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Review: 27-inch iMac with Core i5

updated 11:30 pm EST, Sat November 14, 2009

Apple's fastest iMac given a verdict

The 27-inch iMac is already a milestone for Apple through its inclusion of a truly greater-than-HD display, but the addition of Core i5 and Core i7 processors transforms it into a near powerhouse. This is the first iMac in recent memory to come close enough to Apple's workstations that it could replace one of them. Our review of the Core i5-equipped iMac will find out how close it comes to that goal and whether it's a worthwhile option for any other prospective Mac desktop owner.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't think the display of the

    27" model is too large. It's just right. I only have a 24" inch iMac and it's nice, but those extra inches can't hurt at all. That extra space can really come in handy. As it is I can keep Slingplayer running on the side and it doesn't get it my way at all. I also use a lot of menubar extras and they can take up a lot of horizontal space. Eventually, Apple is going to put those big monitor models right in the living room and call it an HDTV with a computer inside. Apple really needs to get a tuner or two inside these big screen iMacs. They'd be perfect as a media center. The only drawback I can see is that it's difficult to change the harddrive. I use a 1GB external drive for most of my storage so the internal drive doesn't have to work that much. I've got a bootable partition on my external drive to use whenever I want to.

  1. herojig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The actual review of the box says "We just wonder

    And I say Apple sure can. How about a door on the shiny back so you can change the harddrive without pulling off 27" of glass with giant suction cups?!? How about putting back the $1.50 firewire 400 port, or adding another 800 so you don't have to go through conniptions hooking up a firewire camera AND firewire harddrives? And heck, for this money, why not add some kind of REAL expansion that includes slotted cards instead of a 2$ memory card reader? I can go on... the cheesy recycled no numeric pad bluetooth keyboard is just a way to get rid of stock that never sold. How lame is that! Huge display, dinky little keyboard. But the mouse is nice:)

    So I really agree with your assessment that the entry level iMac will do. That's what we use as video editors, and they work fine. If Apple would just go the extra yard and make it possible to cram in a Protools HD card into this box, all would be well in the universe.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Saw one

    I saw and touched one of these last night with the Core 2 Duo. (I always feel like Elmer Fudd when I say "duo").

    It is a work of art, a thing of beauty. Everything from the aluminum chassis (which I suspect also acts as a huge heat sync) to the "just right" screen size and resolution, to the super-snappy performance. I can't even imagine it being faster with the i5/i7. Then again, I didn't do anything super stressful on it. (Just ran VMware and some basic office apps.)

    That said: One of these will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.

  1. chirpy22

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They do make something like that. It's called a Mac Pro. You can get one now at the Apple Store.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Which only means

    the next rev of Mac Pros is really going to push the performance bar...

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    that the next revision of the Mac Pros blows the roof as far as performance and form factor are concerned. I also wish Apple will also revise their 30" display as well.

  1. martinX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    FW800 port comment in article

    Name me one video camera that needs the full speed of firewire 800. Not only don't they need it, there is not a single camera with a FW800 port. DV and HDV are both fine using FW400 and neither get near to saturating it; a Panasonic P2 camera that records in DVCPRO HD can push high def down a 6-pin FW 400 connection. If you have a FW camera and a FW hard drive, this single port is a PITA. Furthermore, if you want to hook up 4 pin equipment, you need a FW800 to (6 pin) FW 400 cable and then a 6 pin to 4 pin adapter. This is how I connect my Sony DSR11 deck.

  1. drumrobot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Blu ray

    I wish people would stop complaining about the lack of a Blu Ray drive. You don't need Blu Ray on a computer, and if you really really needed it, you could just get a Blu Ray DVD player and connect it to the iMac, which would make much more sense.

  1. sgs123

    Joined: Dec 1969



    1) Most FW800 drives have 2 9-pin ports and 1 6-pin port, so you can plug your camera into the drive.

    2) You can buy a 9-pin to 4-pin cable for $5

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