New iMacs Rock Thunderbolt, Facetime, Quad Cores and Price Tag

Apple has slung Thunderbolt and FaceTime at its sleek ‘n’ sexy iMac range as well as tweaking stuff under the hood.

The fruity all-in-ones have received a refresh and in the course of being overhauled the Apple desktop puters have been handed the high-speed Thunderbolt connection and FaceTime video-calling as well of getting quad-core Intel processors added to its innards.

Following the addition of Thunderbolt to the new Apple MacBook Pro earlier this year the iMacs have been brought up-to-date with the super-swift Thunderbolt I/O connection that combines a PCI Express port and DisplayPort into one socket – Data-transfer speeds can hit up to 10Gbps although there’s still not many things supporting this new connection at the moment, check out Nikon and LaCie as these seem to be Thunderbolt friends.

FaceTime was also slapped onto the MacBooks and now that Apple’s video-calling technology appears on the iMac, utilising its built-in high-definition webcam, you will be able to video-call other iMacs and MacBooks as well as iPhone 4, iPod touch and iPad 2 owners.

Externally little has changed except the 21.5-inch iMac gets one Thunderbolt socket where the 27-inch model is rockin a pair of Thundersockets. In the engine room, however, rumbles the chip formally known as Sandy Bridge – Intel’s quad-core Core i5 processor. Apple reckons the AMD Radeon HD graphics processors make this “the most powerful graphics ever in an all in one desktop”.

The new model gets an SD card slot, four USB slots and a FireWire connection as well as boasting a high-definition display – this all chugs along merrily using Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

You get a wireless keyboard and either Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad bundled in the box, as well as the iLife software package which delivers iPhoto, iMovie and the ever popular GarageBand.

Now here’s the pain:

The 21.5-inch iMac starts at £1,000 for a Core i5 chip, AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics and 500GB hard drive. A version with a 2.7GHz Core i5 chip, AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics and 1TB hard drive will cost £1,250.

The 27-inch iMac is available in two models and starts at £1,400 for a 2.7GHz Core i5 chip, AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics and 1TB hard drive. The top-drawer creme de la creme of the line is a 27-inch model with 3.1GHz Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics and 1TB hard drive for £1,650.

If all that is still not enough you get the option to sling in Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.4GHz, boost the hard drive up to 2TB, grab a 256GB solid state drive and additional DDR3 memory – it all costs though 😉

Beauty comes at a price evidently.

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