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Apple iMac 27-inch 2.7GHz Thunderbolt review

The most desirable of Apple's desktop computers has been updated with Sandy Bridge processors and dual Thunderbolt ports, but are these enough to justify the high price? Read on to find out in our review.

Although this use of custom parts won't be a problem for consumers, it might be troublesome for businesses that want the ability to do in-house upgrades for speed and data security reasons, especially on iMacs in use beyond the warranty period. Even if standard parts were in use, opening and upgrading the iMac is a pain requiring a delicate and complex disassembly procedure.

Opening and upgrading the iMac is a pain requiring a delicate and complex disassembly procedure.

One additional storage-related option we have yet to see in other all-in-one computers is the ability to have a 256GB SSD installed alongside the hard disk. The SSD can be used as a boot disk with the hard disk reserved for storing your files. Sadly, even though the iMac uses Intel's new Z68 chipset, MacOS X doesn't yet support Intel's Hybrid SSD Mode which uses the SSD as a giant cache for the hard disk.

The iMac's slim, sleek and slender metal enclosure looks and feels great, although as expected Apple had to use an energy-conservative processor and graphics chip to maintain its svelte profile and low noise levels. The quad-core 2.7GHz Core i5 2500S processor is specifically designed for all-in-one computers. It's not as fast as its more powerful, but hotter, more energy hungry counterpart the i5 2500K, but it's still fared very well in our application benchmarks.

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