• iMac, Mac Pro Get Speed Bumps

    Both the iMac and Mac Pro lines were refreshed today, with the iMac receiving new Core i3, i5 and i7 configuration and the Mac Pro with options for up to 12 physical processing cores. Both product lines have new ATI graphics and fast SSD drives available as options. The new iMac is the first Apple computer to feature a Core i3 chip.

    The iMac, which was last refreshed in October 2009, can now be purchased with dual-core Intel Core i3 and Core i5 speeds up to 3.6 GHz, and quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 at up to 2.93 GHz. Graphics is improved with the option of an ATI Radeon HD 5670 discrete coprocessor card with 512MB GDDR3 memory. The iMac's card slot on the now supports the SDXC format, and 256GB solid state drives (SSDs), with up to 215 MB/s data transfer rates, are available as build-to-order options on the new model.

    The Mac Pro finally received the refresh it had been missing for over a year, with this introduction of new hexacore chips in single or double processor configurations. Dual 2.66 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon X5650s or a pair of 2.93 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon X5670s can be installed on new Mac Pros for 12 physical cores, with hyperthreading technology to allow for 24 logical cores. Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, called the refreshed Mac Pro "the most powerful and configurable Mac we've ever made," noting that there were "over a billion possible configurations." The high end desktop is also available with single or dual ATI Radeon HD cards, large mechanical hard disks or up to 4 512 GB SSDs (!) for extremely fast disk access.

    The Mac Pro starts at $2,499 US and will be available in August. The Core i3 iMac starts at $1,199 while the 27-inch iMac with a quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU has a base price of $1,999. All iMac models are available and shipping now.
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