Apple updates the iMac with Haswell processors and Wi-Fi that is 'three times faster than the previous generation'

Flagship desktop range comes with screen sizes of 21- or 27-inches, with 8GB of RAM and 1TB Fusion Drive harddrives as standard

Apple has announced an update to their flagship iMac desktop computers, adding the latest ‘Haswell’ processors built by Intel and support for more flash-memory storage.

“iMac continues to be the example that proves how beautiful, fast and fun a desktop computer can be,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a statement today.

The new iMacs also include the next generation of Wi-Fi standards (802.11ac) which Apple claims is “up to three times faster than the previous generation”.

The entry level iMac with a 21-inch screen features a 2.7GHz quad-core Core i5 processor and Intel’s new graphics standard (Iris Pro). The high-end 21-inch and 27-inch models use the same processors running as fast as 3.4GHz, with customers “looking for the ultimate in performance” advised to try the quad-core i7 processors.

Apple has also upgraded their Fusion Drive – a combination of SSD and HDD memory. SDD drives (known as ‘solid state memory’) are speedier but more expensive, whilst HDD drives (the normal, spinning drives still common in most desktops) are slower and cheaper.

Using both in concert allows users to store the operating system on the SSD and less commonly-accessed files on the HDD, making for quicker boot times without paying out the ear for all-SSD memory.

The iMac’s current look was first revealed in November last year, with the removal of the optical drive allowing Apple to slim the edges of the machine down to just 5mm.

The updated 21-inch iMac retails for £1,149 with the price rising to £1,749 for high-end 27-inch model. The computers come with 8GB of memory and 1TB hard drives as standard.

However, if you’re really set on stretching the bank, you can max out the hardware specs (including 1TB of flash storage and 32GB of RAM) for a final price of £3,473 (shipping is free).

The new iMac - looks the same as last year's model but with improvements to the hard drive, the processor and Wi-Fi speeds.

What is Haswell anyway?

Apple has put it in their new iMacs and yesterday Microsoft said Haswell would be powering their new Surface 2 tablets, but what are consumers getting from Intel's new processors?

Announced back in June this year, ‘Haswell’ is the name given to the latest generation of Intel’s Core processors (a brand name for its mid/high range products – Celeron is the entry-level line). Instead of boasting faster power, the Haswell range promises 20 times more power-efficiency when idle compared to previous generation chips.

Intel’s decision to concentrate on efficiency over speed is due to several factors. Firstly, the chip-maker wants to compete with Cambridge-based ARM, a company whose chip designs power the vast majority of mobile devices thanks to their low levels of power-consumption.

Another reason for focusing on efficiency over power is perhaps the coming end of Moore’s Law. This is the maxim predicting that processing power in computers will double roughly every two years. Whilst this has been true for decades there are many high profile figures who think its day is over, including Linux-inventor Linus Torvalds.

Essentially it's becoming harder for chip manufacturers to squeeze more and more power out of the same-sized chip dies, and with the rise of mobile devices, why focus on battery-guzzling chips that would only frustrate consumers and manufacturers alike?

The result is Haswell. It’s got a more power efficient design (which also makes for quieter computers because they need less cooling fans) and has better integrated graphics. It’s not the biggest step forward in top-end computing but it still delivers more power than 99 per cent of consumers need.

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
people

Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn

Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

    £24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

    Marketing Account Manager / Client Liaison Manager

    £25 - 32k DOE: Guru Careers: A digital-savvy Marketing Account Manager / Clien...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Executive

    £23-30k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking bright Business Developmen...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes