iMac upgrade: No surprises but welcome speed boost

Posted on by Mike Evans

No big surprises in this morning’s iMac upgrades and it’s good to get confirmation that the rumours were more or less spot on. We didn’t expect any cosmetic changes and the processor upgrades and Thunderbolt connectivity were on target.

In the UK store we are looking at considerably higher quoted prices than in the USA, mainly because here we include 20 percent Value Added Tax while US costs are quoted before local taxes.

21.5-inch, 2.5GHz (£999)
21.5-inch, 2.7GHz (£1,249)
27-inch, 2.7GHz (£1,399)
27-inch, 3.1GHz (£1,649)

All come with 4GB of memory, an Apple Wireless Keyboard and the choice of Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad. The base model has a 500GB drive while the rest have a 1TB drive as standard. For an extra £160 the 3.1GHz machine can be upgraded to a 3.4GHz i7 processor. The 2.7GHz i5 on the higher-spec 21inch can also be upgraded to a 2.8GHz i7 for a similar price. All models except the base 21.5in can be configured with a 256GB SSD either in replacement for the 1TB mechanical device (£400 extra) or in addition to the standard drive (£600 extra).

I have been waiting for the upgrade for several months and shall be placing an order later today. Although I’m a great fan of SSD drives, I’m not convinced it’s worth spending an extra £600 on a desktop machine. Admittedly, unless Apple have changed the internals, which they may well have done, it is extremely difficult to retro-fit the SSD (except as a replacement for the main drive). It’s a decision not to be taken lightly when ordering, but this is a risk I’m prepared to take. While I wouldn’t have a laptop without an SSD, I can live with a 7,200 rpm mechanical drive on a desktop machine. I’m still pondering the final spec.

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