Apple unveils jaw-dropping all-new iMac

Apple today unveiled a completely new iMac with a stunning design, brilliant display with reduced reflection, and faster processors.* With third generation Intel quad-core processors, powerful NVIDIA graphics and an innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive, the new iMac is the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made.

“With a stunning design, brilliant display and faster performance, we’ve made the world’s leading all-in-one desktop computer better in every way,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in the press release. “The all-new iMac is unbelievably thin, yet packs an incredible amount of performance and technology into our most innovative desktop.”

Redesigned from the inside out, the new iMac packs high-performance technology into an aluminum and glass enclosure with up to 40 percent less volume than its predecessor and an edge that measures just 5 mm thin. Built with an unprecedented level of fit and finish, the new iMac delivers an amazing desktop experience in a gorgeous design. The new iMac also features a completely reengineered display that reduces reflection by 75 percent while maintaining brilliant color and contrast. In the new design, the cover glass is fully laminated to the LCD and an anti-reflective coating is applied using a high-precision plasma deposition process. Every iMac display is individually color calibrated using an advanced spectroradiometer.

Apple's all-new iMac (8th gen)
Apple’s all-new iMac (8th gen)

 

The new iMac features third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to Core i7. The latest NVIDIA GeForce processors deliver up to 60 percent faster performance for advanced gaming and graphics intensive apps. Every new iMac now comes standard with 8GB of 1600 MHz memory and a 1TB hard drive, and customers can choose to configure their iMac with up to 32GB of memory and a new 3TB hard drive, or 768GB of flash storage for ultimate performance. With two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports, the new iMac delivers even greater expandability and support for high-performance peripherals.

Fusion Drive is an innovative new storage option that gives customers the performance of flash storage and the capacity of a hard drive. It combines 128GB of flash with a standard 1TB or 3TB hard drive to create a single storage volume that intelligently manages files to optimize read and write performance. Fusion Drive adapts to the way you use your iMac and automatically moves the files and apps you use most often to flash storage to enable faster performance and quicker access.

Apple also updated the Mac® mini with third generation dual-core Intel Core i5 and quad-core Intel Core i7 processors that are up to twice as fast and have integrated graphics that are up to 65 percent faster.** Mac mini comes standard with 4GB of 1600 MHz memory with support for up to 16GB. Retaining its amazingly compact aluminum design, the new Mac mini now includes four USB 3.0 ports in addition to its Thunderbolt, HDMI, SDXC, Gigabit Ethernet, and FireWire 800 ports.

Both iMac and Mac mini meet stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieve an EPEAT Gold rating.*** iMac uses up to 50 percent less energy than the previous generation when idle, and features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac mini retains its status as the world’s most energy efficient desktop computer, using only 11W when idle. Both the iMac and Mac mini include PVC-free components and cables, contain no brominated flame retardants, and use highly recyclable materials and material-efficient packaging designs.

iMac and Mac mini ship with OS X Mountain Lion, bringing Messages, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Dictation, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper to your Mac. With iCloud built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Pricing & Availability
The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US); and with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US). The 21.5-inch iMac will be available in November through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 27-inch iMac is available with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US); and with a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US). The 27-inch iMac will be available in December through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Mac mini is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $599 (US); a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $799 (US); and a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, OS X Server, 4GB of memory and two 1TB hard drives for a suggested retail price of $999 (US). The Mac mini is available today through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/imac or apple.com/mac-mini.

*Testing conducted by Apple in October 2012 using preproduction iMac configurations. For more information visit apple.com/imac/features/.
**Testing conducted by Apple in October 2012 using preproduction Mac mini configurations. For more information visit apple.com/mac-mini/features.html.
***Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.2 energy database as of October 2012. EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.

Source: Apple Inc.

109 Comments

    1. Me, too. As soon as the “Select” button goes live on the Apple store, I’ll click it; right now it just says, “Available in December”. I wish the Ed discount was more than $100, though.

    2. Yeah, I don’t really need a desktop, but the 27″ monitor and the fusion drive may change my mind.

      …or to wait for the fusion drive to be offered on MBP Retinas?

        1. … at the specs, they list a 500 GB or a 750 GB hard drive.
          Spinning disk.
          A closer look, though, proves you right. That’s the older model. Or, perhaps, an old-school model. The Retina display model does no spinning – all flash. Confusion inevitable.

    3. This is a GREAT update. But… If I can get the previous generation iMac 21.5-inch as an Apple Certified Refurb for something like $899, I may go for it instead.

      The older iMac has user upgradeable RAM, so I can buy it with the minimum and buy more cheaply from OWC. Extreme thinness looks awesome, but is NOT as important in a desktop Mac, since the user is always looking at it head-on and not moving it from place to place.

      The new display has the same overall specs. It is thinner, but again, not as big a deal for a stationary computer. The glare aspect may be important to some, but it has not bothered me previously. It has USB 3.0 instead of 2.0, but all of my current peripherals are USB 2.0 or FireWire; I think I can go one more iMac without having 3.0. I don’t really care too much about the optical drive (or lack of…), but it is there in the previous iMac for the one or two times a year that I may use it (I have a USB optical drive already that I can plug in).

      The new iMac 21.5-inch has two Thunderbolt ports versus one for the previous 21.5-inch model, which may become more important. The new iMac is (probably) somewhat faster.

      I’ll have to think about it between now and the time the new iMac becomes available… My current iMac was purchased as an Apple Certified Refurb (for $849) after it was no longer the latest model, and I’ve been VERY happy with it all these years.

      1. Apple does say “four user-accessible SO-DIMM slots” on the 27″ iMac, but is curiously quiet on the 21″‘s ram. It would be a mistake to not have user-upgradeable ram on the 21″.

    1. Yawn? The thing is razor thin and packs a serious punch. Pass all you want, but nothing comes close to it in the marketplace. So if it was hot pink you’d buy one since it wouldn’t be silver? Seriously flawed logic? Or just immaturity?

        1. … he said nothing about Windows 8 – or ANY OS! Not even OSX. He was a little harsh on iMaki’s post – only a little.
          You know, the one where the buying decision is based entirely on the color scheme? The User-accessable RAM (or not) on the 21″ machine should be more significant than the color scheme.

  1. I’m not in the market for this but it looks like a solid machine.

    One niggling point though: What makes the “fusion drive” deserve the label “innovative”? Hybrid drives have been around for a few years now, still new enough they can be called innovative, but it’s not an Apple innovation.

    1. Hybrid drives aren’t themselves a new innovation, but Fusion Drive is, as tends to be the case when Apple introduces something new, a better implementation of the hybrid concept.

      For one thing, the SSD “cache” is 128GB, unlike the typical 8-16GB caches on other hybrids. The OS permanently resides on this cache in its entirety.

      Something Apple didn’t explicitly mention but is quite possible is that because the SSD and hard drive are separate devices, one or the other could potentially be upgraded (this has yet to be determined, of course).

      “Innovation” doesn’t always mean “brand new, never before used technology”. Apple rarely makes all-new tech – instead, they use tech that’s out there in more useful, better ways.

      1. Thanks for the excellent explanation. It wasn’t clear earlier what the improvements over normal hybrids was.

        Now the next question is, can *normal* hybrid drives work in the new iMac… or, will Apple also offer these as after-purchase upgrades on older machines, like the mid-2012 Macbook Pro? I’m assuming these are 2.5″ drives since the new iMac is so thin.

        1. I very seriously doubt Apple will offer the Fusion Drive as a separate upgrade for older iMacs. First, older iMacs may not have the necessary connections or other internal components for the Fusion Drive.

          But most importantly, Apple wants to sell you a new iMac, not upgrade your old one. And that’s primarily why you won’t be able to get one aftermarket.

    2. The Fusion drive is more about the software then the hardware invovation. It does the allocation of what items go on the SSD or standard HD automatically, based on the users use of applications an files.

    3. From what I have seen, most hybrid drives like the Seagate laptop drive have 4 Gig of SSD combined with 750 gig of HD, but cannot intelligently move most used apps into SSD, even IF there was enough SSD space to do so.

      Apple’s drive (argue about innovative if you must) has almost a TB of SSD, coupled with either a 1 TB or 3 TB hard drive, that inteligently via Mountain Lion, moves most used items into the faster SSD space. If not ‘innovative’ its certainly a giant leap forward in capacity and management capability.

      1. Well crap… Hit the send button too soon. Was thinking of the 756GB SSD in the new MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Display model while talking about the new iMac. Sorry, my bad. Still, point stands, 128GB of SSDin the Apple Fusion vs 4GB in the Seagate hybrid is a huge differenece

        1. Again, 4GB is almost enough for a large video file, or several 10s of RAW still data…… 128GB will fit the entire OS, commonly used apps, and files. 4 vs 128, no comparison other than the very mathematically obvious 32x more space.

          OTOH FTB, I’ll bet you are right about Seagate being the manufacturer.

        2. Key word there might be “data”. Apple is saying that entire applications (i.e. launching faster!) would be moved to reside on the flash partition (at least until something else becomes more “frequent” and it needs the room.) while the current hybrid drives move “data” that is being frequently manipulated. Apple seems to be look much farther ahead than just what an application calls for.

          1. yeah, cause an App is not data….

            maybe you should READ some more on the hybrid drives.
            they MOVE boot files as well as apps. there are hybrid drives with as much as 16GB of Flash, not just 4GB.

            Fusion drive is nothing more than a BIGGER Flash portion of the hybrid drives.

            and As I said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Seagate actually makes these drives… we will know next month when the tear downs are shown.

            1. Yes, but 4GB isn’t anywhere near enough to put your OS on (Windows, OS X or Linux), let alone include apps and data files.

              Apple’s Fusion Drive allows you to have your entire iPhoto library or iTunes library available for fast access on Flash instead of just a few files (amazing how 4GB is relegated to “small files” these days!). So while Fusion Drive is not a brand-new, never-seen-before invention, the use and structure is innovative in holding the entire OS, apps, and data files.

            2. (Bangs head on desk)

              4 GB on ONE DRIVE……. there are Drives with 4GB/8GB/16GB and 120GB of Flash and the REST are HDD.

              oh wait…. Just like Fusion.

              And reading other blogs, it DOES look like Seagate is the maker of these Fusion Drives….

              the only thing new, is the name… Fusion, and the entire OS will be stored there by default instead of the OS files used during Boot etc.

              Current Seagate drives do not store anything in the Flash section at first… they adapt to your use over time. The Fusion drive seems to skip that step and put the OS there to start and THEN adapts to the REST of your use.

              That folks… is the new thing.

    4. I don’t think it’s actually a special “hybrid” drive. I’ll bet it is actually a separate 128 GB flash-based drive and standard hard drive. It’s Mac OS X that “merges” the two drives, so that the user seamlessly sees it as ONE large AND fast volume. And THAT, would be “innovative.”

      It was briefly mentioned in the presentation as an option for the new Mac mini as well, which makes sense since the Mac mini can have two 2.5-inch drives (one could be flash-based). Hopefully, it will be possible to set up the “Fusion Drive” (great name) with ANY Mac that has an internal flash drive and hard drive, since it is possible for older iMacs and Mac mini (and Mac Pro obviously) to have a flash drive and hard drive.

      This OS feature was rumored a while ago…

      1. I doubt they’re separate. The 1 TB Fusion drive is also an option in the Mac mini, they’re not going to add space and connectors just for a second drive, no matter how small the flash module is, when hybrid drives are already fairly proven technology.

        The other reason I doubt they’re separate: The 1 TB Fusion is a $250 upgrade option on the Mini, over the same-sized HDD. Just tossing in 128 GB of flash memory for $250 is a hideously overpriced upgrade even for Apple.

        1. FYI – The Mac mini already has the space and connectors for a second drive. The server version has two 2.5-inch hard drives, and it’s the same design. It can just use a mass-produced commodity 2.5-inch flash drive, not a more expensive specialty flash module used in MacBooks.

          Maybe it’s one drive, but a design that uses two separate drives that the OS merges into one volume is a more flexible implementation, especially for a desktop Mac, which can accommodate two standard commodity drives. It does not depend on a more expensive specialty part.

      2. ok…
        Now I can see the Fusion drive being a 1 or 2 drive solution.
        Check the pic.

        there is NO room in the new iMac for two drives… BUT, see the “up to 768gb Flash” on the left?

        Now I can see it as 2 drives… but a Fusion drive STILL only uses 128GB Flash.. so still confused.

        But for those saying the combination of the two drives is “key”… it’s the exact same as RAID 0.

        1. There IS room for two drives. ONE of them is a flash drive. Why can’t it be a 128GB module? I don’t understand the confusion… The whole point is to reduce cost while maintaining high storage. If it had 768GB of flash storage, that defeats the purpose for doing the “fusion.”

          > But for those saying the combination of the two drives is “key”… it’s the exact same as RAID 0.

          It may be “RAID 0” or not, but that’s NOT the distinction. The “key” is that Mac OS X is intentionally placing the OS system components on the flash storage, and intelligently moving other files around over time (based on usage) so that files that are used most often are placed on the flash storage. And the user just benefits from better performance with zero added complexity.

          1. the RAID 0 part.. thats HOW THE OS SEES 1 DRIVE….. NOT the moving the files around. thats the “Fusion” part. (which I believe is Seagate’s adaptive stuff, since other blogs swear Seagate makes the drive..)

            the Fusion drive only uses 128GB flash… the picture shows up to 768GB flash.
            which makes one think the Fusion drive IS 1 drive..
            If we can order a 3TB Fusion drive AND a 768 Flash drive, then we know the Fusion drive is an all in one drive.

            We will know soon enough.

            1. What I’m saying is that whether it’s one drive or two, the distinctive and innovative part about “Fusion Drive” is not the hardware, but the software.

              My speculation is that I could be done more flexibly (and economically) using two separate drives, with Mac OS X making it a seamless experience for the user.

            2. With Apple purchasing Anobit.. 2 drives *could* make sense.

              but.. With Apple using Seagate drives, AND using the same idea that Seagate uses.. 1 Drive is also possible.

              We won’t know for sure until ifixit etc tears the new iMac apart 😉

    1. Yes, BUT only on the bigger model.

      From Apple’s iMac page: “Or add more memory to the 27-inch model yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back”

      1. In the tech specs section it does note that the 21″ comes with 8GB, configurable to 16GB, so lack of mention of upgrading the 21″ memory later may be no more than failing to mention it.

        1. they could have easily said
          “Or add more memory yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back”

          Specifically mentioning the 27″ tells me there was no “failure” to mention the 21.5″

        2. What FTB said.

          When the mid-2012 MBPs were released I almost jumped for joy thinking they’d finally managed to put a discrete graphics card into the 13″. I thought this because all 3 models (13″, 15″, 15″ Retina) shared a combined box in the specs section for graphics, and naturally thought it meant all three had the same features.

          I had to read it 3 times before noticing it said the discrete graphics was only available on 15″ MBP and MBP Retina. The letdown was considerable.

          So, lesson learned: if Apple singles out models for a feature, the other(s) don’t have it.

    2. When I realized that I couldn’t upgrade the RAM myself, that’s when my jaw dropped. No thank you. No thank you very much.

      This lack of upgradability and over priced RAM will make me leave the Mac behind. Not a smart move IMO.

        1. Are you for really! It so simple, if a dummy like me can do any one can install RAM on an iMac. Plus the saving if you install 8g is enough to buy you an Mini iPad.

        2. That doesn’t mean Apple should necessarily design down to the least technical amongst us though does it? I thought the idea was that the Macs were meant to be “trucks” and the iOS devices “cars”.

      1. … every Mac behind because the 21″ iMac won’t let you add RAM yourself? OK … that could be a deal-breaker for me, as well – for the 21″ iMac. I say COULD be because it comes with 8GB of RAM installed.
        Since I want the 27″ iMac, there is no such problem. If 8GB is not enough, I add more. But … my MacPro quad only has 5GB, and that is sufficient.
        Question: do you know – or even think – you need more than 8GB RAM? Or does that limitation just bother you? Or, perhaps, you are just a childish troll being … “cute”?

  2. Yeah you guys go ahead and buy a W8 machine it should wow you with all its levers and new fangled widgets and you can touch the screen!!!! It’ll fit your personality and craving for stimulation.

  3. Totally blew my mind, that is one sexy machine. The PC industry just shit a brick because there is no way to match it, no way.
    If they (the analysts) don’t think the iMac will dominate desktop sales for the next 2-3 years, they are living in dream land.
    Now I know a lot of people say what’s the big deal, who needs a desktop, right. How about every family who have kids and their desktop is a shared machine for the family. Most will have one desktop (iMac) and then several touch devices such as iPad, iPad mini’s, iPhones and iPod touches. There is a still a need for a shared desktop for most families.
    I see AAPL is down again. It’s on sale, I’m buying more because Xmas is going to be the most profitable ever.

    1. You’re right. This is 2 birds with 1 stone.
      The new form factor keeps the iMac going from a sales perspective, but more important it puts way more space between Apple (as a whole) and the rest of the industry.

      For a consumer who walks into an Apple store now, and there’s nothing even resembling products from the PC world. (Mac Pro — you’re next.)

  4. I guess this new generation of iMac shows that you (or at least Apple) CAN improve upon all-in-one perfection.

    Now if they will finally stand and deliver on a new Mac Pro, the universe would be a better place.

    1. Now that most of the Mac lineup has been replaced with new products, and the iPad/iPhone/iPod devices are all new, a brand-new Mac Pro for a spring announcement looks good.

  5. I am so glad the optical drive is gone. Get rid of that anachronistic monstrosity. I know some video people need to be able to burn DVDs for clients, but I’m glad to see Apple pushing the industry away from that junk.

    The sooner optical/magnetic spinning media disappears, the better.

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