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Photos: Apple iMacs get Intel Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge boost

iMac desktop PCs tweaked for speed, performance and HD FaceTime video chat...

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Topic: Hardware
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iMac desktop PCs tweaked for speed, performance and HD FaceTime video chat...

Apple has refreshed its 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac desktop computers, pictured above, adding faster quad-core processors, boosting the graphics performance and incorporating Intel's Thunderbolt I/O high-speed data-transfer technology.

The desktop refresh follows Apple's update of its MacBook Pro laptops earlier this year.

The Mac maker reckons the new iMacs are up to 70 per cent faster than their predecessors and that graphics performance is up to three times better. There has been no change on the OS front: the iMacs run Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and come with Apple's iLife suite of lifestyle software.

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Here's the 27-inch iMac, which has two Thunderbolt ports. There's a choice of a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor. Users who buy via Apple's online store can also opt for a 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7.

Apple confirmed that the all-new iMac processors are based on Intel Sandy Bridge chips. Graphics-wise, the machines have been fitted with new AMD Radeon HD graphics processors.

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Here's the 21.5-inch iMac, which has a single Thunderbolt port. There's a choice of a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor. Again, you can opt for a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 if you buy the machine from Apple's online store.

Both iMacs come with either Apple's touch-sensitive Magic Mouse, pictured above, or its Magic Trackpad touch-sensitive slab.

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On both iMacs, Apple has also updated the built-in webcams to support iMac-to-iMac high-definition video-calling via its FaceTime software. High-definition FaceTime video-calls can't be made to iPhones, iPads or the iPod Touch, or to older generation iMacs. With those devices, it's standard-resolution video-calls only.

The 27-inch iMac, pictured above, costs £1,399 including VAT or £1,649, while the 21.5-inch iMac costs £999 or £1,249, depending on the processor.

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