New iMac 2011 vs 2010 Model Review Of Features

Today came the news that many of you had been patiently waiting for, the new iMac 2011 refresh. Earlier when the Apple store went down, it was a good indication that the new models would soon be here and Debbie here at OSM has kindly given us official spec details, pricing and release information.

In order to get a good overall picture of what the new iMac 2011 has in terms of features compared to the 2010 model, we have listed some of its key specs to possibly help you in your decision making. Firstly if we cast our minds back to the summer of last year, the Apple iMac was one of the biggest in terms of all-in-one desktops. reported back then, the DisplayPort seen on the older iMac gave users the opportunity to pursue home entertainment, SDXC card slot provided slot support cards up to 2TB in size. On looking at the iMac then, it was released with Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, ATI Radeon graphics and as AppleInsider stated then dual-core processor speeds up to 3.6GHz, quad-core speeds up to 2.93GHz, although the frustration was felt when a HDMI port and Blu-Ray drive was not included.

As reported, the new iMac 2011 has really not changed from its predecessor, but the 2 biggest changes have to be the inclusion of Sandy Bridge CPUs allowing the quad-core i5 processors to run at 2.5GHz on the 21-inch model, 3.1GHz on the higher ended 27-inch model with an optional Core i7 processor with 3.4GHz speeds, Thunderbolt connection port allowing the refreshed iMac to perform at faster speeds in fact 70%. As well as this, the iMac iSight cameras have now been changed to an improved FaceTime HD standard and refreshed range of AMD Radeon HD graphics.

No doubt many of you are happy with today’s news but there will be a percentage of you wondering why the new iMac 2011 model hasn’t really changed, were you expecting a new SSD or design with say the new MacBook Air model?

So it begs the question, with the new refreshed models, were you expecting something a little more, or are you satisfied with the new add-ons, did the new iMacs just need a few adjustments?

  • Lou

    The new update to the iMac is OK. I wouldn't say it's great because I really expected SSD as standard and a possible blu-ray drive.
    As it stands now the SSD upgrade costs a whopping £400 in the UK for a 256gb hard drive, which is insane.

    The iMac looks great though and the new graphics card and sandy bridge processors have tempted me to buy it, come september I will own my very own iMac. (Thank you student discount!)

  • Nat Green

    I'm in need of a new computer and have been waiting a while for this. Sure it may not have been the huge overhaul that some people were waiting for,but for now,it is a good step in the right direction.I'll take it!

  • sheryl

    The fact that you can now get a quad core without having to jump to 27" helps. Sometimes things can just be too big for small areas. I would rather have two 21" imacs than one 27"

  • Leigh

    I believe this upgrade is great for a consumer machine. Let's not forget that this is what the iMac is after all. I think sometimes the punters forget that this is not a "PRO" machine with all of it's outstanding features etc.

    I also think the Blu Ray is something that doesn't really need to be supported here as I download most of my films. In fact my Blu Ray player is probably one of the most redundant pieces of equipment in my house because of this. Besides I'm sure Apple would be pushing people into downloading movie content from iTunes

    I understand that people want to output to Blu Ray and while I think that may be a good thing I also think it's more suited to Video Production Pro's that require it. Adding an internal Blu Ray would jack up the price too and then that would be a problem.

    Another price increase would come with the inclusion of an SSD and while it's a big pay out to add one let's not forget that if you "had" to buy it as standard a lot of people would be complaining about the cost of the machines.

    Bang for your buck these machines are amazing. Thunderbolt, the new processors and lets not forget the video cards are all pointing towards a great increase in productivity for those who use them professionally and to be quite honest are overkill for people who want to read email and trawl the net.

    Well done Apple. You know what the consumer "needs" and have created a perfect set of options for a large amount of them.

  • Syfes

    I've been waiting to make the switch from a PC to a Mac for a while now, wanting to see what the new iMac's would offer, and I'm quite happy with the new models.

    My biggest reason for not buying an iMac until now, was the relatively low specs I could get when compared to building my own PC-system. Price has never been the biggest issue for me. I'm a big gamer and into 3D design, so a little extra "oomph" is never wasted.

    Okay, so now they have the new quad-cores, latest line of Radeon GPU's, HD Camera, thunderbolt… What's not to love. So they didn't change the design of the iMac on the outside? Why would they need to, since it still looks amazingly sleek and sexy anyways. And who really needs Blu-Ray in a PC or Mac? Really, watch BR-movies on your TV :)

    I'll propably go for the 27" with a 3.4GHz CPU, with the 6970 2GB Radeon as well as the SSD together with a 1TB drive. Would cost me about €3.100… Better start saving now! ^^

  • Sean

    Recently got a 27" with i3 3.2GHz (less than one month ago).
    Really disappointed that the place I just bought this previous model from didn't apparently know of the release date of this new model!! and said the upgrades were minor!!. And to add insult to injury, here the new model 27" i5 quad is $200 less than the previous model. Arrggg…

    • Jon

      I made the same mistake as you and purchased one at Best Buy. I was about 3 days over the 14 day return policy and I begged for the new upgrade. The manager was nice and totally hooked me up, so I have the upgrade now! If it didn't work, I was about to post it on ebay and just pay the difference, I'm glad it didn't come to that!

    • Debbie

      I bought mine 3 weeks ago and went to the apple store today and they let me upgrade. It's worth a shot as I didn't think they would.

    • ken

      Oh believe me… I have the same frustration as yours. Over disappointed.

  • Xan Farran

    Hey Sean, don't worry about it! You still have an incredible machine there, just enjoy it. You can never keep up with technological changes, you'll always be one step behind at some point.
    I bought a 27" imac back in February, knowing full well that an upgrade was due around May time. But my need for an imac was greater than my need for any upgrades to graphics cards and whatnot.
    Thunderbolt is going to take some time to really become established, so I'm not too sore about not having that.
    Xan :)

  • Dave

    Just picked up the new 27" i7 3.4 and it's awesome. I had the 27" i7 2.93 and fortunately just bought it so I was able to exchange it at the apple store. I'd been waiting since March for this and needed it for work. I really lucked out with my timing. Yes, I can see a little difference in video quality as it is a bit sharper (just slightly more vivid is the only way I can explain it) and the machine is a bit more snappy but it is just a tiny faster. Don't feel bad if you have the last model. They are both darn good machines. That's mostly why I bought the last one. I wouldn't be upset if I had to keep the 2.93ghz. I can't wait to do some video editing with some huge AVCHD files with this new i7! I was hoping it would run cooler but it seems to run the same temp. However the hard drive and fan are dead silent. It is actually quieter in my opinion. Not that the old one was noisy but this is slightly better. Nice!

  • Anthony

    Some of us definately lucked out buying from certain Apple re-sellers who refused to entertain the idea of exchanging my 27 inch i5 purchased 1600 Monday. It's my first iMac and is a truly awesome machine though their is something that sticks in your throat when the go and release the new range at a slightly reduced price.

  • Keir

    I have the 2010 entry level iMac i3, 500gb, 3.06Ghz, bought in September 2010. Should I sell it and buy the new model or should I wait until next year's release?