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The latest Apple iMac all-in-one desktops are among the most futuristic systems available today. They are thin, they are elegant, they are very fast in terms of performance and rich in terms of interconnection and communication capabilities, they even lack optical disk drives. One thing that the latest iMac did not feature were solid-state drives. This week, Apple started to offer optional SSD storage along with hard drives and hybrid sub-systems.

For those, who considers hybrid Fusion drives (a 1TB or 3TB hard drive with an mSATA caching SSD) too slow, Apple now offers optional 256GB, 512GB and 768GB solid-state drives for no-compromise performance. Unfortunately, Apple’s SSDs are very expensive, the lowest-cost option costs extra $300 (from the default 1TB 7200rpm HDD); the mid-range model adds $600; whereas the 768GB SSD will be installed for extra $900.

Even though Apple announced SSD options for iMac back in October, they were unavailable until recently, according to Apple observers. The iMac 21.5” was offered without any optional SSD, whereas the iMac 27” could be equipped only with expensive 768GB model.

The more flexible approach to configuration of the new iMac is possible not only because Apple is no longer short of components for the new iMacs and more customers want differentiated systems, but also because of the fact that at least some of the iMacs are now assembled in the U.S., which gives Apple additional opportunities to customize its PCs.

The new iMac features quad-core Intel Core i5 “Ivy Bridge” processors (can be upgraded to Core i7), Nvidia GeForce “Kepler” GTX 675M/660M or GeForce GT 650M/640M graphics processors with 512MB GDDR5, 8GB DDR3 memory as well as up to 3TB of hard disk drive storage or 768GB solid-state storage. The new iMacs also provide hybrid Fusion Drive option, which 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. Traditionally, iMac AIOs come with 21.5” (1920*1080) and 27” (2560*1440) displays. Apple’s new iMac includes four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, SDXC card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and so on.

Apple iMac 21.5” starts at $1299, the bigger version costs $1799 in minimal configuration.

Tags: Apple, iMac, SSD, Intel, Core, Nvidia, Geforce, Kepler

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