Apple iMac 27-inch (late 2012)

Apple sticks to the fundamentals with the new iMac, relying on design, strong features and overall polish to maintain its leadership among high-end all-in-ones.


8.5
CNET Rating

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Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(shorter bars indicate better performance)


Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(shorter bars indicate better performance)


Multimedia multitasking — iTunes and QuickTime (in seconds)
(shorter bars indicate better performance)


Multimedia multitasking — iTunes and HandBrake (in seconds)
(shorter bars indicate better performance)


Cinebench
(longer bars indicate better performance)

Rendering multiple CPUs
Rendering single CPU

Performance

Our performance comparison will seem unfair, given that we do not have results for the more expensive Dell XPS One 27, a system with more memory and its own solid-state hard drive. The iMac has a faster graphics card, which helps to a certain extent on Photoshop, but otherwise we'd expect the highest-end Dell to post similar, if not better, performance results than the iMac. If we can't make a direct speed comparison with the fastest XPS One 27, we can still say that the Dell and the iMac occupy a class by themselves, compared with other 27-inch all-in-one PCs (all of which have lower-resolution 1920x1080-pixel displays).

The iMac's most decisive victory comes on our iTunes and QuickTime processing test, but that test tends to skew in Apple's favour, and we included it here mostly for comparison with the previous-generation iMac. The OS-agnostic version of that test with HandBrake (which we're phasing in to replace the QuickTime version), puts the Dell and the new iMac in much closer proximity to each other.

We won't say that the iMac walks away with the high-end, all-in-one application-performance crown, especially with the lurking spectre of the higher-end Dell. Suffice it to say that this is the fastest iMac yet, if not the fastest all-in-one available.

On the graphics side, the iMac GeForce GTX 680 MX is the top-tier mobile graphics chip, and the most powerful GPU available in any all-in-one that isn't the US version of the HP Z1. We tested it with Borderlands 2 at full 2560x1440-pixel resolution and maximum image quality, and experienced no difficulty. We also tried the Witcher 2, one of the most demanding games available for OS X. We won't say it hit 60 frames per second, but it was more than playable at full resolution and with ultra-quality settings. For every other game on the Mac, and even most titles in a virtualised Windows environment, you should be able to play anything you come across with sufficient image quality.

The only other testing we would like to circle back on is a set of true display-quality tests between the iMac and the XPS One 27. Anecdotally, our photo editor was impressed by the iMac's apparent colour gamut, as well as the level of detail within its black levels.

Two other performance notes worth mentioning: our iMac included a Fusion Drive, which means it has a 1TB mechanical hard drive and a 128GB solid-state drive joined in a single 1.2TB drive volume. Apple has designed Fusion so that it's seamless. The OS itself, as well as the files you use most frequently, load from the solid-state drive. The idea of Fusion is that it speeds up application loading, files transfers and pretty much any drive-related system activity.

You can refer to our review of Apple's new Mac Mini for a deeper dive into Fusion, including some test results. Given the identical drive hardware, we expect that the performance will be the same on this iMac. The bottom line is that launching pretty much anything on the system happens almost instantly.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

We can also credit the iMac's new, second microphone. Situated on the back of the display, the extra mic is there to help with cancelling out background noise. In a FaceTime call, the recipient reported that our voice came through with no apparent backing hiss, even when we spoke from 4.5 metres away. She did mention that our voice became softer at that distance, understandably. She also heard some noise during dead air, similar to what you hear in the background from a conference-room speakerphone.

Conclusion

You might be alarmed by the fact that the design is the most interesting thing about the new iMac. A thin bezel is nice to look at, but it doesn't improve processing speed, workflow or overall utility. Fortunately for Apple, it evolved that design from a computer with a strong technical foundation. It is the updates to that foundation, and a few points of polish along the way, that keep this iMac on elite footing. We'll suggest lining up behind the Blu-ray fans for those of you hoping that Apple will someday add touchscreen input to the iMac. Instead, this is a computer for serious, performance-driven users, particularly those who need a high-resolution display and fast graphics and disk performance.

Via CNET.com



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LeonidK posted a comment   
Australia

This is the most ridiculous piece of garbage I have ever read as a reader.
Not only are you boasting about a pathetic apple computer which only a moron would pay for that price with a very very very sub par graphic card, you rate it against "dell" and "acer" where only a retard who knows nothing would buy there computers from.

You have made apple to look like god in the eyes of consumers. If anything, you should be comparing this system to other systems with similar specs? Dell also sponsor or make Alienware, dont see a comparison between Apple an Alienware, as Alienware would kick the **** out of apple.

Why would anyone want a touch screen monitor? that is the most ridiculous idea for a desktop. Id love to see how frustrated modern or better yet older users and students get when typing a 5000 word essay. Or trying to play a decent game like a first person shooter. This is a terrible product for its price.

 

Jeroend posted a comment   

Seriously? The lack of a touch screen is a bad thing? Come on! Do you really think people want to poke at their monitor, behind a desktop?That's why they developed the iPad and the touch control device thingie you place next to your keyboard. Are you for real?

 

Pining posted a comment   
Australia

..................It's not a touch screen.
Yet you give it an editor's choice.
Yesterday's tech, on a closed computer environment, for a ridiculously inflated cost price.
You note the new video chip will be great for gamers.......PLAYING WHAT GAMES!!!! Space Invaders??

You note that windows 8 gives Dell owners a problem in that hey need to learn a new operating system.
As opposed to apple, which gives you last years system with last years screen, but tells you it is easier to operate because you learnt it last year.

How much does apple sponsor this site?

 

n_zara posted a reply   
Australia

So a computer can't be good if it isn't touchscreen? Like a movie can't be good if isn't 3D?

Windows 8 ahead of OSX...really??? Next thing you will tell me is that a Windows tablet is ahead of an iPad or a Nexus?

Wonder how much you get paid to be an anti-apple troll?




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User Reviews / Comments  Apple iMac 27-inch (late 2012)

  • LeonidK

    LeonidK

    "This is the most ridiculous piece of garbage I have ever read as a reader.
    Not only are you boasting about a pathetic apple computer which only a moron would pay for that price with a very ve..."

  • Jeroend

    Jeroend

    "Seriously? The lack of a touch screen is a bad thing? Come on! Do you really think people want to poke at their monitor, behind a desktop?That's why they developed the iPad and the touch control de..."

  • Pining

    Pining

    "..................It's not a touch screen.
    Yet you give it an editor's choice.
    Yesterday's tech, on a closed computer environment, for a ridiculously inflated cost price.
    You note..."

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