner, an IR receiver, an SDXC card slot, four USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out jacks, one FireWire 800 port, Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. The 21.5-inch iterations receive a single Thunderbolt port, while the 27-inchers have two.




User Comments: 29

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mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

The 27" version will support two external displays out-of-the-box through the Thunderbolt ports, the 21" only one since it will only have one TB port as the article describes unless you can daisy chain the 2nd display.

I hope Thunderbolt really takes off, it is a great technology and its daisy chaining support will make hubs obsolete, I'm always running out of usb ports.

I've only owned Apple notebooks but this release is making me consider an iMac as my next PC.

Cota Cota said:

1,199 o.O!? my 4GHz i7 12GB ram Radeon HD 6950 PC cost half that

CamaroMullet said:

I'm not a mac guy, but I hope thunderbolt takes off as well. I fear that it'll end up like good ole firewire though.

Win7Dev said:

I know the prices are a little high, but that really is better than I expected for apple. I guess the specs clearly show why no one uses them for gaming though. They all feature mobile quality graphics cards. Yeah there not bad, but a standard desktop graphics card can beat those mobile chips for less than $130.

Guest said:

Only steve jobs slaves buy slow and overpriced machines like this.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Win7Dev said:

I know the prices are a little high, but that really is better than I expected for apple. I guess the specs clearly show why no one uses them for gaming though. They all feature mobile quality graphics cards. Yeah there not bad, but a standard desktop graphics card can beat those mobile chips for less than $130.

Surely you can upgrade these computers with your own graphics card?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Great - now I get to order another development machine for work tomorrow.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

gwailo247 said:

Win7Dev said:

I know the prices are a little high, but that really is better than I expected for apple. I guess the specs clearly show why no one uses them for gaming though. They all feature mobile quality graphics cards. Yeah there not bad, but a standard desktop graphics card can beat those mobile chips for less than $130.

Surely you can upgrade these computers with your own graphics card?

Only an ***** would do that after spending 1,199 for a supposedly high-end computer.

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Cota said:

1,199 o.O!? my 4GHz i7 12GB ram Radeon HD 6950 PC cost half that

How'd you build that for $600?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Edit: Why is "i d i o t" censored? Come on Techspot, you are better than that.

Yeah, I always wondered about that. I'm sure we use it more in the third person than second person, lol.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@lawfer, gwailo247. Because things only tend to scale from there, that's why.

howzz1854 said:

Cota said:

1,199 o.O!? my 4GHz i7 12GB ram Radeon HD 6950 PC cost half that

i beg to differ. i was just looking at the new iMac today with a friend. if you consider the 27" LED IPS panel that's included, which the closest equivalent would be the Dell U series priced at well over $1000 dollars, plus the cost of parts (CPU, GPU, mobo, Chasis), altogether, you're looking at well over $2500 dollars from the cheapest online parts e-tailer.

believe me, i already tried to price out an PC equivalent, and i couldn't beat the iMac price.

i have to say, this time apple has really stepped up and offered a very competitive product.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

@lawfer, gwailo247. Because things only tend to scale from there, that's why.

I know. =) Is there a master list of the Seven Words not allowed on Techspot?

What is kinda interesting is that these words actually had a quantifiable meaning, per Wikipedia:

"Connotations easily change over time. "I-d-i-o-t", "i-m-b-e-c-i-l-e", and "m-o-r-o-n" were once neutral terms for a developmentally delayed adult with the mental age comparable to a toddler, preschooler, and primary school child, respectively."

Guest said:

If you can't out price these ridiculously over-priced products with a PC then you're doing it wrong,

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

LNCPapa said:

Great - now I get to order another development machine for work tomorrow.

That's just wrong. This is maybe your 2nd or 3rd similar post through the years. What do you do with the old.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Anyone interested in seeing the 27" model hooked up to two 30" displays: [link]

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

If you saw how many of these machines I have sitting around it would sicken you. I've gotten to the point where I don't want them at my desk and I toss them in my work lab. I do have 2 of the now last-gen iMacs sitting next to me though.

CamaroMullet said:

The cheapest one gives you a 21.5" display, 2.5ghz i5 cpu, 500gb hd, 4gb ram and a 6750M <---note the M graphics card.

Building something close to those specs from newegg I just checked:

21.5" Monitor: $130

i5 cpu: $200

500gb hd: $40

ATI 6750: $110 <--- not an "M"

Mobo: $70

Ram: $40

Case+Psu: $40

Keyboard+mouse: $20

DVD/CD: $20

Speakers: $20

Win7 OS: $100

That's $790 or $400 dollars cheaper ( could upgrade the above specs with that extra 400 as well to really blow the cheap imac out of the water ). Plus you to use PC games/software and upgrade your system a lot easier in the future.

When it comes to price/performance Apple is still far behind...IMO.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

CameroMullet - That ignores the form factor.. Perhaps its not a big deal to you to have a separate tower and several wires. Some people like the 'elegance' of only having a single power cord and no other wires. Is it worth $400 for a cleaner setup? To you, apparently not, to iMac buyers, apparently so.

CamaroMullet said:

@ SNGZ1275, How's this then? Same price. But you get more horse power, ram, blue-ray and a touch screen.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@CamaroMullet and of course that's a machine you have to build by yourself. The comparison you're doing is true to almost every product on the planet, go buy yourself 10 feet of fabric, some thread, buttons and needles and I'm sure you can get a suit for less than $100 bucks.

With an iMac you are buying a PC that works out of the box and has been designed/developed by one of the greatest industrial design departments on the planet.

And by the way be sure to fix your Win7 price, it actually is $274.99 for Windows 7 Ultimate Full since it there are no crippled versions of OS X. And then of course if you want an even fairer comparison add some quality bluetooth wireless mouse+keyboard, webcam, LED backlit display and you get an even closer price to the iMac.

CamaroMullet said:

Well, marioestrada, I'm assuming most of us are tech geeks here on these forums. I love to build computers, and do so every chance I get. Of course the average user cannot build there own. But check out the post I did for SNGZ1275, then one above yours. Still think the iMac is an awesome deal?

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@CamaroMullet well that is a good deal. Although that machine originally costs $1500 and with an excellent sale is down to $1200 but you get Win7 Home, no LED backlit display, no external monitor support, no thunderbolt/firewire. But generally they are around the same price for approximately the same features. My point is Apple is not that far behind on prices, there might me some premium pricing but every year the gap is getting narrower and when using the actual products and noticing the little details that Apple products have you know there is a reason why that pricing gap might exist.

howzz1854 said:

what part of IPS LED panel don't you people get. a 24" Dell equivalent IPS panel U2410 costs like what $600? a 27" IPS panel Dell U27 is well over $1000 dollars, more than the included 27" cinemadisplay.

sure, build yourself a cheap ass computer for $600 less. but if you match the products exactly by their spec, panel type. you're not gonna beat that price.

find me a PC monitor that's IPS LED panel in either 24", or 27" for less than $600/$999. you can't. oh wait, the Dell U2410, or the U27, but they're NOT LED.

howzz1854 said:

and we're not talking about your everyday Cheap ass TN panel that you and i have from some online retailer for $150. do some research on panel types before making a judgement.

CamaroMullet said:

As with most stores, newegg sticks an "original" price to make consumers think they are getting an awesome deal. I don't disagree that Apples pricing is "better" for what you get than in previous years. The thunderbolt port I don't see being a huge selling point at this time. I mean, IF thunderbolt becomes main stream, we are still years away from it doing so. By that time this generation of iMacs will be replaced with something else.

I just think that Apple has always taken advantage of it's pc customer base. The low end imac isn't suited for power computing, it's suited for light gaming ( and very limited selection of games at that ) and web surfing...day to day tasks. Certainly, you would agree, you could do the same tasks on a 600 dollar laptop couldn't you? Apple people are Apple people though, I have several relatives that don't touch windows pcs. Itunes is for music, safari is for web surfing, ichat is for video conferencing, they don't know anything else. Is it good or bad? I dunno, but it sorta sounds like communism to me. :P

CamaroMullet said:

what part of IPS LED panel don't you people get. a 24" Dell equivalent IPS panel U2410 costs like what $600? a 27" IPS panel Dell U27 is well over $1000 dollars, more than the included 27" cinemadisplay.

sure, build yourself a cheap *** computer for $600 less. but if you match the products exactly by their spec, panel type. you're not gonna beat that price.

find me a PC monitor that's IPS LED panel in either 24", or 27" for less than $600/$999. you can't. oh wait, the Dell U2410, or the U27, but they're NOT LED.

You are right, they are expensive, that's probably why the 27" model starts out at $500 dollars more.

howzz1854 said:

CamaroMullet said:

As with most stores, newegg sticks an "original" price to make consumers think they are getting an awesome deal. I don't disagree that Apples pricing is "better" for what you get than in previous years. The thunderbolt port I don't see being a huge selling point at this time. I mean, IF thunderbolt becomes main stream, we are still years away from it doing so. By that time this generation of iMacs will be replaced with something else.

I just think that Apple has always taken advantage of it's pc customer base. The low end imac isn't suited for power computing, it's suited for light gaming ( and very limited selection of games at that ) and web surfing...day to day tasks. Certainly, you would agree, you could do the same tasks on a 600 dollar laptop couldn't you? Apple people are Apple people though, I have several relatives that don't touch windows pcs. Itunes is for music, safari is for web surfing, ichat is for video conferencing, they don't know anything else. Is it good or bad? I dunno, but it sorta sounds like communism to me. :P

while i do agree with you on the snobby culture apple has somehow managed to create. you have to admit, when you hold that Macbook Pro in your hand, or that Iphone in your hand, it's hard to not tell yourself, man.. i wish PC had something equivalent with this kind of build quality.

i personally am sick of the lack luster gazillion PCs out there plastered with plastic and looking like butt holes or cases that look like Godzilla on fire. this is why more and more people started buying Macs. it's hard to admit, but the truth is... when you walk into a coffee shop, 19 out of 20 laptops you see are all Macbook Pros. it's because people are sick of the typical lack luster PC build quality. they want something better. Maybe Apple's latest movement with their iMac will finally stir up some innovation and design for the PC manufacturers. if i didn't know how to build PCs myself, i would wish that i could buy a computer that's as well built as the Macs, but comes with Windows.

CamaroMullet said:

@howzz1854, I love your " i would wish that i could buy a computer that's as well built as the Macs, but comes with Windows " comment...lol too funny. As I have said before, I'm not a mac guy. I do however own a macbook pro, I rarely use it myself. It's primarily my kids machine, for internet/homework. The OS itself is great for kids, they can't do too much harm with it. They do fill the gap for the not so technically savvie types.

I also agree that there isn't much innovation between windows based machines. But hey, that's one of the reasons we can build our own. That kind of innovation and freedom Apple can't touch with a 100 foot pole.

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