iMac computers are not unique products on the market, most computer manufacturers offer such products for far less than Apple. Asus, Sony, Acer, HP, Dell and others are in direct competition with Apple’s iMac, but Apple somehow always managed to separate itself from the others, creating a fake public perception through aggressive, well organized publicity campaigns around every new product launch.The first iMac was based on standard components, but all integrated in one stylish chassis including the big CRT screen.
While it didn’t bring any new components or advancement in performance, the first iMac addressed a common esthetical issue with desktops: TOO MANY CABLES.
Following generations have kept the same philosophy, they all had only one power cable, two cables for keyboard and mouse and an optional UTP network cable (latest models eliminated these too, by switching to wireless keyboards and mice, and also Wi-Fi networking).The latest iMacs come with two different sized screens: 21.5” and 27” diagonal. Both screens are LED-backlit, for maximum image quality. The smaller one supports resolutions up to 1920 x 1080, while the big one up to 2560 x 1440. For the 21.5” iMac or even for a 27” one according to Apple you don’t need a faster processor than Core 2 Duo at 3.06 – 3.33MHz with 3-6MB shared L2 cache, but for the 27” version you can choose Intel Core i5 Quad Core and Intel Core i7 Quad Core (with Hyper Threading technology, that splits every core into 2 threads) processors.
Another nice feature for Core i5 and i7 is the Turbo Boost technology, which monitors processor performance, and allocates more power (permitting higher frequency) for fully used cores and less power & frequency for idle cores. This technology speeds up the system when one or two cores are used and two or three are idle. NVidia’s Geforce 9400M with 256MB shared memory or ATI Radeon 4670 with 256MB dedicated memory is enough for basic applications and gaming on the 21.5” screen, while for the 27” screen you can choose between ATI Radeon 4670 and 4850 with 256MB and 512MB GDDR3 dedicated memory. It seems that the maximum memory limit has been moved to 16GB for all iMacs, so they come with minimum 2 x 2GB, 2 x 4GB, 4 x 2GB or 4×4 GB 1066MHz DDR3 memory installed. All models support standard 3.5” desktop hard drives up to 2TB, on Apple’s official site you can only choose 1TB or 2TB.
Wi-Fi network cards, BlueTooth with EDR (enhanced data rate), DVD SuperDrive, one FireWire port, four USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, wireless mouse and keyboard are the same for all models, the biggest notable difference is with the 27” models, that have Mini DisplayPort inputs, so you can use them with MacBooks or other computers with DisplayPort outputs. In conclusion Apple has made some progress by adopting new Core i5 and i7 processors, but the biggest performance increase comes from the graphics cards and from the huge amount of memory and hard drive space. Prices start from $1,199 for the Core 2 Duo models and $1,999 for the Core i5/i7 models.11
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