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Apple iMac Goes Core i5, i7; Mac Mini Updated

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 89 comments

iMac gets i5, i7.

Along with the new MacBook and Magic Mouse, Apple today refreshed its entire iMac line with LED-backlit 21.5 and 27-inch widescreen displays in a new edge-to-edge glass design and all aluminum enclosure that pulls it even closer in line with the unibody MacBook Pros.

The new iMac line starts at $1,199 with the 21.5-inch screen and Core 2 Duo at 3.06 GHz. Those willing to shell out top dollar can upgrade all the way up to the new Nehalem-based Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors (but expect to pay $2,000 to get there).

The new 21.5-inch iMac features a 1920-by-1080 pixel display and the 27-inch iMac features a 2560-by-1440 pixel display. Pleasantly, both 21.5 and 27-inch displays use IPS panel technology.

Powering the pixels will either Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics or ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics (ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics in the 27-inch model).

If you're not into the idea of having a screen built into your computer, there's also an upgraded Mac Mini today. Starting at $599, the entry level Mac Mini features a faster 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, a 160GB hard drive, five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics and a SuperDrive. The $799 Mac Mini features a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a larger 320GB hard drive.

For those using the Mac Mini a server, Apple now offers a $999 Mac Mini that is specially configured with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server features two 500GB hard drives for a total of 1TB of server storage in the tiny 6.5-inch square by 2-inch tall Mac Mini enclosure.

Apple today also announced the new plastic, unibody MacBook and the Magic Mouse.

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  • 13 Hide
    ohim , October 21, 2009 10:55 AM
    cliffrowow where are all the PC guys, this looks like a Mac© LoveFest®

    they went core i7 about an year ago. oh well what`s an year behind nowdays and at 2k $ pricetag for a computer with 1 radeon HD 4850 card inside ...
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , October 20, 2009 9:02 PM
    Those new iMacs really are pretty good deals imo. I know I'll get negative votes to the extreme for saying a Mac is good value but $1999 for a Core i5 system or $2199 for a Core i7 system with a built in LED 27" display with a 2560x1440 resolution (beyond Full HD) is a relative steal.

    As a comparison, a Dell XPS 8000 with similar specs comes out at $1069 (without Bluetooth). Considering the cost of LED display panels and the fact that Apple's $899 for its 24" 1080p LED panel is meant to be a relative steal for the cost of manufacturing, the extra $930 for an LED display with that resolution is really quite reasonable. When you factor in things like Education or Higher Education discounts, the iMacs really start to look very attractive price wise.

    Adding the fact that the 27" built in display can be used as an external display for a separate device, I'd have to think long and hard about buying an Octo core workstation or a 27" Core i7 iMac and Core i7 gaming machine for pretty much the same price.
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , October 20, 2009 9:59 PM
    This is great news for Apple users. I think it may be time to look into one of these 27" units.

    Mac OS Users: Tom's is currently conducting a poll with regards to a Mac OS forum.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/32340-12-forum

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/32339-12-apple-macintosh-unix-forum
  • 1 Hide
    burnley14 , October 20, 2009 11:45 PM
    It's about time. Now they'll keep these processors for a year and a half, always at the same price point, and claim to be faster than newer windows-based machines.
  • 0 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , October 21, 2009 12:16 AM
    burnley14It's about time. Now they'll keep these processors for a year and a half, always at the same price point, and claim to be faster than newer windows-based machines.


    Not quite. They tend to update their iMac lines every 6-9 months. The average is about 7 and a quarter months. True they'll keep their price point though which is why its always worth buying Apple machines when they first come out. Macs tend to be pretty good value for money just after a line's been refreshed. Some models have been considerably cheaper than PC equivalents for quite a while after release (such as all Mac Pros until the Nehalem based ones).
    The benefit though is that since their prices remain pretty constant also because there are only a few models to choose from and also since Macs are so fashionable and desirable, they retain their value very well. I.e. the resale value of one of these iMacs will not have dropped very much at all in six months. In three years time they'll also be worth a fair chunk more than similar priced Dells etc.

    The 27" LED display makes these a fair bit better value than any PC and will stay so for a while imo because of the cost of LED displays of this size.

    For anyone considering ever buying an iMac, now is certainly the best time ever.
  • 5 Hide
    cliffro , October 21, 2009 4:49 AM
    wow where are all the PC guys, this looks like a Mac© LoveFest® ;) 
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , October 21, 2009 10:55 AM
    cliffrowow where are all the PC guys, this looks like a Mac© LoveFest®

    they went core i7 about an year ago. oh well what`s an year behind nowdays and at 2k $ pricetag for a computer with 1 radeon HD 4850 card inside ...
  • -2 Hide
    liemfukliang , October 21, 2009 10:59 AM
    The only thing that I like Mac is it Apple Cinema Display is a true 24 color LCD, not like most of PC LCD where its only 18 bit emulation :( .
  • -6 Hide
    SneakySnake , October 21, 2009 12:03 PM
    @ohim

    i5 came out when? a month or so ago? and the i7 in there is the 860. Don't call mac people ignorant when your post is clearly biased and misrepresenting the facts
  • 1 Hide
    ohim , October 21, 2009 12:13 PM
    SneakySnake@ohimi5 came out when? a month or so ago? and the i7 in there is the 860. Don't call mac people ignorant when your post is clearly biased and misrepresenting the facts

    as you can clearly see i pointed out only i7 and talking about it as architecture not the model number in particular. Shall i continue about the graphic card too ? :)  I got to admit macs are pretty nice computers too have on desk they look awesome ,but the price tag for the components inside ... to be honest nobody gives a shit about how my computer looks at home , only i will be able to see it so why pay overprice for the gear ? :p  here you go the lack of PC user flame.
  • 7 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , October 21, 2009 12:18 PM
    ohimthey went core i7 about an year ago. oh well what`s an year behind nowdays and at 2k $ pricetag for a computer with 1 radeon HD 4850 card inside ...


    Or a $2k price tag for a machine with an LED backlit 1440p 27" IPS panel. Which makes it a relative steal. The 4850 isn't a bad card and is pretty much the best mobile graphics solution currently available and thus pretty much the best that can fit in this form factor.

    If you're a gamer, you won't be buying a mac for gaming. If you're not a gamer then a 4850 is pretty respectable graphics.
  • 6 Hide
    godwhomismike , October 21, 2009 12:27 PM
    Well, I will admit I like the 27" Core i7 iMac, but this is real life, and I got bills and a mortgage to pay. The only core i7 machine in my future is that new HP Dv6t Quad laptops, which is selling for $799 (using coupon code: NBSC314243) with the Core i7 720QM cpu, 3GB DDR3 ram, 320GB 7200rpm hard drive, 1GB nvidia GeForce GT 230M, and DVD+-RW drive.

    Again, the 27" Core i7 iMac is a nice machine, but $2,199.00 is completely unrealistic for me. I am looking for a quad core computer for my next machine to run (and also write) highly threaded applications, but there is this thing called a recession and it actually does affect some of us.
  • 1 Hide
    godwhomismike , October 21, 2009 12:57 PM
    I also do not understand why Apple couldn't make a Core i7 Mobile Mac Mini. Before you all jump all over me about costs, the 720QM Core i7 Mobile cpu costs the same price as the Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53 GHz mobile cpu).

    I would've been willing to pay $799 for that, or even $899 if they included a GPU with dedicated Vram.

    Well, at least Windows 7 is a major improvement. I think the only thing I will miss when I switch back is going to be the chat client Adium. It's funny how there are so many developers for the Windows platform, and yet no one could make a chat client that works as great as Adium. I've Digsby, Pidgin, AIM, etc... on the Windows side.

  • 5 Hide
    njalterio , October 21, 2009 1:10 PM
    IMO this is not such a great deal.

    $1200 for a 21 inch display and core2duo? Such a computer and monitor can be had for the $500-$600 range.

    $2000 for an i5 or i7 system? That's ridiculous. On newegg, you can get a good i5/i7 processor from $200-$300. You can build a computer with an i7 and HD 5850 for $1000, 1080p monitor included. Granted this is pre-built for you, but if we are going to call it a deal the price should at least be in the same ballpark as building it yourself.

    The 2560 x 1440 display sounds nice, but do you really expect to get any performance at that resolution with an HD 4850? Even if the HD 4850 could perform at that resolution...the only source material that is capable of beyond 1080p is PC games...and this is a Mac.
  • -1 Hide
    njalterio , October 21, 2009 1:20 PM
    Spanky DeluxeOr a $2k price tag for a machine with an LED backlit 1440p 27" IPS panel. Which makes it a relative steal. The 4850 isn't a bad card and is pretty much the best mobile graphics solution currently available and thus pretty much the best that can fit in this form factor.If you're a gamer, you won't be buying a mac for gaming. If you're not a gamer then a 4850 is pretty respectable graphics.


    But if your not gaming then what is the use of 1440p? Not trying to flame or anything....I just really want to know!

    FYI...LED TVs are available at 32" for $800.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889101201
  • 2 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , October 21, 2009 1:31 PM
    godwhomismikeI also do not understand why Apple couldn't make a Core i7 Mobile Mac Mini. Before you all jump all over me about costs, the 720QM Core i7 Mobile cpu costs the same price as the Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53 GHz mobile cpu). I would've been willing to pay $799 for that, or even $899 if they included a GPU with dedicated Vram. Well, at least Windows 7 is a major improvement. I think the only thing I will miss when I switch back is going to be the chat client Adium. It's funny how there are so many developers for the Windows platform, and yet no one could make a chat client that works as great as Adium. I've Digsby, Pidgin, AIM, etc... on the Windows side.


    Although things like heat dissipation will play a role the biggest factor will be that Apple wants the Mac Minis to be the entry level Mac. As such it has to be less powerful than all the other Macs. Apple would rather users buy an iMac than a Mac Mini + a third party display. Having a $799 Core i7 Mac Mini would also completely kill the entry level (and stupidly overpriced) Mac Pro.
  • 3 Hide
    tipoo , October 21, 2009 1:44 PM
    They are actually pretty price competitive with competing all-in-ones, I just checked. But the problem is that Apple insists on their release cycles, while other PC makers trickle down new hardware through their lineups as it becomes available. So at launch, an Apple product is price-competitive, but just months in it isnt.
  • 0 Hide
    Yoder54 , October 21, 2009 1:45 PM
    I agree with a lot of the pro Mac comments above, but they are all missing a new component that sounds like a first in computer design. Each iMac has two built-in 17 watt high-efficiency audio amplifiers that is supposed to kick-ass over the old system.

    Mac Mini Server has my interest.

    With the software the comes bundled with every Mac these are some great deals that will force Microsoft's hand.
  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , October 21, 2009 1:47 PM
    njalterioIMO this is not such a great deal.$1200 for a 21 inch display and core2duo? Such a computer and monitor can be had for the $500-$600 range.$2000 for an i5 or i7 system? That's ridiculous. On newegg, you can get a good i5/i7 processor from $200-$300. You can build a computer with an i7 and HD 5850 for $1000, 1080p monitor included. Granted this is pre-built for you, but if we are going to call it a deal the price should at least be in the same ballpark as building it yourself. The 2560 x 1440 display sounds nice, but do you really expect to get any performance at that resolution with an HD 4850? Even if the HD 4850 could perform at that resolution...the only source material that is capable of beyond 1080p is PC games...and this is a Mac.

    Not true, the desktop space for one thing would be great and many to most cameras take pictures larger than that. If you bootcamped it or just Mac written games, there are some you know, you could down scale the game down to 1920 x1200 or less to make it playable.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 21, 2009 1:48 PM
    i tried working out a spec similar to the imac core i7 27" w newegg prices. you can config for only $1700 tax included. my appreciation for the imac 27 is the LCD, what what running inside is way behind what pc can offer. and i believe the corei7 is an i5-860 running at 2.8. what they have is not a triple channel system. its a good multi media for movies... but serious gaming, i doubt it. and with $2000 i can build a better spec plus 2 pieces 27" inches and the ati 5850.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , October 21, 2009 1:50 PM
    Anyone know which version of Snow Leopard server the new Mini comes with? It's an amazing deal if its the unlimited licence one, a mediocre deal if its the 10 client one.

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