Apple iMac (27-inch, mid 2011)

Verge Review

Hard to believe it's only been 10 months since the last iMac update, but Apple's venerable desktop needed a quick bump to stay current with Intel's Sandy Bridge processors and the Thunderbolt interconnect. So here we are, looking at the $1,999 27-inch 3.1GHz Core i5 iMac, which is the fastest stock configuration. (There's a 3.4GHz Core i7 available build-to-order, but we wanted what you could buy in a store today.) In addition to the new processor and Thunderbolt, Apple also bumped the...

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Basic Specs

Operating system Mac OS X
Screen size (diagonal) 27 inches
CPU brand Intel
Graphics type Discrete
Base Discrete GPU brand AMD
Base discrete GPU model Radeon HD 6770M
Base RAM size 4 GB
Base storage capacity 1 TB
Optical drive type Slot-loading
Wi-Fi Yes

Recent News

No recent news about Apple iMac (27-inch, mid 2011).

Recent Discussions

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Width 25.6 inches
Height 20.4 inches
Depth 8.15 inches
Weight 30.5 pounds
Color Silver

Software

Operating system Mac OS X

Display (base)

Screen size (diagonal) 27 inches
Display surface Glossy
Technology IPS LCD
Backlight LED
Resolution (X) 2560 px
Resolution (Y) 1440 px

Processor (base)

CPU brand Intel
CPU family Sandy Bridge
Cores 4
Clockspeed 3.1 GHz

Processor (max)

Brand Intel
Family Sandy Bridge
Cores 4
Clockspeed 3.4 GHz

GPU (base)

Graphics type Discrete
Base Discrete GPU brand AMD
Base discrete GPU model Radeon HD 6770M
Dedicated VRAM 512 MB

GPU (max)

Discrete GPU brand AMD
Discrete GPU model Radeon HD 6970M
Dedicated VRAM 2 GB

Memory

Base RAM size 4 GB
Max. config RAM 16 GB
RAM type DDR3
Base RAM speed 1333 MHz
Slots 2

Storage

Options HDD (7200RPM), Flash Memory (SSD)
Base storage type HDD (7200RPM)
Base storage capacity 1 TB
Max. config HDD 2 TB
Max. config SSD 256 GB
Card reader Yes
Memory card support SD

Optical Drive

Optical drive type Slot-loading
Media supported DVD Super Multi

Audio

Speakers 2

Webcam

Video resolution 720p

Ports

USB 4
FireWire 800 1
Thunderbolt 2
Ethernet 1
Ethernet type 10/100/1000 (Gigabit)
3.5mm headphone 1
3.5mm line-in / microphone 1

Connectivity

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
802.11n frequencies 5GHz, 2.4GHz
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version 2.1 + EDR

Power

PSU wattage 310 W

Bundled Accessories

Bundled Accessories Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Magic Mouse

Recent News

No recent news about Apple iMac (27-inch, mid 2011).

9.7

Average User Review

of 3 total reviews
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  • Design 10
  • Display 10
  • Software 10
  • Speakers 8
  • Accessories 10
  • Performance 10

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  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by hl2run (Currently owns)

    Best computer I ever owned. The Verge staff, giving rating to speakers is kinda dumb. That part is in the design of the thing not a special category. You CANNOT compare internal speakers with any dedicated audio system, even the cheapest one.

    It's a thing of beauty, works like charm and is HUGE!

    The Breakdown

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  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by malikona (Currently owns)

    My second iMac 27", and I'm not sure I can see myself buying anything else from now on. My only complaint is that it gets hot when I boot into Windows for serious 3D games, but most people will never have that concern. It's just a big, beautiful, blazingly fast computer. Expensive, and worth every penny of it.

    Once you use a 27" display - especially one so vibrant and gorgeous as this one - it is hard to go back to your laptop. I often have a browser window open on one half of the screen and a Word document or iTunes video on the other side; it's almost like having two monitors, except you don't have to have, well, two monitors. Plus it is just great for doing anything full-screen, like watching HD movies (iTunes HD downloads look awesome) or playing games in Bootcamp. Besides the display, the case itself is a perfect brushed aluminum that I sometimes find myself just sort of petting like a kitten. .. What?

    The hardware specs are great on all the 27" models, and mine is running the 3.1 GHz quad-core i5 with 16 GB of RAM on board. I've only got the 1 GB AMD Radeon HD 6970M, but 2 GB - while nice - would probably be overkill. I have played my share of demanding 3D games in Windows 7 booted natively on this machine, and I've been able to max out settings on almost all of them. Again, you will want to override the fan controls if you do this because it will literally fry an egg if you don't, but the hardware is certainly capable even if the case is the antithesis of a gaming rig in terms of ventilation.

    In fact ventilation is by far the biggest sacrifice Apple made in this design (besides using the mobile version of the 6970). I know Apple claims you don't have to worry about heat, but well, I do. Running your computer super-hot for a long time is just not good for it, even if things don't fail right away. I have had a video card replaced on my 2010 iMac 27" under AppleCare (they actually just gave me the 2011 model instead), and I would blame overheating for its' failure, no matter what Apple says. I wouldn't worry too much if you don't do anything but browse and consume media, but if you game, encode/convert video or audio, or do ANYthing taxing on the CPU or GPU, download and run SMCFanControl. If you hate noise as much as Steve Jobs did, wear some earplugs. Even on max however these fans are not very loud. (But it is nice when it's running silent).

    To use this iMac as a display for a MacBook w/Thunderbolt, you cannot just use a MiniDisplay cable; you have to get an actual Thunderbolt cable.

    The Breakdown

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    • Speakers 9
    • Accessories 9
    • Performance 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by H.L (Currently owns)

    Absolutely the best all-in-one on the market. It's too bad Apple's desktop market is shrinking so rapidly; I'd hate to see machines like this go.

    It's one of the most overlooked good deals out there. Apple's displays are some of the highest quality available, and here you're getting a huge, beautiful, bright, IPS 27" display with a computer tucked in the back. It can play Battlefield 3 modestly. SSD upgrade makes it purr. 'Nuff said.

    The Breakdown

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    • Software 10
    • Speakers 7
    • Accessories 10
    • Performance 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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