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May 10th, 2011

The new iMac models (released Tuesday, May 3rd), show that Apple is still at the top of its game. Let’s take a look at what makes the 2011 iMac a winner.

New iMac from Apple

Quad-core processor in every model

The previous iMac models offered quad-core processors (Intel Core i3, i5 and i7) on some models, but all iMacs now have at least a quad-core i5. The four “stock” models include two with 21.5-inch screens and two 27-inchers, with the former getting 2.5 and 2.7GHz i5 chips and the latter offering 2.7 and 3.1GHz i5′s. Build To Order ( BTO) models get you the most potent CPU’s: a 2.8GHz i7 with the smaller screen, and a 3.4GHz i7 with the larger, which will make them among the fastest (and definitely the coolest) computer rentals available.

Advanced graphics

Three new AMD Radeon HD cards offer two to three times the graphics performance of previous iMacs.  The base 21.5-inch iMac (same size as the current iMac rentals) has 512MB of dedicated graphics memory. The top 21.5″ version and the base 27″ model have the mid-range card (also 512MB) and the top 27-inch model boasts the best card with an incredible 1GB of video memory. (The BTO option gets you 2GB of memory.) All models support a second monitor up to 30 inches in size – which brings us to Thunderbolt.

Lightning fast data transfer

Thunderbolt is a new high-speed connection that works with multiple devices (using adapters for some). In addition to new Thunderbolt devices, you can connect USB and FireWire drives, scanners, cameras, etc., as well as LCD monitor rentals and other displays. There is one Thunderbolt port on 21.5-inch models and two on the 27″ models, carrying two simultaneous streams (in and out) at up to 10Gbps, over 20 times faster than USB 2. Top tech firms such as AJA (maker of our AJA Io HD rentals), Avid and Western Digital are already making Thunderbolt products including displays, storage devices, audio/video interfaces and more.

Details, details

The iSight camera is gone, replaced by the same HD FaceTime camera that debuted in the recently revamped MacBook Pro (along with Thunderbolt). Other common components are 4GB RAM standard (max 8 to 16GB depending on model), 1TB hard drives (512MB on base model), SDXC card slot (32GB to 2TB), FireWire 800, four USB ports and audio in/out. Solid State Drives (SSDs) up to 256GB in size can be added as a BTO option (with an interesting twist). Finally, of course, the iMac has Gigabit Ethernet for hooking up to networks and Ethernet disk raid rentals. Every iMac comes with a wireless keyboard, plus either a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

CRE will keep you posted as to when the new iMacs will be in stock, what configurations will be available and so on. Call or e-mail an expert Account Executive about the new iMacs, or anything else you need to get the job done. We’re here with the solution – and if you already know what it is, save time with the Quick Rental Quote form.

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