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Apple unveils new iMacs: all quad-core, Thunderbolt

updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue May 3, 2011

iMac 2011 goes all quad, Thunderbolt, FaceTime HD

Apple as expected today unveiled its 2011 iMac. The new models are all based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and are the first to go entirely quad-core, starting with the 2.5GHz Core i5 and scaling up to the 3.4GHz Core i7. Each now uses the same 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology from the MacBook Pro that also doubles as a mini DisplayPort output; two are on the back.

FaceTime HD cameras are also new and give conversations between newer Macs a true widescreen conversation. AMD's Radeon HD 6000M series graphics define the line and give them more efficient graphics than before.

A 21.5-inch model starts the line and comes with the 2.5GHz Core i5, a Radeon HD 6750M, and a 500GB hard drive for $1,199; a 2.7GHz Core i5, a Radeon HD 6770M, and a 1TB drive raise the price to $1,499. Buyers of 27-inch models can start off with a 2.7GHz Core i5, a Radeon HD 6770M, and a 1TB disk for $1,699, while the 3.1GHz Core i5, a Radeon HD 6970M, and a 1TB drive cost $1,999.

Build-to-order options include the 3.4GHz Core i7, up to 2TB of disk space, a 256GB SSD (separate from main storage), up to 16GB of RAM, and AppleCare.

The new iMac is shipping immediately from the online Apple Store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Cronocide

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yea! Faster iMacs!

    And they're thinner too!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Mac Matte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No matte antiglare screen on new iMacs

    No matte antiglare screens on the new iMacs. If you need matte screens, there's something you can do - add your voice to 1,300+ petitions at Unlike personal emails to Apple - which Apple just ignore, asserting everyone loves glossy screens - make it count by adding to the online petition where your voice will remain visible on the net until Apple listens. Remember, adding your comment to transient news articles on the net is fine, but those articles go out of date in a few weeks, and also there is no long-term accumulation and consolidation of numbers, like there is at a petition site.

  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I like glossy screens.

    And won't sign your silly petition. :)

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Really are the work Mac now

    iMacs have evolved so much and contain such powerful setups that they've become really the workstation Macs. Sure for the power hungry operations like Final Cut you need the expansion of a Mac Pro, but iMacs can serve a lot of the needs of common workstation requirements including graphics.

    We have 2 in our graphics department to replace our old G5 towers...every bit of what we need.


  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Continuing the Same Pain-to-service Design

    Judging by the pictures, these iMacs offer the same pain-to-service design as the previous models. Replacing the hard drive, a less-than-two-minutes task on my MacBook, is a multi-hour ordeal involving pulling the glass screen and removing the entire display assembly, klutzing with cables and connectors, just to get to the hard drive. Then you have to get everything to fit back together properly. To see for yourself, visit

    How hard would it be for Apple to design a back that's easily removed, exposing all the major components. Hard drives die all the time and putting in a larger one is a common upgrade. There's no reason replacing one should be any harder on an iMac than it is on a MacBook.

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011


    Inkling is Correct

    The weak link in an otherwise noteworthy upgrade is ease of repair/upgrade.

    I'm a photographer and have been eyeing the iMac for some time as a possible replacement to my aging G5 tower, but I'm not giving up easy swapping of bad drives for a sleek form factor. The idea of taking off the front casing and handling the large screen isn't my idea of a good time.

    It's really a shame. Apple has hit the mark on all other significant items: speedy processor, ample storage options, ram capacity to fit most needs.

    As a working pro, I can't lose 1-3 days taking an iMac with a bum drive into an Apple Store for repairs.

  1. aussiearn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iMacs are awesome.

    As a video professional with four old dual chip G4s and a very expensive G5 dual chip tower, the iMac was the best purchase I have made in years. I had a two screen set up with the G5, which I really liked, but the iMac's 27" screen is great, I can see a full sized HD image as I edit and still have room for resources. The whole system just kicks my G5's Arse .

    I have also found it to be more reliable than the towers. The G5 worked great, but when it went down it went down hard. Luckily I had the G4's to back me up.

    The fact I can get two iMacs for the price of one tower, which doesn't come with a monitor, is a big selling point.Two iMacs with an external mirrored backup drive gives almost instant security and redundancy. Think about that! If the towers drive goes out you can fix that easily, if the motherboard goes you are screwed!!! If same happens with the two iMac set up you move onto the backup iMac as you send the other off to be fixed. Minimum lost billing hours.

  1. erics

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is what it is...

    If you dont like it dont buy it.
    I dont care much for the iMac design.
    Love dealing with Mac Pros but not because I cant open it and fidget.
    I just like my options with it period.
    No ones putting a gun to my head and telling me to buy an iMac.

  1. rbar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Finally Canadian price parity

    Canadians can finally purchase this at the same price as our neighbours to the south. To bad this was not extended to the other products. Every other machine is $50 to $100 more. Perhaps this will change as new models are released.

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The iMac is finally ready to replace my aging 2.3GHz G5.

    2 TB/MiniDisplay ports on the back for fast external storage and (hopefully 2GB 6970M should work..) up to 3 displays ..

    Regarding storage..

    I plan to get the iMac w/ the base 1TB spinner, and when a Thunderbolt drive dock like this is available keep multiple TB docks and bare SSD drives for use in the docks for data.. (I do this now w/ my G5 w/ FW800..

    Honestly, once TB drives become common, you could boot off the TB drive and have a script set up to spin down the internal drive .. (if enough people do this, and photos of all the docks and cables pop up on the net, maybe Steve will give us back easy upgrades ;-) )

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