The current version of the Apple iMac packs in Intel's second-generation Sandy Bridge processor and is the fastest all-in-one desktop you can buy. It even beats some tower-based desktops in performance tests, and reviewers say it is the best choice if you want an all-in-one computer for serious work or serious play. This top-of-the-line iMac comes with a quad-core 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, a 1 TB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB of onboard memory. The high-resolution display measures a whopping 27 inches and reviewers say it looks gorgeous. Although the design hasn't changed from previous models, it remains the best in its class, according to reviews.
All-in-one computers have traditionally been a poor choice for intensive computing tasks, but the 27-inch Apple iMac shows that you can get real power in a sleek, compact design. Testing reveals that the iMac is faster than any other all-in-one computer. Computer challenging games like "Call of Duty 4" and "Far Cry 2" post frame rates around 60 frames per second even when played at full 2,560-by-1,440-pixel resolution. Dropping the resolution or graphical settings raise frame rates even higher. Some reviewers bemoan the lack of a Blu-ray drive or HDMI port. If you don't need a large display or quad-core performance, reviewers say the entry-level 21.5-inch Apple iMac is the best value in the iMac lineup.
Many major reviewers test the 27-inch Apple iMac, including CNET, PCMag.com, and ComputerShopper.com. These in-depth reports provide plenty of details on the iMac and how it compares to previous generations. Apple enthusiast sites like Macworld are also useful sources, although they don't make any comparisons to similar PCs. AnandTech.com offers a detailed, multi-page review of the Apple desktop.
The 27-inch iMac earns a 4 (out of 5) star rating from PCMag.com. Joel Santo Domingo calls the PC "as powerful as an Asgardian thunder god," but fails to give the all-in-one an Editors' Choice award. "For the rest of us who don't live and die by deliverable deadlines, however, other recent all-in-one PCs out-innovate the Aluminum beast," he writes.
Review: Apple iMac 27- inch (Thunderbolt), Joel Santo Domingo, May 4, 2011
CNET gives an Editors' Choice award to the 27-inch Apple iMac. Rich Brown says the iMac has better overall performance than any other all-in-one on the market, and gaming performance is impressive as well. However, he wishes the system included an HDMI port.
Review: Apple iMac 27-inch (3.1GHz, spring 2011), Rich Brown, May 3, 2011
3. Computer Shopper
It is yet another Editors' Choice award for the 27-inch iMac, this time from ComputerShopper.com. Jonathan Rougeot raves about the sleek design, gorgeous display and overall performance. "The iMac's performance here is high enough that all modern games should be playable, provided you're willing to occasionally drop down the resolution a bit and switch off a few graphical settings," he writes. Like most reviewers, he wishes it had a Blu-ray drive and HDMI port.
Review: Apple iMac (27-Inch, 2011 Version), Jonathan Rougeot, May 2011
AnandTech.com delivers far and away the most comprehensive review of the 27-inch iMac, comprised of page after page of benchmark tests and hands-on impressions. "I like LG's 27-inch panel that Apple uses, I like Sandy Bridge and thus I like the 2011 iMac. If I lived a different life it'd probably be my desktop of choice, and that's something I never thought I'd say," Anand Lal Shimpi writes in conclusion.
Review: The 27-inch Apple iMac Review (2011), Anand Lal Shimpi, May 27, 2011
Macworld gives the new iMac 4 mice (out of 5). At 1,024–by-768 resolution, all four iterations of the 2011 iMac deliver similar frame rates in "Call of Duty 4," but upping the resolution to 1,920-by-1,080 results in the 3.1 GHz 27-inch iMac far outpacing the other configurations. It delivers 87.8 fps while the other versions achieve very playable, but still diminished, 50 to 60 fps scores. He also reports this year's iMacs are much speedier overall than last year's model, which contained a first-generation Intel Core processor.
Review: 21.5- and 27-inch iMacs (Mid 2011), James Galbraith, May 10, 2011