As has been rumoured for some time, Apple has today announced a slew of product updates and entirely new products. I am so excited because I have been waiting for a Mac Pro refresh for a while (along with the iMac).
Updated iMacs featuring new Intel Core i3, i5 & i7 processors
The iMacs received an update, with overall cosmetics remaining unchanged, but under the hood are a new range of Intel processors from the entry-level Core i3 right up to a newer Core i7 with Hyper Threading. New graphics processors are also present in the form of the ATI Radeon HD 4670 (21.5″ only) and 5670 (21.5″ & 27″) with 256MB GDDR3 and 512MB GDDR5 memory respectively. The top-end quad-core specification 27″ iMac is configured with an ATI Radeon HD 5750 with 1GB GDDR5. Like the Mac Pro, SSD drives are now also available as a CTO option.
12-core Mac Pro with 2TB SSD drives CTO option
Apple’s Mac Pro powerhouse computers had been starved of an update, but finally got a healthy refresh with new processor configurations including the new “Westmere” Intel Xeon processors, running at up to 2.93GHz in a dual processor configuration with 6 cores each, deliver up to 12 cores.
Hard drive options now include, for the first in an Apple desktop, SSD drives, with configuration options allowing up to four 512GB SSD drives. Apple has posted test results showing SSD’s outperforming 7200RPM HDD’s by up to twice the speed, although it hasn’t posted any comparable results against 15,400RPM SAS HDD’s.
27″ LED-backlit Cinema Display
Based on the same IPS panel as used in the current generation iMac, a new 27″ Cinema Display has been announced for a September shipping date, and features the same style housing as the existing 24″ LED Cinema Display. With a 2560×1600 resolution which almost matches the 30″ Cinema Display, the new 27″ Cinema Display is Apple’s first standalone monitor to feature a 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to the previous 16:10 offerings.
Like the 24″ Cinema Display, the new 27″ monitor also features built-in iSight camera, microphone, speakers including subwoofer, and utilises the industry-standard Mini DisplayPort. The connections also include a MagSafe adaptor for charging Macbook models via the monitor’s power source.
Another entirely new product, the Magic Trackpad is Apple’s offering to desktop users of a trackpad, just like the ones found on Macbook models, so that desktop warriors can take advantage of multi-touch gestures too, like their mobile-using counterparts.
The new Magic Trackpad is 80% larger than standard trackpads found on Macbooks, and the whole pad area acts as a mouse button click too. The design is based on the same structure as the Apple Bluetooth keyboard.
Combined with useful 3rd party tools such as BetterTouchTool (based on the MultiClutch project), the Magic Trackpad could add a nice new ‘touch’ to desktop Macs… pun intended. Sorry.
Written By Nick Miller of http://www.nickmiller.co.cc