We get so used to Apple introducing products with over-the-top hype and fanfare, so it is always a refreshing surprise when we discover that Apple has … um, refreshed one of its product lines. Yesterday Apple released an update to the iMac line, with upgraded processors, new graphics, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options.
Faster Processors: the new 4th generation Haswell Intel Core processors are faster with lower power consumption. The standard configurations offer quad-core i5 processors, but optional builds include quad-core i7, which allows hyper-threading for 8 virtual cores.
Updated Graphics: even at the bottom end the Intel Iris Pro graphics system is very capable for games, movies and more … and at the top end the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M is just insanely powerful. To put it in perspective, the Iris Pro is faster than dedicated graphics cards you would buy with an iMac just a couple of years ago!
Next-Gen WiFi: new systems come standard with next-generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi chipset across the board. 802.11ac is reportedly three times faster than the previous generation specification.
Faster PCIe Flash Storage: Apple includes an option for a FusionDrive (hybrid hard drive & flash) as well as large capacity flash storage options. These offer ~1.5x the performance (i.e. a 50% increase) of the previous generation.
Pricing remains competitive, with pre-configured options from $1299 (21.5″) to $1999 (27″), which I quickly drove up to $3299 by adding the 3.5GHz Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M with 4GB Video RAM, 32GB RAM, and the 3TB Fusion Drive (the 1TB flash drive would add another $700).
What do you think of the new iMac lineup?