updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu July 22, 2010
Apple tells stores to ready for new iMacs
Apple is in the first stages of ramping down its existing iMac supplies ahead of new models that should switch over completely to Intel's Core iX line, insiders said Thursday. Resellers have reportedly been told not to expect more shipments of the 21-inch Core 2 Duo iMac, others are being asked to sell all their existing models rather than ask for more. AppleInsider expects new models would arrive sometime within the next few weeks.
The systems would represent a significant modernization of the line, as the entry models would use some version (likely 3.06GHz or 3.2GHz) of Intel's dual Core i3. Higher-end models could use the dual Core i5, while quad Core i5 and Core i7 models would remain at the high end. Exact choices weren't defined, but the 2.8GHz Core i5 760 is a strong candidate for the 27-inch iMac as it would directly replace today's 2.66GHz chip.
As of now, it's unconfirmed but still believed that the iMac could be one of the first Macs with USB 3.0 and FireWire 1600 or 3200, giving it much better support for external hard drives. The move to Core i3 and above would also dictate that Apple drop the GeForce 320M in favor of low-end dedicated graphics, such as an entry GeForce 400 series chipset. Higher-end models would now have the option of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5000 series.
An update in late summer would represent an uncharacteristically long interval for iMacs, though this year the delay has largely been determined by Intel's conservative upgrade schedule.