Features and Architecture of the iMac
The features of the iMac, along with the design, help make it a popular device among those who are looking for a reliable and powerful computer. You are currently able to choose from a 21.5” and a 27” display, and the LCD screen is closer to the glass on the newer models, which, along with the backlighting, helps to give the display a truly stunning appearance. The NVIDIA graphics are very powerful in the machine as well. The graphics processor utilizes the Kepler architecture, which is able to deliver up to 60% better performance. This is great for those who are using the machine for graphic design, video editing, and even playing 3D games.
What is Inside an iMac?
To get a true understanding of what helps make the iMac such a great computer, especially the latest versions of the machine, it is important to look at what the iMac actually contains.
The iMac utilizes Intel Core processors, and you can choose from the Intel Core i5 processor that use the Ivy Bridge architecture and offers a 3.2GHz clock speed. It’s also possible to choose an i7 model that goes up to 3.4GHz. The i7 also supports Hyper Threading, and this allows one to run two different threads on each core at the same time. Thus, you will have 8 virtual cores to add to the processing power. This helps make the machine faster. The Turbo Boost feature can make things even faster.
The Memory and Hard Drive
You will find the memory for the iMac is quite impressive as well, and you actually have several different options. When you are able to add more RAM to your computer, it will make your system run much faster. This happens to be one of the most popular types of upgrades available, and one of the most cost effective. Adding more memory can give your computer the boost it needs, and is the first thing that you should do before you consider upgrading your operating system or swapping hard drives. It is important to note the memory in the 21.5" iMac Model ID 13,1 is not user upgradable.
The standard computer comes with a 1TB hard drive. Of course, if this is not enough hard drive space for you, it is possible to upgrade to a 3TB drive, which is 50% more storage than Apple has ever had on an iMac before. This offers a substantial amount of storage for pictures, videos, and more.
In addition, you will be able to use up to 768GB of flash storage with the 27” iMac. This is going to offer you more speed, and you will find this is quite noticeable when you do just about everything with the computer from starting the machine to launching an application.
Another option is a relatively new technology called Fusion Drive. This combination includes a traditional hard drive along with flash memory. The drive is actually able to manage your data, placing items you use most often into the flash memory area, so the computer starts and runs faster for those most used apps. The other data is stored on the traditional hard drive space until you need them. This option is proving to be quite popular with many people today.
Because of the nature of the iMac, and the slender size, you are not going to have expansion slots as you would with a traditional tower, such as the Mac Pro. You will not be able to change the graphics card, and you are not able to upgrade the hard disk.
This is one of the issues that some people have with the iMac, but most of the time, you will find the features and options they have are more than enough for standard usage for most consumers. Those who know they are going to need to have more power, and who want to upgrade their computer, will be better off with a Mac Pro.
Why would you want to upgrade your memory? More memory means more speed and more power. While adding RAM is not going to give you more storage space, as some might mistakenly think, it is going to make things run faster. For example, if you are a graphic designer and you want to run Adobe Photoshop, more memory is better. If you have two identical Macs with the same CPU and HDD, and the only difference being that one has a 16GB memory upgrade, you will see the upgraded version is much faster.
What External Connectivity Does an iMac Provide?
Users will find a number of connections and ports located on their iMac. All the iMacs have 4 USB 3.0 ports. These are the latest iteration of USB, and they are able to provide speeds up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0. You can use these for printers, cameras, external hard drives, and more. In addition, you will find the new Thunderbolt ports on the back of the computer. These ports are small, but have very fast transfer speeds. These could be useful for video capture devices, cameras, external drives, and more. These ports are about two times as fast as even the USB 3.0 ports. The iMac also has 802.11n wireless technology, and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to networks, keyboards, and more. Of course, the iMac also has a headphone jack.
What Operating Systems Does an iMac Run?
The iMac runs the OS X operating system, and you will find the older models of the system are generally only able to handle older versions of the OS. The latest versions are using Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion.
While it is most common to use these systems for the iMac, it is also possible to run Windows on the iMac if you prefer. Some people want to have the power of the Mac but want to run Windows. It could be they are familiar with the system, or they have certain programs that are only able to run on the Windows OS. Installation of Linux is possible on the machine as well.
With OS X Mountain Lion, you need at least 2GB of memory to install, and Ramjet recommends at least 4GB for optimal performance of the operating system. To find out what version of OS X you have on your machine, will choose About This Mac from the Apple menu on your machine. The About This Mac screen will display Mac OS X with the version number located underneath.