Apple Updates iMac Line With New Quad-Core Processors, Better Graphic Performance & Faster Memory

D7_Pkg_YL_01Apple today updated its iMac line, with several performance upgrades. Of most interest to musicians will probably be the fourth-generation Intel quad-core processors, improved graphic system, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options.

  • The entry-level 21.5-inch iMac features a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and Iris Pro graphics.
  • The high-end 21.5-inch model and both 27-inch models feature quad-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 3.4 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics with twice the video memory and up to 40 percent faster performance than the previous generation.

Here are the key features of the new versions:

  • Customers can upgrade to quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.5 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M series graphics with up to 4GB of video memory.
  • The iMac line now supports next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi. When connected to an 802.11ac base station, iMac delivers wireless performance that is up to three times faster than the previous generation.
  • The updated iMac also features support for PCIe-based flash storage that makes Fusion Drive and all-flash storage options up to 50 percent faster than the previous generation.
  • The Fusion Drive option combines the large storage capacity of a hard drive with the high performance of flash to deliver shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files. Customers can configure their iMac with a 1TB or 3TB Fusion Drive, and all-flash storage options are now available in configurations up to 1TB.
  • iMac comes standard with 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive, and customers can choose to configure their iMac with up to 32GB of memory and up to a 3TB hard drive. iMac also comes with two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports for connecting to external storage and other high performance peripherals.
  • iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves an EPEAT Gold rating. iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac includes PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, and uses highly recyclable materials and material-efficient packaging designs.

Pricing & Availability

The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz and Intel Iris Pro for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US); and with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US).

The 27-inch iMac is available with a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 755M for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US); and with a 3.4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.8 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US).

19 thoughts on “Apple Updates iMac Line With New Quad-Core Processors, Better Graphic Performance & Faster Memory

      1. Entry level used to be quad core too, same clock speeds on the 21.5 inchers too, just made them haswell. Great refresh though! and the new pcie is a very welcome surprise as well.

  1. i7’s are also part of the custom options

    27″ option
    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

    21″ option
    3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

    1. The point of a music computer is stability which apple is very well known for, hackintoshes are anything but! A really cool thing to do as a hobby project but not for anything you have to have work reliably.

        1. And you also have to factor in the time it takes to read the hackintosh sites, compile a list of components that work (together), order them (possibly at different online stores to save money when one has an offer for, say, the mainboard while another shop has ultra-cheap RAM), build the darn thing, install through some hoops to install the Hackintosh stuff and hope for the best. Even on a setup that’s been said to be supported for a year or two, it’s been anything but a smooth ride. If I want to build a PC then I’d install some GNU/Linux and maybe Windows. But I want a system that just works. That’s worth the money to me.

        2. But this one of the main reasons people buy Macs…you don’t have to “read before you purchase”, I’d rather spend my reading time on synthesizers, design or programming…you know actual productive stuff. I don’t cook cheeseburgers and I don’t build PCs, teenagers can do that for 10 bucks an hour, I have other shit to do.

  2. I went the quad-core 27″ iMac route a few years ago. Here are the things I don’t like about it:

    – When the fans kick on (which happens quite frequently with heavy-CPU sessions), they’re right in your face! Not good for mixing.
    – Thing gets HOT, HOT, HOT!…. Burn your skin off kinda hot, no joke.
    – It’s not upgradeable (other than memory). Even though my system is still relative powerful, it’s only a matter of a couple of years before it’s obsoleted. Then it’s over to the wife to use as a web browser. *sigh*
    – The computer IS the monitor. I live in California. We have earthquakes here. When I first got the iMac and plopped it on the desk, my heart fluttered thinking about what will happen to it during a moderate shake…. So I clamped it down to the table using some heavy duty clamps from Home Depot.
    – Monitor height is too low / not adjustable. TERRIBLE ergonomics for spending hours in front of it. Recently spent $150 on a swivel arm that would finally give me the height and adjustability that I need.

    Other than that it’s a great machine!.. but would I buy it again? Probably not.

    1. Spot on. Those who down-voted this either never owned an iMac or are just corporate fanboys. The second a part of the hardware goes haywire, you have to live with it. My fan has a non driver related fan issue where either the SMC is not functioning or dust build-up is stupidly high in my imac, but the fan has ALWAYS been a problem when making music. It gets loud quick. The mac pro is about the same price per spec without most of those problems

      1. My fan would kick on really hard too, felt like I was sitting in the can airplane about to take off. I was able to somewhat alleviate it by turning off and unplugging the machine, laying it down and taking a vaccuum hose to the vents at the bottom (and the top), being careful not to actually touch the case. Pretty ridiculous, I know! Fans were slightly quieter after this, though they still kick on loud at times. Not as much as before though (I think).

  3. I’ve got two older iMacs (a 2008 3.06Ghz 24″ and a 2009 2.93Ghz 24″) both of which I’ll be selling in coming months. I’m moving over to a laptop (a Macbook Air) based solution, running two 27″ Thunderbolt displays, to make a two-in-one desktop/laptop system. I don’t think I’d buy a desktop only computer these days, because of lack of flexibility. As for my music studio, I run that from an Alienware 18″ ‘laptop’ (more a desktop replacement) which does the job perfectly fine.

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